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Kelly Young, environmental specialist with the Volusia County Environmental Management Department, will speak Sunday, Sept. 12, at First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand about water, water quality, and our local water issues.

Zoom services continue until further notice. Virtual services begin at 10:30 a.m. Sundays. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to join over Zoom from 10:15 a.m. to 10:25 a.m. for greetings before the service begins.

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

Unitarian Universalists are an open-minded, openhearted spiritual community where all are welcomed to learn together. First UU participates in Interfaith Kitchen and other community projects.

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 Green Team meets monthly.

Special educational programs for children are available.

The church may be contacted through www.uudeland.org to learn more, or by calling 386-232-8433

‘Who Tells Your Story?’

Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation, while not meeting face-to-face, is meeting online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The Sept. 12 service is titled “Who Tells Your Story?”

Every community has a story about who they are and where they came from. This story is the framework we use for creating our future. The Rev. Tracie Barrett explores what to do if your story isn’t matching up with where you want to go, and how to fix it.

Worship leader Andrew Meit will lead everyone through this service.

For more information on Mosaic, see the website at mosaicuuc.org. For instructions on how to join the virtual service, email to mosaicuuc@gmail.com.

The God of redemption

If you have ever had kids or have been a kid, you have heard or said, “I didn’t do it” or “It wasn’t my fault.” Sometimes, even as adults, we occasionally prefer to pass the buck or deny responsibility for things we have said or done.

Then, there are those other times when we are accused of something we actually had no part in or no responsibility for, and yet we are somehow deemed guilty by association or condemned by circumstantial evidence. When that happens, we often have no recourse but to throw ourselves on the mercy of the court of those who set judgment over us.

Mercy is great; but something even greater is redemption. Redemption is when we are actually guilty and we receive amnesty, or someone will take our place and bear the consequences of our guilt.

Of course, members and visitors at First United Methodist Church of DeLand are very grateful for the reality of redemption, and embrace God’s redemption for us with open arms and open hearts.

This Sunday, Sept. 12, in the sermon series “Jeremiah, Faith During Opposition,” the focus will be on the God of redemption. You’re encouraged to make plans to come and look in greater detail into this life-altering topic.

There’s 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.

First Church offers small-group Bible studies at various times during the week. Young adults meet Sunday evenings, youth groups meet at different times during the week, and there’s also a Saturday-morning men’s Bible study. If you‘d like to get connected to a small group for fellowship and sharing, contact the church office for more details.

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

1st Christian Church activities

The Rev. Elizabeth Carrasquillo of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand delivers Bible-based sermons at 10:45 a.m. each Sunday, with many enhanced visuals to go with the Scriptures, which help with understanding the message.

Her topics and Scriptures for September are as follows:

Sept. 12 – “Taming the Tongue,” James 3:1-2

Sept. 19 – “The Great Commission,” Mark 16:9- 20

Sept. 26 – “The Lost Book,” 2 Kings 22:1-2, 2 Kings 23:23.

Each service includes Open Communion for all believers, served by the elders; lively praise music selected by Dorothy and Paul Ashton; and prayers from the congregation given by Pastor Carrasquillo.

Activities each week include Monday Prayer Gathering at 3:30 p.m. in the church library, which is open to those who want prayers and previously submitted prayers; Youth Group, 5:30-7:15 p.m. Wednesdays in the Youth Room (enter from church office door); and Homework Hot spot Tutoring, 4-5:30 p.m. Thursdays (when school is in session) in the church library (enter from church office door).

The Disciple Men meet for breakfast the second Saturday of each month at 8 a.m. Call Lee Gartside at 386-734-6078 for details.

The national Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) through the Week of Compassion assists refugees from Afghanistan and people suffering from the effects of Hurricane Ida. Donations can be sent to Week of Compassion, P.O. Box 1986, Indianapolis, IN 46206, or by going online to www.weekofcompassion.com.

Bridle the tongue

On Sunday, Sept. 12, worshippers attending the contemporary service at 9 a.m. and the traditional one at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church of DeLand will hear the sermon “Bridle the Tongue.” The Rev. Michael Bodger continues his sermon series based on James’ letter that urges Christians to express their faith in daily living.

Inevitably, people will use the tongue to ill effect at some point. We cannot push back into the mouth words uttered; once out, they are out there! James cautions us that the tongue can do great damage when unbridled. “It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison!” (James 3:8)

Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. Does the tongue have to become the restless evil James describes? Or can we learn to tame it?

Both services appear on livestreaming and recordings on Facebook, YouTube, and the First Pres website. At all times, visitors to the church are asked to wear masks for safety during these COVID times. Communion at both services offers contact-free and reverent elements to all attendees.

The vision of First Pres Church, “to be a church fully Engaged in Reaching Up, Reaching In, and Reaching Out” takes many forms. We offer several Bible studies on and off campus and frequently practice ministries like The Bridge and Family Renew. Some meet on-site, while others gather by Zoom.

Presbyterian Women have seven different circles which have resumed monthly meetings of Bible study and fellowship and service.

Twice monthly, 9-11 a.m. on the second and fourth Saturdays, the homeless and needy can join God’s Bathhouse on the basketball court to shower, freshen clothing, and receive hygiene kits.

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