2018 Year in Review
A lot has happened in 2018. Below are some of the most clicked and shared stories from the TAC this year to take a look back and reflect as we move into 2019.
Gastrochurch: Where Are They Now?
Rev. Meredith Mills had a problem. It was incredibly difficult to get her friends to attend church, and when they did, she felt they left again without ever digging into the deepest struggles of their faith.
So, she began to think, to pray, to dream. What type of worship would her friends want to attend? How could she incorporate deep teaching that met their needs? What would church need to look like to foster deep connections between its members?
And then it came to her. What if church looked more like the dinner table?
Letter from Bishop Jones on the Way Forward
First, the Council of Bishops is forwarding three complete plans as part of its report to the General Conference: the Traditional Plan, the One Church Plan and the Connectional Conference Plan. This means the General Conference will have all three plans in front of them for consideration, and has the right to adopt, amend or reject any of them.
Don’t Be Afraid: St. Luke’s UMC Presents Pastor Adam Hamilton
Americans are suffering from an epidemic of fear. According to Hamilton, our heightened level of anxiety isn’t always in pace with our actual level of threat. “Since 911, ninety-four people died of terrorism, and nine thousand six hundred died of lightning strikes,” Hamilton said. “On the other hand, 560,000 people died in automobile accidents, but we still get in our cars and don’t think anything about it.”
As Senior Pastor of 20,000 member Church of the Resurrection, Hamilton began to hear story after story of how anxiety was impacting his parishioners’ lives. Sensing a trend, he conducted a church-wide survey on fear. The survey found that 87 percent of the men and women filling his pews each Sunday were struggling with a moderate level of fear on an ongoing basis. Hamilton knew then that fear was an issue he needed to address as a pastor.
Church Helps While Grieving Mass Shooting Victim
Even while mourning the loss of one of its own, Aldersgate United Methodist Church became the center for victims’ assistance after the mass shooting at nearby Santa Fe High School.
Methodists, Mennonites, and a Neighborhood Transformed
When Penny Moore’s Cypress neighborhood suffered Harvey flooding, she worked alongside an army of volunteers to muck and gut her neighbors’ homes. In less than two weeks, the work was almost complete. Just as it seemed the worst was over, Moore learned of a family in need in Bear Creek.
Upper Room: A Church that Looks Like Heaven
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.
Washington realized that his work as a lay leader, not his career, was the driving force getting him out of bed each morning. He determined to rechart the course of his life.
The Texas Conference Introduces New Staff Positions
The Texas Annual Conference welcomes the Rev. Jill Daniels, the Rev. Dr. Jesse Brannen, and the Rev. Robert Besser into their new staff positions beginning July 1, 2018.
A Courageous Choice: First Methodist Conroe
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 first Sunday at the helm of his home church, he told the audience that as a young man he thought he was a “rocket” that they were sending off into the world of ministry, but that his return to FMC had shown him that wasn’t true. Instead, he was a boomerang.
“You have two choices with a boomerang,” he said, “You can catch it, or you can duck. Thanks for catching me.”
Country Church, City Lights: Addicks UMC
In The Little House, the beloved children’s book by Virginia Lee Burton, a quaint home is built “way out in the country” where it is surrounded by fields and apple trees. Far away, in the distance, the little house can see the faint lights of the city, lights that move closer and closer as the seasons go by.
Eventually, the city overtakes the little house. High-rise buildings tower above it, and concrete surrounds it. At night, the sad little house dreams of moonlight on the apple trees. Until the day when a woman rescues her by moving her back into the country where she belongs.
A similar story could be written about Addicks United Methodist Church. During its 139-year existence, it too has seen the city lights steadily grow closer and closer. Historical records note that the first parsonage, erected in 1910, came complete with a ten-acre plot of land perfect for farming. It was a necessity. The closest supermarket was 20 miles away by horse and wagon.