News

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 ...

Conferences Show Signs of Vitality Amidst Continuing Trends of Decline

published 8/10/2013
by Heather Hahn* with Vance Morton**   The United Methodist Church in the United States suffered membership losses of close to the entirety of the Memphis and Alaska conferences combined in the past year. Between 2011 and 2012, our denomination has seen a reduction of at least 85,631 U.S. members. The U.S. church also saw, on average, at least 50,276 fewer people in worship each week.    This snapshot comes from reports from 56 of the 59 U.S. annual (regional) conferences, which followed spring ...

Church Insurance Experts Warn That Liability Insurance Is a Must Have

published 7/23/2013
The following is part of a continuing series from umc.org on what churches can do to protect from the unanticipated. Earlier parts of the series focused on Church fires: Damage, recovery, prevention.   by Paul Stephens*   While a contractor can tell with some certainty the cost per square foot to rebuild a burned church building, a defense attorney cannot tell you with certainty what to expect in a serious liability lawsuit.   The worry of fire or natural disaster that destroys the property is...

Youth Worker Sabbath 2013 Provides a 3-Day Retreat for CTC Youth Workers

published 7/1/2013
span style="font-size:10.0pt;Arial","sans-serif"; color:#333333">by Leanne Johnston*   span style="font-size:10.0pt;Arial","sans-serif"; color:#333333">After a long, stressful, and busy summer, August is a great time to reconnect, relax, and make new friends! Join other youth workers from around the Central Texas Conference for a 2-night retreat at the beautiful Still Water Lodge. We will borrow a concept and each participant will be invited to host a breakout session on their own chosen topic ...

CTC and Path 1 Partner on Church Planting Internship

published 6/28/2013
div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">The Central Texas Conference has joined with Path One, the church planting movement of The United Methodist Church, to provide a church planting internship for the conference. This opportunity places a high-potential church planting pastor with a large-impact host church with the idea of strengthening the skills and experience of the pastor. At the end of the residency year, the pastor will be appointed by the conference to ...

New UMC Church Plant Report Shows 3,175 New Places for New People Worldwide

published 5/24/2013
The United Methodist Church established 3,175 new places for new people to worship God during the past quadrennium. These global numbers are part of a new report in which the work of church planting throughout the entire United Methodist connection is detailed for the first time. The Worldwide Church Plant Update, which was presented to the Council of Bishop’s Congregational Vitality Team earlier this month, includes 684 new churches started by annual conferences in the United States (The ...

Car Donations Needed to Help Project-44 Help Spring Storm Victims

published 5/22/2013
by Rev. Margret Fields* and Vance Morton**   Rancho Brazos is a small community in Hood County. The homes in the community number somewhere around 110 and consist of a mix of Habitat for Humanity houses, trailers and even RV's. Those who live in and around Hood County know all about Rancho Brazos but chances are that unless you’re from “’round here” then Rancho Brazos has not even been a blip on your radar.     Of course, the reality above was dramatically altered in a matter of minutes when an...

Saying Farewell to The United Methodist Reporter

published 5/22/2013
Editor’s note: The United Methodist Reporter and United Methodist News Service, the denomination’s official news service, are financially separate entities but have worked together over the years. They have been competitors as well as collaborators, sharing coverage of developments ranging from General Conference to disaster response. United Methodist News Service representatives say that they will miss that relationship and holds the United Methodist Reporter staff in prayer.   A UMNS Report -...

Disaster Response Updates from Granbury and West

published 5/21/2013
span style="font-size:10.0pt;Arial","sans-serif";Times New Roman"; color:black">Update by Rev. Laraine Waughtal, CTC Disaster Response Coordinator – 9:50 p.m. Monday, May 20   span style="font-size:10.0pt;Arial","sans-serif";Times New Roman"; color:black">span style="font-size:10.0pt;Arial","sans-serif";Times New Roman"; color:black">Today we had 26 Early Response Team members on the ground (or on a roof) working to clear the debris field. I have been to a number of disaster zones now but this ...

Please Do Not Send Recovery Teams to Rancho Brazos (or any of the areas affected by the Spring Storms) Yet

published 5/20/2013
Spring Storm 2013 Update by Rev. Dawne Phillips* and Rev. Laraine Waughtal** - 4:45 p.m., Monday, May 20   Even though the devastated Rancho Brazos area is open to the public, Central Texas Conference Disaster Response leadership is requesting that churches refrain from sending teams into the area at this time.    The situation on the ground is still extremely dangerous and the potential for injury is great. CTC Disaster Response Coordinator Rev. Laraine Waughtal advises that individuals without...

Deadly Spring Storms Sweep Through North Central Texas

published 5/16/2013
span style="font-size:10.0pt;Arial","sans-serif";Times New Roman"; color:black">by Rev. Laraine Waughtal, CTC Disaster Response Coordinator – 9:50 p.m. Monday, May 20   span style="font-size:10.0pt;Arial","sans-serif";Times New Roman"; color:black">span style="font-size:10.0pt;Arial","sans-serif";Times New Roman"; color:black">Today we had 26 Early Response Team members on the ground (or on a roof) working to clear the debris field. I have been to a number of disaster zones now but this is ...

Bishops' Learning Forum Extends to Border

published 5/10/2013
by Diane Degnan* & Vance Morton**   The third day of the Forum of Active Bishops’ meeting in San Diego took the bishops to the U.S. – Mexico border to learn more about the people who live and work near the border and the issues they face.  “Consider what it means to live in poverty amidst great wealth,” said Bishop Minerva Carcaño of the Los Angeles Episcopal area. “Consider the impact on families on all sides of the border.  Consider the great mission opportunity that exists for the church.” ...

Forum of Bishops Meeting - May 5-9, San Diego

published 5/7/2013
by Diane Degnan, United Methodist Communications   Active United Methodist bishops from around the world continued their closed meeting in San Diego, Calif today. The second day of the learning forum for bishops serving annual conferences focused on the strengths of The United Methodist Church and how to leverage these attributes as the church moves into the future.   The day began with worship, prayer, and singing, "Lord you are able to make all things new . . .” Preaching on the text, "If ...

Southwestern University Bishop-in-Residence Joe Wilson Retires

published 5/3/2013
span style="font-size:10.0pt;Arial","sans-serif"; color:black">Bishop Joe A. Wilson will retire as the United Methodist Bishop-in-Residence at Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas effective May 31. Bishop Wilson’s has been Southwestern’s Bishop-in-Residence for the past 12 years.   span style="font-size:10.0pt;Arial","sans-serif"; color:black">Bishop Wilson, who served as Bishop of the Central Texas Conference from 1992-2000, has a long history with the Southwestern. His relationship with...

It is Well. It is Well With the Souls of West

published 4/22/2013
by Vance Morton* - April 22, a.d. 2013   “When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.”   The words of the Horatio G. Spaffords great hymn “It Is Well with My Soul” (No.377 in your United Methodist Hymnal if you’re playing along at home) have been sung countless times by countless worshipers in countless churches over the years. There is little doubt, however, that the words have...

Next Steps in Disaster Response

published 4/22/2013
span style="font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"">The Central Texas Conference’s b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Early Response Team (ERT) is a disaster response ministry that trains individuals and teams to respond to disasters within the conference, the country and the world – pretty much any location dealing with disaster. The mission of our conference’s ERT is to provide a caring presence in the aftermath of a disaster under very specific guidelines. The...

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