Communications and News

Helping the Hungry During COVID-19

Helping the Hungry During COVID-19
April 01, 2020

Food pantries in Louisiana have experienced a tripling of the number of clients. Supplies were at a critical level before COVID-19 and as the pandemic continues, numbers of meals continue to decline while the number of those needing meals increases. Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey has approved a Louisiana Conference grant from the Office of Missional Engagement and Outreach in the amount ...

An Announcement from Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey and the Cabinet of the Louisiana Conference

An Announcement from Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey and the Cabinet of the Louisiana Conference
March 31, 2020

The Cabinet has continued to do its work. We are caring for the immediate response to the Coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the Louisiana Annual Conference as well as remaining focused on the appointive process.    During this time, we have recognized the following opportunities and realities.   Changes in Structure   The Cabinet’s work has been informed by the work of the District ...

Louisiana's Foster Care Families Need Your Help

Louisiana's Foster Care Families Need Your Help
March 27, 2020

All three campuses of the Methodist Children's Home are still up and running during the pandemic - caring for 142 children with significant behavioral health needs.   It's nothing new for the organization as it battled something similar in the early 1900's and survived then. The Louisiana Methodist Orphanage remained open and taking children during the Spanish Flu and Yellow Fever waves...

Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Preliminary Summary and UMC Impact

Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Preliminary Summary and UMC Impact
March 26, 2020

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the Senate passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201 or “the Act”). President Trump signed the Act shortly thereafter, enacting it into law. The Act seeks to ease some of the health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, by providing: Paid sick leave Expanded family and medical leave Food assistance Funding ...

An Update from Bishop Harvey: March 23

An Update from Bishop Harvey: March 23
March 23, 2020

A ‘stay at home’ order is now in place here in Louisiana. The order, issued Sunday by Governor John Bel Edwards, is an effort to combat the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in our state. We applaud Governor Edwards and his courage to issue this order. We as Methodists affirm efforts to strengthen the wellbeing of others.  In the order, which can be found here, “going to and from an ...

Louisiana: Stay At Home Order

Louisiana: Stay At Home Order
March 22, 2020

To further combat the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana, Gov. Edwards issued a Stay at Home Order today, March 22, directing all Louisiana residents to shelter at home and limit movements outside of their homes beyond essential needs. Click here for the governor's official order.  For our specific context, it's important to note that the official order outlines church/worship as an ...

Holy Communion in the Midst of a Global Pandemic

Holy Communion in the Midst of a Global Pandemic
March 21, 2020

We are living through a time that has not been experienced in generations. What follows is a series of tools that we hope help each of you exegete your context and provide some wisdom as you pastor in your setting.   In the end, each of us must allow our pastoral hearts and Wesleyan theological center to guide us as we seek to extend sacramental ministry to our communities. We know that ...

Employee Assistance Program

Employee Assistance Program
March 19, 2020

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FROM DR. VAN STINSON AND THE OFFICE OF CLERGY EXCELLENCE In a concerted effort to support clergy and their families during this time, we are pleased to announce an important new benefit that is now available. The Employee Assistance Program offers services at no cost to help in times like these.  Benefits include:      Counseling with a therapist is available...

A Statement from Bishop Harvey: March 16

A Statement from Bishop Harvey: March 16
March 16, 2020

I applaud the many ways congregations are reaching out to their communities in response to COVID-19. So many of you took to the "airwaves" this weekend and conducted creative and innovative alternatives to in-person worship.  Many of you are now exploring ways to keep children fed while there is no school, and you are caring for the elderly and most vulnerable populations with ...

Closure of 527 North Blvd.

Closure of 527 North Blvd.
March 14, 2020

Greetings,   We wanted to pass along an update regarding the Conference Office located at 527 North Blvd. in Baton Rouge.   As you know, most of us are practicing social distancing, and we appreciate everything you are doing in your local context to adhere to best practices.   The ongoing updates from the CDC indicate that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana continues ...

Preparing for What's Next, Answering Your Questions

Preparing for What's Next, Answering Your Questions
March 13, 2020

Over the next few weeks and months, ministry in the Louisiana Conference will be very different.  In a recent statement, Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey encouraged churches to re-consider gatherings of large people and that might include worship.  There are a lot of questions from a ministry perspective. To help us, Rev. Elaine Burleigh, Director of the Office of Missional Outreach and ...

An Updated Statement from Bishop Harvey Regarding Coronavirus

An Updated Statement from Bishop Harvey Regarding Coronavirus
March 12, 2020

As new information is made available to us, it is incredibly important to continually evaluate the latest advisements as they relate to Coronavirus and COVID-19.    After much consideration and prayer, it is my recommendation that churches in the Louisiana Conference consider postponing any activities that bring together large groups of people. In some instances, this might mean Sunday ...

Bishop Harvey Responds to COVID 19:

Bishop Harvey Responds to COVID 19: "Worship together, sensibly, and with good courage"
March 10, 2020

Coronavirus, the stock market, the election season - any one of these would cause worry and concern. However, when we face all three at one time, the world appears to be spinning out of control. Some cities are canceling major events in response to COVID-19. Churches in the Pacific Northwest, an area of the country harder hit than most, have been urged to cancel regular worship services....

Beginning the Hard Work

Beginning the Hard Work
March 02, 2020

By Meagan Ewton and Todd Rossnagel Delegates from the South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church met on Feb. 20-22 to interview candidates for bishop and discuss matters relating to the 2020 General Conference, a meeting of the denomination’s top law-making body, taking place May 5-15 in Minneapolis.  A major part of the weekend was hearing about the Protocol of ...

Retirement Deadline
January 13, 2020

January 31, 2020 is the deadline to inform Bishop Harvey, your District Superintendent and others, in writing, if you wish to retire during the 2020 Louisiana Annual Conference. If you are planning to retire this Annual Conference year ending June 30, 2020, please send a signed letter to each of the following:   Your District Superintendent: Shreveport, Rev. Wybra Price Monroe, Rev. ...

"I Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way", Embrace Launches in Haughton
January 12, 2020

When the 18th-century poet Robert Burns wrote To a Mouse, he wrote a line that stays with us to this day.  "The best-laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men..."  Today that line is known as the phrase "best-laid plans"; meaning when plans are laid out, they might not go as smoothly as when it was originally planned.  For Rev. Klay Harrison in Haughton, Louisiana, the plans for Embrace Church's ...

Church of the Resurrection Offers Conference on Hospitality

Church of the Resurrection Offers Conference on Hospitality
January 08, 2020

The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection will host The Art of Hospitality Conference April 23 – 24, 2020.   The conference takes place at Church of the Resurrection’s Leawood, KS Campus and focuses on the ministry of welcome and intentional hospitality. Participants will learn key principles and methods key to becoming an outwardly focused church, including: attracting visitors, ...

'Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation', A Statement from Bishop Harvey

'Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation', A Statement from Bishop Harvey
January 03, 2020

Today, marked a day in history for the people called Methodists as Methodists representing a wide theological spectrum with very diverse thoughts and opinions came together to provide leadership for a future church.   This unprecedented work was undertaken by sixteen United Methodists and is entitled "A Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation."   I trust you will read all...

Looking Ahead to 2020

Looking Ahead to 2020
December 30, 2019

There's always a lot going on.  2020 will be no different for the United Methodist Church and for the Louisiana Conference.  From General Conference to Annual Conference...there will be a lot of events in the coming year.  We wanted to take a moment and give you a preview of some of the events that will be happening in 2020, including dates for you to place on that shiny new calendar ...

United Methodist Church Christmas Campaign:

United Methodist Church Christmas Campaign: "Not The Only One"
December 19, 2019

Have you noticed the United Methodist Church Christmas billboards? If you live in select cities across the nation, including Baton Rouge, you may notice a billboard featuring a manger scene that invites us to 'Find joy together'.  These billboards are part of a larger advertising campaign entitled, “Not the Only One”. The campaign's goal is simple: help offer encouragement through ...

NOLA Ready Community Emergency Response Training for Houses of Worship

NOLA Ready Community Emergency Response Training for Houses of Worship
December 05, 2019

Start off 2020 with a special Nola Ready 2 day training in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery for Houses of Worship! NOLA Ready Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) teaches individuals the important skills needed to help their neighbors and communities respond to different types of disasters, as well as support first responders and community disaster partners in ...

2020 Wesley Awards

2020 Wesley Awards
November 11, 2019

We will once again celebrate innovative ministry happening across our Conference during Annual Conference 2019. Is there a mission, outreach, project, or program from within your congregation or community that has transformed your church and your community?  If so, tell us about it! We will consider you and your church for a Wesley Award. Nominations close February 29, 2020.   ...

Bishop Harvey Elected President, Council of Bishops

Bishop Harvey Elected President, Council of Bishops
November 06, 2019

During the November meeting of the Council of Bishops in Lake Junaluska, Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey was elected President of the Council of Bishops. Bishop Harvey currently serves as President-designate of the Council and will serve in that role until May when she will become the new President. "I want to thank you for entrusting this important work to me and, frankly, to this great ...

Episcopal Nominations Due November 15

Episcopal Nominations Due November 15
October 30, 2019

The Louisiana Annual Conference Delegation has begun a process of discerning episcopal candidates from Louisiana for potential endorsement by our delegation and conference and presentation for consideration at the South Central Jurisdictional Conference in July 2020.  Any active ordained United Methodist elder in good standing is eligible to be elected a bishop. An episcopal candidate ...

Honduras Mission Trip

Honduras Mission Trip
October 24, 2019

In 2011, working with United Methodist Missionaries in Honduras, St. Luke-Simpson United Methodist Church sent its first team into Potrerillos, Honduras. This small community is located in the mountains above the city of Siguatepeque. The team consisted of 24 members; specifically, the team had a medical focus. Medical and children’s volunteers were stationed out of the community ...

An Update from Manos Juntas Mexico

An Update from Manos Juntas Mexico
October 15, 2019

A Letter From Willie Berman Manos Juntas Director Dear friends and supporters, First of all, I want to thank you for your support in years past to Manos Juntas Mexico and to myself as a missionary from Global Ministries.  Our support base has been the mission teams coming to serve here at Manos Juntas. But life changes and we know that. Mission teams, after some time of partnering ...

United Methodist Men Give Day

United Methodist Men Give Day
October 11, 2019

United Methodist Men is expanding its mission to enable all men and all youth to have an on-growing relationship with Jesus Christ. As we cast nets in new waters, we are re-tooling our skills-sets to reach younger and more diverse men. As we are expanding our resources for transformational small group experiences, churches are finding a treasury of life-enriching outcomes. Additional ...

Global Mission Fellows Program

Global Mission Fellows Program
September 27, 2019

The Global Mission Fellows Program is accepting applications through Jan. 7, 2020. This two-year program is a wonderful way for young adults, ages of 20 through 30 to engage with local communities outside of their home context, connect the church in mission, and grow in personal and social holiness. All who fall within the age range and who are passionate about putting their faith into...

World Communion Sunday, October 6

World Communion Sunday, October 6
September 23, 2019

“In remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us.” — The Great Thanksgiving. In The United Methodist Church, World Communion Sunday is one of six Special Sunday offerings. On October 6, our designated gifts benefit students around the world by providing ...

Save the Dates!

Save the Dates!
September 16, 2019

Save the Dates! Annual Conference 2020 will be held June 10-13, 2020 in Shreveport in the Shreveport Convention Center. If you would like to stay inside the Shreveport Hilton, which is attached to the Convention Center, you can reserve your hotel room now via this link. More details regarding Annual Conference 2020 will be forthcoming.  

ArkLaTex Lectures to Feature Rev. Dr. Paul Scott Wilson, Premier Teacher of Preachers

ArkLaTex Lectures to Feature Rev. Dr. Paul Scott Wilson, Premier Teacher of Preachers
September 10, 2019

Dallas (SMU) – One of this generation’s leading scholars in homiletics will be the featured speaker at the third annual ArkLaTex (Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas) Lectures in Preaching on Monday, Oct. 7 at Williams Memorial United Methodist Church in Texarkana, Texas.   Rev. Dr. Paul Scott Wilson, noted author, preacher and professor will present “Finding God in Divided Times: Renewing our ...

Close to Home

Close to Home
September 02, 2019

As I scrolled through the news Saturday afternoon, one particular headline caught my eye and stopped me in my tracks: ”Active Shooter in Midland-Odessa.” As I read the brief story, it stated that persons from Odessa to Big Spring were on high alert and were being asked to shelter in place as the shooter traveled up and down Interstate 20. Big Spring is my hometown. My brother and his ...

Methodist College Day

Methodist College Day
August 22, 2019

You are invited to the 2019 United Methodist College Day, held September 29 from 3-5pm at First United Methodist in Baton Rouge. There is no cost to attend, and high school-aged youth from across the conference, and their friends, are invited to register. This event was last held in 2011 and was a huge help to high school students and parents pursing higher education. This year’s ...

Back-To-School, From Belle Chasse to Rio Bravo

Back-To-School, From Belle Chasse to Rio Bravo
August 12, 2019

When it comes to church calendars, there are two primary seasons: Easter and Christmas. If you ask any pastor, next on the list might very well be the back-to-school season.    "That's the time when people are ready to get back into a routine," says Rev. Colleen Bookter, pastor of Belle Chasse United Methodist Church. "People are hungry, especially at this time, for a word of guidance, ...

A Call to Discipleship: Living as Disciples of a Non-Violent Lord in a Time of Violence

A Call to Discipleship: Living as Disciples of a Non-Violent Lord in a Time of Violence
August 06, 2019

In the aftermath of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Council of Bishops President Bishop Ken Carter is calling for United Methodists to help end white supremacy and xenophobia which he says is fueling a culture of violence. In a statement released today, Bishop Carter commended the statements of Bishop Gregory Palmer and Bishop Earl Bledsoe to the people of their ...

"Resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they represent"
August 04, 2019

Like so many of you, I am growing weary of the violence in our country. California, Texas, Ohio - when will this stop? While we must offer our prayers of condolence and hope that those prayers might lead to transformative change, we must also add action to those prayers - actions that no longer view this crisis merely through the narrow lens of gun ownership, but also through the lenses ...

Welcome to Town

Welcome to Town
July 13, 2019

Ask any pastor, and they will quickly tell you there are moments in ministry that you simply cannot train for or expect.   Right now, several pastors in the Louisiana Conference are adjusting to a new appointment in a new area and, all the while, coping with the arrival of a very unwelcome guest named Hurricane Barry. Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey says the first 90 days are crucial in a ...

Bracing for Barry

Bracing for Barry
July 10, 2019

All Louisianians have eyes toward the Gulf as we continue to monitor the developments of the storm, which could be named Barry.  The Louisiana Conference Office of Missional Engagement and Outreach is actively working with all of the districts in the affected area.  "We are monitoring the storm hourly and have been in close contact with the District Superintendents, the Distract ...

Registration Now Open for Leadership Institute 2019

Registration Now Open for Leadership Institute 2019
July 08, 2019

Registration is now open for Leadership Institute 2019, held September 25-27 at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. The Church of the Resurrection, along with leading bishops, pastors and laity across the US, believes that the decision at the 2019 General Conference does not represent the vast majority of United Methodists in the US, and that it brought ...

A Sunday of Solidarity for Suffering Children

A Sunday of Solidarity for Suffering Children
June 26, 2019

From UMCOR: In light of the recent news about children in U.S. government holding facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border, the United Methodist Committee on Relief has received numerous requests to respond. We have heard the plea for action from the church. Unfortunately, the facilities in question are managed in such a way that precludes even UMCOR’s assistance. Access to these ...

Looking Back at Annual Conference 2019

Looking Back at Annual Conference 2019
June 25, 2019

The Theme: In Love The theme “Making Disciples, Transforming the World,” which began in 2018, continued at this year’s Annual Conference. The sub-theme for 2019 was “In Love,” with Romans 13:8-10 anchoring our call to love all of God’s people. We are called to make disciples and transform the world in love. Last year, we introduced a three-fold theme “Making Disciples, Transforming the ...

Serena Eckert Joins the Office of Congregational Development and Transformation

Serena Eckert Joins the Office of Congregational Development and Transformation
June 13, 2019

The Louisiana Conference is excited to announce that Serena Eckert will be joining the Office of Congregational Development and Transformation as the Program Coordinator. Eckert brings experience in coaching and consulting in church transformation work with many conferences, including the Louisiana conference. "She will be an invaluable part of the team," says Rev. Gloria Fowler, ...

The Louisiana Delegation: Annual Conference Election Results

The Louisiana Delegation: Annual Conference Election Results
June 13, 2019

Every quadrennium at Annual Conference, delegates from all across the connection gather to elect lay and clergy delegates to both General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference.  The number of delegates an Annual Conference is entitled to send to a General Conference is based on two factors: the number of clergy members of the Annual Conference and the number of members of local ...

Petition #1

Petition #1
June 11, 2019

Even those who disagreed with Andrew Smith’s petition admired the lay delegate from Rayne Memorial United Methodist Church in New Orleans and his courage for proposing Petition #1 to the Louisiana Conference during Annual Conference 2019.   The petition spoke to the work of the General Conference, specifically the passing of the Traditional Plan, which affirmed and strengthened the ...

The Gift of Love

The Gift of Love
June 11, 2019

Can you imagine if you were just a casual observer today? Or what if you stumbled into this space or maybe on the live stream. The pomp and circumstance of it all, big music, choir, robes, a packed house! I am sure that you would wonder: What in the world are they doing there?   Licensing, Commissioning, and Ordination would be the right answer but it still would not express what really ...

Episcopal Address, Annual Conference 2019

Episcopal Address, Annual Conference 2019
June 10, 2019

The love of God is here!  The love of God is here to stay,  Embracing those who walk God’s way! Embracing those who walk God’s way! All you need is love!  Love is all you need! The scriptures tells us that:  Nothing can separate us from the love of God!   NOTHING!   NOT.   A.   THING! Not general conferences, not the labels we give ourselves or that we give others  (you know ...

Bishop Harvey Previews Annual Conference 2019

Bishop Harvey Previews Annual Conference 2019
May 15, 2019

This year’s Annual Conference will be a critical time for us to gather as the faithful people called Louisiana United Methodists. Last year we introduced a three-fold theme “Making Disciples, Transforming the World...Together....In Love...Day after Day after Day.” Our first stop was “Making Disciples...Together.” This year we make our second stop “Making Disciples...In Love.” We will...

Jessica Lowe Reports on Her Interreligious Pilgrimage

Jessica Lowe Reports on Her Interreligious Pilgrimage
May 06, 2019

The Council of Bishops recently sponsored Rev. Jessica Lowe, a young adult from Louisiana, to participate in the UMEIT: Plunge. Jessica shares this brief reflection on her experience: This past November, I spent two weeks in Indonesia conducting an immersive, Interfaith pilgrimage. For part of this trip, I stayed at an Islamic boarding school in the remote mountain village of ...

#RustonStrong

#RustonStrong
May 03, 2019

It isn’t lost on Senior Pastor Bob Deich of Grace United Methodist Church in Ruston that the tragic tornado that devasted his small city struck in the middle of the Easter season. “It’s still Easter,” he said. “It was a celebration of hope, a celebration of resurrection. Storms produce rainbows.” The people of Ruston are ready for rainbows. The EF-3 tornado with estimated winds up to ...

'Attitude of Gratitude' Is Focus at Foundation’s Annual Meeting

'Attitude of Gratitude' Is Focus at Foundation’s Annual Meeting
May 01, 2019

“An Attitude of Gratitude” was the theme at the United Methodist Foundation of Louisiana’s 44th annual meeting and luncheon on April 30 at Juban’s Restaurant in Baton Rouge. The event allowed Foundation leaders and staff to declare their appreciation for the United Methodist pastors, donors and church leaders they have the privilege to serve.   Rob Fairly, president and CEO of the ...

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