Rev. Lara Franklin to Transition Out of Executive Director of Roberts Center for Leadership Role

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr., resident bishop of the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church, has announced that Rev. Lara Franklin, executive director of the Roberts Center for Leadership and Administration, has decided to take transitional leave effective July 1, 2023. Following the conclusion of the 2023 Central Texas Annual Conference, Lara and her daughter Erin will be relocating to the Farmington River Valley of Connecticut - a place Lara and her late husband Travis had dreamed of living since first visiting in 2019.
Lara's ministry as clergy in the CTC began in 2002, though she traces her "formal relationship" back to 1988.

“Lara has done outstanding work in the process of reestablishing a trusting and hope-filled connection with our clergy, as well as in establishing practices and Conference processes to support, equip and energize our clergy,” stated Bishop Saenz. “Her energy and voice on the Cabinet and in the halls of the CTCSC will be missed.”
Bishop Saenz also committed to continuing to grow the vital work of supporting, encouraging and equipping CTC clergy set in motion under Rev. Franklin’s leadership.
“We are emerging from a long and turbulent season in the church and into a time in which we must refocus on our disciple-making mission and on laying a strong foundation for the church of 2050 and beyond,” acknowledged Bishop Saenz. “The leadership and energy of our elders, our deacons and local pastors will be vital in the success of our mission. The Central Texas Conference will remain focused on supporting and equipping our clergy in every possible way necessary so that they may continue to flourish in their calling.”
The Central Texas Conference will always be home, but Erin and Lara Franklin are looking forward fulfilling a long-held dream and the new beginnings that await them in Connecticut.

Serving in a role she fully embraces, on a team she truly enjoys, for a bishop with a vision, drive and leadership style she admires, and a conference she loves is a joy and honor for Lara. “My love for and commitment to the CTC and its people is what has given me pause for more than a year,” said Lara. However, the calling on her heart became too powerful to ignore. Following an extended period of prayerful discernment and ongoing conversation with Bishop Saenz and her Cabinet teammates, Lara made the difficult but hope-filled decision to go on transitional leave and move to New England.
“After Travis’ diagnosis in the spring of 2021, he, Erin and I spent an extended period in Farmington Valley area. Erin and I returned for a couple of months following his death in March 2022. Each visit we continued to feel drawn there,” Lara shared. “I could spend hours telling the stories of conversations and happenings that repeatedly made Travis and me feel as though God were inviting us into a new season.
“It is not an easy decision, as my heart and my home are in the Central Texas Conference, and I am truly excited about the direction of and hope for our conference and Connection under the leadership of Bishop Saenz,” Lara affirmed. “However, even without having a house or job waiting for us, it has become increasingly clear to both Erin and me that there is a new beginning waiting in Connecticut. I’m responding to God’s call on my life as the single mother of a young lady and the for the fulfillment of a dream long shared with my husband Travis.” 
Rev. Franklin will keep her membership in the Central Texas Conference where she has been in active ministry in the Central Texas Conference since 2002 - though she traces her “formal relationship” all the way back to 1988 when she was a student at Southwestern University – serving churches and congregations in Ft. Worth (Genesis), Grandview, Killeen (St. Andrew’s), Joshua, Salado and Bedford (Wm. C. Martin).    
“I’m beyond excited about the direction of our Conference under the vision and leadership of Bishop Saenz, our CTC Cabinet and our Spirit-filled and led clergy and laity,” reiterated Lara. “Erin and I will continue to be invested in that with my prayers and going forward.” 
Please join the entire Central Texas Conference Service Center team in praying for Lara and Erin as they prepare for and embark on this new day in their lives and ministry.