Gospel Gazette: March 2022

Into the Wilderness: As the Lenten season begins, we look back on our accomplishments and ahead to our mission.

This Month
  • Pastor David Averill reflects on our congregation’s accomplishments
  • Lenten Devotionals are here!
  • Intergenerational consultant
  • Order an Easter Lily
  • Summer Camp Registration
  • Living Love 2022
  • Lake Cares Food Drive
  • Barefoot College Scholarships
  • Spring Show Outreach
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Letter from the Pastor

March winds carry renewed vigor and hope of the new life

that spring brings. During the season of Lent that begins on March 2 with Ash Wednesday, we recognize renewal through prayer, fasting, and reflection that deepens our faith. Throughout the season, we will explore the story of the Exodus, and how it foreshadows the life, ministry, and death of Christ. Just as the Exodus describes a journey in the wilderness, I want to describe how our communal journey past the pandemic offers signs that the Promised Land is ahead. Consider these accomplishments:

  • A $37,000 renovation of tech ministry and worship tech has begun. $15,000 of this was made possible by a memorial gift from June Watters in memory of her husband, Vasco.
  • We read the Gospel of Matthew in 58 days with an outreach of nearly 50 people per day across all platforms. The Bible Study also had engagement of 16 people in person and another 10 to 15 people per week online.
  • Boy Scout Troop 19 celebrated its centennial anniversary in service on February 13. East Central District Superintendent, Rev. Dr. Bob Bushong was present among other dignitaries for the worship celebration. The City of Mount Dora issued a proclamation for Troop 19, one of Florida’s oldest active Boy Scout troops chartered by a United Methodist Church.
  • Establishment of the Amy Bolt Memorial Music Fund with a donation of $25,000 by the Bolt family in her memory. Initially, the music fund will fund a nearly $5,000 tuning and repair for our handbell instrument set.
  • Nineteen church leaders and staff attended a vision retreat with the Rev. Dr. Jim Harnish as a guest speaker. All were inspired and filled with hope for our future, establishing a compelling vision for the church’s 150th anniversary in 2030.
  • Our church is a sponsor for Mount Dora Babe Ruth, and will have a banner in the outfield of one of the baseball fields near the Mount Dora Aquatic Complex for 2022.
  • A team of 12 youth and adult volunteers will travel to Costa Rica in June 2022 for a week of mission and serving with Praying Pelican Missions.
  • A $7,000 renovation has begun of the basketball court in the Friendship Hall parking lot for the youth ministry, and a community outreach where hundreds of young people will play basketball each year.
  • Five young people are scheduled to be baptized at our second annual Beach Baptism Day on April 3.

So much to celebrate that has been accomplished thus far, and so much to celebrate that has not yet been accomplished in our wandering through the wilderness of life.

With Joy on the Journey,

Pastor David Averill

Lenten Devotionals are Here!

Please pick up a copy of our 2022 Lenten Devotional, Walking with Jesus Through Lent. Print copies are available at the Head Usher’s table, and a digital version is available here. A special thank-you to the 37 members who contributed a devotional entry, and to Janet Westlake for coordinating efforts to make this possible.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Those who picked up a print copy of the Devotional last week, please note that there is an updated version with some minor corrections now available for pickup.

Support for Ukraine through UMC Advance Funds

United Methodist Global Ministries’ Advance #14053A supports pastors in Ukraine and Maldova. advance.umcmission.org Donations labeled “Ukraine” will be split 50/50 between UMCOR and those pastors.

Order an Easter Lily 

We will be ordering Easter Lilies again this year. Watch for the order blank attached to Stepping Stones beginning Sunday, March 13. They will also be available in the church office. The cost is $8.50 each. Also, this year, we will print a list of memorials and honorees to be distributed on Easter Sunday. (Cutoff time to order will be Monday, April 4.)

Intergenerational Consultant

In our efforts to reach all of the households in our community, we are working with a consultant who specializes in intergenerational ministry. If Rev. Cooper contacts you about being in a zoom focus group, please consider participating.

Living Love 2022

Our community needs to experience the love of Jesus. We need to experience the grace that comes when we serve. On Saturday, April 2 we will merge the two together to be Living Love for our community!

At 9am, we will meet in Friendship Hall and receive our assigned worksites. Projects may include landscaping and sanitizing, delivering gifts to public servants, making crafts with kids, and creating cards for shut-ins, or cooking lunch. After serving and loving our neighbors, we will return to Friendship Hall for lunch together.

We LOVE GOD, and we LOVE OTHERS! Now let us do that together as a community. All ages are needed. All participants will receive a free T- shirt! Sign up by March 27 by calling the office or emailing janet@mtdorafumc.org.

College Scholarships: 2022-2023

Applications for qualified students are available on the youth website or the church office. The applications are due in the church office by Mar. 31. Contact Dylan for more information.

Lake Cares Feeds Our Community

Our mobile distribution site provides groceries for 40-48 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, March 27. Grocery bags and a shopping list will be available on March 13.

Summer Camp Registration Happening Now!

Our third through twelfth grade students will attend Warren W. Willis camp  June 27–July 2. The cost for a week is $550. The required deposit of $75 is paid through the camp website. Students active in Footprints or Barefoot will qualify for $275 in S.A.Y. It With Love funding toward the cost of camp. warrenwilliscamp.org

Spring Show Outreach

If you have three hours to volunteer, you can make a difference in someone’s life during Mount Dora’s Spring Show, March 19-20. We need volunteers to greet people from the Welcome Center on the front sidewalk, guide people to the bathrooms, and highlight our stained glass windows. Knowledge of the windows is not required.

Saturday Shifts: 8:30-11:30am; 11:30am-2:30pm; 2:30-5pm

Sunday Shifts: 12:15-2:30pm; 2:30-5pm

For more information or to reserve a time slot, contact Janet Westlake.