At a crucial turning point in Jesus’ teaching ministry, our Lord and Master directs his followers, “a new commandment I give you, love one another just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34)
Following the teachings of Jesus, we believe that living out our Lord-given mission to make disciples involves being actively engaged in ending racism. A Cabinet/Staff team lead by Mr. Jeff Roper and Dr. Clifton Howard (with Dr. Leah Hidde-Gregory, Rev. Louis Carr and Rev. Bryan Dalco rounding out the team) has put together a concrete ministry plan to grow and strengthen the predominantly African American Churches of the Central Texas Conference. It is a plan that we are calling AACtion! and represents our collectively shared witness and commitment to End Racism in Our Lifetime. It is my joy to share this disciple-making and WIG honoring plan with you, including some opening comments from Dr. Howard, as a guest blog.
- Bishop Mike Lowry
On Thursday, Sept. 24, the Central Texas Conference announced an exciting, new conference-wide initiative called AACtion! – Strengthening Our African American Witness. AACtion! is an initiative of the CTC Cabinet that has come about through two years of prayerful discernment. It represents the Cabinet’s conviction that the time is now to take AACtion! and the Conference’s deep commitment to grow and strengthen our African American Churches to make disciples of Jesus Christ in their communities and beyond.
The following email highlighting our AACtion! plan was sent out to the clergy and lay-leadership of the conference yesterday. If you've not already, please take a few moments to read the below to learn more about AACtion!. Also, I urge you to visit the conference website at ctcumc.org/aaction for more details, including how to submit a proposal for funding and an FAQ.
While AACtion! is primarily designed to strengthen and better resource the ministries of our historically and predominantly African American Churches, this initiative is vital to us all. A stronger African American witness is a stronger Central Texas Conference witness. When any of our churches grow stronger in their outreach and ability to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, we all grow and become stronger. Please join me, Bishop Lowry and the Cabinet in fervently praying for AACtion! And, make sure to watch the conference website and your district communications for more on AACtion! to learn other ways that you might support and celebrate it in the coming months.
Central Texas Conference UMC
Assistant to Bishop Lowry/Chief of Staff
CTC Cabinet Steps Into AACtion! to Grow and Strengthen African American Churches
The Central Texas Conference Cabinet has launched AACtion! - a one million dollar initiative that represents the Conference's commitment to growing and strengthening our African American Churches.
Sept. 23, 2021
The call of Christ to the church is a call to make disciples of ALL nations (ethnic groups). This is also the Conference's mission and Wildly Important Goal. For generations, African American Churches have provided an important witness in our God-given work of disciple making - reaching many who likely would not have come to know the love of Jesus without a vital African American witness. The continued and increased accomplishment of our God-given mission to make disciples requires that the African American Churches of the Central Texas Conference be strong, vibrant and growing. However, The predominantly African American churches of the Central Texas Conference have experienced decline for several years. There are many factors in this decline, but reduced economic resources plays a key role. Conference leadership, both the Cabinet and others, have been studying how to address the decline and how to provide additional resources.
In an effort to proactively address this decline, the Central Texas Conference Cabinet brought forth a proposal to the CTC Council on Finance & Administration (CF&A) during its February 2021 meeting. The Cabinet proposed allocating $1 million to focus on growing and strengthening our African American Churches. After discussion and prayerful consideration, CF&A voted to allocate the $1 from Operating Reserves which have built up over the years. The 2021 Annual Conference approved the fund during our 2021 meeting, and from that approval, the AACtion! - Strengthening Our African American Witness initiative came forth.
While this funding is intended to further the Conference mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, AACtion! is also intended as a step toward making amends for past overt and systemic injustices (including economic injustices.) It is hoped that this will be a step toward healing and building of trust.
To learn more about AACtion!, including info on how to submit a proposal to receive funding, please visit ctcumc.org/AACtion.
While the funds available through the AACtion! initiative are designated for historically and predominantly African American Churches of the Central Texas Conference, all CTC churches and faith communities are asked to intentionally pray for this AACtion! plan.
Click on the image above to view an AACtion! promotional video featuring Dr. Clifton Howard, Assistant to the Bishop for the Central Texas Conference UMC.
To download and share, please visit the CTC Vimeo page available here.