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HOTA April 2021 News

We invite all of you to attend our spring Heart of Texas Association meeting, to be held on Saturday, April 24th beginning at 10 am on Zoom. Worship, which begins the meeting, will be led by clergy from our South Texas cluster. One major part of our business will be to help people understand our possible participation in a Unified Fitness Review Committee at the Conference level, which would transfer most of this extremely time-consuming work from our Association Committee on Ministry to the proposed Conference committee -- if we decide to go in this direction. We already offered some explanation of this possibility earlier, but our aim at this meeting would be to help those who attend to understand the change more fully (as the process to make this change is fairly complex) and possibly vote to participate. We also anticipate having up to three Ecclesiastical Councils. One, which has already been announced, will be to grant Rev. Amelia Fulbright, who is currently a Baptist minister, Privilege of Call in the United Church of Christ, meaning that, if approved, she would be able to search for a ministry call in the UCC and gain full ministerial standing with us. Our Committee on Ministry will be meeting in April with two other candidates. If these candidates are approved, we will be announcing their Ecclesiastical Councils in advance of our Association Meeting. We also will be sending out the papers the ministry candidates have written to our churches to allow reading before the Meeting. It will be important to have a quorum of attendees from a majority of our churches to allow voting on our candidates We hope to finish midday and encourage you to join us.

I share with you, too, the sad news for those who do not know that Douglas Anders, our former Conference Minister, died on Monday, March 22nd at his home in Bel-Nor (in St. Louis), Missouri. He fought a courageous battle with cancer for several years, always expressing in his email updates his faith in God no matter what the outcome. For me, Douglas was a trusted and valued colleague and friend. I had a close understanding of how hard he worked, of how engaged he was in the stewardship of our Conference's resources, of his dedicated work with leadership and committees, and of his care for the South Central Conference and all of our churches. Many people experienced his kindness and also his engagement and help when a church or a minister was in need. After he retired and moved home to St. Louis, he gave his time and gifts, even over the years of his illness, in many, many ways: as an Interim Conference Minister, as an interim and supply minister in churches, as a volunteer doing substantial work for the Missouri Mid-South Conference, and as an elected Alderperson for the City of Bel-Nor. As a measure of who he was, the city of Bel-Nor posted this on its website: "We lost a good friend, neighbor, and colleague with Douglas's death. He was a consummate gentleman who fought a courageous battle with illness but worked hard for the city and other causes as long as he was able. He will be sorely missed." Douglas will be missed indeed. Let us commend him to God and give thanks for his life with us, with those he served, and now for his life surrounded by God's love without measure.

Blessings in Christ, Liz Nash, Association Minister

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