Houston church committed to community education

3/24/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton   It’s a match made in heaven – a new childcare center opening in one of the oldest churches in Houston. Trinity Preparatory Academy is launching at Trinity UMC, 2600 Holman Street. Already, 45 children have signed up, 40 percent of the program’s capacity. By creating the school, Senior Pastor Rev. Ed Jones explained, the congregation is paving the way for student success and discipleship in the community.   Trinity UMC has a rich, 157-year history, and much of which is ...

Finding Jesus in prison

3/10/2022
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   Covered in tattoos and dressed in a prisoner’s uniform of all white, Adam Zinsser spoke to members of Christ Church Sugar Land via video during their annual Restorative Justice Sunday. He recounted his journey from juvenile detention and boys homes to mental hospitals and drug rehabilitation centers before landing in the penitentiary at age 17. “I went through a lot, and prison hardened my heart even more,” Zinsser said. It wasn’t until he fully surrendered to ...

Field of dreams brings generations together

3/10/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   A softball diamond is coming soon to the grounds of Lake Houston UMC, transforming the space to the church’s own field of dreams. The annual Slowpitch Showdown fundraiser pits youth against adult players. The result is not only a home run for family fun but also a big win towards establishing the church as a fixture in the community.   Pastor Russell Martin said the softball competition has been held for five years now. “The youth have won twice and the adults,...

Literacy program expands ecumenically

3/10/2022
By Lindsay Peyton   Reading Buddies will soon be back in session. The community-wide volunteer effort to help elementary students build their reading skills is organized by FUMC Dayton. Now, after a two-year hiatus due to COVID, the program is relaunching at the end of March.   Rev. Guy Williams has been spreading the word around town. At a recent Chamber of Commerce meeting, the news was met with applause. “There were cheers,” the Pastor recalled.   Chamber members weren’t the only ones who ...

New ways to experience Lent

3/10/2022
By Lindsay Peyton In the midst of the pandemic, churches of the Texas Annual Conference demonstrated their creativity and resiliency, time and time again. Congregations found new ways to continue their work for the transformation of the world. That same innovative spirit can be a force for Lent this year, helping bring people closer to Christ during the season. Lent is a 40-day time to reflect and pray, to remember Jesus’ trials in the wilderness before starting his ministry. Many give up ...

Meet pastors to be commissioned at TAC 2022

3/10/2022
By Lindsay Peyton   During the Annual Conference, Bishop Scott Jones commissions pastors with a special ceremony and they become provisional members of the Texas Annual Conference as they continue toward their ordination. Commissioning pastors signifies the commitment candidates make to proclaim the gospel, as well as the church’s affirmation of each individual. The Conference’s Board of Ordained Ministry recruits, nurtures, evaluates and supports clergy as they embark on a long journey towards...

A letter from Bishop Scott J. Jones: Fast for Ukraine

3/2/2022
This Ash Wednesday, with people across the world, I am fasting. Together, we are answering a call from global Christian leaders to fast for Ukraine.   Usually, during Ash Wednesday, our minds turn to our mortality, to our humanity and our need for God’s forgiveness. Fasting is a practice that is meant to strengthen our focus and direct our mindfulness. Lent calls us to reflect on Jesus’s time in the wilderness, where He too fasted and prayed, in preparation for the tasks ahead.   Right now, our...

Grieve for Ukraine, but not without hope

3/2/2022
By Lindsay Peyton   David Goran, Lead Pastor at FUMC Pearland and Redeemer UMC in Manvel, is closely following the news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “My first thought was, ‘Oh my gosh, what’s going to happen to all these people we know and love,’” he said. “What are they going to do?”   Ten years have passed since Goran and his wife Shannon served as missionaries in L’viv, a city in western Ukraine, not far from the border with Poland. The couple lived in the town for five years, serving ...

Churches get creative for Ash Wednesday services

2/24/2022
By Lindsay Peyton Ash Wednesday, arriving March, 2 this year, begins the season of Lent, a time of spiritual discipline. The imposition of ashes, a tradition that traces its roots to the 10th century, first appeared in the rituals of the United Methodist Church in the 20th century. Pastors in the Texas Annual Conference are preparing their sermons – and getting creative with sharing the message of repentance and grace. Back to in-person at Good Shepherd UMC in Cypress Good Shepherd UMC in ...

How will Lent be different this year? Q & A with clergy and laity

2/24/2022
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español Lent is a time of penance, prayer and introspection. Typically, the focus is on mortality. Because the fragility of life has been under the microscope since the beginning of the pandemic two years ago, many pastors will draw upon Lent to deepen faith and as a reminder of our dependence upon God. By mediating on grace, we find an opportunity to recapture joy – and to keep our eyes on resurrection.   With Lent on the horizon, Cross Connection recently reached out ...

Local church spreads love with signs and banners

2/24/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton   Yard signs printed, “Love First,” are popping up this month around Center, Texas. Rev. Malcolm Monroe of FUCM Center ordered 100 signs for members this February. Already, the signs have been displayed in front of homes and businesses.   Creating signs with a message is not new for Monroe. When he began serving the church in July 2020, he printed two large banners reading, “Join the Joy,” an important focus of his ministry.   One banner was hung on the church and another on ...

Sharing food and love with church neighbors

2/24/2022
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español Meeting the neighbors was a top priority for Roig Calzadilla after being appointed Associate Pastor at Revive! UMC in Pasadena a year ago. “Some of them thought our church was closed,” he recalled. “I said, ‘No, not at all.’” In fact, the name Revive! resulted from a transformation of the church formerly known as First UMC Pasadena. And in its new incarnation, the congregation was especially dedicated to bringing new life to its members and surrounding community....

Wiley College celebrates its rich history for Black History Month

2/24/2022
By Lindsay Peyton The calendar for February has been full at Wiley College for the celebration of Black History Month. Events included film screenings, poetry nights, trivia competitions, social media campaigns, inspirational walks and special speakers.   A kick-off, hosted by the campus chapel, featured prayer and song and was live streamed. The month also featured an awards ceremony for area educators, as well as an archival display of alumni in the campus library and student union. Each ...

486 Churches Pay 100% Apportionments

2/21/2022
The Texas Annual Conference extends a special thank you to the 486 TAC congregations that paid 100% apportionments during this past year. To see the full list click here

Church and medical school join hands to serve unhoused

2/10/2022
Rev. Michael Gienger waits to get his COVID booster shot. Photo by Troy Griffin    By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   The second story at Galveston Central Church has been transformed into a medical clinic for the island’s homeless population. The clinic, developed during the past year in collaboration with the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), is preparing to welcome its first patients later this month.   At Galveston Central, all are welcome, regardless of socioeconomic status, and the...

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