Episcopal Announcements

COB Calls on Churches to Observe Global Migration Sunday on The First Sunday of Advent

Oct 12, 2017
Bishop Bruce Ough, President, UMC Council of Bishops, writing on behalf of the Council of Bishops, is calling on United Methodist Churches to observe Global Migration Sunday on the first Sunday of Advent - Dec. 3, 2017. You may read Bishop Ough's letter in its entirety by clicking the title link above. Following Bishop Ough's letter is a link to an animated video called "The Migrant" produced by United Methodist Communications.

Thank You to CTC Churches for Generous Response to Hurricane Relief Special Offering

Oct. 4, 2017
In September, in the wake of the devastation left by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, Bishop Lowry called for the churches of the Central Texas Conference to take up a special offering to support UMCOR’s Hurricane Relief efforts. As expected, the response has been excellent and Bishop Lowry would like to simply say thank you – to you, to your leadership and to your congregation. Click here on the title above to view or download the brief video message.

Reflections on the Pending UMC Judicial Council Decision

April 25, 2017
Bishop Mike Lowry and Central Texas Conference Lay Leader Mike Ford write to the clergy and lay leadership of the CTC in hopes of providing them with the necessary information and context regarding the pending Judicial Council ruling on the validity of the election of Bishop Karen Oliveto. As you may recall, Bishop Karen Oliveto was elected and consecrated a United Methodist bishop in July by delegates of the Western Jurisdictional Conference. Bishop Oliveto, an elder in good standing at the time of her election, is a partner in a same-sex marriage. At the time of the election, the South Central Jurisdictional Conference petitioned the Judicial Council for a declaratory decision about the validity of her election.


COB reaches out to Coptic Orthodox Church following Palm Sunday terrorist attacks

April 13, 2017
The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is grieving with the Coptic Orthodox Church over the recent terrorist bombings that targeted Coptic churches in Egypt, killing at least 47 people as members celebrated Palm Sunday. In a letter sent to His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the Holy See of St. Mark, The United Methodist Church bishops expressed sincere sympathy with the Christian brothers and sisters. Read the full letter at ctcumc.org/COB-UMCmournsCopticChurch.


Texas Bishops Respond to POTUS' Executive Order on Immigration

Feb. 3, 2017
Bishop Lowry and the other four United Methodist bishops of Texas call for "a more compassionate response to immigrants and refugees" in an open letter in response to President Trump's recent Executive Order/Action on immigration, which bans anyone from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S. for at least 90 days.


Bishop Lowry Announces New Cabinet and Conference Executive Staff Members

Jan. 8, 2017
After much thought and even more prayer, hours of conversations with conference leadership, thought leaders and candidates and with a steadfast focus on the CTCSC’s mission to energize and equip the local churches of the Central Texas Conference so that they can make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, Bishop Lowry has announced that, effective July 1, Dr. Clifton Howard and Rev. Mike Ramsdell will join the Conference Service Center Executive Leadership Team and Revs. Brad Brittain, Ben Disney and Travis Franklin will be appointed as District Superintendents to the South, East and North Districts respectively.


COB Offers Post-Election Congratulations & Prayers to President-Elect Trump

Nov. 9, 2016
In a congratulatory letter to President-elect Donald Trump on behalf of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church, Council president Bishop Bruce R. Ough sent a prayer and a plea for the nation to come together. Gathered at St. Simons Island last week for their fall meeting, the bishops signed a Bible that will be presented to President-elect Trump following his inauguration in a tradition that dates back to the very first president of the United States when Bishop Francis Asbury presented a Bible to George Washington in 1789.

Young Adults can now apply to join Bishop Lowry on a pilgrimage to Scotland. 

Nov. 1, 2016
Following the powerful experience of their 2015 visit to Taize, France, Dr. Larry Duggins and Bishop Lowry have again signed on to lead a small group of young adults on a pilgrimage of introspection and transformation. This time the journey will take them to Iona, Scotland and run from May 25 – June 3, 2017. The ideal applicant is 18-29 years old, considering a call to ordained or lay ministry, attends church in the Central Texas Conference and demonstrates leadership in the church, school and/or community. The cost is $750 and covers airfare, ground transportation, breakfast, dinner and lodging. Those interested can learn more about and apply for trip at missionalwisdom.com/about/pilgrimage. Applications will be received until November 30, and pilgrims will be selected during December. Please visit ctcumc.org/IonaPilgrimage for more.

Bishop Ough Makes First Presidential Address to Council of Bishops

Nov. 4
In his first presidential address to the Council of Bishops, Bishop Bruce R. Ough brought the bishops alternately to their knees in prayer and to their feet in resounding applause as he laid out a message of unity to a new Council. Bishop Ough said the time together was designed to engage the bishops in exploring how the Council can lead in a time when "the entire United Methodist Church is holding its breath," and urged them to build and model unity within their own body.

Council of Bishops to Call for Special General Conference in 2019

Council of Bishops to Call for Special General Conference in 2019 - See more at: http://www.ctcumc.org/COB_GC19#sthash.jrRsdDyl.dpuf
Council of Bishops to Call for Special General Conference in 2019 - See more at: http://www.ctcumc.org/COB_GC19#sthash.jrRsdDyl.dpuf
Council of Bishops to Call for Special General Conference in 2019 - See more at: http://www.ctcumc.org/COB_GC19#sthash.jrRsdDyl.dpuf
Council of Bishops to Call for Special General Conference in 2019 - See more at: http://www.ctcumc.org/COB_GC19#sthash.jrRsdDyl.dpuf
Council of Bishops to Call for Special General Conference in 2019 - See more at: http://www.ctcumc.org/COB_GC19#sthash.jrRsdDyl.dpuf
Nov. 1
Through an affirmative vote at their fall meeting, The United Methodist Council of Bishops expressed their intent to call for a special session of the General Conference in either February or March 2019 and asked the business manager of the General Conference to move forward with exploring venues and a bid search. The Council’s action stops short of making the actual call for a special session, which is expected to come at some point after the Commission on a Way Forward begins its work.


United Methodist Bishops of Texas Respond to Texas' Intention to Withdraw from Federal Refugee Resettlement Program

September 23, 2016

In response to Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement regarding Texas’ intention to withdraw from the federal refugee resettlement program, the United Methodist bishops of Texas have issued a statement calling on the governor to seek a way to affirm the worth of all humankind. Click here to read the full statement.


A Statement from the South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops

Monday July 18, 2016
Following the conclusion of the 2016 South Central Jurisdictional Conference, the South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops issued the following statement on its commitment to actively support the request by General Conference to form and lead a commission to consider the Discipline's position on Human Sexuality. Click here to read the statement in its entirety.


Bishop Lowry Calls on CTC to Pause and Pray Following Deadly Shootings of Police in Dallas

Friday, July 8, 2016
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has asked that a moment of silence be observed at noon today (Friday, July 8) and he has invited any and all to gather at Thanksgiving Square in Dallas at noon to pray for the victims of last night’s deadly shootings in Dallas and their families. Bishop Lowry is calling on all members of the Central Texas Conference to join in this time of prayer.
“I would like every Methodist in the Central Texas Conference to honor Mayor Rawlings’ request and stop and pray for the victims of last night’s horrific acts of violence in Dallas,” Bishop Lowry said early this morning. “I want us to pray for the police, their families, the people of Dallas. I want us to pray for everyone.”
Bishop Lowry also reminded that as the grace-filled followers of Jesus Christ, we must continue to reject the forces of hatred, racism, fear, violence and anger in favor of the fruits of the Spirit, such as love, patience, kindness and peace as described by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians [Galatians 5:22-23].
“I can not stress strongly enough how important it is for us to remember that we are followers of the Prince of Peace,” Bishop Lowry pronounced. “Anger and violence must be laid aside.”
“Black lives matter to God. Police lives matter to God. All lives matter to the God who gave us his only Son so that we might all have everlasting life,” continued Bishop Lowry. “Let us all, everyone, live by the Spirit and follow the Spirit [Gal 5:25] and keep firm in our hearts and minds the commandment of Jesus given to us in John 15, “…love each other as I have loved you.’”

2016 Episcopal Address

Bishop Mike Lowry delivered his annual Episcopal Address during the 2016 Central Texas Annual Conference meeting. Click on the video box below to hear what the episcopal leader of the Central Texas Conference had to say about the state of the conference and the UMC connection.