Beyond These Walls to Feature Bishop Jones

Keynotes Bishop Scott Jones, Adam Weber, and Danielle Strickland invite you to join them as they share how your congregation can take the church outside the four walls. See Schedule    Register    Learn More      

Bishop Jones: Statement on Windsor Village

Kirbyjon Caldwell has been an outstanding pastor and leader in our community for over 30 years. The United Methodist Church has high standards for the moral conduct of its clergy, and we recognize the seriousness of the charges against him. We will walk through this difficult situation with Rev. Caldwell and the Windsor Village congregation and keep them in our prayers. We have faith that the judicial process will find the truth.                       Bishop Scott J. Jones

Center UMC Welcomes Refugees Home

By: Sherri Gragg   The Reverend Karen Jones of First UMC Center, Texas is growing accustomed to her new role as “home appliance operational guide.” Recently, she found herself standing in an African refugee’s home explaining how to use the stove. Her new friend had never seen one before. Before that, it was a washer and dryer. Last summer, as the average daily August temperature for Center, Texas hovered around 95 degrees, she arrived at home after home of refugees to find the windows shut ...

CyHope: Changing the Lives of Children

By: Sherri Gragg - En Español While on sabbatical in 2010, the Rev. Dr. Godfrey Hubert, long-time pastor of The Foundry UMC, came across a question that changed the course of his church’s future- “If your church ceased to exist tomorrow, would your community miss you?” (McNeal, Reggie. The Present Future. (2003). John Wiley and Sons, San Francisco, California.)   Hubert knew his 5,000-member congregation would miss The Foundry, but he wasn’t at all sure the community would. It was a ...

Hope Wins: Hurricane Harvey Meets His Match

By: Sherri Gragg   In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, six churches joined together to form the 4B Disaster Response Network to meet their neighbors’ immediate needs, and to lay a strategic foundation for a rapid response to future crises. In the months since the organization was established, it has grown to include the support of more than 20 churches. The “4B” represents the area the organization seeks to serve- Beltway 8 to the north, Galveston Beach to the south, Brazoria County to the ...

Small Churches Serving in Big Ways: Maud UMC and Old Boston UMC

By: Sherri Gragg   “Are we going to have food again this year?”   The Reverend Ross Hyde looked down into the eyes of the little boy standing in front of him. The child’s request broke his heart. For years, Hyde’s congregations, Maud UMC and Old Boston UMC, had worked together to feed the hungry children in their community during the weekends and throughout long summers when they would otherwise go hungry.   Until last summer.   Meeting the Needs of Hungry Kids Maud UMC and Old Boston UMC are ...

The Upper Room and the Communion Table

By: Sherri Gragg    For the past 15 years, the Reverend Steve Woody has led the youth of FUMC Livingston through a highly intentional, nine-month confirmation journey that culminates with a Passover Seder. Each year, the confirmation process begins with the start of school in September, and ends the following May on Passover Sunday.   “It is very important that kids understand that the sacrament of Communion began with the Passover Seder,” said Senior Pastor Steve Woody.   An Evening in “The ...

Two Languages, One Church: First United Methodist Pasadena Embraces Hispanic Ministry

By: Sherri Gragg - En Español  In the fall of 2016, Coordinator of Mission Field Development, Arturo Cadar, met with the pastoral leadership of First UMC, Pasadena over lunch to tell them about Pastor Ruben Olivares. Olivares had recently completed the apprentice program at Crossroads UMC. Cadar was confident that Olivares was ready to take the next step into ministry and that he would be a good fit for First UMC, Pasadena.   “Thirty years ago, the racial demographics of our community was 75 ...

When Easter and April Fool’s Day Collide

By: Reverend Lindsay Childers Kirkpatrick Dr. John Holbert, Professor Emeritus of Homiletics, SMU, Perkins School of Theology, once said, “If you want to improve as a preacher, watch comedians.” I can’t help but remember his words as I sit on my sofa binge watching Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Over and over these guys keep talking about how they live for the laugh. The best comedians, of course, can make us laugh about mundane little nothings- they can even make us laugh about challenges ...

Five Stars of Excellence in Christian Education

The Five Stars of Excellence in Christian Education recognizes congregations in the Texas Annual Conference that are committed to effective ministries in Christian Education. The program’s goals are: to assist local congregations to make and grow disciples of Christ; to encourage, promote, strengthen, and facilitate the growth of Christian Education and faith formation programs; to connect Christian Education to the overall ministry of the local church and the connectional church. The Five ...

A Courageous Choice: First Methodist Conroe

By: Sherri Gragg   Rockets and Boomerangs When Dr. Jeff Olive was 21-years-old, he walked into the doors of First Methodist Conroe for the first time. The church was instrumental in laying the foundations of his faith and launching him into a life of ministry. After more than a decade in church planting, both in planting his own church in Tyler and in his role as Conference Director of New Church Development, Olive returned to First Methodist Conroe as senior pastor in January of 2017.   On his...

A Listening Ear and a Life of Service

By: Sherri Gragg   The late Rev. Billy Graham once proposed that a life of Christian service is, in fact, a life of holy worship. “The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service,” Graham said. “The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.” It stands to reason, therefore, that service is a lifetime endeavor for the follower of Christ, one from which he or she never retires.   A Lifetime of Service Rev. Shirley Connally...

Ignite Youth Conference: Striking a Spark of Faith in TAC Youth

By: Sherri Gragg   Lighting a Candle Methodist minister W.L. Watkinson once said, “It is far better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” Each year, the Texas Annual Conference seeks to light a candle of faith in the lives of students grades seven through twelve during the Ignite youth conference.   Traditionally, Ignite takes place in multiple locations over the course of several weekends throughout the year. This year Rev. Eddie Erwin, Director of Youth and Young Adults, and his ...

New Mission, New Life: First United Methodist Church Brookshire

By: Sherri Gragg Imagine this…   You are a pastor newly assigned to a wonderful historical church, but once you get on the ground you realize that along with a beautiful legacy of faith and a loving congregation, your new church also has some daunting challenges. Attendance is down. It is more difficult by the day to attract young families to worship. Your congregation no longer reflects the neighborhood surrounding it.   To top it off, your new church’s community, your mission field, is in ...

Seven Months After Harvey: Where are We Now?

By: Sherri Gragg   The Power of UMCOR March 11, 2018 was UMCOR Sunday, the day when churches throughout the Texas Conference and throughout the denomination join together to support the United Methodist Committee on Relief. No Conference is more acutely aware of the value of UMCOR than the TAC as we have met the devastating fall-out of Hurricane Harvey head on over the past seven months.   The newly released National Hurricane Center Tropical Cyclone Report on Hurricane Harvey details the ...

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