coexist logo copy

‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand continues to celebrate 140 years of ministry in DeLand. It started March 3, 1883, with a few residents from Kentucky meeting in homes and sharing a community building with other denominations. Each Sunday in March, Dorothy Ashton provides some printed history for Paul Ashton to share during the 10:45 a.m. worship service.

The Rev. Carlos Perez, senior minister, leads the worship service, explaining the Beatitudes from Matthew, Chapter 5.

This Sunday, March 19, Pastor Perez shares his views of verse 9, “Blessed are the Peacemakers.” Some feel the Scripture refers to those who promote God’s peace; others feel it indicates reconciling enemies or helping individuals solve conflicts. Join the Rev. Perez to hear his view.

He welcomes you to the Table of the Lord for Communion prayers led by elders Nancy Jones and Eddie Wachter. Professional musician Barbara Polomsky and song leader Donna Mozley enhance the service with lyrics and music.

Following the service, a fellowship meal is provided for all, with Sue Brague as hostess. Dr. Malcolm Wynn’s collection of First Christian’s history will be on display for viewing during the luncheon.

On Monday, March 20, Brenda Flowers, founder and CEO of Rising Against All Odds, is the guest speaker for the Disciple Women’s meeting at 1 p.m. in the library. The Disciple Women have designated RAAO as the recipient of March bingo proceeds. Bingo is played on the second and fourth Fridays of the month in the fellowship hall at 7 p.m.

From 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, March 21, in the fellowship hall, Marge Jones will have another session in her series of watercolor painting lessons. All are welcome to attend with any level of painting skills. Each session is a new learning experience. A small donation is received for supplies.

Knights of Columbus Fish Fry Fundraiser

Knights of Columbus Council 6274 is hosting a Fish Fry Fundraiser each Friday of the Lenten season (except for Good Friday) 4:30-7 p.m. in the Bosco Center of St. Peter Catholic Church, 359 W. New York Ave. in DeLand.

The menu includes fried fish (cod, which is a very mild white fish) or baked fish (regular or blackened), coleslaw, french fries, a brownie for dessert, sweet or unsweet tea, lemonade, water or coffee for $12 for adults and $8 for children. Beer, sangria or soda cost extra.

Proceeds will go to St. Peter Catholic School.

Alice Paul and the ERA, past, present and future

Deborah McShane, a member of First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand, will present a program in honor of Women’s History Month at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, March 19.

McShane will highlight the work of suffragist Alice Paul, author of the original Equal Rights Amendment, written with Crystal Eastman, and drafted and delivered to Congress in 1923.

Although the wording was changed in 1943, it remains the same today. Even though the required number of states have voted for it, the ERA has still not been adopted by the Congress. McShane will explore the status and importance of the ERA today.

As many Unitarian Universalist women from the past did — and many do today — work toward the adoption of this amendment, Alice Paul, a Quaker, dedicated her life to women’s equality.

Those attending in person are encouraged to arrive between 10:15 a.m. and 10:25 a.m. for greetings before the service begins. Folks also gather after the service for a social hour to share coffee, tea and conversation.

Services are live and Zoomed, and all are invited. The Zoom Sunday-service ID is the same every week: Contact the church for help in getting connected at before Sunday’s worship begins.

Social Principles Class

The Social Principles Class is continuing at Trinity United Methodist Church in DeLand. It has been extended through the end of May. Each week, the class explores a single, current issue that affects us all. Each session is facilitated by a different leader.

Come and participate on any Sunday; attending the previous classes is not a requirement. The group gets together in the meeting room after worship. Feel free to grab a cup of coffee and a doughnut and head to class.

The worship service begins at 9 a.m. Sundays at 1401 W. New York Ave. in DeLand. All are welcome! Call the church office at 386-734-4425 with any questions.


On Sunday, March 19, First Presbyterian Church of DeLand will continue Lenten preparations for the Easter Resurrection of our Lord by hearing Pastor Michael Bodger speak on “Challenges,” following on the words of “Hope” from last week’s message. Pastor Bodger will remind listeners that life takes us into places we find challenging and full of trials and tribulations.

The March 19 text — Isaiah 40:25-31 — does not deny this fact.

Rather Isaiah is encouraging because we have One who walks alongside us in trouble’s challenging midst. God’s presence abides even when weary, stumbling and falling followers cannot feel His presence.

“They will soar on wings as eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:32)

The New Testament incisively confirms that we worship a God who will never leave or forsake us, the One who will renew our strength in the face of all challenges.

The reaching vision of First Pres invites the community to another free Farm Share food distribution at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 25. Church volunteers (arriving for preparation at 8 a.m.) will distribute boxes of food to help feed families with both perishable and nonperishable supplies. Cars should line up from Pennsylvania Avenue according to directions by volunteers.

Another reaching mission involves several Bible studies and classes. On Sunday, First Pres offers a nursery for children age 3 and younger, and Children’s Church for ages 4-10 during 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. worship. Youth groups for middle- and high-schoolers meet 5-6:30 p.m. Sundays in The Loft for food, fun and fellowship.

A reminder: The Presbyterian Women invite members and friends to join them at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 18, in fellowship hall for a Dedication of 2023 Birthday Gathering. The annual event offers a delicious breakfast brunch buffet, birthday cake, an informative speaker and warm fellowship. RSVP to the church office; the cost is $5.

Also, the Music Ministry seeks to increase singers and players. Share your talents in the praise band, choir or handbell choir. Email interest to

Save the date! On Saturday, April 1, 2:30-4:30 p.m., First Pres will host its annual “EGGSPERIENCE.” The free event for all ages will include a petting zoo, bounce houses, arts, crafts, snacks and more! Activities will provide age-appropriate fun and events on the church campus under careful and friendly supervisors and helpers!

‘In Search of Justice’

Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation meets online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The March 19 service is titled “In Search of Justice.”

Join Matt Pargeter-Villarreal for a discussion of the history of Bayard Rustin, one of the key figures of the civil-rights movement and other social-justice movements, who did most of his work from behind the scenes, and why he is one of the most important 20th-century social-justice leaders you haven’t heard of, but should know more about.

Jan Holloway will facilitate the service. Everyone is welcome!

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

‘Giving Up Enemies’

Many have sung the song written by Jill Jackson-Miller and Sy Miller that says, “Let there be peace on earth And let it begin with me.” Most would agree that a world filled with peace is definitely more desirable than its opposite.

John F. Kennedy said, “Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly ending old barriers, quietly building new structures.”

In the sermon series “Giving It Up,” congregants at First United Methodist Church of DeLand will be looking at the topic “Giving Up Enemies” this week, Sunday, March 19.

The Bible teaches a lifestyle of forgiveness, but many of us hold on to the enemies of our past, sometimes keeping us from the fullness of peace and joy in our present.

Mahatma Gandhi put it this way: “An eye for an eye will only leave the whole world blind.”

Sometimes our resistance to forgiving and letting bygones be bygones only really affects us more than it does the object or person of our unforgiveness.

The Dalai Lama warned against this when he said, “Do not let the behaviors of others destroy your inner peace.”

God’s Word gives us the same good advice. You’re encouraged to join in this week, as First United Methodist explores God’s wisdom in learning how to “let go of our enemies” so we can indeed live in God’s peace.

In-person traditional worship is at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the sanctuary. A contemporary service takes place 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 website at Call the office for additional information at 386-734-5113. The church is at 115 E. Howry Ave.

Previous articleAfrican American museum, community theater awarded ECHO grants
Next articleMotown music is coming to DeLand
Margie Dykes
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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here