Church provides warm shelter, electricity for oxygen machines during Texas ice storm

2/20/2021
By Lindsay Peyton   Missouri City’s Sienna resident Katrina Holm lost power at her home for 40 hours after the rare winter storm hit Texas. As soon as her utilities were restored, her thoughts shifted to her church, The Harvest UMC, where she also serves as Director of Business Operations.  Holm and her father went to check on the building. As soon as she realized it was warm inside, she went to work turning the church into gathering place for neighbors without water or power.   “It’s not the ...

Foundry UMC opens doors as warming center for those without electricity, water and food

2/20/2021
By Lindsay Peyton   In the Jersey Village neighborhood, north of Houston, the winter storm has left many residents without electricity. At The Foundry UMC, however, the lights and heater were operated without interruption. The congregation opened its doors to help neighbors in need.   “There’s been no power all around us, but we never lost power,” executive pastor Theresa Fauser said. “That’s been an amazing blessing.”   On Sunday, Feb. 14, Cy-Fair Helping Hands, a nonprofit serving the area’s...

Friendswood, Texas pastor says the sanctuary is the only room that is dry after pipes burst during winter freeze

2/20/2021
By Lindsay Peyton   A winter storm hit Texas this week, leaving millions without electricity and water. Friendswood UMC was no exception. Not only did the church lose power, but pipes burst, resulting in extensive water damage. In the midst of the disaster, church members stepped up to save their house of worship.   Rev. Jim Bass received a notice from the fire department at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 17. The church’s fire suppression system was going off, and the pastor rushed to the building...

Galveston Church loses power but still offers shelter, food to vulnerable unhoused population

2/20/2021
  Brown (front) and Christian Catalan of the Gastrochurch ministry prepare a meal in the kitchen at Galveston (Texas) Central Church. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News. By Lindsay Peyton   When forecasts warned of a prolonged period of freezing weather, Galveston Central Church staff members began to brainstorm. By Friday, Feb. 12, they decided to open as a shelter. Before long, however, the congregation itself was without power. Neither ice, snow, rain and lack of electricity and water could deter...

Tyler church responds with power, provision and prayer during freezing weather

2/20/2021
By Lindsay Peyton   The frigid Arctic blast in East Texas resulted in all-time temperature lows. In Tyler, the thermometer dropped to 6 below, and residents lost electricity. Despite the freezing weather, Dayspring UMC, Tyler sprang into action, ready to act as the hands and feet of Jesus.   Rev. Rusty McKee, who serves the church’s Flint campus, shoveled snow Wednesday morning to make way for a shipment of portable potties. They arrived just in time at noon. Already, about 60 people, ...

How to make Ash Wednesday meaningful and safe during COVID-19

2/11/2021
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   Celebrating Ash Wednesday presents a number of challenges during COVID-19. In addition to the usual considerations for finding a way to gather, there’s also the obstacle of eliminating touch from the tradition of imposing ashes. Christ Church Sugar Land rose to the occasion, creating a number of ways for members to involve and make Ash Wednesday both meaningful and safe.   “Like everybody else, we’re trying to figure out how to do regular things in an irregular ...

Annual Conference 2021 will be virtual again

2/11/2021
By Lindsay Peyton   Annual Conference is a time to come together in worship and fellowship, as well as to move forward on important business matters. Each day of the conference will focus on vital concepts from this year’s theme, “Faith, Hope, Love.” Technology will again bring everyone together – from the comfort and safety of their own homes --  through the Zoom webinar platform. The virtual 2021 Annual Conference is scheduled for May 30 to June 1. Already, plans are in place to ensure the ...

Being light and love during Ash Wednesday and Black History Month

2/11/2021
By Lindsay Peyton   While the date changes every year for Ash Wednesday, the occasion almost always coincides with Black History Month in February. That timing is noteworthy as leaders in the Texas Annual Conference explore ways to increase reconciliation. Ash Wednesday heralds the world into the Lenten season through acts of prayer, penance and repentance. Lenten season and Black History Month offer opportune times to lament racial injustice, listen for the Gospel’s call to repent, pray, and ...

How a small church transformed into a restaurant to feed the community each month

2/11/2021
  By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   The first Thursday of each month, the ovens turn on, and stoves are fired up at Lexington UMC. The church’s kitchen transforms into a restaurant to prepare pay-what-you-can meals for its Freewill Lunch. Volunteers show off their culinary skills and cook with an extra serving of love -- which makes the food taste even better, Rev. Raegan Seaton attests. “I mean, they cook great stuff,” she said. And during the coronavirus pandemic, the meals are needed now more ...

Decision making streamlined in the local church by going to the single board model

2/11/2021
By Lindsay Peyton   A number of congregations in the Texas Annual Conference have transitioned to the single board model, streamlining their organizational structure. With a single board model, multiple administrative committees are combined into one entity. Congregations report that this way of organizing leadership allows for more nimble and efficient decision-making. Jim Bass, Senior Pastor at Friendswood Methodist, said that adopting to single board model made it easier for his ...

Lent, Easter, Maundy, and Ashes: Bishop Jones Answers Your Questions

2/11/2021
By: Bishop Scott J. Jones   As the Lenten and Easter season approaches, Bishop Scott J. Jones answers the questions you are asking about the season.   1.  Q: What is Lent?  A: Lent is the season preceding Easter, set aside for repentance, prayer and fasting. The season lasts for 40 days, excluding Sundays, in remembrance of the 40 days Christ spent in the wilderness fasting in preparation for his earthly ministry. The word “Lent” is derived from the Old English word, “lencten” which means “...

Pimentel named new Racial and Ethnic Ministry Coordinator

2/5/2021
For immediate release – February 5, 2021   Bishop Scott J. Jones announced that the Rev. Dayimi Pimentel has been appointed as the new Racial and Ethnic Ministry Coordinator beginning March 1, 2021. Pimentel currently serves as Associate Pastor at La Vid Comunidad Cristiana United Methodist Church in Galena Park, Texas. “As a part of the Center for Leadership Formation, Dayimi and her team will be connecting our churches with Subject Matter Experts to enhance their ability to do ministry in ...

Rev. Charles Anderson named Northwest District Superintendent

2/5/2021
For immediate release – February 4, 2021 This week, Bishop Scott J. Jones announced that the Rev. Charles Anderson has been appointed as District Superintendent for the Northwest District of the Texas Annual Conference beginning July 1, 2021. Rev. Anderson currently serves as Senior Pastor at Clear Lake United Methodist Church outside of Houston. Rev. Anderson will be serving with fellow cabinet members, Revs. Morris Matthis and Tony Vinson, who are also former pastors of Clear Lake United ...

Church begins 4-Acre farm run by and benefitting local refugees

1/28/2021
Photo by Annie Mulligan (FAM Houston). By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   Crops to plant, seeds to sow -- that’s the main topic of conversation lately for the Congolese Women’s Empowerment Group (WEG) of FAM Houston. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the nonprofit, which started as a ministry at Westbury UMC, broke ground on a garden. WEG members named it “Shamba Ya Amani,” which translates from Swahili to the “Farm of Peace.”   The 4-acre plot of land, owned by Alief ISD and overseen by the ...

Sharing your faith can happen anywhere, says Texas roller derby pastor

1/28/2021
By Lindsay Peyton   Strapping on her skates and heading into the rink for a roller derby match, she becomes Slaydie Hawkins, number 23 on the Spindletop Rollergirls team. The rest of the time, however, everyone knows her as Rev. Sadie Brink, the Senior Pastor at Silsbee FUMC. She explains that roller derby provides an outlet for camaraderie, for promoting health and for evangelism, far outside her church walls.   Joining a roller derby team was not something Brink would have ever imagined. ...

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