News from Our Community, District and Conference

All-Pro Dads in St. Petersburg
Practice had just ended for the day in the 1996 preseason camp for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but head coach Tony Dungy wasn’t talking about football. As he and Assistant Coach Clyde Christensen walked off the field at Tampa’s Pepin-Rood Stadium that broiling, humid August afternoon, they were focused on their families.

“We talked about trying to be better men, better husbands and better fathers,” he said. “We wondered what we could do to spread that word. What happened after that has been stunning.”

A year later, what happened out of that conversation was the formation of a movement known today as All Pro Dad. Dungy joined with Mike Merrill—founder and president of Family First based in Tampa—to start an organization focused on the principle of helping men lead their families and be heroes to their children.

The Florida Conference has collaborated with All Pro Dad and schools in many parts of the state. One such place is the preschool at First UMC in St. Petersburg, where Associate Pastor Rev. Kevin Grills leads a group of men that meet monthly with their children for breakfast. Rev. Grills was inspired to start the chapter at his church, partly because of his experience with Dungy.

“While I lived in Tampa, some of the men in my small group had worked at All Pro Dad and Family First,” he said. “Sometimes Tony Dungy would drop in for our devotionals, and I was just so impressed. My youngest is now 4 years old and in preschool. Typically, you don’t see All Pro Dad chapters in preschool; they are usually in regular public schools. But I read up on it some more and got involved.”

The children in this group range from 3 to 5 years old, so Rev. Grills helped adapt the program—less talk with the kids about responsibility and more activities with their dads. “We do a lot of affirmation,” he said. 

“We have a sharing time, and we’ll say things to praise our kids in front of the other dads. It will be things like, ‘My son learned to tie his shoe this week,’ or, ‘He has been a good big brother to his little sister.’  You just see their faces light up."

For more information about All Pro Dads in St. Petersburg and Titusville, 
click on this link.
Adopt a Cuban Pastor
“Methodists United in Prayer” is a long-standing covenant agreement between the Florida United Methodist Conference and our counterpart conference in Cuba. That organization has created the “Adopt a Pastor Program” as a way for Floridian Methodists to support and significantly improve the life of a Cuban Methodist pastor and his/her family while they do God’s work in Cuba.

The average Methodist pastor in Cuba earns about $20-25 per month. For a family four with two incomes, a typical pastoral family earns $40-50 a month. However, a pastor’s spouse is generally working in the church and is not bringing in a second income. So, incomes for Cuban pastors is generally much less than other families in the community.

Life in Cuba on $25 per month is not easy for any family, and it’s made more difficult because Cuban pastors have more expenses than an average family due to their ministry. Additional expenses may include cell phone costs to reach church members, internet expenses to communicate with neighboring pastors, travel expenses for pastoral care, and so on. Because of these difficulties many pastors are living with things that Floridians take for granted as basic necessities.

However, a small monthly stipend can greatly enrich the lives of a Cuban clergy family. A small investment from you can make a huge impact on their life.

Methodists United in Prayer are asking that pastors be supplemented by an additional $20-$25 per month. Anything at $200 per year or more is considered “Adopting a Pastor”. Once you have been assigned to adopt a pastor, you are encouraged to email your pastor on occasion. While this is not mandatory, the relationship you build will likely be even more important than the money that you give.

Let us know if you, your church, or your small group would like to Adopt a Pastor. We will notify the Methodist Church in Cuba, who will choose a pastor for you to adopt. We will provide you with their name, the name of their church, its location, and an email address. You send the money down, usually one year’s worth of funds at a time—either via a mission team that is going down to Cuba (which we help to coordinate) or by using a money transfer service (which we can help facilitate).

Change a life today. Be a part of the work that God is doing in Cuba. Contact Paul Griffith at (813)431-5692 or
Volunteer Opportunities at RUMC
We are looking for volunteers to help Sharon Cayce with Children’s Moments on Sunday mornings. If you are interested, please contact Sharon at 802-8325.

We need counters to help after church services on Sundays, usually for about an hour or so. If you have time available, please contact Mike Plett (at 349-9000) or stop by the library immediately after church.

We need additional Communion stewards to help Debbie Stephens on the first Sunday of every month. If you can help, contact Debbie at 689-0109.

Plan for the 2018 UMW Retreats
Registration is now open for the 2018 Women’s Retreats at the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park. The theme for the retreats is “Restored and Free”, and the weekends are February 16-18 or March 9-11. For more information, 
visit this link.

Help Support Our School Partner
RUMC continues to partner with Riverview Elementary School by donating emergency school supplies. Donors can leave their supplies in bins outside the church office. Note that only unopened, packaged, basic school supplies will be accepted.

Purchase from AmazonSmile
We are reminding everyone in our congregation to do their shopping throughout the year at 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 “Lincoln on the Bardo” by George Sanders. This description of the book comes from a Goodreads reviewer:

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returned to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy’s body.

From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a thrilling, supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory, where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

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
Pastors Message
About Us

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.)

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

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

10:00 AM RESTORE Food Bank and Thrift Store Open*
6:30 PM  Boy Scout Troop 83

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

6:30-7:30 AM AA Meeting
10:00 AM RESTORE Food Bank and Thrift Store Open*
6:30 PM Chancel Choir Rehearsal


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.
Disaster Recovery in Florida
When Hurricane Irma swept across the Florida Peninsula this past September, it caused so much destruction that it became the fifth most costly storm in history. Millions of people were affected by high winds, storm surge and heavy rains. Nearly 70 percent of the state was left without power for days.
Just five months later, a small but dedicated and diverse group of people now see Florida as their mission field and will spend the next six months to two years serving thousands of residents struggling to recover in the aftermath.

“Where is the light no longer shining? That’s where we will go,” said Pam Garrison, Florida Conference disaster response coordinator.  She is leading an effort funded by an initial $1 million UMCOR grant to reach as many people as possible throughout the state that need assistance after the storm.

Garrison and the recovery coordinator, Rev. Laura Ice, just finished a whirlwind process of hiring dozens of people to act as case managers, construction coordinators and volunteer coordinators, who will lead teams into hard-hit areas from Jacksonville to the Keys. Three were hired to meet the needs of those affected in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria.

The men and women are a diverse group of mostly local Floridians who feel called to this mission field. They are people of all backgrounds, ages and ethnicities, Ice said.

The hiring process “has been very exciting,” Ice said. “I’m amazed at the individuals who answered the call. We have a wide variety of backgrounds—lawyers, ministers, nurses, an HR professional. We even hired an IT person from IBM.”

About 50 people in total have been hired for this recovery effort, Garrison said. They come from all denominations, speak many languages and range in age from 24 to 60.

For the rest of this article, go to this link.