A New Vision, A New Voice ~ The North Texas Conference
Save the date! The next Perkins Lectures will take place at First UMC Wichita Falls on March 8-9, 2015. The speaker is Rev. Dr. Amy Butler, senior pastor at The Riverside Church in New York City. Find out more about her here.
The lectures will be at 10:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 8, 2015, and at 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 9, 2015. All lectures are free and open to the public.
Join Bishop Michael McKee and a host of others from across the North Texas Conference for the 2015 Bishop’s Rally as we worship, fellowship and serve together.
This event is open to all tweens (5th -7th grade) and confirmands throughout North Texas who would like to have fun, fellowship, and learn about how we can make a difference in the world!
This year’s Rally includes Bishop McKee, RADIO DISNEY, pizza, inflatables, missions, crafts, worship and a whole lot more! Receive a FREE T-shirt if you register by February 9, 2015.
All participants are asked to bring a new or gently used children's book for the benefit of Little Free Libraries. Individual church-wide participation in collecting books is encouraged.
This event will be held at FUMC Plano on February 15, 2015 from 2:00 - 5:30 p.m.! Registration is $5.00 per person (adult and youth)!
Where will you go? What will you do? Who will you serve for Christ’s sake?
Youth grades 6-12 are invited to attend one of the two 2015 MidWinter Retreats at Bridgeport Camp & Conference Center. These retreats, entitled "For Christ's Sake," are planned by your NTC Conference Council of Youth Ministries (CCYM).
MidWinter retreats are sponsored and led by our Pearl Red Blue Back Conference Council on Youth Ministry. Join us for a weekend of exciting teaching, relevant messages, powerful music in an inviting community.
This is a mixed Midwinter, both junior high and senior high are invited.
Check-In runs from 8:00 - 8:45 p.m. on Friday night, and we conclude by 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.
You must bring 1 adult for every 7 youth. Please note gender ratios of youth to adults (i.e. bringing 7 girls and 1 male adult makes cabin assignments difficult) ALL persons 18 and older must register, pay and be MinistrySafe certified. This includes campers who will be 18 on or before the last day of their MidWinter.
Regular Registration: $100 (until midnight, January 6, 2015)
Late Registration: $120 (January 7 - 14, 2015)
Registration closes at midnight, January 14, 2015 for MidWinter 1
No Open Registration for MidWinter 1 after January 14, 2015
Regular Registration: $100 (until midnight, January 6, 2015)
Late Registration: $120 for MidWinter 2 (January 7 - 28, 2015)
Registration closes at midnight, January 28, 2015
No Registration for MidWinter 2 after January 28, 2015
Please bring a Youth Medical Form or Adult Medical Form for each person registered. You may use the forms your church has on file. Bring two copies to camp – one copy to keep with your Youth Director and one copy for the camp nurse.
For more information and registration, click on the button below.
During this Advent season, think about the people and things that make you feel love, hope, peace and joy at first sight.
Is it your family, Christmas lights, a cup of coffee, your pet? Snap a picture of it!
Each photo entry equals a $10 donation to Dallas Bethlehem Center out of Trietsch Memorial UMC's Christmas Eve offering. Share with friends to help us reach our goal of $10K!
Save the date of April 18, 2015, to join us at First UMC Arlington for a great day of networking and training by veteran children’s ministers, professors, pastors and renowned authors!
There will be a wide variety of workshops led by veteran children’s ministers and professors including Kristen Lane, Gladys Childs, Ben Marshall, Deana Mason, Karan Marshall and more.
Closing worship will be led by YOUR children! The Family Worship Team from First UMC Denton will work with your children during the day to prepare and then present the closing worship service. Deana Mason will also lead a workshop on how First UMC Denton took the method presented by Mark Burrows in "Children First: Worshipping with the Family of God" and adapted it for their congregation.
Childcare for 4 years and under offered by reservation made by April 8, 2015. $10 per child.
Worship Day Camp for 5+ years by reservation made by April 8, 2015. $10 per child.
If you have a ministry providing resources or services for Children’s Ministry, there will be a Ministry Mart. You can reserve a spot for $50 per table by e-mailing Kelly@ntcumc.org.
3:00 p.m. (Doors open at 2:00 p.m.)
7:30 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
Christian music’s most prolific singer/songwriter Andrew Peterson will be in concert at Munger Place on Saturday, December 13, 2014. He will perform for two shows: one at 3:00 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available online.
Peterson launched his 15th Annual "Behold the Lamb of God Christmas Tour" on December 3, 2014. This year’s special tour guests include the critically acclaimed alt-country artist Thad Cockrell; singer/songwriters Jill Phillips, Andy Gullahorn, Caleb Chapman (Colony House); players Todd Bragg (Crowder), Travis Nunn (Chris Tomlin), Claire Indie (Crowder /Sara Bareilles); and producers Ben Shive, Joe Causey and Gabe Scott.
Here's a sneak peek of "So long, Moses" from Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God.
“I can’t believe it’s been fifteen years," Peterson said. "Once again, this tour strikes me as a kind of accidental liturgy. When we started I don’t think we realized what a big part of our lives it would become, and now it’s hard to imagine spending December doing anything but singing this story night after night.”
Peterson launched the Christmas tour in 1999 to present a musical rendition of the Christmas story and to reinforce the true meaning of the season. It was immediately embraced by fans nationwide because of the powerful performances, entertaining stories, and the sense of community between Peterson and his guest artists. The result was multiple sold-out venues and yearly return engagements. In 2004, fan support led Peterson to record the album, Behold The Lamb Of God: The True Tall Tale Of The Coming Of Christ, and the project won the 2004 Best Album of the Year (World Christian Music Editor’s Award) and was named by Rhapsody.com as one of the 10 best Christian albums of the decade. In 2009, Peterson released a two-disc 10th Anniversary Edition of the project that includes a re-mastered version of the original project and a live recording of the Christmas concert from 2008.
Peterson just released a new retrospective album on November 11, 2014, After All These Years. It’s a body of work that showcases some of the most poignant songs from his 18-year recording career. Produced by Harold Rubens (audio engineer for Steven Curtis Chapman, Brandon Heath, Robbie Seay), After All These Years presents many of Peterson’s previous songs with new production and offers three new compositions: “After All These Years,” “To All The Poets,” and “Everybody’s Got A Song.” The physical copy of the album features 18 songs, while the digital version offers two bonus tracks.
Andrew Peterson is a man of many talents with a successful recording and songwriting career, as well as being an award-winning author and the host of a highly popular online creative community known as the The Rabbit Room. Peterson released his new studio album, After All These Years, in November 2014, while his last project, Light for the Lost Boy, received rave reviews from several media outlets hailing the project as “best album of the year,” and garnered two 2013 Dove Award nominations. His previous project Counting Stars debuted at #1 on iTunes, and #6 on Billboard. His single, “Dancing in the Minefields,” reached the Top 10 on the Christian AC chart, while the video for the song has received well over 1 million views online.
In July 2014, Peterson released the fourth and final book in his highly popular Wingfeather Saga series, The Warden and the Wolf King, which was named World Magazine’s 2014 Children’s Book of the Year. The series began in 2008, with the release of the first volume, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, followed by the second book, North! Or Be Eaten, which won the 2009 Christy Award for Young Adult Fiction. The third book of the series, The Monster in the Hollows, was published in 2011, and in late 2013 Peterson launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the publication of the fourth book. The campaign earned well over $100,000 and became the most successful fundraiser for fiction in Kickstarter’s history.
This year, the North Texas Conference is inviting Methodists and non-Methodists to join in the Party 4 a King website. It is designed as a place where people can give ideas for celebrating Christmas, reflect on Christmas’ meaning, share memories or even tips on relieving the stress of the season. Please take a look and contribute to Party4aKing.com.
Here is an entry from Lynn Parsons, director of the Zip Code Connection, on the family card.
I grew up as the child of a professional photographer. Al Studebaker was a farmer’s son from Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, who discovered photography and never looked back.
His early courting of my mother, Olive, included taking pictures of her. After they married, I came along in February 1947, and I was an exceptionally well-documented child.
When my first Christmas rolled around, it was a natural for Dad to make a Christmas card with my picture. Note that Mom’s inscription says the photo was taken on December 21, an early harbinger of last-minute preparations!
The single card of 1947 was upgraded in 1948 to a four-fold story board: “Dreamin’ Writin’ and Waitin’ for Santa.” I was a star!
In 1949, I had to begin sharing star billing with my new sister, Judy, and by 1951 Dad’s creativity was in full swing — a card printed front and back with the two (seemingly) loving sisters: “Any way you look at it . . . it’s a Merry Christmas.”
In 1953, the family grew again, with my brother Daryl born in September. Dad had to hunt for the Studebaker car silhouettes (probably violating several copyrights!) but he got all our pictures positioned correctly — and this time, he and Mom were part of the act.
By 1954, we were active members in a new church start (Presbyterian, not Methodist), and the card took a more religious turn with Dad’s fi rst attempt at “Photoshopping” — way before computers: “For a very merry Christmas, keep Christ in Christmas.”
In 1955 and 1956, it was back to the children only — and this is when I really remember the last-minute rush to get the pictures taken, printed and in the mail. Photographers in business did everyone else’s projects before they did their own.
This was also the beginning of our clash of wills: “Smile! Not that way, like you mean it! You’re a photographer’s child, don’t you know how to pose? No, we have to do it again — that one wasn’t perfect. Stop crying!”
We were “lined up” in 1955, and puppet masters in 1956.
1957 was the last big production: Dad’s story board was more complicated, and try as he could, he couldn’t get everyone to cooperate simultaneously (especially Taffy, the dog who had joined the family). So in order to get us all into “the act to wish you the season’s greetings,” he had to pose each of us separately and compose the picture — again, Photoshopping before it had been invented. Looking back on my glasses, chopped haircut, and saddle shoes, and remembering the last-minute traumas of the photo shoot, I see that it was high time to end the series.
By 1965, we just had a family portrait — the last one, if I remember. We were all turning into our adult selves — even Mom and Dad were looking cool!
Now in the age of Facebook and camera phones and selfies, family Christmas photos aren’t so special anymore. We see each other all the time as we go about our daily lives.
But as a photographer’s child, I remember...
In 2013, an anonymous donor approached Pastor Adam Spore of First UMC Leonard with a unique opportunity for mission and ministry: a “toy hauler” recreational vehicle that could be used to support volunteer firefighters and rural residents in Fannin County in the midst of tragedy.
This vision cast with the donation became contagious and has set the congregation at First UMC Leonard on a path to utilize the vehicle for a much needed ministry in rural North Texas.
Rural communities organize volunteer fire departments to respond to emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Sometimes these volunteers spend hours at the scene. While the fire departments work to contain and extinguish a fire or aid in a disaster, residents of the property are left to watch.
So the ministry that is being put in place through this donation provides a way for members of First UMC Leonard to care for and love those impacted by the disaster and the volunteers who put their lives on the line.
After acquiring the RV at the end of 2013, the pastor and United Methodist Men at First UMC Leonard equipped themselves for the ministry by hosting Fannin County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training at the church.
The nine-week course covered everything from house fires to chemical spills to weather disasters. The First UMC Leonard team is now equipped to serve and be mobilized with the Fannin County CERT organization under Darrell Brewer, Fannin County emergency management coordinator.
At the Community Fall Festival that First UMC Leonard hosted in November, the RV made its debut complete with new decals. Congregants and members of the community were invited to walk through the RV and think of the possibilities it has for ministry.
“It was much bigger than I expected it to be when I first saw it in person,” said Rev. Spore. “But now that I’ve had a chance to walk through, the possibilities for how we will use this for ministry seem endless.”
The inside of the RV’s living space has a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, seating and storage. The storage space in back of the RV — designed to hold ATVs, dirt bikes or camping gear — will be retrofitted with a small food prep area, shelving and additional storage to allow congregation members to offer food, water, shade and seating to firefighters and families affected by a disaster.
“Our responsibility as the church is to minister to those who serve as well as those who are hurting,” said Rev. Spore. “This new ministry will enable us to share the love of Christ in a time when residents and volunteers alike need it most.”
The team is developing guidelines and procedures for the congregation’s new ministry and expects to be ready to deploy the RV by the beginning of 2015.
One of the things that Trinity UMC is known for in Denton is being the “pumpkin church.”
All during October, we sell pumpkins. But Trinity is also known throughout the city for being a church in mission.
This year we sold $24,000 worth of pumpkins. We get to keep a third of the proceeds, which means $8,000 for youth missions.
So much more grows out of the pumpkin patch, including:
The Pantry Dash, featuring a 1-mile walk and 5-K run to raise money and collect food for local food pantries. Every $1 translates into 5 pounds of food. Our goal this year was 50,000 pounds of food. We exceeded our goal by nearly 20,000 pounds of food. All of the food was distributed to the city’s food pantries.
The Pantry Bash was new this year. We had an amazing live band, a Corvette show, flower sales, Denton food trucks, and children were treated to It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on a large screen in the pumpkin patch.
Trunk or Treat, an exciting event for families with children, topped off the month. Nearly 300 people attended the free event, with our United Methodist Men serving food.
What a joy to feed God’s sheep!
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