Communications and News

Fresh Expressions grants given to five local churches to support community outreach ministry

Fresh Expressions grants given to five local churches to support community outreach ministry
December 15, 2015

Fresh Expressions grants were recently awarded to Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Slidell, Bethany UMC in New Orleans, Chatham UMC, Raymond UMC in Jennings and Winan UMC in Franklinton.   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 ...

Bayou Blue UMC and Lucas Prestenback create 'Lunches of Love'

Bayou Blue UMC and Lucas Prestenback create 'Lunches of Love'
December 14, 2015

Lucas Prestenback, a member of Bayou Blue United Methodist Church in Houma and a student at Vandebilt Catholic High School, was given an assignment to complete in his eighth grade honors English class. The task was known as the “20 percent Project,” basically because the students were to spend 20 percent of their time in class working on the assignment.   In determining what the project ...

Longest night joint service is slated for Dec. 22 in Walker

Longest night joint service is slated for Dec. 22 in Walker
December 14, 2015

Christmas can be a painful time for some. It may be the first Christmas without a loved family member who has recently died; it may be a time that has always been difficult, said Rev. Warren Clifton, pastor of Faith Crossing United Methodist Church in Walker.  Clifton, along with a group pastors in the Baton Rouge and Monroe Districts, is planning a “Longest Night” or “Blue Christmas” ...

Raymond UMC, Jennings holds live nativity

Raymond UMC, Jennings holds live nativity
December 14, 2015

A cast of 25 youth and children from Raymond United Methodist Church in Jennings performed a live nativity for the community on Dec. 12. The event featured the children singing Christmas carols, followed by a gumbo supper.   Several days earlier, the youth group also performed for the residents of the community’s Camelot Brookside nursing facility.   “The church is very excited that we ...

Camphor Memorial UMC ‘Cooks Up’ a Cultural Gumbo for Community Children

Camphor Memorial UMC ‘Cooks Up’ a Cultural Gumbo for Community Children
December 12, 2015

The community of Scotlandville is situated between the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport and Southern University. Camphor Memorial United Methodist is located in this area, where many of the residents are underserved.  With funding for enrichment programs having been cut from many public schools, and knowing that area families were financially hard pressed to provide them on their  own, ...

Faith Crossing UMC helps the children on Hummingbird Lane ‘Take Flight’

Faith Crossing UMC helps the children on Hummingbird Lane ‘Take Flight’
December 10, 2015

Partnering with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, Faith Crossing United Methodist Church in Walker sponsors a mobile food pantry one Sunday a month on church grounds. The food ministry has drawn many community neighbors to the church, where friendships have developed between those being served and the congregation.   Beth Lawson, a charter member of Faith Crossing UMC, was serving as ...

Kelley leads UMM retreat in California

Kelley leads UMM retreat in California
December 08, 2015

The United Methodist Men of Fountain Valley United Methodist Church recently hosted a weekend retreat at the UMC Aldersgate Retreat Center in Pacific Palisades, Cal. Joe Kelley, long-time UMM leader in the Louisiana Conference and Prayer Advocate for the Upper Room Ministry, led the instructional portion of the retreat focusing on “Reaching Every Man,” the retreat theme.   Nearly 30 ...

More than 350 enjoy community pancake breakfast, Christmas activities at Lakeview UMC, Minden

More than 350 enjoy community pancake breakfast, Christmas activities at Lakeview UMC, Minden
December 07, 2015

Lakeview United Methodist Church in Minden served pancakes to 228 children and 129 adults during a recent community-wide breakfast.   The popular event, which was free and open to the public, featured photos with Santa and craft time where the kids created manger ornaments. The children were also presented with a gift bag from the church. 

Loranger UMC celebrates 100 years of mission

Loranger UMC celebrates 100 years of mission
December 01, 2015

Members and guests of Loranger United Methodist Church recently celebrated one hundred years of community involvement during Sunday worship service. Five former pastors were recognized during the well-attended service, which was followed by a catered banquet.    Memorabilia from the past 100 years was displayed in many classrooms along with items from current mission and youth projects. ...

Happy Thanksgiving from Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey

Happy Thanksgiving from Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey
November 25, 2015

As you prepare for Thanksgiving, I am sure that like me, the memories begin to flood the corners of your heart.  Our table was always filled with amazing food and an abundance of love.  There was always a huge turkey, my mother’s amazing cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, corn, mashed potatoes and of course, rice, beans and tortillas.  And who can forget my Aunt Jeannie’s pies?  ...

Winan UMC, Franklinton hosts community cleanup day

Winan UMC, Franklinton hosts community cleanup day
November 23, 2015

Children and youth from Winan United Methodist Church participated in a community cleanup day on Nov. 7, picking up trash scattered along Alford Street in Franklinton, La. A group of nearly 20 participated in the event, including a number of adults from the church. The adults included Rev. Darlene A. Moore, pastor; Carver Lester, Winan's lay leader; and Children and Youth Coordinator ...

Conference Hispanic Task Force gathers at First UMC, Alexandria

Conference Hispanic Task Force gathers at First UMC, Alexandria
November 20, 2015

A conference-level task force met Nov. 14 at First United Methodist Church in Alexandria for the first of a series of conversations on Hispanic and multicultural ministry. The audience was largely comprised of clergy and laity from local churches located in the northern part of Louisiana. Glenda Regnart, executive director of the Central Louisiana Interfaith Immigration Center (CLIIC),...

United Methodist Men from First UMC, Denham Springs share meal with homeless veterans

United Methodist Men from First UMC, Denham Springs share meal with homeless veterans
November 20, 2015

The United Methodist Men from First United Methodist Church in Denham Springs hosted their third annual breakfast for the Raven House Outreach Shelter in Baton Rouge, feeding 34 homeless veterans on Veteran’s Day. The shelter provides lunch and supper for the veterans, but no breakfast. The United Methodist Men prepared the meal the night before at First UMC, heated it early in the ...

St. Mark UMC, Baton Rouge lifts up class leaders

St. Mark UMC, Baton Rouge lifts up class leaders
November 19, 2015

St. Mark United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge celebrated Class Leaders' Sunday on Nov. 1, recognizing 28 dedicated laity who lead 21 classes. “These members play a key role in the life of the church, and they are a great help to me,” said Rev. Derrick D. Hills, senior pastor. “I depend upon them to keep in contact with their group, to check on members who are absent more than two ...

St. Paul’s UMC raises $26,150 for Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home

St. Paul’s UMC raises $26,150 for Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home
November 16, 2015

For more than 10 years, the United Methodist Men at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Monroe have held a “To-Do” at Monroe’s Louisiana Purchase Zoo each October. During this year’s event, members and friends of St. Paul’s enjoyed food, fun and viewing the animals at the zoo. At the end of the day, $26,150 dollars was raised for the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home in Ruston. A ...

Magnolia UMC donates pet rescue masks to Central Fire Department

Magnolia UMC donates pet rescue masks to Central Fire Department
November 09, 2015

Central's firefighters will soon have a new life-saving tool in their fire trucks--oxygen masks for pets.   The rescue masks are a gift of the congregation of Magnolia United Methodist Church, 16024 Greenwell Springs Rd. in Central. These masks fit cats and dogs and will be used by the Central Fire Department to save the lives of pets suffering from smoke inhalation.   "Magnolia's ...

United Methodist Foundation of Louisiana hosts national meeting in New Orleans

United Methodist Foundation of Louisiana hosts national meeting in New Orleans
November 09, 2015

The United Methodist Foundation of Louisiana recently hosted nearly 40 United Methodist foundations and related organizations for the National Association of United Methodist Foundation’s annual meeting, held in New Orleans Oct. 12-14.    Out-of-towners attending the event enjoyed experiencing Louisiana’s unique culture, people, food and music, while discussing how they can help churches...

Carrollton UMC assists homeless of New Orleans through Nikki’s Blankets NOLA and Lindy’s Place

Carrollton UMC assists homeless of New Orleans through Nikki’s Blankets NOLA and Lindy’s Place
November 04, 2015

Carrollton United Methodist Church sits at the corner of Freret and South Carrollton Avenues, under beautiful oak trees and amidst the hustle and bustle of the city of New Orleans. In addition to supporting the ministries of The Wesley Foundations of Tulane and Loyola Universities, the congregation has recently joined forces with two significant ministry efforts--Lindy’s Place and Nikki’...

United Methodist Habitat build dedicated Nov. 7

United Methodist Habitat build dedicated Nov. 7
November 02, 2015

The 2015 Baton Rouge District Build for Habitat for Humanity is finished! Since Sept. 12, teams of volunteers from local United Methodist churches in the Baton Rouge area have worked to complete a home for Neal Tillman, a single father raising his son with the help of his grandmother, Jeanette.   Neal’s house is the 36th United Methodist sponsored home in the Baton Rouge area. This fall,...

Louisiana Conference endows three scholarships for Africa University students

Louisiana Conference endows three scholarships for Africa University students
October 26, 2015

Africa University in Zimbabwe recently announced that three students are the recipients of the Louisiana Annual Conference Endowed Scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year.   The students are Hellias Mufuta Malandji (second year), Rumbidzai Sithole (fourth year) and Louise Ekoto Onadelo (first year).   According to a recent ranking done by Webometrics, Africa University is fourth on ...

Centenary College Choir to sing at First UMC, Alexandria

Centenary College Choir to sing at First UMC, Alexandria
October 22, 2015

The Centenary College Choir is performing in the sanctuary at First United Methodist Church, 2727 Jackson St. in Alexandria on Nov. 22.  The concert is free and open to the public.   The 2015-2016 program highlights a varied style with the theme “It’s About Time” and explores the intersection of time and eternity while promoting peaceful social action in the present. Energetic spirituals...

Creating New Spaces: Reaching New People events continuing this month

Creating New Spaces: Reaching New People events continuing this month
October 22, 2015

Nearly 40 United Methodist laity and clergy from 13 congregations gathered Oct. 21 at the Wesley Foundation on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana State University to explore and discuss how to create new spaces for people to encounter Christ in new ways. Do you feel called to create a new experience to reach new people? Does your church want to open a second site or satellite campus? ...

Members of Lakeview UMC, Shreveport assist Caddo Parish schools

Members of Lakeview UMC, Shreveport assist Caddo Parish schools
October 22, 2015

Through the Reimagining our Schools initiative, Caddo Parish is targeting and providing help to 12 chronically underperforming schools in the parish. The United Methodist Men’s group from Lakeview United Methodist Church in Shreveport is sponsoring two of the 200 children who have been identified by the program for mentoring and financial support; and the church’s congregation is working...

St. Andrew’s UMC fall festival enjoyed by more than 400

St. Andrew’s UMC fall festival enjoyed by more than 400
October 22, 2015

More than 400 people enjoyed a fall festival held Oct. 18 at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge. Guest enjoyed a Trunk or Treat provided by church members who decorated their car trunks and gave out candy to the children in attendance. A band comprised of church members, known as “Monkey Finger,”  entertained the crowd with rock and roll music.   Sunday school classes ...

AC2016 is now June 8-11

AC2016 is now June 8-11
October 14, 2015

Mark your calendars! The dates for the 2016 Louisiana Annual Conference have been changed!   The new dates for AC2016 are Wednesday, June 8 (Starting late afternoon) to Saturday, June 11, 2016. The event is scheduled to end on Saturday in the early afternoon. Next year's conference will return to the Gold Dome on the campus of Centenary College in Shreveport. Our featured speaker and...

District Superintendent from Cuba tours Louisiana Conference

District Superintendent from Cuba tours Louisiana Conference
October 12, 2015

Rev. José Ramon Ruiz-Perez, district superintendent from Sancto Spiritus District of Cuba, recently concluded his visit to Louisiana Conference congregations. Those churches included St. Andrew's , Amite UMC, University and Broadmoor UMCs in Baton Rouge; Northwood and Louisiana Ave. UMCs in Lafayette; St. Luke-Simpson UMC in Lake Charles; and Live Oak UMC in Watson. Pictured with Pastor ...

L.E.A.D. event draws 70 participants

L.E.A.D. event draws 70 participants
October 12, 2015

Rev. Dr. Henry L. Masters, Sr., keynote speaker for the recent L.E.A.D event and pastor of St. Luke Community United Methodist Church in Dallas, Tex., stressed to event participants the importance of regaining the “effectiveness of the black church through training and accountability.” Making disciples for Jesus Christ is the mission of the church, said Masters, but “preparing people for...

Connectional Table launches #CTTalks in preparation for General Conference 2016

Connectional Table launches #CTTalks in preparation for General Conference 2016
October 11, 2015

The Connectional Table is launching a series of weekly videos this month to help inform United Methodist church leaders and General Conference delegates leading up to the 2016 General Conference next May. The videos are part of an online forum called #CTTalks.   “#CTTalks is intended to provide a way of engaging information about General Conference, rather than simply reading it,” said ...

Dillard alumnus Garrett Morris to deliver Founder’s Day address Oct. 18

Dillard alumnus Garrett Morris to deliver Founder’s Day address Oct. 18
October 11, 2015

Actor, comedian Garrett Morris will deliver the Founders’ Day Address at Dillard University on Oct. 18, at 3 p.m. in Lawless Memorial Chapel. Tracing its history back to its predecessors Straight College and New Orleans University, Dillard is commemorating 146 years as an institution of higher education. “This Founders’ Day Convocation has added significance because we are celebrating ...

Louisiana Clergywomen enjoy SCJ Consultation

Louisiana Clergywomen enjoy SCJ Consultation
October 06, 2015

A contingent of clergywomen from the Louisiana Conference joined Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey and others for the recent 2015 South Central Jurisdiction Clergywomen’s Consultation—“Telling Our Story” held at the Royal Sonesta Houston Hotel.   Bishop Harvey preached during the opening of the consultation and participated in a panel with Bishop Janice Huie during the event. The panel ...

North Cross UMC helps with cleanup of historic cemetery in Madisonville

North Cross UMC helps with cleanup of historic cemetery in Madisonville
October 05, 2015

North Cross United Methodist Church recently partnered with the community initiative "Keep Madisonville Beautiful." The project involved helping with the cleanup of an historic cemetery in Madisonville.    Church members of all ages enjoyed learning about the history and stories of those who are buried there. Some of the plots date back to the late 1700's. “We feel strongly that part ...

Neely UMC member featured in BASF magazine for his volunteer efforts with Kids Hope USA

Neely UMC member featured in BASF magazine for his volunteer efforts with Kids Hope USA
September 29, 2015

Fred Neal, a member of Neely United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, was featured in the Summer edition of BASF Geismar’s Louisiana Pipeline, the company’s employee and retiree magazine. A retired chemical engineer, Neal has been serving as a Kids Hope USA mentor at Polk Elementary School in Baton Rouge. “When I retired from BASF, I considered being a substitute science teacher. But I’...

Broadmoor UMC’s ecumenical food ministry still going strong after 31 years

Broadmoor UMC’s ecumenical food ministry still going strong after 31 years
September 17, 2015

For 31 years, Broadmoor United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge has made the mission of feeding hungry people a top priority.   Three decades ago, the church started a small food pantry that was located on the church campus to provide meals to church members in need. It soon became clear to church leadership that the demand for food extended well beyond their membership, so in 1996, ...

Bishop Harvey traces the travels of the Apostle Paul, looks forward to Holy Land tour in 2016

Bishop Harvey traces the travels of the Apostle Paul, looks forward to Holy Land tour in 2016
September 15, 2015

Bishop Cynthia Harvey and her husband Dean Harvey have returned from their travels with nearly 45 United Methodists from the Louisiana Conference as well as Texas and Alabama as they retraced the steps of the Apostle Paul’s fourth missionary journey through Italy, Greece and Turkey. The tour ended on Sept. 21. The group sailed the Mediterranean Sea stopping at historic Corinth, Rhodes ...

United Methodist teen from First UMC, Shreveport shares mission experience in Costa Rica

United Methodist teen from First UMC, Shreveport shares mission experience in Costa Rica
September 10, 2015

Sadie McGuire, a member of First United Methodist Church in Shreveport and a senior at Magnet High School, spent her spring break this year in Costa Rica as part of a mission team with other members of her youth group.   Last summer, Sadie and a group from First UMC worked to help build the future headquarters of Costa Rica Mission Projects in San Isidro, constructing cabins for future ...

Bishop Harvey, First Grace UMC choir participate in interfaith service of remembrance for Katrina

Bishop Harvey, First Grace UMC choir participate in interfaith service of remembrance for Katrina
August 25, 2015

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, a group of United Methodist pastors from the New Orleans area and the choir from First Grace United Methodist Church in New Orleans participated in an interfaith service marking the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Louisiana coast Aug. 29, 2005.   The service was held Monday evening at St. Louis Cathedral, located in New Orleans’ ...

Bulletin insert helps ‘tell the story’ for Return to the 7th Ward Aug. 30 special offering

Bulletin insert helps ‘tell the story’ for Return to the 7th Ward Aug. 30 special offering
August 19, 2015

During AC2015: Come & See, as part of the CF&A report, the Louisiana Annual Conference voted to receive a special offering to support Return to the 7th Ward, a new ministry initiative in New Orleans. The Louisiana Annual Conference deeply felt the impact of Hurricane Katrina in its ministry to the 7th Ward in New Orleans. The local churches in that historic area were greatly affected by ...

Bishop Harvey is communion celebrant for opening worship, speaker at women’s luncheon during MARCHA 2015 Assembly

Bishop Harvey is communion celebrant for opening worship, speaker at women’s luncheon during MARCHA 2015 Assembly
August 18, 2015

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey served as a celebrant for communion during the opening worship service of the MARCHA 2015 Assembly, held Aug. 13-16 at the Crowne Plaza in Madison, Wisconsin. During the gathering, Bishop Harvey also spoke to and shared fellowship with a group of women in attendance at MARCHA 2015. The meal was sponsored by United Methodist Women. MARCHA, or Metodistas ...

2015 L.E.A.D. slated Oct. 9-10 in Baton Rouge

2015 L.E.A.D. slated Oct. 9-10 in Baton Rouge
August 17, 2015

2015 L.E.A.D., a Louisiana Conference gathering designed for predominantly African American churches and their pastors, will be held Oct. 9-10 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 4728 Constitution Ave. in Baton Rouge.   Keynote speaker for the event is Rev. Dr. Henry L. Masters, Sr., senior pastor of St. Luke Community UMC in Dallas, Tex.   Workshops on “Leadership”(led by Rev. Joe Connelly), “...

Parker Memorial UMC, New Orleans hosts concert featuring Deacon John/Gilliam reads from Where Wild Things Grow

Parker Memorial UMC, New Orleans hosts concert featuring Deacon John/Gilliam reads from Where Wild Things Grow
August 17, 2015

While Louisiana Conference churches remember the 10th anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Parker Memorial United Methodist Church, 1130 Nashville Ave. in New Orleans is holding two events as part of this remembrance. On Aug. 29 at 7 p.m., legendary gospel and blues performer Deacon John will perform a “healing” concert at Parker Memorial UMC. In addition, on Aug. 30, Rev. ...

School of Congregational Development is success in Indianapolis and in Baton Rouge

School of Congregational Development is success in Indianapolis and in Baton Rouge
August 17, 2015

Wesley United Methodist Church is Baton Rouge served as Louisiana’s satellite site on Aug. 15 for CrossXRoads, this year’s School of Congregational Development.   An enthusiastic group listened to broadcasts which focused on knowing your community, preaching to younger congregations and outreach. Rev. Joe Connelly, pastor of Wesley UMC, is shown below. At the same time, at CrossXRoads ...

Louisiana Avenue United Methodist Church serves as ‘hands and feet of Christ’ in Lafayette community

Louisiana Avenue United Methodist Church serves as ‘hands and feet of Christ’ in Lafayette community
August 12, 2015

An active homeless ministry, a community-wide march for unity and an interfaith prayer and communion service for more than 3,000 people are just a few of the ministries through which Louisiana Avenue United Methodist Church is impacting the city of Lafayette.   The church’s “brown bag” ministry helps to feed the growing population of homeless in downtown Lafayette, said Rev. Robert ...

Witherington to lead workshop slated Oct. 16-17 on Reading and Understanding the Bible

Witherington to lead workshop slated Oct. 16-17 on Reading and Understanding the Bible
August 04, 2015

Noted New Testament scholar Ben Witherington will lead a workshop to be held Oct. 16-17 focusing on his recent book, Reading and Understanding the Bible. The event will be held in the conference center at First United Methodist Church, 930 North Blvd. in Baton Rouge.    

Youth share experiences from Youth 2015

Youth share experiences from Youth 2015
August 04, 2015

More than 4,500 youth and adult workers with youth participated in Youth 2015 held June 24-27 in Orlando, Fla. at the Marriott World Center—370 of those youth hailed from the Louisiana Annual Conference. Members of the youth group from Jefferson United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge in attendance at Youth 2015 “put their heads together” and wrote the following account of the ...

Dillard University features rap and religion guru Dr. Monica Miller at Sept. 30 fall lecture

Dillard University features rap and religion guru Dr. Monica Miller at Sept. 30 fall lecture
July 28, 2015

Rap and religion will converge this fall at Dillard University when Dr. Monica Miller gives two lectures on those subjects. On Sept. 30, Miller, the assistant professor of Religion and Africana Studies and the director of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Lehigh University, will deliver a public lecture at 3 p.m. and then speak to Dillard President Walter M. Kimbrough’s class at ...

Heading back to the 7th Ward

Heading back to the 7th Ward
July 16, 2015

Story by Betty Backstrom Rev. Hadley Edwards, right, visits with ‘Mr.’ Noel outside his home in the 7th Ward In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, countless stories were written and broadcast in the national media about the catastrophic flooding that affected nearly 80 percent of New Orleans. The Louisiana city’s “9th Ward” suddenly became a household topic, symbolizing the depth of the ...

Disaster Response, Then and Now

Disaster Response, Then and Now
July 15, 2015

Story by Betty Backstrom Ella Doyle lifts her head in prayer and tells fellow parishioners to “hold your head up” during an outdoor worship service at Hartzell Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Slidell, La. The church’s sanctuary was ruined by the Aug. 29, 2005 storm surge from Hurricane Katrina. Doyle rode out the storm in a boat with her husband and two sons. 9/26/05 A UMNS photo by...

Rita: the forgotten storm

Rita: the forgotten storm
July 14, 2015

Story by Betty Backstrom Thousands of residents in southwest Louisiana struggled for years to emerge from the devastation of Hurricane Rita, often called “the forgotten storm” by residents of the state.   “Hurricane Katrina was such a terrible event that permanently affected people’s lives.  So a lot of people throughout the country, and even in Louisiana, didn’t realize the extent of ...

Louisiana Memorial UMC feeds community through Wesley’s Table

Louisiana Memorial UMC feeds community through Wesley’s Table
July 13, 2015

It's hard to say no to cheese grits. Especially when they're served hot, with smiles — and free. Last Sunday morning starting at 8:30, the smiles began at the double door of the fellowship hall across the street from Louisiana Memorial United Methodist Church. "Good morning — come right on in!" boomed Billy Miller, a senior member of one of Opelousas' oldest churches. He held open a ...

Any given Sunday at First Grace UMC in New Orleans

Any given Sunday at First Grace UMC in New Orleans
July 12, 2015

Story by Betty Backstrom Tia Tucker, left, and Robin Pearce sing in the choir of First Grace United Methodist Church in New Orleans. A UMNS photo by Kathy L. Gilbert.  8/15/10 Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. is reported to have said, "Sunday morning is the most segregated hour of Christian America.”   But on any given Sunday in New Orleans, a walk through the doors of First Grace United ...

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