January 31, 2022
Greetings from the State Office and the Executive Board!
I hope your year is off to a good start. We have just wrapped up our annual All Boards Meeting, and in addition to the details of the State Meeting provided later in this update, we have several other dates and events that you need to be aware of:
As announced previously, the rescheduled date for the Men’s Retreat is March 4-5. This event, rescheduled from last fall, will be at Lakehills Church in Cedar Park and has a theme of “Service”, with a cost is $25 per person. Speakers will be John Bivens and Wes Hood, and there will be a love offering taken for the orphanage in Mexico where John Bivens ministers. More details (and a registration link) are available in the flyer sent out last week from the CE Board.
The Ministry Expo (aka CTS Youth Competition) is tentatively scheduled for May 14 at Connect Church in Woodforest, coinciding with the May quarterly meeting of the Central Texas District Association. Entry forms for all entries need to be received by March 31. Contact Teressa Voltz to submit entry forms and to ask any competition-related questions.
The State Youth Retreat is scheduled for June 17-20 at Highland Lakes Camp in Spicewood, near Austin. More details will be sent out in the near future with information on registration, speakers, activities, and other arrangements.
TWAC has planned a Ladies’ Retreat for September 30-October 1 at Lakehills Church. The theme for the retreat is “Service”. More details will be released as they are finalized.
Both TWAC and the CE Board have agreed to sponsor our Texas students who are attending Truth & Peace (Katelyn Ferguson, Elisa Howell, and Kadence Penner) and those who are members of this year’s E-TEAM program (Katelyn Ferguson and Thomas Wilhite). If you have students in one of these programs that are not listed above, please contact the boards as soon as possible to include them in the support. If you would like to add your financial support to any of these students, you can also contact one of the boards for more information.
This year’s State Meeting, the 108th Annual Session, will be June 8-9 (Wednesday-Thursday) at First Church in Duncanville. We appreciate the congregation at Duncanville being willing to shift their plans forward one year, after originally volunteering to host the 2021 meeting. Our keynote speaker will be Daniel Webster, a faculty member at Welch College and a Tennessee pastor, who will be speaking on the theme of “Declare His Glory: Worship and the Mission of the Church”. Preliminary lodging arrangements have been made at a nearby hotel for this meeting, so we’ll be sharing information on how to make reservations, along with the specific schedule, as we confirm the details, but we are looking forward to a great event and a time of fellowship, worship, and business at Duncanville on June 8-9.
We continue to see a variety of news items, announcements, and thoughtful articles coming through the Texas Challenge blog site (https://texaschallenge.net/), and we are appreciative of Kyle and Beth Howell keeping us informed. New posts appear on the blog site, in your e-mail inbox (if you subscribe to the updates), and on the Texas State Association of Free Will Baptists Facebook page. You can also visit the blog site at any time to see stories that have been posted previously and to sign up for e-mail updates. If you have news items to share, please contact Kyle at email@example.com.
Also, an item you will soon see more about in the Challenge is the financial situation at the State Office. While many of you are aware, it is useful to periodically remind our districts, churches, and people that the State Office operates on giving that is specifically designated to the State Office. The annual treasurer’s report shows all of the giving by our churches through the State Office to a wide variety of missionaries, colleges, and ministries across our denomination, and we are grateful for the nearly $210,000 in funds that were given through the State Association in 2021, but most of that giving is pass-through; that is, only the funds that are designated for the State Office stay at the State Office. The State Office has a 2022 annual budget of only $27,700, and that includes nearly $8,000 in national association dues that are also pass-through from the districts. The State Office ended 2021 about $800 in the red compared to the beginning of 2021, and while the funds were on hand to cover that shortfall, it is not a practice we want to see turn into a trend. We would appreciate your help in beginning or renewing your churches’ and districts’ support of the State Office in your giving, either through the state cooperative giving plan or direct designations to the State Office. Please contact us if you have questions or need more information.
The poster below contains the dates of The Together Way offerings for the year at the national level. Note that the months for offerings have changed from previous years, so become familiar with these dates to be able to plan accordingly. A poster and letter from Executive Secretary Eddie Moody will be mailed to each church in the coming weeks. For more on The Together Way, visit https://nafwb.org/togetherway/.
We offer our typical closing reminder to please visit the State Association website at http://www.texasfwb.org and review your district’s and church’s information in the directory. We want to make sure that the contact information is all up to date. If you see any information that needs to be changed, please send updates and corrections to me at the State Office. Also, we send these quarterly updates to everyone on the State Office e-mail list, but there are surely some who would be interested in receiving the information that we do not have on our list. Pastors, please share these dates, events, and details with your congregation so that everyone can be informed and involved. If someone has forwarded this information to you and you would like to be on the mailing list in the future, please contact us at the e-mail address below.
We appreciate all that you do for Texas Free Will Baptists and for the work of God. As always, you can contact us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.