‘An Ode to Summer’

First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand will be celebrating “An Ode to Summer” on Sunday, July 2. After a program presenting all the joys that arrive with the summer sun and rainy downpours, including the crashes of major thunder and scary lightning, everyone will gather together for a potluck of easy-eating favorites from the church’s many wonderful cooks and bakers. In the past, this was a way to say we were the “left behind” people as many returned to northern homes. This year, First UU will celebrate all we love about being here and being a Unitarian Universalist. Visitors will be welcome to join in the fun after services.

There will be a Zoom meeting for the service part of the program; however, not for the potluck portion. The ID is Please, feel free to contact the church for help in getting connected at before Sunday’s worship time. Individuals are encouraged to sign on by 10:20 a.m. or 10:25 a.m. to make sure they are on board for the 10:30 a.m. service.

Vacation Bible School at St. Jude’s Episcopal

St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Orange City is hosting Vacation Bible School 5:30-7:30 p.m. July 18-20. The topic will be “Superheroes of the Bible.” There will be crafts, food, music, games, lessons and more. Children age 2 and younger should be accompanied by an adult. There is no charge. Register online at

‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’

The Academy of Arts traveling drama ministry will be presenting “The Pilgrim’s Progress” at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 9, at Open Bible Baptist Church in Orange City. This is a free event and is open to the public.

Experience the epic tale of one man’s journey from the City of Destruction to the gates of the Celestial City, and all of the challenges, triumphs and perils he faces along the way. From the Slough of Despond to the stronghold of Giant Despair, this stirring classic is a must-see for all ages!

Founded in 1971, the Academy of Arts exists to train and inspire the next generation of servant leaders to properly use the powerful tool of communication for others’ good and God’s glory.

Open Bible Baptist Church is at 2801 Grayson St. in Orange City. Call the church office for more information at 386-775-4320, or visit the website at

Want to sing in a choir?

Thought about singing in a choir, but not sure of the commitment?

Trinity United Methodist Church in DeLand is hosting an opportunity to sing with a choir that rehearses on Wednesday and sings in worship on the following Sunday, once a month.

The Summer Singers Blended Choir will rehearse at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 5, and will sing in worship at 9 a.m. Sunday, July 9.

This choir is in addition to the Chancel Choir and Praise Team, and offers the opportunity to sing different styles. It may be more convenient for those with busy schedules.

Call Director of Music Conya Hartman at 386- 734-4425, or email with questions.


At First Presbyterian Church of DeLand on Sunday, July 2, Pastor Michael Bodger will draw the focus of his listeners to Matthew 10:40-42, as Jesus carefully instructs his 12 disciples to go into the world to spread the Gospel.

“He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the One who sent me” (Matthew 10:40).

As the teacher, Jesus Christ sends out his Disciples with the admonition to seek people who welcome them and, “be on guard against men” (23:17) who might persecute them. Know that, “anyone who receives a righteous man [a prophet] will receive a righteous man’s reward … and who gives even a cup of water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple … he will certainly not lose his reward” (Matthew 41-42).

Just how welcomingly do we receive the admonitions of the Lord? Do we act as His disciples?

This first week of July at First Pres will see the office closed for Independence Day on Tuesday, but the church offers an amusing time for all ages on Friday’s free bingo night 7-8:30 p.m. July 7. The evening will include fun prizes and opportunities for snacks during the friendly and challenging bingo competition.

Neighbors who would appreciate a free eat-in or boxed meal prepared and served by First Pres volunteers at The Neighborhood Center should visit The Bridge 5-7 p.m. Thursday, July 6. This week’s meal includes typical picnic food, such as hot dogs and hamburgers, baked beans, and condiments.

Then 9-11 a.m. Saturday, July 8, God’s Bathhouse will offer free showers, clean towels, fresh clothing items, and friendly fellowship on The Pavilion at First Pres. This twice-monthly mission will meet again Saturday, July 22.

From 5 to 6:30 p.m. this Sunday, July 2, middle- and high-school students will gather for Youth Group in The Loft. Associate Pastor Casey Riker will organize and lead activities for this evening of food, fun and fellowship.

An important reminder! July 24-28, First Pres Vacation Bible School’s “Stellar: Shine Jesus’ Light” opens to all community youngsters (rising kindergartners to rising fifth-graders) for an exciting and maybe life-changing experience from 9 a.m. till noon. Register at now!

See The Beacon’s Religion Directory for other details of First Presbyterian’s schedule and activities. Visitors are welcome, as First Pres lives the vision to reach up, in and into our world to deeply engage in the work of the Lord.


Mosaic Unitarian Universalist meets online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The July 2 service is titled “Transformation.” The congregation will continue roundtable-style services with a discussion of transformation, one of the subjects of the Unitarian Universalists’ Article II Study Report.

We will discuss adapting to the changing world and covenanting to collectively transform and grow spiritually and ethically. Openness to change is fundamental to the Unitarian and Universalist heritages, never complete and never perfect.

These services are designed to allow participants to share their thoughts if they choose to do so. Sharing is always voluntary; active listening is welcome too.

Judy Raymond will facilitate the service. Everyone is welcome!

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

1st Christian Church activities

The Rev. Carlos Perez of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand welcomes everyone to the Table of the Lord each Sunday at 10:45 a.m. for open Communion for all believers in Jesus Christ. The elements are offered in pre-filled Fellowship Cups to all congregants as they enter the sanctuary. Two elders lift up prayers for the bread representing Jesus’ body and the fruit of the vine representing Jesus’ blood shed for our sins. Congregants remain seated for this part of the service.

Joyful music is provided by Barbara Polomsky, organist and pianist, with Donna Mozley as the song leader. During the service, prayer requests are lifted up, and they are prayed for again at 3:30 p.m. on Mondays in the church conference room.

The worship service is provided on Facebook at First Christian Church-DeLand Disciples.

Dr. Janet Raney provides a modified worship service at 8:15 a.m. each Sunday in the kitchen foyer.

At 9:30 a.m., the adult Sunday-school class meets in the church library studying the Old Testament minor prophets. Sunday, July 2, the study is Zechariah chapter 9, “Peace to the Nations.” There are 30 men in the Bible named Zechariah; the work by the minor prophet of the study is from 520 B.C. on. His contemporary was Haggai; they played leadership roles in the rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple.

The Disciple Men’s Breakfast is Saturday, July 8, at Big Rig 2. Reservations are necessary; just call 386- 734-6078.

‘Community Life: Doing Life Together’

First Church DeLand enters a new series titled “Community Life.” In the first sermon on Sunday, July 2, Pastor Mark Bitner will address “Doing Life Together.”

What would life be if we had to journey through a lone, without family or anyone who cares? Unfortunately, some people are alone, homeless, hungry and needing care.

God said to “love your neighbor as yourself.” The goodwill of people reaching out to those in need fills the hearts of both the recipient and the giver with love. Come to First Church and discover the rewards of community life.

Have a wonderful time celebrating the Fourth of July with friends and family! Please stay safe!

First Church’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, the services are streamed live on Facebook on the First Church DeLand page or accessed through the website at

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, young adults, 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.

For additional information, contact the church office at 386-734-5113.

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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.


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