first presbyterian vacation bible school
FIRST PRES’S VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL — Leaders, volunteers and the participants in First Presbyterian Church of DeLand’s recently completed Vacation Bible School pose for a group photo. PHOTO COURTESY BARBARA HUGHES

Trinity United Methodist Church in DeLand is in the process of building a new facility on West Plymouth Avenue. Part of the plan is to close on the sale of the current property on Wisconsin Avenue to Chris and Jessica Levings on Aug. 25.

Trinity UMC has rented temporary office and worship space from First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand on West New York Avenue while the new facility is under construction.

Everyone involved celebrates this ecumenical relationship with First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, rightly taught that Methodists are sisters and brothers with all those who follow God. Trinity is simply part of the Methodist branch of the Jesus movement emphasizing God’s grace and love. Everyone is excited to learn from their friends at First Christian. Construction on the new building on West Plymouth Avenue is expected to take about two years.

July 24 is move-out Sunday. Trinity UMC will have a special worship service (at 9 a.m.) at which the church’s old building will be decommissioned. Then everyone will travel out to the Plymouth Avenue property for a potluck picnic. Bring your own food

and something to sit on. It will be a celebration of Trinity UMC’s past and, while breaking bread, an opportunity to look forward to where God is leading everyone. This service will be livestreamed on the church’s YouTube page.

The first worship service at the temporary location at First Christian Church will be on Sunday, July 31. The physical address is 1401 W. New York Ave. in DeLand.

Here is the new mailing address for Trinity UMC in transition: P.O. Box 2314, DeLand, FL 32721.

Choosing the better part

Luke 10:38-42 relates a tale at the home of Martha and Mary, where Jesus and His disciples were visiting. Worried and distracted, Martha chides her sister, who sits and listens at the Lord’s feet instead of working to prepare the meal for their guests.

This Sunday, July 17, at First Presbyterian Church of DeLand, Pastor Michael Bodger will relate that Jesus asks us to again look at ourselves, much as He urged us last week to do with the tale of the Good Samaritan.

At the 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services, the sermon will note that in light of the many manifestations of the “busyness of life” swirling around us, those distractions must not get in the way of sitting at the feet of Jesus!

Nothing wrong with the busyness of Martha (things just have to get done!); however, Jesus reminds her — and us — that we must realize what we are not doing.

Jesus says, “Mary has chosen the better part.” What in our lives does the “better part” look like in our relationship with the Living God and one another?

First Pres volunteers will begin another free drive-thru Farm Share food distribution at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 16, by the church pavilion. Join the line forming from West Pennsylvania Avenue to pick up free boxes of food to feed a four-person family for a week.

The New Bethel Series class begins its amazing study of the Old and New Testaments at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31. Totally worth the effort and capable of changing your life, Bethel requires courage, dedication and perseverance, but the series will grow your faith and biblical knowledge enormously. Take time to consider this; pray about it; speak to a participant. We feel blessed to be a blessing to others!

‘History and the Bible: Unwedded Bliss’

On Sunday, July 17, First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand hosts Bill Lazarus, author, educator, biblical historian and friend of the UUs of West Volusia, for a talk on “History and the Bible: Unwedded Bliss.”

In his presentation, he will explain why the Bible can never be accurate. He will talk about the five artifacts that were recently discovered that he has looked at.

Lazarus always gives an informative presentation worth being present to learn from, and he’s always responsive to questions.

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

Services are Zoomed live, and all are invited to join the service, either in person or via the modern Zoom access. This will also be at 10:30 a.m., with an invitation to join between 10:15 and 10:30 a.m. This is a work in progress to include anyone at home not ready to attend or unable to attend for any reason.

This Zoom Sunday Service ID is the same every week: 927 1881 9188 ID: https://

The church may be contacted through

Andrew Meit to speak to Mosaic UU Congregation

Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation is meeting online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. On Sunday, July 17, Andrew Meit will introduce one of Judaism’s core prayers, the Shema. The Shema is a prayer of acknowledgment, of lifestyle, and of responsibility for yourself and toward others.

You’re encouraged to come learn about this core prayer. All are welcome.

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

‘Grumbling in the Wilderness’

Have you ever known that person who seemed to live to complain? We have probably all had seasons when it seemed we had a lot to complain about, and sometimes it seems that grumbling about our circumstances is just so easy to do. It is much harder to look for a silver lining in a dark cloud rather than to grumble that we have had way too much rain.

Joyce Meyer is noted for saying, “You’re so caught up in grumbling, complaining and seeing what’s wrong that you have no energy or time to appreciate what’s good.”

On Sunday, July 17, in the sermon series “The Land Between,” First United Methodist Church of DeLand wi ll be focusing on “Grumbling in the Wilderness.” Often we forget, just like the Children of Israel, what God has brought us from and where He has promised to take us. We get hung up on the details of the journey and grumble about the things that don’t seem to be going our way or how long it is taking for the promises to be fulfilled. You and your family are encouraged to attend one of First United Methodist’s services this week as members, visitors and friends figure out how to look for the good while grumbling a little less.

Traditional in-person worship services are at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the sanctuary, and a contemporary in-person service is 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 United Methodist 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’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.

Two years after going virtual

BACK IN BUSINESS — Regina King and Sarah Cutsail are ready to bring the Jehovah’s Witnesses public ministry back to Downtown DeLand after a two-year hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the “cart ministry,” Witnesses sit quietly beside carts of literature. They don’t solicit or call out to passersby, but are there to answer questions if asked. For more information, call Keith Barros at 718-560-5600.

If you happen to be in the area of Woodland Boulevard and Rich Avenue in Downtown DeLand this week, you may notice that a pre-pandemic fixture is back on the sidewalks: smiling faces standing next to colorful carts featuring a positive message and free Bible-based literature.

Thousands of these carts will be rolling down the streets of communities like DeLand across the world this week as Jehovah’s Witnesses recommence their global public preaching work some 24 months after putting it on pause due to the pandemic.

“We are so excited to be able to do our public ministry again,” said Ivan Fernandez, Florida spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “During the pandemic, we continued to reach out to people through letters and phone calls, but because we love people, we are eager to be able to talk to people in-person and share the Bible’s bright hope for the future.”

While the organization is not yet back to knocking on doors, local congregations have also resumed free in-person Bible studies along with personal visits to those who have invited them back to their homes.

“While we understand that the pandemic is not over, we are entering into a phase of learning to live with COVID,” said Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “We are sensitive to the risks that still face our communities and our volunteers, which is why we will not resume door-to-door ministry at this time.”

Mobile displays of Bible-based literature have been part of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ public ministry in the U.S. since 2011. While “cart witnessing” began in large metropolitan areas around the world, the practice quickly spread to the tens of thousands of smaller communities, becoming a fixture in rail and bus stations, airports, harbors and main streets.

For more information, call 718-560-5600.

To learn more about Jehovah’s Witnesses, their history, beliefs and activities, visit their official website, featuring content in more than 1,000 languages.

Activities at 1st Christian Church

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand invites the community to its 10:45 a.m. Sunday, July 17, service, at which a guest minister will speak. Essie Miller is the greeter, and Sue Brague provides coffee and other refreshments for the pre-worship gathering.

Those who prefer to watch live at home can do so on Facebook at First Christian Church – DeLand Disciples, or click the “video” tab for later viewing.

Kathy Porr gives the welcome and announcements. In addition to the sermon, prayers are given and Scripture is read.

Mark Bose and Donna Mozley provide music for the service; Eddie Wachter and the Rev. Dr. Fernando Morales offer Communion to all attendees during the later part of the service.

The Disciple Women, under the leadership of President Sue Brague and Project Director Edna Cortes, invite all women to attend the 1 p.m. Monday, July 18, meeting in the library. The meeting includes fellowship, with refreshments and various games, in addition to reports on recent projects.

The Prayer Group meets at 3:30 p.m. Monday, July 18.

Friday, July 22, is Bingo Night; proceeds after prize payouts benefit the Disciples’ center The Retreat at Silver Springs.


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