Advance Special Information

The Advance connects us in mission.  The Advance began in 1948 as an official program of the United Methodist Church, through which voluntary, designated financial support may be given by individuals or local churches for approved projects.  One hundred percent of each gift is used for its intended mission or ministry. 

Five Star Church Program Information

The Five Star Church Program was developed in 1990 to encourage local churches in the Rio Texas Conference to grow in mission giving and mission outreach every year.   Five Star churches receive an award certificate and special Annual Conference recognition of their giving through the Advance.

To become a Five Star Church, a congregation must do this every year:

  • Pay apportionments 100% or more, and

  • Contribute to the annual UMCOR Sunday (formerly One Great Hour of Sharing) special offering, and

  • Contribute to a project in each of the following five categories:

  1. An Advance project in the Rio Texas Conference or in a Rio Texas district (see the online Rio Texas Advance project listings for 2013-2016; the link is below)

  2. National Advance project, somewhere else in the United States*

  3. International Advance project, in another country*

  4. Project related to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief)*

  5. One United Methodist missionary supported by the General Board of Global Ministries*

Online Rio Texas District and Conference Advance Project Catalog for 2017-2020

*Search online for the code numbers for

  • a national Advance project outside of Texas,

  • an international Advance project in another country,

  • a project related to UMCOR, and

  • a United Methodist missionary supported by the General Board of Global Ministries.

Please note:  ALL giving toward Five Star status must be sent through the office of the Annual Conference Treasurer so there will be an automatic Conference record of the church's giving for every project.

Applying to become a Rio Texas Advance project

The Rio Texas Conference Transforming Communities Vision Team coordinates the Advance program for the Rio Texas Annual Conference.  The Vision Team is accepting applications for Conference Advance status from projects operating within the bounds of the Annual Conference, as well as re-applications from existing Conference Advance projects. Applications can be submitted at any time and they will be reviewed at the next regular meeting of the Transforming Communities Vision Team.  Applicants will be notified of their status after that meeting.  The application covers the years 2017-2020.

Rio Texas Advance Program Instructions, 2017-2020 Quadrennium [PDF]

Rio Texas Advance Program Application, 2017-2020 Quadrennium [Microsoft Word Document]

Rio Texas Advance Program Application, 2017-2020 Quadrennium Online Version

Please direct questions to Sandy Wilder, Rio Texas Conference Secretary of Global Ministries, at

Revised November 2018