First United Methodist Church
72 Lake Morton Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801
Worship on the Lawn: 8:15am
Bring your chair and
join us for worship
Rev. Andy Whitaker Smith
Covid restrictions will be observed
Mask must be worn
Social Distancing will be observed

Bring your stewardship card for our Commitment Sunday!
9:30 and 11am Worship inside
One Life, One Legacy:A Rooted Life
Ephesians 3:13-17
Rev. Melissa Stump

Live stream will continue

Click here to watch a video with Pastor Andy to prepare for worship

All services will abide with the Covid restrictions.
Masks must be worn.
Social distancing will be observed.
There will be no congregational singing.
 Reservations must be made weekly, with a maximum of 125 in the Fellowship Center
and 150 in the Sanctuary.

This Sunday, you may turn your pledge card in on Sunday morning, mail it in the provided envelope or make your pledge online.
Thanksgiving Worship Opportunities

Community Interfaith Thanksgiving Service sponsored by
Temple Emmanuel Sunday, November 22, 4pm via Zoom
Speakers will be:
  • Rabbi Goldstein from Temple Emanuel
  • Pastor Fullerton from First Presbyterian
  • Pastor Thomas of Free Life Chapel
  • Rev. David McEntire from First United Methodist
  • Father Timothy Labo from St. Joseph's Catholic
Guest speakers include Mayor, Bill Mutz, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and a representative from the Lakeland Police Department
Please click here for registration. An email will be sent to you with the Zoom information
A Service of Thanks
November 25, 6:30pm on the lawn, we will remember and give thanks for our many blessings. Bring a chair and wear a mask to participate in the informal service.
Hospitalized (as of November 16)
Lori Dettmer,
Bobby Gunter and Mary Wheeless

John Cannon, November 14

Harriette “Hattie” Jean Capper, October 26
Daughter of Terry & Jillian Capper
Pastor Andy is leading an Advent study on his new book Keeping Christmas: The Journey of Ebenezer Scrooge. The book explores themes from Charles’ Dicken’s classic taleA Christmas Carol, and is available in Our Giving Tree and on Amazon. Beginning Thursday, November 19, Pastor Andy will lead the five week study at two different times: 10am, and 6:30pm. A 6:30pm Sunday evening class beginning November 29 is also a possibility if there is enough interest. Registration and more information is here.
Our Giving Tree Bookstore and Gift Shop
Our Giving Tree is decorated for Thanksgiving and Christmas and open for safe shopping by appointment! Everything in the store is 30% off!

  • Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays between10am and 1pm
  • Wednesdays between 5 and 6:30pm.

  • For an appointment (2 shoppers at a time, masks required), email here or call 863-686-3163 and press *248 when the receptionist begins speaking. The message you leave on the phone will go directly to the bookstore managers at home. All proceeds go to Missions!
United Methodist Women are selling pecans. They have chocolate covered, plain and cinnamon. You may purchase them at Tracy's Hair Design, 1211 S. Fl Ave or in Our Giving Tree by appointment.
Poinsettia Orders
We use Poinsettias in the Fellowship Center and Sanctuary during the Advent Season to decorate. Poinsettias are donated in honor or in memory of loved ones. Poinsettias are $12/plant and may be taken home after the last service on Christmas Eve. To order yours click here. The deadline for orders is December 11. You may also print out the following form and send it to the church office with a check attached.
Family Chrismon Make & Take
Saturday, December 5 at 9:30am or Sunday, December 6 at 3:30pm. Join us to learn about Chrismons and make one together for you family tree. Then make a few extra to take and share. This will be an outdoor event with Covid restrictions observed. Masks and social distancing will be required. Space is limited so register now and get more information.
Family Chrismon Make and Take – Two Dates Available
Saturday, December 5 at 9:30am and Sunday, December 6 at 3:30pm
Join us to learn about Chrismons and make one together for your family tree.This is an outdoor event. Masks are required and social distancing will be observed. Space is limited!  Register to get more detailed information.
Virtual Sunday School Rooms
Join us for Sunday School.  You can attend Sunday School at a time that is convenient for you. There are rooms for each age level that include Bible stories, activities, games, devotions and much more. For more information, cristi
Faith Formation
To continue our discipleship and learning during this time when we cannot meet face to face, please check Faith Formation Page for available resources for you and your family.
Great News from our OneUnited Youth
Join us in-person youth group on Sunday evenings, 4:30-5:30pm on the Fountain Courtyard. The pastors will be leading along with some of our dedicated youth volunteers.
Pick up, following youth group will be at the main entrance to F (youth) building. The fountain Courtyard gives us a space with shade and cover from the rain if needed, as well as the ability to divide into age level groups as necessary. 
Please take note of the safety protocols that will be followed:
  • Temperature checks upon arrival
  •  Masks required
  •  Social distancing
  •  Families must bring their own chair
  •  Bring your own water bottle (refreshments will NOT be provided)
These activities will remain outside and have been approved by the Executive Committee as a part of our planned reopening. Should you have any questions please contact Pastor Melissa 
Advent begins November 29. We have assembled a list of resources to help you observe a meaningful and holy Advent at here. You will find digital devotionals, online retreats and courses, and resources for family faith formation. We pray that these resources will be a blessing to you as continue to grow in your love of God and others in this sacred season.

Sunday School for Adults
Many of our Sunday School classes are meeting online. Check the start times as some have shifted to accommodate in-person worship times. Visitors are welcome to participate in any of these classes. For more information on connecting with a particular class, email Warren.
  • BYKOTA (Be Ye Kind One To Another):In November, Rev. Dr. Doug Hallman will teach on Seasons of Thanksgiving. Meets via Conference Call to (863) 250-1152 or online (email Warren for link). NOTE MEETING TIME: Class starts at 9:00am Sundays.
  • Genesis: is starting their their Advent study of Let Us Go Now to Bethlehem, meeting outdoors at the church, socially-distanced, in the Fountain Courtyard. Bring your own hand sanitizer. Masks are required. NOTE MEETING TIME AND LOCATION: Class starts at 9:15am Sundays in the fountain courtyard.
  • Homebuilders is our longest-running Sunday school class, having started in the 1940s. Rev. Brian Tiffany teaches from the Standard Lesson Series Bible study. November’s theme is “Godly Love Among Believers” with texts from John, 1 John, Acts, and James. Meets via Conference Call to (863) 250-1141 or online (email Warren). Class starts at 9:30am Sundays, call is open starting at 9:20am.
  • Koinonia welcomes all who desire to grow in their love of God and neighbor. You are invited to join them for life application Bible study using the lectionary scripture texts and the Feasting on the Word curriculum. Rev. Terry Heck leads via Zoom. Contact Warren for Zoom link and more information. Class starts at 9:30am Sundays, call is open starting at 9:20am.
  • Searchers is studying Adam Hamilton’s book Why?: Making Sense of God’s Will. Led by Rev. Betty Batey, this study explores the age old questions of suffering and the will of God. Meets via Zoom. Contact Warren NOTE MEETING TIME- Class starts at 9:15am Sundays, call is open starting at 9:05am.
  • Sendero is an inter-generational adult class, they are studying the gospel of Matthew using the Genesis to Revelation series. The study is led by John Curtis. Meets via Conference Call to (863) 243-6668. Class starts at 9:30am Sundays, call is open starting at 9:20am.
  • Vanguard uses the Adult Bible Studies series. November’s theme is “In This Place” and explores sacred places in scripture with lessons taught by Dr. Tom Reuschling. Study passages come from various texts in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. Supplemental videos for the lessons are available on Amplify Media. Meets via Conference Call to (863) 250-1038 or online (email Warren). Class starts at 9:30am Sundays, call is open starting at 9:20am
Once again this Christmas season, we will be helping our friends at Peace River with items for their gift bags. On December 13, during our 1-4pm monthly food collection at the Missions Depot, we will also receive donations for Peace River. Their list of requests: hygiene products in travel-size bottles – shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, etc. toothbrushes and toothpaste, snacks (a variety) such as individually wrapped cracker packs, Oreos, Rice Krispy treats, candy, etc., combs, coloring books and blank cards for them to give to friends/family.

Christmas Gifts for Migrant Children: We have the chance to "adopt" migrant children this holiday season by providing Christmas gifts! We have a list of 84 children in need and their wishes provided by our ministry partner, Called to Serve Farmworkers. If you would like to provide gifts for a migrant child or children, please Forrest White ( I will send you details about your child (no names) and their wishes along with instructions on when to drop the gifts at the Missions Depot on the Vistabula Street side of the church.

Our next collection for our migrant ministry partners - Mulberry UMC Food Pantry and Called to Serve Farmworkers - will be Sunday, December13, from 1-4 pm at the Missions Depot. Please provide only requested items and NO glass jars:
beans (pinto and black)
Maseca flour
spaghetti sauce
peanut butter
canned tuna and chicken
Vienna sausage
canned vegetables
Jiffy Cornbread mix
breakfast cereal
Avoiding Accidents in the Home
Taking measures to improve safety can prevent injuries and help a person with memory loss or dementia and the caregiver feel more relaxed and less overwhelmed. Changes in the brain and body can affect safety. Areas effected can include physical abilities (difficulties with balance and changes in gait), judgement (forgetting they turned on the stove) and challenges with time and place (getting lost in the neighborhood). Also, be mindful in changes in vision, depth perception, hearing, and sensitivity to temperature. Below are other suggestions to consider:
  • Take a walk through and around the outside of the home and evaluate safety risks. Avoid serving food and beverages that are too hot.
  • Install walk-in showers and add grab bars to the shower or tub and at the edge of the vanity to allow for independent and safe movement.
  • Add textured stickers to slippery surfaces.
  • Apply adhesives to keep throw rugs and carpeting in place, or remove rugs completely.
  • Monitor the hot water temperature.
  • Keep hallways and entrances well lighted. Keeping lights on in the evening as the sun goes down can minimize confusion from seeing shadows.
  • Remove guns from the home and keep safely locked up. Also, make sure knives, power tools and dangerous machinery are out of sight.
  • Make sure chemicals are in a safe place.
  • Check your home for lighters or matches that could be problematic.
  • Be prepared with emergency phones numbers are easily accessible.

Paying attention to home safety can help the individual maintain his or her independence longer and minimize stress and aid in the ease of caregiving.

If you, a friend or family member living with memory loss would be interested in learning more about our Memory Ministry or our Connections Zoom group, please contact Vicky