Abundant Life UMC Facilitating New Multi-Ethnic Connections

6/22/2017
The revitalization of a community garden is resulting in a fruitful outreach and harvest of new relationships.   Some of the most important discoveries have started with a sketch on a napkin over lunch. The latest mission field initiative of one church in Lufkin started with a conversation over lunch as well. The music director and a choir member of St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church and Rev. David Briggs of Abundant Life UMC connected one day to get to know one another better. “Music Director Greg ...

Bishop Jones Confirms 59 Students

6/22/2017
Kingwood UMC’s thriving confirmation ceremony featuring a record number of confirmands.   At Kingwood UMC, confirmation is much more than a topic of conversation. As a vital congregation, Kingwood UMC Invests in the Young by hosting a nine-month program that helps youth claim for themselves the name Christian and United Methodist. Recently some 59 sixth graders took this significant step in their journey of faith, and Bishop Scott Jones was there to encourage and pray over them.   “We typically ...

Church Tech Tips

6/22/2017
The Center for Congregational Excellence has specialists offering free technology consultation to churches across the district.   Neil Connelly is a resourceful member of Atascosita UMC (AUMC) with a knack for technology who learned to live stream the worship services using only his smart phone. Neil’s technology world brightened recently when he heard about Toby Dagenhart, a member of the TAC Communications Advisory Committee with a passion to share his technology expertise with other ...

Fun Raising While Fund Raising

6/22/2017
The Crossing Student Ministry used ingenuity to raise $572 for summer camp during their first-ever “Gnarly Necktie” fundraiser this May at Grace Crossing UMC in Longview. Teams of students created several outlandish neckties, then encouraged the congregation to vote with their dollars on the tie Dr. John Whitehurst would model for his sermon message. Although Pastor John does not typically wear a tie to church, he was not surprised the congregation chose an outlandish creation to make the ...

Lakeview Conference Center Debuts New Model for Summer Camp

6/22/2017
Campers give two thumbs up to the improved camp features and Wesley-inspired curriculum. Goodbye homework, hello sleeping bags and sunshine! On arrival day for the first two summer sessions at Lakeview, some 1,400 campers came to the piney woods of Palestine by motor coach and car. Students rekindled old friendships and formed new ones as a key part of this annual tradition. “The summer camp staff finally got to meet the campers they’ve been hearing about for weeks,” shares President Rev. Matt ...

Pastor Makes History

6/22/2017
This May, Rev. Don Brown, FUMC Brazoria, became one of the first six clergypersons in the country to serve in the US Coast Guard Auxiliary’s “Clergy Support” (ACS) program. The ACS program designates qualified clergypersons to assist as unpaid volunteers to supplement the work of the US Navy Chaplains serving the Coast Guard. “It is an exciting honor to provide support to the real heroes of the Coast Guard,” Don shares. “Chaplain, LT, Ken Espinosa of the Houston-Galveston/Corpus Christi sectors ...

Summer Bible Challenge: There’s an App for That

6/22/2017
St. Luke’s Houston launched a Scripture+Shared app that is engaging families, small groups and individuals of all ages in summer Bible reading, study, videos and more. Members and others are joining the 2017 summer challenge. Get started.   Glance around any public space – the grocery store, the doctor’s office waiting room and even in most restaurants – and you will notice many of the people looking at their phones. For better or worse, smartphones have become permanent fixtures in our lives. ...

JFON Receives Grant to Increase Legal Representation for Victims

6/21/2017
The Texas Bar Foundation has awarded Justice for our Neighbors (JFON) Houston $15,000 to provide affordable, high quality immigration legal services to low income immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, female genital mutilation and human trafficking and educate the public on these issues and immigrant rights.  Funding is for the period of April 28, 2017 to April 27, 2018. With support from the Texas Bar Foundation and other resources, JFON Houston will be able to continue to ...

SCJ Mission Academy: September 10-13

6/21/2017
The South Central Jurisdiction Mission Academy is an event of the United Methodist Church, where those who desire to serve others through hands-on mission service can come together to learn, share, and discuss healthy and effective ways to do so. The 2017 dates are September 10-13th at the Leadership Center in Aurora, Nebraska. Please review each course description carefully. It will help to print the course offerings and mark your selections before you begin registration. You can also download...

Seeking Stories of Inter Faith Partnerships

6/21/2017
Each January, Christian denominations in Houston come together to celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity by worshipping together in a way that respects each different worship style and recognizes the incredible diversity that is found in God’s Kingdom. This beautiful worship is just one expression of the many ways Christians work together to express God’s love. “The Committee on Christian Unity and Inter-religious Concerns would like to hear stories that illustrate the multi-faith ...

Wiley College Awarded Grant to Grow Debate at HBCUs

6/21/2017
Wiley College has been awarded an $83,000 grant to help grow and implement a speech and debate league throughout Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across Texas. See full story from Marshall News Messenger  

Retired Bishop John Wesley Hardt Dies

6/20/2017
The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church regrets to announce the death of Bishop John Wesley Hardt, who passed away June 18, 2017.  He was born on July 14, 1921. Bishop Hardt was elected to the episcopacy in 1980 and was assigned to the Oklahoma Episcopal Area. He served Oklahoma until his retirement in 1988. He then became Bishop-in-Residence at Perkins School of Theology, later becoming Bishop-in-Residence Emeritus.  He also served as a Trustee of St. Paul School of Theology, Lon ...

Discipleship Ministry Online Training Events

6/18/2017
UMC Discipleship Ministries online trainings cover a variety of topics. This is made possible by support given to the World Service Fund.   Upcoming trainings include:   June 28: Sermons that Communicate Good News   July 5: Conference and District Lay Leaders: What Do I Need to Know?   July 11: Nominations Leadership Development – What’s My Role?   July 13: The Annual Campaign Toolbox   August 4: A Good Death: What Church Leaders Need to Know About Death Preparation for Older Adults   August 15:...

Houston Lay School of Theology Day-Long Course

6/14/2017
Taught by Rev. Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles, Professor of New Testament, Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. Saturday, August 19, 2017   9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. St. Paul's United Methodist Church 5501 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77004 Childcare will be available through St. Paul's United Methodist Church for this class with an advanced request. To secure a space for your child, please notify Priscilla Pope-Levison by 5:00 p.m. August 14, ...

Planning Underway for 2018 Global Young People’s Convocation

6/14/2017
Discipleship Ministries/ – A planning team is being assembled for the 2018 Global Young People’s Convocation (GYPC), which brings together the voices and ideas of United Methodist young people from around the world every four years. The GYPC is scheduled for July 18-22, 2018, at the Indaba Hotel & Conference Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, said Michael Ratliff, Associate General Secretary at Discipleship Ministries and head of the Young People’s Ministries (YPM) division. “The Global ...

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