coexist logo

The Dynamic Daytona Beach District of the AME Church will celebrate its second annual Heritage Day Festival 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, July 15, at Greater Faith AME Church, 800 Deltona Blvd. in Deltona. Representatives of AME churches from Brevard, Seminole and Volusia counties will be on hand to share the rich history of their churches, the oldest of which was established in 1867.

The Heritage Day Festival will feature The Reflections Band from Florida’s Space Coast (Titusville) with a broad spirit-filled array of diverse music from the ’60s to today’s hits that will delight people 8 to 100.

The festival will also have dancers, singers, vendors, nonprofits, speakers and other entertainment. The community is welcomed.

‘Authenticity and Honesty’

On Sunday, July 16, the Collective Church series “Comfort for the Soul” will begin with Dan Hensley speaking on “Authenticity and Honesty.” Time for discussion will follow. The series will continue over the next few Sundays.

You’re encouraged to attend at 5 p.m. in the social hall of First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia, at 116 S. Clara Ave. in DeLand.

Hawaiian Sunday at Church of the Holy Presence

At 10 a.m. Sunday, July 16, members of DeLand Church of the Holy Presence will celebrate Hawaiian Sunday. Started as a fun event to celebrate the pastor’s birthday five years ago, Hawaiian Sunday is now an annual tradition at Holy Presence on the Sunday closest to July 16.

People are invited to come in Hawaiian shirts, muumuu, etc., dressed as if we are in Hawaii, as we worship the Lord with ukuleles and more.

The objective is to totally get into the Aloha spirit while worshipping the Lord. It’s a colorful way to worship our Creator, who made all the colors. All are invited to this fun-filled service.

The church is at 355 N. Kepler Road in DeLand.

Bahá’ís to host picnic

At noon Saturday, July 15, 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.” This is a repeat of the intended theme of the June 17 Picnic in the Park, which was canceled because of bad weather.

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 July 15 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.

Broken spirits, broken bodies

On Sunday, July 16, First Presbyterian Church of DeLand will begin the six-week sermon series “Broken? There’s Good News!” Based on a portion of Paul’s letter to the Romans, Chapters 8-11, it will seek to assure us that God gives us good news for the tough times brought by vagaries and perils of our world.

As Paul approaches the Romans with hope and encouragement in their times, we find comfort in his words. Derived from the book A Preacher’s Guide to Lectionary Sermon Series, compiled by Jessica Miller Kelley, First Presbyterian’s series will take the church toward understanding that our loving, living God restores us in the midst of our brokenness.

First Pres’s Associate Pastor Cassandra Riker will inaugurate the series with “Broken Spirits, Broken Bodies,” a sermon centered on Romans 8:1-11.

“Our sin is reflected on our skin … the effects seen in a tangible way.” (C. Riker) First, we must recognize the extent of brokenness, within and without. Only then can we find wholeness and unity in any crisis we face.

In the series, Senior Pastor Michael Bodger and Riker endeavor to inspire listeners to accept God’s amazingly unconditional love in the face of universal troubles and brokenness. Then, listeners can embrace God’s restoration, as “the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)

For worship details and other information about First Pres, refer to The Beacon’s Religion Directory located in this and every issue.

You may attend Sunday services in person, as well as classes and fellowship for all ages. You may also join for contemporary and/or traditional worship via livestreaming and recordings found on First Pres’s YouTube channel, with access available on

Attention! Vacation Bible School, July 24-28, blasts off into Stellar: Shine Jesus’ Light. From 9 a.m.-noon, this free and well-organized experience for rising kindergartners through rising fifth-graders offers learning, music, Bible, fun and fellowship on the campus of First Pres. The imaginative program will definitely provide children with an extraordinary summertime of growth and enrichment!

Reminders of other missions include God’s Bathhouse 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, July 22, in the courtyard, for showers, clean towels, fresh clothing and fellowship.

For the homeless, First Pres makes and distributes manna bags and sleeping mats, also.

The community garden volunteers tend the garden at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 15, and Monday, July 24.

The directors of the Chancel Choir and Contemporary Praise Band are actively searching for new musicians. Call the church office at 386-734- 6212 for contact information, or while attending your service choice, speak to them personally.

Come join in the journey to understanding God’s amazing and forgiving and sustaining restoration!

Brown v. Board of Education

First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand will have a special repeat presentation at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, July 16, of revisionist history by Malcolm Gladwell on “Miss Buchanan’s Period of Adjustment.” This covers the groundbreaking Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education and the unintended consequences. This moving presentation addresses important issues we face today. The program will be led by Judith Southard, member and activist.

There will be a Zoom meeting for the service part of the program. The ID remains the same. 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.

Those attending in person are encouraged to arrive between 10:15 a.m. and 10:25 a.m. for greetings before the service begins.

Unitarian Universalists are an open-minded, freethinking, openhearted, spiritual community where all are welcomed, as everyone learns and explores together in a search for truth.

If time allows, discussion may be included after every program.

First Unitarian Universalist is committed to being a part of the community; the congregation participates in Interfaith Kitchen, The Neighborhood Center and other community projects.

On Wednesdays, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., and Sundays, 1-3 p.m., the doors are open for picking up, dropping off or signing a petition to place a simple proposed amendment protecting abortion on the 2024 ballot.


The congregation of Mosaic Unitarian Universalist meets online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The July 16 service continues the roundtable-style service with a discussion of “Pluralism,” one of the subjects of the Unitarian Universalists’ Article II Study Report.

Those participating will celebrate that we are all sacred beings, diverse in culture, experience and theology. We covenant to learn from one another in our free and responsible search for truth and meaning. We embrace our differences and commonalities with love, curiosity and respect.

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.

Leah Madison 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 to

Brenda Velazquez- Morales to speak at 1st Christian

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand has Brenda Velazquez-Morales as the speaker for the 10:45 a.m. worship service Sunday, July 16. Velazquez-Morales is studying at Lexington Theological Seminary for an advanced degree in biblical and theological studies.

First Christian Senior Minister Carlos Perez is Velazquez-Morales’ mentor, and supports her ministry as chairman of the church elders. The changes in the weekly Communion service that is open to all were designed by her.

Other ministries and programs of First Christian during July are: Monday prayer gathering at 3:30 p.m. in the church library; bingo at 7 p.m. in fellowship hall Friday, July 14 and 28, with Essie Miller as the caller; BreakSpot Summer Food Program, Monday- Friday, 8:15-8:45 a.m. for breakfast, and noon-1 p.m. for lunch, in the fellowship hall.

Temple Learning Center Summer Camp, which meets 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday- Friday, by registration, has partnered with the Trinity United Methodist Church Music Makers, who meet 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. July 17- 21, under the direction of Conya Hartman to perform “Stomp and Praise.” Those wanting to register just for the Music Makers Camp can email to for information.

‘What’s in Your DNA?’

First Church DeLand, a Global Methodist Church, continues the “Community Life” series. This Sunday, July 16, the sermon title is “What’s in Your DNA?”

Most of us have wondered about our ancestry. DNA, a self-replicating material that is present in nearly all living organisms, is the carrier of genetic information. Many of our behaviors and talents come from people in regions around the world. Pastor Mark Bitner will speak about our spiritual DNA that comes from God.

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

There are a variety of opportunities for you and your family to connect with the church family. Even during the summer months, First Church DeLand youth are involved in such activities as mission trips locally and out of state.

Throughout the week, the church offers activities for 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.

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


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here