Proposal Passes to Focus on Decentralization and Reduction in Expenses for the TAC

8/27/2020
By Lindsay Peyton   At the recent Annual Conference, the Strategic Mapping Team’s proposal was approved, paving the way for reductions in expenses and decentralization. The move will shift the focus to empower Districts and local churches in their ministries. Treasurer Rev. Carol Bruse explained that now the Conference can move forward implementing changes – and members can grow stronger together.   During the Annual Conference, 1,021 voted for the plan and 254 were opposed. In pre-conference ...

TAC Members Mourn the Loss of an Ordinand at First Virtual Ordination

8/27/2020
  By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   During Annual Conference, Bishop Scott Jones welcomed number of new pastors to the TAC – ordinands and individuals who earned their licenses – in the first-ever virtual ceremony, designed to comply with social distancing guidelines. During the event, the entire TAC also mourned the death of one of the ordinands, Rev. Reggie Nelson, who died on July 21.   Rev. Morris Matthis, director of the Center for Clergy Excellence, explained that time is set aside during ...

Two Texas Annual Conference Districts Pay 100% Apportionments

8/27/2020
By Lindsay Peyton   During Annual Conference this year, the East and West Districts were recognized for paying 100% of their apportionments. TAC Treasurer Rev. Carol Bruse and Chair of the Council on Finance and Administration Rev. Dr. Deborah Vaughn commended both districts for their commitment and dedication.   Rev. Bruse explained that each year, local churches are obliged to pay costs to continue shared mission and global ministry for the General and Jurisdictional Conference of the United...

College Students Exploring Call to Ministry through Conference Sponsored Internship

8/13/2020
By Lindsay Peyton   Summers are the perfect time for college students to consider their callings, to contemplate a greater purpose. In the Texas Annual Conference, the College Pastoral Internship Project (CPIP) offers students a firsthand experience behind the scenes at a local church. Interns also benefit from the mentorship of an established pastor.   Let’s meet our three interns this year – Jacob Dunn, a 21-year old at the University of Texas at Tyler and Hailey Derome, a 21-year old at ...

Fair Haven Food Pantry at Chapelwood UMC has Served more than 100,000 People Since Pandemic began

8/13/2020
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   Houston resident Jake Aurelio, 13, wanted to earn his “Citizenship in the Community” Merit Badge for the Boy Scouts. There was only one problem. He could not find an organization open during COVID-19. Eventually, Jake found an answer in his own backyard. The church he attends, Chapelwood UMC, was organizing a drive-through food pantry on its Fair Haven campus, serving those in need in the community and beyond.   Suzanne Harter, Chapelwood’s Director of Serving ...

Houston Area Teacher Uses TikTok Cameos to Open Doors for Spiritual Conversations

8/13/2020
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   Tricia Zinnecker’s 6th grade students aren’t surprised to see her singing along to a popular tune or being silly in a short video. In fact, she’s become their own TikTok sensation. This teacher, a member of Kingwood UMC, believes in meeting people where they are. And, she is opening doors for deeper conversations about the smart use of social media.   COVID-19 emptied Zinnecker’s middle school classroom. “When we left for spring break, we had no idea that we ...

How Pastors Arriving at New Church Meet Their Congregation

8/13/2020
By Lindsay Peyton   Usually, when a pastor leaves a congregation for a new appointment, handshakes, hugs and heartfelt goodbyes abound. Then, when starting at a new church, the pastor is greeted with a welcoming party, meeting members and staff face to face. There’s even the tradition of a “pounding,” when congregants give their new leader a pound each of flour, butter and other essentials for their pantries. During the coronavirus pandemic, however, all of these usual traditions have been ...

Lakeview Takes a Financial Hit with Pandemic, Pastor Issues Financial Challenge

8/13/2020
By Lindsay Peyton   Jacksonville FUMC’s Rev. Doug Wintermute hopes other congregations in the Texas Annual Conference rise to the challenge his church recently issued, when presenting a check for $11,000 to Lakeview Methodist Conference Center in its time of need. “Lakeview has been there for us for years and years,” he said. “Now it’s time for us to be there for them.”   When summer camp was canceled at Lakeview Methodist Conference Center, organizers knew they would face a budget shortfall. ...

Got Milk? Houston Area Church Gives Away Milk to Daycares and the Needy

7/23/2020
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español Got milk? McKinney Memorial UMC in LaMarque has plenty to share. Church volunteers are distributing free gallons of milk, donated by Borden, to daycares and families in need every Tuesday. During COVID-19, this congregation has discovered a whole new way to serve its community.   It all started when Senior Pastor Rev. Carlos Phillips was approached by Borden Dairy, with an offer the church could not refuse.   “Borden offered to give us as much milk as we could ...

How to Preserve Mental Health When Stressed Out

7/23/2020
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   Dealing with stress is simply part of a pastor’s job description. Serving a local church rarely means following a 9-to-5 schedule, and even in the best of times can lead to pastoral burnout. During the coronavirus pandemic, there’s a whole new level of uncertainty for congregations. Those individuals who minister to them are faced with increasing levels of stress. Pastors in the TAC offer a few practical steps to help their fellow clergy preserve their own ...

Mission Moment

7/23/2020
By Lindsay Peyton   Not long after the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe, Rev. Emily Everett, who was serving as a global missionary in Brazil, returned home to Texas to quarantine with her family in Bastrop. Her work, however, did not stop. In fact, Everett explained that all Methodists are called to mission work – whether that means serving overseas or in their own backyard. Learning how to listen, prepare and find a way to still make a positive impact are lessons for all in these ...

Returning to School, College Students Share How the Pandemic has Impacted their Faith

7/23/2020
By Lindsay Peyton     Next month, many college students from Texas Annual Conference churches will head back to campus to face a new normal in academia. They already navigated through difficult waters, being back home, missing their friends and learning how to study and take classes online. Now, these students are preparing to face even more uncertainty – and leaning on faith to carry them through.   Caroline Harper thought spring break would be a relaxing break from her second year at Texas A&...

TAC Churches Respond with Innovative Worship Options as Pandemic Continues

7/23/2020
By Lindsay Peyton   Across the U.S., church members still feel uncertain about in-person worship. In Texas, as preparations to reopen the state were in progress, the number of COVID-19 cases began to spike, adding to existing concerns. Churches are in the TAC are responding by either postponing their plans to open their doors or by keeping services small. Regardless, they continue to find innovative ways to stay connected.   According to the American Enterprise Institute, a number of people ...

Join the Annual Conference Virtual Choir

7/14/2020
This year’s Annual Conference will be unlike any previous TAC. Of course, that means that worship at TAC will also be very different. Just like most of you have adapted your services to an online experience, our worship team is working hard to do the same for TAC 2020. So, because we cannot bring a physical choir from churches to lead worship this year, our team is asking you to help us bring a Virtual Choir from churches across our conference! Using what has become one of the new mainstays ...

Whiteness 101: Equipping Pastors to Work for Racial Justice Webinar

7/13/2020
For the most part, the white church has lived in a racially insular social environment. This environment creates expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the stamina of white people to endure racial stress. Robin DiAngelo terms this lack of racial stamina as “White Fragility.” White Fragility is a state in which even a minimal challenge to one’s racial comfort becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive responses. Yet this moment asks us all to deeply listen. ...

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