News from the District 
and the Conference

Manhood Is a Team Sport!
The newly renovated Fall United Methodist Men gathering is congregating at Leesburg Life Enrichment Center this October 19-20, 2018. The United Methodist Men leadership team was overwhelmed by the positive response in the 2017 man cave event and the first increase in attendance in at least ten years. Almost 70% of the 2017 attendees HAD NEVER experienced a men’s weekend at the Life Enrichment Center.

In 2018, United Methodist Men are invited to the 70th annual fall gathering—Manhood is a team sport! Spending time in fellowship with other men is a powerful tool for making positive change in our households and our communities. This year UMM leaders plan to continue to inspire growth through the building of powerful relationships among men.

The culture of UMM is changing. Each man is an important part of that change. We must continue to be outward-looking disciples of Jesus Christ, seeking to make a difference in the lives of people in our churches and communities.

During the day on Friday, a Pastor’s Appreciation Golf Tournament is planned. There will be welcome reception on Friday afternoon, and after dinner, there will be worship, music, skits, and a message from Rev. Scott Smith.

On Saturday, group sessions, workshops, and discussions will be lead by representatives of All Pro Dads, Men in Recovery/Transition, and Kairos Prison Ministry. The afternoon includes worship followed by an inspiring message by Rev. Jeff St. Clair. The two-day gathering will end by 4:00 PM on Saturday, October20th, when all men head home to their local church families.


The Miracle of the Portico
For seven years, Jerome Clemons was homeless on the streets of downtown Tampa. Whether it was shivering cold, searing heat, or not knowing about his next meal or the threat of danger, Clemons was driven by one thought. “I kept my faith in God,’’ Clemons said. “I felt like something better was going to happen.’’

Something better did happen. Clemons used to sleep outside of the former First United Methodist Church of Tampa, which was discontinued in 2011. The buildings have been renovated and transformed into The Portico, a church campus that is now operated by nearby Hyde Park United Methodist Church. 
In May, the Portico celebrated its one-year anniversary.































The Portico holds a non-traditional worship service with Rev. Justin LaRosa on Sunday nights, but also serves as a social venue, a lifeline for the homeless, an event space for nonprofit organizations and a gathering place for artists, theatre groups and yoga classes. It also has an upbeat coffee shop, The Portico Cafe, where the downtown crowd might grab some lunch. It employs five formerly homeless people who are achieving self-sufficiency. Clemons is one of the baristas.

“Everybody has a story,’’ Clemons said. “It’s not always a bad story. I was unemployed. I had too much pride to ask for help. My only option was the streets. It’s a hard, hard life out there. I know these streets well. But now, I’ve got a job. It’s stable and secure. I’ve got benefits and everything. This place has helped me turn it around. It’s nothing but blessings.’’

The blessings emerged from what looked like a sad situation. The First United Methodist Church was actually Tampa’s first formal church of any kind. It was established in 1846, before Tampa was even a city. The driftwood building was leveled two years later by a hurricane, but was quickly rebuilt, then relocated in 1890, where it lasted until another renovation in 1968.

Once, it was thriving. There were three packed worship services every Sunday. As more churches opened in the suburbs, the number of worshipers shrank until, with only a few dozen worshipers around for its final days, the doors were finally closed in 2011.

But not for good. It’s different now. Bob Douglass, The Portico’s chief administrator, calls it “an event venue that happens to have a church service on Sunday night.’’ The main sanctuary’s traditional pews are gone, replaced by round tables and an open, welcoming feel. There’s a call for conversation, meditation, reading through Bible verses and even the debate prompted from a question of the day. Every month, there’s a pot-luck dinner.

For more information about the Portico, go to this link.

Come Sing with Us!
The Southern Company Chorus is an energetic group of women who gather together in celebration of the art form known as barbershop music. We are a local chapter of Sweet Adelines International.

Our director is the wonderful Linda Verzosa, who inspires us to reach new heights with each performance. We can be heard throughout the year singing for civic and charitable organizations, private groups, churches, community events, and fundraisers.

COME SING WITH US ! Southern Company Chorus rehearsals are held at RUMC on every Monday (except holidays) from 7:00-9:00 PM. If you are a woman who loves to sing, we have a place for you!

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, Rm 8
11:45 AM Prayer Shawl Ministry (Knitting Witness)—Rm. 6
12:00 PM Hispanic Congregation Service
6:00 PM Youth Band Rehearsal
7:00 PM R. U. S. H. (Youth Group) Meeting

MONDAY
7:00-9:30 PM Southern Company Chorus Rehearsal

TUESDAY
10:00 AM RESTORE Food Bank and Thrift Store Open*

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

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.
The RUMC Book Club recently visited the Tiffany Glass collection at the Morse Museum in Winter Park.
Summer Hiatus
The Monday Morning Ladies small group will be on summer break until September 10th. The United Methodist Men will not be meeting in July or August, and their next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 4th. The RUMC choir will be on summer break until August 2, 2018.

Church Vital Signs
The Florida UM Conference is extremely interested in collecting worship and Sunday school attendance and other vital signs from our church. The Conference has given us an Equitable Compensation Grant to help us pay our bills, to manage clergy compensation, and to support our Hispanic and community missions. However, conference leadership wants to be able to measure the effectiveness of their grant.

So, we need attendance figures for all our programs. If you are a teacher or facilitator any Sunday school, faith group, or other small group, please record your attendance in the “Vital Sign” book located in the lobby across from the church office.

Purchase from AmazonSmile
We are reminding everyone in our congregation to do their shopping throughout the year at smile.amazon.com. Amazon will donate a portion of each purchase to our church. Shop at this link and help the church financially at the same time.

RUMC Book Club News
The RUMC Book Club is currently reading “How the Light Gets In” by Louise Penny. This book is one in a series of mystery novels featuring Chief Inspector Arman Gamache of the Surete du Quebec. This setting of this novel is Christmastime in the rural village of Three Pines, Quebec. Inspector Gamache is assigned the task of finding a famous artist who has recently gone missing.

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.

Southern Company Chorus