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Communications and News

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 ...

We Will Get Through This

We Will Get Through This
August 21, 2016

When you read the numbers, your eyes literally do a double take.  There are 137,000 residents in Livingston Parish and over 105,000 of those residents lost their homes. The devastation in the parish just east of Baton Rouge is unfathomable. "I don't think I've fully comprehended it. said an emotional Rev. Jackie King. "I've seen people arrive here to the church and say, 'I just spent ...

One Week Later

One Week Later
August 20, 2016

It is Saturday, August 20th and it is raining...again.  It was about this time last week when the rain just wouldn't quit.  “Rain, rain, go away, come back another day.”  But it was not to be.  In two days, we received 6,000,000,000,000 gallons of water– yes, SIX. TRILLION. GALLONS of water; enough to fill 6,000,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.  There has been little “normal.”  School ...

Davis is new Disaster Response Director

Davis is new Disaster Response Director
August 19, 2016

Debra T. Davis, Ph.D., is serving the Louisiana Conference as the new Disaster Response Director. In this critical role, Davis is responsible for coordination of the overall response to the spring floods and the August 2016 floods that devastated Louisiana.     Davis will develop a structure within the conference for responding to disasters, building a model for this event that can be ...

Volunteers needed for Early Response Teams

Volunteers needed for Early Response Teams
August 19, 2016

Louisiana Early Response teams are “on the ground” across South Louisiana bringing personnel, equipment and supplies to areas affected by recent catastrophic flooding. It is estimated that more than 60,000 homes were damaged during the flooding event, which has hit historic proportions.   “Trained volunteers are needed immediately for early response efforts,” said Rev. Bob Deich, pastor ...

Video highlights devastation from historic flooding in Louisiana

Video highlights devastation from historic flooding in Louisiana
August 18, 2016

The images tell the story. Louisiana is devastated . . . but hope remains. See this brief video which shows dramatic images that tell the story of the impact of recent flooding, rescue efforts and the tremendous need that exists! Please consider giving to the disaster relief efforts in Louisiana!

How To Help

How To Help
August 15, 2016

The flooding in south Louisiana continues as residents in Ascension Parish are now experiencing similar backwater flooding that residents in Livingston and East Baton Rouge Parish experienced Sunday.  Thousands of rescue operations are ongoing and our prayers remain for those stranded and for those involved in rescue operations. Many of you are exploring ways to help.  The most ...

"Continue To Pray..."
August 13, 2016

Greetings church. My prayers continue for the ravaged areas of south Louisiana as we deal with historic flooding and what is sure to be a long-term recovery. While the storm is thankfully weakening in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Lake Charles are now bracing for flash flood advisories. For everyone in the affected areas, stay alert to advisories, check on your neighbors and pray ...

Facebook LIVE Tips

Facebook LIVE Tips
August 13, 2016

With historic flooding in south Louisiana, some churches will not be able to gather for worship. Facebook LIVE is a great option to gather as a community and pray, albeit electronically. Prior to deploying a Facebook LIVE, there are some key things to remember. The Louisiana Annual Conference Office of Communication Strategy wanted to share some tips.   1. Start publicizing the event ...

Historic Flooding in South Louisiana

Historic Flooding in South Louisiana
August 12, 2016

Historic flooding has ravaged south Louisiana. The rain began late Thursday and refused to let up, dumping over 12 inches in as little as 8 hours. In some locations, rain totals exceeded 15 inches and was tropical in nature as it stalled out over the greater Baton Rouge area. In fact, local forecasters quickly pointed out; had this system been over open water, it would have likely ...

Back To School, Back To Community

Back To School, Back To Community
August 09, 2016

Over the next few weeks, we will shift into a new rhythm. Earlier wake up calls, rushed carpools, late nights of homework, high stakes testing, followed by even more homework. It's time to head back to school! As we do, I wanted to take a moment and offer prayers of support, hope and encouragement for our students, teachers, staff members and parents, all of whom play a vital role in ...

Teddy bear ministry shares smiles and hope with hospitalized children

Teddy bear ministry shares smiles and hope with hospitalized children
August 03, 2016

Rev. Davis Clark, pastor of Warren United Methodist Church in Lake Charles, hopes that his church’s new teddy bear ministry will meet its goal of sending the stuffed animals to each Lake Charles area hospital with a pediatric unit by the end of 2016.   In addition, Warren UMC hopes to expand the ministry by serving hospitals all throughout the state by 2018.   In a July 26 article in the...

St. Francisville UMC helps local school during 'Servant Saturday'

St. Francisville UMC helps local school during 'Servant Saturday'
July 31, 2016

Nearly 20 members of St. Francisville United Methodist Church recently gathered early in the morning on the campus of West Feliciana Parish High School. Their purpose? To engage in the community in a significant way through “Servant Saturday,” a hands-on service project held quarterly by the church.   For the past five years, Servant Saturdays have included cleaning church property in ...

Spirit Church in New Orleans' 7th Ward offers line dance lessons in its 'canvas cathedral'

Spirit Church in New Orleans' 7th Ward offers line dance lessons in its 'canvas cathedral'
July 26, 2016

Residents of New Orleans’ 7th Ward recently received free line dancing classes with a well-known local instructor, “DJ Gravy,” thanks to an outreach program of The Spirit Church, a ministry of the Louisiana Annual Conference. Classes were held every Monday evening during the month of July, providing area residents the opportunity to get a great work out while gathering for fellowship ...

Gretna UMC hosts open conversation on relations between police and community

Gretna UMC hosts open conversation on relations between police and community
July 25, 2016

The call was simple; gather together and talk. It’s exactly what happened at Gretna United Methodist Church as members, pastors and police gathered to discuss the recent string of violent incidents involving police and the community.  Rev. Bertrand Griffin II called it an open conversation on “how we can stand together.”  One by one, concerns were expressed as members of the ...

New Life Community Church hosts Pokemon refreshment break on church grounds

New Life Community Church hosts Pokemon refreshment break on church grounds
July 23, 2016

As part of their continued effort to engage with the community and draw in people from all walks of life, New Life Community Church, the joint ministry of Luling United Methodist and First Union Presbyterian, recently hosted a “Pokémon Refreshment Break” on church grounds to invite and welcome folks from around the community who have been playing Pokémon Go, the newest game craze that ...

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey shares message of prayer and action during TV interview

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey shares message of prayer and action during TV interview
July 21, 2016

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey shared a message of prayer, hope and action during an interview with John Pastorek on WBRZ-TV's 2une In program the morning of July 21. She was "thrilled to share the news of hope in Baton Rouge." Bishop Harvey stressed that although prayer is essential, the people of the Baton Rouge community must now put "legs" to those prayers and work actively for unity,...

Louisiana Conference holds prayer vigil in Baton Rouge for fallen police officers

Louisiana Conference holds prayer vigil in Baton Rouge for fallen police officers
July 21, 2016

For the second time in two weeks, more than 200 Baton Rouge residents joined nearly 40 Methodist pastors to pray for the city--and this time, to mourn the death of three law enforcement officers who were gunned down Sunday.    District Superintendent Rev. Ken Irby had a previously scheduled meeting Tuesday to follow up on the Alton Sterling shooting that gripped the city during the first...

Baton Rouge clergy gather in wake of fatal shooting of police officers

Baton Rouge clergy gather in wake of fatal shooting of police officers
July 19, 2016

District Superintendent Rev. Ken Irby had Tuesday, July 19 on the schedule as a follow-up for Baton Rouge clergy to gather and discuss the next steps in the wake of the Alton Sterling shooting. However, in the two weeks since, the city finds itself in the midst of yet another horrific act of violence.    On Sunday, Gavin Long, a former Marine from Kansas City, Missouri, walked down ...

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey issues statement regarding Baton Rouge shooting

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey issues statement regarding Baton Rouge shooting
July 17, 2016

Friends, My heart is broken yet again! There are simply no words. What does one say when people's lives have been turned upside down? We continue to cry for peace, peace in our city, our country and the world. We need healing.  As I board my flight leaving Wichita and Jurisdictional Conference, I am following the news from my beloved Baton Rouge. Several police officers dead and some ...

Statement from the South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops

Statement from the South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops
July 17, 2016

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: While these can be turbulent times in The United Methodist Church, these are also times of emerging and fruitful ministries. Lay and clergy leaders are creating new ministries to reach new people for Jesus Christ. They remind us of the importance of our collective work to grow the number of vital congregations of The United ...

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey reassigned to Louisiana Annual Conference

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey reassigned to Louisiana Annual Conference
July 16, 2016

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey is returning to the Louisiana Annual Conference. Friday evening at the South Central Jurisdictional Conference, the Episcopacy committee announced the appointments for all 10 Bishops serving the jurisdiction.    “I am thrilled!” Bishop Harvey exclaimed. The Episcopal leader for the Louisiana area is pictured left at a breakfast with the conference delegation ...

Three bishops elected during SCJ Conference in Wichita

Three bishops elected during SCJ Conference in Wichita
July 16, 2016

The South Central Jurisdiction elected three new bishops during its quadrennial conference, which began Wednesday at the Hyatt Hotel in Wichita, Kansas.   Newly elected bishops and their appointments include Ruben Saenz, Jr., heading to the Great Plains Conference; James “Jimmy” Nunn, going to the Oklahoma/Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conferences; and Bob Farr, returning to the Missouri ...

Baton Rouge youth organize peaceful rally in wake of deadly shooting, Wesley UMC offers support

Baton Rouge youth organize peaceful rally in wake of deadly shooting, Wesley UMC offers support
July 11, 2016

One week ago on July 6, Alton Sterling, a black man, was shot to death by two white police officers in Baton Rouge, La.    Led by Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, United Methodist church leaders immediately came together to collaborate on how they could quickly respond to the tragic incident with a message focusing on peace and justice. The answer was clear, and leaders organized a prayer ...

Gathering seeks effective ways to engage young people in dialogue about racism

Gathering seeks effective ways to engage young people in dialogue about racism
July 11, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. July 11, 2016 /Discipleship Ministries/ – As recent events once again focus attention on issues of racial inequality, Young People’s Ministries (YPM), a division of Discipleship Ministries, will convene a session this month to identify more effective ways to resource the church for conversations with young people about racism.   The Racism Gathering on July 28-30 will ...

Louisiana Conference hosts downtown prayer vigil in wake of Baton Rouge shooting

Louisiana Conference hosts downtown prayer vigil in wake of Baton Rouge shooting
July 08, 2016

On Wednesday, July 6, in the wake of Alton Sterling’s death, more than 30 United Methodist pastors from the Baton Rouge area gathered for a rare meeting at the Conference office. The meeting was rare not in the sense that black and white pastors of small and large churches met, but rather because the meeting had no agenda.   District Superintendent Ken Irby started the meeting with a ...

Africa University student thanks Louisiana Conference for scholarship assistance

Africa University student thanks Louisiana Conference for scholarship assistance
July 04, 2016

The following is a letter which was received by the Louisiana Conference Episcopal office from Rumbidzai Sithole, a graduating senior from Africa University. In the letter, Sithole thanks the conference for the scholarship awarded to her. The Louisiana Conference has a history of supporting this institution of higher learning on the African continent and the students attending classes ...

First UMC, Zachary sends LAVIM mission team to Rio Bravo, Mexico

First UMC, Zachary sends LAVIM mission team to Rio Bravo, Mexico
July 04, 2016

Rev. Ricky Willis, pastor of First UMC in Zachary, recently led a LAVIM mission team of 22 people to Rio Bravo, Mexico. The group worked with the Manos Juntas Mission and Mexico VIM; this was the first international mission team for the church.   The team also included four people from Aldersgate UMC, Slidell and one person from Blackwater UMC in Baker. The group was comprised of a ...

School backpack drive for Reynosa is in July

School backpack drive for Reynosa is in July
June 28, 2016

Local churches and groups throughout the Louisiana Annual Conference are asked to help students in Reynosa, Mexico by donating backpacks and school supplies during the month of July. The school backpack program is an initiative of the Methodist Border Friendship Commission.   Rev. Willie Berman, the Mexican Methodist Border Mission coordinator and Global Ministries missionary, will ...

First UMC, Baton Rouge offers spiritual formation leadership academy/Deadline for applications is Aug. 1

First UMC, Baton Rouge offers spiritual formation leadership academy/Deadline for applications is Aug. 1
June 23, 2016

First United Methodist of Baton Rouge, in partnership with Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, is offering NextStep Academy, a two year program in spiritual formation leadership.   Those looking for the means to invigorate their spiritual practices or who are interested in deepening their understanding of the disciplines are invited to apply for this unique program, which can be ...

‘NEXT’ empowers collegians to combine faith, gifts and passions to enact change/Early Bird registration ends June 30

‘NEXT’ empowers collegians to combine faith, gifts and passions to enact change/Early Bird registration ends June 30
June 21, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – While pursuing a field of study to help prepare for a traditional career, many of today’s college students are searching for ways to combine their faith, gifts and passions to make an immediate impact in their communities. However, as students pursue this call, they may find limited resources to support them in their faith and leadership development.   Created out of ...

‘Sewing with God’ sows seed of hope

‘Sewing with God’ sows seed of hope
June 15, 2016

By Rev. Billy Turner “Sewing with God,” a ministry of First United Methodist Church in Coushatta, began in 2010 as an outgrowth of a bible study on Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley, the author of the Methodist denomination. Susan Taylor, one of the participants in the study and the leader of the sewing program, said Wesley encouraged Methodists to help the needy and underserved ...

Behind the Scenes: AC2016: Rooted and Grounded

Behind the Scenes: AC2016: Rooted and Grounded
June 15, 2016

As I reflect on last week’s Annual Conference, I am overwhelmed by the Spirit’s stirring among us. The new rhythm, I believe, allowed for more time in conversation with colleagues and friends. The blessing of David and Elizabeth McCormick and their daughters as they prepare their hearts, minds and souls to serve in Mozambique as missionaries was a highlight. As always, the services of ...

A Place to Call Home: MacDonell Children’s Services offers a safe place for children

A Place to Call Home: MacDonell Children’s Services offers a safe place for children
June 14, 2016

Tom (not his real name), a resident of MacDonell Children’s Services, is glad to be back at the facility that has provided him shelter and emotional support in the past.   “I just left a foster family—it wasn’t working out, and I was having trouble with grades in school,” he said. “Ever since I came back to MacDonell, the help provided by tutors has helped me to go from making Fs to ...

For more than 100 years Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home Has Rescued “Lost” Children

For more than 100 years Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home Has Rescued “Lost” Children
June 14, 2016

For more than 100 years, Louisiana Methodist Children's Home has rescued "lost" children. Today, the number of children in need of care in Louisiana is as great as ever. With recent changes in state law, the Children’s Home has willingly taken on the much more difficult task of caring for the state’s most neglected and abused youth. This required a transition into a level of service ...

Rev. Mike Slaughter is featured speaker at AC2016: Rooted and Grounded

Rev. Mike Slaughter is featured speaker at AC2016: Rooted and Grounded
June 14, 2016

During Thursday morning's Laity Session held at First United Methodist Church in Shreveport, Rev. Mike Slaughter, lead pastor of Ginghamsburg UMC in Ohio, told Conference Laity that they are his "heroes" and "she-roes." "Clergy get paid. You do this because you love Jesus," he said, getting a laugh from the audience. Slaughter, featured speaker for AC2016: Rooted and Grounded, also told...

Bishop Harvey preaches during Celebration of Ministry

Bishop Harvey preaches during Celebration of Ministry
June 10, 2016

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey preached her annual Ordination Sermon during the AC2016: Rooted and Grounded Celebration of Ministry held the evening of June 10 at First United Methodist Church, Shreveport the Gold Dome on the Centenary College campus in Shreveport. Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey Ordination Sermon, June 11, 2016 You Can Run but You Cannot Hide Ephesians 3:14-21, Jonah   ...

Bishop Harvey delivers Episcopal Address

Bishop Harvey delivers Episcopal Address
June 09, 2016

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey delivered her annual Episcopal Address during the AC2016: Rooted and Grounded Communion Service held the morning of June 9 in the Gold Dome on the Centenary College campus in Shreveport. Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey Episcopal Address June 9, 2016   God can do far more than any of us could ever ask or imagine.   The past four years have been a living ...

Wesley Award winners revealed at AC2016: Rooted and Grounded

Wesley Award winners revealed at AC2016: Rooted and Grounded
June 09, 2016

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey announced a number of the winners of this year’s Wesley Award during her Episcopal Address, delivered the morning of June 9 in the Gold Dome on Centenary’s Campus. The announcement came during AC2016: Rooted and Grounded, held June 8-11 in Shreveport.  A special Lifetime Achievement Wesley Award was presented to Rev. Dr. Don Cottrill by Bishop Cynthia Fierro...

LAVIM team serves Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference

LAVIM team serves Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference
May 31, 2016

Rev. Jon Lord, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Arcadia, recently led a Louisiana Volunteers in Mission team to the Northeast Conference Center of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference.   The team helped to refurbish the fellowship hall of the center, located in Okmulgee, Ok., during their mission which stretched from May 8-12.   “There are several halls which are used by ...

Shepherd’s Market ministry featured on #WeAreMore website

Shepherd’s Market ministry featured on #WeAreMore website
May 31, 2016

Shepherd’s Market, an outreach ministry of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, is a client-choice food pantry currently serving 420 families monthly in the South Baton Rouge neighborhoods surrounding the church. The ministry has expanded into offering ESL classes, assistance with Medicaid applications, and offering weekly communion services that serve these neighbors who ...

Louisiana Conference seeks staff positions for Disaster Response Ministry

Louisiana Conference seeks staff positions for Disaster Response Ministry
May 25, 2016

United Methodist Committee on Relief has awarded a $300,000 grant to support Louisiana Conference disaster response efforts in the wake of the Spring Floods of 2016. Adding this amount to existing Conference funds, this gives the response approximately $500,000 to move forward in our work. We are planning on the project lasting for one year. To facilitate the work, Louisiana Disaster ...

Council of Bishops meets post-General Conference

Council of Bishops meets post-General Conference
May 24, 2016

Portland, Oregon: The United Methodist Council of Bishops met on May 21 following the close of General Conference for worship and prayer for the ongoing unity of The United Methodist Church. The Saturday meeting was planned prior to presenting “An Offering for a Way Forward” to the 2016 General Conference, but recognizing the importance of moving forward with the proposal, the council ...

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey: A reflection on General Conference 2016

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey: A reflection on General Conference 2016
May 22, 2016

It is late (very late) on May 21 and I await my “red eye” departure from Portland on UNITED. Ironic? Maybe? I choose to call it a reminder of the resounding cry of the faithful followers of Jesus Christ we call UNITED Methodist who gathered for the past 11 days in Portland. I am leaving Portland and General Conference 2016 with my mind and my heart racing as I reflect on the events of ...

United Methodists celebrate success of Imagine No Malaria, launch of Abundant Health Campaign

United Methodists celebrate success of Imagine No Malaria, launch of Abundant Health Campaign
May 18, 2016

United Methodist members and leaders, global health innovators and an “American Idol” star took the stage today to celebrate the success of Imagine No Malaria, an initiative of the people of The United Methodist Church aimed at ending malaria deaths. The multimedia event, which was held at the denomination’s quadrennial legislative gathering being held through May 20 at the Oregon ...

Bishop Harvey speaks at General Conference 2016: “Wear the Robe Like it Matters”

Bishop Harvey speaks at General Conference 2016: “Wear the Robe Like it Matters”
May 16, 2016

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey reminded those attending General Conference 2016 that all are called to “bear fruit for God’s sake.” Preaching from Matthew 22:1-14 and the parable of the king’s wedding banquet, the Louisiana Episcopal Area leader told delegates God invites people to come as they are, but not to stay as they are. “Our showing up at the party, our standing before God, is ...

Hudson provides chalk recording during GC2016

Hudson provides chalk recording during GC2016
May 16, 2016

Lauren Hudson, currently serving as an intern for the LSU Wesley Foundation in Baton Rouge, is still basking in the excitement of having provided her chalk recording at General Conference 2016 during Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey’s sermon the morning of May 16 in Portland, Oregon.   “I was very honored to be able to go, and to actually get to share that (chalk recording) with the United ...

Louisiana Avenue UMC selected for #WeAreMore feature video

Louisiana Avenue UMC selected for #WeAreMore feature video
May 16, 2016

The Louisiana Conference is proud of Louisiana Avenue UMC, Lafayette and its pastor, Rev. Robert Johnson for being selected for this #‎WeAreMore video story. The story is featured on the #WeAreMore website and has been shared throughout the denomination via social media. “I am inspired by the love, commitment and dedication of the people of Louisiana Avenue UMC. They are willing to ...

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