Noted Preaching Scholar, Author to Keynote ArkLaTex Lectures

DALLAS (SMU) – Dr. Frank A. Thomas, an internationally renowned author, scholar and preacher, will be the keynote speaker on Monday, Oct. 22 at the second annual ArkLaTex (Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas) Lectures in Preaching. Co-sponsored by the Perkins Center for Preaching Excellence at Southern Methodist University and Williams Memorial United Methodist Church in Texarkana, Texas, the event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Williams Memorial UMC (4000 Moores Lane, Texarkana, TX 75503).

The conference will focus on practical guidance for preachers seeking ways to deliver God’s message more powerfully, more thoughtfully, and more effectively.

Thomas is a professor of homiletics and director of the Ph.D. program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis.

At ArkLaTex, he’ll discuss “How to Deliver a Dangerous Sermon,” a title taken from his latest book. In it, he defines a “dangerous sermon” as one that transcends flawed, idolatrous human ideas and instead strives to inspire the “moral imagination.” He draws on the works and words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, the theologian and civil rights organizer Prathia Hall, and others, including modern-day musicians and artists.

Other sessions will feature distinguished faculty members from the Perkins School of Theology. Alyce M. McKenzie, director of the Center for Preaching Excellence and the La Van Professor of Preaching and Worship at Perkins, will lead a workshop titled, “Holy Boldness! The Four Virtues of the Prophetic Preacher.” O. Wesley Allen Jr., Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics, will lead one titled, “Sermon Series vs. the Lectionary — A False Dichotomy.”

For more information about the 2018 ArkLaTex Lectures, call the Perkins Center for Preaching Excellence at 214-768-2124, email Sabina Hulem at, or visit Online registration is also available through that website. The cost is $75.


Perkins School of Theology, founded in 1911, is one of five official University-related schools of theology of The United Methodist Church. Degree programs include the Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Music, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Ministry, Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Pastoral Music as well as the Ph.D., in cooperation with The Graduate Program in Religious Studies at SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Celebrate MARCHA Sunday on Oct. 14

Sisters and Brothers, I greet you in the name of Christ our Redeemer.

MARCHA is the voice for the Hispanic/Latino community within the United Methodist Church (UMC) and the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico and it advocates for justice, equity, and peace. MARCHA plays an important role in the formation and development of the Hispanic/Latino congregations and leadership, since 1970.

Last month MARCHA held its 47th Annual Meeting in Charlotte, NC. Over 150 leaders from across the United States and Puerto Rico gathered for meaningful times of worship, fellowship, learning, and generative conversations about how to cultivate genuine unity that honors and celebrates our multi-faceted diversity so that we can be a witness of Christ love, mercy and justice in a world in need of God’s healing.

On Sunday, October 14, 2018, join United Methodists congregations and leaders, as we observe “MARCHA Sunday” and celebrate the important ministry of MARCHA and its contributions to the Hispanic/Latino community and the church.

Ways you and your congregation can celebrate MARCHA Sunday:

  •  Pray for the leadership and ministry of MARCHA.
  • Take a few minutes during the worship service to share about the ministry of MARCHA. Click here to download a short video you can use as part of the presentation (available in English and Spanish).
  • Take an offering to support the ministry of MARCHA. The prophetic work of MARCHA depends on the support of leaders like you. You can also collect the offering on an alternate date at your convenience.  Send your contributions to:

241 Circle View Drive
Franklin, TN 37067

Visit to learn more about the mission and work of MARCHA and explore ways you and your congregation can be part of the vision, mission and work on behalf of the Hispanic/Latino community.  Thank you for your continued support for MARCHA.

Tod@s somos MARCHA,

Bishop Elías Galván,
MARCHA Executive Director

Update on Disaster Relief Efforts Post-Hurricane Florence

From Conference Disaster Relief Coordinator Janice Mann…
Florence update per UMCOR: As the water recedes damage assessments in North and South Carolina have begun. Many areas are still no access due to high water. Affected Conferences are managing their responses locally and will make requests for materials and response teams as they continue their assessments. ERTs in North Carolina are assessing and responding to needs. ERTs in South Carolina started clean up this morning in areas where the water has receded. We ask that those wishing to assist please do not self-deploy or donate unsolicited items.

A reminder that the best way to assist is to donate to UMCOR so that the affected conferences will have access to funds to purchase what is needed when it is needed and materials and supplies and other relief and recovery necessities can be available now and for the long haul.

Supporters rally at Capitol for new ARORA organ donor campaign

Rainy weather couldn’t prevent The Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency (ARORA) from kicking off a new campaign for organ and tissue donor registration at a rally inside the Arkansas State Capitol building.

The organization launched its new “Save 8. Donate.” campaign on Sept. 24. The event featured a musical performance by the Central High School Band and a personal story from Paul Owen, retired Director of Children’s Ministries at Trinity United Methodist Church of Little Rock.

Paul Owen with the recipient of Melissa’s heart donation, Yolanda Harshaw and her family.

Paul Owen’s daughter, Melissa Owen, was an organ donor, and when she passed away her heart was given to Yolanda Harshaw, a woman who was in dire need of a heart transplant.

Yolanda was present at the event to express her gratitude to Paul and Melissa Owen for donating the organ that saved Yolanda’s life.

Audrey Coleman, Director of Communications for ARORA, also stressed the importance of making sure that people are registered as organ and tissue donors.

“Ninety-five percent of adults in this country support organ donors, but only 54% are actually registered as donors,” Coleman said.

According to ARORA, a single organ donor has the potential to save eight lives, and a tissue donor can improve the lives of up to 200 people.

In Arkansas, there are currently more than 300 people on the waiting list to receive an organ transplant. In the United States, that number is more than 100,000 people.

“Each year the number of people on the waiting list continues to outgrow the number of registered donors. You can help change all of these numbers by registering to become an organ and tissue donor,” Coleman said.

ARORA was established in 1987 as a non-profit, independent organ procurement agency. Their mission is to ensure that all people who need an organ and tissue transplant have the opportunity to procure these life-saving and life-enhancing transplants.

For more information on how to register as an organ donor in Arkansas, visit You can also register to become an organ or tissue donor online by visiting


Soul Shop seeks to equip faith leaders with suicide prevention training

The Arkansas Department of Health — along with Interfaith Arkansas and AFSP: Arkansas Chapter — is offering a free event for faith leaders who are seeking resources in suicide prevention training.

Soul Shop: Ministering to Suicidal Desperation, which takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 2 at the Jacksonville Community Center, will offer training in much-needed areas for faith leaders, including the creation of worship resources, training congregation members in suicide awareness and basic conversations skills, and learning how to invite those who have been suicidal in the past to share their stories.

According to recent data acquired by Soul Shop, “it is estimated that one out of every two people in a given congregation has personally been impacted by suicide.”

Faith-based leaders from all backgrounds are encouraged to attend. Lunch will be provided for those who attend, and attendees can pre-register for the event at

For more information on the event, contact Joy Rockenbach at or Christopher Epperson at

Registration for CommCon 2018 is now open!

Join us November 1 from 9:30 am to 3 pm in the Nugent Room at Philander Smith College for our first annual Communication Conference! Our keynote address will be Storytelling That Sticks by Kelli Reep, Director of  Communication for Methodist Family Health. Additionally, there will be 4 roundtable sessions as follows:

  1. Creating a Promotional Plan
  2. Social Media and the Church
  3. Sending Better Emails to Get Better Results
  4. Using Video to Communicate

Cost is $15.  You can register at
Registration deadline: October 26

Schedule for the Day:
9:30-10 am Registration and coffee
10-10:45 am Keynote
10:45 am Break
11-11:30 am 1st Roundtable
11:30 am-Noon 2nd roundtable
Noon-12:45 pm Lunch with a Discussion of Websites
1-1:30 pm 3rd roundtable
1:30-2 pm 4th roundtable
2-2:15 pm Break
2:20-3:00 pm Crisis Communication for ARUMC
3 pm Dismiss