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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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

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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Coming Full Circle

June 03, 2020

by Patti Simmons

Ruben and Alina Esquivel's story began in Cuba, a country torn apart by political upheaval. Their story is a tale of two families who endured the repressive Batista regime and shared in the excitement when Fidel Castro toppled his rule on January 1, 1959, only to experience disillusionment and betrayal.

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Tipping Points

May 13, 2020

by Leia Williams

Tipping points are moments in time when momentum and synergy collide, creating new possibilities – possibilities that can change neighborhoods, communities, and churches.

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Rendle Endowment Empowers Innovation

May 01, 2020

by Leia Williams, TMF Director of Communications

In October, over eighty church leaders, both clergy and lay, came together to explore innovation, courage, and resilience. During the Courageous Leadership Imperative (CLI)’s Launch 2.0, a TMF Leadership Ministry event, church teams from across the South Central Jurisdiction arrived in Little Rock, Arkansas ready to learn and create.

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Listen to the Roving Psalmist

April 08, 2020

by John Thornburg, TMF V.P. of Area Staff

Four words won’t let me go: “I shall not want.” Three other words won’t let me go either: “I lack nothing.”

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One Day at a Time

April 01, 2020

by Tom Locke, TMF President

When uncertain times come, I’ll often catch myself remembering the wisdom of the ancients. Wisdom that comes from experience, from taking a long perspective view. Wisdom born from all the experiences of life – joy and suffering, relationship and isolation.

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God Is With Us and We Are With Each Other

March 23, 2020

Rev. Amy Wilson Feltz, Senior Pastor, St. Paul’s UMC, El Paso

Staring at an empty sanctuary, having just made the decision to suspend Sunday morning worship services in that space, I suddenly felt overwhelmed by the challenge of staying connected with the congregation.

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Preaching Truth

March 23, 2020

by Gil Rendle, retired TMF Sr. Vice President

Preaching is a primary tool of leadership for a pastor, so argues retired bishop Will Willimon in his latest book, Leading With the Sermon.

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The Epworth League

February 25, 2020

by Leia Williams, TMF Director of Communications

Young adults, particularly single ones, rarely find their way to the pew and when they do, often the church is not quite sure what to do with them. It is a conundrum that weighs heavily on the minds of religious researchers and church leaders alike. How do we make space for young adults to feel welcomed and valued? How do we provide discipleship and leadership opportunities for millennials or the rising gen Z, not to mention offer space for community?

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