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

Quenched – November 2018

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

UCUMCer 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 UCUMC played in the ninth annual golf tournament fundraiser (or at least tried … it was rained out); and UCUMC 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, UCUMC 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 UCUMC.)

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 UCUMC 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 UCUMC 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 UCUMC’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 UCUMC 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.