TMF Blog

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.

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Throwing Away the Box

October 23, 2020

by Leia Williams, TMF Director of Communications

There are people who think outside the box and there are people who throw the box away. The leaders at Rancho Brazos Community Center are proudly the latter. Since 2003 they have offered free after-school programs with a hot meal to underserved neighborhoods in Acton, TX. As they expanded, they offered more services such as hygiene and parenting classes, but their primary service has always been after-school programming. Then COVID-19 hit.

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Creative Urgency

October 19, 2020

by Leia Williams, TMF Director of Communications

At Oak Lawn UMC in Dallas, TX, the pandemic stirred creative solutions that would enable the congregation to continue serving as a refuge even though the physical space of their building could no longer function in that way.

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The Shift to Telehealth

September 17, 2020

by Leia Williams, TMF Director of Communications

On March 17, 2020, the Volunteer Healthcare Clinic ceased face-to-face medical appointments. This TMF grant recipient, known for providing access to healthcare for the working poor and uninsured, realized their space was simply too small to ensure safety for their patients, staff, and volunteers. It was a difficult and necessary decision that could have upended their services without a well-conceived transition plan.

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Reestablishing Youth Ministry

August 31, 2020

Leia Williams, TMF Director of Communications

In some ways, FUMC Sweeny is like so many other United Methodist churches throughout Texas. Its membership is mostly older and has continued to decline. Over the years the church has drawn fewer and fewer younger families, even though the town still has many families to reach. Yet, the church had such a strong spirit and vision that the 75 regular attendees were able to entice Rev. Dr. Arthur Richardson to come out of retirement.

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Pandemic Transitions

August 26, 2020

by Leia Williams, TMF Director of Communications

When they launched in 2001 to address homelessness in Houston, a chronic and overwhelming problem, Crossroads had a clear vision for how they wanted to make an impact. They envisioned a hygiene center that would enable them to provide showers and clothes washing. As they grew, their expanded services included meals and a clothing pantry.

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Questions that Spark Dreams

August 07, 2020

by Leia Williams, TMF Director of Communications

When Rev. Laura Heikes was learning about TMF’s Grant Ministry, Jacki Lammert, the director of grants, left her with one question. If money was not an object, what would you do for the Kingdom of God? It was the kind of question that spurred innovation and excitement. Laura started dreaming about answers and then a surprising thing happened. God brought along resources and people to make one of those dreams possible.

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When the Doors Close, but the Mission Continues

August 06, 2020

by Leia Williams, TMF Director of Communications

For nearly 70 years, Amarillo Community Wesley Center has been serving the most vulnerable people in the heart of the barrio. Since their start, their organization and services had expanded significantly, and their current facility was running at full capacity. If they wanted to serve more people, they would need space to grow, so they began to pray.

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The Best Kind of Neighbor

August 05, 2020

by Leia Williams, TMF Director of Communications

Milby High School’s problem with dropouts is not unique to their school, but their neighbor’s solution is. Mission Mibly sits right between Mibly High School and Deady Middle School. It was founded in 2002 in an effort to improve student lives, giving students the opportunity to see what careers were available to them, if they graduated. Through strategic programs, Mission Milby is ensuring more students cross the graduation stage and have additional opportunities at their fingertips. They are the kind of neighbor every school wants.

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The Power of Ritual is the “How-To” Guide for Reaching the ‘Nones’

August 04, 2020

by Blair Thompson-White, Director of Leadership Ministry

This may be Old News for some, but it has been well documented by historians and scholars that we are experiencing a paradigm shift away from ‘religion as belief’ and towards ‘religion as practice.’

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Filling the Gap

August 03, 2020

by Leia Williams, TMF Director of Communications

With an incredible passion for serving homeless people, the congregation of Christ Church Cathedral in Houston began a new ministry in 2007. Soon, they expanded to provide legal aid, meals, showers, and even housing for formerly incarcerated women. When those services came together, the ministry became its own nonprofit with an enlarged mission and a new name – The Beacon.

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The Furlough Kitchen of Houston

July 06, 2020

by Leia Williams, TMF Director of Communications

“It is not an accident that so many life-changing encounters with Jesus coincide with meals. When we give of ourselves to feed others, God shows up, even if we don’t get the chance to sit at the table with them.” These words belong to Nathan Lonsdale Bledsoe, pastor of St. Stephen’s UMC in Houston. Conceptually, they have shaped his ministry, especially right now.

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Feeding the Hungry in a Global Pandemic

June 17, 2020

by Leia Williams, TMF Director of Communications

When the leaders of El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank applied for a grant from TMF, they envisioned those dollars helping them open a Food FARMacy, where doctors and nurses could send their low-income patients with food-related illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

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