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Gospel singer, songwriter and evangelist Dorinda Clark-Cole will be the guest speaker at a Martin Luther King Weekend worship service and concert Saturday, Jan. 14, in DeLand. Clark-Cole won two Grammy Awards as a member of The Clark Sisters.

The DeLand event will be at 4 p.m. at City Sanctuary Church, 401 E. Taylor Road.

The MLK Mass Choir, under the direction of Andre Darby, will sing.

Admission is free, and the public is invited to attend.

For more information, call 386-734-7777.

Looking at the life of Esther

Entering into a new year, with all the questions and uncertainties it can bring, can leave us feeling like there is little or no hope for the prospects of the year before us. That is why we need to have more hope.

Desmond Tutu said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.”

Martin Luther declared, “Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.”

At First United Methodist Church of DeLand, hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and His righteousness.

For this new year, a new series begins titled “A Dose of Hope.” Looking into the story of Esther this Sunday, Jan. 8, see how despite the seeming hopelessness of her circumstances and the situation she found herself in, she had hope that God would prevail and her people would be spared.

Like Helen Keller wrote, “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

If your faith could use a boost and you need a dose of hope and confidence to get your new year started, consider joining one of the services this Sunday.

There is in-person traditional worship at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the sanctuary, and a contemporary service at 9:30 a.m. in the Life Enrichment Center. Services are streamed live on Facebook on the First Church DeLand page, or they can be accessed through the church’s website at Firstchurchdeland.org.

There are a variety of other opportunities to get connected with the church family throughout the week, with youth, young adult, men’s and women’s ministries, Bible studies and prayer times throughout the week. For more details, call the church office at 386-734-5113.

Sacrament

How do the sacrament and the Resurrection of Christ Jesus apply to our lives today? In the lesson sermon, which will be given at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, at First Church of Christ, Scientist, of DeLand, the Bible citations illustrate how humility, the sacrament, and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ are related.

In addition, readings from the book Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy will give a fuller understanding of how these topics can be applied to our daily lives.

Sunday school and child care are also available Sundays at the same time. Testimony meetings are at 5 p.m. Wednesdays. All are welcome.

The Christian Science Reading Room, where literature is sold, is open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, at 111 E. New York Ave. in Downtown DeLand. For more information, call 386-734-6547.

‘Telling the Truth in America’

Unitarian Universalist Dan Gribbin of Ormond Beach will present Telling the Truth in America by James Baldwin at the 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, service at First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand. Baldwin was openly skeptical about the idea that America could achieve any really meaningful progress in establishing a racially level playing field.

Gribbin will look at Baldwin’s 1965 debate with William F. Buckley and consider how and why Buckley changed his position on these matters after the debate. Gribbin’s talk is sure to be a deeply meaningful presentation with many questions following.

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

Services are also live and Zoomed at the same time. Go to https://zoom.us/i/92718819188. For help in getting connected, go to www.uudeland.org at Sunday’s worship time.

Unitarian Universalists are an open-minded, freethinking, openhearted spiritual community, where all are welcomed to learn together. 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 and conversation.

Regular group meetings, such as a discussion group, a book club, a men’s group, and The Conversation Covenant continue in person and on Zoom. Special educational programs for children are available at the 10:30 a.m. service.

For more information about groups, attendance and church activities, contact the church at the above web address.

1st Christian Church activities

The Rev. Carlos Perez welcomes all to First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand for 10:45 a.m. worship Sunday, Jan. 8. Kathy Porr announces church events, Barbara Polomsky provides organ and piano music, and Donna Mozley leads the congregation in song. The elders of the day welcome all to the table of the Lord for Communion.

At 8:15 a.m. Sundays, Janet Raney invites early risers for coffee and pastries. Scripture reading, prayer and Communion take place in the church kitchen foyer.

Each Monday at 3:15 p.m. in the church library, a small group prays and invites those interested to join.

The Disciple Women meet at 1 p.m. Mondays in January to prepare for the Trash and Treasures Sale that will take place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3 and 4, at the church.

At 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, bingo will be played in the church fellowship hall to benefit local charities.

At 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, the Disciple Men will meet at Daisy’s Diner in DeLand. Call 386-734-6078 for a reservation.

Those who would like to meet with the Rev. Perez, the new senior minister, may call for an appointment at 386- 734-0677. He is in DeLand on Tuesdays and Thursdays for office appointments.

‘Reparations’

Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation is meeting online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The title of the Jan. 8 service is “Reparations.”

Why is reparations such a dirty word in progressive spaces? Let’s address resistance to racial justice in the places we somehow least expect it: faith spaces.

Worship leader Teresa Leary will guide everyone through the service. All are welcome.

For more information on Mosaic, see the website at mosaicuuc.org. For instructions on how to join the virtual service, email to mosaicuuc@gmail.com.

Baptism

This Sunday, Jan. 8, First Presbyterian Church of DeLand returns to its regularly scheduled Sunday services: 8 a.m. traditional service in the chapel; 9 a.m. contemporary service in the fellowship hall; and 11 a.m. traditional service in the sanctuary. The church invites everyone to join in person or tune in to livestreaming and recordings of the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services.

Pastor Michael Bodger wi ll present the topic “Baptism,” to illuminate the significance of that sacrament.

In Matthew 28, the “Great Commission” tells us to “… make disciples … baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

Our personal baptisms signal what God has done for us by claiming us as God’s own, thus calling us to become disciples in this world. This outward sign announces that we have accepted the Living God. As baptized, we have become witnesses to God’s goodness.

Members of First Pres DeLand strive to serve as the hands and feet of God by reaching out to the community.

Activities, as appropriate, stand open to guests, beginning with a free Bingo Night on the first Friday of the month, the next one being at 7 p.m. Jan. 6. This is for all ages, and includes prizes, fun and snacks.

Children’s Church meets after the 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. services; children age 3 and younger meet for nursery time; and the youth meet on Sunday evenings.

God’s Bathhouse will be 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, in the courtyard for the homeless to enjoy showers and hygiene kits and get clean clothing.

In addition to First Pres’s Sunday schools and Bible studies, a new contemporary-themed Sunday class, “Learning to Do Justice,” begins at 10 a.m. this Sunday, Jan. 8, in the Mission Room (11B). It will be taught by Mary Hoffmann.

By exploring books, articles and videos, class members will seek answers to questions such as “Is racism a thing in the church, in society, and in our lives?” Should First Pres DeLand play a role in this issue? Come join in for some strong biblically based discussion.

Several other studies will resume. A newly focused women’s group under the leadership of Kathryn Bransford will begin on Monday, Jan. 23, from 10 a.m. to noon in the Eastminster Room. In the “God My Refuge” study, students will learn to depend on Him alone for our refuge and needs. The powerful Bible-based journey will underscore God as the source of calm, peace and joy. Register for a place by Monday, Jan. 9, by email at kbransford@hotmail.com, or by calling 813- 786-9984. The cost is $10.

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Raised in Miami Beach, Margie moved to DeLand after graduating from Florida State University. She has a master's degree in community mental-health counseling, and retired after 12 years in substance-abuse treatment. Having worked at the DeLand Sun News during the 1980s, Margie came to The Beacon in 2002 in search of a second career. She helps the reporters; compiles obituaries, the calendar of events and religion news; and deals with a mountain of emails each day. Margie is the proud Nana to two grandchildren, Sophia and Alex.

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