Services in-person & online at 8:30 and 11:00am at Florida's Oldest United Methodist Church

Caring for the World Around Us

As the weather warms and the blossoms of June make their appearance, we are reminded that summer is upon us. It’s a time of year where the beauty of nature is on full display. Around this time many of us become infected with spring fever, and desperately search outdoors for a cure. June is also a good time of year to be reminded of our responsibility to care for God’s creation.

In his essay “A Native Hill”, respected American novelist and environmental activist Wendell Berry writes about the current continuous relationship between society and the environment.

We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. And this has been based on the assumption that we could know with any certainty what was good even for us. We have fulfilled the danger of this by making our personal pride and greed the standard of our behavior toward the world – to the incalculable disadvantage of the world and every living thing in it. And now, perhaps very close to too late, our great error has become clear. It is not only our own creativity – our own capacity for life – that is stifled by our arrogant assumption; the creation itself is stifled. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and to learn what is good for it. We must learn to cooperate in its processes, and to yield to its limits. But even more important, we must learn to acknowledge that the creation is full of mystery; we will never entirely understand it. We must abandon arrogance and stand in awe. We must recover the sense of the majesty of creation, and the ability to be worshipful in its presence.

As individuals, and as a church, let us take Berry’s words to heart. Let us remember our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation and take care of the world around us. What YOU can do…

1. Turn off the lights
Help the church be better stewards by turning off the lights when they aren’t needed. After your small group, Sunday school class, or other activity, make sure your room lights are turned off and the A/C is reset. In addition to simply turning off the lights, the church is also in the process of installing
energy efficient lights around our entire campus.

2. Recycle
Help the church reuse your Sunday morning worship bulletin (after the 8:00am and 9:30 services) by placing it in the reuse basket outside the sanctuary doors. This allows the church to print fewer bulletins each Sunday, saving paper and ink. Additionally, when disposing of your bulletins, make sure to place them in trash cans labeled “recycle.” The bulletin is also available digitally on the First Church app and at

3. Go Digital | The Methodist Witness
Every two weeks the church prints and mails approximately 1200 copies of The Methodist Witness. Help the church use less paper and resources by opting to receive the newsletter via email. If you would like to receive your newsletter digitally and are willing to discontinue your physical copy, please email Jeb
Hunt at

4. Consider Alternate Transportation
Use less fossil fuels by carpooling or using alternate forms of transportation. Carpool with a friend to worship on Sunday morning. Even better, consider biking or using public transportation ( to get to and from church.

5. Get Involved
Do you want to help make the church more environmentally friendly? Suggest additional ways we can be better environmental stewards at First Church by sending your ideas to Jeb Hunt at