A Letter from Lynne
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January 18, 2017, 8:50 AM

New Year, New President, New Blog

We had an awesome Central Texas Conference United Methodist Women Leadership Team meeting on Saturday, January 14. With your permission I’ll shorten that to CTC UMW Leadership Team. We met at my home church- First United Methodist Church of Red Oak. The thing about Leadership Team meetings for the CTC UMW is that no matter where we meet, someone is going to have to drive a LONG way!! But, for this meeting, our first since I became president, it wasn’t me. (I’ll get my turn to drive at the next two meetings in Hillsboro and Burleson.)

 

At this meeting, we got to know each other. First we simply introduced ourselves and told where we were from and what position we held. 

 

Our Spiritual Growth Advocate Beth Dorcas shared a response Moment, the Prayer Calendar and a devotional. Beth always inspires me with her ability to bring our Prayer Calendar birthday ladies and gentlemen, mission places and projects to life. In doing that, she enables us to pray even more fervently for each of them.

 

Then Billie Ray, our Membership Nurture and Outreach Chair, led us in a wonderful team building exercise. Think of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, but instead envision 26 women in pairs massaging lotion into hands- some young and smooth, others older, more wrinkled, even calloused in places. As we anointed each other, we prayed for each other. This was very moving to me. Taking a minute to focus on each other, to experience the closeness of touch and mutual prayer, is often lacking in our busy lives. I recommend it to you!

 

I shared some “How To’s” for our Leadership Team, encouraging each member to lead by example, to use and promote UMW resources, to communicate with each other, with their district peers and local leaders and members. I asked them to offer the gift of their presence at conference, district and local events and urged them to spend time with God, nurturing their spirits and praying for the work of UMW.

 

Those of us who attended Leadership Development at St. Louis or Tempe shared our experiences. One of the true gifts to leaders is the opportunity to participate in UMW programs at the national level. We were educated and inspired and hope to be better leaders as a result. Those attending this year were Charlotte Rabbe, Betty Foster, Natalie McKnight, Rebecca Lucas, Billie Ray, Vickie Berry, Rita Handley and me. If you run into one of us, ask about Leadership Development Days. There’s a lot to tell!

 

The district presidents were asked to share one thing that their district leadership teams will be doing to assist local UMW groups. They also updated us on their spring program plans. I won’t be able to attend all of them, but I hope to see you at least once at one of your district meetings this year! I’ll be at Lighthouse Fellowship with the North District UMW on January 21 for their program on maternal health.

 

We are SOOO excited to welcome Deaconess Megan Hale to our team! She serves as a member on the National UMW Program Advisory Group and is a delight. She shared her experiences at the training meeting she attended in Houston. She is our liaison to National UMW and welcomes your ideas to share with our national leaders. Contact her at megbeth18@hotmail.com.

 

Planning for 2017 programs is a major part of your CTC UMW Leadership Team’s job. We are excited about the upcoming Charter for Racial Justice Event: Sing-a-Rainbow on February 4, at Action UMC. Our Social Action Chair, Rebecca Lucas has arranged for 3 speakers on the topic of Maternal Child Health- focusing on the extreme needs in Texas. I hope to see you there. Please register online so our hostesses can be prepared. http://ctcumw.org/page/singarainbow

 

We spent some time discussing Silent Auctions. We will have 2 silent auctions this year to benefit our mission giving. The first one will be at Sing-a-Rainbow. The second will be at the Autumn Gathering in October. There will not be an auction at the Spiritual Growth Retreat. All of the funds raised by silent auctions go to our mission giving.

 

Speaking of the Annual Autumn Gathering, the calendar for that event has CHANGED! We will be combining our Leadership Development for district leaders with the Autumn Gathering. Both will be on October 7 at Killeen FUMC. By doing this, the conference will save over $3000 which can be sent to missions instead. The program theme will be on economic justice. We will worship, conduct business and participate in the program in the morning. We will then share lunch, and after lunch we will have break out sessions for District leadership training, and additional program presentations and a hands on mission project for those who are not district leaders. It will be a great day of learning and action. Put it on your calendar NOW!

 

The great thing about leadership team meetings is the encouragement we give and get. After the meeting, my “To-Do” list is way longer, but I am always excited about the possibilities and the promise that I see in our CTC UMW, our districts and each of our members.

 

Blessed to serve with you,


Lynne




September 2, 2016, 4:39 PM

Fall 2016

Have you ever been told, probably as a child, that busy hands are happy hands? If that’s true, many of United Methodist Women’s hands must be absolutely giddy with joy. We have many opportunities to serve, to bake, to clean, to care for and to love others with our hands. Many of us stay active at home, at church, at work, volunteering and caring for others. The list is endless. Yes, we wear many hats and yet how fortunate we are to be able to help in all these ways. United Methodist Women’s local organizations are blessed with women who exhibit creativity, ingenuity, energy and a loving spirit who truly make a difference in their communities and in the world. God bless you for all your efforts.

I hope that you will take time to gather your United Methodist Women friends early in the morning of October 1st and travel to First UMC Brownwood for the 44th Annual Autumn Gathering. The welcoming ladies of First UMC Brownwood and Brownwood District will make it worth your while. We’ll have a wonderful time together. An informative and interesting program has been planned with the theme “Stewards of the Earth.” So come and enjoy. The district and conference officers will already be there since they are coming Friday evening by 5:30pm for the Leadership Development Event. I’m looking forward to seeing you in Brownwood. Until then, “May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his face and grant you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

Linda Hutchings, President

Central Texas Conference

United Methodist Women




April 11, 2016, 9:29 AM

A Time for Everything

“For everything there is a season,

and a time for every matter under heaven;” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Winter has passed and spring has sprung. The Legislative Event in Austin in January and Sing-a-Rainbow in February hosted by the remarkable ladies of Alvarado UMC have also passed. These events were most enlightening and mind-expanding. In March we were spiritually renewed and replanted with Rev. Marilyn Jones at the relaxing location of Camp Arrowhead.

“a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;” Ecclesiastes 3:2

Close friends have had new grandbabies born while others have lost loved ones. Yet our lives and our love continue. During the warm weather at the end of January I planted onions, beets and radishes. Easter Sunday we enjoyed the first spring onions and I have picked and eaten all 12 radishes that have peeked their red heads up from the warming earth.

“a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn and a time to dance;…

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;” Ecclesiastes 3:4, 5b

April 30 will be a day of great joy! Teens ages 13 – 18 will gather from 10am to 2pm at Red Oak UMC for a time of zumba, UMW 101 fun, physical (food) and spiritual nourishment and great fellowship. They’re even encouraged to bring an item or two of clothing that can be donated to a worthy agency. Gather the young women you know and love and come and join us April 30 at 600 Daubitz, Red Oak, TX 75154.

“a time to seek, a time to lose;

a time to keep and a time to throw away;” Ecclesiastes 3:6

May 21 is the day to gather the troops from 9am to noon to help clean and freshen Poly United Community Center at 3100 Ave. I, Fort Worth, TX 76105 as we help them prepare for their summer enrichment program. Each weekday from 7am to 6pm this summer they will provide for boys and girls ages 4 to 16 a time for fun, field trips, educational and social development and care in a Christian loving environment. Each day the children will be served 3 hot meals and 2 snacks. So if you want to bring paper plates, cups and napkins, I know they will be greatly appreciated. I hope to see many of you, especially those in the North and East Districts, at the CTC UMW Workday at Poly United Community Center as we roll up our sleeves and work together for a common cause. Special recognition will be given to the local UMW organization with the most participants.

“a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;” Ecclesiastes 3:7b

Lastly, Tuesday, June 7, at noon in the Brazos Room of the Waco Convention Center is the UMW Luncheon at Annual Conference. Several speakers have been secured. Celia Esparza will give highlights of United Community Centers and two other speakers will share information on Human Trafficking, one of whom has personal experience dealing with the horrors of human trafficking. Let us all be united in our efforts to be informed and work for an end to this tragedy.

Thank you for supporting your local, district and conference United Methodist Women with your prayers, your presence, your service and your gifts. Looking forward to seeing you this spring and on August 5-7 at Mission u at Glen Lake Camp.

Blessings, Grace and Peace to each of you as we live and cherish the words of Ecclesiastes 3:1-7.

Linda Hutchings

CTC UMW President

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April 6, 2016, 5:08 PM

Best Wishes for an Amazing New Year!

2016 is already here.

Best wishes to you and all you hold dear.

I wish you good health and happiness too,

 A closer walk with Christ in this year that’s so new.

Hold your sisters in Christ so near and dear,

Be active in mission and keep the vision clear.

Work for peace in a kind and loving way

And keep a smile on your face as you greet each and every day.

 

I hope each of you are off to a running start to get organized and put into place a plan that will help you meet your goals in this new year. We’ve many things scheduled to help make this 2016 year and memorable and fabulous one.

First is the UMW Legislative Event in Austin January 24 – 26. The planning team, under the leadership of Cynthia Rives, has planned and worked all year. They are striving to make this event exciting and informative. I’m sure you don’t want to miss the speakers, the lively discussions, as well as the mind-expanding knowledge you’ll receive. One of my friends went for the first time last year and thought it was so terrific that she’s bringing her daughter this year. Find an interested friend and come together. You’ll be glad you did.

February 20 is the date of the Racial Charter Event, Sing-a-Rainbow, at First UMC Alvarado, just east of I-35W. The theme this year is “For Such a Time as This.” The topic is mass incarceration, one of the new UMW priorities for this quadrennium, 2016 - 2019. There is no charge for this event but be sure to bring some delicious “comfort food” to share. There will be a silent auction for missions if you’d like to bring and item or two and UMW resources will also be available. So put this date on your calendar and plan on attending.

Spring will be bursting with activity including the Spiritual Growth Retreat titled “Replanted: A Truly Happy Person” in a new setting at Camp Arrowhead just west of Cleburne March 11-12. The spiritual leader is Rev. Marilyn Jones, senior pastor at Meadowbrook UMC. The Pursuit of Happiness was the spiritual growth study last summer and this event will build upon the happiness theme. Come and be prepared to be happy! 

April 15 – 17 is the South Central Jurisdiction Quadrennial meeting in Oklahoma City. The theme is “A Fresh Wind Blowing.” National leaders and speakers will be enriching the lives of those who attend. Start saving now so you can join us for this thrilling jurisdictional event.

Stay safe and choose to be happy.

Linda Hutchings, President, Central Texas Conference United Methodist Wome




November 23, 2015, 5:14 PM

Give thanks with a grateful heart!

Blessings to each of you during this season of giving thanks. I wish each of you a wonderful week – a time to pause, to celebrate with family and friends and to count your blessings.

 

I’d like to remind you of another upcoming celebration – the ACT III Christmas party for 60 of the ACT III teens of United Community Centers. ACT III stands for Awareness Changes Tomorrow. This celebration takes place at the Poly Center on December 8th. If you live in or near the Fort Worth or Mid-Cities area we’d love for you to attend and participate.

 

The evening will begin at 5:30pm with dinner. Then we’ll have toe-tapping entertainment provided by the Vanderveer Brothers and their style of fun, old-time music. These four talented young men play the hammer dulcimers, guitar, fiddle, banjo, piano, mandolin and pennywhistles. Come and be amazed! Next will be a surprising group game, followed by individual gifts for the teens organized by Charlotte Everett and provided by the UMW of FUMC Euless. The evening will end with the long anticipated and delicious cookie walk.

 

This is where we need your help. Please ask your UMW friends, whom I know are great cooks, to bring cookies to the Poly Community Center on Dec. 8 for the cookie walk for the ACT III teens. Remember we’re anticipating 60 teens. If you can, please stay for dinner, the entertainment and the surprises that follow. Any way you can participate would be greatly appreciated. Again, Happy Thanksgiving. Stay safe and be blessed to be a blessing.

 

Grace and Peace,

Linda Hutchings

CTC UMW President

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