Plans for services and other activities for Easter Week are starting to trickle in. Here is a list of what has come in so far:
• Church of the Holy Presence, at 355 N. Kepler Road in DeLand, will host Stations of the Cross on “The Path” at 10 a.m. Friday, April 7. A Good Friday service will follow at 11 a.m. On Saturday, April 8, beginning at 2:30 p.m., there will be an Easter Festival with an Easter Egg Hunt, face-painting, crafts and games. There will be triple the amount of eggs this year, with a special designated area for toddlers. Easter Sunday Service will be at 10 a.m.
• Lake Helen Methodist Church, at 121 W. Delaware Ave., will have its Palm Sunday Service at 10 a.m. Sunday, April 2. Dean Glover will be the guest speaker for this special Sunday of worship and praise. The Good Friday Service, Friday, April 7, will be at noon. This service will be filled with singing, reading God’s Word and remembrance of the day on which Jesus was crucified. The Easter Service, Sunday, April 9, at 10 a.m. will be filled with singing, reading God’s Word and celebration of the great hope of the Gospel — The Lord has risen!
• Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, 509 E. Pennsylvania Ave. in DeLand, will have Holy Week services as follows: Holy Thursday service at 6:30 p.m. April 6; Good Friday service at 6:30 p.m. April 7; Stations of the Cross noon- 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 8; Easter Sunday service at 9:30 a.m. April 9, followed by an Easter egg hunt for the kids. Sunday-school activities will be offered for children as well.
• Stetson Baptist Church, 1025 W. Minnesota Ave. in DeLand, is having its Good Friday service at 6 p.m. April 7. Easter Sunday services will be at 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. Visit stetson.church/easter for more information.
• First Christian Church (Disciples Of Christ) of DeLand, 1401 W. New York Ave., announces its Easter Week services. Palm Sunday Observance will be at 10:45 a.m. April 2, in the sanctuary, with palm branches for each person to wave, followed by Holy Communion. Maundy Thursday Tenebrae Service will be at 7 p.m. April 6 in the sanctuary. The theme will be “Moving From Light Into Darkness.” Good Friday self-guided prayer time and “Journey to the Cross” activity stations are available 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. April 7. A children’s Easter Egg Hunt will be 10-11 a.m. Saturday, April 8, in the fellowship hall. Easter Worship Service is at 10:45 a.m. April 9 in the sanctuary, with special music and Holy Communion for everyone.
• Trinity United Methodist Church, 1401 W. New York Ave., DeLand. On Maundy Thursday, April 6, Trinity will have a Tenebrae Service at 7 p.m., combined with First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand. Tenebrae, meaning darkness, is the story of the suffering and death of Jesus from John’s Gospel divided into 16 readings. After each segment is read, a candle is extinguished. After the 15th reading, which confirms that Jesus had died on the cross, the last of the 15 lit candles is extinguished or taken away, and a loud sound (called strepitus in Latin) is made to convey the sense of total loss of God’s presence and the effect of the death of Jesus on the universe. The final story of the burial is read in near darkness. Worshippers leave in silence to ponder the impact of Christ’s death and await the celebration of the coming Resurrection. On Good Friday, April 7, the church will be open for a self-guided, come-and-go “Journey to the Cross.” Visitors will be able to pause, pray, and reflect at stations throughout the church as they remember the Crucifixion story. The church will be open 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. Easter morning will begin with an outdoor Sunrise Service at the Plymouth Avenue property at 1290 W. Plymouth Ave. The service will start at 6:45 a.m. Bring a chair and insect repellent. At 8 a.m., there will be a potluck breakfast at the West New York Avenue site. Come after the sunrise service for breakfast or eat before the 9 a.m. service in the sanctuary.
Activities at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church
Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, 509 E. Pennsylvania Ave. in DeLand, is continuing its Taize-style worship during the remaining weeks of Lent. The services, led by Father Ted Koelln, are at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday, with a meal of soup and bread prior to the 6:30 p.m. service. Wind and string musicians are invited to play the beautiful and contemplative music of Taize.
Musicians must be able to read notation and play in tune. Google Taize (community of) for more information on this prayerful and meditative style of worship, then contact the music director, Deborah DeGaetano, through the church office at 386-734-2791.
Family Movie Night
Lake Helen Methodist Church, at 121 W. Delaware Ave., will host a Family Movie Night at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 25. The movie will be Overcomer. This 2019 American Christian drama film has as its core message that our identity isn’t based on our jobs or roles, our talents or passions, no matter how important those things might seem. Instead, who we are at the deepest level flows from our relationship with our Savior, whose love and grace shape our true identity as His children.
All are welcome; bring blankets or chairs on which to sit. Free popcorn will be served! Call Donna Rotondo at 407-451-4593 for more information.
“The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” (Jeremiah 31:31)
On Sunday, March 26, at the three services at First Presbyterian Church of DeLand, Pastor Michael Bodger continues thoughtful teaching in concert with the churchwide study of Walter Brueggemann’s devotional A Way Other Than Our Own. To gather listeners to consider the author’s “new way,” Pastor Bodger will engage the congregation to explore “Changes,” reminding listeners that God has already given us freely the new contract in Jeremiah, but today’s world all too often turns away from that opportunity!
As the period of Lenten renewal comes to an end, there is only a short time to take a close look at ourselves and reorder our lives according to that new covenant.
The biblical yardstick presented to us by Jesus is love! How do we stack up? This measurement comes not out of obligation or commandment, but in response to God’s invitation to a different way of living in this world. Will we embrace the change to loving?
First Pres is reaching out! On Saturday, March 25, volunteers will host another free Farm Share Food Distribution beginning at 9 a.m. near the pavilion on the church campus. Cars will line up on Pennsylvania Avenue to enter the parking area and receive boxes of food. Loaded into cars by First Pres workers, each box of nonperishables and perishables should feed a small family for a week.
EGGSPERIENCE invites all families in the area to join in the exciting and fun afternoon 2:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 1. With free entry, this annual event includes age-appropriate egg hunts, a petting zoo, bounce houses, arts and crafts, snacks and more for visitors to explore and share.
The Beacon’s Religion Directory contains much information about church activities, and the church invites the community to allow First Pres to reach up, in and out to you through classes, events and studies.
Remember that Holy Week, Sunday, April 2, through Sunday, April 9, begins with Palm Sunday and holds special spiritual experiences to engage with God and other Christ-seekers as we journey to the miracle of the cross … Easter.
Jehovah’s Witnesses on facing the future with confidence
In the face of widespread economic strain, national conflicts and social unrest, surveys indicate that confidence in the future is at an all-time low in many countries, including the United States.
Against this backdrop of pessimism, a special global program featuring the theme “You Can Face the Future With Confidence!” will take place 1-1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 2, at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, at 713 W. Cincinnati Ave. in DeLand.
The special talk is the first of two free programs that will be held in all 118,000 congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses during the first week of April. The public is also invited to join nearly 20 million other global attendees for the annual observance of the Memorial of Jesus Christ’s death, to be held on the evening of Tuesday, April 4. There will also be a videoconferencing option available.
Admission to both programs is free, and no registration is required. Details on when and where these events will be held locally are available on jw.org, the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“The challenges we face may seem overwhelming, but the Bible holds out a powerful hope for the future that can help us right now,” said Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “This global program is designed to give all those who attend tangible reasons to face the future with confidence.”
‘Plato’s Theory of Form’
The Sunday, March 26, service of Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation is titled “Plato’s Theory of Form.” You’re encouraged to take part this Sunday, as everyone meets in person at The Center at Deltona, 1640 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd.
Minister Teresa Leary will explore the Athenian philosopher Plato’s Theory of Form through his cave allegory as it pertains to the fourth and seventh principles of Unitarian Universalism.
The congregation will participate, using a blank piece of paper and pen or pencil for a short exercise.
Worship leader Judy Raymond will guide everyone through the service.
Everyone is welcome! For information on Mosaic, visit the website at https://mosaicuuc.org. For instructions on how to join the virtual service, email to email@example.com.
Picnic in the park
At 1 p.m. Saturday, March 25, area Bahá’ís will host “Food for Body and Soul: a Community Potluck Picnic in the Park.” Participants will gather in one of the big pavilions at Freedom Playground in Bill Dreggors Park, 230 N. Stone St., DeLand. All are welcome.
Interfaith inspirational readings, prayers and an activity around the theme of “gratitude” will follow lunch. Among the teachings on gratitude in the Bahá’í writings is: “The best way to thank God is to love one another.”
All participants at the picnic are invited to bring their favorite scriptures, treasured verses and poetry about gratitude to share, as everyone explores gratitude together.
The picnic is moving only for this month to accommodate the Bahá’í fast. The fasting period ended Tuesday, March 21, so future picnics will be as usual, on third Saturdays in the South Shelter of Earl Brown Park.
‘Persecuted Because of Righteousness’
Senior minister the Rev. Carlos Perez of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand concludes his series on the “Beatitudes” at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, March 26, with the sermon titled “Persecuted Because of Righteousness.” While encountering difficulties, unfair treatment and persecution in life, we will be blessed in eternity for doing what is right.
The worship service always includes a joyous welcome and announcements by Kathy Porr; songs of praise led by Donna Mozley along with musician Barbara Polomsky; opportunities for intercessory prayer; and Communion prayers given by the Rev. Dr. Fernando Morales and Dr. Janet Raney.
During the month of March, Paul Ashton, a member from birth, is sharing a “Moment in First Christian’s History” to observe the church’s 140th anniversary. Other church activities include prayers at 3:30 p.m. Monday, March 27, in the church library; Margaret Jones’ Watercolor Painting class 10 a.m.-noon Tuesday, March 28, in the fellowship hall; and bingo at 7 p.m. Friday, March 24, in the fellowship hall, with proceeds going to benefit RAAO (Rising Against All Odds).
Studying about the spiritual journey in Islam
At First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand, Dr. Sam Houston, an assistant professor of religious studies at Stetson University, will explore the spiritual journey in Islam at the 10:30 a.m. Sunday, March 26, service.
Especially through the metaphor of the mirror of the soul, the sermon will also touch on such themes as the love of God, the annihilation of the ego, and the interconnectedness of all existence.
Houston earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Baylor University, a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Master of Arts in philosophy from Boston College. His doctoral degree from Florida State University specialized in Muslim ethics and comparative religious ethics.
Those attending in person are encouraged to arrive between 10:15 a.m. and 10:25 a.m. for greetings before the service begins.
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: https://zoom.us/i/92718819188. Contact the church for help getting connected at www.uudeland.org before 10:30 a.m.
‘Giving Up Our Lives’
The Rolling Stones sang, “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometime, you just might find, you’ll get what you need.” Sometimes achieving our goals in life can seem to come with a great deal of struggle.
At worship Sunday, March 26, at First United Methodist Church of DeLand, the sermon series “Giving It Up” continues with the topic of “Giving Up Our Lives.”
Religious leader Gordon B. Hinckley wrote, “You will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment you will ever make.”
The idea of giving up something in order to gain something else is not always a palatable concept.
Being a disciple or follower of Christ often requires a sacrifice of the things we think are vital in our life, to enable us to attain the greater things that He knows we need.
Consider attending this Sunday as First United Methodist explores the challenges of giving up our lives for the greater goal of achieving and living in God’s will and fulfilling His plan for our lives.
Collective Church activities
Collective Church will no longer meet at The Dreka Theater in Downtown DeLand after Sunday, March 26. The March 26 service will focus on reminiscences of our most moving experiences there. All those who have fond memories they would love to share are encouraged to attend.
The Dreka Theater building has been Collective’s home since 2019, when the church purchased Dreka and began its renovation and modification to make it the church’s home and an event venue. Unfortunately, COVID struck just as the venue began to produce the income necessary to sustain the church and, with this setback, the church was unable to keep up with its mortgage, and the building is being sold.
Beginning Sunday, April 2, Collective Church will meet in the social hall of First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia, at 116 S. Clara Ave. in DeLand. Those attending will meet at 5 p.m. as usual. The initial program will be on “New Beginnings.”