Special Session set for churches exploring disaffiliation

7/28/2022
  By Shannon W. Martin   It’s the last thing anyone wanted, but United Methodist Churches across the country are asking: Do we remain in the United Methodist Church, or disaffiliate into another denomination?   In response to the denomination’s changing landscape, Bishop Scott J. Jones has announced a Special Session for the Texas Annual Conference to be held December 3, 2022, from 9 a.m. to noon, at Houston’s First Methodist Houston West. The agenda of the conference will be limited to matters ...

Texas church fostering hope for kids

7/28/2022
  By Maleri McHam - En Español   Across the nation, some 2.5 million children are put in situations where they are being raised by their kin after being removed from their biological parents. This is especially true in East Texas. That’s why Rev. David McGlocklin is bringing Kinship Ministry to the area, to provide these children and their caretakers with needed resources.   McGlocklin, who is the pastor at Cheatham Memorial UMC, was recently awarded a grant totaling $10,000 from the Texas ...

Church transforms preschool learning with $18K scholarships

7/14/2022
   By Lindsay Peyton   Jacqueline Gwin spent years working as a preschool director in the private sector. “Before COVID, it was difficult,” she said. “After COVID, it was even worse.” She decided to make a career shift and find a better fit at a Christian school. In time, she would land at the helm of Bear Creek UMC School. Her journey was nothing short of a God-directed Cinderella story.   “I wanted to make a difference, not just a paycheck,” Gwin said.   She attended a conference for Christian...

First black female senior pastor appointed to Westbury UMC

7/14/2022
  By Dawson Bley - En Español Dedicated to being “a church for all people with more than enough love to go around,” Westbury UMC in Houston recently appointed the Rev. Eleanor Colvin as its first black female senior pastor.  As a fourth-generation Methodist, Colvin is no stranger to the Church. She has ministered in a variety of capacities, serving as the Director of Communications for the Texas Annual Conference (TAC) and more recently as a pastor at St. Paul’s UMC in Houston and FUMC, College...

New church plant emphasizes small groups

7/14/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton   Rev. Dr. John Wayne McMann and his wife Lauren, with their two children and one on the way, recently relocated to Willis for their next great adventure. FUMC Conroe was preparing to launch a church plant in the community – and McMann was offered the opportunity to stand at its helm. “I’ve been interested in planning a church since I got out of seminary,” he said.   Still, when he received the call last December to see if he would be interested in the move, he was reluctant ...

Preparation most important part of hurricane response

7/14/2022
  By Alyson Rockhold - En Español Rev. Godfrey Hubert explains that disaster response is like youth soccer. It's heartwarming to see the enormous outpouring of love from churches, but it's also a bit disconcerting because of the disparity in execution. The Disaster Coordinator for the Texas Annual Conference explains that some teams perform like all-stars and others struggle. The difference lies mostly in training and preparation.   Seeing this need, Hubert and other church leaders began ...

A time for honest conversation

7/14/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton   “How is it with your soul?” These words were carefully selected by John Wesley to begin his “Class Meetings,” the original small groups of the early Methodist church. The question means so much more than “how are you doing?” It opens a conversation about grace and paves the way to a deeper examination of life. It’s a practice that Rev. Roger Clayton has adopted at Needville UMC.   The church’s small group, inspired by Wesley’s Class Meetings, begins with members going ...

SCJ Committee on Episcopacy Recommends Episcopal Election and Coverage Plan

6/29/2022
The South Central Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy has decided, in consultation with the College of Bishops, to recommend that the Jurisdictional Conference elect three new bishops in November 2022. With three elections, the SCJ would have a total of nine bishops available to be assigned to nine of the 10 current episcopal areas. The tenth episcopal area will be left open with episcopal coverage to be determined by the Council of Bishops upon recommendation from the SCJ College of Bishops ...

Bishop Jones’s Retirement Moves From 2024 to End of 2022

6/23/2022
On June 16, 2022, Bishop Scott J. Jones submitted a letter to the South Central Jurisdiction and the Council of Bishops requesting retirement from the active episcopacy effective Dec. 31, 2022.   In making this announcement, Bishop Jones updated his statement that said, “At as of today…I am willing to stay as bishop of the Texas Annual Conference for two more years.”   During the final day of the Texas Annual Conference session, held May 29 through June 1 at the Hilton Americas – Houston, ...

Methodist church sends $1.2M medical supplies to Ukraine

6/23/2022
By Lindsay Peyton   Getting needed medical supplies into war-torn Ukraine might seem like an insurmountable task. Routes for delivery by sea are blocked, and there are customs requirements to consider. On top of the logistical challenges are the surmounting costs, especially with jet fuel prices soaring. Nonetheless, a homegrown nonprofit in North Zulch, Texas is undertaking the cause – the Arlene Campbell Humanitarian Foundation. Founder and president Lena Denman is a member of FUMC ...

District meetings to educate congregations on future choices

6/23/2022
By Lindsay Peyton   The Future Discernment Task Force is coming soon to a church near you. The group is planning informative sessions throughout the Conference, stopping in each district.  The schedule of meetings can be found here on the Texas Annual Conference website.   Assistant to the Bishop, Rev. Kip Gilts, who convenes the Task Force, explained that the group was established through a resolution at the 2021 Annual Conference. “The purpose was to establish a broad base of leaders within ...

Kids learn how to fly in VBS

6/23/2022
By Lindsay Peyton Pastor Develous Bright, at Salem UMC in Orange, Texas, celebrated his 60th birthday on June 12 and is also in his 20th year in ministry. Those two milestones prompted him to ponder his next steps, as well as his legacy. “What do I do with the rest of my life? What can I build that will last?” he asked. “You’ve got to find new ways of putting passion into your work. You have to see what you need to feed your soul.” He’s finding an answer – and his next steps – in flight. Bright...

Close Knit Church

6/23/2022
By Lindsay Peyton   Knit, purl, pray. The shawls made at Hemphill FUMC are designed to provide a loving embrace to those who will one day receive them – and to enfold them in the grace of God.   Pat Friese, who founded the church’s prayer shawl ministry in 2005, explained that the hand-knitted wraps are essentially stitched together with prayer. At the beginning of each group meeting, members join in prayer, asking that the garment be blessed as well as the future recipient.   As the women ...

Bishop Jones announces retirement

6/17/2022
June 17, 2022   To Lay and Clergy Members of the Texas Annual Conference   Dear Friends,   Yesterday I submitted my letter to the South Central Jurisdiction and the Council of Bishops requesting that I be granted retirement from the active episcopacy as of December 31, 2022.   Since the Judicial Council decision on June 1, I have prayed and thought a lot about my future. On that day I said “As of today . . . I am willing to stay as bishop of the Texas Conference for two more years.” Increasing ...

Annual Conference 2022 Wrap up

6/2/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton   “Praise the Lord My Soul” was the theme of the 53rd Texas Annual Conference, held May 29 through June 1 at Hilton Americas-Houston. The event returned to gathering in-person, after two years of virtual meetings.   Delegates experienced a variety of outstanding worship music that ranged from classical choir to instrumental to praise and worship. Bishop Scott J. Jones gave his Episcopal Address on Sunday, Rev. Wanda Bess of the West District preached on Monday and special ...

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