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Get a picture of University Carillon. Read developing stories about the people, ministries and events of University Carillon; and find details about the church’s worshipping communities and weekly schedule.

Bonneville Elementary Back to School Bash – August 2019

Nearly 100 students received backpacks and school supplies during this year’s Back to School Bash. Many also got haircuts and a chance to “shop” for free clothing and shoes in “Mim’s closet.” Bonus: Realizing the volunteer helping you pick out your supplies is your classroom Reading Buddy!

Testimony Night: Stories of Life Change – August 2019

University Carillon exists to help anyone and everyone become a follower of Jesus. Testimony Night gave us a chance to experience how that’s happening in people’s lives.

“Testimonies are a double-edged sword; they are for the sharer and the listener. They can sharpen the heart of the one proclaiming Christ’s victory in their life, and the hearts of those listening in,” said Kris Holguin.

In a low-key setting, interspersed with music, individuals of all ages shared stories of God’s working in their day-to-day lives.

A summer of service and support – August 2019

As a church, we exist not for ourselves but for those Jesus loves wherever they are found. Some come to us … and some we go to. Summers afford us a perfect time to capitalize on our ability to both WELCOME and GO (to be “sent”). This summer was no exception. Between June 3 and August 2, University Carillon’s people gathered and scattered … acting as the hands and feet of Jesus in ways that reached from our campus all the way to the Dominican Republic.

Here’s some of what happened:
· 949 kids/youth attended …
· 11 on-site camps and 2 off-site camps.
· 705 individuals volunteered is some capacity …
· giving 9,490+ hours …
· at 33 organizations/places.

Thank you for helping us to continue living out our mission in these ways!

Rise Against Hunger – June 2019

During the time we’ve been affiliated with Rise Against Hunger, we’ve packed more than 160,000 meals and raised the funds needed to ship those meals around the world to those in need of adequate nutrition. During our May 4–5 packing event, we exceeded our goal of 50,000 meals when our total topped 60,000. These fun and exciting packing days are helping RAH meet their goal of ending hunger by 2030.

Reading Buddies – June 2019

Now in its third year, our Bonneville Elementary School Reading Buddies program just wrapped up. UCUMC Reading Buddies served 60+ students and helped support teachers in preparing their students for end-of-year tests, improving overall language and literacy skills… and, in some cases, learning basic English. Bonneville’s ratings have improved, thanks to our involvement.
If you’d like to participate next year, please email our missions department at ElaineMyers@ucumc.net.

Upward Basketball – June 2019

The highest number of children ever—175—competed and grew in skills and faith through participation in our just-ended Spring Upward basketball league. The next league begins in August.

College & post-college young adults gather – June 2019

In addition to connecting and growing in faith, college students are meeting on Wednesdays to study the Gospels and post-college students are gathering every other Thursday night around the teachings of Philippians. [Info at VesselOrlando.net/events.]

Confirmation – March 2019

Confirmation is a journey for all Students (7th-12th Grade) that want to take eight weeks learning the foundations of what makes us followers of Jesus. The 32 students, multiple staff and volunteers focus on reading scripture, praying, asking questions, laughing, and making great memories as they unpack what it means to be a Christian in today’s world.

Volunteer Appreciation – March 2019

Once a year we take time to gather everyone who gives of their time and abilities to make the ministries of the church run, and we say thanks. This year our theme was JOY (because, if you lose your “y” it’s just a JOB!). In addition to learning why we don’t have the pastors do everything (because they’d mess it up royally!), we had some great food and a great time thanking all of you!

Spirit Night – March 2019

The University Carillon Early Learning Center cares for the educational, social and spiritual lives of 108 children from our community. They do this all on a very tight budget, so occasionally they invite us to support their work. On February 28, families and individuals had a great time eating at Chick-fil-A in Oviedo, with some of the proceeds going to the Univeristy Carillon Early Learning Center.

ACT2 – February 2019

Returning to some of the practices of the early church—teaching, fellowship, prayer and the breaking of bread—the ACT2 class shares in worship, teaching and communion, and more. Wednesday Nights at University Carillon are in full swing for the spring semester with a classes such as ACT2, A Firm Foundation and Financial Peace University.

On mission – February 2019

A night of mirth with stand-up comedian Justin Fennell kicked off our missions emphasis for 2019. Funds raised at this event, as well as a team that heads to the Dominican Republic on May 18, support the work of Rick and Barb Sucher (including a program that teaches women to sew and earn a living, and the feeding of children at Redemption Village and Las Piedras).

Another missions team heads to the DR on June 29 to visit an AIDS/special needs home, work in the Duquesa garbage dump neighborhood, and to do projects/VBS at Jackie’s House orphanage (which takes in many special needs children).*
*Application deadline is Feb 3.

Healthy Options in 2019 – February 2019

Fee-based services to provide care and enhance your health: The Brain Fitness Club is designed for persons experiencing early memory loss. Members of BFC engage in brain-healthy activities (mental stimulation, light physical exercise and socialization), including one-on-one therapy and individualized programming designed by graduate clinicians from UCF. The program runs on a semester format, meeting twice a week. Contact: BrainFitnessClub@UCUMC.net.

University Carillon has also partnered with Heart Peace Counseling Center to offer services for families, couples and individuals (including children). Heart Peace desires to help persons discover hope, healing and wholeness through Christ-centered professional counseling. Sessions are by appointment; see the CARE tab of the church website for more information. (Scholarship assistance may be available.)

Free, confidential service: Every Tuesday the mobile medical unit for The Pregnancy Center is stationed on our property for appointments (407.412.1952) or walk-ins.

Campfire Christmas – January 2019

Over 50 volunteers helped put together a night of s’mores, miniature horses, food, games, face painting, photobooth, Christmas crafts and more for the community on December 22. There were over 1,100 people in attendance to share in the fun and excitement that took place here on the fields at University Carillon.

Christmas in the City – January 2019

The holiday season is a time of joy, but many local families do not have the means to celebrate Christmas the way many of us are accustomed. Partnering with HOPE Helps over the past couple of years has seen great reward for the community of Orlando through the “Christmas in the City” event. Church communities and organizations from around the area came together to donate finances, gifts, haircuts, food, blankets, toys, and more at CITC to help over 300 families—around 550 children blessed on Christmas day. Thank you to all of those who helped support this year’s event.

Christmas – January 2019

Christmas at University Carillon was celebrated over seven services throughout the weekend—including Campfire Christmas, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Thank you to all who made the church a home to members and visitors alike this Christmas season.

Baptism – January 2019

During a Vessel service, Pastor Bobby asked people who say they were impacted by the life of youth intern Tori Haun to gather around her at her baptism on December 16th.

Our youngest “interns” – December 2018

About once a week, some little assistants show up in the staff offices after preschool at UCELC to help out with “duties as assigned.” Our friends helped put together first–time and thank you gifts for our volunteers. After they wrapped up, they prayed over the gifts and the people they were going to.

Children’s Ministry update – December 2018

Adventure Calling, volume 3, is finished! Make sure your kids pick up a copy of this original Advent story/workbook in their classes, or at the Information Desk in the lobby on weekends. Week one starts December 1–2. The link to parent resources can be found at www.ucumc.net/kids. (Volumes 1 and 2 are available on Amazon.com.)
We have new staff members! April Lattimer has joined us as the children’s ministry event coordinator. April is a long-time member of the church and has been active in our Friday Moms ministry and in support of our family-oriented FIVE community. She and husband Charles have three children. Jennifer Brown is starting as the children’s ministry administrative assistant. Jennifer has been a part of our Saturday worshipping congregation for several years and previously owned a Christian preschool in Oviedo. She and her husband have two sons.

The Pregnancy Center of Oviedo – December 2018

The Pregnancy Center of Oviedo did a trial run of operating their mobile medical unit from our parking lot on Tuesday, November 27. They will be here on a regular basis starting in January, offering confidential access to pregnancy tests and options-counseling for women and men. (Appointments at 407-412-1952.)

University Worship – December 2018

Here’s a look at some of last semester’s students hard at work learning new skills and growing in their personal life of worship and creativity. [Applications for the Spring 2019 semester are open now at UniversityWorship.com.]

Quenched – November 2018

Pallets of water from Second Harvest Food Bank (with thanks to their chair, University Carillon’s Michele Byington) and cases of water from Wesley at UCF and Vessel were distributed in the Lake Downey neighborhood (near Faith UMC) on a recent serve day. Wesley—a college ministry hosted at University Carillon—has been a presence in the Lake Downey neighborhood since July.

Using coupons to serve the military – November 2018

For years there has been a collection basket in the volunteer room for newspaper coupons; and for years, Linda Bradow has sorted and forwarded those coupons to Kaiserslautern Military Community Service Center in Germany. Service members are able to use those coupons to purchase food and necessary supplies in the commissaries and the Base Exchanges. The Army Community Service Center assists more than 55,000 service members and their families and they are grateful for our assistance.

Serving with Bikes – November 2018

University Carilloner Greg Wittmer founded the program that has made it possible for 6,750 children to get a bike for Christmas—including many kids from Bonneville Elementary School. The Christmas Bike Program raises money to purchase brand new bikes, helmets and locks for children in need in Central Florida. Every penny raised goes directly to the mission; there are no paid employees, no office space, no overhead … just smiling kids on Christmas morning. A foursome from University Carillon played in the ninth annual golf tournament fundraiser (or at least tried … it was rained out); and University Carillon sponsored a hole. (See www.BikesforChristmas.org.)

Goals – October 2018

This fall we’ve registered our largest leagues yet—basketball grew to 125 kids and our soccer league, kicking off now, has 270 kids in teams. Recreation Director Jesse Bachman says, “It’s been really great to see the community that has been built with the leagues … and seeing that spill over into church services and events.”

Addressing Growing Edges – October 2018

This fall, University Carillon hosted several opportunities to grow in faith and spiritual discipline.

Rev. Alan Poole, a retired pharmaceutical-executive-turned-minister from England, led us in a week of gatherings to learn more about prayer. In addition to sharing his own pilgrimage into a fuller life of prayer, Rev. Poole and his cohorts taught on prayer and fasting, silence, solitude, personal prayer and praying in the spirit. (You’re invited to take advantage of two ongoing opportunities to engage in prayer at the church and for the church—Tuesdays and noon and Sundays at 9 am.)

Dr. Joseph Okello, associate professor of philosophy of religion at Asbury Seminary, led us in an exploration of the issues of pain and suffering in our world. After giving us some theological underpinning, Dr. Okello opened the floor for questions such as Where is God in my pain? How can God be good and all-powerful if there’s so much evil in the world? Can I still trust in God’s goodness when life isn’t good? We will continue to walk together through such questions where there are no easy answers.

On October 20 (8:30 AM‒2 PM), Heart Peace Counseling Center will offer a practical follow-up to the belief-based considerations of dealing difficult issues as they present a seminar entitled Hearts Unshaken: Powerful Principles to Overcome Life’s Challenges. The day includes keynote presentations, worship and a self-care “tune-up.” Tickets are available at www.HeartPeaceCounseling.com or by phone at 877-515-7775. (Heart Peace also offers individual and family counseling on site at University Carillon.)

After-9 Brunch – October 2018

This new relationship space at University Carillon is a meal-based opportunity for those who attend the traditional worship service to enjoy networking and connection—while being served by other groups in the church (hosted here by the EPIC Youth this past month). Watch for news of the next After-9 brunch—we hope you’ll join us!

Inside Out Jail Ministry is us, inside & out – October 2018

Members of University Carillon are involved in all aspects of Inside Out Jail Ministry—an organization formed to help persons while they are incarcerated and especially as they prepare to reenter society. We are teachers, mentors, pen pals, worship leaders and rehabilitation guides. At the fundraising banquet in September, ISO raised $10,500 in cash and garnered pledges for an additional $7,000.

Recharge and Refuel – September 2018

Recharge and Refuel Several times each semester, we serve coffee and goodies to the parents of the children who attend our preschool (University Carillon Early Learning Center). The goal is to give the parents an excuse to slow down, enjoy a snack and have a conversation… with no strings attached.

Community Pantry – September 2018

You pick up a blue Community Pantry bag, take it home and fill it with mac & cheese, black beans, a few cans of Spaghettios … and bring it back the next weekend. Then what?

Here’s what happens.

Volunteers (often Gerry DeBelles) transport the bags over to Faith United Methodist Church off Dean Road in Union Park. There, Pastor Matt Findlay and others unload the bags onto shelves in anticipation of the 40-60 families from the surrounding community that will arrive the next Thursday—and every Thursday after that—in need of food. By the time we are filling bags again, the shelves are nearly bare.

Thanks for helping us support Faith UMC as they help people grow spiritually through seeking God, building family and feeding the community.

Wednesday Nights – September 2018

The hustle and bustle in the kitchen begins in the early afternoon as Miss Maria and her helpers cook main and side dishes, wash and pare vegetables, cut cakes, fill bowls with fruit, and do whatever else it takes to put on a wonderful dinner.

Elsewhere, our pastors and group leaders get ready for the classes that will follow the meal, and our children’s ministry team readies rooms and lessons for eager and energetic children. In the EPICenter, our youth team braces for the arrival of scores of middle schoolers.

Even if you can’t get here in time to enjoy a great meal (for a great price), consider joining one of our discussion-based classes for adults. (It’s not too late to start!) Take advantage of this opportunity to get a spiritual nudge in the context of community.

Back to School – August 2018

Back to School Thanks to your donations and volunteer hours, we outfitted 120 Bonneville Elementary School students with backpacks, school supplies, clothing and haircuts. Additional supplies were left at the school for late-registering students. We continue to partner with Bonneville through the academic year as Reading Buddies.

Embracing Opportunities – August 2018

When the whistle blows for the kickoff of the first quarter of the UCF Knights football games, volunteers at University Carillon will have guided up to 520 cars to their parking spots, handed out 800-1000 hot dogs and greeted hundreds of fans headed to Spectrum Stadium.
UCF built an on-campus stadium in 2007 (moving from the Citrus Bowl in downtown Orlando, where they had played since 1979), and the church found itself in a prime spot to park game-goers. (“We either had to prevent parking … or embrace it,” Pastor Chris says. “We decided to embrace it.”) That started one of University Carillon’s most visible and most enjoyable outreach opportunities.

Now, on any given football night, 7-10 people are on duty just to guide parkers, and 20-25 people show up to grill hot dogs, pass out food and water, and engage fans as they walk by the front of the church.
Not all who park here are from UCF. Many of the opposing teams have learned that University Carillon is a friendly parking venue, and now their alumni associations help us spread the word.

It’s work—no question—but game-day volunteers tend to be passionate about what they do. Steve “Hutch” Hutcherson has been volunteering at games since early on. He recently relocated to Ormond Beach, but hasn’t quit his job as a parker. He plans to drive back as often as he can to help out.
If you want to get in on this fun and impactful outreach opportunity, contact Thom to learn about the parking team (ThomFawcett@ucumc.net) or Pastor Chris (ChrisAkers@ucumc.net) to check out the grilling team.