First United Church of Christ, Orlando

Where Strangers Become Friends

Mission: OUR VISION STATEMENT: We strive to be followers of Jesus Christ who accept and love all of God’s children as we seek to faithfully serve God in this community.

Photos from First United Church of Christ, Orlando's post

During this time of uncertainty and practicing social distancing, Pastor Terry is committed to delivering weekly sermons via recording posted on the church website and on the church page.

Please feel…… More More free to listen in, share and repost for all those who would like to join in worship.

Whoever you are, wherever you are in life’s journey, you are welcome here.

https://www.firstuccorlando.org/sundayworshipaudiorecordings

Sunday, May 3, 2020 Worship Service

The 4th Sunday of Easter,
May 3, 2020
Enjoy our Worship Service

Hello Everyone, your church secretary has had quite a change of pace!! No more LOOOOOOONG days of working since Hallmark has closed (deemed non-essential at the moment) :( I’ve missed my ‘people’ interaction. Although I’ve done more exercising, more eating reading, watching TV, helping with organization/cleaning out rooms, etc., I have been bored at times. My normal routine has been ‘messed-up’. Some of it I like (no rushing to and fro), more laid back and lazy I could get used to this change, but I miss my peeps. And like Marliss, I miss laughing, with others, not to myself. lol I miss gathering as a congregation to worship the Lord. I want to keep up the new exercise routine (been riding my bike A LOT). BUTTTTT….. I want to be around people. You can only take so much ALONE time. lol Praying you all are keeping your sanity. I can’t wait for this quarantine to be OVER!!!! Share with me your thoughts of living in COVID-19 Quarantine.

Nina

I had a very enjoyable, fun and uplifting conversation with one of our deacons, Marliss Marchman. She says, ‘The fridge is a good friend’. (lol) She has been going for walks early in the morning, and doing well-care calling on a portion of the First UCC flock (all the deacons are participating in this one) Thank you!! Since masks have been almost non-existent, and she’s not one to sew, she has improvised.

Her bandanas and some rubber bands have come in quite handy.

I asked how her spirits were holding up. She said, ‘I miss laughing’. This was after she and I had shared a couple of COVID jokes we had run across over the past few weeks. We laughed and it felt good!! Laughing is so important to our demeanor. It is definitely good for the soul. She gets bored, even though there are a million things she could be doing, but it’s hard staying in and not seeing people. Her joy is being able to talk with her family who lives in California. May she get to do more of this. Thank you, Marliss, for sharing your thoughts while living under the Corona Virus quarantine. Let’s reach out to another and make each other laugh!!! It will lift your spirits. I promise!!

Daily COVID-19 Briefing from UCC - facts, not fear COVID-19

Daily Briefing from UCC's Humanitarian and Development Team separates facts from falsehoods and fear, supplying valuable information throughout the duration of the pandemic crisis. This resource is prepared by Barbara T. Baylor, MPH, Temporary Health Liaison serving on UCC's Wider Church Ministries - Humanitarian and Development Team.
DACA students excluded from COVID-19 education aid fund April 27, 2020

DACA students are not eligible for the U.S. Coronavirus Educational Stabilization Fund, according to new guidelines issued by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Today's UCC COVID-19 Daily Brief considers DeVos's ruling and asks advocacy with the White House and Department of Homeland Security to extend DACA protections due to expire this year.

Inject/ingest disinfectant for COVID-19? No way!

April 24, 2020
At Thursday's White House COVID-19 news conference, President Trump suggested that possible treatments for the virus might include the use of ultraviolet rays outside and/or inside the body, and ingestion or injection of disinfectants into patients to clean their lungs. Don't be deceived: Agents that are commonly used to kill the virus in the environment are toxic to the body when ingested or injected.

April 20, 2020
Do you have an Advance Directive? A 2017 Kaiser Family Foundation/The Economist survey found that most people have not set down their wishes in the event of serious injury or illness - including COVID-19 - that can result in incapacitation or death, and have not named a healthcare decision maker to express their wishes for their end-of-life care.

April 17, 2020
It should come as no surprise that “scammers” are taking advantage of people’s fears, needs and hopes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Calls, false advertisements, scam and hoax text messages and emails promise to speed your $1,200 check, or mandate that you test for COVID-19 online, to name just two current schemes. Learn how to recognize and report scams.

Dear Church, next Sunday, May 3rd, is Communion Sunday. Yes, it is disappointing that we are still unable to Break Bread together as a whole. But, I hope most of us are able to remember our Lord’s death, burial and resurrection in the peace of our own home. At this time, we would like to collect our Communion Offering that is set aside for Rebecca’s Pantry. Although the Pantry is not able to assist people at this time, we can ‘get ready’ for when we do open. We appreciate your donations.

Just a reminder that our offerings to
First United Church of Christ can be mailed to
PO Box 720625, Orlando, FL 32872-0625.

You may also use PayPal.

You can do this through your existing account or go to paypal.com to set up a new account and use the church’s email: [email protected]

Although we cannot meet, church is still up and running. Thank you for your faithfulness in your continued giving.

PRAY FOR

Our World
Our Country
Our Community
Those who have lost loved ones
Those who are suffering from Corona Virus
All Caregivers and First Responders

Good Monday Everyone,

It’s a beautiful day and the temperature and sunshine are just lifting my spirits – how about you? Such simple pleasures are so noticeable right now. Watching the bees on the flowers, listening to the birds sing, enjoying the scent as my night-blooming jasmine fades in the morning light. Just sweet and simple things that I have decided need to be savored. You have all probably figured that out long ago but well… sometimes I’m a little slow!

I like to read but have found that when I try to read a book, it’s usually when I’m tired at the end of the day and lying in bed so (as you may have guessed by the lead in) I fall asleep after one page. Takes a long time to read a book that way! So, my way of remedying that is to listen to audio books when I am driving or cooking. Recently, I have been listening to a book by Brene Brown in which she refers to another one of her books regarding guideposts to living “Wholeheartedly.” I found the 10 guideposts that she lists to be quite powerful (and useful to me) and I hope you will find them enlightening. I plan to highlight and relate each one to what the Bible says about it in my article to Musings for the next 10 weeks. Stay tuned!
#1 Cultivate authenticity and let go of what people think.
Are you real? Do you find it easy to be who you are?

Authentically who you are? Those are big questions and if you do not want to take the time to look hard and deep, you might fluff them off and think that they do not apply to you. Maybe they do not but I doubt it. I think those questions surrounding authenticity apply to everyone since (and I am assuming!) we are all human.

It is quite normal to not even realize when we are not being authentic because being guarded or hiding behind masks or walls has become a part of our nature. We often cannot see it anymore because it is a rock in our backpack of life that is always there, and we have gotten used to carrying the weight around. We were NOT born inauthentic. We were NOT born with the built-in response to hide our true selves; it is something we learned in order to be safe.

Somehow, along the way, we found out that being who God made us to be might get us rejected by other people in some way or maybe being authentic might show that we have some areas of vulnerability (which is often confused with weakness). So, we decide, that if we do not want the pain of (that might accompany) someone having an opportunity to poke at those tender areas of our heart and soul, we must put a hard-shell around them and hide within that safety. Hiding gets tiring. Do not misunderstand. I am not suggesting that we tell all to everyone; not everyone in life has earned that level of trust. What I am suggesting is that we let go of thinking that we need to be pleasing and acceptable to others even when we know in our heart of hearts that it is forced and inauthentic. But, and that is a big BUT, we have to be aware of what makes us tick before we can recognize where we need to open and let go.

There are two verses that I think are tied to this first guidepost. The first is what Paul wrote to his little buddy Timothy. In 2 Timothy 2:15 (Voice translation) he writes, “Timothy, do everything you can to present yourself to God as a man who is fully genuine, a worker unashamed of your mission, a guide capable of leading others along the correct path defined by the word of truth.” I love that. Be who God created you to be and lead others in that direction. Do not miss out in influencing the world in the truth with your true self. Who knows (only God does) how many times we miss the opportunity to be positive influences for growth when we stifle our authentic self in the fear that we won’t be what others want us to be? Maybe that’s just exactly it – we aren’t supposed to be what others may expect or want.

The second verse is from the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John 7:4 (Voice translation). “No one who seeks the public eye is content to work in secret. If you want to perform these signs, then step forward on the world’s stage; don’t hide up here in the hills.” Wow. Step up to the world’s stage? That could hurt. But do we avoid pain and choose to live with a chronic ache as we suffocate what is within us? Maybe that method is easier to bear, but at what cost? I hear Jesus in these words saying to open up, to live freely, to show the world how we have grown and how we have failed. Everything worth discovering has risks along the way of discovery.
So, that is my story for today on this 27th day of April 2020. Guidepost to living “Wholeheartedly” - #1 Cultivate authenticity and let go of what people think.

God bless,
Pastor Terry

During this time of uncertainty and practicing social distancing, Pastor Terry is committed to delivering weekly sermons via recording posted on the church website and on the church page.

Please feel…… More More free to listen in, share and repost for all those who would like to join in worship.

Whoever you are, wherever you are in life’s journey, you are welcome here.

https://www.firstuccorlando.org/sundayworshipaudiorecordings

[04/26/20]   Good Morning this April 26th the 3rd Sunday of Easter. Please enjoy this Worship Service.

Worship Service April 26th, the 3rd Sunday of Easter

[04/20/20]   Caring for Our Older Adults

Older adults in our community are particularly isolated right now. Yes, social distancing is important to keep the Coronavirus away from those most at risk, but that doesn’t make it any less difficult or lonely for those who miss seeing family, friends and care givers. There are many older adults in our community facing this crisis with little or no emotional support. We must do all that we can to support and provide care for this vulnerable population.

Please join us in supporting older adults during the Coronavirus crisis:

ASK-A-THERAPIST
MONDAY, 4/27, 2-3pm (EST)

Please register at lcsfl.com or call 407-644-4692

Our COVID-19
Crisis Response

Motivated by the grace of God, our mission is to support the emotional and spiritual health needs of our Central Florida community and reduce barriers to mental health resources.

We are in a place we have never been before as we cope with the impact of COVID-19. To support our community during these difficult days, LCS continues to accept new clients and provide face-to-face, online and phone sessions.

A free call-in line, 407-644-4692, ext. 5, is now available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3pm-5pm through April 30 for those in need.

We are all going through a difficult time right now. Most of us are 2 1/2 weeks into a stay-at-home order, and it's HARD! You may be feeling isolated or anxious or angry that your world has been turned upside down. We understand - and wanted to offer virtual support and encouragement to help you get through until some sense of normalcy returns to our daily lives.

Just a reminder that our offerings to First United Church of Christ can be mailed to:

PO Box 720625
Orlando, FL 32872-0625.

You may also use PayPal.

You can do this through your existing account or go to paypal.com to set up a new account and use the church’s email: [email protected]

Thank you for your faithfulness in your continued giving. Although we cannot meet, church is still up and running.

PRAY FOR Our World
Our Country
Our Community
Those who have lost loved ones
Those who are suffering from Corona Virus
All Caregivers and First Responders

Good Monday Morning,

Praying that this writing finds you all well. Frankly, although I am technically fine, I will be transparent with you all. I am over it. I’m over this COVID, COVID, COVID….maybe that’s not too pastoral of me and maybe some of you think that I’m supposed to at least (even if not authentic) keep up a good front so that I can hold you all up but it’s just not me. I’m over it… I think possibly, this may be therapeutic for all (in actual fact) that I speak what’s on many of your minds. Let’s face it, if I asked for a show of hands, how many would raise their hand at some (if not all) of the following:

- I want to go to church and sing with the choir and banter back and forth with Rev. Kim. I want to conduct the service in person, read God’s word, and deliver a sermon that is pressing on my heart while looking you all eye to eye and hugging you later.
- I want to sit on the stairs with the children and marvel at their cute little faces and hug them and make them laugh (as well as the adults).
- I’m tired of staring at the walls of my home… and yes, I’m grateful that I have a home but really, I’m over it.
- I want to just hug somebody. Not just chat on Zoom, or Teams, or wave from 6 feet away, I want to hug somebody until they scream “let me go.” I guess it would be a bear hug then right?
- I want to go to a restaurant and have a nice dinner with my spouse and have a chef cook it and a server bring it and a someone to clean up after it.
- I want to ….. please add your own because this list could go on ad nauseam.

So there, I have taken this opportunity to vent and speak my heart and, in the process, I’m guessing I have put some words to what you all are experiencing too.

God has taught us a lot through this. One thing I know for sure, is that God has driven home in me the need to be in relationship. The indwelling need to be connected with others must be expressed and satisfied. Truly, if we are to be one as Jesus prayed with his disciples the night of the last supper, then what we have all felt during this time of separation is like being cut off from our own body parts.

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” John 17:20-21

Oh, we will get through this eventually. I hope and pray that we will emerge wiser, more grateful and more forgiving then when we started out. I’ve also learned that we are all much more resilient than we may have thought we were. Give yourself permission to pat yourself on the back for having persevered. Hold tight to your faith and know that through all of it, God has stayed very close and yes, God has given you many spiritual bear hugs along the way.

See you all soon,

Pastor Terry

[04/19/20]   During this time of uncertainty and practicing social distancing, Pastor Terry is committed to delivering weekly sermons via recording posted on the church website and on the church page.

Please feel…… More More free to listen in, share and repost for all those who would like to join in worship.

Whoever you are, wherever you are in life’s journey, you are welcome here.

https://www.firstuccorlando.org/sundayworshipaudiorecordings

[04/19/20]   Good Sunday Morning this April 19th. I hope this Sunday Worship Service finds you well. Blessings this 2nd Sunday of Easter.

Welcome this 2nd Sunday of Easter 4-19-20

Worship Service

PRAYERS FOR OUR WORLD
Those who have lost loved ones
Those who are suffering from Corona Virus
All Caregivers and First Responders

Good Monday Morning after EASTER!!!

I hope all of you had a wonderful, sacred moment in your Easter Sunday celebration. For sure (it goes without saying) this Easter has been unique but nonetheless, it is what we remember that really matters. Jesus overcame and we can too.

The last two days of my devotional book have given me the impetuous for this article today. The first one focused on trust and the second was based on Jesus being the vine.
But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” Psalm 31:14

Trust is easy when life is going as we have planned or at least what we expected. But the reality is, we are called to trust over and over and over every moment. We are called to trust God with our lives, safety, future, you name it we must choose to trust.

As you may remember, there are many stories in the Bible about people who trusted but later got tired of trusting and rebelled against God (as if that makes any sense). Think of a few with me.

- There was the Israelites that cried out in anguish because of the way their life had gone in Egypt and sure enough, Moses came along (begrudgingly at first) and obeyed God. God sent sign after sign to the people and to the leadership of Egypt (pharaoh) until finally, they were freed. They (at the beginning) were grateful but it didn’t last, did it? Nope, sooner or later, they began to mumble and disobey and sure enough they stopped trusting.

- Jump a few centuries until we see Jesus guiding his flock. Yes, indeed, all the disciples trusted him while he was doing miracles, saving lives, changing water into wine. Things were remarkable and their choice to follow and trust was fairly easy to do until…. yup, until the going got tough. And you know how that went - betrayal, denial, hiding. Eventually, they did start choosing better and that’s why we know the stories today.
How about us? This time of our lives stinks in many ways. It’s unchartered territory. We don’t know how to navigate really because, well, we have no instruction book on how to step forward. We do know that God is always with us and we have a choice again. A choice to trust while doing our best to make the best of a tough situation. Is there something we are learning in this challenge? Maybe you have found something personally in your life that you can truly admit (to yourself) is the pearl in this. Or, maybe, we can see collectively some lesson, some good, some positive that is happening because of the forced changes to our lives. Whether we see the good or not are we still trusting God in every moment of every day? I hope so.

The second devotional verse in Jesus’ words is this:
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

That tells me that we also have another choice, first to trust and second to stay connected even when we waffle from trust to doubt and back. Hang onto the vine, stay connected to life.
Just my musings for this Monday morning. Keep safe and keep smiling my friends, we will see each other again soon.

God bless,

Pastor Terry

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Videos (show all)

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4605 Curry Ford Rd
Orlando, FL
32812

Opening Hours

Tuesday 09:30 - 11:30
Wednesday 10:00 - 13:00
Sunday 09:15 - 11:30
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