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Living Love Opportunity


Join two great studies


Lake Cares Food Drive

OCT 2021

Through the Storm Navigating through God’s mission and preparing for new voyages for the cause of Christ

CONTRIBUTORS Rev. David Averill Senior Pastor

Janet Westlake

Minister of Discipleship

Scott Spradlin

Director of Music Ministries

Dylan Reed

Dir. of Youth & YA Ministries

Debbie Sprague

Secretary & Office Manager

Rheya Tanner

Communications Coordinator

SERVICE TIMES Early Traditional 8:00am Contemporary 9:30am Late Traditional 11:00am CONTACT 352-383-2005 URGENT AFTER-HOURS: DIAL 2 OFFICE HOURS Mon–Thu 8:00am–4:30pm Fri 8:00am–12:00pm Sat–Sun Closed ADDRESS 439 E. Fifth Ave. 440 E. Sixth Ave. (mailing) Mount Dora, FL 32757 SOCIAL MEDIA @FirstUMCMountDora @FirstUMCMtDora @FirstUMCMtDora FUMC MtDora

STAY IN TOUCH! If you have new contact information, if you have become hospitalized or ill, if there is something you need prayer for, or if you have any questions, please contact us at any time.


2 Kings 2 tells us of the passing of the prophetic mantle from Elijah to Elisha. I began my tenure by preaching about the prophet, Elisha. Three months prior, you had experienced the unan ticipated resignation of your beloved pastor of 14 years, Rev. Gary Upleger, due to a medi cal emergency. Gary is now our pastor emer itus, and he will be your Elijah in retirement. He is someone who has left a lasting legacy. I am grateful to carry on that mantle as an “Elisha” for this church. In the uncertainty of the beginning of 2021, I am grateful for you welcoming me into your midst. Ten months later with our church con ference on October 10, I feel like I am gaining my sea legs. Jesus is definitely the captain, but I am grateful to serve as one of His lieu tenants. What I have realized is that you, First Church, are a strong and sturdy ship. You are blessed with a dedicated crew in your staff and lay leaders. You have weathered a significant storm. You are ready for calmer waters. Through the storm, we have accomplished the following together since our last church conference in November 2020: · We distributed food to over 800 families in partnership with Lake Cares. · We baptized and/or confirmed 12 children and young people in the Christian faith.

/ Mount Dora First United Methodist Church

· We awarded $11,000 in scholarships to 11 graduating seniors and college students. · We shared God’s Wonder Lab with over 90 children in July during Vacation Bible School. · We gave over $90,000 for renovation of 24 stained glass windows in three months. · We pursued close to $40,000 of renova tions in the Christian Education Center; recruited over 30 volunteers; and collected hundreds of items as we prepare to open the “5th Avenue Thrift Shoppe” to support local and global missions. While our in-person worship attendance and giving have not recovered to pre-pan demic levels. We continue to maintain a strong online worship presence, and we hope the 5th Avenue Thrift Shoppe will support our commitments to missional and connec tional giving. On October 31, we will commemorate the lives of members who transitioned in the last year to the church triumphant on All Saints’ Sunday. We will honor their contributions to past voyages, and prepare for new voyages for the cause of Christ. We remember that Jesus is always in the boat with us as our captain. Without fail, Jesus will guide us to the heaven ly harbor like the saints who sailed before us.

You, First Church, are a strong and sturdy ship. You are blessed with a dedicated crew in your staff and lay leaders. You have weathered a significant storm. You are ready for calmer waters.

Ready to Set Sail,

Pastor David Averill / October Gospel Gazette /


Living Love: Trunk Or Treat On Sunday, October 31 from 3-5pm, children of all ages (accompanied by an adult) from our community will come to our parking lot for a safe, supervised trick-or-treating event. Last year, we had between 250 and 300 attendees. Here are three ways you can help: 1. Invite a family! Participants are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to Lake Cares. Friendly costumes only. COVID-19 masks required. 4

/ Mount Dora First United Methodist Church

2. Decorate the trunk of your vehicle and sit next to it to distribute candy to children. We encourage you to theme your decorations and wear a costume! A prize is awarded for the best trunk. Contact Dylan Reed or the church office to reserve your parking space. 3. Donate candy for the event. Drop off any Halloween candy to the church office or the Fifth Avenue entrance.

WHY VOLUNTEER DURING THE CRAFT FAIR? • It encourages others and extends radical hospitality to them. • It strangthens the volunteer’s personal faith. • It allows us to tell Christ’s story and show God’s love and grace to the community. Volunteers are needed during the annual Craft Fair (Saturday, Oct. 23–Sunday, Oct. 24) outside at the Welcome Center and in the sanctuary to greet people, guide them to the restroom, and give tours of our stained glass windows. Saturday shifts are from 8:30-11:30am, 11:30am-2:30pm, and 2:30-5pm. Sunday shifts are 12:15-2:30pm and 2:30-5pm. Tour guide training is available. For more info or to reserve a slot, contact Janet Westlake, Minister of Discipleship, at

Step 1 Membership

Pastor David will hold a new membership class Oct. 3, 4-5:30pm in the Chapel. Contact the office to sign up.

Attention GivePlus App Users! The GivePlus app is closed as of October 30, and is being replaced by Vanco Mobile. Download the Vanco Moble App on the App Store or Google Play. All recurring gifts currently scheduled will be made. This change will not impact online donations.

Preorder Your Cookbook! The Church Cookbook Committee is proud to announce that it’s finally time to preorder Flavored with Faith, which contains 388 of our church members’ favorite recipes. To help us determine how many copies to print, we encourage you to let us know if you are planning on purchasing one. Please contact the church office or pick up a preorder form at the head ushers’ table. No payment is required at this time. FLAVORED WITH FAITH IS AVAILABLE FOR A DONATION OF $15. THE FUNDS RAISED WILL BE PUT TOWARD LAKE CARES FOOD PANTRY AND CARPENTER’S HOUSE.

A special thank you from UMCOR The dear people you have helped with your gift to UMCOR may never have the opportu nity to meet you, but if they did, I am certain their response would be, “Thank you!” Through your financial support, you are serving within a vital network of interactive relationships in the U.S. and in more than 60 countries in which UMCOR and partnering agencies engage in direct ministry to persons in need. May we continue to reveal the love of God for men, women, and children of all ethnic, racial, cultural, and national back grounds and to demonstrate the healing pow er of the gospel with those who suffer. Grace & Peace, Roland Fernandes, General Secretary (FYI: to date, this year, our congregation has contributed $4,574.00)


/ Mount Dora First United Methodist Church


Saturday, October 23, 8:15am–12pm at First UMC Orlando, 142 E Jackson St.

We are delighted to invite you to our first anti-racism event, “Awakening Hope,” an honest conversation about racism in the church. The hybrid in-person/virtual work shop will be an opportunity to explore how we can change our lens and find The Way to dismantling racism and becoming the Beloved Community. For those who attend in person, there will be appropriate social distancing and an expectation that everyone in attendance will wear a mask. Childcare will be provided for kids ages six weeks through fifth grade with advance registration.

Perform hymns and other beautiful arrangements at the Late Traditional service.

Handbell Choir


Learn handbell arrangements to perform during Sunday worship and special programs.

Praise Team


Perform contemporary Christian songs with a live band during the Contemporary service.

Children’s Worship Arts


Children will learn songs and dances to perform monthly on Sunday mornings and during our Christmas and Spring programs. CONTACT SCOTT SPRADLIN FOR MORE INFORMATION. / October Gospel Gazette /


Barefoot Calendar

Family Ministry Night WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6 / 6:30–8PM

We invite kids of all ages and their families during Wonderful Wednesday to join us out on the lawn for an evening of hamburgers, hotdogs, yard games, and giveaways. Register at

Wednesday Night Spooktacular OCTOBER 27 / 6-8PM

Come with your costumes, and be ready to get spooky! Prizes for best costume categories, a message from a new series, and more.

Coffee for a Cause WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6 / 6–7:30PM

Barefoot will be starting a fundraiser, partnering with Driven Coffee, to help students pay for their mission trips. This summer we will be going to Liberia, Costa Rica. Be on the lookout on certain Sundays in October where students will be serving this coffee for you to try and purchase! There will also be an online link so you can order from home. Visit to learn more.

For the latest information, signups and more, be sure to check 8

/ Mount Dora First United Methodist Church


In addition to our regular weekly studies, here are two new study options for Wednesday evening, both starting Oct. 13 Intentional Parenting: Ten ways to be an exceptional parent in a quick fix world / 6:30–8pm

Janet Westlake will lead a parenting class based on the book of the same name. The class is designed for new parents, as well as parents of children and teens. Children’s activities are available during the classes. Make a reservation by calling the church office or sending an email to

Revelation: A Book of Hope 6:30pm in the Chapel

Rev. Denman Jones will lead a Bible study on the book of Revelation. Rather than discussing what its images represent or map out the events of the second coming (no one knows anyway), Denman will show that John wrote Revelation to give believers hope, particularly in a future that is not looking so bright. All are welcome to attend this 6-week study. / October Gospel Gazette /


Widowed Support Group The death of a spouse is the No. 1 stressor in a person’s life. Therefore, we have brought back our support group for widows and widowers, led by Rev. Carl Greene and Ruth Ault, both of whom have walked the journey of grief. The group will meet at 9:30am on Thursdays, Oct. 23, Nov. 18, and Dec. 16. If you are or know someone in the community who has lost their spouse, you are welcome to be a part of this ministry. The group will support one another in this difficult journey with God holding our hands each step of the way.


2021 Charge Conference

Wonderful Wednesdays

2022 Flower Calendar

Exercise Classes

The annual conference will be Oct. 10, 4pm at First UMC of Deland, 115 E. Howry Ave.

Children and youth are welcome to join us starting at 6:30pm for worship and fun!

Add your name to the new Calendar in the Sanctuary to reserve your space.

Our free exercise class has been moved to Friendship Hall. See you there!

/ Mount Dora First United Methodist Church


Student Leadership

If anyone is interested in serving as a small group leader, please contact Dylan. We have openings for multiple male and female leadership.

Lake Cares Feeds Our Community

THE POWER OF A SHOEBOX Since 1993, Operation: Christmas Child, run by Samaritan’s Purse, has delivered shoebox gifts to more than 188 million children in over 170 countries. The project delivers not only the joy of what, for many kids, is their first gift ever, but also gives them a tangible expression of God’s love. Tens of thousands of volunteers from local churches around the world partner with Samaritan’s Purse to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ at festive outreach events where children are surprised with these shoebox gifts. Last year, our congregation filled 74 shoeboxes for low-income children around the world. You can help a child this year by filling any plastic shoebox with toys, gifts and hygiene items, labeling it with a suggested age and gender, and returning it to the Fifth Avenue entrance by November 14. Official Operation: Christmas Child shoeboxes are available in the church office if you prefer.

Our mobile distribution site provides groceries for 35-40 households twice per month, while the main pantry in Mount Dora provides food four days per week to families, seniors, and the disabled in our city. Help meet the need by bringing non-perishable food or a financial donation on Sunday, Oct. 31. Grocery bags and a shopping list will be available on Oct. 17.

Learn more about the initiative at / October Gospel Gazette /


Simple Ways to Give Online

Visit to access our quick and easy-to-use giving portal

In Person

Drop your envelope in our offering box at the front of the sanctuary on Sunday morning or mail/deliver your offering to the church office.

Vanco Mobile App

Download the GivePlus app on the App Store or Google Play

Giving Your Time

We value volunteers in our community, those who use their gifts and resources toward the glory of God. Contact Janet Westlake to learn how to volunteer with us.

Profile for MountDoraFUMC

Gospel Gazette: October 2021  

Gospel Gazette: October 2021  


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