By Amanda Boston

The United Methodist Church of Sun City Center is a place with open doors, open hearts and open minds. The church makes a concerted effort to embrace all who enter through its doors, believers and seekers alike. Attendees are warmly welcomed with the love of Jesus and the pleasant aromas of a thoughtfully prepared continental breakfast. UMC invites you to bring your family, friends, and a hearty appetite.

Although nestled in a sleepy retirement community, the church boasts an active and intergenerational congregation. On Wednesday evenings, it hosts programs for children and youth, and in the summer generates a well-attended Vacation Bible School with over 60 volunteers. According to Pat Hill, Director of Ministries, “The one thing that sets our church apart is our army of volunteers. For example, with more than 100 volunteers participating, our Congregational Care Ministry reaches out to those that are hospitalized or homebound.

We deliberately try to impact our community and world in a positive way.” Armed with its legion of volunteers, the church also supports national and international causes by dispatching mission teams dedicated to changing lives for Christ. Its Disaster Response Team works in the Southeast region to repair and restore homes and businesses affected by natural disasters. On an international level, the church sends forth missions teams to Cuba, Peru, Uganda, and Southeast Asia. For those with musical interests, the UMC’s Worship Arts Ministry offers involvement opportunities with a 75-voice chancel choir, men and women vocal ensembles, hand bell ensembles, drama teams, visual arts team, youth band, and praise team. Most Friday evenings and some Sunday afternoons, UMC presents affordable concerts and events as part of its Thank God It’s Variety concert series.

On Sundays, the church accommodates many styles and time preferences. Beginning on Sunday, January 8, services will be held at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. for contemporary, at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. for traditional, and at 4 p.m. for a Hispanic service. For information on UMC, call 634-2539, visit www.umcscc.org or the church directly at 1210 del Webb Blvd. W., Sun City Center.