8002 U. S. Highway 301 South, Riverview, FL  33578  813-677-5995
175 Years
About Us

RESTORE Food Pantry is open from 10 AM until Noon every Tuesday and Thursday.  Do not come onto the property before 10:00 AM.  The RESTORE Food Pantry is an Equal Opportunity provider for all eligible recipients regardless of race, age, or gender.

On Tuesdays, recipients can also enjoy hot meals in our Fellowship Hall--courtesy of Metropolitan Ministries.

The Gulf Central District Partners 
with Zoe Empowers
We are excited to announce that the Gulf Central District will be partnering with Zoe Empowers over the next three years to sponsor an orphan empowerment group in Rwanda. Zoe Empowers equips vulnerable children and youth-led families with solutions to overcome extreme poverty and achieve self-sufficiency. You can learn more about Zoe from this 2-minute video and this document.

We have already been matched with a group and they have begun meeting. Our group’s name is translated “Togetherness”, and it is made up of 76 children in Rwanda. Over the next three years, they will learn about health and hygiene, business skills, child rights, and more. They will receive help to enroll in school, to be reunified with any existing extended family members, and they will receive spiritual support through student-led prayer and Bible study. Zoe breaks the cycle of poverty and dependency on charity, forming young people for a lifetime of self-sufficiency.

Churches who join with us in this effort will receive regular reports on how our group is doing, resources from Zoe (VBS curriculum, Lent and Advent devotionals, etc.), opportunities to video chat with our group, and more. Additionally, Beth Potter will be going on a Vision Trip with Zoe to Rwanda this summer, and I will be going next summer. We’d love to have you or some of your church members join us to see Zoe Empowers in action.

How can your church get involved? The minimum financial commitment is $125 per church, per year, over the next three years. You can make that contribution the same way you pay your apportionments, whether by mailed check or online through Vanco. Using this form, you would list under Conference Apportionments –Other–“113017-Gulf Central District Zoe Empowers.”

If your church is interested in contributing more than $125, options include:

  • Sponsoring your own group.
  • Sponsoring a half-group; Zoe can match you with another church.
  • Make an additional contribution to the District project. If we receive more than is needed, we will work with Zoe Empowers on how to best direct those funds.

Do you want to help your church grow in serving others? Are you looking for mission opportunities that are hands-on and personal, yet also accessible to every age and ability? Are you looking for a sense of unity with other UMC churches as we move forward together?

We invite you to join us in praying for these children and the journey they will be on for these next three years. Thank you for partnering with us on this project as we make disciples of Jesus Christ and transform the world!

Rev. Emily Hotho
Gulf Central District Superintendent

Spring’s Arrival at the Florida 
UM Children’s Home
Spring has arrived and you can feel the excitement at the Children’s Home as our children are taking advantage of the warmer weather and longer days. They celebrated Palm Sunday a couple of weeks ago at our outdoor chapel, and the weather was great. There were other Easter activities as well, including a traditional egg hunt.

April 30th is just around the corner, and churches in our conference will take up a Fifth Sunday Offering that enables us to provide the necessary services for the children and families we serve. (At RUMC, this is the “noisy offering.”)

Your gift can help children like Jayden, who came into our care after experiencing sexual abuse in his home. When he arrived at the Children’s Home, he often displayed anger towards others in response to his trauma. However, his house parents noticed an extreme shift in Jayden’s behavior after a few months of care. Through work with his therapist and the Spiritual Life team, he is beginning to believe in himself as he realizes that his trauma is not his fault. Jayden recently made the honor roll at our campus school, Legendary Scholars Academy, and is even asking his teachers about going to college. Jayden’s journey isn’t over yet, and your continued support is helping hem as well as the other children in our care to heal and have a hopeful future.

Through your help, the Children’s Home continues to provide an environment of hope and healing to children like Jayden. In fact, you’re giving them the opportunity to become part of a family environment with healthy adult engagement for the first time. These young people are valued, loved, and created in the image of God, and we treat them as such. By experiencing a combination of trauma-informed care, human dignity, and compassion, our children are free to encounter something their peers often take for granted: love and hope.

Your support of the Children’s Home ministry goes a long way toward providing a space where our children don’t have to carry their burdens alone. They experience the tangible presence of Christ first hand. Thank you for your prayers and support.

Elizabeth Gadd, Chief Development Officer
Florida United Methodist Children’s Home

Nacel Open Door
Hello, my name is Lori Price, I live next to Sharon Cayce, and she has taken me to church with her on occasion. I have also helped out with some holiday kids' activities there at the church. I really love the closeness of the church; it is a good feeling.

I help an organization called Nacel Open Door. They are a non-Profit organization that sponsors and places high school exchange students with local host families in the area. When COVID happened, we lost a lot of our host families. I'm finding that I'm needing some help finding new host families. I was wanting to ask if you could post a flyer in your church bulletin, website, or newsletter (Link Here). This flyer is just asking for host families. Nacel will give $250 dollars to any organization, group, or person for a referral of a host family.

I look forward to hearing from you. Bless you and have a great day.

Thank you,
Lori Price

New Information for Christian Seniors From Shirley Turner
Many Christians highly value community, and for some Christian seniors, finding a senior care facility and community that understands their faith and provides an environment consistent with their values is essential.

To help seniors find a Christian senior living facility and community, we created a free resource that provides information on faith-based communities, including commonly provided services, what residents can expect, and financial resources.  You can view it here.

Shirley Turner
Community Outreach and Senior Advocate,
Christian and Catholic Senior Living

Disaffiliation News
Fifty-five churches were formally approved for conditional disaffiliation from The Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church at Saturday's virtual special session.

Those churches met the requirements in Paragraph 2553 of the Book of Discipline regarding separation from the denomination over the issue of human sexuality. Those included meetings with their district superintendent to understand the ramifications, prayerful consideration for discernment, and open meetings with professing members in their respective congregations.

Their departures become effective on June 1 if they fulfill all financial and other requirements.

That includes producing a certificate of insurance to cover potential civil liabilities incurred before disaffiliation and the payment of all apportionments for 2023, plus an additional year. In return, they can keep their buildings and real estate, which would normally revert to the Conference.

"Any church that does not fulfill all those requirements would not disaffiliate by June 1," Florida Conference Bishop Tom Berlin said. "They would still be in process, so they would need to fulfill those requirements before the disaffiliation would occur.”

However, since they have already been conditionally approved for disaffiliation, those churches would have two more special called sessions this year in which to complete the requirements. Paragraph 2553 expires at the end of this year, meaning churches seeking to disaffiliate after that might be unable to keep their land and property.

One of the larger churches in Hillsborough County to disaffiliate was New Hope UMC (formerly First UMC, Brandon). Their financial obligation to the Florida Conference is $421.5K. In return, all of that church’s property and buildings (which cover nearly two city blocks in downtown Brandon) revert to the ownership of the New Hope Trustees.