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A weekly come-and-go time of Prayer & Communion will be led by Pastor Andy, every Wednesday from 10am - 10:20am during Lent,
beginning Wednesday, February 26 in the Sanctuary, except March. 10.

First United Methodist Church
72 Lake Morton Drive, Lakeland, FL
Sunday, February 20
   Gym of Grace:
From Learning to Doing
2 Timothy 3:10-17

8:15, 9:30 and 11am
Rev. David McEntire will preach

11:20am, Fellowship Center
Rev. Andy Whitaker Smith will preach
To prepare for worship click here to watch a video with Pastor Melissa Stump to prepare for worship

Ash Wednesday Services this Wednesday, February 26 at 12:15pm and 6:30pm in the Sanctuary. A day of prayer and fasting Ash Wednesday derives its name from the placing of repentance ashes on the foreheads of participants to "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
Hospitalized (as of February 19)
Larry Durrence, Pasty Dinkins,
Karen Middleton and Olivia May
In Memoriam
Libby Mann, February 12
Battle of the Ages
Join us on Sunday, March 1, 5-7pm in the Fellowship Center for dinner and an evening full of games and challenges. Dinner is $5/person; $20/family. All students K-grade 5 must be accompanied by an adult. Students in grades 6-12 are encouraged to come with their families. Sign up: click here and go to the Adult, Children or Youth page. Deadline to sign up is February 26. We will offer childcare for Coffee with the pastors, Disciples Path and children of families participating who are under PK4. Contact Alice with questions: email here
Coffee with the Pastors on March 1
For those that have been attending First United Methodist and would like to become a member of our church, please join us for 'Coffee with the Pastors' from 5 – 6:45pm on Sunday, March 1. In this casual and informative time together, you’ll learn more about the church, get to know our pastors and review expectations regarding membership. Join us for a light dinner and conversation in the Large Conference room in the Administration Building off Walnut Street. If you would like to attend, make a reservation by calling 863-686-3163x223 or by registering online register here . Childcare is provided with advance registration.
Black Methodist For Church Renewal
On Tuesday, March 24, the Florida Conference invite clergy and laity to a conference to discuss the future of the United Methodist Church. It will be held at First United Methodist from 9am - 3pm in Rooms C-201A and C0201D. Among the speakers is Rev. Alex Shanks, Rev. Dr. William McClain, Rev. Nako Kellum, Rev. Geraldine McClellan, Rev. Mason Dorsey and Rev. Junius Dotson. Meeting and lunch is $12/person. click here to register
Youth Talent Show
You are invited to the Youth Talent Show and Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser on Sunday, March 15, 5pm in the Fellowship Center. The youth will serve a delicious dinner while providing an entertaining evening of fun and talent. All proceeds go to our Youth Choir. Tickets are now available in 'Our Giving Tree' bookstore and gift shop. $10/adults; $5/children; $20/family.
Special Event with Rev. Steve Harper Friday, February 28 at the Junior League Sorosis Building, 90 Lake Morton Drive at 7pm. Last year Rev. Andy led a group on Steve Harper's book, Holy Love: A Biblical Theology for Human Sexuality . Rev. Harper has agreed to come speak on the book and about his personal journey. We are co-hosting this event with Polk Pride. Childcare will not be available. Contact Andy : email here
We are forming new Community Groups for the study of Restored by Tom Berlin.We want YOU to host a community group during March and April. The process is simple: Grab, Gather and Grow . Fill out a community group host contact card; Grab your host packet from the table in the Welcome Center on Sunday, Gather friends, neighbors, coworkers and Grow as you host a community group. You can meet in your home, a local restaurant, or any other space where you can watch a video together and have conversation. Together you'll grow in your faith as you pray, learn and love in community. More info: click here , contact Warren, email here , 863-686-3163..
United Methodist Business Leaders
The group will meet Wednesday, March 11 in Room C-206. The program begins at 8am but the room will open at 7:30am for socializing and networking. The group is open to all who are seeking to better integrate their Christian faith and business practices as they seek to live out their callling in the world. Contact Brett Vogeler: email here, 863-255-1613
We want to hear your story which will help us shape the vision of where God is leading First United Methodist Church! Sign up at: click here Please make childcare reservations at least one week prior to the event. Story Groups are held in Room C-201D. The following times are still available:
Sun, Mar 8 and15: 8:15-9:15,
9:30 - 10:30am and 11am - 12pm
Wed, Mar 18: 6:30 - 7:30pm
Sun, Apr 5: 5:15 - 6:15pm
Sunday School at 9:30am: Children: PreK3 - Grade 5
  • Nursery 2 through grade 4: Today we will learn about Josiah from 2 Kings 22:1-23
  • Grade 5: The Workers in the Vineyard is today's study using Matthew 20:1-6

Tonight: 5-7pm, PAJAMA PARTY!
$3 donation for dinner is greatly appreciated. Children PK3, (fully toilet trained), through grade 5 are invited to join us to discover the impact of prayer.

Wednesday: Join us from 6:30 - 7:30pm for Faith + Fellowship + Fun. Children PK3, (fully toilet trained), through grade 5 are invited to join us to where kids can connect and grow in faith together.

*Childcare is available 6:30-7:30pm for children six weeks through PK2 for families participating in events on campus. Reservations are required - please click here .

Contact Cristi Moore with questions: email here or 863-682-1912.
Youth: Grades 6-12
Sunday Morning Bible Study at 9:30am in F-1: Join us for in-depth study and discussion.

Sunday Night: 5-7pm in F-1. Come share in our student-lead ministry as we enjoy a meal, music and worship together.

Wednesday Night RECHARGE: 6-7:30pm in the Youth Game Room. Hang out with us as we enjoy fun, snacks, fellowship.

FINAL CALL: Do you have a special or interesting talent to share? We are now taking entries for the Youth Talent Show to beheld Sunday, March 15 in the Fellowship Center at 5pm. Dress rehearsal will be on Thursday, March 12. Each individual or group must fill out the talent show entry form to participate. Forms are available in the Youth or Music Dept. through February 23.

For information, contact Dave Jans: email here
Adult Sunday Studies
Visitors are always welcome to attend any of our Adult Sunday School groups. All classes meet at 9:30am. If you would like more info on these or other adult classes and groups, contact Warren Pattison: 863-682-1912 or

Visitors are always welcome to attend any of our Adult Sunday School groups. All classes meet at 9:30am. If you would like more info on these or other adult classes and groups, contact Warren Pattison (863-682-1912 or email here).
  • The BYKOTA Class is studying foundational texts of the Bible, led by Rev. Doug Hallman. Room C-207.
  • The Genesis Class welcomes Wesley Crist to lead a study of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. Room C-202.
  • Homebuilders Rev. Brian Tiffany teaches from the Standard Lesson Series on the theme “Honoring God”. Chapel.
  • The Koinonia Class invites you to join them in life application Bible study using Bible passages from the Revised Common Lectionary. Rev. Terry Heck teaches. Room C-205.
  • The Searchers Class is engaging with Rev. Dr. Steve Harper's book Holy Love: A Biblical Theology for Human Sexuality. Dr. Linda Comer and Craig McIntosh facilitate. Room C-206.
  • The Sendero Class welcomes you as they explore Deitrich Bonhoeffer's book Life Together - Bohnoeffer's 1938 reflections on the character of Christian community. Charles Marsh leads. Room C-204.
  • Storyline is experiencing The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationship Right Outside Your Door. The study is led by Ryan and Angela Rosenburg. Room C-201C.
  • Vanguard is delighted to welcome Bishop Bob Fannin to the lectern during Feb as he teaches from the Adult Bible Studies series. Feb theme is Holiness. Room C-203.
Costa Rica Mission Teams
We will have two 30-minute information sessions for those interested in serving with our Costa Rica Mission Projects teams – March 1,10:30am and March 4 at 6pm, both in the Church Parlor. Our teams are scheduled to serve in Costa Rica June 13-20, 2020, and December 29, 2020-January 5, 2021. Must be 16 or older to participate. Contact Forrest with questions email here
Philip O’Brien Elementary School
Partnership: First United Methodist
congregation and staff support O’Brien students as Big Brothers/Big Sisters and through our Neighborhood afterschool ministry. We also provide weekend meals to some through our work with kidsPACK. We’re inviting you to get involved in one of two additional ways:
  • Classroom volunteers. Even an hour or two each week can make a big difference with struggling students in need of extra help. Email Forrest (email here) if you can help
  • Book drive. The school librarian has worked with Bound to Stay Bound, book suppliers, to make it easy for us to donate books on the wish list. Here is the link to donate: click here to order books
Orange Gleaning
Saturday, March 7, we will glean Valencia Oranges in Clermont with the Society of St. Andrew. Meet at First United Methodist at 7:30am. We should return by 1pm. Contact Forrest to sign up: email here
or call 863-686-3163x224.

One Blood
The Big Red Bus (Blood Mobile) will be at First United Methodist Sunday, March 8 from 8:15am - 1pm. They will park on Walnut St. Help us give the Gift of Life!

Join us on March 4 in the Welcome Center to prepare food for students to take home during the weekends. Set up begins at 9am. At 4pm we pack and wrap food for students. Occasionally we need substitute drivers to assist with weekly deliveries to our assigned schools. Contact Skip Stevenson: email here . Save the remaining dates: April 1 and May 6.