SCOUTS OF WEST VOLUSIA — Members of American Heritage Girls Troop FL-0317 and Trail Life Boys Troop FL-3271 pose for a photo after placing American flags at DeLand Memorial Gardens May 28 for Memorial Day. Both troops are Christ-centered Scouting programs for children ages 7-15. The troops are chartered through River City Church in DeBary. In the front row are Elijah Gary, William Taylor, Jacob Gary, Sarai Gary and Evelyn Helman; in the middle row are Abigail Dreggors, Ava Mahnken, Taggart Lee, Ayden Dreggors and Levi Gary; and in the back row are Amy Gary, Judah Gary, Abigail Gary, Ethan Mahnken, Josiah Gary and Troopmaster Scott Gary. PHOTO COURTESY SCOTT GARY

The Christians Merging Together Ministry Foundation (CMTM) and Volusia County have proclaimed Saturday, July 30, to be Pastors and Leaders Unity Day. It is a time to come together as one people under God with the shared goal of reducing violence and letting God in.

An in-person event will be held 2-8 p.m. that day at Chuck Lennon Park, 5000 Greenfield Dairy Road in DeLeon Springs. There will be speakers, singers and prayers, as well as food trucks and “love gift” giveaways. Live broadcast of Unity Day will be broadcast by Zoom across the country.

CMTM urges an end to violence, which stems from divisions in society. The focus is on helping young people turn issues over to God rather than to violently take matters into their own hands. Community prayer can bring neighbors back closer together, so that people can become “our brother’s keeper” and bless each other daily.

“God said that this is the time for the people of our nation to humble themselves,” said Pastor Sammy L. Jackson, minister of CMTM. “It’s time to follow God’s vision and accept His invitation to let Him in,” said Jackson. “Prayers matter — and your prayers matter — because when you stand fast and wait on God, your prayers will make change happen.”

Anybody with prayer requests can mail them to Pastor Sammy L. Jackson, P.O. Box 10782, Daytona Beach, FL 32120, or email them to

Participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and wear their church’s logo on T-shirts.

Activities at First Pres

To choose or not to choose! In Luke 9:51-62, we read that the risen Jesus and the disciples are engaging in a spirited discussion about the cost of choosing to follow Jesus within the turbulent opposition still surrounding Jesus as they journey to Jerusalem. What choice do we make?

At First Presbyterian Church of DeLand, Pastor Michael Bodger will explore this debate in his sermon Sunday, June 26. Choosing marks the way people engage in the message of Jesus after he informs followers of the rigorous discipleship involved in telling the Gospel story.

At the 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services, which include open Holy Communion, Pastor Bodger will speak of how to open hearts to accept God’s love.

Note that the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services come to you livestreamed and recorded on the First Pres website, Facebook and YouTube sources.

The regularly scheduled God’s Bathhouse begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 25, in front of the Mission Room. Each visitor receives fellowship, hygiene supplies, and some fresh clothing.

The church is looking forward to First Pres’s next free drive-thru Farm Share Food Distribution, on Saturday, July 16. Beginning at 9 a.m. at the pavilion, plan to arrive early to line up your car for boxes of fresh and packaged food.

Children’s Church is during the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services.

There are Sunday and weekday Bible studies, youth meetings, The Bridge, disaster relief home and abroad, and fellowships, including the brand-new Single Women’s Group. Check the First Pres website, YouTube, and The Beacon’s Religion Directory, for more details.

Looking at Jesus and how He can calm storms in our lives

If you live in Central Florida, you’re not a stranger to afternoon storms. During this time of year, they can be a daily occurrence.

Storms, however, are not restricted to our daily weather patterns. Storms can be a part of our daily lives, whether they are physical, mental or spiritual.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Anonymous

At First United Methodist Church of DeLand, members and friends recognize the challenges of those storms of daily life and realize that we sometimes need God’s intervention to weather them. He is, after all, “The Master of the Wind,” and we believe that even the winds and rains obey His voice.

In the sermon series “Encounter: Jesus Makes All Things New,” the church will be looking at the topic “The Storm” during the Sunday, June 26, service. The sermon will include a look at how the disciples, when they were with Jesus in a boat on the sea, were impacted by His power to speak to the winds and the waves during a storm, as they thought they were going to die.

Just like He spoke to the physical storm and brought calm, He can do the same in our life storms today. If you want to know more about this life-transforming power that belongs to God and is available to us today, attend a service at First United Methodist in person or online. Visit, or call 386-734-5113.

Exploring the ‘Inward Journey’

You’re encouraged to journey into the wilderness online with Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation this summer in the 2022 Summer Sharing Series, based upon exploring the “Inward Journey” (Jan Phillips’ Visionary Thought Series).

This summer, the congregation is exploring the integration of mind, body and spirit. These services are designed to allow participants to share their thoughts if they choose to do so. Sharing is always voluntary; active listening is welcome, too.

This Sunday, June 26, the congregation will continue roundtable-style services, with facilitator Nova Madison guiding everyone through a discussion about gratitude. Feeling gratitude increases happiness, causes well-being, and amplifies your connection to the universe.

Reflection question for this Sunday: What are you grateful for?

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

The Rev. Tamara Casanova Suzuki to speak at 1st UU in DeLand

On Sunday, June 26, First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand will welcome the Rev. Tamara Casanova Suzuki from the Live Oak UU Congregation of Goleta, California. This service is a Program Committee favorite.

The Rev. Suzuki will explain what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist and counters the question “Can we believe anything?” Spoiler alert: The answer is no. All are invited to learn more.

Those attending in person are encouraged to join 10:15-10:25 a.m. for greetings before the service begins. Masks are discretionary at this time. First Unitarian Universalist continues to monitor circumstances concerning the CDC recommendations for safety in the church’s setting.

The Zoom meeting, now live with the service, will also be at 10:30 a.m., with an invitation to join between 10:15 and 10:30. This is a work in progress to include those at home not ready to attend or unable to attend for any reason.

The Sunday Service ID is the same every week: 927 1881 9188 ID:

Unitarian Universalists are an open-minded, freethinking, openhearted, spiritual community where all are welcomed to learn together. Discussion may be included after every presentation.

First UU is committed to being a part of the community, and the congregation participates in helping the Interfaith Kitchen as well as other community projects.

Regular group meetings continue on Zoom and in person. Special educational programs for children are available.

The church may be contacted through

Activities at 1st Christian Church

The Rev. Patreza Newton from Orlando is filling the pulpit at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand at the 10:45 a.m. service Sunday, June 26. Previously, the Rev. Newton has enhanced the service with family members providing spiritual music and dance.

Others contributing to the Sunday service are Jane Ashton as the greeter for the day; Kathy Porr, who will welcome everyone and make announcements; Donna Mozley, who will lead the singing; and Elders Nancy Jones and Olga Palmer, who will offer open Communion to all believers in Jesus Christ with the elements symbolic of Jesus’ body and blood.

The Disciple Women are meeting at 1 p.m. Monday, June 27, in preparation for Trinity United Methodist Church’s move into the McDowell Education Building for office space.

The prayer group follows at 3:30 p.m. in the church library.

June’s profits from bingo are designated for Temple Learning Center Camp. Each month, the Disciple Women have designated a different charity to receive a donation. Bingo is at 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall, on the second and fourth Fridays of the month, with the next date being June 24.

Temple Learning Center Camp, directed by Voloria Manning, meets 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays in the fellowship hall, with field trips in the afternoon.

The BreakSpot Summer Food Program is available at the church for breakfast (8:30-9:30 a.m.) and lunch (noon-1 p.m.) Monday through Friday. This free meal program is open to all children age 18 and younger.

Trinity UMC to have Church Moving Sale on June 25

Trinity United Methodist Church in DeLand is having another Church Moving Sale, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at 306 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Trinity is preparing to move worship locations.

There will be quite a few items for sale, such as furniture, music, books, jewelry, artwork and so much more!


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