Gospel Gazette: August 2022

Green Your Pastures: God is calling you to see the opportunity in uncertainty.

In this issue:

Pastor David Averill talks about what’s ahead for our First Church and the upcoming town hall meetings where we can plan our future.

  • How to be in our 2023 Church Directory
  • VBS: Huge success!
  • Upcoming classes and groups
  • Hospitality training with Janet Earls
  • Back-to-School events & opportunities to be living love
  • Music Ministry Meets: Fall kicks back into gear, and our creative ministries are kicking off along with it.

Read the digital flipbook »

Letter from the Pastor

A popular idiom in English is “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

The earliest versions of this phrase descended from a Latin proverb.

I remember my father always quoting this phrase in a different way. He would say, “The Grass IS NOT always greener on the other side”. Instead, he would tell me, “Bloom where you are planted.”

This quote is similar to Psalm 92:13 (NIV): “planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.” 

I think what my father and other sages like the Psalmist meant by this concept is that God wants us to focus on the circumstances we control. God wants us to make the best of our lot because our life is a short test in comparison with the beauty of eternity.

Moreover, Jesus taught us to make the most of what we have in the “Parable of the Talents” in Matthew 25:14-30. Take the talent we have and use it for the glory of God. In light of turmoil in our society and churches, it is easy to look at another church, and say the grass is greener on the other side. However, what if God is calling us to “bloom where we are planted” as First United Methodist Church of Mount Dora?

I hope you will join me on a discussion of the future of your First Church in Friendship Hall. My prayer is that we can discern together what is best for your local church. I look forward to honestly answering your questions to the best of my knowledge. You can email me those questions, or submit them anonymously on a notecard at the event or to the church office.

With the Love of Christ,

Pastor David Averill

“Future of Your First Church” Town Hall

August 21 & 24, 4pm. Pastor David will host a meeting in Friendship Hall to give everyone an opportunity to share their hopes, expectations, and concerns together. To submit a question or comment for Pastor David to address during the Town Hall, email david@mtdorafumc.org.

VBS: Huge Success!

Thank you to everyone who attended, volunteered or donated. You helped make our Jerusalem Marketplace extra special. With your help, we reached the following numbers:

114 participants

101 volunteers

$572 raised for the Cuba partnership

Our VBS reunion will take place Wednesday, August 3, 6pm at Gilbert Park with popsicles. Wear your VBS shirt!

Sign Up for Your Photos with Universal Church Directory

Universal Church Directory will be on campus September 8-10 and February 12, 14, and 15 to photograph our members. Every household that has their photo taken will receive a directory and a free 8×10. Packages of prints will be available for purchase.

Online scheduling is available now. (Church Code: FL807 Password: Photos). You may sign up on the front sidewalk on August 14 and 21 (9-9:30am and 10:30-11am) or call the church office and the staff will make an appointment for you. If you would like to volunteer with signing people up, signing people in the day of photography, or calling people, please contact the church office.

Upcoming Classes & Groups

Old Testament Essentials: Wednesdays, 9:30-11:30am beginning August 17. Janet Westlake will lead a study on Old Testament Essentials on Wednesday mornings in the chapel. Participants may pick up the $20 book and homework schedule in the church office. Daily homework is expected.

The Gospel of Mark: Wednesdays, 6:30pm beginning August 24. The Pastor’s Bible Study returns with a 16-week study on the Gospel of Mark. The in-person study will meet in the Chapel. To participate online through Zoom, email Pastor David for the meeting code. david@mtdorafumc.org

Wonderful Wednesdays: 6-8pm beginning August 17. Kindergarten through grade 5 can enjoy Worship Arts, Bible study, crafts and games. Grades 6-12 can enjoy worship, circle groups and fellowship.

Widowed Support Group: Fourth Thursdays, 9:30am. Meet in the chapel once per month. If you are a widow/widower, you are welcome to be part of this ministry.

Lake Cares Mobile Distribution

On August 5 and 19, our congregation will distribute food to 48 families at the King Center, 803 Florida Avenue in Mount Dora. We need additional volunteers to pull wagons for the clients. Lake Cares provides special food for children during the summer months as well as the regular food they provide. If you can help on the first or third Fridays, please arrive at the King Center between 7:30 and 8:00 am. We finish by 9:30 or 10:00 am. Community service hours are available to students. Children are welcome with their parents.

Summer Fun Nights

Sunday, August 7 is the day before school starts back up in Lake County. Make the most of it and show God’s love with one of these opportunities:

Carnival Games

Mount Dora High School is hosting a Back-to-School Bash with fun, games and prizes. Contact Janet Westlake if you want to help children play games and give out candy as prizes.

Pray for Our Schools

Churches throughout Lake County have committed to praying for every school at the same time. Meet at Mount Dora High School by the MDHS sign to participate.

Blessing of School Students and Personnel

Sunday, August 14. At all three services we will be having a special prayer session for students & school staff in our community and across the country for a safe and prosperous year.

Hospitality Training with Janet Earls

Sunday, Sept. 11, 4-6pm. Want people to feel welcome when they visit? Heard of people who worshiped without anyone speaking to them? Want to be a congregation that truly loves others? Join us at Hospitality Training with Janet Earls Friendship Hall. Everyone in our congregation is invited.

Janet Earls serves as the Florida Conference’s Office of Congregational Vitality as the Director of Church Vitality and Leadership Development. According to Bishop Carter, “Janet Earls has a deep spiritual commitment to lead others in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. She was a key leader in the growth of one of our larger churches in Florida, one of our denomination’s most vital churches, where she was a member. At the same time, she has worked as a coach alongside some of our most distressed congregations. She has experiences in corporate and congregational life.”

Join our Worship Ministries

With Autumn comes many opportunities for you to serve our Lord through the gift of music and other arts. If you’ve been wondering about being a part of these ministries, now is the perfect time to start! Contact Scott Spradlin, Director of Music Ministries, for more information. scott@mtdorafumc.org.

Celebration Choir 

Resumes August 17 / Wednesdays, 7pm. Perform hymns and other arrangements at the Late Traditional service.

Children’s Creative Arts 

Resumes August 17 / Wednesdays, 6:15pm. Kids PreK-Grade 5 learn songs and dances to perform monthly on Sunday mornings and during our Christmas and Spring programs.

Handbell Choir 

Resumes September 11 / Sundays, 5pm. Learn handbell arrangements to perform during Sunday worship and special programs.

Praise Team 

Thursdays 7pm. Perform modern Christian songs during the Contemporary service. 

Christmas Kickoff! 

Aug. 31, 6:30pm. Our choir meets in Sanctuary Hall for its first rehearsal for the 2022 Christmas Program. Celebrate the kickoff with refreshments.

Pre-service Music 

For experienced musicians to create a worshipful atmosphere before our traditional services.


Exciting new worship venue used to enhance our services periodically throughout the year

Visual Arts

Create backdrops, banners, and other visuals for worship


Help our AV team manage computer media, lighting, and online interactions during each service (training provided).