North Central District
Laity Day with the Bishop
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Because of inclement weather on the original date, this event had to be rescheduled.
A New Vision, A New Voice ~ The North Texas Conference
Because of inclement weather on the original date, this event had to be rescheduled.
Discounted tickets are available until March 22, 2014. General admission tickets on the day of the event will be $20.00 each.
Click here to order tickets.
For more information, contact (972) 233-7671.
Highland Park United Methodist Church and Interstate Batteries are proud to host Leadercast Dallas, featuring a line-up of world-renowned leaders speaking straight to your community, team or organization.
Leadercast is a one-day leadership event broadcast LIVE from Atlanta to hundreds of locations worldwide.
On the registration page, you will find more information about the event, including 2014 Leadercast speakers and schedule!
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (214) 523-2225.
Wil Murphy: A National Media Expert
United Methodist Conference Center
500 Maplelawn Dr
Plano, TX 75075
March 22, 2014
Outreach Magazine "America's fastest-growing churches"
This is a powerful workshop that will show you effective ways to communicate better. You may have all the tools, but are you using them in a way that will help you achieve your goals? In this session you will gain a deeper understanding of how you can reach more people through social media, video and your website. Also new marketing techniques that will help you launch your ideas from your iPhone, Android, or tablet. Last, we will show you how to analyze the performance of your marketing and use the results to set up your next marketing idea.
Lunch will be provided.
There is a discount price for groups of 5 or more. Contact the event coordinator for more information
Applications are accepted throughout the year from agencies, local churches, and community organizations that seek to minister in the areas of peace and justice.
For spring, applications must be submitted by the end of March.
The Conference Board of Church and Society will review applications in April.
Projects addressing the following areas will receive higher priority:
These grants may be made either to support ongoing programming or as seed money for new projects meeting needs not previously developed. Special consideration will be given to funding new projects.
Half of all the funds from the annual Peace With Justice Sunday offering at North Texas Conference churches is allocated to NTC projects.
These funds are used to provide grants for local projects in addition to providing training and resources to aid NTC and local church Peace With Justice efforts. Peace With Justice Grants will not exceed $1,000 to any one ministry.
For information on the grant application, click the button below to download the application form or contact Rob Evans, Peace With Justice coordinator, 1015 Creek Bend, Carrollton, TX 75007.
The Bishop Oden Award for the advancement of peace and understanding through dialogue, outreach, and friendship is given in honor of Bishop William B. Oden, who served North Texas, and his service toward worldwide ecumenism and peace among all people.
The award is presented in recognition of efforts by local groups within the North Texas Conference toward greater Christian unity and inter-religious understanding.
The Bishop Oden Award will be awarded annually, beginning with the 2014 Annual Conference, for outstanding activities, events or other efforts that foster understanding among Christians and/or between Christians and people of other faiths. The award will be given to individual laity or clergy, small groups or local churches/congregations within the North Texas Annual Conference for significantly enhancing Christian unity and/or inter-religious cooperation during the previous year.
Although we can give an award to only one project, the committee wants to lift up and celebrate all efforts, large and small, that are being made to foster the peace that comes with understanding.
Applications are due in to the Committee on Christian Unity and Inter-Religious Concerns no later than May 1, 2014.
If you need more information, please contact the Rev. Nancy DeStefano.
This is an excerpt from the blog of the Rev. Wes Magruder, NTC Chairman of Church and Society. For the full post, click here.
My legs have finally recovered from my 32-mile walk from Dallas to Fort Worth on February 21, 2014. The blisters on the soles of my feet are almost gone, too.
I walked with two other members of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty [board member Jeff Hood and Lynn Walters, executive director of Hope for Peace & Justice] in a silent protest against capital punishment. Just before the walk, we presented a letter to the office of Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins, asking him to stop seeking death convictions. We ended the walk twelve and a half hours later in front of the office of Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon.
I’ll be honest — it was a grueling walk. It wasn’t easy. There were moments when I didn’t think I would make it.
But I fought through it, mostly because I didn’t want to be shamed by being unable to finish something which I had started.
I recall that, at one point during the walk, I wondered if I wasn’t wasting my time and a good pair of shoes. After all, this is not an issue that happens to be front and center of everyone’s mind right now. It’s not something which is trending in social media, or even on the radar of most folks. Besides, it’s a fairly common assumption that the death penalty is a given in Texas. Public opinion polls continue to show a majority of Texans support it...
[But] I come back to the same conclusion every time: Acceptance of the death penalty is the first, and most basic, step toward acceptance of violence as a necessary and appropriate form of social interaction. Or in plain English: If you believe it’s OK to execute certain people, then it’s OK to kill anyone, as long as you have a good enough reason.
The church planting efforts of the North Texas Conference are bearing much fruit. Two young churches, The Village and North Central Korean, are in the midst of major moments in their ministries: new facilities.
At this time, the North Texas Conference has 19 church starts in some phase of growth. They include those just planted this year: Iglesia Unida in Grand Prairie, under the leadership of Leonardo Haro; Cockrell Hill Hispanic, under the leadership of Pablo Guardiola; Lewisville Hispanic, under the leadership of Carlos Avalo; Christ UMC Princeton with Clay Horton as the planter; and The Mission extension campus of Prosper UMC.
SEEK Camp is a unique opportunity for campers who are physically and/or mentally challenged to learn about love, friendship, sharing, caring, and living in a Christian community. This five-day, four-night camp is composed of 50 campers—25 girls and 25 boys. The campers’ disabilities range in severity from mild to severe.
The campers enjoy daily activities of arts and crafts, music, recreation, swimming, and worship. In addition, each evening includes special activities such as horseback riding, ventriloquist shows, talent shows, a dance, and other fun-filled events.
The all-volunteer staff is made up of three camp directors, two registered nurses, a camp pastor, 50 cabin counselors as well as recreation, music, and art coordinators. Bridgeport Camp and Conference Center employees are also involved. All staff complete in-service training, applications, and background checks. Youth counselors must have a church ministry staff sign their application and provide three letters of reference. Cost for the counselors is paid by the churches of the North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church.
Each Saturday the Wichita Falls Times Record News has an exceptional religion section. It occupies almost two full pages of the newspaper.
On the first page is typically a feature article by the religion editor describing a local project or program and the difference it is making in people’s lives. Also on that page are usually two theological opinion articles, one by a staff writer and one by an area pastor.
The second page is the church page. The top half consists of a paragraph about each of several area churches, while the bottom half includes paid advertisements from churches, usually showing a picture of the pastor and listing worship times.
What strikes me about this arrangement in our local paper is that it illustrates a couple of things about the current religious landscape. First, while Wichita Falls is probably more “churched” than many larger cities, many in our community do not link spiritual interests and needs with local churches.
I do not think that this is the intent of our local paper, but I would venture to guess that some readers read the first page but not the second, while others turn immediately to the church news on the second page and bypass the first.
The second thing that is striking to me is the content of the church news. I suspect that it has something to do with the first observation. This “news” is obviously gleaned from local church newsletters and consists essentially of meeting notices. The ABC group will meet at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, the XYZ group will go to a local restaurant for lunch Wednesday, the Finance Committee will meet at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, the choir will practice at 9:00 a.m. Sunday, and there will be a covered dish luncheon after church next week.
My experience, using the language of management guru Edwards Deming, is that in many of our churches we tend to talk about and focus on the “input” (our resources) and the “throughput” (the activities we do with our resources) rather than the “output” (the outcome or the difference it makes in people’s lives).
Our activities and meetings are good and necessary, but they are not ends in themselves.
The outcome we seek is to make disciples of Jesus Christ who will work with us to transform the world.
I have experienced this difference at its extreme when talking with congregations that are declining precipitously.
In those situations, it has often been difficult to see beyond “saving our church” to what God is calling us to do to further Christ’s mission of making disciples to transform the world, which may or may not involve our church as an institution and/or our current facility.
As we enter Lent this year, what if we changed our conversations from being about our resources and our activities to the difference Christ is making in the lives of individuals and the world in which we live?
What if we moved from talking about us to focusing on what God is doing in the lives of others and our world? What if we changed our conversations from “church news” to focusing on Christ?
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