Observations and learnings from respected leaders committed to innovation and improved outcomes.
Our TMF blog shares stories and essays inspired by our purpose: to help individuals, families, congregations and like-minded organizations achieve their God-inspired potential.
Rev. Dr. Edgar Bazan, Senior Pastor, Casa Linda UMC
September 15 marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, recognizing contributions and presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans and celebrating their heritage, culture and positive impact on our country and communities. TMF invited Rev. Dr. Edgar Bazan, a United Methodist minister in the North Texas Conference, to reflect and share his experience and insights as a Mexican immigrant to the United States. Dr. Bazan is Senior Pastor at Casa Linda UMC in Dallas. He holds a Doctorate of Ministry from Asbury Theological Seminary and master of divinity from Southern Methodist University.
A Conversation with Krystol Wheeler - Leader, Communicator of Values and Culture
For more than a decade, Krystol Wheeler embraced all duties as assigned in her career trajectory at the former Heartspring Methodist Foundation, which formally merged with TMF in January 2019. Now as TMF Director of Strategic Initiatives, she’s a right hand to employees and clients to ensure a smooth transition to the new, larger organization serving churches throughout Texas and New Mexico.
It has been two years since Harvey made landfall, but the storm was so traumatic and far reaching that some people in Houston and surrounding areas still suffer from “rainxiety” – the fear that flooding like Harvey will happen again – every time the rain falls. As real as these fears are to residents, their resilience is every bit as persistent. When Harvey was at its worst, one-third of Houston was underwater, and total damage following the storm was estimated at $125 billion. For Kingwood UMC, Harvey meant more than 130 of their families were impacted, as were community schools and businesses.
TMF is more than just a foundation; it’s a trusted organization with staff who truly go the extra mile for their donors. Helen Crews, a TMF donor, investor, and longtime Methodist, believes this as much as anyone. As a young bride, Helen began attending the United Methodist Church with her husband, George, a lifelong Methodist. She was drawn to the church because of their social outreach, but they did not become active church members immediately.
According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Houston takes first place in Texas for least-affordable housing for the lowest income renters, based on population size. It is a prize most cities wouldn’t want to win. With only 19 affordable and available rental units for every 100 households of the most precarious economic demographic, Houston is far below the national average.
“I want to help the church do something so wonderful, it’s obvious God’s work is in action,” said Ellen “Pinky” Snow when asked about desired outcomes for her endowment to support local mission work through the First United Methodist Church in Angleton, Texas.
by Betsie McClimans, Mercy Street Program Director, Community Care, as told to TMF
Betsie McClimans is the program director of community care at Mercy Street Church, a worship community that is affiliated with Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston and is in partnership with Santa Maria Hostel. She explains how their relationship with TMF Grants Ministries supports their innovative outreach to women in recovery using art.
by Dr. Tony McCollum, Senior Pastor, Cypress UMC
In August 2017, our congregation embraced a new mission statement after two years of prayerful reflection and intentional conversation. We confidently declared that Cypress UMC is in ministry to “build bridges and create community that connects people to Jesus’ life-giving story.” Then Hurricane Harvey made landfall and wrought destruction on our neighbors and thousands of others.
by John Thornburg, TMF V.P. of Area Staff
There’s nothing quite so evocative for story telling as the act of looking at a family photo album. Pictures capture milestones in the life of a family, or memories of a treasured trip with a friend or loved one. They capture moments of pain and poignancy, moments of decision, and times of resignation, resolve and resilience.
by Justin Gould, TMF Vice President of Foundation Relations
Charitable contributions to TMF have enormous potential to transform lives, churches, and communities. While the impact of donor support can be observed most prominently in Texas and New Mexico, our reach is increasingly global. As donors consider an ever expanding breadth of charitable opportunities they must remain mindful of recent changes in the tax laws.
Interviewer: When TMF Area Representatives are asked to assist churches, whether it is with generosity, purpose, or something in between, what guides your work? Richard: TMF Area Representatives have a set of seven stances that truly guide our work with churches.