Can you hear the praise?

Pastor Michael Bodger will ask listeners the question “Can you hear the praise?” this Sunday, Jan. 1, New Year’s Day, at First Presbyterian Church of DeLand at a single, combined service beginning at 10:30 a.m. and including Holy Communion. Although this Sunday will not have Sunday school or Children’s Church, you can call the church office for nursery reservations.

Whether listeners attend to this question in the sanctuary or by streaming or recording, Pastor Bodger will describe the loud celebrations. “Christ is born!” is proclaimed by angels and people alike. Celebrations grow louder. The revelry, partying, joyful songs, “Auld Lang Syne” echo over rooftops!

In our upside-down world, can you hear the praise? The praise for the world over the praise for the King of kings! Psalm 148 proclaims, “Praise the Lord from the heavens … for he commanded and they were created …. Praise the Lord from the earth … sea creatures … mountains … kings … all rulers … young men and maidens, old men and children.”

But, does humanity join in that “happy chorus” to praise the Living God in the manner due God? Do our lives echo those voices of creation? Or, does something else claim our adulation?

First Pres warmly and lovingly invites the community to share the new year this Sunday to begin 2023 as we aim to become God’s hands and feet in DeLand as the church fully engaged in reaching up, reaching in, and reaching out to all.

While First Pres usually offers three services with the Lord’s Supper each Sunday, this week everyone will launch the new year together at 10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary.

Next week will find First Pres’s outreach resuming fully to offer Bible studies, music rehearsals, Sunday school, and youth and adult gatherings to welcome members and visitors to fellowship and worship.

Visit the church’s website and The Beacon’s Religion Directory to learn about First Pres’s activities and missions.

God’s Bathhouse will offer the homeless showers, hygiene kits, and fresh clothing on the second and fourth Saturdays, Jan. 14 and 28, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The church’s next Drive-Thru Farm Share Food Distribution will occur Saturday, Feb. 25.

Free bingo for all ages will be 7-8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6.

You’re invited to come along with First Pres on the journey to worship and serve God in this world!

A year in reflection with a Fire Communion

On Sunday, Jan. 1, the first day of 2023, members and friends of First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand will share reflections on the year that has just passed; letting go of regrets and pains hoping for the promise the new year will bring, and taking time to share the meaning attached to the passage of time. We have hope and expectations; we will be dreaming of creating a better tomorrow.

The most widespread Unitarian Universalist tradition is a Fire Communion, sometimes known as a “burning bowl” ceremony. People write on scraps of paper the phrases that represent the year behind them. They bring that paper forward to be burned. All are welcome to join the UU congregation as everyone says goodbye to that old year 2022 and welcomes the fresh unspoiled 2023.

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

If time allows, discussion may be included after every presentation. Everyone, happily, will gather after the service for a social hour to share coffee, tea, maybe snacks and conversation.

The services are live and Zoomed, and all are invited. Zoom begins at 10:30 a.m., but come early for greetings. 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.

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

Starting the new year at 1st United Methodist

Where did it go? It is hard to believe that 2022 is now ending and we are at the threshold getting ready to walk into 2023.

Vern McLellan wrote, “What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.”

The members of First United Methodist Church of DeLand are looking forward to the great and amazing things God has in store for everyone in the year ahead.

This Sunday, Jan. 1, there will be one service at 10 a.m. in the Life Enrichment Center to celebrate Epiphany and the start of a new year. Epiphany focuses on the arrival of the wise men who bring gifts to Baby Jesus.

The sermon title for this Sunday is “Uncharted.” None of us know for sure what this new year will bring, but we know we will need God’s guidance, wisdom and help to make it the most it can be.

“Approach the New Year with resolve to find opportunities hidden in each new day.” – Michael Josephson

The Jan. 1 service will be streamed live on Facebook on the First Church DeLand page, or it can be accessed through the website at

The church office is open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call the office at 386-734- 5113 for additional information.

New Year’s Day at 1st Christian Church, Scientist, of DeLand

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)

How does the infinitude of God, the divine Spirit, correlate to the resolution of problems and healing? The lesson sermon to be given Sunday, Jan. 1, at First Christian Church, Scientist, of DeLand, will explain how God operates, which enables us to bring healing to others. Other passages from the Bible will be given, such as when Elijah realizes that God is not in the wind, earthquake nor the fire, but in a still, small voice (1 Kings), and Peter heals a lame man in Acts.

This sermon will be based upon readings from the Bible and from Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Together these comprise the pastor in this church.

Join in at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 1, at 111 E. New York Ave. in Downtown DeLand. Sunday school and child care are also available at the same time. Testimony meetings are at 5 p.m. Wednesdays.

The Christian Science Reading Room, where literature is sold, is open 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at the same location. For more information, call 386-734- 6547. All are welcome.


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