Communications and News

St. Mark UMC makes big impact with Free Clothing Store

St. Mark UMC makes big impact with Free Clothing Store
March 20, 2017

St. Mark United Methodist Church in Opelousas is engaging with its surrounding community in a truly significant way with its main outward mission—a community free clothing store. “St. Mark has moved from serving God by doing general mission projects to specifically developing its main mission program—our Free Clothing Store,” said the Rev. Junius Egby, pastor.  The concept of the ...

Where Angels Dare to Dance

Where Angels Dare to Dance
March 20, 2017

An exciting new offering from Just Peace: Louisiana's own Dr. Craig Gilliam, who works on the staff of the Louisiana Annual Conference, in the area of clergy excellence, together with the Just Peace Network, are offering Craig's latest book Where Angels Dare to Dance as an E-book. They're also offering a 20% off coupon code at checkout between now and the end of the month: MARCH20 ...

Windows, Doors, Floors and Crawfish

Windows, Doors, Floors and Crawfish
March 17, 2017

The Rev. Jenny Seylar got her first taste of boiled crawfish while serving recently on a disaster response team in the Baton Rouge area. The team, which included four adults and four youth from First United Methodist Church in Tipton, Iowa, worked on the home of James and Karleen Butler in the Azalea Lakes subdivision. The house took on four feet of water during the catastrophic ...

Bold Imagination: Annual Conference 2017

Bold Imagination: Annual Conference 2017
March 14, 2017

More than 1,000 United Methodists will gather in the Shreveport/Bossier area for AC2017: Bold Imagination June 7-10 to worship, share in fellowship, “boldly” imagine and strategize their work in ministry to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Annual Conference will have some different characteristics this year. The business sessions will once again be ...

United Methodist physician turns author with 'God First'

United Methodist physician turns author with 'God First'
March 07, 2017

Bryan G. Sibley, MD, is a pediatrician in Lafayette, La. and has been an active member of Asbury United Methodist Church in the same city for more than 20 years. Married to Shelley Rosson Sibley, the couple has three children--Lauren, Garrett and Blair.  This already busy husband, father and doctor was about to get even busier when in the beginning of 2000, Dr. Sibley scheduled a ...

Lakeview UMC, Minden goes 'fishing for souls'

Lakeview UMC, Minden goes 'fishing for souls'
March 01, 2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (Office of Fisheries) and Lakeview United Methodist Church in Minden recently hosted a free event called the "Get Out and Fish Community Fishing Program" at Turner’s Pond. Turner’s Pond, located on Lakeview UMC’s property, was stocked with 600 lbs of rainbow trout for this popular community event. The goals of the program are to ...

Lakeview UMC Honored

Lakeview UMC Honored
February 27, 2017

Lakeview United Methodist Church in Shreveport was recently honored by the Shreveport Public Assembly and Recreation for its continued efforts to add value to Shreveport communities and schools. Over the holidays,the church had gathered Christmas boxes for a local school. It was an effort that had been done in the past, but Pastor Klay Harrison challenged the church to triple their ...

God's Grace Came From Within

God's Grace Came From Within
February 23, 2017

DeWitt Perkins is a member of Cornerstone United Methodist Church in New Orleans, a church close to the path of tornadoes earlier this month.  Perkins is also a poet and he penned this poem about the tornado and the recovery that followed. It is a recovery that featured members of Cornerstone United Methodist Church, ERT responders from all across the Methodist connection as well as ...

Methodist Communicators To Gather in New Orleans

Methodist Communicators To Gather in New Orleans
February 23, 2017

The United Methodist Association of Communicators are gathering in New Orleans March 22-24 for its annual convention and you are invited. This exciting 3-day event, held inside the Le Méridien hotel on Poydras Drive can help prepare clergy, church staff members and active lay people for how to excel in communicating church matters. At this years gathering there will be a specific ...

Honoring 783 Years of Praise
February 16, 2017

On Sunday, February 26, 2017 following worship at St. Mark United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, the congregation and staff will have a “birthday bash” for eight ninety-five plus year old members in the fellowship hall at the church.  We wanted to take a moment and give thanks to these women and to St. Mark for choosing to honor 783 years of dedication to the Lord and to the United ...

Louisiana United Methodist helps edit Book of Discipline

Louisiana United Methodist helps edit Book of Discipline
February 13, 2017

Take a minute to read the inspiring story of Dianne Wilkinson, a member of Benton UMC, who served on the Committee on Correlation and Editorial Review for the 2016 General Conference, and because of that assignment, helped to edit the Book of Discipline. The call from the Bishop’s office came out of the blue.  It wasn’t the first time that I had been asked to work on a special project, ...

The Power and Necessity of ERT

The Power and Necessity of ERT
February 13, 2017

If there has been one constant in the state of Louisiana in the past year, sadly, it has been the number of natural disasters wreaking havoc on the landscape and, in turn, congregations all across the state. Last week, as tornadoes swept across the New Orleans area, the power of the United Methodist connectional system was evident once again in the form of ERT responders. ERT stands ...

Tornado Response

Tornado Response
February 09, 2017

The Louisiana Conference is making a call out to deploy in-conference ERTs in response to the tornado in New Orleans East.  We are currently looking for trained Early Response Team members who can serve on teams, as well as those who are trained and would be willing to lead teams. The primary tasks will be chain saw work, debris removal, and roof tarping. All Louisiana ERT chain saw ...

Tornado Outbreak

Tornado Outbreak
February 08, 2017

A message from Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey: As we wake this morning in Louisiana, we continue to assess the damage from the outbreak of yesterday’s tornadoes.  Six parishes have been impacted: Ascension, Livingston, Orleans, St. Tammany, St. James and Tangipahoa.   Our Early Response Teams are on the scene making initial assessments and a request has been made for emergency support ...

Fresh Expressions: Winning Programs

Fresh Expressions: Winning Programs
February 06, 2017

The Louisiana Conference Board of Discipleship has made its selections for the latest recipients of the Fresh Expressions ministry micro-grants. Fresh Expressions is a grant program offered through the Conference Board of Discipleship that provides grants of up to $500 available to local churches to use in seeding new ministries. The winning projects were designed to support of the ...

Children’s Ministry ‘Learning Lab’ offers innovative training for workers with children and their families

Children’s Ministry ‘Learning Lab’ offers innovative training for workers with children and their families
February 04, 2017

The Children’s Ministry Learning Lab, slated Feb. 17-18 at Asbury United Methodist Church in Lafayette, will bring together those who minister to children and their families for training, resourcing and inspiration. A special “Newbie Night” will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday, helping newcomers to children’s ministry by covering topics such as nursery/child care, budgets, volunteers and ...

Hold Up Your Corner

Hold Up Your Corner
January 22, 2017

When civil unrest broke out in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting death of 18-year old Michael Brown, the city would erupt into civil unrest as protesters clashed with police. Almost immediately, Rev. Dr. F. Willis Johnson found himself and his church, Wellspring United Methodist Church, at the center of one of America's most divisive racial matters in decades. Two years later, ...

Hope in Vernon Parish

Hope in Vernon Parish
January 22, 2017

Remembering the day they waked from sleep to receive the text message that screamed, “You only have minutes to evacuate!” is a sobering reflection for Sabine River residents Snookie and Mickey Young.  This day, however, their faces are relaxed and joyful as they watch team members from two North Texas Conference churches put finishing touches on the restoration project, a project the ...

Harry Denman Evangelism Award

Harry Denman Evangelism Award
January 12, 2017

For more than 30 years, The Foundation for Evangelism has celebrated United Methodist clergy, laity and youth for their outstanding personal evangelism and commitment to “offer them Christ” by sponsoring the prestigious Harry Denman Evangelism Award. The Louisiana Annual Conference, and more specifically the Conference Board of Discipleship, is looking for clergy, laity and youth who ...

Texas Cabinet sends disaster response team to Louisiana

Texas Cabinet sends disaster response team to Louisiana
January 10, 2017

Members of the Texas Annual Conference cabinet recently served on a disaster response team to Louisiana to assist in the wake of devastating floods that hit the state in March and August of 2016.   The Texas Conference is no stranger to flooding, said Rev. Scott Moore, executive director of the Texas Annual Conference Missions Center located in Conroe, Tex.   “We’ve been hit with our own...

Early Response Training in Louisiana

Early Response Training in Louisiana
December 30, 2016

Louisiana Early Response teams are “on the ground” across South Louisiana bringing personnel, equipment and supplies to areas affected by recent catastrophic flooding. “Trained volunteers are needed immediately for early response efforts,” said Rev. Bob Deich, pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in Ruston and coordinator of Early Response Teams for the Louisiana Conference. “Tasks ...

A Christmas Blessing from Pennsylvania

A Christmas Blessing from Pennsylvania
December 23, 2016

This Christmas, United Methodists in Louisiana are mindful of our neighbors who were deeply impacted by devastating floods in 2016. That care and concern has stretched across the denomination as individuals and churches send response teams, donations, and sometimes, a bit of Christmas cheer to help flood survivors. The children of Wayne United Methodist Church in Wayne, Pennsylvania ...

Peoples UMC serves single mothers in 'Central City' New Orleans

Peoples UMC serves single mothers in 'Central City' New Orleans
December 15, 2016

In keeping with the Mission, Vision and Core Values of the Louisiana Conference, Peoples United Methodist Church in New Orleans is engaging with the church’s surrounding community in a very significant way. People’s “Amanzi” women’s ministry is an outreach and witness ministry with a mission to improve the lives of single mothers, families and homeless women in the New Orleans Central ...

Little ones gather at Lee's Landing UMC's 'Pray-ground'

Little ones gather at Lee's Landing UMC's 'Pray-ground'
December 05, 2016

It’s a commonly heard story in Louisiana these days.   Like so many others, Lee's Landing United Methodist Church in Ponchatoula flooded in March of 2016.   While struggling to recover from the first event, the Baton Rouge District church was inundated a second time during the historic flooding this past August.   “We are slowly, but surely, rebuilding and getting everything back in ...

Louisiana Disaster Response

Louisiana Disaster Response
December 05, 2016

The floods of 2016 may have disappeared from news headlines, but communities all across Louisiana continue to rebuild.  The United Methodist Church has continued to respond and has uniquely positioned itself to help flood survivors from Monroe to Baton Rouge, Denham Springs to Lafayette and anywhere the church is called to help. "The United Methodist Church is known to be the last ones...

Michelle Willis Raises Money for Louisiana

Michelle Willis Raises Money for Louisiana
November 29, 2016

With a smile as large as the room, Michelle Willis proudly introduces herself as a musician from Zachary, Louisiana whose goal is to "make a positive difference in the world through music". The singer/songwriter visited the offices of the Louisiana Annual Conference to share just how true that statement is as she presented Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey a check for over $1,000.    The ...

Bishop Harvey Reflects on Tremendous Generosity
November 21, 2016

As we look ahead to the Thanksgiving holiday, Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey reflects on the tremendous generosity from Methodists all across the connection following the 2016 floods.   Thanksgiving from Louisiana Annual Conference on Vimeo.

Fire at David Haas Memorial United Methodist Church in Bunkie

Fire at David Haas Memorial United Methodist Church in Bunkie
November 21, 2016

Shortly after ten o’clock Sunday night, Rev. Brian Ridgedell received a knock on both the front and rear door of the David Haas Memorial United Methodist Church parsonage.   “Neighbors from across the street were knocking on the back door,” he said, “And one of the church members who happened to be driving by was knocking on the front door.”   As he rushed out, he quickly saw why they ...

Seeking Musicians

Seeking Musicians
November 14, 2016

Louisiana United Methodist choirs, praise bands, worship ensemble groups, including liturgical dance teams, and individual musicians may now audition for an invitation to share their worship gifts at the 2017 Louisiana Annual Conference, which meets in Shreveport, Louisiana, from June 7-10, 2017. “There is such a rich diversity of gifts across our Annual Conference, many of which we ...

God Is Still God

God Is Still God
November 09, 2016

The months leading up to this election have been long and the words have been ugly. But today, the sun rose and the God of yesterday is God today and tomorrow and the many tomorrows to come. Some awoke today happy, some sad and some confused but God is still God.  There has never been a more important time for God's people to be in concert as a nation and as people of faith.  We must ...

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday
November 08, 2016

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. One of the best ways to get involved is in your own ...

Episcopalians, Baptists find a home with Methodists post-flooding

Episcopalians, Baptists find a home with Methodists post-flooding
October 16, 2016

Finding yourself in the epicenter of catastrophic flooding can keep a church busy. It also provides incredible opportunities to serve as the “hands and feet” of Christ, said the Rev. Jaqueline King, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Denham Springs.   “Our facilities were the only structures that did not flood in the entire antique district,” said King, adding that close to 90 ...

Sager Brown continues to serve the world during disasters

Sager Brown continues to serve the world during disasters
September 30, 2016

UMCOR Sager Brown Depot is nestled in the heart of “Cajun Country.” The international depot, located southeast of Lafayette, Louisiana in Baldwin, serves as a ministry of The United Methodist Church and a  key distribution site for relief items such as cleaning buckets, health kits and other supplies that are critical in the wake of disasters. Sager Brown got its start in 1867 when it ...

Taylor Swift Donates to Louisiana Annual Conference

Taylor Swift Donates to Louisiana Annual Conference
September 26, 2016

Taylor Swift continues to help the residents of Louisiana. The singer, songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee has made a generous donation to the Louisiana Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church to help with recovery and rebuild after last month’s historic flood. "We are delighted to receive this gift from Taylor Swift to aid our flood relief efforts. Taylor is a wonderful ...

Lydia Patterson students bring 'gift of hope' to Louisiana

Lydia Patterson students bring 'gift of hope' to Louisiana
September 22, 2016

The students of the Lydia Patterson Institute in El Paso know what it means to face challenges—and to overcome them. Students of the school, a majority of whom live in Juarez, Mexico, leave their homes on week days as early as 4 a.m. to travel to “La Lydia,” as the school is affectionately known. They cross the bridge at the Mexico/United States border, and when they arrive at the ...

After Louisiana floods, Bibles bring comfort

After Louisiana floods, Bibles bring comfort
September 13, 2016

Three family Bibles were found in Stephanie Hope's flooded home in Louisiana.   Of all that I lost in the great flood of 2016 — pictures, recipes in my grandmother's handwriting, antique furniture I grew up with, vehicles, every wall and every floor, every single thing that was touched by seven feet of water in our home — I was struck by these three Bibles.   Our wedding Bible: It is the...

Foundation selects pastors for Leadership Class

Foundation selects pastors for Leadership Class
September 13, 2016

The United Methodist Foundation of Louisiana has selected four young Louisiana pastors to sponsor for the Advanced Pastoral Leadership program, a five-year training course designed to assist emerging clergy leaders in developing their potential for fruitful leadership.   Participants for APL were selected from among those who are ordained in the United Methodist Church, serving in the ...

Methodist connection seen throughout disaster response

Methodist connection seen throughout disaster response
September 13, 2016

Melissa Enis, youth director for Grace Community United Methodist in Shreveport, could hardly believe her eyes when she saw images of the historic flooding in South Louisiana.   “I had just sold my house in Central to move up to Shreveport. When I saw pictures of my old street sign, it was barely visible,” said Enis, who had recently served as youth director for Blackwater UMC in the ...

Local churches help sister congregation after floods

Local churches help sister congregation after floods
September 07, 2016

On Labor Day weekend, volunteers from First United Methodist Church in Covington and Hartzell Mt. Zion UMC in Slidell worked alongside their sister church, Mt. Zion UMC in Clinton, to gut and clean the flooded church.   Mt. Zion’s sanctuary and Fellowship Hall were hard hit by August floods that devastated South Louisiana. Volunteers moved damaged pews to get to the sanctuary carpet, ...

Louisiana Methodist Children's Home residents share 'Buckets of Hope'

Louisiana Methodist Children's Home residents share 'Buckets of Hope'
September 06, 2016

In the New Testament, Hebrews 6:19 reads, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”   That is why many of the cleaning buckets recently assembled for flood survivors by the youth of the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home in Ruston bear the image of an anchor, said Becca Deich, pastoral care assistant at the home.   The connection between these youth and the tens of...

School's in session at Broadmoor UMC

School's in session at Broadmoor UMC
August 31, 2016

Broadmoor United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge knows what it means to fulfill the Louisiana Conference’s “vision and preferred future” by “engaging in local communities in significant ways.” Especially if the phrase goes on to read, “in significant and highly unique ways.” As of Wednesday of last week, grades 5-12 of Runnels School have been holding classes on Broadmoor UMC’s campus. ...

"Together, We Are Stronger"
August 29, 2016

On this, the 11th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I am reminded once again of the resilience of the people of Louisiana.  For many, these past two weeks have felt like a repeat of Katrina – the water, the mud, the smell, the traffic!  We are also reminded of the love of neighbor helping neighbor, stranger reaching out to stranger. These events, as awful as they are, seem to bring out...

Louisiana UMC pastor hails 'power of the connection'

Louisiana UMC pastor hails 'power of the connection'
August 29, 2016

Early in the morning on the Friday of the recent “big rain,” David Tidwell, community resource consultant for Cokesbury, was passing Deerford United Methodist Church in Zachary, La.   Moments later, the Rev. Susie Thomas, pastor of the small rural church, received a call from Tidwell. “I’m sorry to tell you this, but I just passed Deerford, and it looks like water is coming up behind the...

St. Andrew's UMC provides a 'shoulder to cry with'

St. Andrew's UMC provides a 'shoulder to cry with'
August 28, 2016

“Pray for each other, its important.” The Rev. Tom Howe, pastor of St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, ends every written and spoken message with this request.   Although the need for prayer is always there, Rev. Howe and the members of his suburban church feel that need even more deeply in the wake of recent historic flooding that devastated South Louisiana. St. Andrew’...

'Faith of a mustard seed' fuels small church response efforts

'Faith of a mustard seed' fuels small church response efforts
August 26, 2016

Frequently, smaller churches feel that they are limited in what they can do to help people in need—like the thousands of folks whose lives have been deeply impacted by recent historic floods in South Louisiana. That is not the case with Mer Rouge United Methodist Church in rural North Louisiana, according to the church’s pastor, the Rev. JoAnne Pounds.   “Who could believe that a ...

Acadiana District churches hold 'Back to School Bash' at Sager Brown Depot

Acadiana District churches hold 'Back to School Bash' at Sager Brown Depot
August 26, 2016

It was Aug. 6, and although the weather forecast seemed dismal with a 60% chance of rain,  Methodists from all six United Methodist churches located between Franklin and Jeanerette came together for their first annual “Back to School Bash.”  Fortunately, the rain held off for this day of worship, family fun and food sponsored by Asbury, McGowan, St. Paul, St. Peter and Trinity UMCs, ...

When the desire to help outweighs everything

When the desire to help outweighs everything
August 26, 2016

Whether you speak to the church secretary, a youth volunteer or the senior pastor, the reaction is all the same, “We just love Ryan!”  It comes as no surprise Ryan Precourt would be hanging around Jefferson United Methodist Church. As Reverend Michi Head quickly points out, “He’s here every Sunday and he absolutely makes his presence known. After every song, he’s never afraid to ...

Reflection from Rev. Jay Hogewood

Reflection from Rev. Jay Hogewood
August 24, 2016

Below is a reflection from Rev. Jay Hogewood, pastor of St. John's United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, LA.  He shares an honest reflection of what it's like to pastor in the midst of the disaster in south Louisiana.    Saturday, hot as all get out, 2pm. Ready to shift from receiving and sheltering evacuees to moving them to longer, more stable housing - hotels, rental ...

First UMC, Baton Rouge finds small miracles in midst of tragedy

First UMC, Baton Rouge finds small miracles in midst of tragedy
August 23, 2016

When the flood waters began to rise in his Watson home just over a week ago, Justin Hutchinson, a member of First United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, realized he was in trouble and that he needed to evacuate his home. His plan was to drive to safety in his car, but the water was rising so fast, Justin knew that the vehicle wouldn’t make it and that he would have to escape on foot ...

St. Luke's UMC 'hangs on tight' in wake of flooding

St. Luke's UMC 'hangs on tight' in wake of flooding
August 21, 2016

“Alright, resurrection people. We’re getting ready to worship God in a funeral home,” said the Rev. Ginny Allen, pastor of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge. Members of the suburban Baton Rouge church were gathered Sunday morning in the chapel of the city’s Rabenhorst East Funeral Home because St. Luke’s sanctuary took on 28 inches of water during historic floods that ...

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