Annual Conference 2013

By June 13, 2013Sanctuary, Senior Pastor

Friends, I write to you from the final day of the 2013 session of the Central Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. While there is a lot of routine business that must be cared for, there are also many experiences of learning, worship, inspiration, and celebration. The past three days were great days for our church.

Mark Burrows did a beautiful job directing youth and young adult choir made up of singers from seven congregations and Texas Wesleyan University.More than twenty of the singers were from our church.

Casey Langley and our church were recognized for our role in bringing Dr. Kenda Dean to Fort Worth to be our conference teacher.

First Church was recognized for our ministries of outreach.We were recognized for the appointment of Lance Marshall to being a new worshipping community in West Seventh area and Lance was recognized as a new church start pastor as part of a presentation for which he wrote the script and which he narrated.

Darcy Deupree, who is our church lay leader, our district lay leader and chair of our Board of Stewards received the prestigious Morris Walker Award, which recognizes the “above and beyond” service of lay and clergy to their local church, community and conference.

This, by the way, is the third year in a row someone from First Church has received the award: Page Hines received it in 2011 and Bliss Dodd in 2012.

Jim Terry’s retirement was recognized and Jim’s retirement speech was vintage Jim Terry–delighting the delegates with his quick wit. Kent Kilbourne, who served on our staff a number of years ago, also retired at this annual conference.You may be aware that Kent is recovering from cancer treatment and surgery. We were all delighted to hear Kent’s retirement speech read in which he reported that he is cancer-free and recovering well. Gena Anderson chaired and hosted the Perkins School of Theology Alumni Breakfast.

The Conference unanimously voted to receive La Trinidad United Methodist Church into our Annual Conference from the Rio Grande Annual Conference.Rev.Chuck Graff will be serving as interim pastor there on a half-time basis from July 28 through November 17.What an honor for the bishop to ask Chuck, who is bilingual, to serve in this way and what an opportunity for our church to yet again serve in outreach to the north side as we partner with that congregation in support of the Diamond Hill mission.

It is a joy to experience all the many ways we are in service and all the wonderful people involved in our church and beyond our church in ministry.

Grace and Peace,



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