News

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, ...

New East & North District Administrator Announced

published 3/6/2020
Katherine Hunter has been selected as the new District Administrator for the East & North Districts of the Central Texas Conference UMC. As was communicated in January, the East and North District offices will be moving to the Central Texas Conference Service Center (CTCSC) in Fort Worth and sharing a District Administrator effective April 1 as part of the operational plan established to help carefully manage spending in 2020 and beyond.   Katherine currently serves as the conference’s Mission ...

Tips & Info Regarding How to Deal with Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Local Churches

published 3/5/2020
  UPDATED TIPS for churches to use in suspending worship services/church activities in light of Gov. Abbott's executive order are below The World Health Organization has officially classified the COVID-19 coronavirus as a global pandemic. More and more organizations such as schools (elementary up to universities and colleges), businesses and even professional sports leagues and entertainment groups are suspending or altering their operations. The local churches of the Central Texas Conference ...

SCJ Committee on the Episcopacy Delays Decision on Number of Bishops to be Elected in 2020

published 2/27/2020
South Central Jurisdiction Episcopacy Committee expects to make it final recommendation on the number of bishops to be elected in late June 2020. Feb. 27, 2020 One of the committee’s duties is to recommend the number of bishops to elect. Due to myriad unknown factors that could impact that recommendation, including actions taken by General Conference this May 5-15 and subsequent annual conference sessions, the committee decided to delay its final recommendation until many, if not all of those ...

Mike Ford Resigns Position on CTC General Conference Delegation

published 2/17/2020
Mike Ford, Central Texas Conference Lay Leader and third-elected lay delegate to General Conference 2020, has informed the Central Texas Conference delegation that he is resigning his position on the delegation following an accident that damaged one of his legs. While Mike’s injuries are not life-threatening, they will require a significant and strenuous recovery period. “It looks like I’m going to be laid up for a while,” Mike reported. “Beginning this weekend with the Jurisdictional meetings ...

Support Puerto Rico Earthquake Relief via UMCOR Advance #901670

published 1/13/2020
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, more than 500 earthquakes of magnitude 2 or greater have rattled Puerto Rico since Dec. 28 and left much of the U.S. territory in distress. News reports indicate that last week’s 6.4 magnitude quake — the strongest so far — left a man dead and injured at least eight others, caused dozens of homes and structures to crumble and cut power and water service to large swaths of the island. The Methodist Church of Puerto Rico is responding to the situation ...

Panel Offers Peek Behind Scenes of Separation Plan

published 1/10/2020
by Kathy L. Gilbert* Watch Panel replay here  It was love of The United Methodist Church that brought 16 — sometimes hostile — people to a point of agreement for a path forward for the worldwide church. Even though the agreement is to split, participants still talked about loving each other in a livestreamed discussion Jan. 13 to explain how the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation was formed. “We started with quite a bit of tension and, really, hostility in the room,” ...

United Methodist Insurance Program Announces Revisions to Minimum Insurance Requirements

published 1/8/2020
Changes in UMIP Designed to Benefit Local Churches Jeff Koch, President and CEO of United Methodist Insurance Program (UMIP) has announced that the revised Minimum Insurance Requirements for local church property insurance coverage were approved by the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) board in November. The UMIP Board has notified its current insured customers of the change. These most recent changes, as well as changes made in May 2019, further enhance ways churches valuate ...

A Celebration from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry

published 1/8/2020
The Central Texas Conference joins the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry in celebrating that the Office of Loans and Scholarships will be awarding over 2,800 students a total of $6 million in financial assistance for 2019! We are very thankful to all of our local churches that supported this effort in recognizing United Methodist Student Day, World Communion Sunday, and Native American Sunday which help fund a portion of our scholarships. The remaining funds for these awards come ...

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