Get Ready to Pre-Conference -- Delegates to learn issues, technology in preparation for Annual Conference

By Lindsay Peyton   Think of the Pre-Conference Meeting as a preview for Annual Conference, a time to learn more and prepare delegates for the important job ahead. This year, the meeting will be held online and presented in three separate sessions.   Since Annual Conference will move completely online this year, an informative Pre-Conference is more critical than ever, Rev. Kip Gilts, Assistant to the Bishop, explained. “This will be our technology walk-through,” he said. “We’ll see how to do ...

Outdoor Amphitheater Feels Heaven Sent During COVID-19 at Lake Palestine UMC

By Lindsay Peyton   At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Rev. Ingrid Beguinistain Akers at Lake Palestine UMC in Chandler, like most other pastors, devoted all her energy pivoting to online. Once that task was complete, she got creative, considering sermons in a new light. An answer awaited in the church’s own backyard – an outdoor amphitheater – that soon transformed into the main stage for the congregation.    Rev. Beguinistain Akers has served Lake Palestine UMC for a year but was ...

Students Spend the Night in a Cardboard City

By Lindsay Peyton   Every year, students from Humble ISD trade in the comforts of home to spend the night outside in a cardboard shelter as part of the Cardboard City project. The event raises awareness about homelessness and funds for two important area outreach organizations, Family Promise of Lake Houston and Humble Area Assistance Ministries (HAAM). When COVID-19 halted plans for the annual fundraiser, Strawbridge UMC got creative and found a way for the ministry to continue.     Usually ...

United Methodist Pastor and Retirement Home Resident Shares Hope and Leads Bible Study

By Lindsay Peyton   The coronavirus pandemic is shedding new light on nursing homes and assisted living. Plenty of bad news has focused on assisted living facilities and nursing homes unable to meet the needs of their residents. Fortunately, there’s another option –one built on Wesleyan principles. Methodist Retirement Communities serves about 2,000 residents in 13 centers across Texas.   Rev. Sherry Q. Crenshaw moved to the Methodist Retirement Communities Cornerstone campus in Texarkana in ...

Virtual Ordination, Licensing Helps New Pastors Stay Safe

The year before being ordained and commissioned, ordinands such as Rev. Karyn Richards-Kuan join the cabinet each year for a mission trip. In 2019, the team helped build a house from the ground up in Mercedes, Texas. ​(Photo/Shannon Martin) By Lindsay Peyton   Summer is a time of transition for many officially going into the ministry – local pastors are becoming licensed later this month and others will mark the culmination of their journey with ordination. This will be the first class of ...

Smaller Membership Churches of the Texas Annual Conference - 2020 Workshop Schedule

Smaller Membership Church workshops this year will provide each church that attends with 100 ministry ideas. Why such a large number?  Because not every idea will meet the needs or interest of every church. What makes it different? We are trying to help facilitate ministries for the smaller churches and make it as easy as possible.  Realizing that our smaller membership churches depend largely on volunteers, we have tried to structure the curriculum in a way that is useful for laity-driven ...

Texas Annual Conference 2020 Update

Texas Annual Conference - August 14, 2020 The Annual Conference Planning Team has determined that in light of the current COVID 19 crisis the 2020 Texas Annual Conference will be all virtual on Friday, August 14th. Registration will still be necessary in order to receive the secure link to the Zoom Session of Texas Annual Conference. However, because of these significant changes registration will not be available until July 13. Registration will remain open through August 7th. Thank you for ...

Covid Update: Conference Staff Working Remotely

The United Methodist Service Center will be closed until further notice in an effort to provide social distancing during this time of caution. Minimal staff will be working in the office and other staff will be working remotely.  Please contact staff via e-mail if you need assistance.

America, We Have a Problem

America, we have a problem. Texas, we have a problem. United Methodism, we have a problem. The problem is racism, and in recent weeks that problem has come to the forefront of our conversations and our attention. Some have rightly said to me, “Why are you all paying attention to this problem only now? It has been a problem for a long time.” There is no good answer to that question. But when an opportunity arises where attention is being paid - however late and inadequate it is - one should take ...

Churches Address Needs of the Underserved: Give Away $100K in New Clothes, and Provide Food to Homeless

By Lindsay Peyton   The lockdown did not stop United Methodists in Houston from giving back during the pandemic. In fact, churches stepped up to serve an even greater need in their communities. Bering UMC, Houston volunteers assisted with food distribution and found innovative solutions to help others. Boynton Chapel UMC, Houston members have spent the past couple of weeks distributing clothing to its neighbors in the Third Ward. Boynton Chapel UMC distributes clothing Boynton Chapel UMC ...

Methodist Churches Host COVID-19 Pop-up Clinic to Minimize Spread of Virus in Beaumont

Courtesy photo used with permission - Kim Brent / Beaumont Enterprise By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   Two congregations in the Texas Annual Conference – Trinity and McCabe-Roberts Avenue UMCs in Beaumont – are working together to offer free COVID-19 testing. A pop-up clinic, in partnership with American Family Care, opened June 22 through June 27 and continues June 29 through July 2.   Trinity’s senior pastor Rev. Tommy Williams said the idea for a testing site, sponsored by the church, came...

Middle School Students Choosing to Serve Their Neighbors This Summer

By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   Dayspring UMC’s annual iServe summer camp proves that middle school students can make a difference. The camp provides them with the skills they need to complete service projects in the greater Tyler area – whether that’s building a wheelchair ramp, mowing a lawn or working at the food bank. Organizers were able to take precautions against COVID-19 and keep iServe going this summer – which was good news to excited campers.   As everything shut down for the ...

Mission Trips on Hold – Not!  How Students are Finding a Mission Field in their Backyard this Summer

By Lindsay Peyton   While the coronavirus pandemic has placed most mission trips on hold, there are still plenty of opportunities for youth to spend the summer doing good works. After all, a mission field can be found in your own backyard.   Eddie Erwin, Director of Youth and Young Adults for the Texas Annual Conference has seen a number of congregations get creative during the last few months - finding new and exciting ways for discipleship to continue.   Here are the top seven ways students ...

Connect with Rev. Emily Everett, Global Missionary in Brazil

Rev. Emily Everett has been serving as a global missionary in Brazil for two and a half years. Every three years, United Methodist missionaries do what we call itineration, a time when they come home to visit churches and tell the story of what God has been doing in their place of service. Emily was set to itinerate in October and November of 2020. Due to COVID-19 and the uncertainty of what the fall will look like for church visits, she is moving online! Emily is setting up two initial zoom ...

Webinar: Methodist Hospital Update for Pastors Regarding COVID-19

Dr. Marc Boom, CEO of Methodist Hospital System,  Bishop Scott Jones and Mary Lou Reece hosted a webinar for all clergy of the Texas Annual Conference at 2 p.m. on June 25th. A live Q&A follows.  We continue to believe our religious organizations are serving very important purposes in this crisis, and we are grateful for our faith-based hospital leaders helping us doing our work. Scott J Jones  

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