Family's Loss Leads to Ministry Helping People in Need

1/23/2020
Earlier this month, Good Shepherd UMC in Cypress opened its doors to 400 families in need and handed out thousands of bags of groceries. For those who could not find transportation to the church, volunteers drove donations to them. In all, 63,000 meals were distributed to 500 families.   Dr. Sterling Allen, Good Shepherd UMC’s director of worship arts, led the effort – all in memory of his late brother Reagan Allen.   Allen started a nonprofit called the Reagan Project in 2014, after losing ...

Moody, New Life Partnership Offers Education and Hope to Galveston Families

1/23/2020
Moody UMC in Galveston has a long-held vision of ensuring every child on the island is equipped to learn. The church’s Moody Day School has worked toward that goal since it formed in the 1960s. When the program reached capacity, church staff reached outside its walls to another congregation to help lead the charge.   “It’s not about the denomination,” Rev. Dr. Jerry Neff, senior pastor at Moody, said. “It’s about the kids.”   He explained that the church’s day school has more than 50 years of ...

Q&A: Get to Know your Delegates as They Prepare for General Conference 2020

1/23/2020
In the Texas Annual Conference, 18 delegates have been elected to head to the General Conference in 2020, which will be held in Minneapolis in May. Oscar Garza, a member of Cypress Trails UMC, will be among the ranks of lay delegates, who have been meeting regularly to prepare for the event.   Right now, Garza believes that the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation is at the top of most delegates’ minds. “The interest is in the future,” he said. “The real question is whether ...

Surfing Teaches Pastor New Tools on How to Lead a Church

1/23/2020
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   Few might guess that, when Rev. John Stephenson isn’t in the pulpit, he can be found in the sea, paddling atop his surfboard. Surfing has been his passion since childhood, and when he’s out in the water, he truly feels connected to God. He prays while waiting for the waves.   John Stephenson, lead pastor at Faith UMC, Richmond clearly remembers when he caught his first wave. He was 7-years-old at the time, following in the footsteps of his father and uncle, who ...

Texas Annual Conference Hosts First Ever Course on Micromarketing & Social Media to Reach New Members

1/23/2020
  By Lindsay Peyton   How do we strengthen our faith community? Micromarketing is the answer – and the Texas Annual Conference is ready to show members how they already have the solutions to make it happen. A series of upcoming courses will demonstrate how to go to the next level and reach more individuals in your community for Jesus Christ.   Micromarketing is a strategy where advertising efforts are focused on a small group, or target audience. By grouping individuals based on certain ...

Texas Pastor Grows an Outdoor Church, Proving Church Can Happen Anywhere: Church Under a Tree

1/23/2020
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   Pastor Elizabeth Palmer reminds us that church is the people who attend – and not the building. She explained that she was called to serve God in a different way, one that she never expected. Church Under a Tree offers prayer outdoors, to help individuals who feel uncomfortable inside those four walls. When the pastor ministers under the tree, she said that she’s able to “to do church like Jesus did.”   Pastor Elizabeth Palmer had a dream about a tree – and knew...

Bonhoeffer Conference Set For Feb. 13-14 at Perkins School of Theology

1/22/2020
Perkins School of Theology will host a short conference, “In the Face of Barbarism: Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Culture, Humanity and the Importance of Ordinary Life,” February 13-14, 2020, at the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas.   The conference kicks off on Thursday, February 13 at 7 p.m. with a keynote lecture by Victoria Barnett, “Bonhoeffer’s Challenge to Nation and Culture,” at Perkins Chapel, 6001 Bishop Blvd., Dallas. Barnett is a well-known scholar of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the ...

Young Named interim District Superintendent

1/21/2020
For immediate release – January 21, 2020 The Rev. Dr. Mark Young (currently in retirement) will be stepping up as the interim District Superintendent for the North District of the Texas Annual Conference beginning January 31, 2020. The Rev. Chuck Huffman is retiring at the end of the month leaving a vacancy. “We are grateful for the many blessings and passion Chuck exhibited in his spirit-filled ministry over the years. He has a servant’s heart and I’m sure he will continue to care for others ...

Charis Spiritual Director Program Open for Applicants

1/15/2020
Grounded in Wesleyan spirituality, the three-year Charis program encompasses discernment and self-discovery, spiritual formation, the historical sweep of Christian spirituality, a wide range of experiential prayer practices, and culminates in a practicum in spiritual direction. Training encompasses 450 class hours, including six three-day retreats at Lakeview Conference Center and 24 Saturday training days hosted at a United Methodist church which accommodates the regional demographics of the ...

Hearn Lecture Series: Status, Ambition, and the Way of Jesus Presented by Dr. Craig Hill

1/15/2020
Hearn Lecture Series: Status, Ambition, and the Way of Jesus Presented by Dr. Craig Hill​  January 19 and 20, 2020 at Moody Methodist Church, Galveston A deep tension exists between the biblical view of servant leadership and the status that Christians today often desire and pursue. Why is it that Christians care so much what others think of us and what resources does the New Testament in particular provide us to confront this dilemma and proceed in a direction that conforms more to Jesus’ way ...

Houston Lay School of Theology - February 22, 2020

1/14/2020
Dean Craig C. Hill will present a day-long course titled "Servant of All: Status, Ambition, and the Way of Jesus" at St. Paul's United Methodist Church (Houston, TX) on Saturday, February 22, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Location: St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 5501 Main Street, Houston, TX.  COURSE DESCRIPTION |  A deep tension exists between the biblical view of servant leadership and the status that Christians today often desire and pursue. Why is it that Christians care so much what ...

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2020

1/13/2020
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2020 They Showed Us Unusual Kindness (Acts 28:2) 7th Annual Ecumenical Prayer Service, January 23, 7 p.m. Christ the King Lutheran Church Churches in and around Houston come together every year in January in vibrant prayer and witness for Christian unity, recalling one of Jesus’ central prayers for the body of Christ, “that they may all be one.” The invitation comes from the International Committee of the Faith and Order Commission of the World ...

Enneagram Know Your Number Workshop - February 29 at Katy FUMC

1/9/2020
The Enneagram is ancient discernment tool used by spiritual guides to nurture the formation of the human soul. For centuries great Christian teachers have said knowing yourself is just as important as knowing God. Only when we see ourselves clearly and observe how relate to one another is personal transformation possible. Enneagram: Know Your Number Workshop will be held Saturday February 29, 2020 from 9AM-5PM at  First UMC, Katy Cost: $10 - Lunch included Web site link: https://www.katyfirst....

Losing Eye Sight While Leaning On Faith, Family And Church

1/9/2020
  By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   Looking at Hillary Oswald, it would be almost impossible to know that she might be having trouble looking back at you. There are only subtle indications that her sight is fading – except her ever-present guide dog Alika provides a clue. Oswald leans on faith – her family and her church – as she moves full steam ahead.   “It’s nothing really big,” Oswald said. “It’s just a lot of little things that are different.”   Most people in College Station, where she ...

Pastor New Year’s Resolution: Help Churches Address Foster Care Needs

1/9/2020
By Lindsay Peyton   Rev. Amy Bezecny has a few New Year’s resolutions for the non-profit she founded, Cultivating Families. The organization seeks to inspire faith-based communities to get more involved with helping foster and adopted children and their families. This year, she hopes to bring even more churches on board to continue to address what continues to be a pressing need.   Looking back on 2019, Bezecny said, Cultivating Families accomplished some remarkable feats. She counted 1,871 ...

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