May 4, 2023

Volume 3

Let's get Reinvigorated

Dear Delegates,

We are only 24 days away from Annual Conference and I can’t wait to see all of you around the tables at this year’s Annual Conference session. So far, we have talked about our first two days of AC2023. Sunday, we will focus on Revive, Monday, we will focus on Renew. Let me tell you about Tuesday of Annual Conference, where we will focus on Reinvigorate.


Day three of Annual Conference may be our most important day together as we hear about the highlights of what is happening with our Annual Conference staff and the culmination of the day will be ordination. I can’t wait to be reinvigorated by our newest leaders that we will ordain, commission and license!


Friends, God is doing a new thing in the Texas Annual Conference – I can’t wait to tell you all about it and hear from all of you.


Grace & Peace,

 Bishop Harvey

Tomorrow is the deadline for AC2023, hotel and childcare registration.

The deadline for registration is tomorrow Friday, May 5, 2023


Come on, make those reservations today!


Book your hotel now friends, the deadline is...you guessed it, tomorrow Friday, May 5!

Commuting to Annual Conference would not be fun. Especially if you live in East Texas. Register now!


Are you bringing children? Tomorrow, Friday, May 5 is when registration closes. Registering kids after May 5, means they will not be able to attend field trips and you will be charged a $50 late fee.

Register your kids now!


Special Session

Don't forget to register for Special Session here!

We will be gathering on May 11, 2023 on Zoom.

Leading Laity

In this issue, we are thanking our TAC laity, who help to lead our churches so

well. We couldn't "do church" without you - can we get an Amen?

Laity, we will be having some great fellowship, food, and music at the AC2023

Laity Luncheon this year, and a speaker you won't want to miss.

BTW, there will be limited tickets offered at the door, so get your ticket today.


Many of you already know our featured speaker, Michael Gienger, pastor of

Galveston Central UMC. When he first arrived at this church on Galveston Island, the congregation was very small. Now this UMC is bustling with people and is one of the most innovative churches in the nation, particularly with the unhoused population. 

Michael will talk about innovation in the church and the astounding number of

partnerships this church has created, including being the largest service provider in Galveston County. Check out this short video where Michael was one of four in the nation to receive the Locke Innovative Leader Award.

Annual Conference Deets

Our Lay Leader, John Esquivel has been planning all of the details for the Laity

Session on Monday. One item that will take place is the election of two lay

delegates to General Conference 2024. There are 16 laity that you can vote for

from UMC’s across the TAC. So before you vote at AC2023, please consider saying a prayer over and reading their laity profiles here.

At the laity session, we will be learning some new things together – like what it

means to be connectional. For our time of learning, Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey

and John Esquivel have assembled some of the brightest leaders in the UMC for a panel discussion.

Questions like these will be posed to the panel:

What is connectionism?

Where do my apportionment dollars go?

Why should I feel good about paying my apportionments?

Don’t miss out on this time of learning with our panelists including: Southeast DS

and incoming Assistant to the Bishop, Rev. Romonica Malone-Wardley; our very own Bishop Harvey; Bishop Bickerton, from the NY Episcopal Area (Also the President of the Council of Bishops); and speaking of thanking talented lay persons, Roland Fernandes, General Secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries.

Clergy, we know you want to sneak into our session, but this is just for laity!

Speaking of Ordination

As Bishop Harvey says, the best part of AC2023 will be ordination on Tuesday, May 30th at 7 p.m. And at this year’s Conference we will be ordaining seven elders and deacons, commissioning four candidates and recognizing a number of local pastors. By the way, if you can’t make it to ordination at FUMC Houston, downtown, there will be a live feed for ordination at www.txcumc.org - the live feed will be available at 6:45 p.m..


Speaking of ordination, we caught up with these fabulous leaders to ask:


What book or podcast has recently impacted your life, made you think or brought you new inspiration?

Rev. Thea Curry-Fuson says she has been listening to the podcast Nateland, a comedy featuring four friends having silly conversations that brings her joy and a smile each week!

Listen Now

Rev. Jordan Czichos says that a good read after our post- church disaffiliation is “No Cure for Being Human,” by Kate Bowler. Jordan says she has been impacted by the author’s take on grief and what it means to interact with grief and witness in community.

Read Now

Rev. Becca Newcomb says that lately she’s been really into a short podcast (and book) called “The Next Right Thing,” by Emily P. Freeman. Becca says it is short and just helps her sorta clear through the mental clutter when choices and obligations feel overwhelming. 

Listen Now

Recently, Rev. Quinn Peters read the book “The People Called Metodista: Renewing Doctrine, Worship, and Mission from the Margins” by Dr. Edgardo Colon-Emeric. Quinn says that this book has inspired him with the possibilities of connecting deeper with and learning more from our UMC family in Latin America. 

Read Now

Rev. Madison Garcia is always searching for a good biography, and Betty Ford: First Lady, Women's Advocate, Survivor, Trailblazer by Lisa McCubbin Hill, has been one of her favorite recent books to learn more about how to impact & empower others by showing your vulnerability and authenticity. 

Read Now

Rev. David Lieberman recently read The Sacred Enneagram by Christopher Heuertz which helped him to explore spiritual growth plans in relation to his own strengths and weaknesses instead of using one size fits all for everybody.

Read Now

Rev. Amy Peters says she is enjoying the podcast "Sermon Brainwave" and that it has been a great tool for her as she develops her preaching skills. Listening to the weekly commentators gives her the same joy that she found diving into Scripture during seminary.

Listen Now

Drop us a line here, Delegate Dispatch would love to know what is bringing you new inspiration these days!

One proposal, two resolutions 

Our very own Rev. Kip Gilts, Assistant to the Bishop says that one new thing about this year’s AC2023 is we will be fostering dialogue instead of debate. Hooray!! 

Kip mentioned in our sister publication, Cross Connection (CC), that everyone will be around tables, “with a voice that is respected and heard promoting healthy discussion.” Let’s take a look at what we will be voting on.

Proposal to Reduce the Number of Districts

So here's the scoop delegates, our Conference Leadership Team (CLT) proposal to the TAC2023 is this: to reduce the number of districts from nine to five.

If the motion moves forward, Bishop Harvey and the cabinet will draw new boundaries. Bishop Harvey has already appointed five DS's to lead the existing nine districts.The areas will be geographically larger, however, the number of pastors supervised by each DS and the number of churches being overseen by the DS will be similar to years past given the resizing of the Conference.

Not too long ago, the TAC had 12 districts.“It makes sense that five districts would be the best next step,” Kip told CC.

Kip told CC that his strategy involved "traveling out to hubs set up in the district, so the DS will be a mobile ministry.

We’ve also learned how to do virtual a lot better. Where is the potential for a different kind of ministry? And we have to continue to equip, recruit and deploy pastoral leaders," Kip said.

Delegates, there are two resolutions you will be voting on including:

Support of Creating a U.S. Regional Conference

This resolution recognizes a need for the UMC to be “re-envisioned to achieve more fair and equitable church governance.” The measure supports the creation of a U.S. Regional Conference, adding that “the Texas Annual Conference aspires to vital, thriving, multicultural and diverse ministries that are open to all people and can be a beacon of hope for the worldwide United Methodist Church.” Delegates will have the opportunity to delve into the meaning of becoming a Regional Conference. The TAC will not make any changes if the resolution passes, rather the preference would carry this to the General Conference, held next year.

A Resolution for Our New Life Together

The measure acknowledges that the TAC is “recovering from a season of conflict, division, power politics, and competition, Whereas, though this kind of culture might have benefited a few, it has not served us well as a whole, and has left us divided, fractured, and dismayed, rather than united, focused, and hopeful.”

The resolution calls for the remaining churches in the Conference to reaffirm their faith and renew their commitment, adding “It is a new day in the Texas Annual Conference, with the opportunity before us to shed our old ways of being, to repent of our sins, and to embrace the revival that the Spirit is stirring in our midst.”

Speaking UMC at AC2023

Have you ever overheard a United Methodist saying something like, “As soon as the BAC is finished, I am going to meet with the CLT chair about how my CF&A chair can get more involved with a mission trip with the GBGM?” You walk away thinking, what language were they speaking. Ditto! 

No prob, we’ve got you covered with a go-to guide for “Speaking UMC while at AC2023!” You’re welcome!

AC2023 – Annual Conference Session, 2023 

BAC – Business of the Annual Conference

BOD – The Book of Discipline

BOM – Board of Ordained Ministry

CCORR – Conference Commission on Religion and Race

CCYM – Conference Council on Youth Ministries

CF&A – Council on Finance and Administration

CLT – Conference Leadership Team 

CONAM – Committee on Native American Ministries

COSROW – Commission on the Status and Role of Women

CRM – Camp & Retreat Ministries

DLT – District Leadership Team

GBCS – General Board of Church & Society

GBGM – General Board of Global Ministries

GBHEM – General Board of Higher Education and Ministry

GBOD – General Board of Discipleship

GBPHB – General Board of Pension and Health Benefits

GCAH – General Commission on Archives and History

GCRR – General Commission on Religion and Race

GCSRW – General Commission on the Status and Role of Women

GCUMM – General Commission on United Methodist Men

SPRC – Staff Parish Relations Committee

UMCOR – United Methodist Committee on Relief

UMYM – United Methodist Youth Ministries

Register for Annual Conference

Register for Special Session

Register your kids for childcare

Download your Guidebook 

Download your Pre-Conference Journal and begin reading 

Pray for a successful 2023 Session of the Texas Annual Conference

Bishop talks about Reinvigorate

Bishop Harvey shares with AC2023 delegates Renew Day 3 of AC2023
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