Blessed are the…Couch Surfers?

Growth, innovation – and a surfing ministry -- has followed since Central UMC Galveston relaunched with the mission mantra of “church different.”   Although surfers are not mentioned in the Bible, the disciples and Jesus certainly spent significant ministry moments together on water and shorelines. Since the often-barefoot campus pastor Michael Gienger arrived in Galveston, Central has worked to find unorthodox and innovative ways to do ministry on the island. One of those innovations has been ...

Highlights from Texas Youth Academy 2016

This highly experiential leadership conference provides the backdrop for a select group of high school students to discern and discover spiritual truths every summer.   After experiencing Texas Youth Academy (TYA) for the first-time as the resident assistant, Sydney Scotton wishes she had known about the opportunity as a teen. “This is a really neat thing we are a part of here at TYA,” she says, “and I wish I had been a part of it way back when.” Sydney was blessed by observing and assisting in ...

Lay Servant Training Offered in Houston Area in August

Plan now to attend the Lay Servant Training Basic Course August 27 at Cypress Trails UMC in Spring.   Finding the hospitality room crammed with an eager group of laity at Annual Conference this year was more than thrilling for Conference Director of Lay Ministry Anna Rohde. “All the seats were taken and people were standing in the back of the room,” she recalls with a smile, ”as people stopped in to learn more about the Certified Lay Servants and Certified Lay Ministry programs.” She knew many ...

New Outreach Initiative Ministers to At-Risk Children

New Spark Kids Club provides structure, biblical insight and fun for kids of all ages and backgrounds at First United Methodist Church, Crockett.   Inside the sanctuary of FUMC Crockett hangs a beautiful stained glass window depicting Jesus surrounded by children. It was part of the inspiration behind the creation of a new ministry called Spark Kids Club. Amanda Boyd-Stratton, currently serving as the pastor of Alto UMC, served as Director of Family Outreach Ministries when Spark was created ...

Panelists to Provide Insight on Helping the Grieving

Clergy and other caregivers have an opportunity to learn from a licensed professional counselor, psychiatrist, funeral home director, hospice chaplain and a child life specialist at an upcoming event centered on handling grief.   In times of deep grief and sadness, even pastors do not have all of the answers.  Knowing this is a deep-rooted, ongoing challenge and ministry opportunity, the Nick Finnegan Counseling Center of St. Luke’s UMC, Houston addresses this topic each year to bring more ...

The Power of Connection:  Making Spiritual Ministry out of Social Networking

By taking the lead to integrate strategic “connections” within a local geographic boundary, Cheatham Memorial UMC is living out the call to serve in 1 Peter 4.   To meet, greet and eat is a well-honed skill of most United Methodists. The members of Cheatham Memorial UMC (CUMC) in Edgewood recently decided to take that talent for hospitality to a significant new level by hosting a community “Connections” dinner that was designed to create a wide network of partners with purpose. “If you feed ...

Learning over Lunch Event (LOL) September 13

Dr. Jim Bankston will be presenting ‘A Pastor’s Role in Developing and Leading a Culture of Legacy Giving’. Date: September 13, 2016; Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.; Location: St. Paul’s UMC, 5501 Main St., Houston, TX 77004. Reservations required. $25.  For more information, please contact: Joyce Russell at (800-933-5502) or Melvin Amerson, 512-680-6192. Make plans to attend now! See Brochure   Register Online  


An Energizing Event for Young Clergy’ and their spouses sponsored by the General Board of Pensions, November 7 – 9, 2016 at the Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Learn more. The TAC will reimburse the registration fee and hotel (2 nights) cost for any clergy and their spouses who did not attend the TAC Clergy Benefits Academy in September 2014. The TAC encourages pastors take advantage of this opportunity once every 5 to 10 years in order to stay current with the Benefits and Pension resources from ...

League City UMC Breaks Ground

After more than a decade of planning, saving and sacrifice, League City United Methodist Church broke ground on July 17 on their new church campus to be located at 1601 League City Parkway in League City. Photos from the Celebration:

SCJ Requests Declaratory Ruling in Election of Karen Oliveto as Bishop

The South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church has requested a declaratory ruling on the election of Karen Oliveto as a bishop in the Western Jurisdiction. Below are links to stories and commentary from various perspectives: Story on Karen Oliveto Being Elected Story on Karen Oliveto Being Consecrated Council of Bishop's Response Statement from the South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops What’s a Declaratory Decision? An Overview of the Process Reconciling ...

Houston Methodist Hospital Lay Ministers

The Department of Spiritual Care and Education at Houston Methodist Hospital in the medical center will offer a five session training course for new lay ministers in October 2016. Lay Ministers are gifted men and women from many different faith communities in the metropolitan area who commit to serve a minimum of one day a week for 2-4hrs on a consistent basis.   If you are interested in volunteering alongside a professional chaplain to address the spiritual needs of our patients, primarily ...

U.S. Bishops Begin New Assignments on September 1

Most of the 15 United Methodist clergy elected as new U.S. bishops last week will be packing their bags to move to a new home within their region. After the elections, the denomination’s five U.S. jurisdictional conferences announced assignments for bishops in all 46 episcopal areas, effective Sept. 1. Fifteen bishops are retiring and another 22 are remaining in their current assignment areas for another four years. (Photo by Todd Seifert) See All Bishop Assignments   

Statement from the SCJ College of Bishops

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: While these can be turbulent times in The United Methodist Church, these are also times of emerging and fruitful ministries. Lay and clergy leaders are creating new ministries to reach new people for Jesus Christ. They remind us of the importance of our collective work to grow the number of vital congregations of The United Methodist Church. We are also committed to do the work that the General Conference mandated: forming and leading ...

Jones to Lead Texas Annual Conference

Bishop Scott Jones was selected as the next Bishop for The Texas Annual Conference. Scott Jameson Jones currently serves as the resident bishop of the Great Plains Area of the United Methodist Church with offices in Wichita, Kansas and Lincoln, Nebraska. He was born in 1954 in Nashville, Tennessee and was raised in Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana and Colorado. Previously he served as pastor of four congregations in Texas and as the McCreless Associate Professor of Evangelism at Perkins School of ...

Farr Elected as New SCJ Bishop

Rev. Robert "Bob" Farr of The Missouri Conference was elected as a bishop in the South Central Jurisdiction. (Photo by Todd Seifert.) On the South Central Jurisdiction’s record 35th ballot, delegates elected the Rev. Robert “Bob” Farr as the third of three bishops chosen during the 2016 conference. Farr, 56, the director of congregational development for the Missouri Conference, received 138 of the 212 votes of the delegates, comprised equally of clergy and laity. The Rev. David Severe, ...

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