Changing CTC Churches Relationship with the BSA

Sept. 15

As circumstances regarding a proposed legal settlement by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in regard to ongoing litigation involving alleged sexual misconduct in scouting continue to evolve, Bishop Lowry has directed all churches, faith communities and ministries of the Central Texas Conference to end all chartering agreements with the BSA by Dec. 31, 2021 and establish a Facility Use Agreement (FUA) if the church chooses to maintain their relationship with their BSA troop or pack(s). This direction is in no way intended to advocate or even suggest that any CTC churches should sever ties with the BSA, simply that the nature of the relationship must change to that of a Facility Use Agreement. Please click here or the title above to read much more, including details on upcoming district meetings on this issue.

Calling for a Special Disaster Relief Offering in September

Aug. 25

In the wake of several recent natural disasters - earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, deadly flash floods - Bishop Mike Lowry has called on the churches of the Central Texas Conference to receive a Special Offering during the month of September that will go to directly to support relief and recovery efforts across the globe. He is also asking the people of the CTC to intentially pray for those affected by these disasters as well as for those embroiled in the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan and continuing along the U.S. southern border. Follow this link or click the title above for more information, including how and where to send donations.

Bishop Lowry Provides Video Update on the CTC's Response to COVID-19

Aug. 16

If you read or watched the news, been on social media or even overheard a conversation at the store in the early August 2021, you are likely aware that the secular response to the surge in COVID cases in Texas caused by the Delta variant has shifted from the medical to the extremely political. While the legal actions between state, county and local government agencies makes for excellent headlines, and the too often, too-heated masking and vaccination debates on social media continue to make places like Facebook and Twitter into online battlefields, Bishop Lowry is adamant that we MUST NOT let these things seep into our churches and faith communities. As such, Bishop Lowry’s first act upon returning from his summer renewal leave was to record the following message and share his thoughts and update on the CTCs response to the ongoing pandemic. Click here or the title above to go to Bishop Lowry's video message.

Cabinet Changes Announced Effective Aug. 1

June 13

Bishop Mike Lowry has announced the following Cabinet Changes...

  • Rev. Beverly Connelly appointed as South/Central District Area Superintendent
  • Dr. Leah Hidde-Gregory named as Executive Director of the Lamar Smith Center for Evangelism, Mission and Church Growth, New Church Start District Superintendent
  • Rev. Mike Ramsdell appointed as Senior Pastor of First UMC Grapevine
  • Rev. Louis Carr to assume role as Dean of the Cabinet 
Follow this link or click the title above for full details.

"It's Time to Re-Open Churches"

June 11

In video message to the entire conference, Bishop Lowry guided local churches that the time has come to reopen and shared the following information, advice and convictions:

  • It’s time to open up and for all churches in the CTC to safely return to in-person worship.
  • Go hybrid! As you re-open up, keep your online offerings strong and vital.
  • Continue appropriate safe practices with care for the vulnerable and at-risk in our churches.
  • Continue to follow all CDC and local, state and federal guidelines.

Click here or the title above to read more.

Bishop Ruben Saenz Coming to Central Texas in January

June 3

Bishop Ruben Saenz will assume episcopal responsibility for the Central Texas Conference on January 1, 2022. His selection as the coverage bishop for Central Texas represents the culmination of a careful discernment process by the South Central College of Bishops in consultation with the South Central Jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy and the Central Texas Committee on Episcopacy. "With the coming episcopal coverage of Bishop Saenz, the Central Texas Conference of the UMC will gain a Holy Spirit-filled discerning leader committed to advancing the mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” stated Bishop Lowry. Click the title above or follow this link to read more.

Bishop Lowry to Retire from Episcopacy on Jan. 1, 2022

May 7

Bishop Mike Lowry, episcopal leader of the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church has announced that he will retire from the episcopacy effective January 1, 2022. Bishop Lowry, who will enter into Vocational Retirement as defined in ¶408.2b in the 2016 UMC Book of Discipline, is the longest tenured episcopal leader in the history of the Fort Worth Episcopal Area having served as bishop of the Central Texas Conference since his election to the episcopacy in 2008. Read more here or click on the title above.

A Statement on Gov. Abbott's Executive Order on Masks and Reopening Businesses

March 3

Following Governor Gregg Abbott's announcement of his Executive Order (GA-34) that ends the current statewide mask mandate in Texas and sets Wednesday, March 10 as the date in which all businesses, organizations and facilities in the state are allowed to reopen to 100 percent capacity if they so choose, Bishop Lowry reminds the leadership and churches of the CTC that the decisions on how to best move forward with the ministries and services of CTC local churches are to be carefully and prayerfully made by the clergy and lay leadership of each church, with deep, prayerful consideration given to the most vulnerable in your community and congregation. Read more here or by clicking title above.

Rev. Philip Rhodes Appointed as East District Area Superintendent

Feb. 7

Bishop Mike Lowry, episcopal leader of the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church, has announced that Rev. Philip Rhodes will be appointed as the Superintendent of the East District Area of the Central Texas Conference effective July 1. Dr. Randy Wild, the East District Area’s current superintendent, will (again) retire from active ministry on July 1. Read more here or by clicking title above.

Prayers for U.S. Government Officials

Jan. 20

As been his practice throughout his tenure as the Episcopal Leader of the Central Texas Conference, Bishop Lowry is asking the people of the Central Texas Conference and Christ followers everywhere to intentionally pray for those who have been peacefully and dutifully installed into governmental leadership of the United States of America. "Please pray for the President, Vice-President, all the members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, as well as our Supreme Court Justices," stated Bishop Lowry following the conclusion of the 2021 Presidential Inauguration. For more, click here or the title above.

UMC Bishops Mourn Africa University Vice Chancellor Professor Furusa

Jan. 19
The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is joining the global community in mourning the death of Africa University Vice Chancellor Professor Munashe Furusa, who died last week on January 13, 2021 after a short illness in Mutare, Zimbabwe. Click here or the title above to read more.

A Call to Action from the COB to UMC Church in Times of Challenge

Jan. 15
In anticipation of the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States, the Council of Bishops President Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey has issued a call to action letter in which she offers prayers that the people of The United Methodist Church will be an active and positive influence in the world during these "times of challange," and be willing to adopt the new hearts, minds and skills necessary to build a church and world where all belong and are embraced as beloved of God. Read the full letter by clicking here or the title above.

A Statement on the Storming of the U.S. Capitol (Video)

Jan. 6
After viewing with horror and repulsion the mob assualt on the U.S. Capitol, Bishop Lowry issued a statement calling on the people of the Central Texas Conference and Christ followers everywhere to be true followers of the Prince of Peace. To not let hatred rule, nor allow evil and violence to triumph nor allow arrogance of conviction govern our response. Rather, he asked that our witness be one of peace and justice tempered with mercy and for all to remember the words of Christ, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” To view and/or read Bishop Lowry's full statement, click here or the title above.

Entering a New Year (Video)

Jan. 1

Bishop Lowry states it succinctly and well when he opens his New Year’s message to the conference with “Thank God 2020 is over!” With our sigh of relief that we have begun a New Year, it is good to remember that we have hope and joy in the coming year, not because we have flipped the page on our Gregorian calendars, but because we enter 2021 in the sure and certain knowledge that the Lord is with us. View and/or read Bishop Lowry's message for the New Year 2021 here or by clicking the title above.

2020 Episcopal Announcements

2019 Episcopal Announcements

2018 Episcopal Announcements