The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has brought disruptions and adjustments to daily life for all of us. Our ministry leaders have assembled these resources to provide you with ways to continue to grow in your faith in these days. Being stuck inside doesn’t mean you have to be stuck in your faith! Below are resources to help children, youth, adults and families grow in their love of God and their neighbors. While we may not be able to gather face-to-face, we know that God is always present with us. If you have questions about accessing any of the resources here, please contact the Christian Education Office at 863-686-3163 or GroupLife@firstumc.org.
For all ages
We are hosting services online via Livestream on our Worship Now page. Both live and archived services are available. Our Contemporary Service will be streamed live at 9:30am Sundays. Our Traditional Service will be streamed live at 11:00am Sundays. Here is a handy sermon notes page for kids worshiping with you.
Streaming Bible Study and Video Services
Amplify Media streams resources from the United Methodist Publishing House, including Deep Blue Kids (our children’s Sunday school curriculum), youth studies and adult studies. They feature authors like Adam Hamilton, Amy Jill Levine, Jim Harnish, Justin Coleman and many more.
Right Now Media has video resources and Bible studies for all ages from a wide variety of authors. There are animated videos for kids, studies for youth, and a variety of categories for adult studies including general Bible study, women, men, marriage and parenting.
Complete the form at the bottom of the page to request access to Amplify Media and /or Right Now Media. We will add you to the service(s), and you will receive an email from Amplify and/or Right Now to set up your account.
Family Faith Formation
The Parent Cue
The Parent Cue is a website and app that provide you with great information about your child’s age and stage in life. It provides “cues” for conversation and family activities. Find the mobile app in the Apple Store or Google Play. When you install it, be sure to search for “First United Methodist Church of Lakeland, FL” and connect to us so we can stay in touch with more information and content.
In addition to the app, be sure to check out their website, filled with lots of helpful content on parenting.
Illustrated Ministry Resources
Children’s Faith Formation
NEW Children’s Ministry Facebook Group
Our team has launched a NEW Facebook Group for conversation around how we can best support you and your family in this time. We would love to see you there. It is a closed group, and is a separate group from our Children’s Ministry Facebook page.
Deep Blue Resources
We use Deep Blue for our children’s Sunday school. You can continue with these lessons at home.
Here are the lessons for recent Sundays.
- May 31 (Session 14) Video (Log in to Amplify Media before clicking)
- May 31 (Session 14) Lesson
- May 31 (Session 14) Activity
- May 24 (Session 13) Video (Log in to Amplify Media before clicking)
- May 24 (Session 13) Lesson
- May 24 (Session 13) Activity
Youth Faith Formation
One United Youth (grades 6-12) is meeting via Zoom on Sundays at 5pm.
There are Zoom hang times for middle school on Tuesdays at 4pm and for high school on Fridays at 5pm.
We have Zoom Bible study on Wednesdays at 6pm.
Contact Dave Jans for information on accessing these Zoom meetings.
Adult Faith Formation
Monthly Pastors’ Bible Study (First Tuesday)
The next Pastors Bible Studies are scheduled for Tuesday June 2 at 6:30pm.
The Women’s Study will be led by Rev. Melissa Stump and will meet via Zoom.
The Men’s Study will be led by Rev. David McEntire and will meet via Zoom.
Men and women of all ages are invited to attend these studies. For more information on connecting with a particular class, email the pastors or GroupLife@firstumc.org.
Summer in the Scriptures with Bishop Ken Carter
This Summer Bishop Ken Carter invites us to read through the Gospels together. We’ll read a chapter a day – Matthew 1 on June 1, Matthew 2 on June 2, etc. A handy calendar is available here.
Join the Facebook group at for video presentations from scholars as well as posts from clergy and laity across the Florida Conference.
Upper Room Online Devotional
Read the popular Daily Devotional and discover other prayer and devotional resources at The Upper Room.
Adult Sunday School Classes
In this time of self-quarantine and physical distancing, many of our adult Sunday School classes have moved to conference calls and online meetings via UberConference or Zoom. Visitors are welcome to join any of these classes. For more information on connecting with a particular class, email Warren.
- BYKOTA (Be Ye Kind One To Another)
Currently studying “The First Days of the Church” a study of the book of Acts, led by Rev. Doug Hallman. Meets via Conference Call to (863) 250-1152. Class starts at 9:30am Sundays, call is open starting at 9:20am
Currently exploring The Wesley Challenge by Chris Folmsbee. Complete the form below to request access to Amplify Media to watch the videos that accompany the study. Class meets via Conference Call to (863) 250-0724. Class starts at 9:30am Sundays, call is open starting at 9:20am.
This is our longest running Sunday school class. Rev. Brian Tiffany teaches from the Standard Lesson Series Bible study. June’s theme is “Wisdom in Proverbs”. Meets via Conference Call to (863) 250-1141 or online (email Warren for link). Class starts at 9:30am Sundays, call is open starting at 9:20am.
Is hosting conversations onn “Faith and Current Events”, facilitated by Dr. Tom Reuschling. Meets via Zoom. Contact Warren for Zoom information. NOTE CHANGE IN MEETING TIME- Class starts at 9:00am Sundays, call is open starting at 8:50am.
Is an inter-generational adult class. They are exploring the gospel of Matthew, using the Genesis to Revelation resource book. The study is facilitated by John Curtis. Meets via Conference Call to (863) 243-6668. Class starts at 9:30am Sundays, call is open starting at 9:20am.
This class uses the Adult Bible Studies series. June’s theme is “Community: A New Thing” with lessons taught Rev. Dave Brazelton. Study texts come from Deuteronomy, 1 & 2 Kings, and Hosea. You may download the current student book, courtesy of Cokesbury. Supplemental videos for the lessons are available on Amplify Media. Meets via Conference Call to (863) 250-1038 or online (email Warren for link). Class starts at 9:30am Sundays, call is open starting at 9:20am. Cokesbury has also made the following Summer quarter materials available for download:
Summer 2020 Student Book
Summer 2020 Daily Bible Study
Summer 2020 Christian Living in the Mature Years
Church Next has many wonderful courses both free and paid. Below are three of their current free course offerings.
- Prayer and Worship in Our Homes
The Early Church understood the importance of drawing near to Christ when the act of physically coming together became problematic.In an age of COVID-19, our inability to draw near to one another should not affect our ability to draw near to God. This free, multi-part course is designed for Christians to use this time of separation from one another as a time of drawing near to God.
- Bridging the Political Divide with Parker Palmer
Learn how to walk through our divisive political climate with grace and peace. Author and activist Parker J. Palmer shares inspirational and practical knowledge on how we might approach deep political division.
- Make Me an Instrument of Peace: A Guide to Civil Discourse
How many of us have prayed, ‘Lord make me an instrument of your peace,’ then found ourselves in complex and polarized situations that made peace seem impossible? If so, this course is for you. No matter how far apart two sides are, there are effective strategies to bring people together. This course shows us how.
Online Community Groups
We are forming new online community groups. These will meet via Zoom. If you are interested in being part of an online Zoom community group, email Warren.