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Students, teachers, crossing guards, and any other people involved in the teaching process are encouraged to come with their book bag, backpack, or just themselves to receive a blessing to begin the new school year, at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Orange City. The blessings will take place during the 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services Sunday, Aug. 14. St. Jude’s Episcopal Church is at 815 E. Graves Ave. in Orange City.

Praying for the preborn

A new intercessory prayer gathering is being offered 8-8:30 a.m. the second Tuesday of each month at Coastal Choices, 336 N. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand. The next gathering will be Tuesday, Aug. 9. Coastal Choices is committed to protecting the preborn and unsaved in the community. No RSVP is necessary.

The greatest, most powerful name

We all have a name. Names, whether an individual’s or a group’s, usually have meaning and significance and are important to those who use them.

At First United Methodist Church of DeLand, there is one name that is greater, more powerful and more significant than any other name. That is, of course, the name of Jesus. When we speak of Jesus, God or our Lord, what do we mean and what significance does that name have for us?

This Sunday, Aug. 7, in the new sermon series “Foundations,” the question will be “Who do you say that I am?” You’re encouraged to attend as this very important and insightful question is answered.

In-person traditional worship services are at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the sanctuary, and an in-person contemporary worship 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

The church also offers small-group Bible studies 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 at 386-734-5113 for more details.

First Church offices are open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

1st Christian Church activities

The Rev. Alan Dicken will be the guest speaker at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand for the 10:45 a.m. service Sunday, Aug. 7.

Dicken is the associate director for immigrant and refugee response, Week of Compassion, Disciples of Christ. In that position, he helps equip and empower congregations to respond quickly to refugee and immigrant crises that may occur. According to the Rev. Dicken, at its best, the church is an action, bringing compassion, justice and wholeness to those who need it most.

He is a graduate of Bethany College in West Virginia and Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

All are welcome to attend this service and learn more about Week of Compassion work. Communion will be served to all believers at the later part of the service. Those who would like to make a special contribution to the Week of Compassion may use the special envelopes in the pew.

The youth group, with Dr. Janet Raney, will be showing the last summer film, I Can Only Imagine, at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, in the Youth Room.

Bingo, which is open to the public, is at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, in the fellowship hall.


At the Sunday, Aug. 7, service at Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation, facilitator Kim Eddins will guide everyone through a discussion about the “Wilderness.”

Reaching the Promised Land always requires a trip through the wilderness. The reflection question for this Sunday: At what times have you learned something new from facing the unknown?

Mosaic’s 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.

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

The ‘F’ word!

On Sunday, Aug. 7, the Rev. Harland Merriam will lead the three services at First Presbyterian Church of DeLand, presenting a sermon rather unsettlingly titled “The F Word!”

Hebrews 11:1 declares “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Then the author of Hebrews uses that “F” word” (faith) over and over again.

Other frequent uses of the word “faith” occur in the Bible, including Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and a host of others who lived their lives “by faith.” Several times, Jesus says to someone, “Your faith has made you well.” What is going on here?

Faith surely does seem pretty powerful. Faith or the lack of faith appears to have significant consequences or effects in our lives. Pastor Merriam will explore three elements of faith at the core of what the Bible means by this word.

The newly active group Single Women of First Pres will enjoy a special lunch at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7, at Brian’s Bar-B-Que in DeLand. The enthusiastic group invites friends to join them by registering an RSVP with Alice at 386-734-6212.

God’s Bathhouse will open its operation 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13. Meet near the pavilion for a shower, fresh clothing and a hygiene kit, along with fellowship at First Pres.

Each year, First Pres reaches out to embrace educators and students with back-to-school blessings within the church’s worship services. On Sunday, Aug. 14, at all three services, the church community will offer students and teachers blessings for the new school year. Bring your backpacks or just yourselves to receive loving support that Sunday!


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