BREAKING GROUND — Members of Linaje Escogido (Chosen Lineage) Church break ground on their property at 495 Ponce DeLeon Blvd. in DeLeon Springs for a church building. In the photo are Artemio and Inez Avilez; Elba Meza; Carmen M. Bahena; Noemi, Abigail and Caleb Mancilla; Lupe Vazquez; Carmen, Victoria, Viviana, Yareli and Nazarene Rivera; and Juan, Lucy and Ami Mancilla. The Mancillas formed Linaje Escogido as a 501(c)(3) organization and purchased the property on faith, believing one day a church would stand there. PHOTO COURTESY AMY MUNIZZI

Linaje Escogido (Chosen Lineage) Church in DeLeon Springs recently broke ground on their new church home, after many years of hard work on the part of Pastor Juan and Lucy Mancilla.

“Linaje Escogido started in 2000 when Orlando Cartagena began sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in our home through Thursday Bible studies,” Lucy Mancilla said. “This led to Sunday services where people continued to come listen to the Word of God.”

She added, “Our church moved to a rented location until the pandemic, when we began meeting outdoors on our property at 495 Ponce DeLeon Blvd. in DeLeon Springs. This is where God put in our hearts to build his church in 2009, and we have prayed for this ever since.”

Juan and Lucy formed Linaje Escogido as a 501(c)(3) organization, and purchased the property on faith, believing one day a church would stand there.

“Our vision is to radiate spiritual counsel and truth to as many as can be reached by proclaiming God’s Good News,” Lucy explained.

They also host a weekly AA meeting.

1st Christian Church mourns the death of beloved pastor

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand tearfully announces the recent passing of their beloved pastor the Rev. Elizabeth Carrasquillo. She faithfully served as interim minister for more than two years, and had a heart and passion for evangelism. Guest ministers will provide the sermon each Sunday for the next month.

As it does each first Tuesday of the month, First Christian is hosting The Bridge kitchen 5-6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4, in the dining room at 421 S. Palmetto Ave. in DeLand. First Christian is thankful for the partnership with AdventHealth Fish Memorial and community volunteers Jen Brennan, Centro Tea Co. and Plant-Based Kitchen, Greg and Jill Carroll, Vicki Dean, Dusty Going and Liz Kowalski.

The Disciple Women, under the leadership of Sue Brague, meet at 1 p.m. each Monday in preparation for the annual Trash and Treasure Sale, which will be Saturday, Feb. 5.

‘What does it mean?’

At First Presbyterian Church of DeLand, on Sunday, Jan. 2, Pastor Michael Bodger will lead the congregation in a thoughtful consideration of Ephesians 1:3-14. He will invite all to ask themselves, “What does it mean?” to begin a new year.

As we step into 2022 and the cacophony of holiday sounds from worldly celebrations dies down, Christians take stock of all that is going on around them. Tradition tells us to do this at New Year’s time.

As we reflect on life and all the twists and turns of the past year, we ponder the hopes and expectations of what is to come. Pastor Bodger suggests we take this “good time” to reflect on all that the Living God has provided for us.

In the opening of his letter to the Ephesians, Paul sums up just what God has extended to us. The supreme questions remain: What are we going to do with it all? What does it mean? In the face of God’s astonishing generosity, we must explore these questions as we live our lives.

Particular to this upcoming week, Bible studies, children’s church, and youth meetings will resume after the holiday.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, the church’s Drive-Thru Food Distribution will again provide boxes of food to families to offset hunger. Visitors should enter the driveway from West Pennsylvania Avenue, where volunteers will direct them to the distribution point. The staff will load the cars as they drive through the route.

Good news for inquirers! “First Connections,” a four-week class for people new to First Pres and even those who have been here for a while, begins at 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 9. In the large conference room of the church’s office building, these 50-minute classes will explore the meaning of becoming a Christ follower, living as a Presbyterian, understanding the church’s core values, and joining opportunities to worship and grow in spirit and service.

‘The Path: A Tranquil Walk With God’

You’re encouraged to come as you are to the grand opening of “The Path: A Tranquil Walk With God,” hosted by Church of the Holy Presence in DeLand, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 8. The church is at 355 N. Kepler Road.

Dedicated to the people of DeLand, the path will be open from dawn to dusk for those wishing to meditate and meet the Lord in a quiet and peaceful setting.

The path includes 14 benches, each dedicated to a member of the congregation, with 14 Stations of the Cross, and a central chapel area for weddings and small outdoor gatherings.

All are welcome to come and take this walk, stopping at each station for prayer and meditation. This can be a moving experience for individuals or families.

All are welcome (dogs too!). Please pick up after your pups.

For more information, call the church office at 386-734-5228.

Hope for the new year

This new year, Chrysalis Church joyfully celebrates the descent of the New Jerusalem “out of heaven” (within you) from God! John saw a new heaven and a new Earth, meaning he saw people who are transformed internally and externally. “He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new (Rev. 21).’ This is happening these days!”

“Behold the tabernacle of God is with people and He will dwell with them and they shall be his people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain for the former things have passed away (Rev. 21:3-4).” There is hope for the new year.

On Sunday, Jan. 2, in Chrysalis Church’s class and worship, Pastor Terry will talk about reasons for hope.

Chrysalis is temporarily gathering at The New Church, 145 N. Euclid Ave. in Lake Helen, beginning at 10 a.m., followed by fellowship and light refreshments. All are welcome.

Starting the new year at 1st UMC

The year 2021 is now a part of history, and we stand at the outset of a new year with new possibilities and aspirations for greater things ahead. It is generally around this time that some contemplate New Year’s resolutions. The beginning of a new year inspires us to challenge ourselves to set goals and achieve greater things in the year that lies before us.

At First United Methodist Church of DeLand, members and friends also like to set goals and challenge themselves to grow in their relationship with God by committing themselves to more prayer time and additional Bible study, as well as many other things that will help them grow closer to God and mature in their spiritual relationships.

You and your family are encouraged to consider attending First United Methodist this Sunday, Jan. 2, to kick off this new year in a time of praise/worship, prayer and Bible study.

In-person worship includes traditional services 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

Small-group Bible studies are offered at various times during the week: Young adults meet on Sunday evening; youth groups meet at different times during the week; and there’s 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.

First Church offices are open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact the office for additional information, at 386-734-5113.

‘Intentions, Not Resolutions’

Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation, while not meeting face-to-face, is meeting online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The title of the Jan. 2 service is “Intentions, Not Resolutions.”

Many people begin the new year with the practice of setting a New Year’s resolution for the year — one that often does not get followed as well as we would like. But after the past couple of years of the pandemic, the need to set an intention — one that we can commit ourselves to — seems more necessary than ever. Join Matt Pargeter-Villarreal Jan. 2 for a look back at all that happened in 2021 — and a discussion of how we can set intentions to bring about the year that we all hope for. All are welcome.

For more information on Mosaic, see the website at For instructions on how to join the virtual service, email



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