News

CTC Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships Team responds to divisive media reports with words from the Discipline.

published 12/16/2015
by Bliss Dodd*   The news media is filled with our Islamic neighbors – those already in the U.S. and those wanting/needing to come. As United Methodists, the only question is “How can we best work together to bring love, peace and hope to a fear-filled world. Well the Social Principles found in the United Methodist 2012 Book of Discipline offers the UMC’s official position on the Rights of Religious Minorities.   The most concise statement regarding this hot-button issue is found in Paragraph ...

Rio Texas Conference Bishop to Resign Jan. 1

published 12/4/2015
Bishop Michael McKee, president of the South Central Jurisdictional College of Bishops and episcopal leader of the North Texas Conference has announced that the College of Bishops has accepted the resignation of Bishop James Dorff of the Rio Texas Conference following a complaint. In a letter released Friday, Dec. 4, Bishop Dorff stated the following:   "It is so difficult to admit and share, but I must inform you that I did not uphold the sacred vows I made to God at my wedding, at my ...

Caring and Sharing – The UMC Connection at Work

published 12/3/2015
Louisiana Conference Remembers the CTC with a Generous Disaster Relief Donation Give and it will be given to you. A good portion – packed down, firmly shaken, and overflowing – will fall into your lap. – Luke 6:38 CEB   One of the blessings of the United Methodist Church is found in the first word of the denomination’s title. United is defined by one online dictionary as “involving people or groups working together to achieve something – a group combined or connected together to make one.” The “...

Bishop Lowry / Council of Bishops Call for Prayers of Peace and Healing for Paris

published 11/14/2015
Bishop Lowry has issued the following call for prayers of peace and healing for the victims, their families and all people of Paris, France following the terrorist attacks that rocked the city of lights yesterday evening (Nov. 13). Even as we watch the reports from Paris, I am reminded of the words of Paul in his letter to the Corinthians. “May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! He is the compassionate Father and God of all comfort. He’s the one who comforts us in all our ...

20 Ways to Reach out to Troops on Veterans Day (or any day)

published 11/10/2015
by Barbara Dunlap-Berg and Kathy L. Gilbert* The observance of Veterans Day, Nov. 11, began almost a century ago.   In the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Allied nations and Germany declared an armistice - a temporary cessation of hostilities - in World War I. Commemorated as Armistice Day the next year, Nov. 11 became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. After World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to ...

GCFA Reports on UMData.org, 2014 Church Statistics, New Treasurers Training Event and Virtual Appointment Software

published 11/10/2015
UMDATA.ORG replaces General Minutes as UM stats resource The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) is announcing that general statistical information about the church, formerly contained in the printed General Minutes, is now available at www.umdata.org. The IT and Data Services Departments of GCFA, working throughout the connection, collects statistics and has developed a free, online resource that anyone can use to access public information about local churches. Because of the ...

Lamar E. Smith Center for Evangelism & Church Growth Receives Prism Award for Coaching

published 10/8/2015
The North Texas Chapter of the International Coach Federation (ICF) honored the CTC’s Lamar E. Smith Center for Evangelism and Church Growth (CECG) and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma as co-recipients of its annual Prism Award. The CECG team was nominated and selected for the award based on Healthy Church Initiative (HCI) coaching that has helped to develop leaders, address strategic institutional goals and yield measureable positive results for many of the local churches in our conference.   The...

Clergywomen Credited for the Growth in Young Elders According to 2015 Clergy Age Report

published 9/9/2015
by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership* and Vance Morton**   In 2005, the United Methodist Church reported a total of 850 elders under the age of 35, which equated to a historic low of only 4.69 percent of active elders. Since that low-water mark, the denomination has rebounded and sustained a slow but relatively steady uptick in that number. An uptick that is due solely to the number of young female clergy being ordained as elders.   According to the Clergy Age Trends in the United Methodist...

Watermelon, Football and Transformation in Hubbard, Texas

published 8/24/2015
by Bob Rainey*   What do free watermelon and God's transformational power have in common? More than you'd think.   A few summers ago, the First United Methodist Church of Hubbard 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 ...

New Executive Director for Glen Lake Camp Announced

published 8/20/2015
The Central Texas Conference and Glen Lake Camp and Retreat Center have named Natalie Davidson as the new Executive Director for the camp.   Natalie brings a wealth of experience in camping ministry as well as a passion for the outdoors and leadership, team building and organizational skills to the Glen Lake team. For the last six years, Natalie has worked as a director at the camp and retreat center, most recently as the camp’s director of Operations, where she was instrumental in managing ...

Developing a Deeper Life with God to be the Focus of the Good & Beautiful Conference

published 8/7/2015
The Good & Beautiful Conference is coming to the Central Texas Conference Sept. 11-12 at First Methodist Church Mansfield. The conference is sponsored by the Central Texas Conference, First Mansfield and White’s Chapel UMC and everyone from the CTC is invited and encouraged to attend. Dr. James Bryan Smith and his team from the Apprentice Institute will be in Mansfield for the conference to help lead participants in discussions and training on how to help people develop a deeper life with God.  ...

Discipeship Fast Track Bible Study

published 7/30/2015
For more information on Fast Track or if you are interested in being a Beta Test church, visit disciplefasttrack.com or email disciplefasttrackinformation@gmail.com. CTC Churches Offered the Opportunity to Beta Test a Brand New Disciple Bible Study by Bishop Richard Wilke, Retired Since 1987, Disciple Bible Study has reached nearly 3 million people worldwide, introducing the grand sweep of Scripture in a 34-week format. Now Disciple Fast Track maintains the integrity and principles of the ...

CTCSC has officially moved out of its downtown Fort Worth home

published 7/7/2015
CTCSC Team to Begin the Move-In Friday, July 31 The CTCSC staff will begin unpacking boxes and settling into their new work home on the campus of Texas Wesleyan University (3200 E. Rosedale, 76105) this Friday, July 31. While a few technical and telecommunications glitches are always possible when moving into a new building, those are expected to be minimal. The CTCSC main phone number (817-877-5222) and fax line (817-332-4609) have not changed, nor have any of the team’s email addresses – only ...

CTCYM 2015 - Update from the Road

published 6/19/2015
Editor’s Note: If you’ve ever been on, much less been charged with leading a Youth Mission trip, you know how precious a commodity sleep can be. Now take that responsibility and add 1200 people across 15 locations. It makes one need a nap just thinking about it. Well, it seems that CTC Coordinator of Youth Ministry Claire Condrey’s level of excitement over all that is happening at CTCYM this week won out over her need to catch some zzz’s. Here’s an update from the front lines of CTCYM.  by ...

United Methodist Bishops Call for Prayers and Support Following Charleston Shooting

published 6/18/2015
“May each church and each individual    Christ follower related to the Central Texas Conference set aside special time for prayer.” –  Bishop Mike Lowry   by Vance Morton*  As the news continues to unfold following the tragic shooting deaths of nine people attending a Bible study at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., Bishops from around the connection are reaching out to their conferences as well as their colleague bishops in the African Methodist ...

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 ...

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