HMC E-Newsletter April 1, 2010 Holy Week Edition

Holy Week Worship Schedule:
►Maundy Thursday: Tonight!!! This Thursday April 1 Meal 6PM (Bring your own) and Worship @7PM including foot washing and communion.       
►Good Friday: This Friday April 2 Tennebrae Service of Shadows 7PM.
►Easter Sunday!!! This Sunday April 4.
                           9:00 AM Outdoor “Sunrise” service
                           9:30 AM Brunch Potluck in place of Sunday School.
                           10:45 AM Easter Worship We hope

This I believe…

Our Easter-Pentecost theme is “New earth, heavens new (See Isaiah 65:17-25).” Personally, I feel this theme perfectly reflects the fears and dreams of our congregation: we want to grow, we want boldness, we want to be transformed….but we are afraid, unsure of ourselves, lacking confidence.
To address both the hope/dreams side of this and the fear side, we will bring back our “sermon reflection time,” which we intentionally set aside during Lent to give space for different forms of prayer, but we’re now calling “Community Dialogue.”
However, we want to enhance this “reflection time” in several ways in order to give voice to more and different voices, as well as to highlight the theme of God changing us from the inside out. One way we’re test driving is by allowing people to write down reflections that will then be read anonymously. People will still have opportunity to verbalize thoughts, but not all feel comfortable verbalizing.
Our written responses will take a specific form. Everyone will be asked to complete the following sentence: “I believe_________.” People can write as much or as little as they desire! Completing this sentence reflects the NPR program that has been so successful, it is open-ended enough for people to speak broadly, and it obviously connects with Biblical language and the call to believe in Christ.

Simply take the index card in your bulletin, or write it on paper before you come, and complete the following sentence, “This I believe…” with a short phrase, a Bible passage, a paragraph, testimony, or whatever strikes your fancy. It can be a statement about God, yourself, the church, the world. We’ll read them aloud during the Community Dialogue time. Examples might include:

  • ·         I believe that if Jesus rose from the dead, then I want to be a part of that energy, power and grace!
  • ·         I believe that if God is creating all things new, this is something I want to be a part of!
  • ·         I believe I’m being called to something different, new, but I’m not sure what yet.


Please consider adding your voice to our Easter celebration!

Church BBQ: April 11.

Now is the time to be inviting your friends and neighbors!

WHO: This is a fun event for our entire church. You, your friends, coworkers and family, our church neighbors and the Houston community will enjoy some BBQ and fun together. We’re planning for 50 HMCers and 50 guests.

WHAT: Church BBQ. Plans include lunch complete with grilled hot-dogs, hamburgers, black-bean burgers and veggie burgers; outdoor and indoor games, a piñata and special entertainment for the whole family.

WHEN: Sunday afternoon April 11, 12:30PM

WHERE: Our new “back porch,” the deck and yard behind our Annex building.

WHY: This is a great way of living our value of wanting to grow as a congregation. This gives us all a fun, non-anxious event to invite guests and the community to.  It also gives us a great setting to enjoy the outdoors together, and to get to introduce ourselves to our church neighbors!

HOW: With your help! Please plan to participate with your presence and your help. Sign up sheets for side-dishes, set up and clean up will be passed in upcoming Sundays. Please also consider allowing HMC to borrow the following from you: croquet, volleyball net and poles, bocci ball, corn hole, horse shoes, or other outdoor family-friendly picnic games. Or consider creating your own “carnival game” for use by the children (fishing game, ring toss, bean-bag toss, etc…).

Outreach team will publicize & invite the community, neighbors of the church, and visitors we’ve had over the last year. But the best “community” to invite is your community!! So invite your friends, your family, and your co-workers.

Please sign up at the back of church, or fill this out (sign it!!!) and put it in the offering plate.

SIDE DISHES: Everyone. HMC is providing the main grilled items.
SET UP TABLES AND CHAIRS   (3-4 People, during SS )
GRILLS (4 or 5 people)
GRILL-CHEFS     (4 or 5 people)
    Hula hoop co-operative games and sheet toss game – Judy
            Go fish- Danielle                  Bean bags-Adrianne
            Water balloons-?            Ring toss-Maribel
            Pinata-Elizabeth Melendez

 TABLE GAMES- Monopoly, Uno, puzzles-Rosa Betancourt
 FACE PAINTING-Margaret Gehman            CLOWN-Adrianne
 Other games  badmitten, volleyball, croquet, etc.
ITEMS NEEDED: Please consider allowing us to borrow the following

  • A baby pool for a children’s game
  • Croquet set
  • Volleyball net, ball and polesm badmitten equipment
  • Bocci ball
  • Bean bag toss game, “corn-hole”


Let’s put our best foot forward as a congregation, and have a good time doing it!

Connecting More Fully at HMC:
March Offering Report: The March 28 offering was $2,478.18. Total giving in March was $8,240.68. Total giving year to date is $22,381.68.
►Care Packages for College Students.  Collecting April 11- April 25th. Think light and small.
►Welcome Lunch for Newcomers: Sunday April 18.  Are you new to Houston Mennonite? Would you like to hear more about our congregation’s history? Interested in knowing more about Mennonites and Anabaptists? Join us Next Sunday October 4th after worship for a light meal and time of fellowship and sharing. We’ll tell you more about our congregation’s vision and mission in the world, and give you a glimpse of our story over the 42 years of our existence. We’ll also talk about what it means to be a Mennonite, and why we think that’s an important part of our identity. Pastor Marty Troyer and our Community Life Ministry Team will host you for a meal.

Anabaptist Learning SeminarApril 18, 25, May 9 & 16. Come Sunday nights and learn more about Anabaptism worldwide: beliefs, practices, and culture.

April 18th: Anabaptist beginnings in Europe & beyond.

April 25th: The spread of Mennonites to the “New World.”

May 9th: Global Mennonites today: Asia, Africa, and beyond

May 16th: Global Mennonite theology.

►ANNEX DEDICATION: Sunday afternoon April 25. 1PM, following the Fellowship Meal.
►Woman’s Retreat: Friday April 30-Sunday May 2. $20 per person. Relax, eat good food, enjoy good fellowship, do arts and crafts in prep for the Relief Sale. Register fast as space is limited. Women from other Texas Mennonite congregations will be present.
►You won’t want to miss Western District Conference Annual Retreat: Friday July 9-Sunday July 11. Put this on your calendar now! This is an amazing Christian resourcing, recreational, and relational event. Cost is incredibly low at $130 per person, for 2 nights and 5 meals. Location is Waxahatchie Texas, just South of Dallas. A 4 hour drive from Houston. Plan now to attend with your church family. Church leadership would love to see 20 or more HMCers attend. There will be a high school youth component which will include a service project.

Order of Worship Easter Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Do you know of someone who would benefit from hearing that there are things in life worth holding on to other than stuff, and that it might be time to let go of something? Consider inviting them to church. Here’s one way that might feel more comfortable to you and them: Tell them something your faith helped you to let go of, and tell them about our church Lenten theme. Let them know where and when we meet. Tell them to check us out online for themselves, so they know what they are getting into before they come. Try it, it might be just what they need!

* Call to Worship                                            
* Opening Songs                                                                                
        Christ the Lord is risen today                                                                                                 
HWB #280
        Amazing Love                                                                                                                     PPT
Scripture Reading                                      Isaiah 65:17-25                                              OT Pg 696
Children’s Time (Children 1-5 dismissed for Children’s Church)   
Sharing joys and concerns, Prayer       Please feel free at any time to light a candle-prayer at the front of the sanctuary
Scripture Reading                                       John 20:1-18                                                  NT Pg 114
Message                                          May Christ arise in you!!!
Song of Response                                       Christ has arisen                                            HWB # 237
• Communion
Community Dialogue 
Offering & Prayer       
Welcoming of Visitors and Announcements              
* Benediction Song                                New earth, heavens new                                         HWB #299
* Benediction                                                                                                                               

* Please stand if comfortable when indicated by asterisk.
SJ- Sing the Journey (Green) HWB- Hymnal Worship Book (Blue).   

Communion: Houston Mennonite Church celebrates an open communion. All people (members and visitors) who follow or long to follow Jesus are invited to pray and celebrate with us at the Lord’s table.

Pastoral Care

Do you want a person to talk with about something in your life? Got a question or insight into faith or scripture you want to kick around? Have you been sitting on a great idea for the church? Need prayer? Want to get to know your pastor better?
As your pastor, I’m available to meet with you at the office or at a time and spot that works better for you. Just let me know when and where! Monday’s through Thursdays, and weekends by appointment. Marty Troyer, cell:(713)835-9436, church office (713)464-4865,, also available on facebook.

Additional Information

HMC E-Newsletter is compiled by Houston Mennonite Church pastor Marty Troyer.

All are invited and encouraged to share articles, personal updates, stories, announcements, pictures, etc… to include in the weekly updates!

Know of others who would like to receive HMC E-Newsletter e-mails from Houston Mennonite?  Have them send name and e-mail to Marty at 

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