Willie Mae Kruger, mother of Rev. Larry Kruger (Era UMC and Rosston UMC Charge), died on Tuesday, February 17, 2015, at a nursing care facility in Sanger, Texas, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Please keep Larry and all of the family in your prayers during this time of loss.
Cards or notes may be sent to:544 Nored Rd.
By MARVIN GUIER
Northwest District Superintendent
It seems like everywhere we’ve been in the Northwest District this new year, a common theme has resounded: the benefits of participating in the Healthy Church Initiative.
Two Sundays ago Kathy and I worshipped at a church experiencing an unanticipated pastoral change. In spite of that, their lay team had participated in a Lay Leadership Development group the day before and were excited about it.
Then, the next evening when I met with the SPRC from that church about their future pastoral needs, one of their concerns was whether they could continue in HCI with a new pastor. I was glad to be able to encourage them to do so.
A couple of days later, our district had Checkout Days and I had the opportunity to speak briefly with each of our pastors. I noticed an obvious contrast: By and large, those pastors who just couldn’t wait to share something with me were those whose churches are participating in HCI or SCI (Small Church Initiative, the version of HCI for smaller churches). Unlike some of their colleagues who were pretty much same old, same old and more focused on survival, they were more hopeful and their conversations looking outward to their mission field.
One pastor was especially grateful that I had encouraged him and his church to participate in HCI even though it was his first year in a new appointment. Others were quick to say they were seeing positive benefits from it in the life of their churches.
When I got back to the office and was catching up on email, I had received the Mystery Guest report on one of our HCI churches and an invitation to attend the consultation workshop that is occurring at that church this coming Saturday. I look forward to spending the day with them.
Finally, this past Sunday we worshipped at a church that is participating in SCI. Their team was meeting immediately following worship and it was evident that SCI was important to them and that good things are happening in their church.
I am grateful to Dr. Jim Ozier, the Rev. Gloria Fowler, Liliana Pena, and all of the volunteer leaders who are leading HCI/SCI. It’s clear that HCI/SCI is not just another program. It is not a quick fix for what ails us. It is not for churches that need to be closed. But it is beginning to make a difference in several of the churches of the Northwest District.
As Dr. Ozier said recently, “there is absolutely no finer tool than the HCI for churches wanting and willing to get healthier and more fruitful.”
I look forward to encouraging more churches to participate in HCI/SCI in the future and to seeing more healthy, vital congregations effectively reaching out to their mission fields and making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Please join us in congratulating Rev. Cassie and Kelly Wade (First UMC, Jacksboro) on the birth of their granddaughter, Parker Natalia Ramirez. Parker was born on Friday, January 16, 2015, at Baylor Medical Center in Grapevine to Amber and Arturo Ramirez. She weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces and was 21 inches long.
Both the parents and Parker are doing well at home now in Carrollton, and the grandparents are beaming!
Cards or notes of celebration may be sent to:
Rev. Cassie and Kelly Wade
830 W. Live Oak
Jacksboro, TX 76458
Attention Northwest District
churches! We are offering a wonderful
training event starting at
3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 25, 2015, at First UMC Gainesville.
The event will begin with a presentation by the Rev. Nancy DeStefano of the NTC Congregational Assessment, Resource, and Transformation Team, or CART, on how churches can deal with conflict and resolve it.
At 4:00 p.m., pastors and laity will choose from 12 workshops. Some samplings:
Ever wonder if your use of media during worship is an invitation or a barrier? Wish you could keep up with the website and Facebook, often the first impression of people who might visit your church? The Rev. Justin Miller and Andy Murphy will lead the workshop.
Do you feel God is calling you to the ministry? Do you think the call might be to become a part-time local pastor? Join the Rev. Duane Van Giesen to learn if that is indeed the call God has for you.
Do you need some inventive programming for your church? Do you wonder if your successes and failures are unique or common? Join some of our Northwest District pastors and staff for some inspiring spirit-filled conversations, including Children’s Ministry by Abbey Echols, Youth Ministry by Bill Mauldin and Ben Marshall, Risk-Taking Mission for your community by the Rev. Steve Martinez, Spiritual Formation for Adults by the Rev. Liz Talbert and Rethink Church by the Rev. John Fleming.
Are you a new leader unsure of why you said yes when the pastor called? Do you need a bit of direction and encouragement? Join us for training with other brave people who have made the same commitment to their churches this year. Presentations include Lay Leaders by Northwest District Lay Leader Tom Busby, Administrative Council Chairs by the Rev. Roy Spore, Staff-Parish Relations Committees by Northwest Superintendent Marvin Guier, Trustees by the Rev. Brian Bosworth and Finance by Anne Aaron.
You will come home to your church family inspired and ready to dive into a new year filled with opportunities to serve God.
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.
The funeral service is tentatively planned for 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 13, 2014.
Please keep Veronica and all of her family in your prayers during this time of loss.
Cards and condolences may be sent to:
608 Grand Oaks Ct.
Alvord, TX 76225
The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 10, 2014, at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in El Paso, TX.
Please keep Karen, Steve, and all of their family in your prayers during this time of loss.
Cards and condolences may be sent to:
312 S. Broadway
Bells, TX 75414