First United Methodist Church

News & Devotions

Expanded Possibilities for Ministry

Living Into Our Vision

We continue to see movement and evolution with ministry at First United Methodist Church of Winter Park (FUMCWP) as we live into our vision of being a vibrant family.

Earlier this year we announced the development of the Foundry and some of the important transitions happening with Trinity Christian Academy (TCA), the South Street property, and the Reeves property. We are currently in the midst of discerning what the move from the South Street property to the former Reeves Memorial UMC property on Fern Creek means for our church family.

Let us open our hearts as we pray over the vision and future of our church family. As we seek to fulfill Christ’s commandment to make disciples, we aim to be “a vibrant family built on God’s grace, who share a passion for the Word of God, living and serving in the image of Jesus the Christ.”

Celebrating a Farewell to South Street Ministry

Our South Street Ministry was originally initiated as a way to reach our local community in Orlando. We celebrate and rejoice in the ministry that was accomplished over the years through South Street! However, the South Street property has become a real challenge for us. This Spring we conducted a feasibility study that revealed over $400,000 in necessary repairs over the next 4 years. In addition to that investment, annual funding needs continue to increase for that property – making it difficult to meet all the financial demands.

We recognize the importance of a ministry in our local community and Leadership Council asked a joint-task team of lay leaders from the ministry and the church to look at its future. A new program, objectives, and goals were set and not met. We are building on the lessons learned as we relaunch the ministry under the Foundry name. In addition to the development of the Foundry, TCA – one of our preschool ministries – is able to expand and grow into a new location starting this fall at Reeves. As TCA transitions properties, the Marcy Trust funded the majority of the necessary renovations for them to call Reeves, home!

Mark your calendars for the South Street Farewell Celebration on August 26th! Look forward to a gathering filled with food and celebration as we give thanks to the South Street Ministry and look forward to the continuation through the Foundry and Reeves property.

 Learning More About the Foundry

As a continuation of the Christ-like service at South Street, Foundry is developing! This ministry plays into our strengths of multi-generational connection and service. Further, the Foundry gleans insight from our excellent Panua ministry, based in Kenya. We aim to serve our neighbors while addressing a great need in our own city.

Many of you may be curious about the foundation of the Foundry. The intent is to serve those aging out of the foster care system. There is a significant, elevated risk of homelessness, drug addiction, and unemployment for those aging out of foster care. The Foundry seeks to offer mentorship in a team format. We believe that mentorship is the medium for building relationships that address employment, health, and spiritual needs. Through these relationships, we seek to support and connect young adults with our church family.

Learn more about the Foundry and the direction of this ministry here. If you’re interested in serving, please reach out to Pastor Craig at [email protected].

 Moving from the South Street Property to the Reeves Property

In collaboration with the Florida Annual Conference, here is some important financial information for our church family to consider. As we return the South Street property back to the Florida Annual Conference:

  • We will receive $25,000 annually from the Florida Annual Conference for the next 5 years dedicated to the Foundry.
  • We will receive $50,000 from the Florida Annual Conference initially to build a Foundry office at the Reeves Property.
  • The Florida Annual Conference will consider future financial support if and when the Foundry moves into the affordable housing aspect of the ministry in support of those aging out of the foster care system.
  • FUMCWP is removed from the upcoming financial obligations of repairing the South Street property.

Exciting Times at the Reeves Property

Earlier this year, Leadership Council and the Trustees initiated the TCA move from the South Street property to the Reeves Memorial United Methodist Church (Reeves UMC) campus in time for the Fall school year. As those plans were under way, our District Superintendent at the Florida Annual Conference made the decision to close Reeves UMC. However, the Conference’s decision to close Reeves UMC did not affect TCA’s move; but rather, it opened up opportunity for expanded ministry of our vibrant family. There are many ways we, at FUMCWP, can embrace this property to explore future ministry opportunities. Leadership Council has voted to explore these and a final approval will be sought through the Church Conference later this Fall.  Here are just a few of the possibilities:

  • Trinity Christian Academy (TCA): TCA has already received a warm welcome by the Reeves community through increased enrollment and waitlists for several of the classes! We look forward to expanding our vibrant family through this preschool ministry, opening our doors to the community and producing sustainable income.
  • Counseling Center: We have the possibility to host a center with multiple counselors of various disciplines that adds value for our church at large, preschools, families, and wedding ministries. Again, this becomes another entry point for membership into our church. The counselors would pay fair rental value for the office spaces (7-8 offices) and we’d be able to provide a part-time director and receptionist to support this ministry.
  • Dance Studio: Our Studio 150 dance ministry, currently located at FUMCWP, provides high quality dance training in a fun-filled learning environment. We could strengthen that ministry by providing a new space. Through the Reeves property, we would open the doors to the students across the street at the Orlando Gifted Academy. This dance studio would create income, ministry opportunities, and resources for both the local community and our church family.
  • Coffee House: Consider the value of having a gathering spot for the community, waiting parents, and counseling center clients! Imagine another connection point for parents picking up their children up at the Orlando Gifted Academy across the street. Further, a Coffee House would offer employment opportunities for clients of the Foundry and a point of connection in the community.
  • Celebrate Recovery: In addition to a Counseling Center and Coffee House, we have the possibility of building other ministries at the Reeves property. Historically, Reeves has hosted 12 step programs for years. As we bring a culture change to that property, we aim to make church connections more inviting. We know that the center of healing is based upon Jesus Christ as our higher power.
  • Foundry Office: Simply put, the Reeves property would be the location of the Foundry administrative offices.
  • Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON): By offering office space for this community ministry, we seek to increase foot traffic on the Reeves property. JFON offers pro-bono attorneys to help those with immigration challenges and further serves as an opportunity for our members to use their skills in service to others. This opportunity is a way to build connection with our church family and the community as we seek to expand new member opportunities.

Attend one of our Off-site Meetings August 14th and 16th or one of the Home Meetings August 21st and 22nd to dialogue with Pastor David as we explore expanding our ministry to Reeves, investing in our future, property considerations, and our long-term vision of ministry!

What’s next?

We invite you to take part in our celebration of ministry in the following ways:

  • Continue to pray for the future and the vision of our church family as we seek to be a vibrant family making disciples of all people. Share with us your prayer requests during this time of celebration and ministry renewal.
  • Plan to attend our Reeves Open House August 12th from 9:30am-2pm. See some of the exciting improvements of the Reeves property and how TCA is settling into the new classroom space. Use this opportunity to see the vision of this new campus.
  • Learn more about the Foundry and the direction of this ministry here. If you’re interested in serving with this ministry, please reach out to Pastor Craig at [email protected].
  • Mark your calendars for the South Street Farewell Celebration on August 26th! Look forward to a gathering filled with food and celebration as we give thanks to the South Street Ministry and look forward to the continuation of ministry through the Foundry and Reeves property.
  • Stay engaged with our church family by subscribing to our church-wide e-newsletter where we offer a Monday Memo (with weekly happenings) and the Thursday at Three (with stories of our church family). Subscribe.
  • Join us Sunday morning September 9th in between services to have an open conversation with Pastor David and Leadership Council to ask any remaining questions before our Church Conference.