SUCCESSFUL SHOE DRIVE — Members of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in DeLand and its Vacation Bible School, and members of the Volusia County Property Appraiser’s Office, show off some of the shoes collected recently for a shoe drive as a church service project. The drive was joined by the Volusia County Appraiser’s Office thanks to Bob DeGaetano, the husband of church member Deborah DeGaetano. The VBS theme was “A Walk With Jesus.” In the photo from the Appraiser’s Office are Twila Harrison, Jan Cornelius, Shililah Moon, Bob DeGaetano and Gina Duran-Rivera; and church members Julia Beckwith and Cheryl Canada, who was involved with the Vacation Bible School, and Canada’s great-granddaughter Preston Holton. PHOTO COURTESY DEBORAH DEGAETANO

‘Spirit of Enlightenment’ Gala Day

The Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association is hosting its “Spirit of Enlightenment” Gala Day 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. The camp is at 1112 Stevens St. An information booth is in front of the Andrew Jackson Davis Educational Building/Bookstore. Swag bags will be given out to the first 100 visitors.

At the information booth, attendees can purchase tickets for 15-minute readings by camp-certified mediums for $25 (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), and tickets for speakers cost $5 for each time slot. All-day speaker passes cost $25. Speaker tickets are also available online at; click preregister for tours, workshops and events.

Speakers are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Colby Memorial Temple, 1250 Marion St. Thirty-minute topics will include Spiritualism, Natural Law, and a gamut of other tools to assist in spiritual development.

Back by popular demand: Kids’ Zone, which is a vendor booth near Colby Memorial Temple. The family-orientated area includes Bucket of Crystals ($8, while supplies last) and a Scavenger Hunt, with a grand prize for the first three to complete and tokens for others (while supplies last).

Vendors will offer crystals, jewelry, clothing, natural soaps, and others, and will line the streets of Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp. Food trucks will be in the parking lot of Colby Memorial Temple. A 50/50 raffle drawing will be at 4:30 p.m. You do not have to be present to win.

Retracing the journeys of Paul

In September of 2024, members of Trinity United Methodist Church of DeLand will retrace the journeys of Paul on an exciting pilgrimage aboard Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas! Ports of call include Mykonos, Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, Santorini and Chania, with an optional three-day extension into Rome. Flights are out of Orlando International Airport. This is not limited to Trinity members only. Friends and family are invited as well.

For questions about the pilgrimage, reach out to Pastor Todd by calling the church office at 386-734-4425.


The congregation of Mosaic Unitarian Universalist meets online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The July 30 service is titled “Love.” This Sunday, the congregation will continue its roundtable-style services by re-examining their perceptions of love, one of the subjects of the Unitarian Universalist Article II Study Report.

Love is the power that holds us together, and is at the center of our shared values. We are accountable to one another for doing the work of living our shared values through the spiritual discipline of love.

Teresa Leary will facilitate the service.

Services at Mosaic Unitarian Universalist are designed to allow participants to share their thoughts, if they choose to do so. Sharing is always voluntary; active listening is welcome, too. Everyone is welcome!

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

1st Christian Church activities

The Rev. Carlos Perez of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand is representing the congregation at the denomination’s General Assembly in Louisville, Kentucky, July 29-Aug. 1. The theme is “Kingdom of God Within Us.” The theme focuses on Luke 17:20-21, Genesis 11:1-9 and 2 Peter 1:3.

This is the first time in four years that the whole church has met, giving congregations the opportunity for in-person representation as well as digital gatherings.

The assembly’s goal is for individuals and churches to realize all we need for life, God has already given us. We are prepared for anything. All opportunities, information and relationships have already been given to us. Our relationship with God through Jesus Christ has given us everything.

The Rev. Dr. Patreza Newton returns as the guest minister in the absence of the Rev. Perez at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, July 30.

The Rev. Dr. Fernando Morales and Nancy Jones are the elders who serve Communion for all believers.

Julia Taylor and Sue Brague welcome congregants and visitors at 10:15 a.m. for coffee and pastries.

Other opportunities for member and community participation are at 7 p.m. Friday, July 28, for bingo in the fellowship hall; at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 29, for distribution of colored pencils at the Mayor’s Backpack Giveaway at Earl Brown Park; and at 3:30 p.m. Monday, July 31, for a prayer gathering in the church library.

The Temple Learning Center Summer Camp is continuing 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday in the fellowship hall, with registration required.

The Volusia County Summer BreakSpot Meal Program has breakfast served 8:15-9:30 p.m. and lunch served noon-1 p.m. Monday-Friday in the fellowship hall. This continues through Friday, Aug. 11.

Choosing your own label

First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand welcomes Cheryl Orr, who will lead an interactive service where members will attempt to identify themselves intellectually, ideologically and spiritually.

Because Unitarian Universalists explore and follow their own spiritual journey, the only collective descriptor shared is Unitarian Universalism. Beyond that, the world of adjectives is fertile ground to try to express just where each person stands on the continuum of belief and practice. Let’s find labels that share who we are rather than limit us to what others think we are.

Cheryl is a longtime member of the church, who has contributed through music, service leadership and programming, as well as serving on the board of directors as treasurer and president. Her favorite contribution has always been developing and presenting new services for the congregation.

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 and 10:25 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 the search for truth together. If time allows, discussion may be included after every program.

First Unitarian Universalist is committed to being a part of the community.

The church has set up a HUB 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays and 1-3 p.m. Sundays. Doors are open for petition collection, picking up, dropping off or signing the petition to place a simple proposed amendment for protecting abortion on the 2024 Florida ballot.

‘You Weren’t Meant to Be a Lone Wolf’

Pastor Mark Bitner of First Church DeLand, a Global Methodist Church, will speak this Sunday, July 30, as the church continues to explore the series “Community Life.” This Sunday’s sermon title is “You Weren’t Meant to Be a Lone Wolf.”

As children of God, we are lovingly guided through this obstacle course called life. We do not have to struggle through those challenges alone. The Holy Spirit will comfort us during trials and stand beside us as we walk the path to brighter days.

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, 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, the youth are involved in activities, such as mission trips locally and out of state. Throughout the week, First Church offers activities for the 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. Please join to see where you want to participate — perhaps it’s indoor pickleball!

First Church DeLand offices are open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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


“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35) Pastor Michael Bodger will respond to this question in his sermon on Sunday, July 30, at First Presbyterian Church of DeLand during the 10:30 a.m. service, the only service for that day.

Drawing his teaching from Romans 8:26-39, Scripture that depicts the teaching of Paul to the fledgling Roman Christian community, Pastor Bodger will extend the current sermon series “Broken? There’s Good News!”

Along with Associate Pastor Casey Riker, Pastor Bodger seeks to sustain us — as Paul did the Romans — by celebrating the restorative power of God’s love in this world of confusion, pain and depravity. Truly, “We know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him.” (Romans 8:28)

To more informally and more extensively meet and interact with congregants of First Pres, you’re urged to join the Potluck Lunch afterward in fellowship hall. Whether or not visitors bring a side dish to share, you’re welcome to come break bread. The kitchen supplies a main dish, with sides and desserts voluntarily added.

Free bingo night on every first Friday provides another opportunity to gather with friends, old and new, for the fun and challenge of bingo. From 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, players will form tables in the fellowship hall, with funny and simple prizes, and snacks and beverages available.

Throughout the summer months, most Bible classes and Sunday-school classes, as well as Children’s Church at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., and Youth Group at 5 p.m. in the loft continue to offer growth and fellowship. See The Beacon’s Religion Directory weekly for details, and the First Pres website for more!


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