A New Vision, A New Voice ~ The North Texas Conference
I offer my deepest apologies for the incomplete listing of churches that was printed in the Dec. 9 edition of the UMR. Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe and members of the Cabinet are very aware that many, many more congregations and pastors have sacrifi ced and worked hard to pay their apportionments. The second-mile efforts of each and every one of the almost 200 churches are cause for thanksgiving and celebration. Again, we apologize for the truly unintentional slight felt by any of our churches, and we rejoice in their example as an inspiration for us all.
Sheron C. Patterson, UMR editor
In this edition, we shine a light on small membership churches in the East and North West districts to gain valuable insight and inspiration about the power of our connection.
The Rev. Don Pellikan was to the point about his congregation’s paying out 100 percent. "We just do it. It is a part of our responsibility, and there's no need for a big spotlight. We don't do it to get a pat on the back. Paying apportionments is a part of being United Methodist."
The Rev. Ricky McGee i s excited about his church's 100 percent payout. "This church has really understood the importance of the connection. From the teachings of previous pastors, such as Rev. Sylvester Shed, through today with me, we have taught the fundamental principles of tithing. Our people understand how to give. We are excited about growing spiritually and in our giving. We teach tithing to Mount Calvary and to the connection."
His advice for others striving for 100 percent: "It is not the size of the church, but the heart of the members."
"If we are going to transform the world, we've got to pay our apportionments," said the Rev. Carol Sparks. "It takes all of me to handle Bogata, That's why it's so important to pay our apportionments so others can handle things all over the world in our ministries. Here at Bogata, we are very proud of never not having paid. It is a priority in our budget. My members put it like this, 'You do what you've got to do because it’s the right thing to do.'"
Her advice for others: "Make the apportionments personal to your members. Highlight each of the ministries. And pastors: Make sure that you understand them. If the pastor does not, the people will not either."
When it comes to paying apportionments, the Rev. Sue Gross said, ":This is something we do as Methodists. We've lost several members this year, and for a congregation of 35, the loss really hurts.
"But in spite of it, we got it done. To help my people understand how apportionments work, I posted around the sanctuary all the items on the apportionment list. I wanted them to see where our church is helping around the world.
"Some people erroneously believe that the money is for the Bishop and conference leadership. It is not."
|Cottage Hill||Ladonia||Rosser First|
|Annona||Cuthand||Lakewood||Royse City First|
|Arapaho||Decatur First||Leonard||Saint Jo|
|Arbala||Denton First||Lewisville First||Saint Phillip's|
|Axe Memorial||DeSoto First||Lone Star||Saltillo|
|Becker||Duncanville First||Martin Memorial||Shady Grove|
|Bellevue||Electra||McKinney First||Sherman Grace|
|Ben Franklin||Enloe||Mesquite St. Marks||Shooks Chapel|
|Beverly Drive||Era||Miller Grove||Sivell's Bend|
|Blossom||Floral Heights||Morris Memorial||Sulphur Bluff|
|Blue Mound||Flower Mound||Mt. Calvary||Sulphur Springs First|
|Blue Ridge||Floyd||Mount Tabor-Sumner||Suncreek|
|Bogata||Forest Hill||Mount Vernon First||Sunset|
|Bonham Wesley||Forestburg||Mount Zion||Telephone|
|Boxelder||Forney||Mulberry||Terrell Warren Chapel|
|Bridgeport||Friberg-Cooper||New World||The Woods|
|Callisburg||God's Kingdom||Oak Haven||Trenton|
|Campbell||Good Shepherd||Oak Park||Tyler Street|
|Caney||Greenville Wesley||Old Saltillo||UM Church of the Disciple|
|Carrollton First||Grove Hill||
|Celeste||Hail||Pecan Gap||University Park|
|Chambersville||Harless Memorial||Perrin||Van Alstyne|
|Chapel Hill||Haven Chapel||Petrolia||Verona|
|Chicota||Highland Park||Pilot Point||Westview
|Chinn's Chapel||Holliday||Pine Forest||Wheatland|
|Clarksville McKenzie Mem||Honey Grove McKenzie||Pleasant Grove||White Rock|
|Clarksville St. Paul||Howe||Pleasant Mound-Urban Park||Whitewright|
|Cochran Chapel||Iowa Park||Pleasant Valley||Wichita Falls St. Mark's|
|Cockrell Hill||Irving First||Plymouth Park||Williams Chapel|
|Commerce First||Justin||Powderly First||
|Como||Kaufman||Price||Wolfe City First|
|Cooper Creek||Kessler Park||Rhome|
|Krum First||Sachse First|
|Oak Grove Decatur||Trietsch Memorial|
|Corinth Faith||Henrietta||Preston Hollow||Wesley Korean|
|Denton Trinity||Kemp||Richardson First||Wichita Falls First|
Christians enter the Advent season with the spirit of expectancy, compassion and gratitude for the birth of our savior. As we celebrate the blessing of Christ for the reconciliation and redemption of our sins, we focus on seeing the world through the eyes of Christ with the heart of Christ. Our spirits search for opportunities to share the love of God with our families, friends and those who are less fortunate.
On Dec 3, Reclaim, a North Texas Conference group of young adults, shared its faith and set out to reclaim the mission to fight hunger across the Dallas area.
Members gathered at the North Texas Food Bank for the first event of this new ministry. Members packed 528 boxes of food that will provide 12,833 meals to people in our communities.
The Reclaim movement spans the North Texas Conference. Its young adults are committed to reclaiming the role and reclaiming the mission to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
The journey through grief is marked by both secular and sacred holidays. With the rapid succession of Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year, November and December can be a prolonged season of painful remembrance for those who grieve. Even under the best circumstances, holidays are emotion-laden. Grief intensifies occasions that remind us of our loss.
Most mourners dread the holiday pressure to do, buy and experience that is urged upon us by the season. Dread often creeps into our hearts as we begin to imagine what the holiday season will be like after the death of our loved one. In the quiet, we ask, "How can there be celebration without the one I love?"
At the holiday season, we are painfully aware of the absence of our loved one. Perhaps a beloved father always carved the Thanksgiving turkey or a devoted wife and mother created holiday excitement for the family by decorating the house at Christmas. When we grieve at the holidays, we remember the past and yearn for the one whose presence brought joy to every celebration.
Consider these strategies to help yourself through the emotional strain and sadness of grief at the holiday season:
Put the day in perspective. Remember that the actual holiday is just one 24-hour day.
Know your limits. Determine how much or how little you want to do.
Plan. Make a plan for the holidays.
Take care of yourself. Consider having a "good enough" holiday.
Decide about traditions. Create new traditions or modify your old traditions.
Be realistic about family.
Gatherings may be difficult. When you grieve at the holidays, your family may want everything "back to normal."
You may be expected to be "over it." Yet your grief may make it difficult to participate fully in the festivities. When you grieve at the holidays, do the things that are special or important to you. Take time for yourself — time to reflect, to remember, to forget. You may expect others to understand what you are feeling, but you alone know the depth of your grief. God knows your heart as you grieve through the seasons of life: "I will be with you, I will not fail you or forsake you." (Joshua 1:5 NRSV).
Our journey through the valley of the shadow of death inevitably leads us to the manger to celebrate Christ.
The power of Christmas transcends death and grief in Emmanuel, God with us.
Julie Yarbrough, a member of Highland Park UMC in Dallas, is author of Inside the Broken Heart: Grief Understanding for Widows and Widowers and the upcoming small group program "Beyond the Broken Heart" (Abingdon Press, April 2012).
College-age students can spend next summer or even next year living out their faith by serving others while exploring a calling.
Project Transformation, a Dallas-based United Methodist nonprofit organization, offers summer and one-year internships working with under-served children, living and worshiping with 100 other interns in Christian community and exploring vocational opportunities in ministry and service.
$2,500 living stipend
$1,415 education award
Free room and board
Deadline to apply: Jan. 15
$12,100 living stipend
$5,550 education award
Low-cost housing (Sept.-May)
Deadline to apply: April 15
To apply: www.projecttransformation.org or contact PT at 214-946-3600
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