HMC E-Newsletter April 14, 2011

Embracing the Picnic Vision
2nd Annual HMC Community-Wide BBQ!!!: April 17


 after church, and we still need lots of help! Here’s how you can help:
·         Invite your friends. 
·         Prayerfully prep for our outreach event. We invite lots of neighbors and friends, it gives us a good chance to share our faith and selves with others.
·         Plan to attend and enjoy yourself.
·         Bring side dished and desserts to supplement hotdogs and hamburgers. 
·         Sign up to help out by being a greeter, help Stewardship Team set up, work in the children's activity area, be a jolly clown, or have a special skill you are willing to share, contact Marty or Judy.
·         Bring any yard games (croquet, corn-hole, horse shoes, volleyball, etc…) you might have.
·         Print off the attached flyer and distribute to neighbors, community bulletin boards, etc… 
·         Email your friends and coworkers the E-vite that will be in a second email to you today.

 Highlights of Celebration of Discipline #12 – Service

By Linda W.

This is the twelfth and final article in a series which summarizes 11 of the 12 spiritual disciplines discussed in Richard Foster’s classic book on spiritual growth, Celebration of Discipline.  These articles were written for the purpose of encouraging us, teaching us, and reminding us of important aspects of our faith during Lent.

Recall that the previous chapter outlined the similar Discipline of submission.  Foster begins this chapter (#9 in the book) with clarifying that a symbol of submission could be the Cross, whereas a symbol of service could be a towel.

Foster then explains at great length the difference between self-righteousness and true service.  Most importantly, self-righteousness comes through human effort, while true service comes from a relationship with God.  I have summarized the other differences he contrasts in the following table:

Self-Righteousness… True Service…
is impressed with the big deal gives large and small services indistinguishably
requires external reward is content in hidden-ness
is concerned with results is free of the need to calculate results
picks and chooses whom to serve is indiscriminate in its ministry
is affected by moods and whims ministers because there’s a need
is temporary is a life-style
is done without sensitivity can be performed or withheld, depending on the situation
fractures the community builds community


Foster reminds us that humility is never gained by seeking it.  But service is conducive to the growth of humility.  We will be humbled and transformed by serving others. 

But as in the Discipline of submission, an important concern is:  will people take advantage of me when I serve?  Foster reassures us that when we choose to serve, we’re in charge.  It’s when we choose to be a servant that we give up our right to choose, and we become vulnerable to mistreatment. 

Service is not a list of things that we do, or a code of ethics; rather it’s a way of living. 

Foster suggests a number of ways we can serve in our daily lives.  He describes the Services of:

  • Hiddenness  -doing things ‘behind the scenes’
  • Small things, which actually require constant sacrifice, as opposed to a large occasion of service, which requires limited sacrifice
  • Guarding the reputations of others
  • Being served
  • Common courtesy – one of few ways left in modern society of acknowledging the value of one another
  • Hospitality
  • Listening
  • Bearing the burdens of each other
  • Sharing the word of God with one another

Foster ends the chapter with a prayer asking God to bring someone to us whom we can serve.

Connecting More Fully at HMC:        
 Holy Week: 
·         Palm Sunday Worship: With Conference Pastor Gilberto Flores from Dallas. 
·         6:30PM Maundy Thursday (April 21) at Otilia’s Mexican restaurant (“100% Mexican food, no Tex-Mex”) for an informal meal and fellowship. Buy your own meal. 7710 Long Point Rd, Houston, TX 77055 
 Directions: From HMC travel north on Wirt Road to LongPoint, turn right (East). Otilias is a quarter mile down on the left, a white building with a great porch. We’ll be in the back room. Call my cell phone if you need help 713-835-9436.
·         7PM Good Friday (April 22) Tennebrae worship at HMC 
·         7AM Community Easter Sunrise Service (April 24) at Spring Valley’s city park, 1025 Campbell Road. Just North of I-10 on Campbell. Pastor Marty has helped to organize this first ever community Sunrise Service. 
·         9:30AM Easter Brunch at HMC
·         10:45AM Easter Worship! The Lord is risen indeed!! 
 HMC Facebook Page? What do you think about HMC having a Facebook page? Would you “friend” it? Would you pass it on to other Houstonians? Would a FB page give HMC good exposure to what all we’re doing? Are you interested in being our Houston Mennonite Church Facebook administrator? If your answer to any of these is ‘yes” please let Marty know! (a reply email or fb message would do just fine).
►June 4: Men’s Breakfast.
Breaking New Ground:  A Church Planting Consultation”  will be held May 27-28 in Oklahoma City, OK.  Any WDC member* who has a heart for developing new churches is invited.   (*Church planters, church planting support committees, sister congregations, pastors, members who have a desire to be a part of an intentional church planting initiative.)  We hope to have one representative from every WDC congregation.  Brochure with more information and registration form is attached.  Form is also available at:  Register by May 12.           (Note to church staff:  In addition to announcing this consultation, please distribute or post the brochure as appropriate.  Would your congregation be willing to support a representative from your church if they are willing to commit the time?  Thank you.)

The Peace Pastor
Check out Pastor Marty’s blog on  He writes as The Peace Pastor (look for the familiar green peace dove). This week’s blog is called “But What About the Children?”

Christian Formation Options at HMC:
Join us each Sunday morning at 9:30AM!
►ADULTS: NT Bible Study.
►Preschool (age 2-4): With Adrienne Graybill.
►Intermediate Youth:  with Lynda Voran.
►Junior and Senior High: With Kristi Long and Alan Wilson.
** Children’s Church during worship in our children’s ministry room for kids 1-5. They hear a Bible story, sing, and play together.


April 17th Church Picnic Roles!!!

SIDE DISHES: Everyone!!  HMC is providing the main grilled items.

Stewardship Team

    • Ed’s 2 home-made long tables set up on deck by Annex for food
    • All other tables and all folding chairs set up on western deck, some chairs set up in circles on ground
    • 2 children’s tables set up with kiddy chairs. In shade of trees close to deck
    • Move picnic table into shade beside deck    
    • CLEAN-UP TABLES AND CHAIRS after event 

Community Life Ministry Team




  • Publicity: Invite neighbors, baseball team, HPJC, Living Hope Wheelchair, produce flyer
  • Produce two signs inviting people in: Eric Hoffhien.    
  • Purchase prizes for games


GREETERS and Hosts (in parking lot and by deck)


  • Seed planting with children: Discipleship Team
  • Crafts: Sewers and Doers
  • Co-operative games and sheet toss game – Judy 
  • Go fish (Fish Pond) with prizes- Danielle    & Adrienne            
  •  Bean bag toss- Ruben and Irma Tiger Dart board: Ruben and Irma
  • Ring toss- Adrianne & Danielle
  • Pinata-Elizabeth
  • FACE PAINTING-Amanda           
  • BALLOONS: Wheelchair association, Raymond.
  • Children’s Hats: Cheryl


ORDER OF WORSHIP April 17, 2011


Welcome and Call to Worship
Opening Prayer                                              
* Singing                                                                                                                                               
All glory, laud and honor HWB #237 vss 3-5
Hosanna, loud hosanna HWB #238

Confession and Silent Prayer
Halle, hallelujah SJ #17           

Children’s Time                                                                                                          
Scripture Reading            Matthew 21:1-11                                                                              
Sermon                        Who is this?                                                                                                      Gilberto
Scripture Reading           Psalm 118:1-2,19-29                                    
Sharing, & Announcements                                                                                                                
* Song of Sending         My song is love unknwn             vss 1,2,6,7                                                       
* Sending Prayer/Commissioning

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, 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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