Gastrochurch: Where Are They Now?

1/11/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   Rev. Meredith Mills had a problem. It was incredibly difficult to get her friends to attend church, and when they did, she felt they left again without ever digging into the deepest struggles of their faith.   So, she began to think, to pray, to dream. What type of worship would her friends want to attend? How could she incorporate deep teaching that met their needs? What would church need to look like to foster deep connections between its members?   And then it came to her. ...

Methodists, Mennonites, and a Neighborhood Transformed

1/11/2018
By: Sherri Gragg When Penny Moore’s Cypress neighborhood suffered Harvey flooding, she worked alongside an army of volunteers to muck and gut her neighbors’ homes. In less than two weeks, the work was almost complete. Just as it seemed the worst was over, Moore learned of a family in need in Bear Creek.   A Different World “When I turned into that neighborhood, it was like a different world,” she said. Three to four feet of sewage-contaminated water had filled most of the homes in Bear Creek. ...

Parish Nursing: Ministry to Body, Mind, and Soul

1/11/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   Bob Atkinson leaned over the hospital bed where his wife lay cocooned in blankets. Maggie was slipping away, but taking care of Bob was a hard habit to break.   “Are you doing okay?” she asked him.   “Don’t you worry about me,” Bob said. “Linda is taking care of me.”   Holistic Healthcare As a parish nurse, Linda Jenkins plays many different roles. She is an educator and an advocate.  A health counselor and a liaison. A prayer warrior. A grief counselor. On this day, as she ...

reVision Houston: Reaching Kids on the Edge

1/11/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   Luke chapter eight tells the story of a man who was driven to terrifying violence and destruction by his all-consuming personal torment. His community so feared him, that they exiled him to the tombs outside of their city where he was “kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles.” Luke 8:29 esv.   Until Jesus came.   A few short verses after this hopelessly lost man meets the Messiah, we find him transformed. The one who once “cried out day and night and cut himself,” ...

The Cradle and the Call

1/11/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   In “Notes on Camp,” a podcast by This American Life, camp counselor David Himmel had this to say about America’s favorite childhood pastime: “It changes people's lives. I would not be who I am if it wasn't for camp.” (“Notes on Camp,” This American Life, originally aired 08.28.1998)   Lakeview’s Innovative Programming Lakeview Conference Center has been changing the lives of United Methodist youth since 1947 by offering them a place to connect with Christ and others through ...

The Glue that Binds Us Together

1/11/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   In Zimbabwe, students listen attentively to their professor as they study to enter the ministry…   Restorative Justice Ministries share the love of Christ with those impacted by incarceration…   And throughout the UMC, young clergy hear the good news that relief from their overwhelming student debt is on the way. These three scenarios have one thing in common: They, along with scores of other ministries, receive vital funds through Apportionments.   Better Together No one ...

We Can Make a Difference

1/11/2018
By: Sherri Gragg This past autumn, Lufkin First UMC had unexpected guests in their chapel.  A colony of Bats.   Suddenly, the timetable for the church’s renovation turned into an unavoidable and immediate investment. It was time for that dreaded undertaking of so many pastors and lay leaders- The Stewardship Campaign.   A Family Effort But the bats were not the only thing stirring in the eaves of Lufkin First UMC. A spirit of community, the belief that ministry belongs to the entire church ...

Celebration Women's Ministry's National Conference 2018

1/10/2018
Celebration Women's Ministry's National Conference 2018 March 2-4, 2018, 4:00 Friday - 12:00 Sunday   Hyatt Regency North Houston Hotel 425 North Sam Houston Parkway East Houston, TX 77060 Contact: Sharon Wright 409-363-9985 sharonannwright@yahoo.com   This year at National Conference our theme is Now is the Time which comes from the scripture 2 Corinthians 6:2. Our speakers are Jennifer Cowart from Harvest Church in Georgia and joining us from Cuba, Pastor Adria Maria Nuñez Ortiz. This weekend ...

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Ecumenical Prayer Service

1/8/2018
In observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church is holding this ecumenical service at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Houston with 10 denominations represented and Dr. Harvey Clemons of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church preaching.  Date: Tuesday, January 16 at 7 pm Location:  St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Houston 5501 S Main St.  Houston, TX 77004 www.stpaulshouston.org

CORR Action Fund Awards Over $400,000 to 21 Grassroots Initiatives

1/4/2018
Washington, D.C.--The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) will award $463,025 to projects developed by local churches, district annual conferences, and seminaries in all 5 jurisdictions of The United Methodist Church through the CORR Action Fund (CAF) United States 2018-2020 grant cycle.   Rev. Stephen Handy, chair of CAF committee states, "We are grateful for all of the responses to GCORR's CORR Action Fund grant cycle theme of 'Disrupting Racism.' It is profoundly clear that ...

Moody Launches New Grant Application System

1/2/2018
The Permanent Endowment Fund (PEF) of Moody Methodist Church is excited to announce the launch of their new online grant application system, along with a new website that is currently under construction. For potential applicants, the new online grant application system and website will be able to provide up-to-date information as the PEF moves to a new grant calendar and the online grant application system beginning in 2018. For Texas Annual Conference (TAC) related grant requests, applications ...

Beyond Sunday Morning: Winterfield UMC Puts Community First

12/14/2017
By: Sherri Gragg The Secret of Growth Early in his appointment to Winterfield UMC, Rev. Steven Newcomb held several meetings with parishioners about the future direction of the church. Each time he sat down to hear from his new church members, they voiced the same concern; the church needed to attract more people to worship, especially young people and children.   Newcomb responded to each inquiry with the same answer. “I told them that in my experience, you are probably not going to succeed if...

FUMC Marshall: Empowering the Next Generation While Healing the Wounds of the Past

12/14/2017
Healing the Painful Past In the fall of 1960, Marshall, Texas businesses removed their lunch counters. The message was clear, the doors of white establishments would remain firmly closed to African Americans. There would be no more of the previous spring’s disruptive sit-ins led by the students of historically African American Wiley and Bishop Colleges.   Marshall’s lunch counters would not reopen for more than 35 years. The deep roots of racial segregation and injustice, however, have taken ...

Murchinson UMC and Port Arthur St. Paul: Face to Face and Heart to Heart in the Worst of Times

12/14/2017
By: Sherri Gragg You Are Not Alone As Northwest District Superintendent Rev. Marlin Fenn began to hear stories about the hurricane damage suffered by sister churches in the Southeast District, he knew the recovery process would be a crushing financial burden for many of them. In response, he challenged the churches in his own district, which had been spared the brunt of Hurricane Harvey, to contribute to the apportionment payments of the damaged churches. “We want the say to the damaged ...

No One Battles Cancer Alone: Christ Church Sugarland UMC

12/14/2017
By: April Canik Seeing the names of three young mothers on the ever-growing cancer prayer list was a stark wake-up call for Rev. Michelle Hall, pastor of Congregational Care, Christ Church UMC Sugarland. It was a reminder of the rampant nature of the disease and the urgent need for the church to provide a caring support system for both patients and caregivers. “If not the church, then who will care for these impacted families?” asks Hall. Leaders, cancer survivors and experts from the CanCare ...

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