Growing New Faith Communities: Tour de TAC

8/9/2018
En Español Tour de TAC is coming to the Texas Annual Conference. Rev. Morris Matthis, Director of New Faith Communities, discusses why new faith communities are vital to the future of the Conference. Q: In Tour de TAC, the Conference will hear how we can grow through new faith communities. Most of us understand the concept of church planting but we might be less familiar with the idea of alternative new faith communities. What are alternative faith communities and why do they matter?   A: The...

Heartspring, TMF Finalize Merger

8/9/2018
The boards of Heartspring Methodist Foundation and the Texas Methodist Foundation (TMF) signed the paperwork to formally finalize their merger July 26th, 2018, with the understanding that they will not begin operations as a combined foundation until January 1, 2019. The boards of Heartspring and TMF voted unanimously to combine organizations. The Texas Conference Board of Trustees also approved this combination. On May 29, 2018 the Texas Annual Conference voted to affirm the resolution to ...

Lindale UMC Donates Shoes at Back to School Carnival

8/9/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   As Lindale UMC Family Ministries Director, Kim Johnson, makes last minute checks of volunteers and carnival games, Senior Pastor Michael Peschke, takes his place as a greeter next to the front door. He is armed with a mountain of goody bags. Outside, a line of excited children stretches down the sidewalks as their parents fill out registrations forms that they will turn in to receive a golden ticket.   At last the moment arrives. The doors open, and children rush inside to ...

Tour de Tac: Bike Riders to Help Encourage Innovation and Church Planting

8/9/2018
By: Rev. Morris Matthis For more than ten years, I have been riding my bike across the Texas Conference for ministry causes. When Bishop Scott Jones, also a bike rider, and I began to talk about how to cast the vision for the creation of new faith communities, it was only natural that he and I would do this from our bikes! And to be honest, aren’t we all better when we are spending time exercising? Physically. Emotionally. And yes, even spiritually. The bike ride is also an amazing way to build...

Upper Room: A Church that Looks Like Heaven

8/9/2018
By: Sherri Gragg The Upper Room, Houston, a worship community that reflects the cities vibrant diversity is preparing for a move to the Heights. The Upper Room, is often referred to as "the church that looks like heaven.   What is the difference between significance and success?   The question is a deeply personal one for Upper Room Community Pastor, Christian Washington. “As a consultant, I had reached a certain level of success only to realize there was an emptiness,” Washington recalled.   ...

Vida Abundante: Hispanic Ministries Comes to East Texas

8/9/2018
By: Sherri Gragg - En Español   The Tyler, Texas area is home to more than 42,000 Hispanic people, 30,000 of which speak Spanish as their first language, and yet there was no United Methodist church to minister to them in their language.   Until now.   Vida Abundante In response to the prayers of many, God has given birth to a new United Methodist Hispanic worship community- Vida Abundante. According to the Rev. Arturo Cadar, Coordinator of Mission Field Development, the new church plant is ...

What About Us? Special People Camp

8/9/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   Twenty-five years ago, a group of special needs adults posed this question to the Rev. Steve Goad. The pastor took their heartfelt longing back to his church, Carroll Springs UMC, Athens and they, along with Lakeview Methodist Conference center, began Special People Camp to minister to special needs adults in a church camp environment.   Basic Longings of the Human Heart The Rev. Bill Newcomb, father of an adult special needs son, worked as a camp counselor that first year. ...

Retired Clergy and Spouses Retreat October 2-4, 2018

8/8/2018
The 2018 Retired Clergy and Spouses Retreat will be held October 2-4, 2018 at Lakeview. Join us for food, fun, food, relaxing, visiting, singing, visiting, more visiting and lots of good things! Every early Fall season the retired clergy and spouses/surviving spouses gather at Lakeview Methodist Conference Center to renew old relationships and begin new ones where found.  This we will do October 2nd – 4th.  Registration has begun, either online through the Heartspring Methodist Foundation ...

Small Church Retreat November 17, 2018

8/8/2018
The annual Small Church Retreat will be held at Grace UMC in Palestine, TX November 17, 2018. Our Guest Speaker will be: Dr. Jesse Brannen, Central South District Superintendent. Lunch is included in the $35 per person registration fee. Is your church wounded? In trauma? In Survival Mode? Recovering from an injury? Or just in need of some new ministry ideas to renew interest and inspire growth?  No church is an island! Join us for a day of learning, sharing and creating! You will go home ...

Third Sunday Native American Worship August 19: Rev. Ross Hyde

8/6/2018
Rev. Ross Hyde, who is our speaker this Third Sunday and the chairperson of CONAM (Committee on Native American Ministries), will be preaching on the Power of Oneness from John 17.  Come to hear this powerful sermon and share your memories about Anna.  Also, we would love to share food with you afterward at our Potluck dinner. We will also be showing how much we loved Anna Edwards who passed away Wednesday, August 1st.  Anna supported the Native Community here in Houston and in Livingston.  She...

A Sunday of Blessing

7/26/2018
En Español As part of Bishop Scott Jones’s, “We Love All God’s Children" Initiative, Sunday, August 12, 2018, churches throughout the Texas Conference will encourage and support community educators in “A Sunday of Blessing.”   A Sunday of Blessing Summer flew by in a blink. Soon, children will shoulder backpacks and head back to school. “We Love All God’s Children” is gearing up right alongside students as churches throughout out the Texas Conference bless backpacks and hold school supply ...

First UMC Center Spreads Hope with Prayer Crosses

7/26/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   During the Iraq War, nearly 5,000 American servicemen and women lost their lives. Thousands upon thousands more were wounded in combat. As the war stretched on for nine brutal years, America learned how to grieve together.   Whenever word spread that a lost son or daughter was coming home to their final resting place, entire towns turned out to bear witness to young lives cut short. Standing at attention, with hands over their hearts and tears on their faces, mourners lined ...

From Sunday School Rooms to Bedrooms: Atascocita UMC Shelters Homeless Families

7/26/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   James, his wife Crystal and their four children were in trouble.   As an Iraqi veteran, James was injured in the line of duty. After a long season of recovery, and subsequent return to civilian life, it seemed the family was finally getting back on their feet. Then the unthinkable happened; James suffered a devastating eye injury at work. Doctor’s bills replaced paychecks, and long hours spent at his job gave way to endless frustrating phone calls to the Veteran’s ...

Making the World a Better Place One Child at a Time

7/26/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   Zachary McKenzie sat across from the table in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters offices from a young boy, the child’s mother and grandmother. It was his first interaction with his new “little brother.” The group made small talk, and attempted to get through a list of “get to know you” questions and still the conversation stalled awkwardly. Suddenly, the little boy looked across the table at McKenzie and said, “Nevah.”   “What?” McKenzie asked, confused.   “Nevah! It is what my...

Money Matters: Why Tithe?

7/26/2018
En Español Is tithing still relevant? In this issue of Cross Connection, we sit down with the Rev. Melvin Amerson, Texas Methodist Foundation Senior Area Representative and Resource Specialist, to hear why tithing still matters to God…and his church. Q. Some Christians argue that tithing is an outdated concept since we are no longer under Mosaic Law. What is your response to this assertion?   A: Since tithing is not frequently mentioned in the New Testament, some people believe it is no longer ...

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