First United Methodist Church
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
To Know God and Make God Known
The church is located at the corner of Nall and Eugene Streets
(1826 Nall St. Port Neches, TX 77651).
We are three blocks north of Magnolia (FM 366) on Nall. Parking is located
in the back of the building.
The church office is open Monday-Thursday 8am-5pm and closed for Lunch 12-1pm.
Fridays we are open from 8am-12pm.
CONTEMPORARY PRAISE & WORSHIP AT 9:00 AM
TRADITIONAL WORSHIP AT 11:00 AM
From the Pastor
Dear Church Family, Although I do not always feel young, I am keenly aware that I’m actually on the low end of the scale when it comes to my age when compared to other pastors. In the United States about a decade ago the average age for pastors was 48, but more recently it has grown to around 55. In The United Methodist Church, somewhere around 55% of all Elders (ordained pastors) are between the ages of 55 and 72. In the Texas Annual Conference, we actually have more “younger” clergy than any other Conference in the nation, but we still have less than 12% of our Elders who are under the age of 35. Why does this matter? Well, the trends that we have seen over the years are showing us that if we do not recruit and develop more young pastors soon then eventually there will not be enough trained pastors to go around. You see, finding younger people to serve as clergy is not always an easy task. Being a pastor is a tough job (we really do work more than just on Sundays) and it isn’t always the highest paying career around. Add to this the fact that church attendance has dwindled over the years, and there are just fewer and fewer people available to answer that calling that God is making. Oh…and it takes a really long time to go through the process of becoming an ordained Elder, and seminary costs a lot of money, and, well…I think you get the picture here. Our previous Bishop, Janice Riggle Huie, spent a great deal of her tenure trying to improve this situation so that the future of our Conference might be brighter than it has before. There has been a tireless effort underway to recruit and train young clergy that will hopefully keep us strong for decades to come. The reason why someone like me can afford to spend the time and money to become a pastor is because of the tremendous assistance that we receive from our Conference. All of this is part of a greater effort known as the Emerging Leaders Endowment (ELE) of the Texas Annual Conference. This endowment is used to pay for programs like the Texas Youth Academy, which sends youth on a two-week discipleship program where they learn more about theology and the work of the church. The endowment also pays for the college pastoral internship project which sent our church a summer intern a few years ago. The endowment supports the Ambassador Grant program which gives grants to young clergy to help cover the cost of seminary (I am a beneficiary of this grant). And the endowment also pays for something called the Advancing Pastoral Leadership (APL) program, which trains our top young clergy in transformational leadership (I’m in my second year of APL). Our Conference has a goal of making the Emerging Leaders Endowment a selfsustaining fund which can continue the work of raising up new pastors for many years to come. But, we need your help. Our district has pledged $30,000 towards the ELE, and our church has been asked to pledge $755 to be paid out over the next two years. I, however, would like for us to double that to $1,510 and I would like to have it paid well before the end of two years. I can tell you that my previous congregations raised over $4,000 in the last two years for this program and so now I challenge you to see how much we can raise together. I want to thank you all for your help with this endeavor, and even if you cannot contribute financially then please make sure you pray for all the young clergy that are living out their calling from God. Your efforts will pay off great dividends for many years to come.