HMC E-Newsletter May 24, 2012
Connecting More Fully at HMC:
►1st Annual Kickball Game THIS SATURDAY AT 2PM: Calling all HMCers for a game of Kickball! Please come to the church on May 26 at 2pm to play kickball together. Bring bug spray, running shoes, some hydration and a sense of humor! We look forward to seeing you there.
►Potluck Fellowship Meal Sunday! Please bring your own table ware and a dish to share. All welcome to stay!
►ANNUAL OUREACH BAR BQ HMC Church BBQ, Sunday June 3, after worship. Bring a friend, bring a dish to share. Main dish provided. Greeters are needed to welcome folks to the bar b q on Sunday, June 3. The shifts will be for an hour each strarting at 1:00. Others are needed to help with the pinta, children’s games, etc. Everyone is asked to bring a side dish to share with the meat that will be served. This is an important event that can show others that we are a caring group who cares about our community. If you would like to help, contact Marty or Judy H.
►Did you miss last week’s sermons? You can find them at: houstonmennonite.org, sermon tab. exists.
Why Jesus Resurrection Matters: Finale
By Marty Troyer
Over the last 7 weeks we’ve seen the importance of Jesus’ resurrection in our daily life. It’s more than something to think, it’s something to live. Paul’s words about us in Romans have been our foundation, “The same Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you! Consider yourselves dead to sin, free and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus! Jesus Christ is risen!” Powerful words if taken to heart.
But what would it look like to really embrace the truth about ourselves as being an Easter people? The picture that has developed over the Easter season has been rich. Here are some of the ways we’ve explored how resurrection matters for daily life.
We’ve said numerous times that the fact of the resurrection overcomes our fears (fears of death, failure, of losing face, being made fun of, etc…). This is wildly meaningful given 76% of us saying on Easter Sunday that fear is our primary block to radical obedience. Last Sunday I said, “The evidence from John 17 is that we have absolutely nothing to fear! Jesus specifically prays to God for our protection from the evil one.”
We’ve seen how resurrection equips us for Bold and Holistic Witness, witness that is both personal and social in nature. About the lame man Peter (a perfectly normal human just like you!) heals, I said, “But suddenly, he’s no longer slave to what boxed him in. He encounters Jesus gospel through the holistic witness of both word and deed, and he’s healed. Evangelism would have left him “saved” but still lame. Social action would have left him healed but outside the temple with no need to praise God. Peter gives him both, the full gospel for the full individual.”
We’ve seen how volunteerism is more important in transforming us than perhaps anything. Thank you Judy for your powerful sermon April 29! And for Roxie’s sharing that morning that an ethic of service is born in community.
We’ve seen how the resurrection calls us to see God, not ourselves, as the primary character in our own life story. Doing so forces us to ask ourselves what do we need to do today to hear the Spirit tomorrow? If Jesus is indeed risen, a proper response certainly must include intimacy in relationship with him through prayer and scripture. In a renewed way over the last 2 months, I’ve certainly experienced this in my own life.
We’ve seen how the work of Christ in our world includes Undoing Racism and Advancing Intercultural Transformation. In one of the most specific sermons I’ve ever preached, I said, “I believe God is calling our church to pursue racial justice, and that we’re invited to participate in creating a city of holistic shalom and peace in all ways.” I went on to ask, “But how do we get there?” So I introduced you to a pioneer and expert in intercultural competency: Saint Peter, who in Acts 10 teaches us “10 Skills Required for Intercultural Transformation.” This was an exciting sermon to preach, which has subsequently been published online by both Mennonite World Review and Tony Compolo on his blog, Red Letter Christians.
Finally, last week we looked at the extravagant generosity of God whose gifts are seemingly endless! “14 times [Jesus’] prayer highlights his gifts to us: eternal life, God’s word, complete joy, protection, sanctification, love, oneness, and even God’s glory. These wildly thoughtful gifts help us to see our God more clearly, and help us to see ourselves more clearly. We are sent in the exact same manner in which God sent Jesus, and we are equipped as was Jesus with everything needed for us to accomplish our task of becoming God’s gift to the world.”
This is an exciting list! It connects very well with the 10 Habits of Healthy Urban Congregations I shared earlier: Successful Urban Churches: Know their Identity and Primary Mission; Have Vision; Have a Missional Spirituality; Form Missional Disciples; Develop deep Christian Community; embrace Holistic Witness; are good Stewards of their time, talent, energy, and treasure; Develop Leaders; Work at Undoing Racism and being Multi-Cultural; Partner with local churches and organizations.
Houston Mennonites, Is there anything that is impossible with God? Jesus –once executed now risen- has unleashed the Holy Spirit of wholeness, generative creativity, hopeful mission, and caring love into the world. You can and should consider yourself dead to fear and boredom and able to fully live on mission with God right here in Houston. You can live the same life as Jesus in our world, breaking and pouring yourself out for our world. Because the same Spirit that brought Jesus back to life lives in you!
And so I ask you, what do you want to create? How will you begin? And who will be your partner?
May you come to know the risen power of Christ alive in you where you live, work, and play. AMEN
Building up the Body of Christ: Resources to Form Faith.
All of these links can be found on the webpage of Mennonite World Review. http://www.mennoworld.org/blog/
- Creating Sacred Spaces: Do we really Need churches? By Christine Sine. http://www.mennoworld.org/blog/2012/5/18/creating-sacred-spaces-do-we-really-need-churches/ She says, “f we expect to meet with the One we love wherever we walk, listen look and learn, all of God’s creation becomes a sacred space where we can interact with God, experience the love of God and see the story of God unfold. As C.S. Lewis expresses it: “Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are ‘patches of Godlight’ in the woods of our experience.””
- The Importance of [Wo]Mentoring Relationships, by Hannah Heinzekehr. She says, “It is clear that young women value and are grateful for both the female and male mentors they have had, and long for more mentoring relationships. They desire people who can help them understand how to balance work and personal life, who can help them understand what it looks like to navigate academia or organizational politics, and who are willing to share their own stories.”
- Does “Evangelism” = Proselytizing? By Brian McLaren. He says, “All religions, I think, have a mission. For some manifestations of each religion, the mission appears to be little more than institutional survival — keeping a clergy class employed, keeping buildings or temples open and so on. For others, the mission focuses on bringing benefits to members only (sometimes “enhanced” with threats toward the other). For others — the best ones, in my opinion — the mission extends to “the other” by focusing on the common good, with special attention to the outsider, outcast, stranger, marginalized, forgotten, disadvantaged and enemy.”
Pentecost Worship May 27, 2012
*Opening Songs Shine Jesus shine &Spirit song
*Scripture Reading Psalm 104:24-34
Meditation and Offering How can you use your time, energy, talents and possessions for God’s purposes in the world?
Scripture Reading Acts 2: 1-21
Song of Confession and Ministry O breathe on me, O breath of God SJ #46
Sharing Time What do you bring to build up the Body of Christ, and how can we build you up?
Connecting More Fully
Sending Text Acts 1:8
*Sending Song Holy Spirit, Come with power HWB # 26
Christian Formation Options at HMC:
Join us each Sunday morning at 9:30AM!
►Adults: Unexpected News: Read the Bible through Third World Eyes, by Robert McAffee Brown as our guide.
►Junior High/High School Youth: Faith Exploration with Pastor Marty. In the annex.
** Children’s Church: During worship in our children’s ministry room for kids aged 1-5. They learn a Bible story, sing, and play together.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, also available on Facebook.