Communications and News

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 ...

McCormicks commissioned as missionaries during GC2016

McCormicks commissioned as missionaries during GC2016
May 16, 2016

On May 19, along with 27 others, David and Elizabeth McCormick from Louisiana were commissioned as missionaries by the United Methodist Church during the denomination’s 2016 General Conference, its legislature that meets every four years.    Family, friends and the Louisiana Annual Conference will also watch as David and Elizabeth are recognized as new missionaries of The United ...

Ingleside United Methodist Church engaging global communities with kits for girls

Ingleside United Methodist Church engaging global communities with kits for girls
May 03, 2016

A faithful group of women are helping Ingleside United Methodist Church engage with the global community by sewing and packaging hygiene kits for girls living in Uganda.     These kits are badly needed in underserved countries that have minimal resources. Most of the women who volunteer with this project are retired school teachers and administrators who believe heartily in helping girls...

Louisiana Avenue United Methodist Church creates ‘Impact’ through homeless ministry

Louisiana Avenue United Methodist Church creates ‘Impact’ through homeless ministry
May 03, 2016

Louisiana Avenue United Methodist Church is impacting the city of Lafayette through an active “street” ministry. Appropriately, the outreach program is known as IMPACT, an acronym for “inspiring ministry of poverty action through Christ’s testimony.”   The ministry began as a “brown bag” feeding program for the growing population of homeless in downtown Lafayette, said Rev. Robert ...

Shreveport churches unite through UM-Ignite

Shreveport churches unite through UM-Ignite
May 03, 2016

When churches work together to impact a community, amazing things can happen. Tommy O’Rear, a member of Sibley United Methodist Church and coordinator for UM-Ignite, has witnessed first-hand the benefit of congregations pooling their resources and energy to make a difference in the lives of others.   UM-Ignite is a coalition of congregations in the Shreveport District focusing on ...

St. John’s UMC meets community needs for food and communication

St. John’s UMC meets community needs for food and communication
May 03, 2016

Volunteers serving The Shepherd’s Market—a client choice food pantry at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge—began to notice soon after opening their doors in 2012 that a significant number of clients were Spanish-speaking.   Actually, we estimate that 25 percent of the people currently coming in for help are non-English speaking. We currently serve 420 families per month,” ...

Rossnagel is new Director of Communication Strategies, Backstrom to serve as Communication Liaison

Rossnagel is new Director of Communication Strategies, Backstrom to serve as Communication Liaison
April 27, 2016

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey is pleased to announce Todd Rossnagel as the Director of Communication Strategies for the Louisiana Annual Conference.   Rossnagel’s assignment is effective July 1, 2016. Under the new structure, current Director of Communications, Betty Backstrom, will assume the role of Communication Liaison in a part-time status. Jamie Warren, Communications/Web Assistant ...

South Central Jurisdiction bishops launch #WeAreMore social media campaign

South Central Jurisdiction bishops launch #WeAreMore social media campaign
April 26, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. – The bishops of the South Central Jurisdiction have joined together to produce a campaign focused on stories that connect people and proclaim that #WeAreMore when united through Jesus Christ.The campaign, called “We Are More,” is designed to engage the people in the pews through sharing and listening to one another’s stories. “People seem to be anxiously bracing ...

Access recorded presentations from Conference Communications Livestream!

Access recorded presentations from Conference Communications Livestream!
April 18, 2016

The first ever Louisiana United Methodist Conference Communications Livestream, held April 16 in Shreveport, was a huge success! Thanks to Grace Community United Methodist Church and to Rev. Juan Huertas, pastor, and to the AMAZING tech staff at the church for making this exciting event possible. (You know who you are, Brad Pollit and John McLaurin!) If you missed the event, no ...

Five-Day Spiritual Academy enjoyed by 39 pilgrims

Five-Day Spiritual Academy enjoyed by 39 pilgrims
April 13, 2016

Thirty-nine pilgrims across six state lines, both clergy and laity, attended the 2016 Five-Day Spiritual Academy on April 3-8 at the Wesley Center.   Presenter Dr. Roberta Bondi led the way into Entering the Silence while Dr. Michael Battle led the group into Engaging the World, looking at spirituality and community in terms of reconciliation.   Dianne Wilkinson, registrar, said this was...

ERTs respond in wake of flooding

ERTs respond in wake of flooding
April 12, 2016

Early Response Team members from Clinton United Methodist Church and Grace UMC in Ruston recently moved a "mountain of debris" left behind in the wake of record rains and flooding in Louisiana. The team was volunteering in rural Ouachita Parish. The work, accomplished with the aid of a tractor, was part of an ongoing recovery effort in which ERTs are playing a big role.   Team members ...

Native American ministries committee meets at Clanton Chapel UMC, Dulac

Native American ministries committee meets at Clanton Chapel UMC, Dulac
April 12, 2016

Members of the Louisiana Annual Conference Native American Ministries Committee gathered at Clanton Chapel UMC in Dulac on April 2. The committee supports the Native American ministries of the Louisiana Annual Conference, including Clanton Chapel and Clanton preschool, the Dulac Community Center, and scholarships for Native Americans entering seminary.   LACONAM also works to develop ...

First UMC, Zachary forms ‘Friends and Needles’

First UMC, Zachary forms ‘Friends and Needles’
April 11, 2016

First United Methodist Church in Zachary recently formed “Friends and Needles,” a ministry group that uses sewing and other needle crafts to work on mission projects. The “Friends and Needles” group brings together women who enjoy sewing and other needle crafts for mission outreach, all the while teaching each other various craft skills.    In January of this year, more than 20 women ...

General Conference 2016: Therefore Go

General Conference 2016: Therefore Go
April 05, 2016

United Methodists throughout the world are preparing for the 2016 General Conference, the denomination’s legislative assembly slated for May 10-20 in Portland. Stay informed about proposed legislation and major legislative issues that will be the focus of GC2016 by visiting these helpful links: UMNS News Reports on GC2016 Proposed Legislation Major Legislative Issues General Conference...

Louisiana Conference sends missionaries to Mozambique

Louisiana Conference sends missionaries to Mozambique
April 05, 2016

The Louisiana Annual Conference is sending Dave and Elizabeth McCormick to Mozambique as GBGM missionaries. Joined by their children, Eva and Annie, the couple will be giving themselves to three years of service. They will be commissioned at General Conference 2016 in Portland, Oregon in May and will serve as full GBGM missionaries.    In addition, Chasity Jones has been accepted as a ...

More than 200 attend Confirmation Day with the Bishop

More than 200 attend Confirmation Day with the Bishop
April 05, 2016

More than 200 confirmands from throughout the Louisiana Annual Conference joined Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, clergy, youth and children’s workers and volunteers for Confirmation Day with the Bishop on April 2 at The Wesley Center in Woodworth. The theme, "Rooted in Christ," challenged confirmands to listen to their individual call to serve, to nurture their faith and to strengthen ...

Springhill UMC visits Heifer Village in Little Rock

Springhill UMC visits Heifer Village in Little Rock
April 05, 2016

A group of 28 Sunday School students and adult volunteers from Springhill United Methodist Church traveled to Little Rock recently to visit the Heifer Village and to learn more about the Heifer Project’s work around the world. The children have been collecting money for Heifer animals throughout the year.   They also enjoyed a picnic in the park and toured the Museum of Discovery. The ...

Conference communications workshop to be live-streamed April 16 from Grace Community UMC

Conference communications workshop to be live-streamed April 16 from Grace Community UMC
April 04, 2016

Attention local churches and church leaders! Would you like to know more about planning and developing your church website? How about using technology in your worship services? Could you benefit from hearing a discussion on “best practices” for Social Media, Texting and Emails? Would you like to know more about understanding and promoting your church’s mission?    Then Mark Your Calendar...

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