‘Never Too Late to Experience Freedom’

DeLand’s Christian Science Church is inviting the community to a free talk scheduled at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 18, at DeLand City Hall. Visiting lecturer Patricia Woodard, from Texas, will speak on the topic “Never Too Late to Experience Freedom.”


The textbook of Christian Science is Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science. Woodard will draw on this resource, as well as the King James Version of the Bible, to illustrate our right to freedom, and how it may be obtained by living in harmony with God.

“Underlying all my experiences is the desire to bring healing to mankind, to show each individual their God-given freedom, and their inherent ability to feel God’s love,” Woodard said.

Woodard discovered Christian Science as an adolescent and soon thereafter experienced the complete healing of a broken arm through Christian Science treatment, to the amazement of her mother, a registered nurse.

After working in New York City in the fashion business, Patty realized she wanted to help children learn how to learn. So she returned to school and earned a Master of Arts in teaching. This desire to help others and her love of Christian Science impelled her to set time aside to pray for others.

While a mother of two children, she became a full-time Christian Science practitioner, and has pursued a lifelong career of learning about God, sharing truth, and witnessing God’s love for mankind, according to her profile on

DeLand City Hall is at 120 S. Florida Ave. in Downtown DeLand, with plentiful free parking available. All are welcome to the free talk.

Father’s Day service at Church of the Holy Presence

Church of the Holy Presence, at 355 N. Kepler Road in DeLand, is hosting a special Father’s Day service at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 18.

Summer BreakSpot free food program

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand welcomes children to the Summer BreakSpot free food program that provides a nutritious breakfast and lunch to children and youth age 18 and younger. Breakfast is served 8:15-8:45 a.m., and lunch is noon-1 p.m. The shaded playground is available before and after serving times if an adult is with the child.

Parents wanting a safe recreational program for their children during the summer may register for Voloria Manning’s Temple Learning Camp on-site 8 a.m.-noon. Camp is available 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday through Friday, Aug. 11.

Children and families are invited to attend worship services on Sundays at 10:45 a.m. with the Rev. Carlos Perez, his wife, Vanessa, and their children, Valeria, Marcos and Edwardo, plus the rest of the congregation.

Pastor Carlos stresses that the church is teaching, fellowship, prayer and breaking of the bread. First Christian offers open Communion each Sunday, with elders Eddie Wachter and Fernando Morales giving the prayers for Sunday, June 18.

Barbara Polomsky at the piano and song leader Donna Mozley start the service with praise hymns after Kathy Porr welcomes all.

A modified worship is led by Dr. Janet Raney in the kitchen foyer at 8:15 a.m. with coffee and pastries.

Other activities during the week include a meeting of the Disciple Women at 1 p.m. Monday, June 19, in the prayer room, with special activities planned. Bingo will be played at 7 p.m. Friday, June 23, in the fellowship hall, with the proceeds from which benefiting a local charity.

Picnic in the park

At noon Saturday, June 17, area Bahá’ís will host “Food for Body and Soul,” a community potluck “Picnic in the Park.” The theme of the day will be “Building Your Moral Compass.”

Many people rely on the teachings of their religion for moral guidance, but the clear guidance of scripture often becomes clouded by differences of interpretation, opinion, politics and other influences in today’s turbulent market of ideas.

The Bahá’í Writings state, “The purpose of religion as revealed from the heaven of God’s holy Will is to establish unity and concord amongst the peoples of the world; make it not the cause of dissension and strife. The religion of God is intended to be the cause of advancement and solidarity and not of enmity and dissolution. If it becomes the cause of hatred and strife, its absence is preferable.”

Interfaith inspirational readings, prayers and an activity around the theme of “Building Your Moral Compass” will follow lunch.

Participants in the picnic are invited to bring their favorite scriptures, treasured verses and poetry about moral guidance and human unity to share as everyone explores the ideal together.

Participants will gather in the west pavilion in Freedom Playground in Bill Dreggors Park, 230 N. Stone St. in DeLand. The “Food for Body and Soul” picnic is held in this location on third Saturdays throughout the year. All are welcome.

Family Game Night

It’s Family Game Night again! From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 16, Trinity United Methodist Church in DeLand wi ll host a Family Game Night for those age 5 and older. There will be a variety of games to play, a snack, and a small devotional time. It’s free, and you don’t need to bring anything!

If you have a game you like to play, you are welcome to bring it, but games will also be provided. Parents are welcome to stay and play, or they may drop their children off at the church. It really is fun for all! If you have any questions, call the church office at 386-734-4425.

On Wednesday, June 21, the Women’s Ensemble will practice at 7 p.m. and sing during the 9 a.m. worship Sunday, June 25. If you would like to be a part of this group or want to know more about the music opportunities at Trinity, email Music Director Conya Hartman at

Trinity United Methodist Church is sharing space with First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand, at 1401 W. New York Ave.

Vacation Bible School at Faith Evangelical Lutheran

Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, at 509 E. Pennsylvania Ave. in DeLand, will have its Vacation Bible School 5-8 p.m. July 17-21, for children age 3 and older. The topic will be “A Walk With Jesus.”

The camp will include dinner, biblical stories and lessons through drama, crafts, games, music (using the Orff approach and instruments) and learning about how we are the hands and feet of Jesus and acting on it, serving those in need.

Based on the recent Shoe Drive at Faith, students will be collecting and processing shoes as a service project for the community.

Call 386-734-2791 and leave a message to register.


The congregation of Mosaic Unitarian Universalist meets online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The June 18 service is titled “Interdependence,” which will feature a continuation of a roundtable-style service with a discussion of interdependence, one of the subjects of the Unitarian Universalists’ Article II Study Report.

Unitarian Universalists honor the interdependent web of all existence. UUs covenant to cherish Earth and all beings by creating and nurturing relationships of care and respect. With humility and reverence, they acknowledge our place in the great web of life, and work to repair harmed and damaged relationships.

The service is designed to allow participants to share their thoughts if they choose to do so. Sharing is always voluntary; active listening is welcome, too.

Facilitator Deanna Leary will guide everyone through the discussion. Everyone is welcome! For information on Mosaic, see the website at For instructions on how to join the virtual service, email to

No laughing matter

On Sunday, June 18, Associate Pastor Casey Riker of First Presbyterian Church of DeLand will examine Genesis Chapter 18:1-15 in a sermon titled “No Laughing Matter,” a sermon she promises will present awesome ideas to ponder.

After the Lord (in the guise of three men) appears to Abraham at the entrance to his tent, 91-year-old Abraham, bowing low, welcomes them and hurries to ask his elderly wife Sarah to quickly prepare refreshments and a meal for the three.

Soon, the Lord asks Abraham about Sarah’s whereabouts. Surprisingly, the Lord then tells Abraham, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”

Overhearing this, Sarah laughs to herself, knowing they have grown far too old and worn to have the “pleasure of a child.”

The Lord says to Abraham, “Is anything too hard for the Lord? Sarah will have a son.” Afraid, Sarah denies the laughter in disbelief.

Pastor Riker will guide us to recall how we humans struggle to keep our promises, but remind us of one certainty. God will always come through when he makes a promise. Riker will cite some of the amazingly unbelievable promises God has made for us and always followed through — even when it seemed impossible.

“No Laughing Matter” will ask these questions: What promise has God made to us? What does the promise the Lord made to Abraham mean for us today?

In person or by live-streaming/recording, you’re encouraged to join the congregation to hear Pastor Riker, when she keeps her promise of an awesome sermon!

See The Beacon’s Religion Directory for details about events and schedules at First Presbyterian Church on North Woodland Boulevard.

In addition to Sunday classes, First Pres invites the community to join a special summer class. At 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Pastor Riker leads a study of C.S. Lewis’ The Problem of Pain to wrestle with an understanding of how God can allow pain to become a part of the human experience. Begun on June 14, the class will continue for six weeks. Call the church office for details.

A reminder: Musical groups for worship services welcome visitors to explore becoming a part of the Praise Band and the Chancel Choir. With only Sunday-morning rehearsals, summer singing and accompanying give you and the groups a chance to find your spot in First Pres’s music.

First Pres continues to pray for missions and teams: Montreat Youth Conference, Nicaragua Mission Trip with Young Life, Family Renew, Meals Matter Ministry, God’s Bathhouse, The Bridge, and more.

You can still register children for “Stellar Shine Jesus’ Light” Vacation Bible School at This free and fabulous time for youngsters entering kindergarten through entering fifth grade runs daily 9 a.m.-noon July 24- 28 on the First Pres campus.

‘A Father’s Legacy’

Join members of First Church DeLand as the “Living a Legacy” sermon series continues on Sunday, June 18, a day in which we honor fathers. The sermon title is “A Father’s Legacy.”

Of course, the greatest Father of all is our Lord. Pastor Mark Bitner will share how a father’s love can build a legacy of unshakable faith. Attending fathers will receive a Father’s Day treat.

First Church DeLand’s traditional worship services are at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the sanctuary. The contemporary service is at 9:30 a.m. in the Life Enrichment Center. For those unable to attend in person, services are streamed live on Facebook on the First Church DeLand page or accessed through the website at

Vacation Bible School registration is at capacity, and it’s not possible to take any walk-ins.

There are a variety of opportunities for you and your family to connect with the church family. Throughout the week, First Church offers activities for the youth and young adults. There are men’s and women’s ministries, Bible studies and prayer times. Abundant volunteer opportunities are available as well, giving you a place to share your talents.

First Church DeLand offices are open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. For additional information, call 386-734-5113.

Living in Community

First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand invites the public to its Sunday, June 18, service where as Elliana Dix and Ella Shepherd lead us through “Living in Community with Integrity.” This 3-part series focuses on examining oppressive structures of all kinds – internal and external. Part 1, is “Reckoning,” will tie into to Juneteenth, a celebration that commemorates when enslaved black Texans became aware of their freedom months after the fall of the Confederacy. Maya Angelou eloquently stated, “The truth is, no one of us can be free, until everybody is free.”

Those attending in person are encouraged to arrive between 10:15 and 10:25 for greetings before the service begins. Our services are in person as well as Zoomed. The Zoom will begin at 10:30 as well and those individuals are encouraged to come early. The Zoom Sunday Service ID is the same every week:  Feel free to contact the church for help in getting connected at  before Sunday’s worship time.

Unitarian Universalists are an open-minded, free-thinking, openhearted, spiritual community where all are welcomed as we learn together. If time allows, discussion may be included after every program.  We are committed to being a part of the community and the congregation participates in helping the Interfaith Kitchen, the Neighborhood Center and other community projects.

Regular UU group meetings continue: Discussion, Book club, Men’s’, Poetry and two Covenants: one in person and one on Zoom.  Special Education Programs for children are available at the 10:30 service. We, happily, will gather after the service for a social hour to share coffee, tea and conversation.


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