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2018 Rio Texas Conference


The 2018 Rio Texas Conference was held June 6-9, in Corpus Christi, with Bishop Robert Schanse presiding. The theme: “From Come and See to Go and Do: Rethinking the Five Practicies.” The learning topics were focused on Schnase’s work for the revised and updated edition of his book “Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations.”

The Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey presented the plenary teaching sessions, and Bishop Ruben Saenz preached this year’s Service of Ordination, Commissioning and Recognition.

The Rio Texas Transforming Communities Vision Team Chair Dionisio Salazar (of Parker Lane UMC, Austin) presented the “Resolution to End Family Separation.” The language was as follows:

“Whereas the United States government recently implemented a coercive ‘zero tolerance policy’ resulting in the traumatic separation of children from immigrant parents and the subsequent incarceration of children in secretive detention centers;

“Whereas several of the detention facilities are operated within the geographical boundaries of the Rio Texas Conference;

“Whereas this practice constitutes a violation of international law, child abuse, harassment and discrimination;

“Therefore, be it resolved that the Río Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church, in the name and Spirit of Jesus Christ, shall respectfully request the US Department of Justice immediately discontinue separating children from their families due to the ‘zero tolerance policy.”

The 1,500 lay delegates and clergy voted overwhelmingly to support the resolution to end family separation.

Some key conference statistics:


Deacons: 1

Elders: 9


Deacons: 2

Elders: 5


Associate Members: 1

Total Ordained, Commissioned or Received: 18, with an average age of 43

Number of people retired: 30

Membership stands at 114,663, down 988 from the previous year

Worship attendance stands at 43,045, down 828

Church school attendance stands at 14,345, down 2,018

Professions or reaffirmations of faith for 2017: 1,165

Adults and young adults in small groups for 2017: 29,642

Worshippers engaged in mission for 2017: 42,059

Submitted by the Rev. Will Rice, communications director