News

Believers Across Denominations and Faiths are Praying and Asking "Why?" Following the Boston Marathon Bombings

published 4/16/2013
span style="font-size: 10.0pt;Arial","sans-serif"">by Diane Degnan*, Cathy Lynn Grossman** and Vance Morton***   span style="font-size: 10.0pt;Arial","sans-serif"">United Methodists offer prayer and comfort after Boston bombings   As investigators search for answers, the people of The United Methodist Church offer prayer, comfort and resources for healing in the aftermath of Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon.   “United Methodists from all over the world mourn with those who are mourning,...

What are you doing for the Great Day of Service 2013?

published 3/26/2013
The CTC Great Day of Service (GDoS) is just one of the many ways that our local churches are sharing God’s love and engaging in ministry with our neighbors. And we want to share the story of what you’re doing with the rest of the conference and our UMC family across the connection. Please take a few moments and send an e-mail to vance@ctcumc.org and tell us how, when and where you are participating in GDoS this year so that we can do our best to get there and cover it. If you’ve already ...

Methodists Worldwide Welcome Pope Francis I with Hope and Optimism

published 3/14/2013
by Heather Hahn*, Amanda Bachus** and Vance Morton***   United Methodists around the world are offering prayers and warm wishes to Pope Francis I – the first pope from the Americas and the person who will now set the tone for the Roman Catholic Church’s ecumenical relations with other Christian traditions.   Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church selected Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina as the 266th pontiff on the fifth round of voting on the second day of the papal conclave. The ...

Mid-Winter Retreat 2013

published 3/8/2013
by Leanne Johnston* and Julian Hobdy** On Feb. 22-25, as many as 500 participants gathered in two locations in our conference for a weekend of worship, missions and fellowship. 343 participants stayed for the weekend at Glen Lake Camp and 111 participants were at the Methodist Children’s Home. 39 churches from around the conference were represented. Both locations shared the common theme: Kickin’ it ol’ School as they focused on the basics of our faith.   Youth ministers wrote the curriculum ...

Bishop Lowry Calls for Prayer in the Wake of Pope Benedict's Decision to Retire

published 2/11/2013
div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">by Vance Morton* - compiled from national news reports. div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">  div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">After learning of Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement to resign as the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Mike Lowry, episcopal leader of the Central Texas Conference, called the people of the Central Texas Conference to ...

Dr. Clifton Howard Appointed South District Superintendent

published 2/1/2013
div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">Clifton Howard has been appointed to serve as District Superintendent (DS) for the South District of the Central Texas Conference effective June 1. The district’s current superintendent, Rankin Koch, will complete his eighth and final year as DS this year and recently announced his retirement from active ministry as of June 1, creating the open position on the Central Texas Conference Cabinet and in the South District. div ...

CTCUMC.ORG Launches Refreshed Design and Improved Navigation

published 1/30/2013
The Central Texas Conference Communications & IT team has announced several improvements to the conference’s official website. Many of the site’s pages have been refreshed and/or redesigned and navigation improvements have been made throughout. This is the first of many updates to ctcumc.org planned for the coming weeks and months designed to make it easier for site visitors to find the information and content they need. Look for improved search functionalities soon.   While the content and ...

New $1.3 Million Grant Helps Stamp Out Diseases of Poverty in DRC

published 1/25/2013
The United Methodist Church’s efforts to battle malaria and HIV in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will get a boost, thanks to a $1.3 million grant from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Using a comprehensive global health approach, the funding will be used to implement a program to reduce death and suffering from both malaria and HIV, two diseases that affect millions of people in the DRC and account for billions of dollars in lost productivity in Africa. The ...

Rev. Adam Hamilton Challenges President Obama to "Knock Holes in the Darkness" during the 2013 Inaugral Prayer Service

published 1/22/2013
by Mary Jacobs* and Vance Morton** Delivering the sermon at today’s 57th Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service, the Rev. Adam Hamilton called on President Obama to lead by showing humility, by casting a strong, unifying vision that focuses on helping the “marginalized” and by persevering in the face of criticism and discouragement.  Rev. Hamilton is senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan.   President Obama, who did not speak at the event, sat in the ...

After 50 Years "The Dream" Is Closer to a Reality

published 1/21/2013
Each year, United Methodist Bishop Woodie W. White writes a “birthday letter” to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. about the progress of racial equality in the United States. Bishop White was the first chief executive of the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race. The following is this year’s birthday letter to Dr. King.   by Bishop Woodie W. White*   Dear Martin:   I write this year as we will observe the 50th anniversary of your “I Have a Dream” speech given at the historic March ...

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on His Birthday

published 1/15/2013
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (pictured to the right on his wedding day with wife Coretta Scott King) is arguably the most-iconic African-American figure of all time. The clergyman, activist, and Civil Rights Movement leader managed to postively impact race relations during one of the most turbulent periods in America. His tireless devotion to promoting racial equality via peaceful means stands as an indelible footprint in the annals of Black History. Today, Jan. 15, a few days before the country ...

South District Superintendent Rankin Koch to Retire from Active Ministry

published 1/14/2013
div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">Late last week, Rev. Rankin Koch, officially announced his retirement from active ministry in The United Methodist Church to the members of the Central Texas Conference’s South District. On June 1, Rankin will complete his eighth and final year as the District Superintendent of the South District – a term limit that is mandated by UMC law. In his message (see below), Rankin was sure to emphasize his decision to retire from ...

2013 Clergy Time Apart Retreat Cancelled

published 1/10/2013
The chairs of the Orders of Elders and Deacons have decided to cancel the Clergy Time Apart retreat for 2013 due to logistical and other complications. The Clergy Time Apart task force will convene in February to begin to design the next Clergy Time Apart. The details of the 2014 retreat will be announced as they are available.      

Global Church Outreach Up in 2012 Despite Decreased Funding

published 1/9/2013
div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">by Barbara Dunlap-Berg* div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal"> When delegates to the 2012 General Conference approved a 2013-16 budget that was 6.03 percent less than the amount apportioned for the current quadrennium, the United Methodist boards and commissions that depend on the World Service Fund accepted the challenge to sharpen their priorities. div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bot...

United Methodist Council of Bishops Launches Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships

published 1/9/2013
  The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church marked an important organizational transition in the denomination by launching an Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships (OCUIR). The OCUIR will serve as the part of The United Methodist Church that engages with and talks to other Christian denominations to work toward unity and peace. The OCUIR seeks to strengthen interreligious relationships, which enable community building.    Following action by the 2012 General ...

United Methodists Call for a Faithful Alternative to the Fiscal Cliff

published 12/20/2012
Letter from General Board of Church & Society urges President Obama and Congress to include vision of a “moral budget and economy.”   Bishop Robert Hoshibata, president of the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society, and Jim Winkler, general secretary of the General Board of Church & SocietyC, wrote a letter earlier this week to President Obama and members of Congress urging that their negotiations on the so-called "fiscal cliff" include a vision for a moral budget and economy that ...

The United Methodist Council of Bishops Votes to Assign Bishop Earl Bledsoe to the Northwest Texas/New Mexico Conference

published 12/19/2012
The United Methodist Council of Bishops has voted to assign Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe to the Northwest Texas/New Mexico Episcopal Area effective January 1, 2013. The vote by active bishops, conducted via email in accordance with Council bylaws, follows a recommendation by the South Central Jurisdiction (SCJ) College of Bishops to assign Bishop Bledsoe to the Northwest Texas/New Mexico Episcopal Area beginning the first of the year. The SCJ College of Bishops and Jurisdictional Committee on the ...

A Call to Prayer for Connecticut

published 12/14/2012
by Susan Candiotti, Michael Pearson, Sari Horwitz, David A. Fahrenthold and Julian Hobdy In one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, a gunman opened fire Friday in a Connecticut elementary school, killing nearly 30 people -- most of them children.   President Obama wiped away tears as he spoke about the shooting from the White House’s briefing room. “Our hearts are broken today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.” ...

Outstanding Response to New Location and New Focus for Mid-Winter 2013

published 12/13/2012
by Jenny Moore* and Vance Morton** div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">The Central Texas Conference Mid-Winter retreat is a time for rejuvenation and reflection for youth in grades 6-12. Youth groups from far and wide come to participate in the activities and worship. Traditionally, Mid-Winter has been held at Glen Lake Camp. However, in response to requests to add another location for those who just can’t make it to Glen Rose, a second Mid-Winter retreat was ...

Foundation UMC is Transforming the World One Person at a Time

published 12/12/2012
  div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">by Vance Morton* div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">  div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the World. That is the mission of Central Texas Conference – its churches, its organizations, its people. And, at first blush, it might seem like a rather daunting mission. “Transforming the world” can ...

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