“It’s been an exhausting week,” said the Rev. David McEntire, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Lakeland, speaking to his congregation during Sunday morning worship. “We’re kind of worn out.”
Like many of his fellow United Methodists, McEntire was left wondering about the future of his denomination in the wake of a strife-filled special international conference in St. Louis last week. To the surprise of many, more than 800 delegates from United Methodist churches in the United States and overseas rejected a proposal – the One Church Plan – that would have allowed gays and lesbians a wider role in the church.
Instead, in a close vote, an alternative plan – the Traditional Plan – was adopted that potentially will strengthen current rules that forbid “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” from being ordained to any office and do not allow gays and lesbians to be married in its churches. More
Should the city of Lakeland trim the number of polling places for municipal elections from 25 to 12? Mayor Bill Mutz says the cost-cutting idea makes sense in an age when a growing majority of voters cast ballots by mail. But Commissioner Justin Troller says plentiful polling places prompt participation. More
LkldNow founder and editor Barry Friedman was awarded the first Cygnet Award of 2019 on Tuesday by the community improvement organization Lakeland Vision. The award recognizes businesses and community organizations whose mission or activities align with the strategic goals of Lakeland Vision.
Friedman was presented the award at the intermission of the Imperial Symphony Orchestra concert in the Youkey Theatre at the RP Funding Center. Announcing the award, Lakeland Vision board member Xuchitl Coso said Friedman deserved the award “for the positive difference he is making in the community.” More
Supporters of LkldNow invested in community journalism to the tune of $27,012 in two months at the end of 2018 as the national NewsMatch campaign raised $7.6 million from individual donors and a coalition of major funders for nonprofit news organizations. More
Organizations that won awards in the 2019 Lakeland Martin Luther King Jr. Parade were recognized today at a meeting of the Lakeland City Commission. Awards were announced by Natalie Gallon, assistant parks superintendent, who said next year’s parade will be the last she helps coordinate because she will be retiring. More
As many of you know, my family has experienced a devastating tragedy. We are profoundly thankful for the support we’ve felt from the Lakeland community via personal messages and response to a fund to build a memorial tribute to my late granddaughter. I’ll be away from LkldNow for the next few weeks, but I’m fortunate that Chuck Welch, founder of Lakeland’s first independent news website, will be filling in, assisted by some of our freelancers. Reader support is helping us carry on despite my absence and will help us continue to grow so that in the future we won’t be as dependent on one person.
— Barry Friedman, Editor and Publisher
A tile mural created for a Publix store in Fort Lauderdale has been re-created by artist Tim Pitzen, right, and unveiled today at a former Publix store that now houses the Lakeland office of the Polk County Tax Collector. Standing alongside the artist is Gregory Fancelli, who spearheaded the project.
The original creamic-tile mural, titled “The Goddess,” was created during the 1960s by John Garth and was destroyed when the store was demolished during the 1980s. More
Vince and Monica Strawbridge and their four children are within 50 miles of finishing a 2,650-mile hike along the Pacific Coast Trail from Canada to Mexico. The trip has been an opportunity for family bonding, self discovery and fund-raising for favorite causes.
MORE: Follow on Facebook | Trip website | Lakelander article
Samantha Kunin, a 20-year-old Florida State University senior from Lakeland and graduate of the International Baccalaureate School in Bartow, interviewed in Birmingham, Ala., this past weekend as a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. More