Church acquires gas station fueling youth ministry and more

5/19/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton  - En Español   When the current sanctuary at FUMC Pittsburg was constructed in 1905, the congregation had already been established for nearly five decades. Now, the structure with its gabled roof and towers has become a landmark in the town, and the church celebrates 165 years of history. As time passed, a number of buildings were added to campus. Some might be expected, like a fellowship hall and parsonage. Others are a little more unusual – a doctor’s office, grocery store...

Bishop Jones Addresses Recent Events within UMC

5/11/2022
En Español In response to recent events within and relating to the United Methodist Church, Bishop Scott J. Jones of the Texas Annual Conference discussed the current and potential future states of the denomination in a webinar titled “Navigating the Waters with Grace and Respect, part 2” on Tuesday, May 10.  During such a pivotal time in the history of the denomination, Jones says he believes members of the conference should engage in more communication and conversation rather than less. His ...

Church learning how to equip parents to be spiritual leaders

4/28/2022
By Lindsay Peyton  - En Español   Oikon UMC comes from the Greek “oikos,” which means “the family dwelling” or “houses.” The title is ideal for a congregation started with a series of small groups, gathering in house churches. The name reminds us that church is the house of God – and that churches were originally composed of small groups, meeting in homes. The family residing in the home has recently taken center stage at Oikon – as the congregation makes sure that everyone is included, even ...

Pastor's nonprofit bears the cost of extracurriculars

4/28/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton It all started with a vision for a name and a logo. Pastor Kimm Thomas, who serves both Warren Chapel UMC in Huntsville and Mt. Zion UMC in Coldspring, felt divinely guided when she worked up the design for “Praise on My Lips” about eight years ago. She knew God was telling her to start a nonprofit, but she still was not sure what its focus would be. In 2020, it came to her – helping children achieve success. “You never know how God’s plan will turn out,” she said.   “Praise...

Ministering to families with compassionate connections

4/28/2022
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   A chaplain is well aware that God is not limited to inside church walls. Wherever these providers of spiritual care are assigned, He is at work right alongside them – in hospitals, fire departments, prisons, universities, the military and law enforcement agencies.   Rev. Greg Edwards feels that divine presence in his work everyday as a hospice chaplain. “When you move into a chaplain position, you’ve just expanded your faith in a whole new realm,” he said. “And ...

Church helps students afford high fashion prom dresses

4/28/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton   Opening the right door at Huntington UMC could transport you into a boutique, where dreams really do come true. Inside Priscilla’s Closet, vibrant arrays of dresses hang, while jewelry and accessories are displayed on tabletops. Fitting rooms and mirrors stand at the ready. The former classroom was transformed into a shop to help girls in need find gowns for prom. With time it grew – and now remains available anytime a girl is in need of formal wear.   The operation is the ...

God gives small church big numbers for afterschool program

4/14/2022
Youth 2   By Lindsay Peyton   After classes end on Wednesday, a school bus arrives at the elementary school in Alto, Texas. Children eagerly await for those bus doors to open and for the drive to A. Frank Smith UMC. These students attend an afterschool program called Kids for Christ (KFC). The church provides space to play and a meal for the children at no cost.   “This is the only afterschool program in town,” Pastor Tim Ross explained. It’s also the largest church program in Alto, he said.   ...

How to build a thriving community this Easter

4/14/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton Vibrant 3   As COVID cases drop lower, and in-person church service resumes, this Easter marks the return to celebrating the good news with each other. Congregations in the Texas Annual Conference found creative ways during the pandemic to keep Easter alive. Now, churches are finding the festivities they started in the face of COVID concerns are worth maintaining. These innovative Easter events provide an avenue for evangelism, fellowship and fun.   #EggThyNeighbor Wildwood ...

How to cure preacher’s block

4/14/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton    Got preacher’s block? The struggle is real, explains Rev. Jessica LaGrone, Dean of the Chapel at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. Almost every clergy member can relate to struggling to start a sermon. The solution, however, may be simpler and closer than you think.  In January, LaGrone launched an online co-working space called “Preacher’s Block,” and it’s quickly becoming a go-to for pastors.   “It’s like study hall,” she said. “You get a sense that you’...

Let’s Pre-Conference 2022

4/14/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton Delegates are invited to attend a virtual Pre-Conference Session, a preview of the upcoming Annual Conference business session and an opportunity to delve into proposed resolutions. The Pre-Conference Session will help delegates fully understand the resolutions and offer time to ask questions. The scheduled times for Pre-Conference 2022 are: 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 1 for Central Northwest, South and Southwest Districts. Spanish translation and closed captioning will also...

Outdoor art space now accessible to working poor

4/14/2022
By Lindsay Peyton   Pitched in the parking lot at St. Paul’s UMC in Houston are Art Tents – creative spaces for those experiencing homelessness. Guests, who are waiting for meals and donations from the Emergency Aid Coalition (EAC) on campus, are invited to step inside and pick up a paint brush or drawing materials. The result has been transformative for both participants and the volunteers who run the ministry. An exhibit of the works created will celebrate the healing power of artistic ...

Questions answered about UMC future

3/24/2022
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español Recent events have signaled an uncertain future for the United Methodist Church. Bishop Scott Jones explained that many questions have been raised in the minds of members of the Texas Annual Conference. While navigating the challenging waters ahead, he will seek to lead with clarity, fairness, and transparency. Jones forecasts that the denomination will have a schism in the months to come, much to his regret. “A split is coming,” he said. “And it’s breaking my ...

Faith, resilience endures two years after Covid

3/24/2022
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español Pastor Kenneth Levingston could very well be more excited on Resurrection Sunday than a child on Christmas morning. “For me, it’s indescribable,” he said. The Senior Pastor at Jones Memorial UMC even reserves a hotel room the night before to be closer to church. He enjoys arriving before dawn. “I can’t wait,” he said. “No matter how early you get up, He’s already risen.” For the past two years, however, Levingston’s tradition went on hold, as virtual worship ...

Scripture comes to life at Maundy Thursday service

3/24/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton   The stage is set and rehearsals have started at FUMC Crockett for the upcoming performance of the “Living Last Supper.” Church members are building backdrops, finding props, building a table, rehearsing music and practicing their lines. “It takes some time to pull it together, and a lot of commitment,” Rev. Michael Bedevian said. The effort, however, is well worth it – as Scripture is brought to life.   Bedevian first witnessed a Living Last Supper when he started in ...

Lakeview celebrates 75th anniversary

3/24/2022
Fireworks will soon light up the night sky in Palestine, Texas, as Lakeview Methodist Conference Center celebrates its 75th anniversary. Among the special guests in the audience will be some of the original summer campers from 1949. “We definitely want everyone to get their tickets and celebrate with us,” president and CEO Josh Pulver said.   Festivities begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 2 at 400 Private Road 6036, with an open house, food trucks of all varieties and family fun, including ...

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