west volusia dream center ribbon cutting
WEST VOLUSIA DREAM CENTER OPENS — Members of Trinity Church in Deltona and dignitaries gather to cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening of the West Volusia Dream Center, Jan. 22, at 2479 S. Volusia Ave. in Orange City. This new center is reaching out to those in need, as well as the homeless in our community. Currently, there are biweekly drive-thru grocery giveaways, as well as care packages for the homeless. In the near future, there will be shower facilities, free haircuts, and access to clothes washing and drying, as well as many other services to help meet the needs within our community. The current hours of operation are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. The next grocery giveaway is 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Feb. 12. Visit www.westvolusiadreamcenter.com. BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

Trinity United Methodist Church in DeLand offers a prayer for the world in pandemic:

God of us all, you are merciful, holy, and loving.

We come to you in our weakness.

We come to you in our fear.

We also come to you with trust.

In you alone we place our hope.

Be with us in this ongoing pandemic.

We turn to you in our time of need.

We acknowledge that we are tired and weary

and wish this was over …

Bring wisdom to health care workers

and those who bring care to others.

Give understanding to the scientist.

Help us to be compassionate and full of generosity.

Bring healing to all who are ill.

Protect those who are most at risk.

Give comfort to those who have lost loved ones.

Welcome those who have died into your eternal home.

Stabilize our communities.

Unite us in your compassion.

Remove all fear from our hearts.

Fill us with confidence in your care.

Be with us and sustain us in all things.

In all the holy names of God we pray, Amen.

‘30 Days of Love’

On Sunday, Feb. 13, First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand asks “Can You Side With Love. What If We Only Had 30 Days to Love?”

“30 Days of Love” is an annual Unitarian Universalist celebration that runs approximately from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January through Valentine’s Day in February. It is an opportunity to collectively nurture our spirits, deepen our understanding, and take action on our values for collective liberation.

This celebration concludes the church’s work and support for the efforts and reflections toward the social-justice causes highlighted during the month.

First Unitarian Universalist will meet in the church building, with full safety precautions in place. 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 to learn together. The church may be contacted through www.uudeland.org to learn more.

1st Christian Church honors board chair after five busy years

HONORING DEVOTED LEADER — Dr. Janet Raney, of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand, hands a plaque to board Chair Dr. Eddie Wachter, who is retiring after five years of service. Dr. Raney is the new board chair. Wachter had a very active tenure on the board
while teaching at various colleges. He decided it was time to spend more time with family, especially with a new grandchild.
PHOTO COURTESY FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH (DISCIPLES OF CHRIST)

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand recently honored board Chair Dr. Eddie Wachter for his five years of service during some rather challenging times.

Almost immediately after he became chair, he appointed a search committee when the Rev. Linda Kemp-Baird resigned. Next, he had to lead the church through the process of determining whether to sell and relocate. It was decided to stay.

In 2020, Wachter had to make many decisions related to the COVID crisis, with the church building opening for activities or canceling.

In 2021, he had to find a musician when the organist resigned.

And, most recently, since the Rev. Elizabeth Carrasquillo passed away after a brief illness, he has been finding relief ministers to fill the pulpit.

During this time, Dr. Wachter retired as a full instructor at various colleges. He decided it was time to spend a little more time with family, especially with a new grandchild and his wife, Lori Lynn Wachter, who serves First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Ocala.

‘Worldly Gratification’

Pastor Michael Bodger of First Presbyterian Church of DeLand will read and teach congregations at 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services Sunday, Feb. 13, from Luke 6:17-26. The sermon “Worldly Gratification” will address the stark contrast of choices we face as we live life — then and now.

Luke’s text out lines “Blessings and Woes.” As Jesus speaks to a large crowd of His disciples, people gather from all over Judea to hear Him and to receive healing from their diseases.

As Jesus speaks of Beatitudes, the label traditionally given to this speech, He says, “Rejoice in that [day of woes] and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven” (Luke 6:23).

Confronting the secular norms of the day (then and now), Jesus turns them upside down and asks listeners, “Which ‘way’ do you follow?” He declares that the way of the world and the way of Christ cannot be mixed!

The heart of Luke’s message, to follow Christ means to abandon the way of the world in its gratification, focuses on the timing of God’s rewards we seek. Instead of worldly gratification, Christ-followers know that greater riches await those whose way lies in following the lessons of the Beatitudes.

God’s Bathhouse invites people to come to the First Pres parking lot at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 12 and 26, for showers, fresh clothing, hygiene kits and fellowship.

It is hoped that drive-thru food distribution will resume in March; look for more details soon.

The regular third-Saturday worship in the pavilion will begin at 4 p.m. Feb. 19. Bring a chair to enjoy a contemporary service outdoors.

DeLand’s Neighborhood Center is sponsoring an important fundraiser, Empty Bowls of West Volusia, to aid its food program in our community. Planned for 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, in the DeLand High School cafeteria, the event will offer a hearty meal, including soups donated by local restaurants. Tickets will cost $20 apiece or six for $100 for age 12 and older, $10 for ages 5-11, and free for children age 4 and younger.

Meals will include a homemade soup bowl, bread, dessert, water or tea, and a raffle ticket. First Pres actively supports the mission of the center and its meal offerings for homeless and needy residents.

CANDLELIGHT MEMORIAL SERVICE — During the annual candlelight memorial service Jan. 22 on the steps of the Historic Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand, Frances Leyva sets up baby shoes and candles to represent the lives lost to abortion. This is the 36th year of the observance since Roe v. Wade became the law of the land in 1973.
BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

‘Purposeful Interactions’

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Anonymous

When looking ahead with the expectancy of accomplishing something, whether it be great or small, it is not uncommon to have a plan and be purposeful in the steps that we take to achieve our objective.

In the course of accomplishing what we have set out to do, we often include interactions with people or places that will facilitate the furthering of our success. This practice is valuable, if not essential in our spiritual goals, as well. That is why we often encourage fellowship and sharing in both formal and informal settings with others who are seeking to accomplish their own spiritual goals.

First United Methodist Church of DeLand will be continuing the sermon series “The Wisdom Pyramid” on Sunday, Feb. 13, focusing on the topic “Purposeful Interactions.”

You’re encouraged to interact with others who attend services this Sunday as everyone learns together how to be more confident and successful in their interactions to help achieve our spiritual goals.

For additional information, call the church office at 386-734-5113.

‘Widening the Circle of Love’

Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation, while not meeting face-to-face, is meeting online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The title of the Sunday, Feb. 13, service is “Widening the Circle of Love.”

In 1966, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly about not sleeping through the revolution. The most recent report from the Commission on Institutional Change, Widening the Circle of Concern, reports that we have been dozing through our own work.

On Feb. 13, the Rev. Tracie Barrett will discuss the report and what we can do to widen our circle of love.

Worship leader Sarah Mahler will lead everyone through the service. All are welcome.

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.

Love

Love is something that if you give it away, you end up having more! What is love? Love is God. Love is life. Love is energy. Love is truth.

Love is the life of people. Whom we love determines the quality of our life here and now, and our life into eternity in heaven or hell.

The Lord’s love in action is the Holy Spirit. His love is the cause of creation. His love “is” what “is.” Everything gets its “is-ness” from God’s love.

How do we love God? Jesus says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Pastor Terry of Chrysalis Church will stimulate discussion and feelings of love this week at 10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 13.

Chrysalis is gathering at The New Church at 145 N. Euclid Ave. in Lake Helen. Fellowship and light refreshments follow the service. You’re encouraged to come share your love!

Strawberry Festival at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church

The annual Strawberry Festival at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Orange City will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, March 19.

Part of the festivities includes spaces where vendors can sell their merchandise or advertise their businesses. Each space is approximately 10 feet by 10 feet. The donation for each space is $35.

Tables are not furnished by the church, and no food is to be sold at vendor areas unless packaged for home use.

Contact the church to obtain an application by email at Admin@stjudescentralflorida.org, or go online to the website at www.stjudescentralflorida.org, under Strawberry Festival.

Call 386-775-6200 before submitting an application so there are no duplicates. The church’s mailing address is Attn: Strawberry Fest Administrator, 815 E. Graves Ave., Orange City, FL 32763.

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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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