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. ...

Upcoming webinars with Bishop Jones, Facebook executive and Thom Rainer

1/28/2021
The Texas Annual Conference is hosting a series of upcoming webinars. Bishop Scott J. Jones and a roster of other distinguished speakers will cover a variety of topics, ranging from the organization of the United Methodist Church, to social media, to the future of the post-pandemic church.   Connected to Christ, Connected to Others with Bishop Scott Jones Each Friday in February, Bishop Scott J. Jones will host a webinar exploring the inner workings of the United Methodist Church and ...

How a 40-year old church pre-school escaped closure

1/28/2021
 Photo taken prior to Covid-19. By Lindsay Peyton - En Español Closing the doors at Spring Woods Christian Academy seemed like the only option. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, operating the pre-school at Spring Woods UMC in north Houston was creating a deficit that the church could not absorb. Senior Pastor, the Rev. Steffon Arrington thought he had exhausted every possibility to keep the school open – until nothing short of a modern day miracle occurred.   What transpired over the ...

New student internships being offered in music, youth and children’s ministry

1/28/2021
 By Lindsay Peyton   The Texas Annual Conference’s Center for Clergy Excellence is debuting a new and improved College Pastoral Internship Project this summer – CPIP 2.0. Enhancements to the program will provide new opportunities for college students to discern their callings.   Applications are currently being accepted for CPIP 2.0 with a deadline of Feb. 16. In the past, students who felt driven to become pastors were the primary applicants. This year, however, more students have a reason to ...

Transforming faith through fitness, a bodybuilder’s story

1/14/2021
By Lindsay Peyton   Eva Layton serves as administrative assistant for the Texas Annual Conference’s South District. In the midst of the pandemic, she stuck to her goals, preparing for a bodybuilding competition. Only a couple of years ago, she would have thought the feat impossible. With faith on her side, and scripture in her mind, she forged on to reach her target. It all started with a dare. Eva Layton brought her son-in-law Adam Bonneau to watch her friend compete as a body builder, hoping...

COVID 19 vaccination town hall meeting

1/14/2021
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   The good news? There are now vaccines for COVID-19 rolling out in Texas. The bad news, however, is that there are a number of lingering questions and concerns about vaccination. Houston Methodist Hospital is partnering with the Texas Annual Conference to host a virtual town hall to address anxieties and spread awareness. The COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall, is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20 in English and Thursday, Jan. 21 in Spanish. Houston ...

Anne Hearn, bishop’s wife, dies at 89

1/14/2021
By Lindsay Peyton   The Texas Annual Conference mourns the loss of Galveston’s Elizabeth Anne Connaughton Hearn, wife of the late Bishop James Woodrow Hearn. She died on Dec. 17 at age 89 and was laid to rest on Jan. 2 in Greenwood Cemetery in Ruston, Louisiana, next to her husband.   Hearn was born in Dallas on Aug. 25, 1931 to parents Clyde Augustine Connaughton and Kathryn Weatherford Connaughton. In 1952, she graduated Summa Cum Laud from Louisiana Tech University, earning a bachelor’s ...

College students from Texas Annual Conference Church serve in Lake Charles hurricane recovery

1/14/2021
By Lindsay Peyton   Usually, the year begins at Houston’s Memorial Drive UMC with a week-long mission trip for college students while they are home for winter break. This being no ordinary year, organizers began brainstorming and rethinking their plans months in advance. The church found a way for mission to continue in the pandemic -- and headed to Lake Charles for disaster relief.   Steve Cragg at Memorial Drive UMC has been organizing college mission trips for years. In the past, students ...

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