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The purpose of First United Methodist is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We strive to accomplish this by being a worship plus three church

Worship plus three is how we define our ministries. We believe worship is of prime importance and is our foundation. In addition, we are to invite others into a relationship with God, grow in our own relationship with God and our neighbor and serve others as a continued sign of God’s work in our lives.
WORSHIP
Update from Bishop Carter
In order to be in partnership with others and to prevent the suffering that is upon us through the Coronavirus (COVID-19), I offer the following guidance to our clergy and churches:
 
We recommend  no public worship  through the month of March. This is in response to the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendation of the postponement or cancellation of gatherings of more than fifty persons. Our motivation is grounded in the call of Jesus to love our neighbor (Matthew 22).
 
We give thanks for churches that are offering  worship through technology . The conference has created a list of those churches  (click here) . I am also asking districts to make available mini-grants for technology.
Worship, Sunday, March 22
This Sunday we will offer two livestream services. Worship is of prime importance and our foundation. Even though we are practicing social distancing we can worship together.Words to the Affirmation of Faith, hymn and praise songs will be projected on the screen so you can participate from whoever you are.
Please join us on Sunday.

Contemporary at 9:30am and Traditional at 11am
Rev. Melissa Stump will deliver the message
Restored: Address This Mess
Jeremy Hearn will lead the music at 9:30am
Lee Lallance and Matthew Corl will lead the music at 11am

Important Information
Church Activities Reference
  • Worship and Music: 'In house' worship will not take place until further notice. Please join us via Livestream. All words will be shown on the screen so that you can join along.
  • All musical group rehearsals are suspended.

  • Sunday School: is suspended. Children's materials for in-home study are on our website. Many adult classes will meet via conference call. Contact your class president for information on how to connect or email Warren.
  • Adult: Bible Studies, small groups, Joy and Men's Study Luncheons that have met 'in house' are suspended. Our online study of Restored is available. Additional resources for faith formation and education are available on our website.
  • No Phoenix dinner or study groups will meet at the church.
  • Youth: Sunday and Wednesday night programming are suspended.
  • Confirmation: Will continue by a virtual class for both the large and small group sessions. For more information contact Dave or Stephanie.
  • Children: Sunday and Wednesday night programming is suspended.
  • 4/5 Gathering for tomorrow night is rescheduled.
  • Playground 2020 is suspended
  • Additional resources for faith formation for children and families are available on our website.
  • Preschool: First Steps is closed until further notice.
  • Neighborhood Ministries: is suspended for the time being.
  • The following groups are suspended for the time being: American Sign Language, Bridge Group, Colson Fellowship, Kiwanis and Rotary, Men's Basketball, Monday morning Pew Stuffers, prayer Quilters, Prayer Shawls, Scouts, Story Telling Groups, Tuesday Tigers, UMW (all events)

There are NO groups to meet at the church.
Resources for faith formation of all ages are available on our website.
Please watch Facebook and our Website for more information.

INVITE
Summer Music Camp
Rising 1-6 grades are invited to join our Summer Music Camp, July 27 - 31. We will meet from 9am - 3pm for a week of drama, arts anc crafts, singing, acting, dancing, set making with lights and sound, devotions, percussion class and much more that ends with a full musical production of the story of the Good Samaritan.

Cost for this memorable and exciting week is $110/child. A snack and lunch are provided daily, along with a pizza party on Friday before we perform our musical. The performance is free and open to the public at 6pm, Friday, 31 in the Fellowship Center. For more information or to register your child click here Space is limited for each grade level so register now. No experience is necessary to participate. Auditions for speaking parts will be held on June 26 at 12:30 in E3 (children's choir room. For more information contact Diana: email here
Hospitalized
As of March 16
John Moore, III, Woodrow Martin and Jim Mills
We Welcome New Members into our Congregations

Front row, left to right: JoAnn Culberson, Karen Middleton. Back row, left to right: Roger Cripe and Wayne Middleton.

JoAnn Culberson : JoAnn currently lives at Florida Presbyterian Homes. She has three grown children; two live locally. JoAnn was in the banking business before retiring, and after retiring she used her gifts serving nine years as Treasurer for Florida Presbyterian Homes Residence Association. The most exciting news is that JoAnn and Roger Cripe recently married. JoAnn feels at home at First United Methodist as she fellowships with other Christians. The sermons from all three ministers are motivational and inspirational to her and she very much appreciates the high-tech sound system allowing her to hear everything said from the pulpit.

Karen and Wayne Middleton : Karen and Wayne are both retired, Wayne from 3-M Company and Karen from the Federal Government. They adore spoiling their nieces and nephews. Their love for Walt Disney World is one of the reasons they moved to Florida. In her spare time, Karen collects antiques especially Depression glass. After many years in the working world, Wayne enjoys all of his free time. A friend in their community brought Karen and Wayne to some special programs at First United Methodist. It was the music of Matthew Corl that impressed them both. When they attended worship services, the sermons by all three pastors were extremely meaningful and inspirational. Wayne especially likes the sincere teaching of the ministers.
Front row, left to right: Elaine Clemens, Claudette Dillard and Carolyn Turner. Back row: Jimmy Dillard

Elaine Clemens : Elaine has recently returned to her home state of Florida after living eighteen years in Illinois. She is a sixth generation Floridian. Elaine is a retired public school music teacher, church organist and church choir director. She has two grown children, Dan and Hannah. Elaine is delighted with her choice to make First United Methodist her home church and is looking forward to the fellowship with other Christians as well as serving others.

Jimmy and Claudette Dillard: Jimmy and Claudette retired to Lakeland from Georgia. They enjoy living close to the daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren. Claudette was a hairdresser for thirty-six years. Jimmy enjoys playing golf and fishing now that he is retired. They both enjoy spending time at Disney World. The sermons given by all three pastors at First United Methodist touch the hearts of the Dillard's. They look forward to meeting and becoming an active part of the congregation.

Carolyn Turner: Carolyn recently moved from Hendersonville, North Carolina. She enjoys reading, crocheting and writing notes to friends and shut-ins. Before retiring, Carolyn was a legal secretary. She has been told the is faithful and an encourager and prays both are true. Carolyn is happy to be in ministry with the warm, loving, caring family of believers at First United Methodist Church.

SERVING
kidsPACK update
We are suspending all packings through March at this point. We will have packings in our warehouse during this time and can let everyone know when in case you have any volunteers that would like to help. We will be dropping off at the County feeding sites and schools that are letting us know they will get the packs to their kids.

Salvation Army
If you were planning on helping with the Salvation Army for our Mission Ministry on Saturday, please note is has been cancelled.

Philip O'Brien
During this time of uncertainty, even though the school is closed, we can still donate books so that when the children return the library will be stocked. click here to donate