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

2/22/2018
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.”  ...

Sharing God's Love with Food from the Heart

2/22/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   “Are they here yet? Are they here yet?”   Each Thursday, the children begin stopping by the Lead Counselor of Duke Elementary Crystal Bryant’s office in anticipation of a special delivery. The children aren’t excited about new playground equipment, or an ice cream party. They are eager to receive the food bags from Shepherd of the Heart UMC, Pearland that will feed them all weekend long.   According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 13 million American children live in ...

UMCOR School Kits Help Children Find a New Normal After Harvey

2/22/2018
By: Sherri Gragg Struggling Children Lose Everything Students at Barbara Jordan Elementary in Richmond, Texas had only been in school for a few days when Fort Bend ISD canceled school due to Hurricane Harvey. Initially, the cancellation was only for two days, but Hurricane Harvey was far more destructive than anyone expected. The students did not return to their classrooms for almost three weeks.   When the boys and girls walked back into their school, the excitement over the start of a new ...

VCI: Athens UMC Finds a New Vision and a Path to the Future

2/22/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   As Rev. Jason Smith of Athens FUMC works on his sermon, bits of debris rain down on him from the ceiling. His laptop is powered by a nearby light switch, a necessary adjustment since the outlets in Smith’s section of the facility have stopped working.   But Smith couldn’t be happier. Sure, his facility is in dire shape, but his church is vibrant.   A New Season of Ministry Just a little over two years ago, Athens FUMC was struggling. “The church had been through a lot of ...

Warm Bread and Good Conversation - A Recipe for Simple Church

2/22/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   Simple Church began with a question- “What if?” What if we stripped church down to its most basic form? Get rid of the building. Shelve the programs. Whittle the budget down to bare bones. What would be left?   Teaching, of course, but our communities of faith are also about the relationships we build with each other so…good conversation is a must. Simple Church founder, Rev. Zach Kerzee, thought back to where those two elements were the most purely present in his own life, ...

Welcome to a Church Where the Bread is Fresh, the Coffee's Hot… and the Waves are Epic

2/22/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   Galveston is a city of beautiful old churches. Churches crowned with soaring steeples, and adorned with breathtaking stained glass and magnificent pipe organs. At first glance, Galveston Central Church is much the same.   But look deeper. This church is utterly different.   Come As You Are Step inside the doors on a Sunday morning to find that a section of wooden pews has been replaced with sofas, loveseats and recliners. A modern worship band goes through instrument checks on...

Denzel Washington Renews $1 Million Gift to Wiley College to Fund Debate Program

2/21/2018
Two-time Academy award winner Denzel Washington was recognized at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, for his contributions toward raising awareness around the world about the value of debate education. Washington was honored during the awards ceremony in late January for the nation's first Historically Black Colleges and Universities Speech and Debate Championship Tournament, which was held over three days on Wiley's campus. In accepting the award, Mr. Washington pledged to renew a $1 million ...

Jazz Scholarship Soiree - Trinity UMC, Houston

2/21/2018
Jazz Scholarship Soiree Saturday March 17, 2018 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm, Venue opens at 6:00 pm for viewing Silent Auction items   Change a student’s life! This has been the charge of the Higher Education Ministry at Trinity United Methodist Church for nearly two decades. To ensure our college-bound students have every academic advantage to excel as productive members of our community, and perhaps more importantly, society at large, we provide scholarships to help them with their tuition and fees. ...

Share Your Stories: Easter and Women’s History Month

2/21/2018
Is your church planning something special for either Easter or Women’s History Month? We would love to hear about it! Email Interim Editor, Sherri Gragg at editorcc@txcumc.org  

Thank You for your Generosity

2/21/2018
TAC extends a special thank you to the 551 congregations that paid their apportionments in full in 2017.  See the full list (PDF)

UMCOR Sunday - March 11

2/21/2018
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

2/20/2018
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

2/20/2018
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.   Worship Planning Resources  7 Ideas for Holy Week and Easter...

Worship Planner and Worship Leader Workshop March 3rd

2/19/2018
Worship Planner and Worship Leader Workshop Saturday March 3rd from 9am-1pm at Westminster UMC 5801 San Felipe, Houston TX 77057   Speaker Rev. Jackson Henry,  Director of Music Ministries at the General Board of Discipleship Ministries   Workshop Topics   Worship planning and resources CCLI top 100 songs in regards to Wesleyan theology Focus group on the United Methodist HYMNAL REVISION What are the obstacles for congregational singing and music in worship today?   This is for laity, ...

Prayers for Florida

2/14/2018
Please join me in praying for those who were injured and killed Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and for their families as well. - Bishop Scott Jones   UMC Bishops Mourn Victims of Florida School Shootings In the wake of the school shooting in Florida, the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church has issued a statement of grief, mourning the victims of the shootings and called for prayers of repentance from the  culture of death and cycle of violence. The statement ...

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