Tag: South Central Conference (Page 1 of 3)

Phil’s Note-Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Submitted by Rev. Phil Hodson, SCC Conference Minister

As of today I have traveled 5,173 miles around the Conference in my car. I’ve been preaching and visiting our congregations, meeting with different individuals and groups, and asking the same question: What should a Conference Minister do? I’m asking because I want to learn our goals and dreams and also gain insight into our past experience so that we can live more fully together into the future that God has in store for us. When I started asking the question, I expected two standard answers: conflict resolution and search & call. What’s been both interesting and exciting to me is that neither of those are at the top of the list with anyone I’ve spoken to. Instead, I’ve heard these words: encouragement, guidance, direction, connection raised repeatedly. I find this terribly exciting — because that’s been my hope since I started the car on July 15! It is my deepest desire to be in ministry with you that is missional, relational, and incarnational across every setting of the church. 

One of the ways that can happen is through the use of a tool called MissionInsite, which the Conference has purchased and will make available for use in every congregation. As a pastor in the local church, I used this resource to launch a new congregation, identify ministry opportunities, and see the local church relate to its’ community in incredible ways — and I want us to do the same in the South Central Conference! This resource compiles data about the neighborhoods we live in and the neighbors who live beside us — interests, preferences, hopes, and more — using the latest from the Census and the agencies who collect our individual data for private enterprise to understand us, but their goal is to help the church gain deeper understanding so that we can be in ministry with our neighbors in relevant, practical ways that will transform lives.  Did I mention this is freely available to any setting that would like to use it? And that I will make time to personally consult with you and your leadership in understanding your mission field and help you identify new opportunities? This will be a multi-step process that will help us understand ourselves and our neighbors more fully, so that we can help the rubber meet the road in our ministries going forward! The first step is to answer this question:

Would your congregation be interested in this resource?

If you answered yes, the next step is to email me and let me know you’d like to begin the journey! Note: when you do, I’ll send you back a spreadsheet. This will come with regular homework. I’m sharing this now because we just signed the contract and I’m really excited about what is possible! I’m also sharing it now because Christmas is right around the corner (I know, right?), and the Advent and Christmas season has traditionally been a wonderful time to connect with new neighbors and showcase the power of community and relationship through the life of the church! Which leads me to another question:

Would or Could your church utilize a list of names in your community for you to reach out to?

If we developed a simple postcard that could name your church and Christmas Eve worship time, then provide you a list of 1,000, 5,000, or 10,000 names in your community to mail it to, would your congregation be interested in underwriting the cards and names prepared for you?

Jesus’ ministry was highly contextual. He knew the people he connected with. Everywhere he went on his ministry journey, Jesus paid careful attention to what was actually around him and related to the folks he met. I believe, as we prepare for what God has in store in our future, we must move forward in the same fashion. These resources, and the questions I’m asking you today, are one way your Conference Minister hopes to encourage, guide, offer direction and foster new connections with you. I pray you will find them helpful and engage in this exciting opportunity together with me. We have many wonderful miles to travel together!


Rev. Phil Hodson
Conference Minister
South Central Conference, 
United Church of Christ
3610 River Road
New Braunfels, TX 78132

Austin Musicians Celebrate Sid Hall – Party & Fundraiser – November 7, 2021

Shared by Trinity Church of Austin

Please join us on Sunday, November 7, 2021 from 3:30-7:30pm to celebrate Sid Hall’s 33 years of ministry with Trinity Church of Austin!

Sid retired as of July 1 of this year, but due to pandemic conditions, we delayed his retirement celebration until it was cool enough for us to gather outdoors. We encourage you to mask up and join us for live music, food, drinks, and fellowship at Ranch Austin with the Trinity community.

We have a stunning lineup of Austin musicians joining us for the evening, including Kelly Willis, Sara Hickman, Albert & Gage, Nancy Scott, Ed Miller, the Therapy Sisters, Doc Grauzer, and our own Trinity musicians. Scroll down for details!

Proceeds from the event will benefit the ongoing ministries of Trinity Church of Austin. Your generous tax-deductible donations allow us to fund sliding scale admissions for those in our community who could not otherwise afford to attend.


HOT Association Minister Search and Call

Greetings friends in faith,

The Heart of Texas Association of The United Church of Christ formally announces its Search and Call for a new Association Minister. The position is an average of 15 hours per week. Each prospective candidate should ensure their United Church of Christ online profile has been updated. Candidates may access the profile section of the UCC.org website here: Create an account and log in here.

Once your online profile has been completed on the United Church of Christ website, you may forward a copy of your profile to me at carl@uccaustin.org, and I will distribute it to the Search and Call Committee. If you are outside the United Church of Christ, you may submit your information directly to Conference Minister, Rev. Phil Hodson at sccm@sccucc.org.

The application deadline for this position will be Thursday, September 16, 2021. The job description and other pertinent information will be posted to the Heart of Texas Association website at: http://hotaucc.org.

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ . . . (Ephesians 4:11-13)

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Carl

Carl Schwartz-King
Moderator, Heart of Texas Association
The United Church of Christ

The Space Between

Submitted by Rev. Phil Hodson, Conference Minister

Your anchor passage at annual meeting 2021 came from Mark’s gospel. It referenced the storm over the lake and Jesus’ rebuke of the storm. At annual meeting reflections were offered on how God is with us in the midst of the storm and the power of faith in uncertain circumstances.

But there’s something else here, buried in the text. After Jesus rebukes the storm, all becomes quiet and still. In the stillness, in the quiet, the disciples reflect on who Jesus is and his significance in their lives. Today I write you in that strange quiet, almost surreal in-between space. A space where we are just beginning to understand the damage caused by Hurricane Ida in New Orleans. A space that has yet to be found for many as rain continues to shower across Louisiana, Mississippi, and makes its way north and east. A space where we can take stock of the reality of climate change in our world. A space where we can give thanks for lives spared. A space where we are going to remain, prayerfully together, for a little bit. I’ve heard from many already who want to spring into action, but we’re in a place where we don’t have enough information yet. We know there has been damage to several of our churches, and so we pray for them, knowing that we will respond with our bodies in working prayer to help rebuild and repair when the time comes. As we sit together in this space for a little while there is one other thing we can do: get ready. Pray up and ask God if we have the capacity to step in and help with rebuilding physically when the time comes. Pray up and then share our gifts so that the resources will be available to our churches and the wider communities when the time comes. 

We are a denomination built on being in covenant with one another. Being there for one another. And we, in the South Central Conference, will be. For today, we pray. And we prepare for the next faithful steps when the time is right. Each of us can give, as we are able, to lay the groundwork for recovery by responding to the Special Appeal issued this week by the national setting. I encourage us to do so. Let’s get ready, the action will spring forth in God’s good time.


Rev. Phil Hodson
Conference Minister
South Central Conference, 
United Church of Christ
3610 River Road
New Braunfels, TX 78132
T: (830) 625-2212 x 4 C: (765) 532-3429

“Zoom Cafe” Reminder – Wednesday Morning July 7, 2021

Wednesday, July 7th @ 9:30 am.

Join Rev. Campbell Lovett and other Clergy from around the SCC for the weekly “Zoom Cafe” on Wednesday, July 7th @ 9:30 am.

This is an opportunity for coffee and conversation about the challenges of the week.

There is no set agenda, and you are free to come and go as your schedule allows.
Topics of conversation might include preaching possibilities for the coming Sunday, COVID challenges to you and your flock, UCC mission updates, or a sharing of concerns about local matters.

If you have not already attended a “Zoom Cafe” and would like to, here is a link to the pre-scheduled meetings: Zoom Cafe.
Meeting ID: 827 8727 5793
Passcode: 224868

See you all soon!

Celebration of life for Rev. Jewel Johnson Wednesday, July 7, at 4 pm

Submitted by Rev. Glen Schoeneberg, Shared by Rev. Campbell Lovett

There will be a Celebration of Life for Rev Jewel Johnson on Wednesday, July 7, at 4 pm, at St. Peter’s in Coupland. A reception will follow in the Fellowship Hall. 
Jewel is “Pastor Emeritus” at St Peter’s in Coupland. He also served conference churches in Dallas, Burton, Richland, and Neiderwald. Jewel died on July 2, 2020. 

South Central Conference – Let’s Worship Together at General Synod!

Submitted by Rev. Campbell Lovett, SCC Interim Conference Minister

You have read in these pages about the General Synod of the United Church of Christ, July 11 – 18. Most Synod events will take place in the late afternoon and early evening. If you are not able to register as a Visitor for the workshops, keynote addresses, worship services, exhibit hall and business sessions ($100), you can still sign up to “attend” the virtual worship services – for free!!

The worship services are usually highlights of Synod and help us all feel connected as members of the United Church of Christ. I hope that you will attend as an individual, family or at a church viewing party!

To register for General Synod worship services, please go to www.GeneralSynod.org. Click on the REGISTER NOW link and follow the prompts. When checking a registration category, indicate Live Stream Only, which will allow you to view worship only at no cost.

Worship services at Synod – schedule:
Opening Worship: July 11, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Mid-Point Worship: July 14, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Closing Worship – July 18, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

I look forward to worshiping with you at General Synod 33.

With you on the journey,
Campbell Lovett Interim Conference Minister

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