On Sunday, May 20th, we got to hear from 8 of our graduating high school seniors. They told stories of their faith formation through our church and through our vibrant family. They told stories of being Christ-like servants, gracious hosts, and passionate seekers through a myriad of our programs and ministries. Then, as a church, we prayed over the students and their families, finally following through on our baptismal vow:
With God’s help we have proclaimed the good news and have walked with you by the example of Christ. We will surround you with our prayers, that you may continue to grow in your trust of God, and be found faith in your service to others. We will cheer you on, that you may be true disciples who walk in the way that leads to life.
As we strive to serve in the image of Jesus the Christ we become aware that Jesus prayed unceasingly for others. There is a community of believers in our church who pray for members. This Intercessory Prayer group receive a list of individual prayer concerns and joys weekly from Rev. Gary Rideout.
Another small group who intercede in prayer on behalf of our community is Gathered In His Name. This group uses the prayer list but also prays for our church leadership, our mission teams, specific ministries, and world social justice issues.
As a congregation, we are all called to pray for those whose names are in the bulletin each Sunday. We are not given the specific prayer concerns, but we can ask God to bless these individuals. It is a privilege and honor to pray for others. By doing this we are caring for and supporting members of our vibrant family through God’s grace.
If you have a prayer request or if you are interested in joining one of these groups, contact Rev. Gary Rideout at [email protected]
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20
In order to be a Vibrant Family—its members must be equipped and help equip others to stay healthy so that we will have the strength, energy and endurance to serve in the image of Jesus the Christ. To that end, 40 team members from First United Methodist Church Winter Park recently completed a Move 60 Challenge competition. Our team was composed of our pastors, staff, and laity.
Move 60 Challenge is sponsored by Healthy Central Florida and funded by Florida Hospital and the Winter Park Health Foundation. There were 187 teams from Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville. This 60-day challenge is designed to motivate and to get people moving by recording steps for 60 days. Participants could do a variety of activities, in addition to walking, which was converted into steps. Activities such as biking, swimming, dancing or gardening were activities that many of our members did instead of walking or running – it was all about moving and being active. Through the 60-day challenge, members developed good regular practices that hopefully will continue once the competition was over. First UMC of Winter Park has won last three competitions over the past year, having the most participants who successfully completed the competition. We are looking forward to the next challenge!
The frequent use of Viagra causes addiction, and common generics can’t help; the dose must be increased.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own: you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
As we are living into our vision of being a vibrant family, there are several on-going conversations within our church. One of those conversations is about the South Street property, Trinity Christian Academy (TCA), and the Foundry Orlando.
South Street Property. We know the original agreement with the Florida Conference regarding the South Street property stated that the property reverts back to the Conference should we choose to not use the facilities. The South Street facility is aging and in need of serious renovations. Earlier, a feasibility study found that to maintain the building, there are over $400,000 worth of repairs necessary. With this in mind, our Trustees recommended, and Leadership Council approved, that we leave the South Street property due to the amount of resources required to maintain it.
Trinity Christian Academy. Earlier this year, we announced the relocation of the TCA preschool ministry to the facility that formerly housed Reeves UMC. Even though that church is now closed, TCA is still transferring to this location for the start of the fall school year. This property transfer allows for more classrooms and an overall increase in facilities – all for less cost than the school was paying at the South Street location. With the location change, there is an increase in registration for the fall school year and many age groups are waitlisted for enrollment already! For more information on TCA, click here.
Foundry Orlando. We know that our former South Street ministry is continuing under the new name of the Foundry Orlando. This new approach to serving youth in the Orlando area aligns with our church’s vision of being Christ-like servants. Next week, we are presenting a proposal to the Florida Conference about the location, future resources, and long-term sustainability of the Foundry ministry. For more information on the direction for the Foundry Orlando, click here.
Continuing the Conversation. We are currently exploring ways to strengthen TCA by broadening ministry opportunities at the Reeves location. Now that Reeves UMC is closed, Pastor Patti Thue is assisting us in the smooth transition of TCA to the Reeves facility. She is currently working on behalf of the East Central District of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. Our church vision, that launched in January 2018, offers our ministries a refreshed direction for growth and service.
As we strive to live into our vision, we remember our call to be like Jesus, serving those in need. Our own Panua Partners in Hope ministry in Naivasha, Kenya, has been working diligently through the year to be good stewards of God-given resources as we serve orphaned and vulnerable youth. In the US and Kenya, Panua has seen amazing transformation take place in the lives of challenged youth in Naivasha, and in the hearts of our prayer partners here in the US. Panua’s stories of hope and success continue to inspire us all.
The Panua Executive Board is pleased to present our 2017 annual report. We are humbled by the continued progress of our Panua youth – persevering through difficult & hopeless days, to see that God is truly at work in their lives and is offering transformation. Please click anywhere on the image below to view the report in its entirety and see how God is transforming lives in Naivasha, Kenya and here in the US.
Kinfolk + Covenant House BBQ Picnic By Caroline Miller
I started officially interning with Kinfolk in August 2017 as their volunteer outreach coordinator. This has been a great opportunity for our church’s young adults to serve non-profits in the Orlando community. When I started my other internship at Covenant House Florida in January working with their transitional housing program, Rights of Passage Apartment Living (ROPAL), I noticed that there was not a lot of opportunities for the ROPAL youth to engage socially with each other. After speaking with Jon and my supervisor at Covenant House, we came up with the idea of having Kinfolk host a barbecue picnic for the youth.
After much collaboration, we organized to meet at Mayor Carl T. Langford Park in Downtown Orlando. We grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, played corn hole, and just had an enjoyable day together. The youth who were able to come had not had the opportunity to even meet each other, and two of them came to find they were neighbors! It is so important for this youth to have a system of support during this stage of their life, just like the support I have been so fortunate to have with our Kinfolk ministry. It could not have been a more beautiful day. Overall, it was a successful example of the message Kinfolk is built on, our lives truly are holier when they are shared together.
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