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8002 U. S. Highway 301 South, Riverview, FL  33578  813-677-5995
In Times Like These….
Recently, we witnessed in horror as the news reported more mass shootings in the United States. Innocent lives were cut short by acts of domestic terrorism fueled by evil, racism and hatred as innocent people were killed in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

“In the year 1943, Ruth Caye Jones, a pastor’s wife in Pennsylvania and the mother of five, was distressed by the headlines of her Pittsburgh newspaper. She saw the World War II casualty lists and she knew the Allies were making slow progress through the boot of Italy. Supplies were rationed at home, and everyone was living under incredible strain.

Opening her Bible to 2 Timothy 3, Ruth studied the page and pondered the opening words: "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come." A song began composing itself in her mind. She jotted some lyrics on a small pad in her apron pocket. A series of notes also played in her mind. Only later did she realize they came from the old clock on the mantle with its iconic Westminster Chimes. Soon the notes and music congealed to become one of the most beloved Gospel songs of the 1940s and 1950s, “In Times Like These.”

In times like these we need a Savior;
In times like these we need an anchor.
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In Times like these, HOPE anchors our souls. We can also offer HOPE-filled actions through our relationship with Christ to our communities. Our churches have an opportunity to do more than mention these incidents in our “thoughts and prayers” during our Sunday Morning Worship Service. We are called to “Equip clergy and laity to connect with their communities”.

We want to provide clergy and laity with the resources to empower them to effectively connect with the needs and concerns surrounding our church communities. The links below are resources provided for churches by the Council of Bishop’s and our General Agencies of the United Methodist Church.


I hope you find some of these resources provided by the Council of Bishops, Discipleship Ministries, General Commission on Religion and Race and the General Board of Church and Society helpful.

Rev. Dr. Candace M. Lewis
Superintendent, Gulf Central District
Who I Am in Christ
I Am Accepted in Christ.  “I am a child of God.” (John 1:12) … “I am a friend of Jesus, and I am chosen by God.” (John 15:15-16) …”I am greatly loved.” (John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16) … “I have been made right in God’s sight.” (Romans 5:1) … I am united with God and one with Him in spirit.” (1 Corinthians 6:17) … “I have been bought with a high price.” (1 Corinthians 6:20) … “I am part of Christ’s body”. (1 Corinthians 12:27) … “I am adopted by God.” (Ephesians 1:5) … “I can come directly to God through the Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:18) … “I have been redeemed and forgiven of my sins.” (Colossians 1:14) … “I have been made complete in Christ.” (Colossians 2:10)

I Am Secure in Christ.  “I am free from condemnation.” (Romans 8:1-2) …”I know that all things work together for good.” (Romans 8:28) … “I am free from any condemning charges against me.” (Romans 8:33-34) …”I cannot be separated from God’s love.” (Romans 8:35) … “I belong to Christ and He has commissioned me.” (2 Corinthians 21-22) … “I have died to my old life and am now hidden with Christ.” (Colossians 3:3) … “I am certain that the good work that was begun in me will be completed.” (Philippians 1:6) … “I am a citizen of heaven.” (Philippians 3:20) … “I have been given a spirit not of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7) … “I can go boldly before God’s throne and receive his mercy and grace in times of need.” (Hebrews 4:6) …. “I am held securely by God so the evil one cannot touch me.” (1 John 5:18)

I Am Significant in Christ.  “I am the salt and light of the world.” (Matthew 5:13-14) … “I am a branch of the true vine.” (John 15:1, 5) … “I have been chosen to produce good fruit.” (John 15:16) … “I am a personal witness of Jesus here and everywhere.” (Acts 1:8) … “I am God’s temple and his spirit lives in me.” (1 Corinthians 3:16) … “I am a new creation in Christ, and I am a minister of reconciliation to others and to the world.” (2 Corinthans 5:17-20) … “I am a partner with God in his work.” (2 Corinthians 6:1) … “I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm.” (Ephesians 2:6) … “I am God’s masterpiece, and I was created to do good works.” (Ephesians 2:10) … “I can come boldly into God’s presence with freedom and confidence.” (Ephesians 3:12) … “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Cheerful Giving
I’m writing to say thank you to Riverview First United Methodist Church for your faithfulness and commitment to Connectional Giving through meeting your apportionments obligation. Your generosity enables the Florida United Methodist Conference to support important ministries throughout the State and the world. You invest in the lives of children and youth who at Warren Willis Camp this summer. College students will be connecting with Christ and their campus Christian communities while in college this fall. We are grateful for the support you provide to missions and ministry through your faithful giving.

I am reminded of the words of 2 Corinthians 9:6-12—

Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you abound in every good work.

“As it written: They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.

“Now he supplies the seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way, so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people, but it is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”

Thank you again for your generosity enabling us to share God’s gifts with others.

Rev. Dr. Candace M. Lewis
Superintendent, Gulf Central District