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<p>Spiritual Side: Vivacity to perform free outdoor concert Sunday, March 7</p><p></p>

What services, programs and activities are offered at your place of worship? Do you have religion news you’d like to see published? Send this information for us to include, for free, in The Beacon’s “Spiritual Side” column. Email the information to margie@beacononlinenews.com 10 days in advance.

St. Jude’s Episcopal in Orange City to present Fall Festival

St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Orange City has begun preparing for its annual Fall Festival, which will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23. It will be totally outside.

Part of the festivities will include spaces for vendors to sell their merchandise. Tables are not furnished, and no food is to be sold unless packaged for home use. Each space is approximately 10 feet by 10 feet. The donation for each space is $25, first come, first served.

Call 386-775-6200 to reserve space so as not to duplicate brand-name businesses.

‘What Are You Looking For?’

This Sunday, Aug. 1, at First Presbyterian Church of DeLand, the Rev. Harland Merriam will explore John’s Gospel 6:24-35 at the 9 a.m. contemporary and 11 a.m. traditional services.

In his sermon “What Are You Looking For?” Pastor Merriam will share that John relates how the followers who have just experienced Jesus’ miraculous feeding of 5,000 people with bread and fish on the shore of the Sea of Galilee now seek Him on the other side of the lake. They travel urgently across the lake to find Jesus and, when they do, He engages them in a fascinating conversation that reveals what they really need.

Many activities will resume in August. Whether you wish to join a Bible-study group, the Presbyterian Women’s yearly program, youth group for teens, the church’s community garden, family camping, or mission projects, explore offerings on First Pres’ Facebook and website.

The Religion Directory in this issue of The Beacon provides particulars of First Presbyterian opportunities and fellowship.

August will become an exciting and worthwhile introduction to this year at First Pres. Church leaders and members say, “Come join us!”

‘The Gifts We Are Given’

First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand is continuing to host virtual services at 10:30 a.m. Sundays. In-person services will begin Sunday, Sept. 5.

Those wishing to attend over Zoom are invited to log in 10:15-10:25 a.m. for greetings before the service begins.

The Zoom ID for Sunday services remains the same every week: Zoom ID: 927 1881 9188.

On Sunday, Aug. 1, the Rev. Tracie Barrett will speak on “The Gifts We Are Given.” The COVID-19 pandemic has taken so much from so many of us — our loved ones, our routines, our social interactions and, for some, our jobs. The list is long.

Can we look for the gifts we may have received? Be they small or maybe large gifts we have received during the past year-and-a-half? May we try to celebrate those gifts, as we move forward to a new normal and a new story.

Barrett is a minister of ritual and liturgy — Soul.Fire: a Unitarian Universalist Ministry that can be seen at facebook.com/soulfireuu. Email Barrett at tbarrett@uuma.org.

Regular group meetings continue on Zoom and in person: The Book and Poetry clubs each meet monthly; the Covenant Group and a discussion group meet every two weeks; and the Men’s Group meets weekly.

The church can be contacted through www.uudeland.org to learn more.

Unitarian Universalists are an open-minded, openhearted spiritual community, where all are welcomed to learn together.

1st Christian Church activities

The Rev. Elizabeth Carrasquillo of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand welcomes back those who went to Puerto Rico for a pre-build trip related to the Garden of Eden Health Center in Jayuya. The group of Brenda MoralesChristina Coulter, Dr. Janet Raney and Arianna Dutton will be attending the 10:45 a.m. worship service Sunday, Aug. 1. At a later date, they will formally share their mission experience.

As a part of the worship service, Carrasquillo continues the “Bible Bios” series, and the elders will provide open Communion to all attending believers in Jesus Christ.

First Christian is participating in the annual Mayor’s Backpack Giveaway Saturday, Aug. 7.

Holy Temple Summer Camp concludes its seven weeks of activities at First Christian on Friday, July 30, with a splash party for 30-plus children and youth who participated under the direction of Voloria Manning.

Exploring Lughnasadh

Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation, while not meeting face-to-face, is meeting online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. This Sunday, Aug. 1, halfway between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox, the congregation is continuing the Summer Sharing Series of roundtable discussions.

This Sunday, the discussions regarding Unitarian Universalists’ six Sources will be interrupted in order to explore Lughnasadh, the Celtic celebration of the first harvest of the year. You’re encouraged to take part as the congregation celebrates the old religion and takes a look at how this holiday is celebrated by modern pagans and other cultures around the world. Kay Gonzales will guide everyone through the service.

For instructions on how to join the virtual service, email to mosaicuuc@gmail.com.

‘Virtual Disciples’

Summer is quickly slipping away, and already thoughts of back-to-school preparations are entering our minds. Last year was such an unusual school year and presented so many challenges.

Life is like that: so many new challenges to face and so many obstacles to overcome. We all need the help and love of those around us to get us through.

Hal David wrote (and Burt Bacharach wrote the music for), “What the world needs now is love, sweet love, It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”

As First United Methodist Church of DeLand moves further into the series “The Everyday Disciple — Being Like Jesus in Everyday Life,” members and visitors will be examining how to be the hope and love that others need by being “Virtual Disciples.”

Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Then He went on to say, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

To be Virtual Disciples, we must be the real-world representation of God’s love to those with whom we interact on a day-to-day basis. Have you ever found this challenging to do? You’re encouraged to attend a service at First United Methodist as the congregation explores just how to go about accomplishing this, and how to make showing God’s love a virtual reality.

The church provides in-person traditional worship at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the sanctuary, and a contemporary service at 9:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center. All three services are streamed live on Facebook on the First Church DeLand page, or they can be accessed through the website at Firstchurchdeland.org.

The office is open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call 386-734-5113.

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