News

How Keep the Copyright Police from Crashing Your Church Super Bowl Party

published 1/22/2014
by Vance Morton*   With an anticipated Super Bowl audience of more than 111 million viewers this year, chances are that a few thousand of those viewers in the CTC might just be watching the game at a church Super Bowl party. After all, not only is the game (and the commercials) more fun to watch with friends and good food, it is also an excellent outreach opportunity. However, before you finalize your plans, there are a few legalities of which churches need to be aware that go beyond the ...

Professions of Faith are On the Rise Across the Connection

published 1/20/2014
by Heather Hahn* & Vance Morton**   For the first time in 11 years, United Methodist Conferences in the United States have reported an increase in total professions of faith.   Preliminary 2012 figures for professions of faith show a gain from 123,986 in 2011 to 124,635 in 2012. For those who always have a calculator at the ready, yes, that’s less than a one percent increase. But it is still moving the needle in the positive direction for the first time in more than a decade. Or maybe better ...

Central Texas Conference Now Offers Mission Trip Insurance

published 1/17/2014
Domestic Mission Trip Insurance is in the works, but not yet available. div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">by Rev. Kyland Dobbins* div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">  div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">Did you know that your personal health insurance company does not cover you for volunteer work outside of your network, which includes international territories? Oh, and did you know ...

"Checkout" & End of Year Reporting Forms

published 1/6/2014
It’s that time of year again when all the churches of the Central Texas Conference are preparing to “Checkout” and report their 2013 statistical data to GCFA and the CTC via the interactive electronic database known as EZRA. This year, the EZRA tool will be open from Jan. 15- 23. To learn more about the EZRA tool, login to EZRA, access help guides and contact tech support, visit ctcumc.org/checkout2013. While EZRA is built and administered by the General Council of Finance and Administration ...

25 percent of UMC Clergy in the U.S. are Women

published 1/2/2014
Despite a slight decline in the total number of United Methodist clergy in the U.S., the percentage of women is growing. As of 2011, the most recent figures available, women were 25 percent of UMC clergy in the United States.   While that 25 percent stat is an average, some of the local percentages were much higher. In ten of the 56 annual conferences studied, women were at least one-third of all clergy, according to an analysis by the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW)....

Perkins School of Theology Names the CTC's Karen Greenwaldt as the 2014 Distinguished Alumna

published 1/2/2014
The Rev. Karen Greenwaldt, General Secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) from 2001–2013, has been named the 2014 Perkins School of Theology Distinguished Alumna. A clergy member of the Central Texas Conference, Rev. Greenwaldt earned the Master of Theology degree from Perkins in 1977. The Distinguished Alumna Award will be presented at 6 p.m., Monday, Feb. 3, during a banquet as part of Perkins School of Theology’s Ministers Week.   The annual Distinguished ...

Adaptive Change and Transformation

published 12/16/2013
by Virgina O. (Ginger) Bassford*   The following originally appeared in the November edition of Faith & Leadership – an offering of Leadership Education at Duke University   Even grown-ups like to play dress-up.   We revel in the crisp fall evening filled with masks and capes. The good saints barely have time to comfort our memories; before the stroke of midnight, Christmas begins to fill the stores, and carols to fill the air. Then the King cake is hardly in the oven before Mardi Gras arrives, ...

Adaptive Change and Transformation

published 12/10/2013
by Virgina O. (Ginger) Bassford*   The following originally appeared in the November edition of Faith & Leadership – an offering of Leadership Education at Duke University   Even grown-ups like to play dress-up.   We revel in the crisp fall evening filled with masks and capes. The good saints barely have time to comfort our memories; before the stroke of midnight, Christmas begins to fill the stores, and carols to fill the air. Then the King cake is hardly in the oven before Mardi Gras arrives, ...

In Memoriam - Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

published 12/5/2013
Nelson Mandela, the revered South African (and global) anti-apartheid icon, died Thursday, Dec. 5 at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was 95. "He is now resting," said South African President Jacob Zuma. "He is now at peace." After spending 27 years in prison for his early-life efforts to end apartheid, the South African government gave into increasing global pressure and released him in 1990 and from that moment on he was the undeniable driving force for democracy in South Africa, ...

New UMC Micro-Fundraising Site Generates Donations to Local Churches

published 11/29/2013
  Support your church, for free! Do your online shopping through www.UMCmarket.org and generate donations every time you shop!The United Methodist Church, in partnership with some of the largest online retailers, has built a shopping tool called UMCmarket that provides a 1-9% cash benefit for your church when you purchase items -- items you'd probably be buying anyway. The retailer does not markup the price any - you still pay what you'd pay as you did before. How does it work? Simply create an ...

Disaster Response Update - West, Granbury, The Philippines & Midwest Tornadoes

published 11/19/2013
div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">by Laraine Waughtal* and Vance Morton** div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">  div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">After the typhoon that ravaged the Philippines earlier this month and the tornadoes that ripped through Illinois and Indiana earlier this week, United Methodists are in full relief and recovery mode. Bishop Lowry has called for prayers for ...

Groundbreaking Ceremonies Officially Begin Next Phase of New Cental Texas Conference Service Center Project

published 11/18/2013
by Vance Morton*   After years of praying and planning and fund-raising and planning and praying and planning and praying and...the endeavor of moving the Central Texas Conference Service Center (CTCSC) into a new building on the campus of Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth took a huge step forward last Friday, Nov. 15 when ground was officially broken.   Several key members of the New CTCSC task force joined Texas Wesleyan University President Fred Slabach during ceremonies held on the ...

Council of Bishops Takes Action Following Same-Gender Marriage Ceremony

published 11/15/2013
by Heather Hahn*, Diane Degnan** and Vance Morton***   After much prayer and hours of meetings throughout this past week’s annual meeting at Lake Junaluska, N.C., the Council of Bishops has “respectfully” requested a formal complaint be filed against retired Bishop Melvin G. Talbert.   The Council requested that Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the Council, and Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett of the North Alabama Conference file a complaint regarding Bishop Talbert’s actions of “undermining ...

Bishop Lowry Calls for Prayers, Special Offering in Support of Philippine Typhoon Disaster Relief

published 11/12/2013
Four days after Super Typhoon Haiyan flattened part of the Philippines, relief is beginning to arrive to the area. United Methodists are among those starting to provide emergency supplies while assessing damages from the powerful storm – known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines. Though the Super Typhoon made direct hits on several Philippine islands on Nov. 8, much of the early media attention has centered on Tacloban, a Leyte Island city of 200,000 that was nearly destroyed. Bishop Lowry is ...

Council of Bishops President's Address: Lead Together as Servants of God

published 11/11/2013
by Diane Degnan* and Vance Morton**   Delivering the President's address at the Council of Bishops today in Lake Junaluska, N.C., Bishop Rosemarie Wenner said that discipleship in the 21st century, as in Biblical times, means that we sometimes travel difficult or uncharted roads.   "Disciples are like scouts. They find a path where the road ends. And they help each other in order to move in the right direction and to stay together, although the individuals journey at a different pace," stated ...

General Conference 2016 Delegation Sizes and Theme Announced

published 11/11/2013
by Vance Morton*   Central Texas Conference to Elect 4 Clergy & 4 Lay Delegates to 2016 General & Jurisdictional Conferences.   The Commission on the 2016 General Conference voted last month to set the target number of delegates to General Conference at 850. That number is not exact. It could vary a tad to meet representation requirements under church law. Because of this decision, it is estimated that the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore., will have about 15 percent fewer delegates than...

Clergy Time Apart 2013

published 9/10/2013
All Central Texas Conference clergy are invited and encouraged to join in a time of fellowship, learning, growth and more fellowship Nov. 5-6 at Still Water Lodge and Glen Lake Camp and Retreat Center in Glen Rose. This annual event is an excellent opportunity to pause and reconnect, renew and refresh before the excitement and demands of the Advent season.   It is also a time of learning and this year we are especially privileged to be joined by Dr. Stephen Seamands who will lead us in some ...

Discovery Retreat Serves to Inspire and Instruct Youth on Answering Their Call

published 9/9/2013
div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">by Leanne Johnston* and Vance Morton** div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">  div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">What do you get when you mix 66 youth and young adults with 12 breakout sessions,13 breakout leaders, 1 seven-piece band, 85 sandwich boxes, 26 months of preparation and countless adult volunteers willing to do whatever it takes to have a ...

Wesleyan Leadership Conference to Focus on Evangelism

published 8/23/2013
Evangelism is a key component to the church in the U.S. regaining its vitality according to church leaders throughout the United Methodist connection. Bishop Lowry recently stated in an article for United Methodist Communications that he thinks just about every U.S. conference needs to recover an evangelistic thrust and spirit — a drive not only to invite people to church but also to give them a reason to keep coming back.   We will recover our ability to do evangelism or we will die as a ...

"That's Church" - New Rethink Church Campaign Highlights the Church in Action During the Past 200 Years

published 8/22/2013
Reclaiming our Wesleyan spirituality and theology is one of the core strategies of the Central Texas Conference as its local churches work toward their mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. And it seems the idea isn’t exclusive to the CTC as a “remembering our roots” message is the driving force behind the latest Rethink Church campaign from United Methodist Communications. The campaign titled “That’s Church” asks members and seekers to Rethink Church ...

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