SCJ Requests Declaratory Ruling in Election of Karen Oliveto as Bishop

7/20/2016
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: UMC.org Story on Karen Oliveto Being Elected UMC.org 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

7/19/2016
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

7/18/2016
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

7/16/2016
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

7/15/2016
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

7/15/2016
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, ...

Nunn Elected as New SCJ Bishop

7/15/2016
Rev. Jimmy Nunn of The NorthWest Texas Conference was elected as a bishop in the South Central Jurisdiction. (Photo by Todd Seifert.) After leading the vote for 17 previous ballots, the Rev. James “Jimmy” Nunn has been elected a bishop by delegates at the South Central Jurisdictional Conference in Wichita, Kansas. Nunn, 59, the director of mission and administration for the Northwest Texas Conference, was selected on the 21st ballot with 126 of the 418 votes cast by the delegates, equally ...

Saenz Elected as New SCJ Bishop

7/15/2016
Story by David Burke. Photo by Todd Seifert. The connectional ministries and missions vitality center leader for the Rio Texas Conference has been elected as a new bishop by delegates at the South Central Jurisdictional Conference in Wichita, Kansas.   Ruben Saenz Jr., who turns 55 Saturday, was elected on the third ballot Thursday morning by 133 of the 641 delegates, comprised of an equal number of clergy and laity. He is the first of three new bishops to be elected in the jurisdiction.   His ...

‘Lord’s Acre’ Provides Healthy Harvest for Baytown

7/14/2016
St. Mark’s UMC Baytown is investing in the young by planting more than just the physical seeds in the new Lord’s Acre community garden project.   Rev. Peter Miller, St. Mark’s UMC, Baytown, knows that community partnerships provide an accelerated way to facilitate impact while becoming more externally focused as a congregation. “I would love to see us have 100 partnerships,” he says, enthusiastically. One of St. Mark’s most recent local partnerships has literally been blooming before their eyes ...

All Aboard the Africa Mercy Ship

7/14/2016
Married duo --Miguel and Mireya—will set sail this summer on a three-year medical mission experience, starting in Benin, West Africa.   Since meeting and marrying over 20 years ago, Miguel and Mireya Ottaviano felt a specific desire to help the underserved with medical missions-- but this passion was complicated because neither of them are medical professionals. With this vision in the back of their minds, they went about their lives serving in different capacities. Mireya has served in children...

East Texas Church Invests Financial Fruits in El Salvador

7/14/2016
Trinity First UMC takes a leap of faith in El Salvador thanks to member Doyle Burchett’s leadership.   Doyle Burchett never expected the turn of events that followed his Uncle Ernie’s death last February. “When I heard the news about my Uncle Ernie, a missionary in El Salvador,” shares Doyle, “I originally just planned to attend his funeral and tie up some loose ends for him. Little did I know what God had planned for me -- and my fellow members of Trinity FUMC.” Adds Doyle, “When I went to pay ...

New Charter: Celebrating WordServe in Fulshear

7/14/2016
A special June event helped the community celebrate a founding pastor, a new pastor, new location, and a new charter for this growing congregation west of Houston.   Anyone associated with WordServe Church in Fulshear will admit that the “God moments” have been plentiful over the last seven years. From its earliest days as a new church plant of Grace Fellowship in Katy, WordServe began as a congregation centered on the Word and Service. In fact, during founding pastor Nolan Donald’s final ...

Pokémon GO to Church

7/14/2016
An interesting phenomenon caught churches off guard this week as people, seemingly at random started showing up on their property. Churches are finding new ways to connect with people because of a new hit game called Pokémon Go.   “At first, we didn’t know what it was all about,” said Allison Hicks, Communications Admin and  Young Adult Coordinator at Klein UMC. “Our young adult group had a kickball game at the church and we sat there and saw all these cars coming through our parking lot. I didn...

SummerSlam Service: Five Churches, Three Days, Unlimited Blessings

7/14/2016
Preteens from five churches took a break from their summer vacation to serve others through a variety of mission activities in East Texas. On hot summer days in June, most teens and youth are sleeping in, diving in the swimming pool or heading out on an exciting summer vacation. ‘Fourth, fifth and sixth graders from five East Texas churches, however, recently gave several individuals and organizations the gift of their time.  What started in 2015 as a cooperative mission venture for 17 ...

The Changing Face of Worship

7/14/2016
Worship in this postmodern world is happening in new places and new ways via visual arts, trendy music and even in a context around a shared meal. Read about new endeavors in the Texas Annual Conference as the UMC offers new environments to bring the good news in a way that is both culturally relevant and theologically responsible.   Tamir Pena’s first “Gastrochurch” experience took place last fall at the invitation of Rev. Kaitlyn Bowie-Hankins of Houston’s First UMC downtown campus. Under the ...

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