News

Hurricane Laura Response Update

published 8/26/2020
Prayers and Patience are What's Needed Now Aug. 26, 5:15 p.m. As Hurricane Laura takes aim on the Louisiana/Texas coastline with what is projected to be a devastating storm surge, many of the good people of the Central Texas Conference are already asking “what can we do to help?” The immediate answer is to pray and hold tight until the areas of need are revealed once the storm passes and proper damage assessments can be completed. The CTC disaster response team has been, is and will continue to ...

Gov. Abbott Institutes Statewide Face Covering (Masks) Order / Limits Some Gatherings

published 7/2/2020
Churches are exempt from orders, but CTC Guidelines continue to require face masks be worn in church buildings. July 2, 2020 Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued a new Executive Order requiring the wearing of a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in all Texas counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases. There are a few exceptions to this order, including “any person who is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship.” The Governor also issued a ...

New Executive Orders Issued in Texas in Response to Spike in COVID-19 Cases

published 6/26/2020
Churches are exempt from orders, but face masks are still required in CTC church buildings during in-person worship as per CTC Guidelines. June 26, 2020 Several new executive orders have been issued requiring the wearing of face masks and limiting certain business activities in the last 24-36 hours by state, county and city officials in response to the dramatic rise in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in many areas across Texas and the increasing pressure being put on the state’s hospital system. At ...

United Methodists Set to Unveil “Dismantling Racism” Initiative

published 6/16/2020
United Methodist Church leaders will launch a plan of action to galvanize church members and others to actively stand against racism in the wake of the death of George Floyd and protests across the U.S.    The “Dismantling Racism: Pressing on to Freedom” initiative is a multi-level effort throughout the church to initiate a sustained and coordinated effort to dismantle racism and promote collective action to work toward racial justice. The church-wide effort will kick off Friday, June 19, to ...

Five U.S. Jurisdictions Partner on Joint UMVIM Website

published 6/16/2020
June 16, 2020 The five jurisdictional United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) offices are entering a new phase of collaboration with a new website. The website address, www.umvim.org, will include resources from all five jurisdictions in one place. Some of those resources will be consistent across the jurisdictions and some will be specific for each.   For many years, each jurisdictional UMVIM office operated separately, featuring its own website and information. This new website will ease the ...

Bishop Lowry/ Council of Bishops Call on United Methodists to “Act Now to End Racism and White Supremacy"

published 6/10/2020
June 10, 2020 The past few weeks since the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis, Minn., have left many in our country hurt, outraged and downtrodden. Several United Methodist bishops have issued statements against systemic racism and begun to take steps to eradicate it from our society. Last week, via his blog and a powerful video message, Bishop Lowry asserted that it is time for all people called Christian to move beyond praying and into action against racism.  ...

Regarding the Killing of George Floyd

published 6/5/2020
On Friday, June 5, the Central Texas Conference Inclusiveness Umbrella Team released the following statement to the people of the Central Texas Conference and Christians everywhere. A Statement to the churches and people of the Central Texas Conference From the Central Texas Conference Inclusiveness Umbrella Team The senseless death of George Floyd was horrific and highlights in everyone’s consciousness that racism is not a thing of the past. His death, and the consequent protests speak to the ...

South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops Announce Retiring Bishops to Remain Through November 2021

published 5/27/2020
SCJ Bishops Lowry, Bledsoe and McKee will continue to serve current episcopal areas through South Central Jurisdictional Conference rescheduled for Nov. 10-12, 2021. Bishop Robert Farr, president of the SCJ College of Bishops, announced in a letter to the chairs of conference episcopacy committees that the three bishops who were scheduled to retire effective Sept. 1, 2020 will continue as the episcopal leaders of their respective conferences through the postponed SCJ Conference in November 2021....

New Dates for Postponed 2020 General Conference Announced

published 5/26/2020
Quadrennial Meeting to convene Aug. 29 – Sept. 7, 2021 in Minneapolis; Commission to explore use of new technologies to allow for increased full participation. The Commission on the General Conference has announced new dates for the postponed 2020 General Conference  The quadrennial legislative event will take place on August 29 - September 7, 2021, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minn.    "We're grateful that we were able to secure new dates while keeping the site of ...

Postponed 2020 Jurisdictional Conferences Rescheduled for November 2021

published 5/26/2020
Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, president, UMC Council of Bishops, announced that postponed 2020 Jurisdictional Conferences in the U.S. will be rescheduled for Nov. 10-12, 2021. Times, Locations and other information for the South Central Jurisdictional Conference will be announced at a later date. The following is the official Call for the Postponed 2020 Jurisdictional Conferences released May 26 by Bishop Harvey (bold added for emphasis) Grace and peace to you from God, our Creator, and the ...

Glen Lake Camp Cancels All Summer Programs for 2020

published 5/1/2020
On March 18, Glen Lake Camp followed the guidelines of the CDC and Texas DSHS to cancel guest groups and close the campus. At that time plans for the camp’s summer program were still in full effect. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has not subsided as quickly as hoped. As such, Glen Lake Camp has made the difficult decision to cancel all regular summer camp programming for the Summer 2020 season.   The staff leadership and Board of Directors explored all possibilities in their efforts to develop ...

New Easter Hymn for COVID Times

published 4/8/2020
Just in time for Easter, popular hymn writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has written a new hymn specifically for a season in which the Church and its members are dealing with the coronavirus.   "This new hymn," Mrs. Gillette writes, "is a prayer to be used in Easter 2020 worship services, while most churches are closed and people are remaining in their homes because of the pandemic. It can be used for online worship or in online written communications from a church to its members."   The prayer, ...

Wespath Provides Summary of CARES Act

published 3/31/2020
850-page Legislation is summarized down to 14 pages by Wespath and provides insight for what it means to churches and other non-profits. Wespath* (the benefits and investments arm of The United Methodist Church), released its preliminary summary of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Bishop Lowry and the Cabinet highly recommend this “excellent 14-page summary” of the more than 850 page legislation. Click here to read the summary.   “As usual, Wespath did a very ...

CTC Service Center Closed - Staff Working Remotely

published 3/25/2020
As we continue to do our part to control the spread of COVID-19 and in compliance with Bishop Lowry and the Cabinet's guidelines, the Central Texas Conference Service Center will remain closed for the foreseeable future. The CTCSC team, as well as the East and North District staff will be working from home during this time and all essential operations are still ongoing. Meetings will be held online whenever possible - please watch your email for links and instructions if you are scheduled to be...

What "Shelter In Place" Orders Mean for Churches

published 3/24/2020
Officials in Tarrant County announced a “stay at home” order Tuesday to further combat the continuing spread of the coronavirus. Through a joint news conference, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams announced new measures designed to keep residents inside their homes.   A “stay at home” order means that residents are being told to stay inside their homes unless for “essential activities,” such as grocery shopping, obtaining medical ...

General Conference Moved to 2021

published 3/23/2020
No official date has been announced / Commission committed to keeping event in Minneapolis. Following last week’s announcement by the Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference that the 2020 General Conference will be postponed, the full Commission met last Saturday, March 21, via conference call to determine next steps to take in setting a new date.   After discussing possible alternatives and hearing recommendations from Sara Hotchkiss, Business Manager of the General ...

Texas Gov. Abbott Declares a Public Health Disaster and Imposes Statewide Restrictions

published 3/19/2020
Executive Order Limits Social Gatherings to 10; Closes Schools/Social Gathering Sites for at least two weeks. During a news conference Thursday, March 19, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a public health disaster in Texas and issued an executive order that imposes statewide restrictions on the size of public gatherings and more through April 3 to combat the continuing spread of COVID-19. Confirmed cases of coronavirus and deaths from the disease continue to rise throughout the state. Gov. Abbot ...

General Conference 2020 Postponed

published 3/18/2020
COVID-19 concerns cause Minnesota officials to cancel or postpone events of more than 50 persons through May 10. No Reschedule Date or Alternate Plans have been announced.   The Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference has been notified by the Minneapolis Convention Center that they are restricting events at the venue through May 10, 2020, following recommendations by the Minnesota Department of Health, the Governor of Minnesota and the Mayor of Minneapolis to postpone or ...

Commission on the General Conference to Meet March 21 & Discuss Schedule in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic

published 3/16/2020
Commission to discuss possibility of rescheduling GC2020 following request from the Council of Bishops, various delegations and individuals in response to COVID-19. As concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic continue to escalate, the Commission on the General Conference will meet March 21 via teleconference to discuss plans for the 2020 General Conference, currently scheduled for May 5-15, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn.    According to the United Methodist Book of Discipline (Paragraphs 14...

Bishop Lowry Addresses CTC in response to Coronavirus Pandemic

published 3/13/2020
On March 12, Bishop Lowry sent out a conference-wide email regarding the CTC's response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In the email, he confirmed for churches that the decision to suspend services and activities is to made at the local church level. He also highlighted some tips and resources for churches that are available on the conference website. The following is a video message sent out to the conference addressing the CTC's response to COVID-19. May we all be a people guided by faith, ...

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