News

A Call to Prayer in the Wake of Deadly Church Shooting in Charleston, S.C.

published 6/18/2015
As the news continues to unfold following last night’s deadly shooting at the 180-year-old Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., Christians and people of faith around the country and the world are offering up prayers of support, healing and hope.   Bishop Lowry invites the churches and people of the Central Texas Conference to offer up prayers of support and healing for the members of Emanuel AME Church . “First, foremost and always, let ...

Three General Conference Delegations from Texas Meet and Discuss the Future of The UMC

published 5/27/2015
What does the future hold for the United Methodist Church? That was just one of the many vital topics up for discussion during a May 15 meeting of three General Conference delegations from Texas.   The full delegations from the Central Texas, North Texas and Rio Texas Conferences gathered at the historic St. Johns UMC in Georgetown, Texas to begin the process of forming and building relationships between the delegations. The meeting also provided a ripe forum in which the delegates could discuss...

Energizing and Equipping Local Church Disciple Making and Faith Formation Systems

published 5/14/2015
by Dr. Randy Wild*   During the past couple of years, I’ve been engaged in several conversations with local church leaders on a variety of subjects. One of the topics that seems to bubble up with fervent regularity is the future of the conference and our local churches, especially around the need for a systematic approach to disciple making and establishing faith formation as a life-long practice. The faith formation process needs to be developmentally appropriate for any age – from toddlers to...

Effectively Responding to a Disaster Requires Exercising Patience and Process in the Midst of Chaos

published 5/13/2015
by Rev. Laraine Waughtal* and Vance Morton** The recent (and apparently ongoing) strings of Texas spring storms have delivered needed rain to much of the state. However, they have also brought tornadoes, strong straight-line winds, hail and, in some areas, too much of that good thing we call rain. The news reports, videos and photos from the communities most impacted probably has many of you wondering how and when the conference is going to respond and roll in with assistance. The answer is ...

A Church Without Walls - First UMC Groesbeck Brings Church Out To Its Community

published 5/11/2015
by Rev. Steve Nance*   Two years ago, the people of First United Methodist Church in Groesbeck, Texas adopted the mission statement of the Central Texas Conference as their own. The mission statement was further enhanced and reads: “Our purpose as a mission church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Our threefold approach to making disciples is to engage every participant in passionate worship, Bible study through accountability in a small group setting and ...

Remembering Jim Wright: Skilled Politician, Captivating Storyteller, Persuasive Orator, Loving Servant of Jesus Christ.

published 5/8/2015
by Vance Morton* Much has been written and remembered about the political life and impact of James Claude “Jim” Wright Jr. since his passing last Wednesday, May 6, at the age of 92, and rightfully so. Jim Wright served the country, the state and, most directly, the Fort Worth and North Texas area as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for more than 30 years, culminating in his election as Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives in 1987.   “Jim represented the people of his ...

President of United Methodist Council of Bishops Calls for Prayer and Healing

published 5/1/2015
United Methodist bishops from Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States have come together in Berlin for the 2015 Council of Bishops meeting, which scheduled to run through May 7. Coinciding with Friday’s opening session, Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., president of the Council of Bishops, sent an open letter to the people of The United Methodist Church requesting that they join together in prayer for the church and the world. In an email from Berlin, Bishop Lowry echoed Bishop Brown’s call for ...

A Statement from the General Commission on Religion and Race General Secretary on the Civil Unrest in Baltimore.

published 4/30/2015
by Erin Hawkins*   On Monday, April 27, another young black man was laid to rest in Baltimore, Md., amidst unanswered questions surrounding his death while in police custody. Peaceful protests were overshadowed that same night when riots erupted on the streets of the city, leading to acts of violence and destruction of personal property. Suddenly the unlawful acts of a few overshadowed the positive, peaceful work of many seeking justice and answers to longstanding problems of racial inequity in ...

Getting Out of God's Way

published 4/29/2015
by Bob Rainey*   17 years ago, a food pantry ministry began in Hubbard, Texas and was operated out of the Hubbard First Church of God. As the years rolled by, the Hubbard Ministerial Alliance (HMA) became increasingly more involved in the pantry and began to implement its plans on how to “improve” food pantry operations. These “improvements” eventually lead to relocating the pantry from the church and into an empty building in town and changing the Hubbard Food Pantry into a once-a-month ...

From Hammers to Hugs - Disaster Relief Calls for a Wide Variety of Spiritual Gifts

published 4/27/2015
by Rev. Laraine Waughtal*   As important as it is to repair and rebuild homes following a disaster, it is even more important to address the emotional and spiritual care of those affected. The work of the CTC Early Response Team is always about the people first, and following a disaster, I’ve found that what people need to do before they can begin to heal and rebuild is tell their story. They need to share and talk about what they have experienced and how it has impacted their life. One of the ...

Children's Ministry Greenhouse Nourishes and Grows the Leaders of CTC Children

published 4/22/2015
by Rev. Dawne Phillips* and Vance Morton**   Children's ministry leaders from both the Central Texas and North Texas Conferences gathered at FUMC Arlington April 17 – 18 to hear and learn from with Rev. Dr. Leanne Hadley. The two-day event featured a wide variety of workshops and teaching times designed to nurture the participant’s understanding of disciple making with children.   Dr. Hadley, who has served as minister to children and their families at First United Methodist Church, Colorado ...

God's Gift of the Earth

published 4/22/2015
The world marks Earth Day each year on April 22 in many ways. This year, United Methodist Communications is commemorating the event with a video featuring stunning images of nature set to a beautiful prayer written by United Methodist Bishop Ken Carter. (Bishop Carter penned the poem in 2005 when he was a pastor in North Carolina.) All United Methodists are called to be good stewards of the planet. One of our Social Principles about the Natural World explains that "All creation is the Lord's, ...

The Tranformative Power of Cold Watermelon

published 4/16/2015
What do free watermelon and God's transformational power have in common? More than you'd think. by Bob Rainey* Two summers ago, the First United Methodist Church served ice cold watermelon to the Hubbard Jaguar football team after the first day of full pad workouts. (If you think the Texas summer is hot, try working out in a suit of football armor in August!) Our goal was to let the team and coaches know that we support them and wish them luck for the upcoming season. The cold melon was eagerly...

Two Historic Central Texas Churches Unite and Create a New Place for New People to Discover Jesus Christ

published 4/10/2015
by Dr. Jerry Roberson* and Vance Morton** The mission of the Central Texas Annual Conference is to energize and equip local churches so that they can more effectively make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. One of the myriad ways in which the CTC Center for Evangelism & Church Growth (CECG) carries out that mission is by partnering with local churches to explore the best tools available to support church growth – and sometimes that exploration leads down the path of ...

Volunteers Needed for General Conference 2016

published 3/31/2015
Volunteers are needed for a variety of roles during the 2016 General Conference, The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly, which will meet in Portland, Oregon from May 10-20, 2016. At this time, volunteers are needed for the following positions: 28 recorders, 10 channel “B” identifiers,  20 verbatim transcribers/copy editors and approximately 150 marshals and pages. Preference will be given to applicants who can serve throughout the entire conference.   Marshals are responsible ...

How Firm the Foundation?

published 3/29/2015
Keeping the Faith on the Campus of Tarleton State University Change is inevitable when a student leaves for college. As early as Thanksgiving break, parents begin to notice the subtle differences in the kid who pulled out of the driveway the previous August. Independence – freedom to choose – is at work. But there’s no reason to worry, right? A solid foundation in the faith was laid early on, wasn’t it? It will hold…my kid’s faith won’t crack under pressure, right?   These are just some of the ...

Smithfield UMC Breaks the Ice & Plows Through the Snow to Build a Healthy Church

published 3/18/2015
by Todd Pick* & Vance Morton**   Even as temperatures are rapidly climbing back toward the much more familiar “fry an egg on the sidewalk” range in Texas, it’s only been a couple of weeks since schools, businesses and even conference service centers in the Fort Worth area were caused to shut down due to the ice and snow. (Good old March…in like a snow leopard and out like a lobster.) But Old Man Winter wasn’t successful in stopping everyone. It seems that the folks at Smithfield UMC didn’t get ...

Bishop Lowry Named to Texas Heath Resources Board of Trustees

published 3/17/2015
THR Board Also Elects Bob Ferguson as Chair, Wes Turner as Vice Chair   The Texas Health Resources (THR) Board of Trustees has named Bishop Mike Lowry, episcopal leader of the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church, as one of three new members to the board. Previously, he served on the Harris Methodist Health System Board of Trustees from 2008-2014. Kenneth W. Reeves Sr. and Janet DeVries, were also named to the board. All three will serve three-year terms.   In addition to the ...

2015 Glen Lake Golf Classic

published 3/16/2015
  Glen Lake, your UM Camp and Retreat Center, invites you to play or sponsor our Spring 2015 Golf Classic. We are excited to partner with you in helping bring families, children and students to camp. We will use the funds generated by the tournament to support our year round programs and retreats and fund summer camp scholarships. Come enjoy a fantastic scramble with lunch provided, two beautiful courses at Squaw Valley Golf Course in Glen Rose, carts, door prizes, fellowship and fun. Visit ...

What Can St. Patrick Teach United Methodists?

published 3/16/2015
March 17 is the day Americans and many others around the world celebrate all things Irish – in particular the saint for which the day is named. However, did you know that Saint Patrick was not born in Ireland, and his birth name might not even have been Patrick. In fact, many of the well-known “details” of his life are more legend than fact. However, such common misconceptions in no way diminish the vibrant legacy left by the patron saint of Ireland – a legacy that goes far beyond green attire, ...

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