Bishop's Blog Archive


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Emerging from COVID-19 as Healthy, Vital Churches ©

As we continue to engage in effective ministry during and after COVID-19, Bishop Lowry and the Cabinet are convinced that churches hoping to return to “the way things were” are not going to emerge from this season as healthy as those who are willing...

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A Statement from Bishop Lowry on Returning to In-Person Worship ©

Moderators Note: On Friday, April 24, Bishop Lowry issued the following statement regarding local churches going back to "in-person" worship during this continuing season of COVID-19 quarantine.  The Cabinet and I are aware that many are anxious to ...

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On Second (or Third) Thought … Mea Culpa! – Rethinking Holy Communion ©

“Come, sinners, to the gospel feast, let every soul be Jesus guest. Ye need not one be left behind, for God hath bid all humankind.   Come and partake the gospel feast, be saved from sin, in Jesus rest; O taste the goodness of our God, and eat his ...

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A Bible in One Hand and A Newspaper in the Other ©

In his latest video update to the Central Texas Conference, Bishop Lowry addresses several topics related to the ministries and business of the CTC - chief among them being what do the reported “reopening of Texas” plans mean for our local churches?...

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Insights from “Leading Beyond the Blizzard” ©

Arguably, the most insightful piece of writing I have read during this season of chaos we call the “COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis” is based on a "Redemptive Edge" podcast by Andy Crouch, Kurt Keilhacker and Dave Blanchard called "Leading Beyond the ...

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A Guest Blog: Ten Guidelines for Christian Living in These COVID-19 Times ©

Last week (March 20), I shared a guest blog from Professor Peter Bellini Associate Professor of Evangelization at United Theological Seminary. Dr. Bellini has written a follow-up to that piece he titled “10 Guidelines for Christian Living in These ...

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Worship in a New Way ©

Shortly before 11 a.m. last Sunday, Jolynn and I sat down at our dinning room table, booted up the computer and went to the Arborlawn UMC website.  There we clicked on the live stream worship. Promptly at 11 a.m. the service started. We prayed ...

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Reflections on The Line Becomes a River ©

Moving into the heart of January, we tend to slide easily over the first part of the life of Jesus and settle back into our lives.  Amid the chaos of international events, the clamor of impeachment hearings and the ongoing drama of our everyday ...

Q&A from Reflections and Response to GC19 Meeting ©

On May 1, Bishop Lowry and the CTC Cabinet met with the Central Texas Conference clergy and lay leadership to reflect on and respond to the decisions made at General Conference 2019 and the subsequent Judicial Council rulings on those decisions. ...

God in Action ©

Gil Rendle in his newest book, Quietly Courageous, poses the question of whether many of us operate from a stance of functional atheism. That is, do we believe in God in some vague intellectual sense but engage in ministry as if God does not ...

District Sharing’s on the Way Forward ©

Over the fall season, I made a total of 10 presentations (two in each geographic district of the CTC) on the upcoming called Special General Conference 2019 to be held Feb. 23-26. This General Conference will receive and act upon the report of the ...

Reflections on the Upcoming Judicial Council Decision ©

On Tuesday, April 25, Mike Ford, Central Texas Conference Lay Leader, and I sent the following letter (via email) to all the clergy in the Central Texas Conference currently under appointment as well as the Lay Leaders of our local churches. We'd ...

A NEW CHURCH BEING CALLED FORTH BY THE HOLY SPIRIT #7:

Spirit Led This blog will be posted as we open the 2015 meeting of the Central Texas Annual Conference. We meet in a time of great opportunity and equally great peril. Facing forward with a focus on the local church, I invite us to seek the leading ...

A Great Bible for Children

As I travel about the Central Texas Conference (St. Philips, Frost/Italy this past month, Chatfield last Sunday and St. Andrews, Arlington coming up in October – I’ll be visiting seminaries next week), I have the joy of coming into contact with young...

Mission Strategists

Recently I met with the District Superintendents (Don Scott – Central, Bob Holloway – East, Ginger Bassford – North, Carol Woods – West, and Rankin Koch - South) to review the pioneering work we did on realigning the work of District Superintendents ...

TAIZE: DEVELOPING A NEW GENERATION OF LEADERSHIP

One of our vital strategic objectives is to develop a new generation of leadership. As the “baby boomer” pastors & lay leadership retire this becomes increasingly critical. We must be focused on forming and developing a generation of young disciples ...

Learning in Austin and Gathering in Tampa

Monday morning I had the privilege of attending a TMF (Texas Methodist Foundation) Board learning session which focused on ministry with "Generation Y" (young adults). With leadership provided by a young clergy couple from Church of the Resurrection ...

Apportionment Payout as a Missional Priority

In a recent Cabinet meeting we looked at extensive data on our apportionment payout over the last two years. Apportionment Payout is a vital way we live out our collective, connectional, missional priority. Here is some of the data: “In the past 2 ...