Letter From Annual Conference 05-30-2019

Letter From Annual Conference 05-30-2019

To Our Arkansas Methodist Family:

Grace and peace in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As we gather as an Annual Conference, we acknowledge that there is deep division in our denomination and that our disagreements have caused pain among us. We call first for repentance, and secondly to find ways to affirm one another as a big family in Arkansas Methodism. To this end, we want to lift up a few statements that bind us together as Methodist sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ. No matter what happens, we share more in common as Methodist brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ than what divides us.

  1. We believe in the Triune God, salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, in the unconditional love of God, and in God’s grace sufficient for every need. We believe in the faith delivered to the church in the historic creeds.
  2. We cling to our Wesleyan heritage as Christians of a Methodist tribe. This includes:
    1. A Wesleyan understanding of grace—prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying.
    2. Theological and social discourse grounded first in Scripture, informed by tradition, experienced in personal and corporate dimensions, and articulated with the best of human reason.
    3. Christian discipleship consisting of both vital piety and social action.
    4. Adherence to the General Rules given by John Wesley:
      1. Do no harm.
      2. Do good.
      3. Attend upon the ordinances of God.
  3. We believe the mission of the church is making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We affirm the trajectory of the Arkansas Annual Conference “to make disciples who make disciples equipped to transform lives, communities, and the world.”
  4. We believe that whatever happens to the structure of the United Methodist Church, we will respect our fellow
    Methodists, and our interactions will be characterized by:

    1. Listening well. We invite the members of Annual Conference to truly listen to one another as we share in conversation.
    2. Loving well. As disciples of Jesus Christ, love is at the center of who we are and what we are about. Jesus tells us, “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.” (John 13:34-35)
  5. We believe we are stronger and will accomplish more working together in our social witness. We commit to support
    our Annual Conference initiatives: 200,000 Reasons to stop childhood hunger in Arkansas, UMCOR, Volunteers in
    Mission, and disaster response initiatives.

We commit with you, our brothers and sisters in the Arkansas Annual Conference, to continue to pray for wisdom, guidance, and grace as we move forward. And in our Arkansas Methodist family, whatever structures may emerge, we will strive to “maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3)

Respectfully Yours,
Mary Jan Davis
Karon Mann
John Mark Mathis
John Miles
Mark Norman
Katie Pearce
Bud Reeves
Michael Roberts
LaToya Shepherd
Britt Skarda
Carness Vaughn
Jeff Warrick

Obituary for the Rev. Patricia Sims

Patricia Sims passed away on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at the Green House Cottages of Belle Meade at the age of 82 years after a 22 year battle with cancers.

Pat was born in Lansing, Michigan on May 11, 1937. She is preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Olive (Merrill) Nash. She graduated from Bolton High School, Alexandria Louisiana in 1955 and then graduated from Michigan State University in 1958 with a BA in Political Science.

On August 27, 1960, she married Hardy C. Sims of Somerville, TN. He preceded her in death on May 7, 1990. They were married almost 40 years and spent many of those years raising their family in Paragould. She was also preceded in death by her brother and sister-in-law Charles and Florience Merrill.

Pat worked as a legal secretary at the law office of Branch, Thompson, Warmath and Dale for 20 years where she specialized in probate, tax, and developing new attorneys. Some say she should have gone to law school but instead she had a major career change later in life. In 1993 she entered seminary and earned her Masters of Divinity from Memphis Theological Seminary. She then went to be a pastor at Imboden United Methodist Church/Smithville United Methodist Church and then at First United Methodist Church of Trumann.

After her retirement in 2002, Pat continued her service to others by volunteering in many organizations including at the Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House in Jonesboro, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) organization, First United Methodist Church of Jonesboro and local hospitals. She also continued her love of travel by traveling around the country and Europe. Her favorite trips were to North Carolina and Hawaii to visit her sons and family.

Pat is survived by her two sons Clayton (Krisy) of Raleigh, NC and Brian (Sean Scates) of Kailua, HI and three adoring grandchildren – Elizabeth, Nick and Jimmy. As well as much other extended family.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 from 9:00-10:00 A.M at First United Methodist Church in Paragould. Funeral services will follow at 10:00 A.M. at the church with Rev. John Fleming officiating. Burial will be in Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church or the American Cancer Society.

Board of Ordained Ministry Seminary Loan Applications for Summer 2019 due soon

The Board of Ordained Ministry Seminary Loan Application deadline for 2019 Summer semester is JULY 15, 2019. This application is available here.

Please remember, to qualify you must

  • Be a certified candidate
  • Fill out the form completely, verifying your tuition.
  • Have your District Registrar verify, and sign it.
  • Have your DS verify and sign it.
  • Provide your latest official transcript including the courses you are taking in the Summer term.

Phillips and Asbury students: These schools only show completed courses on their transcripts, so you must provide a letter from the college registrar or schedule print off stating what current classes you are enrolled in.

Applications, transcripts, and letters verifying your classes (if applicable) must be in the office of Nancy Meredith by July 15 to qualify for this loan. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST DAY TO DO THIS!

Those on full UMFA scholarship do not qualify for this loan.

Please call Nancy Meredith at (501) 324-8033 if you have any questions.

Council of Bishops Unveils New Website

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is pleased to announce the launch of a new website dedicated to the issues and business of the 120-plus leaders, who give oversight to the denomination.

The website: www.UnitedMethodistBishops.org contains the biographical information of the active and retired bishops; latest news regards the COB; information about annual conference dates;  and detailed information about the ecumenical work that the COB and its staff undertake on behalf of the church.

The website will be maintained by the COB staff.


Media Contact: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications – Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church


Obituary for Teresa (Terri) Miller Powell

Teresa (Terri) Thomas Miller Powell, born July 20, 1941 in Columbia, MO the only child of Stanley Ellis Thomas and Reta Mae Forbis Thomas went to be with the Lord on Friday, May 31, 2019.

Following a blessed and happy childhood and youth, she graduated from Camden (Arkansas) High School in 1959 where her sweet, happy spirit had endeared her to all with whom she came in contact. She adored her parents, loved her friends, delighted to laugh, always smiled, possessed impeccably high morals, and doted on her pets. She was an accomplished baton twirler, having won numerous State and Regional Championships. She was a twirler for the ASTC (now UCA) Marching Band. During her Freshman year (1960) at ASTC, she married Tommy Miller and they would have two children (Tammi and Stan) and would remain married until 1980.

On Easter Sunday, 1981 she and Larry D. Powell were married in the Oaklawn United Methodist Church in Hot Springs, AR and together, they pastored United Methodist churches in Hot Springs, Little Rock, Malvern, El Dorado, and Lakewood (NLR) until retiring in 2005. She was a consummate ”parsonette” singing in choirs, playing handbells, working at the Dorcas House, attending Community Bible Study groups, delivering Meals on Wheels, hosted countless dinners and meetings, visited in hospitals and homes, enjoyed the company of a multitude of friends, and brightened any place or occasion simply by her presence. She had a delicate, tender heart, loving soul, tireless devotion, happy countenance, was extremely polite, never met a stranger, and would never withhold a compliment. She loved needlepoint, reading, being with her pets, and had an exceptional, childlike enthusiasm about Christmas. She loved her family and ALWAYS sent cards for special occasions. She was incapable of being critical, adversarial, or negative. She prayed regularly, read her Bible daily, and believed with all her heart that God would hold her securely in his arms in death just as He had in life. She was, in the words of an old song, ”A Jewel Here on Earth, a Jewel in Heaven.”

She is survived by her husband, Larry of 38 years, her children, Tammi Miller Herren and Stan Miller; two stepsons, Bryan Powell and Wade Powell; 10 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

A private family graveside will be conducted at Crestlawn Memorial Park in Conway and a Memorial service will follow at 1pm, Monday, June 3rd at Lakewood United Methodist Church in North Little Rock with a visitation to follow in the church fellowship hall.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Lakewood United Methodist Church in North Little Rock.