I Wanna See You Be Brave – A Word from DS Rev. Andy Smith

Few things inspire me like music does. Lately I’ve been watching the official music video for the song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles. In the video, several people dance, each one by themselves in a public place like a shopping mall, gym, bus stop or sidewalk. Most of the dancers appear to be ordinary folks, not…Read More »

Local Church Report to the Annual Conference

It’s that time of year again! Information from the Rio Texas Conference regarding End-of-Year Reports has been sent to all senior pastors along with log-in information. The instructions have been revised so please take time to read and review. Data must be entered online at https://umcdata.net/ChurchReporting. THE WEBSITE WILL BE OPEN FOR DATA ENTRY BEGINNING TUESDAY, JANUARY 3 through TUESDAY, JANUARY…Read More »

Arise – A Word from DS Rev. Andy Smith

“Arise, shine; for your light has come,and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”—Isaiah 60:1 One of the first things I do each day after I wake up is reach for my phone and play the daily Wordle. My starting word, almost every time, is ARISE. I’ve thought about using a different word…Read More »

Right-Sizing – A Word from DS Andy Smith 12/15/22

When I retired, Robyn and I moved from Kerrville to Austin; from a house that is, basically, three stories with five bedrooms and four full baths, to a modest three-bedroom, two-bath home. As you can imagine, we have had to go through some major downsizing of stuff, both before and after the move. And rather…Read More »

A Word from DS Rev. Andy Smith

Grace to you, and peace, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I find myself humbled and honored to be following my beloved sisters Bishop Laura Merrill and Rev. Teresa Welborn as your Capital District Superintendent for the next several months. As you may or may not know, I retired on July 1 of…Read More »

A Word from Bishop Laura Merrill

Last week was perhaps the most extraordinary I’ve ever experienced. At the risk of repeating it one time too many, the delegates of the South Central Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church allowed the Holy Spirit to do some big work. Together, we elected our first Black woman bishop in the SCJ, we elected two…Read More »

A Word from DS Laura Merrill 10/21/22

We talk a lot about living through extraordinary times, moments that feel anything but ordinary, even though there’s all sorts of ordinariness woven through them. Sometimes we use the word “unprecedented,” though there’s actually no time that’s been preceded by one just like it—from that angle, every time is unprecedented. What I can say about…Read More »

A Word from DS Laura Merrill 10/7/22

There are folk saying that our nation is more divided today than at any time since the Civil War. Others say that’s not true, or that the divisions of the two times are different. All I know is what it feels like, which is really difficult. Our neighbors, our families, the people on the news…Read More »

A Word from DS Laura Merrill 09/23/22

In the midst of all the swirling, both in the life of the church and my individual life, I was grateful the other night to hear the “Igniting Imagination” podcast with Father Greg Boyle. The podcast is produced by TMF and the Wesleyan Investive, and Father Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries. Many people…Read More »

A Word from DS Laura Merrill 09/09/22

As I’m sure you know, the people of The United Methodist Church are in the midst of reorganizing ourselves, from the ground up. At issue for the past five decades have been the role, status, and affirmation of LGBTQ persons in the life of the United Methodist Church. There are other, connected issues as well,…Read More »