Prayer Warriors Wanted
Are you—or someone you know—in need of special or extra prayer? If so, the Connect and Prayer Card, an insert into your weekly bulletin, may be for you. Written prayer requests are collected during the weekly offering, and they are prayed on immediately after the service in Sunday school room #8. A group of prayer warriors spend an intense 15 minutes lifting individual prayer requests up to God.

If you want to join our Prayer Warrior team, please come to room #5 immediately following next Sunday’s worship service.

New Members and Baptisms
In July, RUMC is planning a special service for new baptisms and for receiving new members into our church. If you would like to participate, please get in touch with Pastor Merritt when he returns from his vacation. Pastor Merritt would also like to begin a confirmation class in the fall, and if you have a child or teenager who needs to enroll, contact the pastor or the church office.
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Contribute Via AmazonSmile
If you shop online with Amazon, be aware that Riverview First United Methodist Church is now registered with AmazonSmile. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible smile.amazon.com purchases to our church. Just log into Amazon via the AmazonSmile link and indicate that Riverview First United Methodist Church is your charity of choice. Every time after that when you log into Amazon through smile.amazon.com a portion of the monies from your purchases will go directly to the church.

RUMC Book Club News
The RUMC Book Club is currently reading “Ordinary Grace” by William Kent Krueger. It is the story of the murder of a young Minnesota girl in 1961, and how her death impacted her family and her small community.

The RUMC Book Club meets every Saturday morning at 9:00 AM—usually at the home of Connie Mosley, 9720 Lorrayne Road in Riverview. You can contact Connie at 766-7104 for more information.
8002 U. S. Highway 301 South, Riverview, FL  33578  813-677-5995
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Normal Weekly Recurring 
Events at RUMC
(Call the church office at 677-5995 for more information about these or other events sponsored by the church.)

SUNDAY
9:00 AM Faith Groups for All Ages
9:00 AM Children's Choir
10:00 AM Refreshments & Relationships
10:30 AM Worship Service
11:45 AM Prayer Warriors
12:00 PM Hispanic Congregation Service
6:00 PM Youth Band Rehearsal
7:00 PM R. U. S. H. (Youth Group) Meeting

MONDAY
11:30 AM Women's Bible Study, Room 6
7:00 PM Cub Scout Pack Pack 83

TUESDAY
10:00 AM RESTORE Food Bank and Thrift Store Open*
6:30 PM  Boy Scout Troop 83
7:00 PM ESOL & GED Classes

WEDNESDAY
6:30-7:30 AM AA Meeting
6:00 PM Potluck Dinner and Fellowship
6:45 PM Children & Youth Activities
6:45 PM Pastor’s Bible Study
6:45 PM Hispanic Church Bible Study
7:00 PM Ladies Bible Study
​7:00 PM Christians Connecting with Christ

THURSDAY
6:30-7:30 AM AA Meeting
10:00 AM RESTORE Food Bank and Thrift Store Open*
6:30 PM Chancel Choir Rehearsal
6:45 PM Financial Peace University
7:00 PM College and Career Small Group
7:00 PM ESOL & GED Classes

FRIDAY
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SATURDAY
9:00 AM RUMC Book Club
11:30-12:30 PM  Metropolitan Ministry
                          Meal Partnership

*RESTORE is an equal opportunity provider and is open to the public.
News from the Conference 
and the District

Hope for the Homeless 
in South Florida
Hope South Florida is one of the many endeavors and project currently being supported by the Florida United Methodist Foundation. Hope South Florida is volunteer group dedicated to helping the homeless in the Fort Lauderdale area. For example, Hope South Florida serves weekly community meals at seven separate meal sites in the region.

In late 2016, Hope South Florida purchased the former St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church campus in Fort Lauderdale, utilizing a $500,000 loan from the Florida United Methodist Foundation. The property, valued at more than $3 million, is slated for a $1 million-plus renovation designed to consolidate the agency’s fragmented infrastructure, while facilitating growth and efficiency in its mission.

The purchase is already making a difference, says Dr. Ted Greer, Hope’s CEO. “We had 27 employees scattered in three locations,” Greer said. “This allows our team to come together. The new location will be the hub where triage will occur.”

With donors ready to pledge to a capital campaign, renovations are set to begin. Hope plans to occupy the derelict second floor within a year. “The community was crying out for a leader in homeless ministry, and we stepped up,” Greer said. “But we’re not working in isolation.”

Developing productive partnerships — with churches, foundations, individual donors, corporations, and government agencies — has been job one for Greer since he was hired as CEO in May 2016. The former Assemblies of God pastor said stories like Patricia Holloway’s drew him out of the pulpit into direct services, eventually becoming both an advocate and a voice for the homeless.

“In 2013, I moved out of the church to help the poor,” Greer said. “There’s nothing I’d rather do.” For more on Hope South Florida and how it might be a model for interdenominational cooperation in our area go to this link.

Meals on Wheels of Greater Brandon—Did You Know?
Back on April 20th, Meals on Wheels of Greater Brandon held their annual volunteer appreciation luncheon. Jim McNeil, the president of the organization, made several observations about the organization that were especially memorable:

  • The organization has been in operation for 41 years.
  • It delivers hot meals to homebound persons in the Brandon, Seffner, and Valrico areas.  
  • The organization operates through the combined of 19 local churches—including the United Methodist Churches in Seffner and Brandon (New Hope and St. Andrews).
  • Volunteers prepare and distribute about 250 hot meals every weekday from 11 AM until 1 PM.
  • Many volunteers have been with Meals on Wheels of Greater Brandon from its inception or have provided over 30 years of service.
  • The oldest volunteer Tony Ippolito, a gentleman still serving in his mid-90’s.
  • The greatest need of the organization is to be able to expand into the greater Riverview area which includes the area south of Boyette Road. [NOTE: The Riverview Meals-on-Wheels program was headquartered at RUMC until about 2007, when that program ceased due to a lack of clients, leadership, and volunteers. RESTORE was later created using the resources of that defunct program.]

If you are interested in participating in the Greater Brandon Meals on Wheels program, you can contact Mr. McNeil and jsmcelmc@aol.com. Donations of food, supplies and money are always welcome; for more information, visit
 www.brandonmealsonwheels.com.

We Are Now in the Gulf Central District
Riverview First UMC, along with all other United Methodist churches in Hillsborough County has been placed into the new Gulf Central District. At the Annual Conference, representatives voted to reduce the number of Districts from 9 to 8 resulting in the creation of what we are calling the Gulf Central District. You can find more about the makeup of this new district by watching this You Tube video.

Our new District Superintendent is Rev. Dr. Candace M. Lewis, and our District Vision Coordinator, Beth Potter, is part of the staff of the new district. The District Office is now in Largo, Florida.

Livestream the 2017 Florida Annual Conference
The Annual Conference of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church has been completed. The livestreamed recordings of Annual Conference 2017 sessions are available now.  Click here to access the plenary and laity sessions.














Growing House Churches in Cuba
The second chapter of the book of Acts describes how the earliest Christian church took hold in uncertain and fearful times.

It says: “They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. … They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Those house churches formed the backbone of the fledgling movement for Christ.

That example is being followed today by believers in Cuba, where despite steady increases in the number of believers and more freedom to openly worship, some government obstacles remain.

The state still prohibits the United Methodist Church from building new sanctuaries; and with thousands of new people in that island nation responding to the word of God, finding a place to gather could be a problem.

But the Cuban people don’t focus on the obstacles. They don’t focus on where they meet. They focus on God. They find a way.

House churches took root in Cuba when crowds wishing to attend the services grew too large for existing sanctuaries. In gathering spots all over the island, six, eight, 10 or a dozen people gather to sing praises, pray, study the scriptures and simply be with fellow believers. They start off as a study group and eventually spread a message of hope and salvation one convert at a time.

The group is called a cell; and, when it outgrows a house, part of the cell may form a new group in a different house.
“It’s the only way for the Methodist church to grow in Cuba,” said Icel Rodriguez, director of Global Missions for the Florida Conference.

The Florida Conference, through financial assistance and missionaries, is helping build many of those houses. George Reed, chairperson of Methodists United in Prayer (formerly called the Cuba/Florida covenant) said a little bit of money raised in Florida can go a long way.

“There is an advance set-up that I basically would call a co-op program,” he said. “The Florida Conference has been instrumental in helping with funds, books and responding to their needs. If a sister church here in Florida wants to help buy a house church, the Conference matches that up to $3,000. That’s $6,000. In eastern Cuba, that will buy a house.”

For more information on supporting house churches in Cuba, 
go to this link.