January 31, 2023
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, this year’s Men’s Conference is February 23-25. This event will be at Messiah’s Ranch outside of Bryan and has a theme of “Regenerate”. The registration fee is $150 per person. Speakers will be Roy Harris and Aaron Harris (father and son, and longtime FWB 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 scheduled for May 6 at Connect Church in Montgomery. 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 15-17 also at Messiah’s Ranch outside of Bryan. 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 29-30. The theme for the retreat is “Broken Vessels”. More details will be released as they are finalized.
TWAC has agreed to help sponsor our Texas students who are attending E-TEAM (Katelyn Ferguson) and Truth & Peace (Elizabeth Dickey). 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 TWAC for more information.
The CE Board is also making plans and considering options for the Youth Retreat, the Men’s Conference, a Couple’s Conference, and other possible activities for 2024. Details on those events will be announced as they are finalized.
This year’s State Meeting, the 109th Annual Session, will be June 7-8 (Wednesday-Thursday) at Connect Church in Montgomery. Our keynote speaker will be Cory Thompson, an Oklahoma FWB pastor who will be speaking on the theme of “Preaching for Everyone”. Preliminary lodging arrangements are still being made, 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 Connect Church on June 7-8.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 $233,000 in funds that were given through the State Association in 2022, 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 2023 annual budget of only $25,200, and that includes nearly $7,000 in national association dues that are also pass-through from the districts. The State Office ended 2022 about $500 in the black compared to the beginning of 2022, and we appreciate all those who give to support the State Office as well as our other state and national ministries in the denomination. We also appreciate your continued 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.
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 email@example.com.