Graces Big and Small: The One-Year Harvey Anniversary

8/23/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   On August 25, as Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas the Rev. Scott Moore, Director for the Center of Missional Excellence, began to plan how the Texas Annual Conference could provide assistance to our brothers and sisters in the Rio Texas Conference. The next day, Harvey’s torrential rains made it to the Houston area.   And just kept coming.     A Storm of Historical Proportions Ultimately, Hurricane Harvey made landfall five times. Each time it returned from...

Hurricane Harvey’s Lasting Mental Health Impact on Children

8/23/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   Thousands of Children Displaced In November 2017, KHOU Channel 11 completed a survey of Houston area schools concerning Hurricane Harvey’s impact on local children. They found that in the Houston area alone, 22,208 students remained homeless almost three months after the storm made landfall. The statistic reflects not only the overwhelming physical needs of the children of Southeast Texas, but a daunting mental health crisis born out of the trauma those children experienced ...

Lessons in Faith from Hurricane Harvey

8/23/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   Catastrophic Destruction Leroy and Lynn McCarley moved into their new home in 2001, two days before Tropical Allison hit. They were still there for the Memorial Day Flood of 2015 and the Tax Day Flood of 2016. Each time, they made it through largely unscathed.   So, when forecasters predicted Hurricane Harvey’s landfall in the Houston area, the McCarleys weren’t worried. “Around 4:30 that morning, when we woke up to get our boys to school, Leroy took the precaution of moving ...

St. Luke’s Counts their Harvey Blessings

8/23/2018
By: Sherri Gragg St. Luke’s members are closer to each other than ever before. As church members have cried, prayed, and served together, God has drawn them closer to each other. During the first two weeks post-Harvey, St. Luke’s lay leaders called more than 4,500 people to check on them. On September 8th, they will call 300 of those once again to let them know they are not alone in their continued recovery.   They saw the hands and feet of Christ in the service of others. In the early days...

A&M UMC Organ Dedication Service

8/22/2018
A&M United Methodist Church will be hosting a special organ dedication service for their new pipe organ Sunday, September 16 at 5:00pm in their sanctuary. The service will feature world-renowned organist Ken Cowan.    Following the service there will be a time to meet the artist, enjoy refreshments and view the organ up-close.  You can learn more and hear Mr. Cowan's playing at http://www.organistkencowan.com

Grants Awarded to 21 Projects Aimed at Increasing Young Clergy in the UMC

8/22/2018
As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) has selected 21 grant recipients for the Young Clergy Initiative (YCI). The grants are awarded annually to programs focused on increasing the number of young clergy in The United Methodist Church by helping young people listen for, discern and respond to God’s call to ordained ministry. “There’s not a shortage of call in the church. Instead of waiting on youth to tell ...

Houston Lay School of Theology: Keeping Faith in a Multifaith Society

8/22/2018
Perkins School of Theology Presents an interfaith event: Keeping Faith in a Multifaith Society.   This is a day-long class offered by the Perkins Houston Lay School of Theology August 25, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at St. Paul's United Methodist Church - 5501 Main Street, Houston, TX 77004. How do we foster healthy, diverse religious communities and personal faithfulness amid a multitude of religious claims? Learn together during a day-long course with our neighbors of different religions ...

McMahan Chapel Day

8/21/2018
McMahan Chapel will be celebrating 185 years of continuous service as the oldest Methodist Church in Texas Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. Bishop Scott Jones will be speaking.  McMahan Chapel 2240 McMahan Chapel Rd Bronson, Tx 75930 (10 miles East of San Augustine, TX to Spur 35)

And a Child Will Lead Them: Kid’s Troupe at Westbury UMC, Houston

8/9/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   In Westbury UMC’s Kid’s Troupe, a child carefully guides a paintbrush along the surface of a canvas to trace his hand. Once finished, he carries the canvas to another child in the room who dips her brush into another color tracing the outline of her hand over his. The process is repeated over and again, each child adding his or her hand to the artwork. As they work, they are reminded that the painting is a representation of Christian community. We are all unique, but we need ...

Growing New Faith Communities: Tour de TAC

8/9/2018
En Español Tour de TAC is coming to the Texas Annual Conference. Rev. Morris Matthis, Director of New Faith Communities, discusses why new faith communities are vital to the future of the Conference. Q: In Tour de TAC, the Conference will hear how we can grow through new faith communities. Most of us understand the concept of church planting but we might be less familiar with the idea of alternative new faith communities. What are alternative faith communities and why do they matter?   A: The...

Heartspring, TMF Finalize Merger

8/9/2018
The boards of Heartspring Methodist Foundation and the Texas Methodist Foundation (TMF) signed the paperwork to formally finalize their merger July 26th, 2018, with the understanding that they will not begin operations as a combined foundation until January 1, 2019. The boards of Heartspring and TMF voted unanimously to combine organizations. The Texas Conference Board of Trustees also approved this combination. On May 29, 2018 the Texas Annual Conference voted to affirm the resolution to ...

Lindale UMC Donates Shoes at Back to School Carnival

8/9/2018
By: Sherri Gragg   As Lindale UMC Family Ministries Director, Kim Johnson, makes last minute checks of volunteers and carnival games, Senior Pastor Michael Peschke, takes his place as a greeter next to the front door. He is armed with a mountain of goody bags. Outside, a line of excited children stretches down the sidewalks as their parents fill out registrations forms that they will turn in to receive a golden ticket.   At last the moment arrives. The doors open, and children rush inside to ...

Tour de Tac: Bike Riders to Help Encourage Innovation and Church Planting

8/9/2018
By: Rev. Morris Matthis For more than ten years, I have been riding my bike across the Texas Conference for ministry causes. When Bishop Scott Jones, also a bike rider, and I began to talk about how to cast the vision for the creation of new faith communities, it was only natural that he and I would do this from our bikes! And to be honest, aren’t we all better when we are spending time exercising? Physically. Emotionally. And yes, even spiritually. The bike ride is also an amazing way to build...

Upper Room: A Church that Looks Like Heaven

8/9/2018
By: Sherri Gragg The Upper Room, Houston, a worship community that reflects the cities vibrant diversity is preparing for a move to the Heights. The Upper Room, is often referred to as "the church that looks like heaven.   What is the difference between significance and success?   The question is a deeply personal one for Upper Room Community Pastor, Christian Washington. “As a consultant, I had reached a certain level of success only to realize there was an emptiness,” Washington recalled.   ...

Vida Abundante: Hispanic Ministries Comes to East Texas

8/9/2018
By: Sherri Gragg - En Español   The Tyler, Texas area is home to more than 42,000 Hispanic people, 30,000 of which speak Spanish as their first language, and yet there was no United Methodist church to minister to them in their language.   Until now.   Vida Abundante In response to the prayers of many, God has given birth to a new United Methodist Hispanic worship community- Vida Abundante. According to the Rev. Arturo Cadar, Coordinator of Mission Field Development, the new church plant is ...

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