Monday, January 27 2020 by Matt Horan
Dear Members and Friends of Heritage United Methodist,
I’ve been trying to think about how to characterize 2019. It’s been difficult to pick the headline–the key moment or moments that would define this year of the church. Thankfully, it’s not difficult because you didn’t accomplish much! It’s difficult because you did!
Is it increases in our weekly worship attendance? Is it increased generosity by our congregation over last year? Is it increases in attendance at our Arts & Crafts Fair, Fall Festival, Drive-Thru Nativity, and Christmas Tree Lighting by hundreds over last year? Is it the increase in attendance on Christmas Eve by over 200 from last year? Is it over 300 people per week watching our worship services online? Is it the innovations in our Women’s Tea event, our website, our smartphone app, or our worship technology? Is it the increase in professions of faith? Is it the addition of fantastic new staff members leading our worship and student ministries? Is it a 20% increase in small group participation over 2018? Is it the Foster to Foster ministry that has grown to take over the entire C building to serve foster families housing children removed from their homes? Is it the homeless and poor who are fed by our Street Ministry team, or the 43 missionaries sent out on trips by our student ministry this year? Is it the completion of the SLI Vision process and the adoption of an exciting new vision for 2020 and beyond at Heritage? I think any of these would be a worthy headline–praise God that they’re all real results of your service and generosity in 2019!
On top of these, your generosity made college education possible for promising students in Africa through Africa University. You funded new church starts and new ministries spreading the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ across our district, and continued to fund ministries to college students at college campuses around the conference. (Jenna says thank you for funding the Wesley Foundation at the University of North Florida!) You funded missionaries planting churches of Jesus Christ and mission agencies providing for the needs of at-risk populations around the world; and provided hospital, military, and first responder chaplains for thousands of servants and families in need of spiritual care.
You funded the work of our United Methodist colleges in the Florida Conference, and provided scholarships to students to attend, Florida Southern College and Bethune-Cookman University. You helped to fund the formative youth camps around the Conference, including Warren Willis Camp in Fruitland Park and Centenary Camp in the Panhandle, among others. You provided funding for promising future church leaders to attend seminary and helped to fund the work of seminaries around the world. You funded disaster relief teams working with victims of hurricanes and earthquakes across the American Southeast and the Caribbean when you responded to the Bishop’s call to adopt Puerto Rico and the Bahamas as a part of the Florida Conference during their time of desperate need.
You could say that, in 2019, Heritage United Methodist made disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. That’s a headline I’m glad to read anytime.
Monday, January 6 2020 by Eric Johnson
These lessons will help you win with money:
• 09 Outrageous Generosity
Best thing we’ve done for our marriage – Tommy from ANCHORAGE, AK, December 15, 2019
We were blessed to have Financial Peace offered at our church early in our marriage. Thank God! We needed it. I’m the spender and my wife is the saver. Together we were in debt $17000. In our first month, we completed step one and in a little under a year, we were debt-free and have stayed that way. We have gone through two job losses, a flood in our house and the total loss of two vehicles and never felt so empowered to take care of it all and our family of five without going back into debt. Those early budget meetings were hard! We stuck to it anyway and that has provided huge payoffs! Thanks, Dave!
Wednesday, December 4 2019 by Matt Horan
Dear Students, Families, Members, and Friends of Heritage United Methodist,
I am excited to welcome Peggy Ingram to join our staff team as an Interim Director of Student Ministries at Heritage. Peggy brings decades of experience as a student ministry director, advisor, and coach at the church, district, and annual conference levels. She has also been a sought after presenter and teacher at conferences and trainings for student and children’s ministry directors; as well as a retreat speaker a gazillion times.
How did we land this student ministry legend, you ask? She was the director at Aldersgate United Methodist a while ago (no need to put years on it–we’ll just say that was before any of our current students were born… 😁), and attended several student ministry training events at Heritage. She then moved to Hyde Park United Methodist, where she recruited a young adult named Eric Johnson as a volunteer leader. Their families have been good friends ever since.
When the applicants for our opening didn’t yield candidates that were the right fit for us, I thought it was worth a try to see if it was possible to lure her over to help us in our season of transition, and I asked Eric to give her a call too to talk her into it, and it worked! The whole staff has been glad to have her on the team, and we’re thankful for the gifts, experience, and insights she brings to help us get a sense of where we are, and to envision where we could go in the future!
Wednesday, November 20 2019 by Curtis Paige
Mike and Charlie began attending Heritage in 2017 after moving to Clearwater from Texas. They quickly became active in the church and joined the Heritage staff in 2018.
Mike and Charlie are intricate parts of our Technology and Congregational care ministries at Heritage. Mike helps prepare and run the Sunday services in the Sanctuary, and Charlie helps Pastor Curtis to organize, send out, and attend to all of the needs within Congregational care. However, even with everything they already do for Heritage, when the need arose for help in a somewhat difficult ministry, they both rose to the occasion, as they always do.
A need arose for a couple to assist Daniel and Jodie Byrd with facilitating DivorceCare. We met with the Byrds and attended several DivorceCare classes. It became clear to us that the Lord was guiding us in that direction. We felt that with God’s help, we could support those experiencing the roller-coaster of emotions associated with separation and divorce.
Mike and Charlie continue to bless Heritage with their love, support, and generous attitudes. We thank them for answering God’s call in their life and being willing to share their experiences and life with others who are going through difficult times!