Cedar Creek Lake: Loving All God’s Children One Step at a Time

5/24/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   Cedar Creek Lake UMC’s Eight-Step Plan for “We Love All God’s Children.” 1. Begin a weekend feeding program for hungry children.   Many children who depend on free and reduced school lunches are faced with profound food insecurity when school is not in session. Cedar Creek Lake UMC in Tool, Texas took their first steps to meeting the needs of those children by preparing bags of child-friendly, healthy food for them to take home with them on Friday afternoons. The school ...

Joel Rabb: Serving a God Who Dwells with the Suffering

5/24/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   On the morning of January 10, 2010, the Hotel Montana sat overlooking Pétion-Ville, Haiti like a pristine jewel. Tall Palm trees cast cool shadows across the graceful path that led down to the swimming pool. Elegant white walls reflected the rising sun as guests from all over the world sipped strong, sweet cups of Haitian coffee from the comfort of shaded verandas.   The Hotel Montana was an oasis, a cool retreat nestled into the hills above the crowded streets of ...

Texas Annual Conference Preacher Celebrates 70 years of Ministry

5/24/2018
  By: Sherri Gragg   As World War II raged, 17-year-old William Edwin McDaniel joined the tide of young men leaving home and farm to defend his country. When he returned to tiny LaRue, Texas, the town his family had called home for generations, he soon found God calling him away from the farm once again. This time, he joined the ranks of United Methodist preachers serving in the army of the Lord.   Seventy Years of Ministry At the age of 19, Edwin McDaniel enrolled in Perkins Theological ...

The Texas Conference Introduces New Staff Positions

5/24/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   The Texas Annual Conference welcomes the Rev. Jill Daniels, the Rev. Dr. Jesse Brannen, and the Rev. Robert Besser into their new staff positions beginning July 1, 2018.   The Rev. Jill Daniel The Rev. Jill Daniel will join the Congregational Excellence staff to lead the Bishop’s “We Love All God’s Children” initiative. Daniel joins the Conferences after serving for 12 years at Trinity UMC Beaumont where she developed targeted ministries to meet the needs of neighborhood ...

UMC Churches Partner with 30,000 Youth to Serve Houston

5/24/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   Every three years, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America holds a Youth Gathering of young ELCA people from all over the United States. During the week-long event, students participate in interactive learning experiences, Bible study, corporate worship, and service projects benefitting the host city for the conference. This June 27 – July 1, the ELCA Youth Gathering descends on Houston.   UMC Churches Partner with ELCA Several UMC churches from the Third Ward, including ...

Oral Argument Remarks Before the Judicial Council

5/22/2018
Oral Argument Remarks Before the Judicial Council Bishop Scott J. Jones Presented May 22, 2018   May it please the Council. I am grateful for the opportunity to present at this oral hearing in support of my request that you rule declaring that all petitions on the subject matter of the Council of Bishops’ report are permissible for consideration at the 2019 special session of the General Conference.   The main issue before this Council is whether the people of The United Methodist Church have a...

Judicial Council to Hold Oral Hearing

5/21/2018
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – The Judicial Council will hold a one-hour oral hearing at 9:00 a.m. C.T. on May 22, 2018, during their upcoming meeting on May 22-25 at the Hilton Orrington Hotel in Evanston, Illinois. At the request of the Council of Bishops, a special meeting will be held to consider a petition for a declaratory decision regarding the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference. Livestreaming, provided by United Methodist Communications, will be available for the first time and will...

Church Helps While Grieving Mass Shooting Victim

5/20/2018
By Shannon Martin and Sam Hodges   Even while mourning the loss of one of its own, Aldersgate United Methodist Church here became the center for victims’ assistance after the mass shooting at nearby Santa Fe High School. Jared Black, 17, was one of eight students killed at the school along with two substitute teachers on May 18. Thirteen people were wounded. Of late, Jared and his family had recently become active again at Aldersgate. “He was a happy kid, a friendly kid,” said Bobby Wright, a ...

United Methodists, Bishop Respond to School Shooting

5/18/2018
By Sherri Gragg   The mother of a United Methodist district superintendent was at Santa Fe High School where 10 people, most of them students, were killed on May 18. The Rev. Alicia Coltzer-Besser said her mother, 76-year-old Margaret Henck, was among those who fled with students to the sound of gunfire. A 17-year-old boy carrying a shotgun and a revolver opened fire at the school. The suspect, who was in custody, also had explosive devices, authorities said. Henck, who has served as a ...

Bishops’ Action Leads to Questions

5/15/2018
By Sam Hodges and Heather Hahn Did the Council of Bishops vote to put only their recommended One Church Plan before the special session of General Conference, or did the bishops vote to send two other plans for legislative consideration as well? Bishops have offered their own sometimes conflicting answers to the question of exactly what they meant with that vote in closed session earlier this month, leading to confusion within The United Methodist Church. “Different bishops say different ...

Information Technology with a Church Focus

5/14/2018
Are you interested in the latest Information Technology trends for the church? If so, come spend some time in Room D-206 with Ivan Krowl. Mr. Krowl is the Information Technology Manager for the Texas Annual Conference and he will be providing helpful information for churches in three areas: 1. Computer security awareness training 2. Video conferencing solutions 3. Church management software Mr. Krowl will be available during the 2018 Texas Annual Conference at The Woodlands and will have ...

Borrowed Blankets and Broken Hearts: FUMC Pasadena Welcomes Foster Kids Home

5/10/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   Borrowed Blankets and Office Sofas There just aren’t enough foster homes, especially for teenage boys.   Every night, all over the United States, older foster care children lie down on their case workers’ office sofas, pull borrowed blankets up under their chins, and dream of some place to call home.   Tennessee. Indiana. Arizona. Kansas...   Dallas. San Antonio. Austin. Houston…   This May 14th, FUMC Pasadena will make a difference when they welcome 16 teen boys into their ...

Country Church, City Lights: Addicks UMC

5/10/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   In The Little House, the beloved children’s book by Virginia Lee Burton, a quaint home is built “way out in the country” where it is surrounded by fields and apple trees. Far away, in the distance, the little house can see the faint lights of the city, lights that move closer and closer as the seasons go by.   Eventually, the city overtakes the little house. High-rise buildings tower above it, and concrete surrounds it. At night, the sad little house dreams of moonlight on ...

From Bluebird Houses to Literacy: Russell Memorial Invests in Kids

5/10/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   Russell Memorial Serves Wills Point Children As the last school bus rolls out of the parking lot of Wills Point Intermediate School and the hallways fall silent, a group of fourth graders excitedly make their way to an afterschool club led by Russell Memorial member, Kay Crosby. Under Crosby’s careful guidance, the children are making their own bluebird houses from start to finish. “Wills Point, Texas is the Bluebird capital of the South,” explained the Rev. David Cartwright....

Look Me in the Eye: Mobility Worldwide

5/10/2018
By: Sherri Gragg Crawling to Help In 1994, missionary to the Congo, Larry Hills, stood outside his mission gazing across a plain of high grass. As he watched, he saw the grass begin to part. A moment later, a Congolese woman crawled out into the open, a baby strapped to her back and her children walking beside her. Unable to walk, the woman was forced to crawl everywhere she went. She had come to the mission desperate for help.   Hills called Mel West, a friend and partner in missions who was ...

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