sylvia ramos 1st christian disciples

The Rev. Sylvia Ramos is the guest minister for First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand’s 10:45 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 23, worship service. The Rev. Ramos was ordained in Georgia by the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church) as a second-career pastor, who spent 20 years working for Fortune 500 companies.

Ramos is creating a community in St. Augustine that is full of the light of God and is about “Radical Love, Radical Inclusion and Radical Grace.”

Others serving during the 10:45 a.m. service are Elders Dr. Janet Raney and Eddie Wachter, providing Communion to all. A greeting will be given by Dr. Raney, and musician Alex Velez will provide special music for the service in addition to the hymns.

The 9:30 a.m. adult Sunday-school class topic for Jan. 23 is “Justice, Judges and Priests,” based on Deuteronomy Chapters 16 and 17.

Sue Brague, president of the Disciple Women, is leading the group in preparation for the Friday, Feb. 4, and Saturday, Feb. 5, Trash and Treasures Sale at First Christian Church. Donations are welcomed 1-3:30 p.m. Mondays, or during church office hours 8 a.m.-noon.

Dr. Raney offers free tutoring at 4 p.m. Thursdays, and leads the youth group at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

Pecans for sale!

Trinity United Methodist Church in DeLand is selling 1-pound bags of pecan halves for $10 per bag. The proceeds go to local outreach missions.

Call 386-734-4425 or come by the church office at 306 W. Wisconsin Ave. in DeLand to get your pecans. Office hours are 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Don’t miss out!

We, not me

“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:v 12)

On Sunday, Jan. 23, Pastor Michael Bodger of First Presbyterian Church of DeLand will declare that Christ-followers as a whole function as one body in Christ. To engage fully in its declared vision, First Pres stands firmly united on this foundation.

We? Yes, those who gather together as Christ-followers exist as a whole, considered one. It is about we!

In today’s disjointed, self-propelling world of “me,” just what does this “one body” look like? Pastor Bodger will charge listeners to consider how to function as we exist with the particular gifts and roles received from God. As Christ-followers, we cannot achieve what God sets before us without “we.”

Paul expertly uses a metaphor of a physical body to show the fallacies of becoming “me-minded.” Because of who we are in Christ, we must live our lives in the mode of we as “the body of Christ, with each one of [us] as a part in it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)

During Sunday’s three services, Pastor Bodger will continue a study of Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth. Available in person, through livestreaming, and on Facebook and YouTube recordings, each service welcomes attendees to share in Holy Communion and COVID precautions (masks and distancing).

First Pres reminds the community of important upcoming opportunities: First, on Saturday, Jan. 22, God’s Bathhouse will begin at 9 a.m. near the church parking lot for showers, hygiene kits, clothing, and fellowship until 11 a.m.

First Pres’s active Presbyterian Women, offering five different monthly circles for study and fellowship, have plans for special meetings and workshops in springtime. All women are welcome. Call the church office for a connection.

On Saturday, Jan. 29, First Pres will join St. Ann’s Catholic Church of DeBary in hosting the Volusia County Trafficking Awareness Task Force’s West Volusia Trafficking Awareness event, which will run 9 a.m.-noon outside in the First Pres parking-lot pavilion. This concerted effort supports awareness and prevention of the horror of sex trafficking occurring now in our very own community! Plan to attend and become informed.

Other means of reaching up, in and out include the Community Garden, making sleeping mats for the homeless, Family Renew, and The Bridge kitchen each month.

What people say matters

As First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand continues efforts to return to their physical building in spite of increasing nervousness, the church invites the congregation to ponder the meaning of words. What we say matters.

Member Sue Ayres will present a view of how we use our words in today’s atmosphere of being with our peers on the planet. There are so many difficult conversations to face in our daily settings. Masks are required at this time.

Words, huh! What are they good for?

Those wishing to attend are encouraged to join 10:15-10:25 a.m. for greetings before the service begins.

Unitarian Universalists are an open-minded, openhearted spiritual community, where all are welcomed as they learn together. The congregation participates in helping at the 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, the men’s group meets weekly, the Green Team meets monthly, and special educational programs for children are available.

The church may be contacted through to learn more.

‘God Is All Around You’

The world continues to turn on its axis, and time continues to fly. Already, we are three weeks into this new year, and soon we will be finishing the first month.

For some of us, the resolutions of Jan. 1 are already a thing of the past, and we are moving full speed ahead to see what changes and challenges this year will bring. To help with this process, a little more wisdom might be of great use to us.

First United Methodist Church of DeLand is continuing the sermon series “The Wisdom Pyramid.” On Sunday, Jan. 23, the church will be looking at the idea that “God Is All Around You.”

Sometimes in our busy-ness, we miss seeing God in the simple day-to-day things that can bring enlightenment and wisdom to our daily choices and decisions. Sometimes we need to slow down, stop and smell the roses, and look for the God things that are in the most simple and ordinary of places. Members and friends of First United Methodist hope that you and your family will join in taking this journey, as we seek to find more of the beauty of God’s wisdom in our daily lives.

First 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

First Church also offers small-group Bible studies at various times during the week: Young adults meet on Sunday evenings, youth groups meet at different times during the week, and there is 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 at 386-734-5113.


Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation, while not meeting face-to-face, is meeting online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The title of the Jan. 23 service is “Imbolc.”

The embers from Yule logs have long since cooled, and we look forward to spring. You’re encouraged to join with the congregation this Sunday when Minister Teresa Leary explores the historical and spiritual meaning of imbolc, the halfway point between Yule and Ostara.

Worship leader Judy Raymond will guide everyone through the service. All are welcome.

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

Revelation unveiled

Only God can unveil the symbolic meaning of the Bible because He wrote it. The Book of Revelation is a splendid example of mysterious symbolism. It is not about nations and worldly powers and people, as many people suppose.

In His Second Coming, God explains, for example, that the red dragon fighting with Michael and his angels is really describing an internal struggle within each person. We each have the power and freedom to choose who we will love, and what we will think about and speak and do.

Our choice is to love ourselves and material things, or to love the Lord and other good people. Our choice is to dwell on selfish thoughts or caring thoughts. Our choice is to say and do things that will serve ourselves, or to say and do things that will serve other people and the Lord.

Chapter 12 of Revelation symbolically describes the spiritual influences on our mind (or spirit). This week, on Sunday, Jan. 23, at Chrysalis Church, Pastor Terry will share what God has unveiled in His Second Coming about how to meet the challenges we can overcome to become vessels for the New Jerusalem to come down out of heaven from God.

On Jan. 23, Chrysalis is meeting at 10 a.m. at The New Church, 145 N. Euclid Ave. in Lake Helen, followed by fellowship and light refreshment

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Raised in Miami Beach, Margie moved to DeLand after graduating from Florida State University. She has a master's degree in community mental-health counseling, and retired after 12 years in substance-abuse treatment. Having worked at the DeLand Sun News during the 1980s, Margie came to The Beacon in 2002 in search of a second career. She helps the reporters; compiles obituaries, the calendar of events and religion news; and deals with a mountain of emails each day. Margie is the proud Nana to two grandchildren, Sophia and Alex.


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