July/ August 2018  NEWSLETTER

Northwest District 

 Of The United Methodist Church



"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Mark 10:45

From our District Superintendent

Marlin Fenn




Summer is a busy time.  There is really not much break in the life of the church during the summer.  Even though some Bible studies take a break, and some programs find some rest, our missions, children’s and youth ministries crank up.  It’s also a time to plan the year ahead. I hope you will find some time to let your spirit be refreshed though.  If you get some vacation, enjoy it and be safe.  If this is not when you can take some time away, be conscious of your spiritual needs and find a way to stay fresh.

I am very excited about the start of a new congregation in Tyler. Emigdio Rosales and his wife Sucel are leading a new ministry targeting the growing Hispanic community in Tyler.  Keep them in your prayers and read Doug Baker’s article about them in this newsletter.  This new faith community is long overdue. Emigdio brings an excitement and joy to our ministry together and you will want to hear about his ministry as it grows.

There are a number of pastors in new appointments this summer.  At the picnic August 25 we will honor those in new appointments. Here is a list of pastors in new congregations in our district this summer:


Michael Peschke to Lindale

Trey Comstock to Palestine Grace 

Ed Fisher to Malakoff

Erin Muckleroy to Van

Beverly Woodard to Hawkins Circuit

Mike Fraley adds Brushy Creek to Frankston First

John Thomas to Carroll Springs

Allyson Penny to Payne Springs

Dan Vickers to Winona

Chuck Bratz to Mt. Vernon/Neches

Michael McDonald to Tyler Dayspring Associate






Northwest District Office

324 West Elm Street
Tyler, TX 75702
Office : 903.593.1861
Fax: 903.593.0074


Rev. Marlin Fenn
District Superintendent
Martie Belt
District Administrator
Taryn Brannen
Administrative Assistant

Remember to check out the District Website for News & Updates

Texas Annual Conference Website

Cross Connection





Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


Tyler has received a great blessing.  The appointment of Pastor Emigdio Rosales to start a new United Methodist Congregation in Tyler is a great contribution to the work of God’s Kingdom growth, especially in the Hispanic community.  Pastor Rosales and his wife Sucel, along with their children Daniel and Caleb, arrived in Tyler on June 6th and have literally hit the ground running.  A week into his ministry here, he made the front page of the Tyler Morning Telegraph blessing an ambulance with other community leaders for a Guatemalan city.  That same evening, he attended a dinner party at my home to meet some of the Marvin leaders who have helped raise support for his ministry budget.  He has also been making home visitations in the neighborhood around the St. Paul’s Children’s Foundation and has been leading Bible studies and meeting people in Andrew’s Park.  Today, CBS news is interviewing him about the new church.

Last Sunday, Emigdio and Sucel were introduced to the Marvin congregation during our worship services.  We also held a Sunday School class where Emigdio was able to show pictures of his previous church assignments and his ministry upbringing in Cuba.  He answered questions about his ministry plans for this community and spoke of his spiritual gifts and ministry passions.  His presence energized our congregation and reminded them of the plentiful harvest that awaits cultivation.


I thank God for connectional church and for efforts being made by our Annual Conference to reach our neighbors.  This is the first Hispanic church plant for east Texas, and I hope that there will be more to come.


As a church, we are working hard to leverage our networking, our resources, and our lay leadership to help Emigdio get off to a great start. 


Marvin Church has taken the lead on this project to commit $100,000 for the operating expenses of the Iglesia Vida Abundante.  I would like to challenge the churches of the District to match this amount collectively. 


Together, we can help launch this new ministry venture and give Emigdio the resources necessary to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.


Thanks in advance for the help.  Contributions can be sent to the District Office identified as “New Church Start.”


God’s best for your ministries,



Northwest District Annual Clergy Family Picnic

Saturday August 25th, 2018
10:00 am- 1:00 pm
Bullard UMC, 204 S Rather St Bullard, TX 75757

Come for a day of fellowship! Let's welcome all New Pastors and their families in the Northwest District. 


**Saturday, September 8, 2018@ 9:00 am (snacks provided) Athens FUMC

**Sunday, September 9, 2018@ 3:00 pm (meal provided) Mineola FUMC

**Monday, September 10, 2018@ 8:30 am (snacks provided) Marvin UMC

Save the Dates!

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TYLER -      Being held at Marvin UMC
                    October 15th @10:00

MINEOLA -  Being held at Mineola First UMC                  
                     October 15th @ 10:00

ATHENS -   Being held at Athens First UMC                     
                    October 16th @ 10:00

PALESTINE - Being held at Palestine First UMC                       
                       October 16th @ 2:00

**Please note that all September meetings have been cancelled.

Bishop Scott Jones District Visit

August 14, 2018

Table Talk with Bishop Scott Jones

Conversations on The Way Forward
Join with others in The Texas Annual Conference to learn more about the future of The United Methodist Church at “Table Talk with Bishop Scott Jones, conversations on The Way Forward.” Separate sessions will be held for clergy and laity in all nine districts from August 11-23, 2018, but participants may attend either session.
Those in attendance should expect to gain a solid understanding of the three plans that will be presented as options at the special session of the General Conference in February 2019. After Bishop Jones’ presentation, Table Talk participants will have the opportunity to collaborate on questions for a Q&A session.
In July, the report of the Commission on a Way Forward and the Council of Bishops will be shared on our website: https://www.txcumc.org/thewayforward.
We look forward to seeing you in a district Table Talk with Bishop Scott Jones.

Dayspring UMC

Lunch Provided               
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Please RSVP by August 6th, 2018

All Laity
Refreshments Provided
7 :00 pm - 8:30 pm

Candidacy Summit 


Candidacy Summit is a multi-day event during which all Conference
candidates for licensed and ordained ministry entering Exploring Phase of candidacy receive accurate information about the entire candidacy process; begin meeting together in small groups with trained Exploring Mentors' and have an opportunity to worship, share their call stories, and take required psychological tests.




CLT/DLT Training Event

November 15, 2018
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
First UMC Livingston

Catered, no cost to participants

July 4 - Office Closed
July 8-13 - N/NW District Camp at Lakeview
July 18-19 - CPIP Reflection Retreat @ Camp Allen
July 18-23 - Laos Mission Week
July 21 - NW Laos Mission Week -
Nacogdoches FUMC
August 3-4 - Candidacy Summit @ Camp Allen in Navasota
August 7-Nominations Committee Meeting 10 AM at Marvin UMC
August 7- Finance Committee Meeting 1 PM @ Marvin UMC
August 14- Bishop Jones Visit at Dayspring UMC
August 25 - NW District Picnic at Bullard UMC
September 3 - Labor Day Office Closed
September 10 - Tour De TAC (Bicycle Tour Meeting) @Henderson FUMC
September 17-18-Clergy Gathering 2018 @ Lakeview
October 2-4 - Retired Clergy & Spouses Retreat
October 8 - Tour De TAC ( Bicycle Tour Meeting)- Livingston FUMC
November 12-14 - DAA Training Event in Lufkin
November 15 - CLT & DLT Joint Training Event
December 24- January 1 - Office Closed
January 3 - Early Report Day
January 7 - Report Day
Youth & Young Adult
There is a new web space for young people in the TAC - txumcyoung.space
This has information about our events , opportunities, trainings, forms, and more!
Eddie Erwin
Director of Youth and Young Adults TAC eerwin@txcumc.org

July 2 - 14 - TX Youth Academy 2018 @ Wiley College
July 15-25 - Global Young People's Convocation- South Africa

September 8-9 -  Ichthus 9th Grade Retreat @Camp Cho- Yeh
September 17-22 -  Youth Worker Spiritual Retreat Cruise
Nov 9-11 - The BIG Event 6th Grade Retreat @Camp Cho-Yeh

You can always check the District website for upcoming events.  Just click the link below:

The United Methodist Church of Laos includes 60 pastors and churches, some of these being house churches and most of them led by pastors who are farmers. I am pleased to serve as their bishop as well as yours.
The Texas Annual Conference does not have any official partnerships with international mission work. Instead, we encourage local churches to develop those partnerships and nurture them through prayer, mission trips, and financial support.
I have invited four of our missionaries from Laos to visit our conference July 18-23. As part of Laos Mission Week, they will connect with their supporting churches, visit other churches as invited for sharing their stories, and participate in Sunday worship with local congregations. In addition, we will offer convocations on the evening of July 19 in Houston and the morning of July 21 in East Texas.
If you are interested in extending an invitation to our friends,
Please contact Christine Riggle, criggle@txcumc.org, who will be scheduling the visits.
More details on Laos Mission Week will be shared on our website, through social media, and in another email.
Scott J Jones

We had a number of random items brought to us at Lost and Found during Annual Conference at the Woodlands:

Descriptions of items


  • Picture 1 – Small bible with “Mavis Lin” engraved on cover
  • Pictures 2 and 8 – 4 ‘reader’ glasses
  • Picture 2 – clip on sunglasses
  • Picture 3 – gold bracelet and heart pin left on badge when turned in
  • Picture 4 – small heart ring left in one of the restrooms at the sink & one earing
  • Picture 5 – money clip – money included
  • Picture 6 – tiny Vivitar camera in blue bag
  • Picture 7 – lock
  • Picture 8 – prescription lens

**All remaining items will get donated to Good Will/Salvation Army in August

Our Office Street Address Has Changed.
Be Sure And Have Your Churches Update Their Records So That All Correspondence And Funds Will Be Received.

Our Correct Mailing AND

Physical Address Is:


TYLER, TX 75702

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Wesley House is a residence hall located in the heart of the Tyler Junior College campus and operated by the United Methodist Church.  Located next door to Campus Safety and across from the Rogers Student Center, Wesley House serves as home to as many as 80 women and men.  It is a Christian environment with opportunities for Bible study, worship, and fellowship.  The staff includes an ordained minister and several Christian leaders, including Christian resident assistants and a community director.

FREE LUNCH TUESDAY!Image result for lunch special
Lunch is served free to students of Tyler Junior College from 11am to 1pm on Tuesdays, as an outreach ministry of Wesley House.  As many as 200 students a week will come to eat lunch, receive scripture cards, fellowship and participate in lunch time Bible studies.



 It costs approximately $300 per week to sustain this ministry.  Contribute all or part of that amount by sending a check to Wesley House, earmarked “Tuesday Lunch.”
Cook a warm meal!  Students love receiving hot meals prepared just for them!   Popular menu items include chili, fried chicken, and pasta.  Bring your meal ready to serve with all needed paper goods.  Enjoy interaction with students as you serve!  Contact Wesley House to schedule your special Tuesday!
Send cookies!  Homemade cookies are always welcome!  Students love receiving them!  Approximately 32 dozen cookies are needed for the students, and an extra dozen for the staff would be great!  Contact Wesley House to let us know when you can supply cookies!  Include info on your church, worship times and programs that would appeal to college age students in your cookie packs!

Cash contributions to cover the cost of cardstock and printing of scripture cards are welcome.  These cards contain a scripture passage, a welcome statement, contact information for prayer support, and the schedule of activities at Wesley House for the week.  They invite students to participate in these activities.
Your support of this important outreach to college students will be most appreciated!

Rev. Dr. Sunny Farley
Director and Campus Minister                                                                                                                                      
903-592-3866   www.tylerwesleyhouse.com
1400 E. Lake Street, Tyler, TX 75701 


Episcopal Address: The Main Thing

Bishop Scott Jones anchored his Episcopal Address with Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16. This passage, which the Bishop asserted has weighed heavily on his heart as of late, challenges Believers to live lives of love, unity and maturity as the Body of Christ.”
“As United Methodist Christians,” the Bishop said, “the main thing is our mission. We were not born out of doctrinal disagreement but out of a deep compassion for people in the suburbs in England who were not being reached for the gospel.” He reminded the attendees of the United Methodist Church’s mission statement: “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

The Bishop assured listeners that the Book of Discipline not only clearly states the mission of the United Methodist Church, it provides clear and concise instructions on how to achieve that end. From Ephesians 4, the Bishop highlighted “four words to live by:” Love, Unity, Truth, and Ministry. He admonished the gathering to cling to these principles and “Keep the main thing the main thing.”

In his exposition on the role of “Love” in the Texas Annual Conference, the Bishop began by reminding the conference attendees of some of their successes in both Harvey recovery efforts and in ministry to children under the Bishop’s “We Love All God’s Children Initiative.” He challenged the Texas Conference to continue to seek new and creative ways to participate in the initiative.

In regards to “Unity,” the Bishop expressed deep sadness over the division within the UMC, and warned that true unity was not possible apart from adherence to the rules of the Book of Discipline. He challenged the Conference to faithfully join him in continuing to “Pray Our Way Forward.”

As the Bishop reflected on the third word, “Truth,” he repeated Paul’s challenge to “speak the truth in love,” (Ephesians 4:15). Rather than avoid one another during time of conflict, the Bishop urged members in disagreement with each other to spend more time together. We must approach each other in “convicted humility,” the Bishop said, and avoid the pitfalls of demonizing one another or speaking in anger.

In conclusion, the Bishop encouraged both laity and clergy to focus on “Ministry.” “The most important thing we can remember in difficult times,” said the Bishop, “is that we are not in this alone. It is God who is doing the work of saving the world.”

EMERGING LEADERS ENDOWMENT ~ (Letter from Bishop Jones)
I often say that the three most important factors in a vibrant, healthy congregation are leadership, leadership, and leadership. Lay leader-ship is crucial, and we are working at developing the best laity we can. But laity tell me that the quality of their pastor is also very important.

I am very proud that the Texas Annual Conference has a process for investing in young clergy leadership. The median age of active United Methodist clergy in our conference is 54 years old, which does not fare well for our churches in the next decade. The goal of the Emerging Leaders Initiative is to create a new generation of the United Methodist clergy for the future of the Texas Annual Conference. Thanks to the generous donors of the permanent endowment fund like Moody Methodist Permanent Endowment Fund, we currently have $5 million to identify, recruit, train, and support clergy across all our districts. But we still have a long way to go. As your Bishop, I thank you for supporting this effort in the past, and I am asking you to look to the future as well. Please consider ways to contribute to this fund to make sure the next generation of United Methodist leaders are within reach for our denomination.

Grace and peace, Bishop Scott J. Jones

ELE works to attract, encourage & develop young people on their journey to ministry.  Your church is encouraged to use special offering opportunities to contribute towards the endowment.
Please make checks payable to : Heartspring Methodist Foundation, memo ELE #44480 and mail  to:
Emerging Leaders Endowment
Texas Annual Conference The United Methodist Church
5215 Main Street Houston, TX 77002

Image result for hurricane harvey relief

Texas Conference Established Three Regional Offices
The Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church has established three new regional offices and a new URL for Hurricane Harvey. The regional offices are being funded by a grant from United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and are in Houston, Lake Jackson and Beaumont. More information can be found at  
www.txrecovers.org on how to reach the regional offices and how to donate to hurricane victims or be on a work team.
“We still have thousands in our communities who have hurricane related damage. To be connected to one of our three regional offices, just fill out the forms at
www.txrecovers.org and one of our project coordinators will be in touch with you by phone or email,” says Scott Moore, Mission Center Executive Director.
The conference has raised over 1.5 million for hurricane recovery, but we still have a long way to go, Moore explains. And to do that The United Methodist Churches in the Texas Conference have been running social media, newspaper, radio and billboard ads throughout the Fall months. Money for the advertising was given by a generous grant from United Methodist Communications and other generous donors.
The ad reads:  Headlines fade. Water recedes, we’ll still be there. It will take years to clean up the destruction from Hurricane Harvey, but we will continue to work side-by-side with survivors until they are on their feet. 100 percent of your donations goes directly to recovery efforts. Every bit of it. Txrecovers.org 1-833-TX-RECOV
The ads will be supported by posters, and a magazine, which every church and stakeholder will be receiving this week. Each piece is designed to create awareness, but also drive people to the website to give so we can continue rebuilding.
“While we are enjoying the holidays in our comfortable homes with family this year, there are still thousands of people whose homes are in disarray,” says Director of Communications Shannon W. Martin. “If everyone who sees and hears this message will just give a little something back, it will make a significant impact on the lives of those who lost everything.”
# # #

This is the information on www.txrecovers.org

The Texas Annual Conference has established three regional offices to help with Texas Recovers. If you need help please  contact us below to submit a form requesting assistance. Someone will contact you as soon as they can. 

Houston Office
Karen Preston-Fernandez

Lake Jackson Office
Rachel Brownlie

Beaumont Office
Linda Buser