The Central Texas Conference Committee on the Episcopacy is looking forward to welcoming all CTC clergy and laity to Grace Methodist – Metroplex on Saturday (Feb. 5) for the Welcome Celebration for Bishop Ruben and Mrs. Maye Saenz. The event will begin at 2 p.m. with worship and installment, highlighted by Bishop Saenz bringing the message for the first time as the CTC’s episcopal leader. Holy Communion will be celebrated as part of the service and the offering received will go to assist the people of Tonga recover from last months devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami (text to give instructions are available below and in the event Worship Guide.) A meet and greet reception will immediately follow.
For those planning on attending the service in person, please note that masks are required in the building. Parking is available in the Grace Methodist parking lot, the Central Texas Conference Service Center and in some of the Texas Wesleyan Campus lots. Please look for signage directing you where to park.
If you are unable to make it in person, you may still following along with the worship and installment service via a live webcast available at ctcumc.org/saenz-welcome-celebration.
On Saturday, Jan. 15, an underwater volcano violently erupted in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga, causing tsunamis that sent waves flooding onto the island. The tsunami had a significant impact in Tonga, with large boulders washed ashore, and homes, shops, and properties along the coast damaged. Some islands were wiped out completely. The eruptions of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano sent a plume of ash, gas, and steam into the air. The volcanic ash and seawater have contaminated the island chain's potable supply and the government there has advised people to drink only bottled water. About 60-70 percent of households that raise livestock have seen their animals die, water contaminated from the ash, or water and land for grazing damaged. Crops have been impacted by saltwater intrusion and ash. Fisheries have also been severely affected with the government recommending that no fishing or eating of fish take place. Volcanic ash is covering all surfaces, including trees and homes in Tonga. Water infrastructure is severely compromised. Fuel and food are running short in some areas, but government and community partners are delivering meals and supplies as quickly as possible. Safe drinking water is one of the most immediate needs, and many countries, including America, have already responded.
Because of the shortage of food and supplies, the Tongan community of Central Texas Conference are calmly, yet with urgency, working through different options as to how to quickly get relief into Tonga for our immediate families and loved ones. To do so, we are reaching out to our brothers and sisters of the Central Texas Conference to help us purchase two containers, supplies and to help pay for the costs of shipping.
Thank you so much for your generous donation to the Tongan community. We appreciate your continued prayers, support, and love. You may give electronically by sending a text to 833-916-1347 and entering the amount you’d like to give and the word “Tonga.” May the Spirit guide us to give with cheerful generosity.