CTC Growth Continues for the 16th Consecutive Month! Overall Growth at 1.3% in May, NFC Growth at 5.2%
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God's Gift of the Earth

published 4/22/2015
The world marks Earth Day each year on April 22 in many ways. This year, United Methodist Communications is commemorating the event with a video featuring stunning images of nature set to a beautiful prayer written by United Methodist Bishop Ken Carter. (Bishop Carter penned the poem in 2005 when he was a pastor in North Carolina.) All United Methodists are called to be good stewards of the planet. One of our Social Principles about the Natural World explains that "All creation is the Lord's, ...

The Tranformative Power of Cold Watermelon

published 4/16/2015
What do free watermelon and God's transformational power have in common? More than you'd think. by Bob Rainey* Two summers ago, the First United Methodist Church served ice cold watermelon to the Hubbard Jaguar football team after the first day of full pad workouts. (If you think the Texas summer is hot, try working out in a suit of football armor in August!) Our goal was to let the team and coaches know that we support them and wish them luck for the upcoming season. The cold melon was eagerly...

Two Historic Central Texas Churches Unite and Create a New Place for New People to Discover Jesus Christ

published 4/10/2015
by Dr. Jerry Roberson* and Vance Morton** The mission of the Central Texas Annual Conference is to energize and equip local churches so that they can more effectively make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. One of the myriad ways in which the CTC Center for Evangelism & Church Growth (CECG) carries out that mission is by partnering with local churches to explore the best tools available to support church growth – and sometimes that exploration leads down the path of ...

Volunteers Needed for General Conference 2016

published 3/31/2015
Volunteers are needed for a variety of roles during the 2016 General Conference, The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly, which will meet in Portland, Oregon from May 10-20, 2016. At this time, volunteers are needed for the following positions: 28 recorders, 10 channel “B” identifiers,  20 verbatim transcribers/copy editors and approximately 150 marshals and pages. Preference will be given to applicants who can serve throughout the entire conference.   Marshals are responsible ...

How Firm the Foundation?

published 3/29/2015
Keeping the Faith on the Campus of Tarleton State University Change is inevitable when a student leaves for college. As early as Thanksgiving break, parents begin to notice the subtle differences in the kid who pulled out of the driveway the previous August. Independence – freedom to choose – is at work. But there’s no reason to worry, right? A solid foundation in the faith was laid early on, wasn’t it? It will hold…my kid’s faith won’t crack under pressure, right?   These are just some of the ...

Smithfield UMC Breaks the Ice & Plows Through the Snow to Build a Healthy Church

published 3/18/2015
by Todd Pick* & Vance Morton**   Even as temperatures are rapidly climbing back toward the much more familiar “fry an egg on the sidewalk” range in Texas, it’s only been a couple of weeks since schools, businesses and even conference service centers in the Fort Worth area were caused to shut down due to the ice and snow. (Good old March…in like a snow leopard and out like a lobster.) But Old Man Winter wasn’t successful in stopping everyone. It seems that the folks at Smithfield UMC didn’t get ...

Bishop Lowry Named to Texas Heath Resources Board of Trustees

published 3/17/2015
THR Board Also Elects Bob Ferguson as Chair, Wes Turner as Vice Chair   The Texas Health Resources (THR) Board of Trustees has named Bishop Mike Lowry, episcopal leader of the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church, as one of three new members to the board. Previously, he served on the Harris Methodist Health System Board of Trustees from 2008-2014. Kenneth W. Reeves Sr. and Janet DeVries, were also named to the board. All three will serve three-year terms.   In addition to the ...

2015 Glen Lake Golf Classic

published 3/16/2015
  Glen Lake, your UM Camp and Retreat Center, invites you to play or sponsor our Spring 2015 Golf Classic. We are excited to partner with you in helping bring families, children and students to camp. We will use the funds generated by the tournament to support our year round programs and retreats and fund summer camp scholarships. Come enjoy a fantastic scramble with lunch provided, two beautiful courses at Squaw Valley Golf Course in Glen Rose, carts, door prizes, fellowship and fun. Visit ...

What Can St. Patrick Teach United Methodists?

published 3/16/2015
March 17 is the day Americans and many others around the world celebrate all things Irish – in particular the saint for which the day is named. However, did you know that Saint Patrick was not born in Ireland, and his birth name might not even have been Patrick. In fact, many of the well-known “details” of his life are more legend than fact. However, such common misconceptions in no way diminish the vibrant legacy left by the patron saint of Ireland – a legacy that goes far beyond green attire, ...

75 Ways to Celebrate 75 Years of UMCOR Being with Those in Need in Times of Crisis

published 2/10/2015
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is celebrating its diamond anniversary of serving the global community in times of crisis. Here are 75 suggestions of what you and/or your church might consider doing to help UMCOR celebrate its 75th birthday. Show how you are UMCOR and use #BeUMCOR when volunteering or donating. Help UMCOR reach 75,000 Facebook likes and “like” UMCOR’s Facebook page. Invite 75 friends to like UMCOR’s Facebook page. Pray daily for UMCOR by focusing on ...

HealthFlex Participants Reportedly NOT AFFECTED by Blue Cross Blue Shield Hack Attack

published 2/9/2015
On Wednesday, Feb. 4, Anthem, Inc., the largest of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, disclosed that its databases that store employee and customer data had been breached by hackers causing concern for anyone who is insured by Blue Cross and Blue Shield. According to Shawn-Marie Riley, benefits administrator for the Central Texas Conference UMC, participants in the Central Texas Conference HealthFlex plan were not affected.   “We heard from GBOPHB [General Board of Pension and Health ...

Annual Conference 2015 Squeezes Down to a Two-Day Format

published 2/5/2015
AC2015 Agenda Task Force compresses the calendar but maintains the focus on worship, teaching and spiritual growth. by Vance Morton*   The Central Texas Annual Conference Planning Team has elected to pilot a two-day format for the 2015 annual meeting of the conference instead of the traditional three-day session. Annual Conference 2015 will kick-off with the Opening Worship Celebration of Remembrance & Resurrection at 7 p.m., Sunday, June 7. The meeting of the Annual Conference will begin at 10 ...

CTCSC to be Closed Jan. 27 Due to City of Fort Worth Utility Repairs

published 1/26/2015
The City of Fort Worth Utilities Department has informed the Central Texas Conference Service Center (CTCSC) that it will be effecting repairs to the water lines in and around the CTCSC’s immediate area on Tuesday, Jan. 27 and will need to shut off water to the conference service center during these repairs. As such, the CTCSC will be closed. However, the CTCSC team will be working remotely and available by email.   All CTCSC team email addresses are available on conference website on the ...

Multiethnic Church Planting Training Comes to the Lone Star State

published 1/26/2015
by Steve Horswill-Johnston* & Vance Morton**   A special two-day event designed to help congregations learn more about how to become successful multicultural places of worship and assist church planters in establishing new multiethnic churches is coming to San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 25-26. The Multiethnic Church Planting Training is hosted by New Church Starts (Path 1), a division of Discipleship Ministries and is aimed at church planters, potential planters, church leaders in transitioning ...

GBPHB Implements Human Rights and Climate Change Investment Guidelines

published 1/22/2015
by Colette Nies* The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church (GBPHB), and its Wespath investment management division, today announced the implementation of two new investment guidelines. These guidelines provide direction for identifying and managing the excessive sustainability risk that could potentially affect the value of assets held on behalf of benefit plans and institutional investment clients. One guideline relates to climate change (focused on the ...

United Methodists Urged to Join Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

published 1/13/2015
Christians are reminded often during their faith journey of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they will be one…so that the world will believe…” John 17.21. To make sure that message gets through at least once each year, a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is celebrated. Traditionally this special week of prayer is observed between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul, Jan. 18 – 25. The Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships (OCUIR) of the Council of Bishops is encouraging ...

Remembering Bishop Rueben Job as a Servant Who Helped Many to Live Fully and Die Well

published 1/5/2015
by Kathy L. Gilbert, UMNS   “I have no anxiety about my own death. … I don’t know what that’s going to be like, but I have some idea that it will be good because this life is good,” said retired Bishop Rueben P. Job after the publication of his book, “Living Fully, Dying Well,’’ in 2006. Bishop Job died at home on Jan. 3 after a long struggle with heart disease – he was 86.   Rueben Job was a bishop, pastor, author and friend who was not afraid of death and wanted the church to be better ...

United Methodists in Africa Distributing Ebola Resource

published 12/22/2014
Africans plagued by the deadly Ebola virus are receiving in-depth information about the outbreak in a brochure produced by medical experts at Vanderbilt University and printed by United Methodists in Liberia. The brochure, which was prepared for the Liberia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, is the result of a partnership between the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health, the General Board of Higher Education (GBHEM) and Discipleship Ministries. “In the African United Methodist ...

National Survey Show Strong Support for Scouting in UMC

published 12/12/2014
by Vance Morton* and umm.org**   The national office of Boy Scouts of America recently released the results of its survey of leaders of the top 10 faith-based charter organizations. The national survey found 64.9 percent of United Methodist congregations would actively encourage other churches and organizations to charter scouting units; 20.5 percent were passive supporters and 14.6 percent said they would not recommend charting a unit of the Boy Scouts.   The nearly 65 percent Net Promoter ...

#GivingTuesday Shows the Strength of a United Denomination

published 12/5/2014
United Methodists once again responded with extravagant generosity on UMC #GivingTuesday. On December 2, 2014, more than $2.5 million was donated online through The Advance to support mission and ministries around the world. The denomination’s General Board of Global Ministries matched the first $1 million in gifts to help build excitement and leverage donations. More than 770 projects and missionaries received more 8,700 gifts through UMC #GivingTuesday. The response was global with donors ...

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