Communications and News

Praying for Peace

Praying for Peace
April 13, 2018

From Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey: It’s never comforting to look on TV and see a headline reading “U.S. Bombs Syria”. This evening, we have much to pray for and I echo President Trump’s call to prayer. In the midst of our busy Friday nights, let us pause and pray for peace and safety. Countless lives are in danger and we pray for the innocent. We pray for the troops who are in harm...

Church Historian Workshop

Church Historian Workshop
April 11, 2018

Zachary United Methodist Church hosted a district workshop for Church Historians January 24, 2018.  Chris Brown, Archivist of Centenary College and the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church and Margaret Cline Harmon, Zachary United Methodist’s Local Church Historian and Archivist, were co-presenters.   Brown and Harmon created a program that provided training on how to ...

Annual Conference 2018: Making Disciples, Transforming the World

Annual Conference 2018: Making Disciples, Transforming the World
March 27, 2018

The Louisiana Annual Conference Design Team is busy planning, prepping and designing this year’s Annual Conference, set for June 6-9, 2018 in Shreveport, Louisiana.   Every year, the Annual Conference time is anchored by both Scripture as well as a theme. For instance, last year’s theme was “Bold Imagination,” and in 2016 the theme was “Rooted and Grounded”.   The theme for this year’s ...

'And a child shall lead them...'

'And a child shall lead them...'
March 24, 2018

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey Today, on my way to the Wesley Center in Woodworth, Louisiana for “Confirmation Day with the Bishop,” I listened to various newscasts prior to the March for Our Lives gatherings happening around the world. I continued to be amazed and in awe as I listened to interviews with survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and their parents. My heart ...

"Here for the Long Haul"
March 13, 2018

Louisiana Conference remains vigilant on the front lines of disaster relief Like everyone else caught up in the Great Baton Rouge Flood, Marie Montecino had no idea those storm clouds moving over her home on Aug. 14, 2016, were bringing more than rain; tragedy was on the horizon. As the water rose, word spread about the unprecedented flooding in the area, and rescues were underway. A ...

International Women's Day, A Reflection from Bishop Harvey

International Women's Day, A Reflection from Bishop Harvey
March 08, 2018

From Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey:  This week while visiting one of our seminary campuses, I had the privilege of sharing lunch with a young female student who was sitting to my right.  My mentor,  who was the first woman I ever heard preach, sat on my left. My mentor later became my District Superintendent, and a few years after that I was privileged to share life and work with her on ...

Upper Room Prayer Line Support

Upper Room Prayer Line Support
March 02, 2018

Recently, the United Methodist Men met in Nashville where the Louisiana Conference received significant recognition for raising the highest total in the country, $5,120, for the Upper Room Prayer Line. United Methodist Men has been supporting the prayer line ministry for 40 years with a total contribution over $25,000. Migdiel Perez, manager of the Upper Room Prayer Line, expressed ...

Strong Methodist Connection to Kairos on Death Row

Strong Methodist Connection to Kairos on Death Row
March 01, 2018

There was a quiet hush in the back conference room of the Magnuson Hotel in St. Francisville, Louisiana where the Angola Kairos team gathers before all Kairos retreats. "We've done 63 of these teams. But this one," said Terry Fitzgerald, one of the retreat leaders "is different.” The difference was where the Angola the team was headed. Their destination - as far away from the main ...

Council of Bishops Meeting

Council of Bishops Meeting
February 28, 2018

DALLAS - What is Christ’s way forward for doing mission and ministry in the worldwide United Methodist Church? That is the question bishops pondered during their February meeting in Dallas this week as they received an updated report from the Commission on a Way Forward. In the report given to the Council this week, the Commission shared with the bishops two sketches that carry forward ...

Rev. Dr. Derrick Hills Appointed District Superintendent

Rev. Dr. Derrick Hills Appointed District Superintendent
February 15, 2018

Rev. Dr. Derrick D. Hills has been appointed as a District Superintendent of the Louisiana Annual Conference, assigned to the Acadiana District, starting this July.  "I am excited and can't wait to get to work," Hills says. "I feel called to help our Conference in this new role and I am specifically looking forward to the opportunity to bring a sense of renewal to our local churches." ...

A Collective Ash Wednesday

A Collective Ash Wednesday
February 14, 2018

Today, United Methodist pastors from around Shreveport and Bossier City came together on Valentine’s Day in the name of “Christ’s Love”. During the lunch hour, pastors and lay people from a number of Shreveport-Bossier United Methodist churches worked together to perform the imposition of ashes at two locations, Flying Heart Brewery and Pub in Bossier and Rhino Coffee in downtown ...

Connectional Ash Wednesday

Connectional Ash Wednesday
February 08, 2018

United Methodist pastors from around Shreveport and Bossier City are coming together on Valentine’s Day in the name of “Christ’s Love”. These pastors are offering Prayer & Ashes at two locations during the lunch hour (12-1pm) on February 14, Ash Wednesday. Flying Heart Brewery and Pub in Bossier City and Rhino Coffee Downtown Shreveport are where you can go to receive ashes and lift up...

Clergy Spouse Retreat

Clergy Spouse Retreat
February 01, 2018

Fill Me Up, Lord Spouses of clergy are often working hard behind the scenes to meet the expectations of so many – their mates, their households, their co-workers, often times their parents and of course...those ‘mixed expectations of the congregation.’ How do they support the calling of the one they love while faithfully living out their own calling as well? Location: The Wesley ...

Clergy Convocation

Clergy Convocation
January 12, 2018

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey has asked all clergy under appointment to hold April 23-24, 2018 for a gathering. Together, we will rediscover how we faithfully live out our life and work now and into the future.  This convocation will help lay the foundation for Annual Conference 2018. All clergy are strongly encouraged to make this a priority.  Bishop Robert Schnase will be our guest ...

Brand Design | Annual Conference 2018

Brand Design | Annual Conference 2018
January 04, 2018

The Design Team for the United Methodist Church of the Louisiana Annual Conference is seeking a design to brand Annual Conference 2018.   About Annual Conference Each year clergy and lay leaders from every United Methodist Church in Louisiana gather to reflect on the health of the church, connect with leaders from around the state, learn and worship together, and make decisions for the ...

See All the People

See All the People
January 03, 2018

Discipleship Ministries believes that for too long The United Methodist Church has looked for a quick fix to help guide our discipleship efforts. Therefore, we are called to be in relationship with the communities that surround our churches. We are called to recapture a spirit of movement. We must shift our thinking from fixing churches to true discipleship. We encourage you to watch ...

Top Ten Stories of 2017

Top Ten Stories of 2017
December 29, 2017

From social media to Louisiana NOW emails, there were plenty of stories published by the Communications department of the Louisiana Annual Conference office.  From hurricanes and racial unrest to a lost film found in an archives closet, there were plenty of stories that grabbed the attention of United Methodists all across Louisiana in 2017.    By analyzing the analytics of each ...

Laity Day Retreat

Laity Day Retreat
December 12, 2017

The Board of Laity would like you to save the date for the day-long laity retreat February 24th from 9:00 am - 3:30 pm at the Wesley Center.    “Therefore GO! with Hope – Through Hospitality” Receiving people with grace is an essential part of practicing of hospitality. Equally important is learning to accept hospitality from others, as we go out into the world as Christ’s disciples. ...

Work Still Needed, Teams Forming Now

Work Still Needed, Teams Forming Now
December 07, 2017

It's been nearly 500 days since the August floods of 2016 and there is still plenty of work to be done.  Meanwhile, to the west, the remnants of Hurricane Harvey in the Lake Charles area are still being addressed.  "When we think of all those affected by wind and water, their needs are easy to imagine: clean floors, rebuilt walls, a sofa to sit on," says Rev. Tom Dolph, District ...

Academy for Spiritual Formation

Academy for Spiritual Formation
December 06, 2017

Since 1983 Upper Room Ministries® has offered a place for spiritually hungry pilgrims, whether clergy or lay, through the two-year Academy for Spiritual Formation®. The Academy is an intense two-year program which brings participants together for 40 days (5 days each quarter) for worship, silence, covenant groups, and study. Sixteen courses for the backbone of the Academy; worship and ...

Finding Jesus

Finding Jesus
November 30, 2017

The year was 1943.  America was in the midst of the second world war. Battles were raging all across the globe and American troops were being called to duty.  Alexandria, Louisiana served as a critical geographical location for the military - both in training and serving as a wayport for soldiers. With over 3,400 square miles of territory for military maneuvers, several military camps,...

Confronting Racism Like Christians

Confronting Racism Like Christians
November 27, 2017

Save the Date! For those of you in the Baton Rouge District, we want to make sure you are aware of a special event in January. "Confronting Racism Like Christians" will be held Sunday, January 21, 2018, from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm.  This community conversation will be led by Dr. Will Willimon, a bishop in the United Methodist Church and author of 70 books, including his latest Who Lynched...

UMC Christmas Tour Comes to Louisiana

UMC Christmas Tour Comes to Louisiana
November 27, 2017

What’s the true meaning of Christmas? Christmas celebrates closeness. It celebrates God coming close to humans in the form of Baby Jesus. It celebrates families and friends coming close together. “The True Meaning of Christmas Tour” will be traveling through 21 cities in 16 states, and recently included two stops in Louisiana - Shreveport and Baton Rouge. Organizers were looking to ...

Bishop Harvey Elected President-Designate

Bishop Harvey Elected President-Designate
November 08, 2017

Lake Junaluska, North Carolina – At this week’s Council of Bishop’s meeting in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, Louisiana Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey was elected president-designate for the council. “I am honored by this election,” said Harvey. “This is a critical time in our life and our work and I am humbled to represent the whole church.  These are anxious times that call for ...

Using Facebook LIVE for Prayers

Using Facebook LIVE for Prayers
November 06, 2017

Last week, the Louisiana Conference was asked to hold the United Methodist Church, and in turn the Commision on a Way forward in prayer.  Bishop Cynthia Fierro asked Louisianians to use Philippians 4:4-9 as an anchor to prayer but added one additional request. Drawing upon past experiences, the Bishop asked everyone to pray at the same time; 4:49. "You know, one of the things that I ...

Neighborly Love

Neighborly Love
October 27, 2017

In December of 2016, members of the Texas Annual Conference's cabinet traveled to Baton Rouge Louisiana where they helped repair damaged homes following the devastating floods.  After the flooding of Hurricane Harvey, members of the Louisiana cabinet felt a strong desire to return the goodwill.  “It’s an opportunity to be the physical hands and feet of Christ but also to provide the ...

Sager Brown Celebrates 150 Years

Sager Brown Celebrates 150 Years
October 27, 2017

By Sherise Henry A legacy of service, sacrifice and love were celebrated Saturday, October 21st as UMCOR Sager Brown recognized its 150th anniversary on its Baldwin, Louisiana Campus. The event brought former teachers, administrators, students and volunteers back together for a day of festivities that will now also become a part of the agency’s history.  Even the heavens smiled on the ...

1,500 Miles to Help

1,500 Miles to Help
October 10, 2017

Why would a team of retirement-aged people from upstate New York drive to southwest Louisiana to help some people they’ve never met and probably will never see again? John Carney is one of the United Methodist Church’s Early Response Team members from the Upper New York Conference who put in five days of manual labor in Lake Charles, and he knows exactly why. “People need help, and if ...

Centenary Partners with Perkins School of Theology

Centenary Partners with Perkins School of Theology
September 18, 2017

When Dr. Craig C. Hill, Dean of the Perkins School of Theology, walks around the campus of Centenary College, a school affiliated with the United Methodist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana, he has flashbacks.  “Everything here reminds me of my days at Illinois Wesleyan University,” says Hill who received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion from the school in Bloomington. “It was the ...

Blessed to Bless

Blessed to Bless
September 13, 2017

Story by Mark Lambert “The first thing that hit me was that smell.” As an Early Response Team member certified through the Louisiana Conference, Susan Laborde had smelled the inside of a flooded home many times. But this one was different. This house in southwest Louisiana was her first as an ERT member since going through her own devastating flood one year earlier. “I just sat there ...

Laity Retreat: Deepening Faith & Igniting Ministry

Laity Retreat: Deepening Faith & Igniting Ministry
September 13, 2017

A letter from Terrel DeVille, Louisiana Conference Lay Leader Greetings to All, I want to personally invite you to attend a very special event being held for you and members of your congregation. This special event at the Wesley Center focuses on Deepening Faith/Igniting Ministry (Living the Great Commandment) and is sponsored by your Board of Laity and Discipleship Team of the ...

Now Accepting Teams For Harvey Relief

Now Accepting Teams For Harvey Relief
September 08, 2017

At this time, the Office of Missional Outreach and Engagement is accepting teams (4 or more persons) to register and assist those impacted by Hurricane Harvey in the Lake Charles District.  Initially, the call for volunteers was limited to only ERT trained responders. "While the first priority is to have fully trained ERT responders, we have adjusted the strategy to address the need, ...

BMCR Fall Revivals

BMCR Fall Revivals
September 04, 2017

The Louisiana BMCR (Black Methodists for Church Renewal) will be holding Fall District Revivals to revive, renew, and restore churches in Louisiana. "As Black Methodists, we are working to make sure our churches are on fire and ready to reach out and serve in the name of Christ," said Rev. Karlie Pidgeon, pastor of Cornerstone UMC in New Orleans. "This will help us reinvigorate, revive ...

ERT Training

ERT Training
September 04, 2017

The Louisiana Conference is constantly in need of certified ERT responders. Early Response Teams (ERT's) fill a specific need in the early days after a disaster to clean out flood-damaged homes, remove debris, place tarps on homes, and otherwise help to prevent further damage while providing a caring Christian presence.   ERT's are not the first-response group of emergency workers, nor...

World Communion Sunday, Oct. 1

World Communion Sunday, Oct. 1
September 04, 2017

World Communion Sunday is October 1, 2017. Around the globe, countless gifted and qualified people face financial obstacles that hinder them from preparing for the vocation God has given them, especially youth and young adults. For ethnic students who will be the first generation in their families to attend college, or for those people of color who haven’t historically had access to ...

A Trailer Full of Love

A Trailer Full of Love
September 02, 2017

It was Tuesday morning in Sulphur, Louisiana, and Rev. Austin Rinehart, an associate pastor of Henning Memorial United Methodist Church, was worried about Tropical Storm Harvey as it approached Louisiana. His southwest Louisiana community didn’t have enough beds to shelter the anticipated number of local evacuees, many of whom still bore the scars of Hurricane Rita in 2005. Plus, ...

A Coordinated Response
September 01, 2017

Watch as Rev. Laraine Teel Waughtal, Director of the Office of Missional Outreach and Engagement, and Rev. Roger Templeton stand near Harvey flood waters in Lake Charles to discuss the coordinated effort to respond to those in need. They also discuss the Conference ERT response, answer some frequently asked questions and explain how we are committed to both Louisiana and Texas.   The ...

Flood Bucket Locations

Flood Bucket Locations
August 30, 2017

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is currently working with disaster coordinators and early response teams in Louisiana and Texas to provide relief to the many people whose lives have been impacted by hurricane/tropical storm Harvey. One way churches in Louisiana can help is to assemble cleaning kits, also known as flood buckets. These kits contain the supplies needed to ...

Southwest Louisiana Fearing More Flooding
August 30, 2017

Rev. Roger Templeton is asking for Christians all over the world to pray for God's guiding hand of mercy in south Louisiana.  Templeton, who pastors at Welsh Memorial United Methodist Church in Vinton and Maplewood United Methodist Church in Sulphur, experienced the eye wall of Harvey and says the rain "just hasn't stopped." Adding to the devastating rainfall is news of a controlled ...

Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts
August 25, 2017

A statement from Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Usually, we are honored when someone chooses our name as a namesake. It is not so when it is a Hurricane. As I write, Hurricane Harvey continues to batter the South Texas Coastline near Corpus Christi, as another namesake, “the body of Christ” braces for a catastrophic weather ...

Preparing for the Worst, Praying for the Best

Preparing for the Worst, Praying for the Best
August 24, 2017

As Harvey threatens the east coast of Texas and portions of south Louisiana, the Louisiana Annual Conference is prepared to respond in numerous ways. Rev. Laraine Waughtal is the Conference's new Director of Missional Engagement and Outreach and she and her office stand ready. "We are monitoring the storm and the situation hourly," she says. "Our early responders are standing by and ...

Looking Back at Flood Recovery

Looking Back at Flood Recovery
August 18, 2017

By Betty Backstrom  Aug. 18, 2017 | Baton Rouge, LA A year ago, Louisiana experienced historic flooding that affected thousands, devastating homes and businesses to such magnitude that it was reminiscent of the physical damage caused by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.   As expected, United Methodists throughout Louisiana stepped up, serving as the hands and feet of Christ for friends and ...

Bishop Harvey Looks Back at 2016 Flood

Bishop Harvey Looks Back at 2016 Flood
August 18, 2017

"It was about a year ago that we watched the flood waters rising around us. Some folks, even here where we are in Denham Springs were gathering the little bit that they could to get to safety. But, the people of God, once again, responded. You responded by helping people...you rescued people...you brought food...you brought everything these people needed for just this brief time in ...

A Word from Bishop Harvey on Charlottesville

A Word from Bishop Harvey on Charlottesville
August 18, 2017

As I watch the news feed from Charlottesville, VA come across my phone, my heart aches. Many of you have reminded us of perhaps the weightiest of questions asked at our baptism: "Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?" Answering this question with a firm 'yes' comes with great ...

Buddy Camp:

Buddy Camp: "A God-Send"
August 18, 2017

By Bill Sumrall First United Methodist Church Alexandria Michelle Smith's oldest son, Casen, joined Buddy Camp at FUMC Alexandria about 13 years ago as a camper. Casen has autism, and last week at age 18 he served as a counselor while his younger sisters Marley and Mazzie came as campers.  Over 100 children (campers), 100 counselors (teens), and 30 adults celebrated the final week of ...

Grants for Vital Conversations and Peace-Making

Grants for Vital Conversations and Peace-Making
August 18, 2017

Vital Conversations Grant  The Louisiana Annual Conference Commission on Religion and Race is seeking to fund initiatives up to $500 that will support vital conversations about race, cultural diversity, xenophobia, privilege, and systemic equality.  The Louisiana Annual Conference Commission on Religion and Race invite two churches (one must be United Methodist) of differing and diverse...

The DNA of Christians

The DNA of Christians
August 08, 2017

“It is always about being the hands and feet and presence of Christ during the most difficult and vulnerable times in people’s lives,” said Rev. Laraine Waughtal, Director of the Office of Missional Engagement and Outreach for the Louisiana Conference. “ We are honored and privileged that Christ calls us to such a ministry as this.”    In her new role for the Conference, serving as the ...

Save the Dates: Annual Conference 2018

Save the Dates: Annual Conference 2018
August 07, 2017

Save the Dates!  The dates for Annual Conference 2018 have been secured. Mark your calendars for June 6-9 in Shreveport/Bossier.   Annual Conference is our time of holy conferencing together as a body. It includes worship, singing, prayer, learning, conversation, celebration, and praise to God. And yes, there are also business matters, including reports of our shared missions and ...

Wonder, Love and Praise: Sharing a Vision of The Church

Wonder, Love and Praise: Sharing a Vision of The Church
August 06, 2017

From the opening words of Wonder, Love, and Praise: “United Methodists are in need of a renewed vision today: not just a new view—which might be just the latest rationale for the latest operational program—but a renewed capacity to see and apprehend what “church” is all about. With our fellow Christians everywhere, we witness a rapidly changing church, both within our denomination and ...

The Hope for Transformation

The Hope for Transformation
July 31, 2017

Rev. Dr. Gloria Fowler is just weeks into serving as new Director of Congregational Transformation and New Church Development for the Louisiana Conference.   “I am excited to finally be in Louisiana to start this important work,” said Dr. Fowler, an ordained elder. “Bishop Harvey and the cabinet have discerned that it is time to focus on revitalizing our congregations, so that our ...

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