A Courageous Choice: First Methodist Conroe

By: Sherri Gragg   Rockets and Boomerangs When Dr. Jeff Olive was 21-years-old, he walked into the doors of First Methodist Conroe for the first time. The church was instrumental in laying the foundations of his faith and launching him into a life of ministry. After more than a decade in church planting, both in planting his own church in Tyler and in his role as Conference Director of New Church Development, Olive returned to First Methodist Conroe as senior pastor in January of 2017.   On his...

A Listening Ear and a Life of Service

By: Sherri Gragg   The late Rev. Billy Graham once proposed that a life of Christian service is, in fact, a life of holy worship. “The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service,” Graham said. “The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.” It stands to reason, therefore, that service is a lifetime endeavor for the follower of Christ, one from which he or she never retires.   A Lifetime of Service Rev. Shirley Connally...

Ignite Youth Conference: Striking a Spark of Faith in TAC Youth

By: Sherri Gragg   Lighting a Candle Methodist minister W.L. Watkinson once said, “It is far better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” Each year, the Texas Annual Conference seeks to light a candle of faith in the lives of students grades seven through twelve during the Ignite youth conference.   Traditionally, Ignite takes place in multiple locations over the course of several weekends throughout the year. This year Rev. Eddie Erwin, Director of Youth and Young Adults, and his ...

New Mission, New Life: First United Methodist Church Brookshire

By: Sherri Gragg Imagine this…   You are a pastor newly assigned to a wonderful historical church, but once you get on the ground you realize that along with a beautiful legacy of faith and a loving congregation, your new church also has some daunting challenges. Attendance is down. It is more difficult by the day to attract young families to worship. Your congregation no longer reflects the neighborhood surrounding it.   To top it off, your new church’s community, your mission field, is in ...

Seven Months After Harvey: Where are We Now?

By: Sherri Gragg   The Power of UMCOR March 11, 2018 was UMCOR Sunday, the day when churches throughout the Texas Conference and throughout the denomination join together to support the United Methodist Committee on Relief. No Conference is more acutely aware of the value of UMCOR than the TAC as we have met the devastating fall-out of Hurricane Harvey head on over the past seven months.   The newly released National Hurricane Center Tropical Cyclone Report on Hurricane Harvey details the ...

Together We Serve: Third Ward Collaborative Health Fair

By: Sherri Gragg   Stronger Together “We are stronger together.” This guiding beacon of our connectional system has led the United Methodist Church to join hands to advance the Kingdom of God across the globe. Together we have fed the hungry, comforted the suffering, and sought justice for the oppressed. Together we have taught children to read, sheltered the victims of violence and disaster, and taken the good news of the Gospel throughout the world.   And together four churches from Houston’s...

UMC Women’s History: Jessie Daniel Ames

Jessie Daniel Ames -- Image courtesy of the Austin History Center, a division of the Austin Public Library (Image: FPE4D91g.jp) By: Sherri Gragg   From Problem Child to Activist Jessie Daniel Ames was a problem child. Her unwillingness to conform to the strict Victorian societal expectations of her youth prompted her parents to frequently send her away from the dinner table for her poor manners. The fiery child spent many evenings taking her meals in the kitchen alongside the servants. It was ...

Discovering a With-God Kind of Life

A celebratory gathering on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Celebration of Disipline with Richard Foster and Nathan Foster at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Student Ministries Building Sunday, April 8 at 6 p.m. FREE Renovaré was founded by Celebration of Discipline author Richard Foster to help people pursue renewal in Christ through relationships, retreats, and print and online resources.

Share Your Stories

Is your church planning something special for Easter? Do you have any stories about evangelism in your ministry? How is your church responding to poverty? We would love to hear about your stories and more!  Email Editor, Sherri Gragg at editorcc@txcumc.org  

Third Sunday Native American Worship March 18: Crystal Battise Stephenson

Our speaker this month, Crystal Battise Stephenson, will be speaking on the topic of overcoming obstacles.  I think that we can all really benefit from a discussion of this topic.  If you were blessed and were at Third Sunday last year when Crystal gave her testimony, you will be aware that you do not want to miss this.  If you were not able to hear Crystal last year, take my word for it - you will want to be there.   We are also blessed that Joanna and Neal Thompson will perform for us.  And, ...

UMCOR Sunday - March 11

Natural disasters may destroy homes, communities and cities, but they do not destroy the love of God. A new video highlights the long‑term, vital work of hope and healing accomplished by UMCOR, as well as the ways that connectional giving allows the work to be done at a moment’s notice. Share this powerful video with your congregation as we approach UMCOR Sunday on March 11.   UMCOR Sunday (fourth Sunday in Lent) Previously known as One Great Hour Of Sharing, this Sunday enables the United ...

Best Communication Idea Contest: Call for Entries

The Conference Communications office is looking for a few great communications ideas!  Regardless of your size or location, we want your communications ideas for the third annual Best Ideas in Communications Contest. (i.e. Social media, brochures, photos, videos.)   We are looking for great ideas, small and large to highlight at the 2018 Texas Annual Conference. Winners will be recognized with a prize. Your success might be that your church started a Facebook page or did a special video for ...

Lent and Easter Resources – 2018

The Easter Season, also known as Eastertide or the Great Fifty Days, begins on Easter Day and ends on Pentecost. Focusing on Christ's resurrection and ascension and the sending of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost), Eastertide is the most joyous and celebrative season of the Christian year. We celebrate the good news that in Christ’s death and resurrection we, and all creation, are continually being made new by God’s love and saving grace. For 2018, Easter falls on April 1st.    Worship Planning ...

Thank You for your Generosity

TAC extends a special thank you to the 551 congregations that paid their apportionments in full in 2017.  See the full list (PDF)

Praying Our Way Forward: Seeking God's Face in Uncharted Territory

By: Sherri Gragg   Phase two of the “Praying Our Way Forward” initiative began January 1, 2017. During this season of seeking God’s leading for the future of the United Methodist Church, each annual conference will spend a week of focused prayer in preparation for the Special Session of General Conference, February 24-26, 2019.   Recently, we had the privilege of speaking with District Superintendent of the Central North District and Cabinet Dean Rev. Kip Gilts about “Praying Our Way Forward.”  ...

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