PHOTO COURTESY LANA SAXON SPREADING AWARENESS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING — January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. As a way to spread awareness, the HOPE (Helpers of People Enslaved) Team visited Downtown DeLand recently to remind passersby that trafficking is happening in Volusia County. The group passes out business cards and Post-it notes (to be put on the back of bathroom doors in public places) and talks to those on the street. Holding up signs are, from left, Margaret Jones, Jill Woods and Sue Brague. The group’s website is

Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp is hosting its annual “Spirit of Awakening” Gala Day 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. The camp is at 1112 Stevens St.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be guest speakers at Colby Memorial Temple, 1250 Marion St. The schedule is: 11 a.m. Robin Matutino – “What Is the Great Awakening?”; 11:30 a.m. Lori Carter – “Virtues”; noon the Rev. Diane Schmidt – “Navigating the Journey I Did Not Choose”; 12:30 p.m. Sydney Carter – “Awaken the Love”; 1 p.m. Jodi Martinez – “Understanding Medium vs. Psychic”; 1:30 p.m. Catherine Ceci – “Yes, I Think” (Ceci is the author of Telepathic Communication With the Animal Kingdom); 3 p.m. Jason Antalek – “Awakening, Don’t Recommend It” (Antalek talks about the Akashic Records, shamanic work, spiritual journeys and holistic business).

There will be 15-minute readings by camp-certified mediums for $25, a Kids’ Zone, a 50/50 raffle, an open house at the library, and vendors selling jewelry, crystals, food, crafts and more.

At the information booth, attendees can purchase the $25 tickets for the 15-minute readings, $5 tickets for each speaker, or $25 tickets for an all-day speaker pass. Speaker tickets are also available online at; click preregister for tours, workshops and events.

Sharing the story

In 1 Corinthians 2:1-12, the Apostle Paul clearly declares, “When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom … I came to you in weakness and fear, with much trembling … with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power …”

On Sunday, Feb. 5, Pastor Michael Bodger of First Presbyterian Church of DeLand will help listeners cope with the challenge of “Sharing the Story.”

As Paul confesses, “Telling the gospel story conjures up personal anxiety and fear to confidently profess our belief in Jesus Christ.” Nevertheless, believers all have something to say! Paul told the Gospel story anyway.

Today, especially, Christ- Followers need to tell that story, not just from Scripture, but through and in our daily lives! As Christ-Followers, our testimony shows God at work in the here and now of our fractured and hurting world. Is the Living God relevant? Absolutely! We must tell our stories and let God do the rest.

The twice-monthly God’s Bathhouse will be open 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, behind the sanctuary on the circle drive. Church volunteers will offer showers, hygiene kits, clothing and fellowship to needy and homeless neighbors.

From 8 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, First Pres welcomes men of all ages to its Men’s Fellowship Breakfast. Led by the Rev. Harland Merriam, the men’s fellowship gathering will provide an informal time to enjoy a delicious buffet and share time together, open to members and guests. Reserve your place through the church office by Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Then on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 10 a.m., the church’s Adult Discipleship Team invites members and visitors to its Spiritual Life Fair. The event will explore many avenues to enrich your personal journey.

To support travelers to Nicaragua and Young Life’s camp “La Finca,” the mission team invites the church and community to a Mission Fundraiser on the evening of Saturday, Feb. 18. Plan to join this fun way to support the team, who will host hundreds of Nicaraguan street kids so they can experience the love of Christ during possibly the “best week of their lives.” Guests will share music, food and fellowship at First Pres!

Looking ahead, the “Over 90s Potluck Celebration” will take place Sunday, Feb. 19, after the combined worship service at 10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary. The church will furnish the meatloaf main course and ask attendees to bring various side dishes and desserts to share (leave these at the kitchen door before the single service). “Over 90s” annually recognizes those amazing elders with a musical and joyous revisit of their contributions and lives. These members’ family and friends are welcomed too.

Save the date!

On Sunday, Feb. 19, Trinity United Methodist Church in DeLand will have a covered-dish dinner at 5:30 p.m., followed by a “Service for Healing and Wholeness” at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. The dinner theme is chili and soup.

Whip up your favorite recipe, and everyone will share. Sides, such as cornbread dishes or anything you like to pair with chili or soup, are appreciated, too. We also enjoy desserts!

The Praise Team will lead the music for this special service, which gives attendees the opportunity to pray for the world, our nation, others and ourselves.

There will be an opportunity for anointing with oil and Holy Communion.

The public is invited to this special service, which will focus not just on physical healing, but spiritual, emotional, relationships, violence, injustice, war, and any other things that you wish to lift up in prayer.

Trinity United Methodist meets at 1401 W. New York Ave. in DeLand, sharing worship space with First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand. Call the office at 386-734-4425 with any questions.

A valentine’s journey

At 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand welcomes Rick de Yampert to the church to speak on Love is the Religion, and the Universe is the Book, which was written by Rumi. This will be a valentine’s journey through the mystical love poetry of Rumi, Yeats and others.

De Yampert is a freelance writer, sitar player, artist and lecturer on sacred and metaphysical subjects. He has been following a Pagan spiritual path since the early 1990s.

Those attending in person are encouraged to arrive at 10:15 a.m. for greetings. Masks are discretionary but encouraged at this time.

The service is live and Zoomed, and all are invited. Zoom begins at 10:30 a.m. also, but come early for greetings. This is how the church includes those at home who are not ready to attend or are unable to for any reason. The Zoom ID is the same every week: Feel free to contact the church for help in getting connected at for Sunday’s worship time.

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. Attendees gather after the service for a social hour to share coffee, tea and conversation.

The congregation is committed to being a part of the community and participates in helping at the Interfaith Kitchen, The Neighborhood Center and other community projects.

There are also regular group meetings — discussion group, book club, men’s group and the Conversation Covenant — which continue in person and on Zoom. Special educational programs for children are available during the service. For more information about groups, attendance and church activities, visit the website.

The need for connection and fellowship

There is an old disco-era song by Ann-Margret that states “Everybody needs somebody sometimes!” While this is sentiment from a bygone era, it still has relevance in our world today.

Parishioners at First United Methodist Church of DeLand believe strongly in the need for getting connected and being a part of a network for fellowship. That is why the congregation refers to itself as “The Family Place.” It is believed that everyone needs the interaction of others who can be a part of our life experiences to share in our joys, our sorrows and everything in between.

Ezra Taft Benson wrote, “The fellowship of true friends who can hear you out, share your joys, help carry your burdens, and correctly counsel you is priceless.”

Those who might be looking for a place to get connected with loving, caring people with which to share life’s ups and downs should consider joining church members for worship and fellowship at one of three Sunday services or one of the church’s other activities during the week.

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

The church also provides a variety of other opportunities to get connected with the church family throughout the week through youth, young adult, men’s and women’s ministries, Bible studies and prayer times.

For more details, please call the church office at 386-734-5113.

1st Christian Church activities

The Rev. Carlos Perez invites all to the Table of the Lord for worship each Sunday at 10:45 a.m. at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand. For those who cannot attend, follow on Facebook, First Christian Church – DeLand Disciples live at 10:45 a.m., or watch later by clicking on the “video” tab or look on the news feed.

Brenda Velázquez- Morales directs the elders, who present the elements for the Lord’s Supper. Barbara Polomsky, musician, and Donna Mozley, vocalist, provide spiritual music throughout the service.

Kathy Porr, announcer, and Charlotte Feldman, acolyte, open the service each week by lighting the candles and giving a welcome.

Scripture is read by an elder, and prayers are accepted by the Rev. Perez.

At 3:30 p.m. on Mondays, all prayer requests are lifted up by the Disciple Women. Other activities for the week include Marge Jones’ watercoloring class at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7; bingo at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10; and the Disciple Men’s breakfast at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at Perkins Restaurant in DeLand. Call Lee Gartside at 386-734-6078 for reservations.

A reminder about the church’s annual Trash and Treasures Sale, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3 and 4. Proceeds will benefit children attending The Retreat (the Disciples’ state camp in Silver Springs) and charitable DeLand organizations.

‘Tools for the Journey’

The congregation of Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Church continues to meet online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The Feb. 5 service is titled “Tools for the Journey.”

The journey toward building a beloved community is a long one. And, if one is called to do the work, tools are needed for it. The Rev. Tracie Barrett explores these needed tools.

Jane Bradford will facilitate the service. Everyone is welcome!

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


Jesus said unto them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58)

What is the connection between the story in First Kings about Elijah being guided to dwell by a brook, Christ Jesus’ statement, “Before Abraham was, I am” in the Gospel of John, and Christ Jesus healing the woman of an issue of blood in the Gospel of Mark?

This Bible-lesson sermon at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, at First Church of Christ, Scientist, of DeLand, will explore how spirit is described in the above accounts. Correlated passages from the book Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy will also describe how a greater understanding of spirit can be applied to our lives.

Sunday school and child care are also available at the same time.

The church is at 111 E. New York Ave. in Downtown DeLand.

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here