On Saturday, Aug. 19, at noon, area Bahá’ís will host “Food for Body and Soul,” a community potluck picnic, in the west pavilion of Freedom Playground in Bill Dreggors Park, 230 N. Stone St. in DeLand. The theme of the day will be “Service.”

Servitude is the highest spiritual station a creature can attain. We are created to serve God, and we serve God by doing His will — by serving our fellow creatures.

The Bahá’í Writings state, “Rest not, even for an instant, and seek not comfort, even for a moment; rather labour with heart and soul that thou mayest render devoted service to but one amongst the friends and bring happiness and joy to but one luminous heart. This is true bounty…”

Interfaith inspirational readings, prayers and an activity around the theme of “Service” will follow lunch. Participants are invited to bring their favorite Scriptures, treasured verses and poetry about service to share as everyone explores the theme together.

The Food for Body and Soul picnic is held in this location on third Saturdays throughout the year. All are welcome.

Save the date

St. Ann’s Council of Catholic Women is hosting a Summer Vacation Bunco Party beginning at noon Wednesday, Aug. 23, in the parish hall of St. Ann’s Catholic Church, 26 Dogwood Trail in DeBary. Attendees are encouraged to wear a favorite vacation shirt.

A $15 admission charge includes hot dogs, beverages and desserts. Tickets will be sold after Masses and at the parish office.

All the proceeds will benefit the council’s yearlong charities, such as preventing human trafficking, the church’s scholarship program, the Domestic Abuse Center, Emory L. Bennett Memorial Veterans Nursing Home, Florida United Methodist Children’s Home, and The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia.

For more information, call 386-668-1417 or 386-668-8270.

‘Keys to Stress Management’

DeBary-Orange City Seventh-day Adventist Church, at 2535 S. Volusia Ave. in Orange City, is hosting a “Keys to Stress Management” seminar at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11.

Confused about how to handle life’s stressors? Help is on the way! Dr. David DeRose, who has 30 years of experience in lifestyle medicine, will make complex subjects easily understood via his “keys” for managing stress. As a special bonus, participants will learn how to tap into a 24/7 online portal to access powerful coping tools.

There is no admission fee. Call 386-775-3722.

The benefits of meditation

On Sunday, Aug. 13, at 5 p.m., Bill Brennan will present “Comfort for the Soul: the Benefits of Meditation” at Collective Church in the social hall of First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia, at 116 S. Clara Ave. in DeLand.

The presentation will include both mental and physical benefits, with suggestions for meditation. A discussion of the subject will follow the presentation.

‘Why Did God Let It Happen?’

Pastor Mark Bitner of First Church DeLand, a Global Methodist Church, will begin the new series “Ever Wonder Why?” at the three Sunday, Aug. 13, services. His sermon will be “Why Did God Let It Happen?”

Most of us have been in a season where misfortune has come to visit. As human beings, it is normal to ask the big question: Why? You are welcome to attend this service to learn the answer.

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

‘Antisemitism: Why and the Impact’

William Lazarus, a favorite speaker and a longtime friend of First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand, will speak on “Antisemitism: Why and the Impact” at the 10:30 a.m. service Sunday, Aug. 13.

For more than 2,000 years, Jews have been targeted by antisemites throughout the world, surviving despite virulent bigotry bloodstained by murderous pogroms and massacres leading to the Holocaust in World War II.

In his presentation, Lazarus will explore such topics as: Why did antisemitism start? Why has it continued? Will it ever end?

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.

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.

The Rev. Carlos Perez to bless backpacks

The Rev. Carlos Perez will bless the backpacks of all children and youth at the 10:45 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 13, worship service at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand. Some students may have started their school year, but their backpacks should be blessed at any time.

First Christian wants to celebrate with children and parents the beginning of another school year. The youth are excited and anxious. This blessing is meant to soothe the anxiety while providing a ritual for the youth and their family to know that the faith community with Jesus is there to love and support them.

Barbara Polomsky and Donna Mozley provide music to enhance the worship service. Brenda Morales leads the Communion for all worshippers with sanitized packets of the elements; youth may participate.

Those watching from home on Facebook: First Christian Church – DeLand Disciples are encouraged to have fruit of the vine and bread to participate.

Other activities offered during the week are: bingo at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11; the Disciple Men’s Breakfast at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, at Big Rig 2 by reservation by calling 386-734-6078; and prayer at 3:30 p.m. Mondays in the church library.


The congregation of Mosaic Unitarian Universalist meets online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The Aug. 13 service is titled “Gratitude.” This Sunday, the congregation will continue roundtable-style services by examining our perceptions of gratitude.

When we are thankful, we are consciously experiencing the emotion of gratitude. What does gratitude look like for you?

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.

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

The end of the law

“Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4)

On Sunday, Aug. 13, at First Presbyterian Church of DeLand, teaching elder and Pastor Michael Bodger will announce “The End of the Law” through exploring Paul’s writings in Romans 10:5-15.

To the unbelief of the Israelites, Paul responds with this firm statement “that if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’; and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved….’’ Heretofore, “they had pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works.”

The life-changing amazing Gospel of salvation arrives with these words, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” This penultimate sermon in the current series by First Pres’s pastors “Broken? There’s Good News!” will feature good news to abate the fracture and turmoil of our world.

Music at First Pres remains a central part of the diverse and varied worship. Traditional forms enhance the 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. services, with the Chancel Choir resuming Thursday rehearsals at 6 p.m. Aug. 17. Jane Christeson, musical director, urges vocalists — trained or untrained — to join the group. The choir will present two special events this fall: a Schubert concert in September and the annual Christmas Candlelight Evensong in December.

At 9 a.m. services on Sundays, Joe DeGaetano leads the joyful and all-singing participatory Praise Band. This informal and uplifting ensemble seeks to expand and invites musicians to become part of the vital ministry, which rehearses on Wednesday evenings. Come play your instrument, and lift your voice!

On Saturdays, Aug. 12 and 26, the twice-monthly God’s Bathhouse invites the homeless in DeLand to meet 9-11 a.m. in the courtyard outside the Mission Room (11B). Volunteers will help you privately shower, receive towels and essential clothing, and Manna Bags, as well as enjoy fellowship there.

On Monday, Aug. 14, the second annual “Summer Love” for students of Edith I. Starke Elementary School begins supplying a targeted group of 20 youngsters with needed supplies and equipment to prepare for the new school year. Anyone can contribute both clothing and supplies.

GriefShare Support Group begins meeting 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16, in the Westminster Room. Care Coordinator Alice Foerster, in the church office, has details about this comforting and interactive support group, dealing with such issues as loneliness, fear, healing, anger, regrets and hope in a safe environment for 13 weeks.

Youth Safety Forum is activating! Volusia County Sheriff Michael Chitwood is offering important help to our citizens. In various parts of the county, this program will alert all to these safety issues: internet dangers; social media risks; facts on human trafficking; and methods to keep young people safe from predators.

Check online or take a flyer from the church to locate the five dates and locations of this significant forum.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here