Do Good Farm _ blossoming for the first time this spring. Help them start on one of the following work days…

Have you heard of “Do Good Farm” yet? It is a new hydroponic farm concept in the Winter Garden area led by Josh Taylor, the general manager of House Blend Cafe. The purpose is to learn how to create a sustainable food source for the hungry while providing fresh fruits and vegetables for folks here in our community as well as a few partnering organizations in impoverished communities around the world.

Josh is hoping for their first harvest this coming spring, and he could use our help. Can you come help dig and build and plant over the next four weeks? People can come work any window within the following time frames or all of that day.

Here are some dates for work days at the farm:

:: Thursday | Jan 17th | 9a-5p
:: Tuesday | Jan 22nd | 9a-5p
:: Thursday | Jan 24th | 9a-5p
:: Saturday | Jan 26th | 9a-1p
:: Tuesday | Jan 29th | 9a-5p
:: Wednesday | Jan 30th | 4p-7p
:: Thursday | Jan 31st | 9a-5p
:: Saturday | Feb 2nd | 9a-1p
:: Tuesday | Feb 5th | 9a-5p
:: Thursday | Feb 7th | 9a-5p
:: Saturday | Feb 9th | 9a-1p

Contact with questions or interest in volunteering.

So grateful for Josh and his wife and their willingness to lead out in this very important endeavor. And grateful to get to be the church together.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s conspire together this Christmas_ 3 opportunities for the Church of West Orange.


Whether you believe in Santa or not, I have dined with him on multiple occasions (at least the one that lives here in Central FL and has donned a few billboards for Z88.3). And it is our friendship and fellowship together that gave me the opportunity to ask him two years ago if he would visit with the homeless of West Orange on a Tuesday night in December, allowing them to sit in his lap and look into his eyes and tell him what they wanted for Christmas.

This December will be his third year at the Matthew’s Hope Christmas dinner. You would be moved by the tear-filled eyes of the tattered-clothed, scraggly-haired, thinner-than-normal homeless man staring into the compassionate, tear-filled eyes of St. Nick. Sanaa’s broad shoulders and jelly belly and jolly laugh dwarf the giant hardships for the moment. And a child of God is loved by the God who came near through a red-suited servant.

You can help make this happen. This November and December, here are two ways that the local church families who are being the church together as the Church of West Orange are participating in our annual Advent Conspiracy:

In November, stop by the Roper YMCA and pick up a Samaritan’s Purse brochure or grab one from our worship gathering. Then, with family and friends, according to the instructions, pack one or two or five shoe-box-size boxes and drop them off by November 16th to be shipped out all over the world for Christmas delivery.

In December, help Matthew’s Hope to give groceries to families with kids and shoes to men and women. Matthew’s Hope gets a significant discount on both shoes and groceries, so they are asking for PUBLIX gift cards in any amount to be donated for their purchase of the groceries to be distributed AND VISA gift cards in any amount to be donated for their purchase of sneakers in appropriate sizes. Drop these off all month through Christmas Eve at Sunday gathering or at Matthew’s Hope.

Grateful to be growing in unity around mission as many local churches being the church to West Orange County and beyond! Hopeful we will conspire we’ll together this Christmas.


Posted in update | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Drop off some socks to @MatthewsHope25. It will help keep feet warm and dry :-) Read more here…

Matthew’s Hope actually started as a result of a few folks who did not want the homeless of West Orange County to be cold.

In January 2010, the forecast declared a long stretch of cold nights. It ended up being 47 consecutive nights of temps below 40 degrees. A make-shift winter shelter in the youth building on the campus of the West Orange Church of Christ birthed a non-profit organization less than three months later dedicated to deeply loving our homeless friends in the neighborhoods around us. Now, over 40 local churches as well as multiple local businesses and health organizations partner to make every Tuesday happen at Matthew’s Hope.

One of the ways you can currently help is by keeping the feet of our homeless friends dry and warm. SOCKS. They need socks.

And so, on September 30th, please bring at least one package of men’s or women’s white socks to worship gathering to give to Matthew’s Hope. Bring more than one package if you want. 🙂

Grateful that we get to love our neighbors and the nations together in so many ways.

Posted in update | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

praying together August 23rd

Hey Church of West Orange!!!

Let’s come together yo PRAY out in the community Thursday night, August 23rd, at 7pm at 225 Center Street (corner of 10th) in the east Winter Garden community of Maxey near Zander’s Park.

Look to arrive on the outskirts of the community to park either at St. Paul AME, 9th Street Church of Christ, Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, or the Maxey Center.

We will walk from our parking spots together in prayer for the community, join all up at the corner of Center St. and 10th, pray, sing, then leave a prayer request and/or picture of our own family with someone from the community there who has joined us.

Anthony Hodge, who lives and serves in the community requested that we write down a prayer request regarding ourselves and/or our family to share with someone there inviting them to pray for and relate with us. Leave contact info if you want even.

Praying that this will be a special time of prayer together in our community.

Love y’all. Grateful to be the church together.

Posted in update | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

will you join us as we pray together on the National Day of Prayer?

You are invited to pray together with for the National Day of Prayer on May 3rd at 6:30PM @ the pavillion in downtown Winter Garden over near the splash pad.

We will be praying in various ways, such as:

  • confessing to God our need as His church to love like He loves us
  • asking for wisdom as to how we can love neighbors and nations together
  • praying for strength and wisdom for local, state, and national leaders
  • praying for unity around purpose for the local church expressions and ministries of Central Florida

Hope you can join us!

Much love.

Posted in update | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

remembering together on Good Friday (and a few notes from last mtg)

Hope to see you on Good Friday at noon at the Jesse Brock Community Center in Winter Garden across from Dillard Elementary School. Let’s communicate this opportunity to remember together with our respective local church expressions. It will start at noon with several worship stations as you come into the Community Center, and it will conclude by 12:50. What a special chance to worship Jesus as His church together on that Passion-filled day when He declared loud and clear that to Him we are worth dying for.

For those who led in different stations last year, please come prepared to lead in those stations again. Let me know if plans have changed for some reason 🙂

ALSO, here are a few notes from last COWO mtg:

:: the guys and gals agreed to set aside a special offering on Easter Sunday to give for the completion of the Shower Trailer for Matthew’s Hope. $4000 is needed to finalize and make ready for use this important service for our homeless friends who simply want a shower and for some who really want to clean up for work or a job interview. For those willing to participate, PLEASE LET US KNOW and we will give you further instructions from there.

:: there will be a Women’s Luncheon for the ladies of Matthew’s Hope Tuesday, April 17th at the Matthew’s Hope facility on the campus of the West Orange Church of Christ on Daniels Road. Julie and Carole with Hope Counseling in conjunction with Matthew’s Hope will be hosting this special, affirming meal together. Volunteers are needed, and they are to be women only, specifically women who previously know the women of Matthew’s Hope. ALSO, extra volunteers are needed that day for Matthew’s Hope normal activities because of the female volunteers who will be focusing on the luncheon. THANKS!!! Let Karen or Scott know if you can help!

:: NEXT Community Church’s Student Ministry Cafe is open to all youth ministries, especially those smaller groups who have no space. It is called “The Well” and is intended to be a unifying community center for the students of West Orange county. Let NEXT’s leadership know if you are interested!!!

:: St. Pauls and Mark Marsden hold a Saturday Gathering Downtown for the homeless of the downtown area. They are in need of a group to lead one Saturday a month at 9am. If interested and for more details, contact Mark Marsden with St. Pauls Pres of Ocoee.

:: we are looking at a day in May for a Serve Day Together. Details coming soon!!!

:: If anyone knows of an inexpensive vehicle for sale, one of our local pastors is in need of something for his family. Please let us know!

Grateful to be growing in unity around mission as the church together loving the people of West Orange County and beyond. May we continue to pray together, encourage together, and keep asking, “how can we give ourselves away together” for the sake of “on earth as it is in heaven.”

Love y’all!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

prayer together this Saturday at 11:00am in downtown Winter Garden…

This Saturday morning at 11:00 in downtown Winter Garden we will have our first of six community prayer events together. This first one will be unique in that it will be more like a “flash mob” than a long prayer gathering. Here are the details:

:: get to the Winter Garden Farmer’s Market and the Plant Street area no later than 10:45am.

:: be listening around 11:00 for the song “Amazing Grace” being played and sung on the median of Plant Street somewhere between the Tri and Run and Axum Coffeehouse.

:: come toward the person playing and singing and join in with him in song.

:: when the song ends, kneel down where you are and begin to SILENTLY pray.

:: the guitarist / singer will then sing “Song to My Family” by Gungor (from their independent release “Ancient Skies” then under the name of “the Michael Gungor Band”). This is a song of confession and challenge and commitment to be the church as Jesus intended together.

:: while he is singing, be silently praying as the Spirit leads you, but please do pray these two things – (1) a confession that we as the local church expressions of West Orange County have not been the church together as Jesus intended, and (2) a commitment that we want to value unity around mission as Jesus prayed we would (John 17:18-23) as well as a request for wisdom as to how we may love the community the way Jesus has  loved us.

:: when the song is over, simply disperse quietly back into the normal rhythms of the Farmer’s Market and Plant Street.

Hope to see you there. Involve your kids. Facebook and email and text and tweet it out to invite others that you think would really value this confession and commitment together.

Love y’all. Grateful that we can serve and pray and be the church together to West Orange County and beyond.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

some highlights and important notes to remember…

Hey guys and gals!

A few quick highlights from our last mtg as well as some important items to promote with our respective local church families. Here you go:

:: Click here to get all the Reading God’s Story links for the book and the audio version of the readings and more.

:: please share with female leaders in any type of community or ministry leadership about the opportunity to be a part of a new Women’s Leadership Prayer and Bible Study Group put together by Julie Wolf and Carole Batten and Hope Counseling. They will meet Wednesday mornings from 9:30 to 11:00 beginning February 29th at the Educational Building of the United Methodist Church in Winter Garden. It will be a safe place for support and vulnerability and encouragement. They will launch out by studying “Strong Woman. Soft Heart.” Call Julie or Carole with questions or for more details at 407.758.5693.

:: Stay tuned for more details on a luncheon for the women of Matthew’s Hope coming next month.

:: Come out March 14th for the Bread of Life building dedication at 10am. God has provided for this new facility. Mark and the crew are so grateful, and want to share it and celebrate with all of us. Click here to “LIKE” their Facebook page as well as to learn more about Bread of Life and get directions to their facility.

:: Let’s all try to make it out for Prayer and Worship Together as a community the last Wednesday night of every month at 7:30 at New Chief Cornerstone’s church building located at 820 S Park Ave. in Winter Garden.

:: Put it on your calendars again for this April 6th at noon for another midday Church of West Orange Good Friday gathering. Location and details TBA.

:: And last but not least, make sure our church families know about our “Community Prayer Flash Mob” February 25th at 11:00 on Plant Street in downtown Winter Garden during the Farmer’s Market. Please try to be there and bring along as many from our church families as you can. Here are the instructions for that day:

Right at 11:00, someone will begin playing “Amazing Grace” in the center of the median island there on Plant Street. That is our queue to come out from the crowd and stand on the median island on all sides of the person playing. When that song ends, we will all kneel in a posture of prayer. Then, the guitarist will play and sing a song by Michael Gungor entitled “Song for My Family.” It is a simple song of confession and commitment – confession as the church for not being the church as Jesus intended, and commitment from the church to be the family of God as Jesus intended. It is an appropriate way to begin the first of six community prayer events for 2012. After the Gungor song ends, we will simply all go back into the crowd or head out. It will be a definite opportunity to share with anyone who asks why we did that why it was that we did that and who the Church of West Orange is trying to become together.

Love y’all so much!

PS – next COWO mtg is Wednesday morning, March 14th, 9:30 to 11:00. Hope to see you there, too, as we pray together, encourage one another, and continue to ask “how will we continue to give ourselves away together?”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

new year, now praying, next mtg for the Church of West Orange…

Happy New Year to the beautiful people of West Orange County and all of Central Florida!!! So grateful for those leaders here in our community who are taking the prayer of Jesus in John 17 so seriously as to prioritize cultivating for unity and being the church together.

Here’s a quick note with three very important topics to pay attention to, highlighted below.

We have decided together to make it a priority in our weekly worship gatherings to be praying for one another. The request was made to make a list of as many local church expressions in our community that we could think of and schedule to pray for them respectively in our weekly gatherings. Then, the following week, send a note out to the leaders and their church families encouraging them that we prayed for them and love them and want to know how we can serve them in what they are doing. Please forgive us if you are not on this list. IF YOU WILL BRING IT TO MY ATTENTION, I WILL UPDATE THE LIST.

So, here it is. Click on the link below to download and save or print out the PDF with the weekly prayer schedule.

2012 prayer guide for Sunday gatherings

At our upcoming Church of West Orange mtg, we will be discussing how to gather like a flash mob six different times in 2012 to pray for unity around mission and for love of the near Jesus to be made known to the people of our community. We will select six strategic locations in Windermere, Winter Garden, Ocoee, Apopka, Oakland, and Gotha. Looking forward to this!!!

…is next Wednesday, January 11th, from 9:30am to 11:00am at HOUSE BLEND CAFE in Ocoee. Hope to see you there as we pray together, encourage one another, and leave to give ourselves away together.

Much love!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Check out these four upcoming events in the next week all somehow related with the Church of West Orange local churches & organizations…



On Monday night, Robin Caputo with the Orange / Seminole Foster Children’s Association will be hosting a Christmas celebration for foster kids and their foster parents  from 5pm to 9pm at the Mark Street Senior Recreation Center in downtown Orlando on the corner of Magnolia and Colonial. They not only will be giving away the items we have been collecting together, but volunteers are also needed for that evening. If you are interested, please call Robin at 407.222.0594.

Please be in prayer for a Christmas celebration for Matthew’s Hope and the folks they serve in the community Tuesday night, Dec 20th, as well. This event is not open for anyone and everyone, as space is limited. But we wanted you to be aware of it and to be praying for this special celebration.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment