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January 13, 2022

Top 10 stories of 2021

As we move into 2022, taking a look in the rearview is beneficial – it’s been a year full of trials, tribulations, as well as hope and faith. We celebrated miraculous vaccines and grieved when COVID variants arose and we lost loved ones. We weathered a devastating winter storm, while still struggling with the pandemic. Many times, I saw a spirit of resilience rising up in our clergy and church members like never before.

Church provides housing for unplaced foster children

It all started in 2014 when a kid wandered into the student ministry at Kingwood UMC looking for a glass of water. “Then he brought his siblings,” longtime church member Nanette Lynch recalled. “There were four of them, and they never missed a Sunday.” She had never considered getting involved in a foster ministry before then, but, one thing led to another. The Oasis Ministry was born, One Love Collaborative sprung up, and now KUMC has a dedicated space on campus to temporarily house children in the foster care system.

Fitness builds faith at any age

Imagine a space with fitness classes for all levels and ages, a gym for adult basketball pick-up games or pickleball and a volleyball league. Nearby, children learn soccer skills or practice shooting hoops. You might picture a health club or a gym designed for the community. Instead, this describes the recreation ministry of The Woodlands UMC. “The goal is to bring people to Jesus, though sports and fitness,” Athletic Director Garrett Ritter said.

Pastor: what is innovation, growth, where is hope?

New Year’s resolutions aren’t only reserved for people who want to get into better shape or start a new hobby. Church leaders often set goals of how they would like to move forward and guide their congregations into a more fruitful future. Churches in the Texas Annual Conference continue to adjust to the challenges of the pandemic and uncertainties resulting from a postponed General Conference. Cross Connection recently reached out to three pastors and ask about their plans for 2022, as well as how they see the Holy Spirit at work.

UMC Pastor wins Dickinson City Council seat

Pastor Johnnie Simpson Jr. adheres to the belief that faith should not be constrained inside of church walls. That’s why the congregation he serves, Faith UMC in Dickinson, makes outreach a top priority. It’s also at the heart of his reasoning to run for office this November. He was sworn in to Dickinson City Council Position 1 on Dec. 14, 2021.

TAC holds Special Session to approve funds for BSA Survivor Trust Fund

Pending court approval of a settlement agreement in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) bankruptcy case, United Methodists have agreed to contribute $30 million to a $3 billion Survivor Trust Fund that will receive contributions from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), insurance companies and charter organizations.  Every annual conference is asked to raise funds to contribute toward the $30 million Survivor Trust Fund.

Other News


Inspiration, expertise for Black churches

When the leaders of Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century declare that ministry going forward needs to be done from the “right side,” they’re not referring to politics. 

Online worship: God isn't different. We are.

Many United Methodists now participate in worship primarily through digital means. We are tuning in to weekly livestreams of worship services or participating in digital-only worship experiences. Some wonder if digital worshippers are missing out on something.

Looking for a way to worship without leaving the house?

A number of churches in the Texas Annual Conference are posting sermons online.

You don’t have to miss a service if you’re out of town or if you prefer to stay at home. Viewers can also enjoy multiple preaching styles and even virtually “attend” different churches. There’s a lot going on Sundays in the TAC that you won’t want to miss. 

Sermons are often available to livestream on Sunday and several congregations also record services for on-demand viewing. Check them out at: https://www.txcumc.org/sermons.

We would like to include your church in this list. Please let us know if you are posting a resource online by sending a link to: communications@txcumc.org.


Churches in the News

United Methodist Churches are making headlines – leading the way through ministry, outreach and discipleship. Amazing stories about our local congregations in the Texas Annual Conference are popping up – and news publications around the country are spreading the word about UM churches. Read all about it.
Jan. 15
Lay Ministry Training at Wildwood UMC, Magnolia TX.

Jan. 15
Dr. Priscilla Pope-Levison, a nationwide church expert will lead a select group of Texas Annual Conference churches on Practical Strategies for Evangelism in a Covid World in this one of a kind webinar.

Feb. 12
New class for 2022 Lay Servant School at FUMC Bryan, TX.  Must register by Jan 10.

Feb. 17
The vision of the Texas Ministry Conference is to provide tools and resources for people in all types of ministry and ministry support. 


 The Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
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