Church Security Seminar: October 27, 2018

9/18/2018
Church Security Best Practices “How to Assess, Implement, & Develop A Church Safety Ministry” Glen Evans, founder of Church Security Alliance and co-author of the e-book Church Security Basics, will lead a seminar on Church Security on October 27, 2018 from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church 3471 Westheimer, Houston, Texas 77027.  Register online at https://www.txcumc.org/securityreg.  There is no charge for this seminar.  Glen Evans answers the important questions the ...

Picking Up Pieces After Philippines Super typhoon

9/18/2018
United Methodists were picking up the pieces and preparing to assist others after the super Typhoon Mangkhut struck the northern part of the Philippines. The full extent of the damage from Mangkut is yet to be determined, but 54 people had been declared dead and another 49 were still missing Sept. 17 after the typhoon triggered a massive mudslide that destroyed hundreds of homes, according to CNN. Philippines officials say Cagayan is one of the provinces worst affected by the storm. United ...

World Communion Sunday, October 7, 2018

9/17/2018
Around the globe, countless gifted and qualified people face financial obstacles that hinder them from preparing for the vocation God has given them, especially youth and young adults. For ethnic students who will be the first generation in their families to attend college, or for those people of color who haven’t historically had access to resources that make higher education possible, the road toward education has often been unwieldy.   What would it look like if the church today imitated ...

Architecture Matters: Old, New, and Everything In-Between

9/13/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   From the earliest days of the church, Christians have thoughtfully constructed sacred spaces. When it comes to worship, architecture matters.   In Capernaum, archeologists uncovered a Byzantine era octagonal structure nestled between simple homes constructed of rough basaltic stone. As they carefully dug down through the stratum beneath the structure, they discovered a home similar to its neighbors. Basaltic stone. A central courtyard. Thatch roof woven of twigs and branches....

Filling Empty Stomachs with Food and Wounded Souls with Dignity: It’s the Methodist Way

9/13/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   In a Title I school district, Tomball UMC sits geographically between three needy schools. Eighteen years ago, they developed an afterschool program to provide tutoring and mentoring to neighborhood children. As the church grew closer to the children in the program, they realized that many of them were hungry. “Their parents were working two or three jobs and they were home alone,” said Senior Pastor Russell Hall, “On the weekends, the children were lucky if they got a ...

Knowledge is Power: Abundant Life UMC Lufkin

9/13/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   In 2014, Abundant Life UMC Lufkin targeted literacy to make a difference in the lives of children. Four years later, they have fine-tuned their approach.   Four years ago, Abundant Life UMC began to dream. They dreamed of how they might get outside of their own walls to impact their community for Christ. They took stock of their resources, prayed and listened for God’s voice. And when He spoke, He led them to the same vision He would later sow Conference-wide through Bishop ...

Planting Seeds of Faith In South Korea

9/13/2018
By: Sherri Gragg St. Augustine wrote, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” Since 2014, First Korean UMC Houston has faithfully empowered Christian youth from South Korea to begin the next chapter of their lives.   Touring Texas Each summer, First Korean UMC Houston has partnered with Singseng Korean Methodist church in Incheon to bring 15 young Christians between the ages of 9 - 15 from South Korea to spend time in Houston. During their time in Texas, the ...

Table Talks With Bishop Scott Jones

9/13/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   Some 2,581 clergy and laity gathered last month across the Texas Annual Conference for Table Talks with Bishop Jones, Conversations on The Way Forward. The Table Talks were held in each of the nine districts, one for laity, and one for clergy, with the goal of helping the participants better understand the three plans to be presented as options for The Way Forward at the Special Session of the General Conference in February 2019.   Each of the 18 Table Talks followed the same...

The Wesley Foundation Helps Students Choose Life

9/13/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   Last January, the Rev. Greg Oberg, Sam Houston University Wesley Foundation pastor, had a graduating senior stop by his office in search of some advice.  To whom should she give her cats so that they would not starve when she committed suicide?   The student’s struggle with clinical depression had been a long one. So long, in fact, that the suicide hotline counselors knew her by name. And on this winter’s day, when then university counseling center was closed and her future ...

What Keeps Your Congregation Coming Back?

9/13/2018
By: Sherri Gragg Which of the following has the greatest power to not only draw people, particularly millennials, to your church but also keep them coming back Sunday after Sunday? A vibrant children’s ministry… Inspiring worship… Engaging programing for students and adults… The answer is: None of the above.   According to a recent Gallup poll, “Sermons that teach about Scripture,” are more important to your congregants than anything else. This holds especially true for millennials, four out of...

Advice from a Texas Pastor Out of the Storm

9/12/2018
By: Rev. Jack Womack In 2017 we were all advised that a significant rain event was coming our way.  The exact time and date were unsure, but everyone said, it was coming.  On Saturday, the rain came, and it appeared that we had luckily missed the bulk of the rain. It had been raining, but the rain didn’t seem that bad.   That evening about 10:30 PM, my wife and I prepared to get some sleep before Sunday and noticed a little water in the house.  Within a few minutes a little water turned in to 8...

The Church and Addiction: Important Conversations for Faith Leaders

9/11/2018
Thursday, September 20, at 7 pm. Rev. Dr. Matthew Russell will present at the Council on Recovery at 303 Jackson Hill Street, Houston TX 77007. As addiction continues to be a nationwide problem, faith leaders and members of faith communities are frequently the first touchpoint for those seeking refuge and guidance. All to often, they are not sure how to offer sustained support to individuals and families struggling with substance use disorders.  This conversation will explore how communities of...

Friends of Maua Hospital Conference November in Houston

9/10/2018
Friends of Maua Hospital Conference November in Houston Register Now for the 5th Annual Friends of Maua Hospital Conference November 9-10, 2018 Chapelwood UMC, Houston TX Tentative Times: Friday, Nov 9th from 9am – 5:30pm, with Meet and Greet diner to follow Saturday, Nov 10th from 9am – 4:00pm   Special Guests: MMH CEO, Dr. Salvador de la Torre MMH Director of Advisement and Community Services, Stanley Gitari MCK Presiding Bishop Joseph Ntombura and wife Pauline Bishop Scott Jones of the Texas ...

Bicyclists to gather in Athens for 700-mile Tour de TAC

9/7/2018
For the first time, members of the United Methodist Church and others will gather in Athens to begin a 700-mile bicycle ride. “We are just starting it,” said Shannon Martin, a spokesperson for the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. “But we are excited to start in Athens. We see this as the heart of East Texas, and we've got some really great churches in that area. There are possibilities for amazing evangelism and outreach in that area.” The bishop of the Texas Annual ...

Just Worship - Perkins Fall Convocation: November 12-13

9/6/2018
“JustWorship,” the 2018 Fall Convocation at Perkins School of Theology set for Nov. 12-13, will explore worship through the lenses of social justice and reconciliation with internationally acclaimed author, theologian and pastor Brian McLaren and Chicago-based preacher, liturgist and activist Sandra Maria Van Opstal. The annual continuing education event, designed for clergy, laity, students and others with an interest in religious issues in contemporary life, includes lectures, workshops and ...

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