News

Special Session of the 2022 Central Texas Annual Conference Summary

published 9/17/2022
Conference Members Approve 81 Disaffiliation Resolutions $6.27 Million Budget Adopted for 2023 The 2022 Special Called Session of the Central Texas Annual Conference was gaveled to order by Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. a few ticks past 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 17. As he opened the meeting, he reminded the more than 650 gathered in person at Arborlawn United Methodist Church and the many more watching online that the purpose of the meeting was to take action on the 81 petitions for ...

Remembering Bishop John Russell (1926-2022)

published 9/5/2022
A video replay of Bishop Russell's Sept. 9 Memorial Service from First UMC - Fort Worth is available below. Bishop John William Russell passed away Friday Sept. 2, 2022, at the Reunion Court of the Woodlands, Texas. He was 96. Bishop Russell served as the Central Texas Conference’s inaugural episcopal leader when the South Central Jurisdiction split the Dallas/Ft. Worth Episcopal area and formed the Central Texas Conference in 1988 – an assignment from which he retired in 1992 – after serving ...

UMC Judicial Council Issues Decision on How ¶2548.2 Applies to Disaffiliation

published 8/23/2022
The United Methodist Church’s top court ruled that a much-debated church law - ¶2548.2 of the Book of Discipline - can only be used for transferring property, not members, to another denomination. The Judicial Council also ruled that The United Methodist Church must have an existing agreement with the other denomination for such a transfer to occur. No such agreement exists with the Global Methodist Church, which has been pushing for churches to use the measure to leave The United ...

Dr. Tim Bruster to Join CTC Team as Director of Finance & Administration

published 7/28/2022
July 28, 2022 Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr., resident bishop of the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church, has announced that Dr. Tim Bruster will join the Conference staff as the Director of Finance and Administrative Services. This is a part-time position and is effective Aug. 1.   In his role, Tim, who recently retired from a 42-year ministry as a local church pastor (the last 19 years as the senior pastor of First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth) will be a member of the ...

Central Texas Conference Trustees Announce Updated Disaffiliation Exit Liability Policy

published 7/6/2022
Trustees and CF&A unanimous in support of AC22 recommendation to reduce pension liabilities for disaffiliating churches CF&A review shows CTC finances/pension plan secure going forward with updated policy Updated policy to only reduce pension liability portion of exit costs for disaffiliating churches – no funds to be paid to churches leaving the UMC Updated Disaffiliation Exit Costs expected to be available by early August Acting as swiftly as possible following the conclusion of the...

South Central Jurisdiction Recommends Electing Three Bishops in November

published 6/30/2022
The South Central Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy has decided, in consultation with the College of Bishops, to recommend that the Jurisdictional Conference elect three new bishops in November 2022.   With three elections, the SCJ would have a total of nine bishops available to be assigned to the 10 current episcopal areas. The tenth episcopal area will be left open with episcopal coverage to be determined by the Council of Bishops upon recommendation from the SCJ College of Bishops ...

UMC Bishops Officially Set Nov. 2-5 for 2022 Jurisdictional Conferences

published 5/27/2022
MAY 27, 2022 by Dr. Maidstone Mulenga, COB Director of Communications In response to Judicial Council decision 1445, the Council of Bishops (COB) has formally set the dates for regular sessions of the Jurisdictional Conferences of The United Methodist Church (UMC) to be convened November 2-5, 2022.   During a special COB meeting held today, the bishops approved a motion that the jurisdictional conferences will meet for purpose of the election and assignment of new bishops for the limited ...

Transitions for the Roberts Center for Leadership & Administration Announced

published 5/24/2022
 Jeff Roper to retire effective July 1; Great Plains Treasurer & Director of Administrative Services Scott Brewer to also provide strategic oversight coverage for CTC Finance & Administration Team May 24, 2022 Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr., resident bishop of the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church has announced that Jeff Roper, executive director of the Roberts Center for Leadership and Administration/Conference Benefits Officer has decided to retire at the end of June. Scott ...

Judicial Council Rules Jurisdictional Conferences May Convene to Elect/Assign Bishops

published 5/20/2022
Decision 1445 allows Jurisdictional Episcopal elections absent of General Conference; sets parameters for episcopal assignment dates; affirms the General Conference 2016 formula and number of bishops remains in force. The Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church has released its much-anticipated decision as to whether Jurisdictional Conferences could be called and convened due to the ongoing postponement of General Conference 2020. In Decision No. 1445, the Council has ruled in favor of ...

Prayers, Financial Support Needed in Wildfire Relief & Recovery

published 3/23/2022
While firefighters have control and extinguished most of the wildfires that raged across the western part of Texas last week, the Central Texas Conference remains in prayer for all those affected. Tens of thousands of acres have been burned along with several homes and public buildings. Much of the damage occurred in the western part of our conference – with Eastland, Erath and Hood Counties bearing the brunt of most of the losses and damage. There is much to be done in the short- and long-term ...

UTA Wesley Leadership Transition Celebration

published 3/23/2022
Make plans to swing by the UTA Wesley, Sunday, April 3 for a Farewell & Welcome Celebration. The Mitchell Family Rev. Thomas Mitchell, who has served as the director of the UTA Wesley Foundation since July 2018 was recently appointed to First Methodist Mansfield as an Associate Pastor. Thomas and his family will officially begin their ministry at First Mansfield beginning May 1. The Jones Family  Last month, the Roberts Center for Leadership and Administration announced Rev. ...

Bishops Discern Ways for Churches Choosing to Separate from UMC

published 3/16/2022
COB seeks Judicial Council Guidance on Jurisdictional Conferences by Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga, COB Director of Communications March 16, 2022 The Bishops of The United Methodist Church in their March 15 called meeting discerned pathways for churches choosing disaffiliation and separation. The bishops have met two consecutive weeks to discern pathways forward in these changing times. The bishops affirmed by an overwhelming majority that paragraph 2553 in the Book of Discipline would be the ...

Council of Bishops Seek Judicial Council Ruling on an Annual Conference's Ability to Leave The UMC

published 3/8/2022
by Dr. Maidstone Mulenga, Communications Director for the UMC Council of Bishops March 8, 2022 The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is requesting a declaratory decision from the Judicial Council on whether an annual conference can separate from the denomination under the provision of the Book of Discipline.  During a special meeting COB held via Zoom and through electronic balloting, the bishops approved a request to ask the church’s top court to address six questions:        ...

General Conference Further Postponed to 2024

published 3/3/2022
As the pandemic continues and the wait time for visas stretches to over two years in some countries, the Commission on the General Conference announced today that the 2020 General Conference cannot be held in 2022 due to COVID-related and governmental policies/constraints.  Commission members received a report based on conversations with multiple officials of the U. S. Department of State outlining the massive backlog of visa applications in some areas. This backlog has led to wait times up to...

District Administrator Moves Effective Feb. 15

published 2/7/2022
The Central Texas Conference welcomes new District Administrators Kara Miller (South/Central) and Melissa Shamburger (East) as Della Connor and Amy Robbins transition into new roles. District Superintendents Beverly Connelly (South/Central), Leah Hidde-Gregory (New Church Start) and Philip Rhodes (East) have announced the following District Administrator (DA) changes effective February 15: East District - Melissa Shamburger will succeed Amy Robbins, who assumed the role of Conference ...

Amy Robbins Named as the CTC Coordinator for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

published 12/1/2021
The Central Texas Conference (CTC) is excited to announce Amy Robbins as the Coordinator for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This position, which is aligned with the Central Texas Conference Episcopal Office, was created in response to the report and recommendation of the Inclusiveness Umbrella Team during the 2021 Annual Conference (page 130-132 of the 2021 Central Texas Conference Journal). The Coordinator for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is responsible for providing leadership in ...

Glen Lake Camp Announces New Executive Director

published 11/4/2021
Maria Shupe will join the GLC team Dec. 1 and is excited to continue and build upon “a very strong foundation” set forth by exiting Executive Director Natalie Davidson and the GLC staff and board. Maria brings 30-plus years of Christian Education ministry experience (with nearly 20 years in camp, retreat and conference ministries). Nov. 3, 2021 The Central Texas Conference and the Glen Lake Board of Directors is excited to announce Maria Shupe as the next Executive Director of Glen Lake Camp. ...

Important BSA Bankruptcy Update – Receipt of Disclosure Statement Package Expected at Churches Soon

published 10/12/2021
The Central Texas Conference continues to monitor the ongoing Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Bankruptcy as the CTC and the local churches of the conference work through different and forward-looking ways to continue to safely, carefully and effectively be together in ministry with BSA troops and packs. The conference was recently informed by the United Methodist Ad Hoc Committee* that thousands of United Methodist churches across the U.S. will soon receive a Disclosure Statement Package related to...

AACtion! Online Town Hall Announced for Oct. 21

published 10/7/2021
Meeting to be held via Zoom beginning at 7 p.m.  Register Here Last month (Sept. 22), the conference announced AACtion! Strengthening Our African American Witness – a one-million-dollar initiative imagined by the Central Texas Conference Cabinet. The aim of AACtion! is to grow and strengthen our African American Churches’ witness and fruitfulness in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. As a follow up to the information and resources about AACtion! already ...

District Meetings on Changing Local Church Relationship with the BSA Announced

published 10/6/2021
Mandatory Active Clergy meetings set for Oct. 14, 18 & 28 via Zoom. Register Here Last month, Bishop Lowry sent a letter to Central Texas Conference clergy, lay leadership and Trustee chairs directing all churches, faith communities and ministries of the CTC to end all chartering agreements with the Boy Scouts of America by Dec. 31, 2021 and establish a Facility Use Agreement with their BSA troop or pack(s).   Beginning Oct. 14, Jeff Roper, Executive Director of the Roberts Center for ...

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