Bishop calls the church to love one another

6/2/2022
   By Lindsay Peyton   In the Episcopal Address at this year’s Annual Conference, Bishop Scott J. Jones challenged those attending to focus on unity – and to find a path toward greater togetherness through love. He asked, “What form of unity best fits our global, local, downloaded, decentralized form of Christianity today?”   His theme was drawn from John 13:34-35: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this ...

Bishop Jones to serve TAC until 2024

6/2/2022
By Lindsay Peyton   On the final day of the Texas Annual Conference, Bishop Scott Jones announced that he will remain at the helm of the organization. A standing ovation ensued, and applause filled the room. “I have a lot more that I intend to do for Christ,” he said.   The decision was made possible by the ruling by the United Methodist Church’s top court, the Judicial Council, that set Jan. 1, 2023, as the date when U.S. bishops facing mandatory retirement must step down.   The ruling came ...

Motion passes for three churches to disaffiliate

6/2/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton   During the recent 2022 Texas Annual Conference session, motions passed to allow three churches to disaffiliate from the UMC. Additional congregations are already in the discernment process. Treasurer Rev. Carol Bruse outlined the costs associated and the process involved in exiting the UMC.   She explained that the Book of Discipline offers two paths by which a local church may disaffiliate and depart with its property and other assets. One is under paragraph 2548.2 and ...

Wordling through the Texas Annual Conference 2022

6/2/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton   You only have six tries to come up with the right combination of five letters. That’s Wordle. The simple game has taken the internet by storm. It seems like everyone, everywhere is playing – even during this year’s Texas Annual Conference.   Each day of the Conference, a new puzzle was posted. Participants were invited to play by scanning a QR. Then, scores were shared on the TAC Facebook page.   Creating a Wordle puzzle specifically for Annual Conference attendees was the ...

School Shooting in Uvalde

5/25/2022
Statement from Bishop Scott J. Jones   The elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas yesterday was nothing short of an act of absolute evil -- we have seen too many innocent lives lost because of violence and we must do more to ask our government officials to act swiftly. God’s word speaks strongly to the inordinate importance of protecting and caring for His little children. I ask that you and your congregations join with me and the entire Texas Annual Conference in praying fervently for ...

Let’s bow our heads in prayer together

5/19/2022
By Lindsay Peyton   The Texas Annual Conference is encouraging members to bow their heads in the days ahead – and has created a prayer guide to lead the way on that journey. In addition, Bishop Scott J. Jones has prepared a video on prayer online.   The bishop described the story of John Wesley coming to the U.S. in 1736, when a storm began churning around his boat. “He was afraid to die,” Jones said.   Wesley prayed with the English passengers. Later, he witnessed as German Moravians on the ...

Church launches program for Gen Z and Millennials’

5/19/2022
 By Lindsay Peyton   At Journey of Faith UMC, church will be coming soon to a location near you. Imagine Bible study at an area restaurant or prayer at a laundromat. The congregation, located in Humble is starting a new program called “Church Can Happen Anywhere,” and the focus is on reaching millennials, individuals in their 20s and 30s.   “These days, they are not typically running to the church, ”Pastor Stephen Goldsmith explained. “This is about meeting them where they are. It’s all about ...

Church acquires gas station fueling youth ministry and more

5/19/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton  - En Español   When the current sanctuary at FUMC Pittsburg was constructed in 1905, the congregation had already been established for nearly five decades. Now, the structure with its gabled roof and towers has become a landmark in the town, and the church celebrates 165 years of history. As time passed, a number of buildings were added to campus. Some might be expected, like a fellowship hall and parsonage. Others are a little more unusual – a doctor’s office, grocery store...

Bishop Jones Addresses Recent Events within UMC

5/11/2022
En Español In response to recent events within and relating to the United Methodist Church, Bishop Scott J. Jones of the Texas Annual Conference discussed the current and potential future states of the denomination in a webinar titled “Navigating the Waters with Grace and Respect, part 2” on Tuesday, May 10.  During such a pivotal time in the history of the denomination, Jones says he believes members of the conference should engage in more communication and conversation rather than less. His ...

Church learning how to equip parents to be spiritual leaders

4/28/2022
By Lindsay Peyton  - En Español   Oikon UMC comes from the Greek “oikos,” which means “the family dwelling” or “houses.” The title is ideal for a congregation started with a series of small groups, gathering in house churches. The name reminds us that church is the house of God – and that churches were originally composed of small groups, meeting in homes. The family residing in the home has recently taken center stage at Oikon – as the congregation makes sure that everyone is included, even ...

Pastor's nonprofit bears the cost of extracurriculars

4/28/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton It all started with a vision for a name and a logo. Pastor Kimm Thomas, who serves both Warren Chapel UMC in Huntsville and Mt. Zion UMC in Coldspring, felt divinely guided when she worked up the design for “Praise on My Lips” about eight years ago. She knew God was telling her to start a nonprofit, but she still was not sure what its focus would be. In 2020, it came to her – helping children achieve success. “You never know how God’s plan will turn out,” she said.   “Praise...

Ministering to families with compassionate connections

4/28/2022
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   A chaplain is well aware that God is not limited to inside church walls. Wherever these providers of spiritual care are assigned, He is at work right alongside them – in hospitals, fire departments, prisons, universities, the military and law enforcement agencies.   Rev. Greg Edwards feels that divine presence in his work everyday as a hospice chaplain. “When you move into a chaplain position, you’ve just expanded your faith in a whole new realm,” he said. “And ...

Church helps students afford high fashion prom dresses

4/28/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton   Opening the right door at Huntington UMC could transport you into a boutique, where dreams really do come true. Inside Priscilla’s Closet, vibrant arrays of dresses hang, while jewelry and accessories are displayed on tabletops. Fitting rooms and mirrors stand at the ready. The former classroom was transformed into a shop to help girls in need find gowns for prom. With time it grew – and now remains available anytime a girl is in need of formal wear.   The operation is the ...

God gives small church big numbers for afterschool program

4/14/2022
Youth 2   By Lindsay Peyton   After classes end on Wednesday, a school bus arrives at the elementary school in Alto, Texas. Children eagerly await for those bus doors to open and for the drive to A. Frank Smith UMC. These students attend an afterschool program called Kids for Christ (KFC). The church provides space to play and a meal for the children at no cost.   “This is the only afterschool program in town,” Pastor Tim Ross explained. It’s also the largest church program in Alto, he said.   ...

How to build a thriving community this Easter

4/14/2022
  By Lindsay Peyton Vibrant 3   As COVID cases drop lower, and in-person church service resumes, this Easter marks the return to celebrating the good news with each other. Congregations in the Texas Annual Conference found creative ways during the pandemic to keep Easter alive. Now, churches are finding the festivities they started in the face of COVID concerns are worth maintaining. These innovative Easter events provide an avenue for evangelism, fellowship and fun.   #EggThyNeighbor Wildwood ...

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