SPIRITUAL SIDE: ‘Pumpkin Patches’ opening and more

BLESSING BAGS FOR THOSE IN NEED — Here is Pastor Todd Bardin’s Journey Group taking a break from filling blessing bags to show a little love. Bardin is pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in DeLand. From left are Judy Ross, Cindy Rosso, Jennie Patrick, Debbie Jones, June Shearin, Steve Jones (sitting) and Carmel Bardin. The church donated enough supplies to assemble 70 blessing bags that will be handed out to those in need, as well as $565. A blessing bag is a gallon-sized bag stuffed with basic necessities for personal care and snacks.

 PHOTO BY TODD BARDIN

The Pumpkins are coming!

The pumpkins will arrive in the Pumpkin Patch Saturday, Oct. 10, on the corner of East Howry and South Alabama avenues. Once again, First United Methodist Church of DeLand will be selling pumpkins through Saturday, Oct. 31. Proceeds are used for the activities and programs for the youth and children of the church and to fund their mission trips.

Sunday-morning services will continue to be held in person. The early service will be at 8 a.m. in the parking lot of Building 6 (111 S. Alabama Ave.). The 9:30 a.m. contemporary service will be in the Life Enrichment Center. The traditional service will be at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary.

All protocols for “in-person” worship are followed: Masks are required; temperature checks; and social distancing. Hand sanitizers also are used.

Please note that the contemporary and traditional services may continue to be viewed online at Facebook or the church website — Firstchurchdeland.org or Fumcdeland.org. Once there, click on sermon/media.

On Sept. 27, Assistant Pastor Mark Bitner continues the sermon series “CommUNITY.” The focus that morning will be “All In” and is based on Romans 12:9-21.

The following are some of the statements found within these verses:

“Don’t pretend that you love others. Really love them.”

“When God’s children are in need, be the one to help them out.”

“Live in harmony with each other.”

“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.”

“Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible.”

“Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God.”

“Don’t let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good.”

Impact studies and activities for youth and children take place Wednesdays, following the 5:30 p.m. dinner. Pastor Stricklin is leading a study and discussion on the Book of Isaiah by Dr. John Oswalt. In this book, Oswalt leads an exploration of the first 39 chapters of Isaiah’s rich prophetic oracles. Discover the truth about God’s holiness and the depth of our sin, and the promising renewal that God is bringing to the entire creation.

Isaiah’s narrative presents a people abounding with temptations to make unhelpful alliances with foreign nations and pagan gods. Today, we face the same pressing temptations in new forms — will we trust God or turn to our own devices? This study locates us in the story of God and offers us compelling reasons to put our hope in Him.

Reservations for the Impact dinner must be made by noon of the previous Monday. The food is a meat entree only, and is pre-boxed, takeout-style. A salad bar will be offered at a later date, when protective shields are in place.

Social distancing will be observed during the meals and study time and when not participating in the meal. Only three people to a table are permitted, except for families. Masks are recommended at all times, except when eating.

Line dancing is now being held in the well of the Education Building (Building 2) at 10 a.m. Tuesdays. Dancers use the entrance at the back of the building. Those attending are required to wear a mask and bring their own water. Beginner dancers are quickly brought up to speed and become familiar with the different dances.

The Chancel Choir will begin meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays in the sanctuary for practice. They will present an anthem at the 11 a.m. traditional service Sunday, Oct. 4, the first time in six months.

Steve Mauldin is leading the “Foundations of Faith” class using Believe, a study by Louie Giglio. “Fear and anxiety fuel so many in our world today and it can be debilitating. Christ calls us to be rooted in faith, standing with his promises and truths.”

This will be an eight-session study with a 20-minute to 30-minute video followed by discussion. It will start at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays via Zoom. Contact the church office for more information.

The office is open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call 386-734-5113.

Pumpkin Patch at Deltona United Church of Christ

Another Pumpkin Patch is opening Saturday, Oct. 3, at Deltona United Church of Christ, at 1649 Providence Blvd.

The hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, and 1-7 p.m. Sunday-Friday.

Bahá’ís to discuss rallying for racial justice

A public Zoom discussion on “How to Be a Racial-Justice Ally” will be hosted by the Bahá’ís of DeLand at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27. Dr. Rosemary Closson, an African American and retired associate professor of adult education, will moderate the discussion.

Heightened awareness of the mistreatment of Black Americans and the systemic racism behind it has awakened the consciences of people of goodwill.

A movement for racial justice has brought uncounted protesters to the streets of America and the world. But protests alone won’t achieve racial justice, the Bahá’ís say. “Blacks have protested for decades with limited results. They need supporting allies,” said local Bahá’í Gail Radley.

The discussion will focus on how supporters of all races can educate themselves and develop tools and strategies to achieve racial justice and an equitable society through building human unity.

Please see the national Bahá’í statement “Forging a Path to Racial Justice” in this week’s Beacon and join the Zoom meeting at https://zoom.us/j/8784245248.

‘Journeys on the Path to UU’

First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand is continuing to have virtual services at 10:30 a.m. Sundays. In striving for knowledge, Unitarians are an open-minded, open-hearted spiritual community that helps people lead lives of justice, learning, love and hope. They look forward to sharing their light and love.

On Sunday, Sept. 27, the topic will be “Journeys on the Path to UU.” This is a favorite service, where members share their own spiritual beginnings and the path, sometimes winding, that led them to UU and the church community.

Come join as three of the church’s members/friends will share those personal experiences with others.

1st Christian Church to have service on finances

As members and guests of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand are worshipping again in the sanctuary, the topic of the Sunday, Sept. 27, service is “Realities of Life … Finances,” based on Ecclesiastes 5:10-6:6.

At 7 p.m. Wednesdays, the Rev. Elizabeth Carrasquillo leads a Zoom Bible Study on the Book of Ephesians. Those who are interested may call the church office at 386-734-0677, 8 a.m.-noon, Monday-Friday, to be put on the Zoom invitation list.

The Sunday church service is also on Facebook and the church website for those who cannot attend the worship service in person.

First Pres DeLand now meeting in person

First Pres DeLand gathered together for worship in person Sept. 20. The church will again gather with open doors on Sunday, Sept. 27, to worship the Living God. First Pres meets at 9 a.m. in the fellowship hall for a contemporary worship service and at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary for a traditional service. Communion will be served at both services.

The following protocols for in-person worship will be followed: You will be directed to a single entrance into worship and a separate exit point, your temperature will be taken 

 

 upon entry, hand sanitizer is available, and masks are required.

Seating will be arranged or identified for safe distancing. For those of you who are not ready for worship in person, you may still view First Pres’ prerecorded service on the website at http://www.fpcdeland.org or on the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FirstPresbyterianChurchDeLandFl.

Pastor Michael Bodger will be concluding a five-week sermon series on the principles of the book Neighborhood Church by Krin Van Tatenhove and Rob Mueller. Basic principles of being good neighbors are applicable to the church but also to our own lives. Two themes have permeated the journey: boundaries and relationships. Past sermons can still be viewed on the church’s website.

First Pres is excited to have Katie Conner joining its ministry team for the next three months. Katie is a seminary student at Dubuque Seminary. She will be involved with leading worship, preaching, pastoral care and student ministries.

Presbyterian Women Circles began meeting this month at First Pres. This year’s study, “Into the Light, Finding Hope Through Prayers of Lament,” is a study to help us live faithfully through these difficult times. There are seven active circles meeting at different times and in different locations. To find out more information about PW circles or if you are interested in joining one, call the church office at 386-734-6212.

The church office at 724 N. Woodland Blvd. is currently open 9 a.m.-noon Monday-Friday, or you may call for an appointment at a different time.

Trinity UMC celebrates 125 years

Trinity United Methodist Church in DeLand is celebrating its 125th year in ministry. In order to celebrate this historic milestone, the church decided that each month for one year, they would support a local charity or group of people with a collection of “125” somethings. This journey began December 2019 and, to date, the estimated value of donations is $13,493.64.

“Our collections have far exceeded expectations as you can see from the list below. In spite of a pandemic that has kept us from worshiping inside our building since March 8, our collections are still going strong,” said Conya Hartman, director of music and worship. “Trinity has a long history of supporting missions and local outreach. We look forward to starting the next 125 years of ministry as we strive to fulfill our vision of ‘Disciples creating disciples through the transforming love of Jesus.’”

Donations include:

December: The church collected 220 blankets and 30 sheet sets for the homeless.

January: The church collected 600 pairs of socks and raised $523 for Citrus Grove Elementary School children.

February: The church collected 160 packages of snacks for Citrus Grove teachers and staff.

March: The church raised $485 for HOPE (Helpers of People Enslaved).

April: The church had a total of 123 service hours.

May: The church donated four trunkloads of food and $2,500 to the Stetson Food Pantry.

June: The church donated two canisters of baby formula, 26 packages of baby wipes, one baby monitor, 1,318 diapers and $635 to Grace House Pregnancy Resource Center.

July: The church donated enough supplies to assemble 70 blessing bags that will be handed out to those in need, as well as $565.

August: The church donated 18 gift cards, 15 backpacks with school supplies, and more than $580, which was donated to the Department of Children and Families and the police force to help buy necessary supplies for children in need.

“We wanted to emphasize our history of generosity by collecting 125 things each month to give away. It has been amazing to see the church at work and how much this congregation has given. All of our efforts have passed our initial goals, and people in DeLand and beyond are being cared for. I’m proud to be the pastor of such a generous and loving congregation!” said Pastor Todd Bardin.

If you would like to learn more about this challenge, check out the website at www.trinitydeland.org/125-anniversary.

Despite the pandemic, the church remains strong and invites members of the community to join them for their weekly drive-in service, at 9 a.m. Sundays at 306 W. Wisconsin Ave. in DeLand.