Communications and News

Amid Pandemic, Lydia Patterson Faces Difficulties Due to Border Closing

Amid Pandemic, Lydia Patterson Faces Difficulties Due to Border Closing
April 07, 2020

This report comes to us from David Burke, a colleague of ours in the Communications Department of the Great Plains Conference. We thank him for his work and the connection that supports Lydia Patterson.   The good news for Lydia Patterson Institute is that the school was already technologically equipped for the coronavirus-related shutdown of all schools in El Paso, Texas, that began ...

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Preparing for Easter, A Conversation with Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Preparing for Easter, A Conversation with Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey
April 05, 2020

Recently Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey carved out some time on Zoom and we discussed a wide variety of topics as we prepare for Holy Week. Bishop Harvey opens up about her morning routine, long walks, and life at home during these days of self-isolation. She also says this year’s Holy Week is an opportunity to get creative and shares some ideas. However, as different as this year’s Holy ...

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Online Communion, A Conversation with Rev. Juan Carlos Huertas

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Online Communion, A Conversation with Rev. Juan Carlos Huertas
April 04, 2020

The inability for churches to gather, due to sheltering-in-place orders has prompted some bishops in the United Methodist Church to allow for online communion. Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, resident bishop in Louisiana, has allowed for online communion, "For such a time as this, we will allow virtual Holy Communion under the church’s theological understanding of “In Extremis” which means...

Executive Summary of Recent COVID-19 Legislation from the Office of Missional Engagement and Outreach

Executive Summary of Recent COVID-19 Legislation from the Office of Missional Engagement and Outreach
April 03, 2020

NOTE: This web page is updated constantly as new information is made available. The latest updates, found at the bottom of this page, include:   4/4: Updated UMC Support CARES Act Q&A 4/4: New UMC Support Payroll Protection Program document ​​4/6: Help Available for SBA Loans and Unemployment Insurance 4/7: Interim Final Rule addressing affiliation 4/7: Faith-Based ...

Statistical Reporting Guidelines

Statistical Reporting Guidelines
April 03, 2020

The following Statistical Reporting guidelines are offered as we make our way through this pandemic experience. Continue to track ALL statistical items as you normally would. Continue to enter your monthly/weekly data here. Please only record “In-Person” numbers on the weekly report. Online numbers will be reported at the end of the year. (See line numbers 7 and 7a on last year’s ...

Louisiana NOW Podcast: An Update from New Orleans, Rev. Johnathan Richardson

Louisiana NOW Podcast: An Update from New Orleans, Rev. Johnathan Richardson
April 02, 2020

Rev. Johnathan Richardson is the pastor of Cornerstone United Methodist Church in New Orleans. He has served in ministry for 16 years but is new to the Louisiana Conference. His church has been hit hard by the coronavirus with over a dozen cases and two deaths. We catch up with Rev. Richardson for more on how he is responding to the current situation. https://www.cornerstone-nola.org/ ...

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 NOW Podcast: Serving Those in Need

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Serving Those in Need
March 31, 2020

In this episode of Louisiana Now, we focus on the growing need of feeding those who are hungry. Food pantries in Louisiana have experienced a tripling of the number of clients. Supplies were at a critical level to begin with and as the pandemic continues, numbers continue to decline. Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey has approved a Louisiana Conference grant from the Office of Missional ...

Louisiana NOW Podcast: How to Lead When You Don't Know Where You're Going: A Conversation with Susan Beaumont

Louisiana NOW Podcast: How to Lead When You Don't Know Where You're Going: A Conversation with Susan Beaumont
March 29, 2020

How do you lead an organization stuck between an ending and a new beginning—when the old way of doing things no longer works but a way forward is not yet clear? That is the question Susan Beaumont’s book attempts to answer. Beaumont is a a consultant, author, and coach.  She has worked with hundreds of congregations, including several in Louisiana.  For more on Susan, please visit her ...

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 ...

Louisiana NOW Podcast:

Louisiana NOW Podcast: "God is in the Response”, A Conversation with Rev. Brian Mercer
March 26, 2020

Rev. Brian Mercer, pastor of First United Methodist Church, Monroe. Brian is just seven months into his new appointment. Moving your family, and getting settled in to a new appointment is tough enough in the first year, but it’s even tougher when you suddenly can’t gather due to a pandemic. Brian is doing something that seems extremely low-tech but is proving to be extremely valuable. It...

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Sewing Up to Serve: Helping Those on the Front Lines

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Sewing Up to Serve: Helping Those on the Front Lines
March 24, 2020

There are so many needs in this country as a result of the coronavirus. One of them is face masks. We are literally running out of them and medical professionals have started asking for and giving permission for homemade facemarks. A group of volunteers inside Henning Memorial United Methodist Church in Sulphur have started sewing homemade masks and the group is growing by the hundreds. ...

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 ...

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Preaching to an Empty Room, A Conversation with Alyce McKenzie

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Preaching to an Empty Room, A Conversation with Alyce McKenzie
March 21, 2020

Our guest today is Rev. Dr. Alyce M. McKenzie, Professor of Preaching and Worship at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. Dr. McKenzie is a Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor by SMU, SMU’s highest teaching honor and the author of ten books, including a recent blog article that has garnered a lot of social media attention: “Preaching to an Empty Room”. Todd ...

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Tips on Tackling Technology

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Tips on Tackling Technology
March 20, 2020

During these days, we are all finding new ways to worship, some of us online. Todd Rossnagel, host of the Louisiana Now podcast and Director of Communications for the Louisiana Conference, offers tips on tackling technology. He discusses everything from how to prepare, audio and lighting tips, and how to talk to a camera lens.    Some of the equipment mentioned in today’s show:   A ...

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...

Louisiana NOW Podcast: The Latest with Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey

Louisiana NOW Podcast: The Latest with Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey
March 18, 2020

Matters in the world are changing on an almost hourly basis. As we reached out to Bishop Harvey in hopes of recording this particular episode, we scheduled the recording Wednesday afternoon. As our recording time got close, it looked as if news from the larger denomination regarding General Conference and its potential postponement would come down at any moment. In fact, the news broke ...

Louisiana NOW Podcast: How Coronavirus is Affecting Ministry in Louisiana

Louisiana NOW Podcast: How Coronavirus is Affecting Ministry in Louisiana
March 18, 2020

Rev. Lane Cotton Winn is the lead pastor of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, a church that has an amazing ministry known as the Shepherd's Market, a client-choice food pantry that has been serving the hungry and needy in south Baton Rouge for the past seven years. On any given day, St. John’s gives away over 3,000 pounds of food as they are an outpost for the Baton ...

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 ...

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Ministry in the Midst of Coronavirus

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Ministry in the Midst of Coronavirus
March 16, 2020

In this special edition of the Louisiana NOW podcast, we visit with Rev. Elaine Burleigh, Director of the Conference Office of Missional Outreach and Engagement. Elaine and host Todd Rossnagel discuss ways churches should be preparing for the Coronavirus. There are plenty of challenges for our local churches in this new context some of us in ministry are facing. Rev. Burleigh is not a ...

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....

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Author and Pastor Matt Rawle

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Author and Pastor Matt Rawle
March 10, 2020

 In this episode of Louisiana NOW, Todd Rossnagel visits with Rev. Matt Rawle, lead pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church in Bossier City, LA. Matt is a prolific author of Christian books and studies, with many of his books offered through Abingdon Press. His latest offering is a study of the famed Les Miserables. In this episode, Todd and Matt discuss Matt’s latest book, his thoughts...

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Money is Important with Rob Fairly

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Money is Important with Rob Fairly
March 03, 2020

On this episode of Louisiana NOW, Todd Rossnagel visits with Rob Fairly, president of the United Methodist Foundation of Louisiana. Rob has a passion for giving. His message will inspire all of us to re-examine how we look at money. The Foundation offers many resources for Louisiana churches; Rob and Todd will discuss that and much more in this episode of Louisiana NOW. Resources: For ...

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 ...

Louisiana NOW Podcast: The Theology of Missions with Rev. Elaine Burleigh

Louisiana NOW Podcast: The Theology of Missions with Rev. Elaine Burleigh
February 24, 2020

In this episode of Louisiana NOW, Todd Rossnagel visits with Rev. Elaine Burleigh, from the Office of Missional Outreach and Engagement. Burleigh is new to the position but not new to the world of missions. In this episode, you will hear more about Burleigh’s passion for mission, the theology of mission and how you can learn more about mission opportunities in the Louisiana Conference.  ...

LA Gammon Task Force Hosts Gammon President-Dean at SU Career Fair

LA Gammon Task Force Hosts Gammon President-Dean at SU Career Fair
February 19, 2020

The LA Gammon Task Force hosted Dr. Ken Walden, President-Dean of Gammon Theological Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, GA., during his visit to the Southern University Career Fair, Wednesday, February 19, 2020. The Southern University Career Services Center extended the invitation to the LA Gammon Task Force to set up a display table at the career fair with...

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Rev. Katie McKay Simpson and Pathways

Louisiana NOW Podcast: Rev. Katie McKay Simpson and Pathways
February 18, 2020

In this episode of Louisiana NOW, Todd Rossnagel visits with Rev. Katie McKay Simpson. We discuss the Pathways event, an event centered on helping people determine next steps for a life in ministry. As you will hear, there are many pathways for the many different gifts each of us have. Not every pathway to ministry is that of elder and seminary. In fact, you’ll hear more about Todd’s own...

Louisiana NOW Podcast: An Interview with Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey

Louisiana NOW Podcast: An Interview with Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey
February 11, 2020

Todd Rossnagel sits down with Bishop Harvey to discuss everything from the Mediation Protocol to Heisman trophy winner Joe Burrow. Listen to the debut of the Louisiana NOW podcast.   To read more about Bishop Harvey, please head here: https://www.la-umc.org/ourbishop  To read more about the Protocol Legislation and Agreement, please visit: https://www.gracethroughseparation.com/  To read...

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 ...

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