ministry without walls
HELPING THE HOMELESS AND GOOD MUSIC — Members of “Ministry Without Walls” stand in front of their banner at an event. “Ministry Without Walls” will be at Earl Brown Park in DeLand 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, to provide food and clothing for the homeless. There will also be live gospel music for the public. All is free. PHOTO COURTESY THE REV. DR. CAROLINE SHINE

Save the date, and rent a space: The Fall Festival of St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Orange City will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22.

Part of the festivities includes spaces for vendors to sell their merchandise (no food) and for businesses to advertise. Tables are not furnished by the church. Each space is approximately 10 feet by 10 feet. The donation for each space is $35.

St. Jude’s Episcopal’s Pumpkin Patch will be open during the Fall Festival, lunch will be available for purchase, and there will be a drawing of themed baskets.

To secure a space, go through the Events Page of the church website at

Faith and environmentalism

At 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, at First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand, Dr. Sam Houston, assistant professor of religious studies at Stetson University, will present the program “All the Earth Is a Mosque: Islam and Muslim Environmentalism.” Some of the research Dr. Houston has done includes modern Muslim activism, comparative religious ethics, and African American Muslims.

Those attending in person are encouraged to join at 10:15 a.m. for greetings before the service begins. Masks are discretionary but encouraged at this time.

Services are live-Zoomed at 10:30 a.m., and all are invited. The Zoom Sunday Service ID is the same every week: Feel free to contact the church for help in getting connected at

Unitarian Universalists are an open-minded, freethinking, openhearted, spiritual community where all are welcomed as everyone learns together. If time allows, discussion may be included after every presentation.

Regular group meetings continue on Zoom and in person. Special educational programs for children are available at the 10:30 a.m. service.

Bahá’ís to host ‘Picnic in the Park’

On Saturday, Sept. 17, the Bahá’ís of DeLand will host “Food for Body and Soul,a potluck “Picnic in the Park” celebrating friendship in diversity with inspiration and fellowship.

Everyone will gather at 1 p.m. in the South Shelter of Earl Brown Park, nearest the Wayne G. Sanborn Activity Center and big parking lot, at 750 S. Alabama Ave.

Devotions and crafts will lift spirits and promote personal bonding, while sharing food and drinks and welcoming new friends.


Do you remember the children’s game Follow the Leader? The object of this game was to do exactly what the leader did.

This is akin to what it is like for a Christian to be a disciple of Jesus. We need to follow the leader and do those things that He does.

On Sunday, Sept. 18, at First United Methodist Church of DeLand, as part of the sermon series “Foundations,” the concept of “Discipleship” will be explored.

George Schwitzer wrote, “True disciples desire to inspire the hearts of men, not impress them.”

Being a true disciple requires us to give up our rights to ourselves, as Oswald Chambers wrote, because “this is the thing God intends you to give up if ever you are going to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.”

“True disciples are willing to stand out, speak up and be different from the people of the world. They are undaunted, devoted and courageous.” – Russell M. Nelson

At the Sept. 18 service, church members and guests will explore ways in which to be more fervently effective disciples.

The annual Pumpkin Patch, with pumpkins of all sizes, will be opening Sunday, Oct. 2. The hours of operation are noon-7:30 p.m. Sundays, and 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays. The Pumpkin Patch will be open through Monday, Oct. 31, or until the pumpkins are gone, whichever comes first.

DeLand Quakers to teach origami at Fall Festival of the Arts

This year, DeLand Quakers will again be teaching origami at the DeLand Fall Festival of the Arts. At last year’s festival, so many enjoyed learning to fold paper cranes and birds and to make paper baskets. Festivalgoers young and old stopped by the booth to learn about the ancient art form begun in China and Japan.

While folding the colorful papers, children heard the true story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.

The festival will be Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 19 and 20.

Volunteers will teach origami, which only requires paper and enhances concentration and mindfulness, at both days of the festival.

For more information, call 386-337-5204.

‘Fence Breakers’

Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation, while not meeting face to face, is meeting online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The Sunday, Sept. 18, service is titled “Fence Breakers.”

You’re encouraged to attend as Teresa and Deanna Leary, a mother and daughter duo, tackle compulsory heterosexuality and show that oftentimes truth is found somewhere in the middle.

They explain sexuality outside of the binary expectations and share how the road can be longer than you might expect. You’re encouraged to attend, as they break fences and show the strength in finding yourself in a world that fights it.

Everyone will be reminded how important it is to join hands as a community to support each other, wherever you fall in your love.

Worship leader Holly Eicher will guide everyone through the service. All are welcome!

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

1st Christian Church activities

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand, a congregational-led church, will vote on Sunday, Sept. 18, for a new minister. The Search and Call Committee, led by Paul Ashton, presented the Rev. Carlos Perez as the nominee for senior minister, who will begin his service Nov. 1 if approved by the congregation.

At 10:45 a.m. Sept. 18, the Rev. Alan Dicken, associate director for immigrant and refugee response, will deliver the Sunday message as part of the “Week of Compassion” program.

To support outreach, the Disciple Women host bingo at 7 p.m. every second and fourth Friday in the fellowship hall. For September, the proceeds after expenses benefit Good Samaritan Clinic, at 136 E. Plymouth Ave. in DeLand. The Bingo Ministry is organized by Essie Miller, Sue Brague, Dr. Janet Raney and Tammi Stossel.

Other outreach, on the First Tuesday of the month, is dinner served at The Bridge, 421 S. Palmetto Ave. in DeLand.

Dr. Janet Raney, with assistance from Sue Brague, offers a youth program at 5:30 p.m. each Wednesday when school is in session. The group participated in the September Spring Hill Turn Festival.

The second Saturday of every month, the Disciple Men meet for breakfast at 8 a.m. Lee Gartside, at 386-734-6078, is the contact for reservations.

In addition to the traditional 10:45 a.m. worship service, First Christian offers a 8:15 a.m. “Coffee With God” worship service, including scripture, prayer and Communion in the gathering room outside the kitchen.

Trinity United Methodist to host study of the church’s history

BLAST FROM THE PAST — This photo of the sanctuary of Trinity United Methodist Church in DeLand was taken in 1973, when the church was celebrated as one of the largest United Methodist churches in the DeLand District of the Florida Conference. Pastors Robert Jenkins and Jim Harnish, with Bishop Joel McDavid and former Pastor Robert Blackburn, are officiating at the service. Also, the church brought Blackburn, who was responsible for the building campaign in 1959 that resulted in the two-story addition and the chapel, back to honor him and name the chapel after him.

Trinity United Methodist Church in DeLand will host an eight-week study of the church’s 126-year history, which will include an in-depth look into the history of the Methodist denomination from its earliest beginnings under John Wesley to the present day.

“With the announcement of a new, separate Methodist denomination starting up and the possibility of a split within the global church, some of our members have expressed concerns about the future of United Methodism,” said Pastor Todd Bardin, senior pastor of Trinity. “We are not participating in the split and are committed to remain a United Methodist congregation,” he continued. “Since there is a lot of misinformation out there, our leadership wanted to create a short-term study to educate and inform members and others of the history of Methodism, how splits are not new, and how such changes affected our own church in the past,” he added.

Study topics will include the history and context of splits, separations and reconciliations within the Methodist Church past and present, including the impact that racism and other forms of prejudice and discrimination have had on the church. Attendees will seek ways to strengthen relations with all of God’s people by studying and learning from the church’s past.

The study is open to anyone. Plans are to meet in person at 10:15 a.m. Sundays beginning Oct. 2. To sign up and receive free study materials, visit

For more information, visit the church website at, or call the church office at 386-734-4425.

Door-to-door ministry resumes

Jehovah’s Witnesses have resumed their trademark door-to-door ministry Sept. 1. The two-and-a-half-year suspension of the work will end just in time for the launch of a global campaign featuring an interactive program for Bible study.

The decision to resume their door-to-door ministry marks the complete restoration of all pre-pandemic in-person activities for the nearly 1.3 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in the 12,000 congregations in the United States.

Houses of worship (called Kingdom Halls) were reopened April 1, witnessing in public places resumed May 31 and in-person conventions are again being planned for 2023.

“It’s been a challenge to convey a smile over the phone or through our letters these past few years, but we never stopped trying because we know it’s needed,” said DeLand resident Angie Fowle, who along with her husband, Chris, will be heading out to the neighborhood together in the coming weeks.

The suspension of the public ministry was a proactive response by the organization to keep communities and congregants safe. The move was also unprecedented. Jehovah’s Witnesses had been preaching from house to house without interruption for more than 100 years, through an economic depression, two world wars and global unrest, but COVID-19 demanded a different response.


At First Presbyterian Church of DeLand, Pastor Michael Bodger will continue leading the congregation in a study of the books of Timothy. Titled “Prayer,” the sermon on Sunday, Sept. 18, evolves from a reading of 1 Timothy, Chapter 2, verses 1-7.

In this second chapter, Paul first instructs the new church in Ephesus, by writing to its leader, “Timothy, my son, I urge, first of all, that requests, prayers, and thanksgiving be made for everyone. (v 1) I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. (v 8)

This inclusive request seems quite remarkable, because at that time, the emperor Nero was cruelly persecuting Christians. Why would Paul insist that even kings and all those in authority become the subject of prayer?

As Paul signifies for the Ephesians to listen to that cry, today’s Christ-followers must listen amidst the astonishing differences and divisions seeming to overwhelm us.

First Pres invites you to the three morning services in person or to share the live-streamed and recorded services at 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. on Facebook, the church website or YouTube. Each worship experience includes music and an open Holy Communion.

At 11 a.m., the Chancel Choir will present an unusual arrangement of the spiritual “Steal Away,” by R.E. Schram, conducted by Music Director Jane Christeson and accompanied by organist Dr. Boyd Jones.

We remind the community that on Saturday, Sept. 24, God’s Bathhouse offers showers, hygiene kits, clothing articles, and fellowship at the Pavilion 9-11 a.m.

Also, the Family Camping Weekend, with covered-dish supper and worship at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, invites you to join the campers at Salt Springs for that group event. Unfortunately, reservations for campsites have closed, but this dinner and service will welcome you!

Early Alert! On Sunday, Sept. 25, at 1:30 p.m., our Chancel Choir will present the special music of Schubert! This is the first of four concerts for our community. More specifics in next week’s Beacon.

Bible-study groups, Presbyterian Women, and other opportunities stand open to your participation on Sundays and throughout the weeks and month. See the Religious Directory on Page 2B for specifics.

Jewish High Holy Days

Save the dates! The Jewish High Holy Days will be here before we know it. Services will be in person at Congregation Beth Shalom, 1308 E. Normandy Blvd. in Deltona, unless otherwise announced.

The Erev Rosh Hashanah Service will be at 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, The Rosh Hashanah Service will be at 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 26. Immediately following will be a Tashlich ceremony at Campbell Park, 1315 Briarwood Ave., also in Deltona. Tashlich, which literally translates to “casting off,” is a ceremony performed on the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah. During this ceremony, Jews symbolically cast off the sins of the previous year by tossing pebbles or bread crumbs into flowing water.

A Shabbat Shuvah Service will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30.

Erev Yom Kippur and Kol Nidre Service will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4., with the Yom Kippur Service following at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5. Yizkor will be at noon, and the N’eila & Havdalah will be at 6:30 p.m. A dairy “Breaking of the Fast” will follow.

Tickets are not required; donations will be gladly accepted.


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