HURRICANE HELP — St. Vincent de Paul Society volunteers (also known as Vincentians) Diana Blanco and Cathie Durkin help a man who still has property damage after hurricanes Ian and Nicole, but has been unable to resolve it through FEMA or insurance. The help session took place in May at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church in Deltona and was sponsored by Catholic Charities USA. PHOTO COURTESY DIANA BLANCO

New beginnings are great opportunities for the start of future successes. The congregation of First Church DeLand has said farewell to longtime Pastor Owen Stricklin. This week, they will welcome the new pastor, Mark Bitner. Fresh beginnings are the fertile soil for the birth of new legacies. The sermon series for the month of June will be “Living a Legacy.”

Evangelist Billy Graham said, “The greatest legacy one can pass to one’s children and grandchildren is not money, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”

Pericles said, “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven on the hearts of others.”

Truly it is the life we live that will leave its memories and marks upon those who are a part of it.

The church invites all to the 8 a.m., 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. service to explore God’s Word, seek His wisdom, and allow His Spirit to reveal to us how we can “Live the Legacy” of honor and a good report.

Summer is here, and school is out. For those who are looking for summer activities for their kids, First Church is accepting registration for this year’s Vacation Bible School. This year’s theme will be “Stellar ‘Shine Jesus Shine.’” A registration form can be picked up at the church office, or register a child who is 4 years old by June 26 through fifth grade online. VBS will be 9 a.m.-noon June 26-30.

Call the church office for more information at 386-734-5113.

1st Christian Church to host summer food program

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand is hosting the Volusia County Summer Food Service Program beginning Monday, June 5. Breakfast is 8:15-8:45 a.m., and lunch is noon-1 p.m., in the fellowship hall, 1401 W. New York Ave. Children and youth age 18 and younger are welcome to attend breakfast or lunch.

Temple Learning Center Summer Camp, directed by Voloria Manning, is beginning Monday, June 5. Camp is 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday at 1401 W. New York Ave. Registration can be completed on-site.

First Christian’s worship service is at 10:45 a.m. each Sunday in the sanctuary with the Rev. Carlos Perez officiating. Communion is open to all believers during the service, with Elder Brenda Velazquez-Morales organizing, with the assistance of Deacon Kathy Porr. Musician Barbara Polomsky and song leader Donna Mozley lead a variety of music in worship.

This month’s Men’s Breakfast will be at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 10, at the Big Rig 2 restaurant. Call 386-734-6078 to make reservations.

Taize Night at Church of the Holy Presence

Church of the Holy Presence, at 355 N. Kepler Road in DeLand, is opening its doors to the community for a Taize Night, an evening of contemplative prayer and music, at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 3.

On a hill in southern France, there is an ecumenical monastic community called Taizé. It is a community of brothers who have opened their doors to the world as an act of hospitality. People young and old, from all over the world, flock to Taizé to be with the brothers to pray, to listen, to be simple, and to be faithful. They come seeking the space — both external and internal — to meet God.

As people gather at Church of the Holy Presence on June 3, everyone will sing several beautiful songs with simple words. The words to the songs are sung many times in a meditative manner to allow the reality of our faith in our Lord to gradually penetrate our whole being. For just a brief period on this night, we will push our hectic lives aside and touch eternity in God’s presence to listen to Him. Everyone is invited to take part in a time of prayer together and to remain together in attentive waiting on God.

Family Game Night at Trinity UMC

Trinity United Methodist Church in DeLand will host a Family Game Night 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, June 2. Attending children need to be at least 5 years old. There is no need to bring anything — just be ready for fun!

Additional game nights will be June 16, June 30, July 7, July 21 and Aug. 4.

Trinity UMC Music Makers Summer Camp registration is open! This camp will be presenting a Stomp musical, along with other special songs. The camp is for rising second-graders through rising fifth-graders. It will meet 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. July 17-21, culminating with a performance musical at 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Sunday, July 23 for the Trinity UMC and First Christian Church congregations.

On Sunday, July 30, there will be a performance at 11 a.m. at Temple of God Church in DeLand. This year, Trinity UMC is partnering with Temple Learning Center Summer Camp.

In addition to learning the musical, there will be snacks, crafts, games, and a pizza party for the campers. There is no charge for this camp, but donations are appreciated.

Camp will be on the campus of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand, at 1401 W. New York Ave.

If you have any questions or wish to register your child(ren), call Conya Hartman at the church office at 386-734-4425, email to or visit the website at

‘Christian Mystic: Thomas Merton’

Collective Church, which meets at First Unitarian Universalist Church in DeLand, will host the second in its Mysticism Series with the “Christian Mystic: Thomas Merton” at 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 4. You’re invited to take part in fellowship and a presentation, followed by a group discussion.

Go therefore

Many people, not just Christ followers, have heard or are aware of the words “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them …” How do we do that today? In what way do we do that today?

Over the sands of time, these words have been implemented in varying ways. Not always with “gentleness and respect,” as Peter calls us to do in his first letter. The second part of the verse says “teaching them to obey.” How do we do that in an ever-more-rejecting world?

Pastor Michael Bodger at First Presbyterian Church of DeLand will explore these important questions relating to the Gospel According to Matthew, Chapter 28, verses 16-20, in his sermon Sunday, June 4. Service times are listed in The Beacon Religion Directory included weekly in this newspaper.

First Friday Bingo will be at 7 p.m. Friday, June 2, in the fellowship hall. The games will be fun for all ages. Snacks are served, and winners receive fun minimal prizes. Yes, it’s free! Plan to come and bring a friend.

God’s Bathhouse will be in the First Pres courtyard Saturdays, June 10 and 24. Those in need of a shower should arrive around 9 a.m. but no later than 11 a.m. Towels and a clean set of clothes are provided.

Save the dates for Vacation Bible School this summer! Registration is available online at The theme is “Stellar Shine Jesus’ Light!” It will run 9 a.m.-noon July 24-28 for children entering kindergarten through fifth grade.

‘Home and Hearth’

The congregation of Mosaic Unitarian Universalist meets online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The June 4 service is titled “Home and Hearth.”

This Sunday, Minister Teresa Leary will explore the meaning of home and hearth, that place that offers warmth and guidance so everyone can grow into the best version of themselves.

Everyone is welcome! For information on Mosaic, see the website at For instructions on how to join the virtual service, email to


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