HMC E-Newsletter May 3, 2012
Excerpt from “Naked Anabaptist” where Stuart Murray asks,
What is the Essence of Anabaptism?
Here’s his 7-point answer:
- Jesus is our example, teacher, friend, redeemer, and Lord. He is the source of our life, the central reference point for our faith and lifestyle, for our understanding of church, and our engagement with society.
- Jesus is the focal point of God’s revelation. We are committed to a Jesus-centered approach to the Bible, and to the community of faith as the primary context in which we read the Bible and discern and apply its implications for discipleship.
- We are committed to learning from the experience and perspectives of movements such as Anabaptism that rejected standard Christendom assumptions and pursued alternative ways of thinking and behaving.
- The frequent association of the church with status, wealth, and force is inappropriate for followers of Jesus and damages our witness.
- Churches are called to be committed communities of discipleship and mission, places of friendship, mutual accountability, and multi-voiced worship.
- Spirituality and economics are interconnected.
- Peace is at the heart of the gospel.
Connecting More Fully at HMC:
►Prayer with your church family! Here’s an Easter Prayer Practice (with a scripture to memorize) on our church worship tab! Here: http://bit.ly/IBpUhb When you’ve memorized the text, let Marty know and we’ll have you recite it in worship!
►Ten Thousand Villages Sunday is May 20: Shop and support fair trade!
►Our next potluck will be Sunday, May 27
►1st Annual Kickball Game: 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.
►Save the date: Neighborhood BBQ, June 3
► Houston Mennonite Church is now on Facebook! Pictures from Easter Sunday, links, friends, oh my! So much to see, so much to do.
►Did you miss last week’s sermons? You can find them at: houstonmennonite.org, sermon tab.
►Backpacks and blankets needed for area homeless. Please drop them off at HMC. Will be distributed through our connections with Food not Bombs.
►Faith eXploration Baptism Class on Sunday!! A catechism class for those interested or exploring baptism and/or your faith in a deeper way continues Sunday. We’ll meet in the Annex youth room.
►SACK LUNCHES are available at church to be given to hungry folks. Grab a couple, carry them in your car to give out, and bless the hungry in a much better way than giving cash.
►Yes, Houston Mennonite Church is now on Facebook! Please Like us and spread the word that this page exists. Facebook.com/HoustonMennonite Pictures from Easter Sunday, links, friends, oh my! So much to see, so much to do.
►Unexpected News: Reading the Bible Through Third World Eyes discussion group Sunday’s at 9:30AM all welcome.
Building up the Body of Christ: Links to Form Faith.
- Why you should shrink your church http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/160177-why-you-need-to-shrink-your-church.html?fb_ref=.T6A23HFhOno.like&fb_source=other_multiline
- A Simple Process for Overcoming your Phobias: http://www.mennoworld.org/blog/2012/5/3/simple-process-overcoming-phobias/
- Missional Living video: “Becoming a Trader.” Another rexcellent 2 minute video intro into following Jesus in daily life. http://bit.ly/II779T
Worship Shapes us to Engage the World
By Marty Troyer
We sang this song in worship last Sunday at church. I love it because it calls us to engage our world, and to view worship as a step into reality, not a step out of it. It fully supports our growing sense of what it means to be a disciple in Houston.
I didn’t get a chance to sing this as I was with my kids in the children’s ministry room, so I pulled it out this morning for my prayer time. It’s from Hope Publishing, lyrics 1969. The original title is When the Church of Jesus.
When the church of Jesus shuts its outer door,
Lest the roar of traffic drown the voice of prayer;
May our prayers, Lord, make us 10 times more aware
That the world we banish is our Christian care.
If our hearts are lifted, where dovotion soars,
High above this hungry suffering world of ours;
Lest our hymns should drug us to forget its needs,
Forge our Christian worship into Christian deeds.
Lest the gifts we offer, money, talents, time
Serve to salve our conscience, to our secret shame
Lord, reprove, inspire us by the way You give.
Teach us, dying Savior, how Christians live.
How excellent is that? As someone guilty of every form of separation this and any other song mentions, I find the challenge empowering. It gives me spiritual energy to be a disciple of Jesus, and to define that in a way appropriate to my urban context.
It reminds me of a scene from the fantastic documentary Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai (Nobel Prize winner and eco-peace activist in Kenya). This is a ridiculously amazing story illustrating systemic injustice, faith, the connection between the environment and justice, and the power of one person’s vision.
But embedded in the film is a scene of an organizer empowering a roomful of people to take personal responsibility for their “hungry suffering world.” He identifies a list of reasons we “banish” the world from “our Christian care.” One key reason being particular forms of eschatology, or theology about God’s future. If we believe we are to sit back and wait for a rapture, second coming, or new millenium, than it makes sense to remain pure, separate, disengaged from the “sinful,” “unclean,” world around us.
But if we believe that how Christians live is tied to the common good, the shalom of our communities, than we need to “forge our Christian worship into Christian deeds.”
What songs do that for you? What worship practices inspire your Christian deeds? What do you do on Sunday’s that help you follow Jesus the rest of the week?
I’d love to hear!
Jesus is risen… now what?
Worship May 6, 2012
Does the resurrection matter for daily life? What does it mean that Jesus – executed now risen – is present with us today? Join us next Sunday as we enter the book of Acts for inspiration on walking in the resurrection! Paul says in Romans, “the same Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you! Consider yourselves dead to sin, able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus!” More than a historical fact, the resurrection of Christ empowers each of us to live the abundant life God intends.
Check out the Prayer Practice on our church worship tab! Here: http://bit.ly/IBpUhb
Christ the Lord is risen today HWB #280
*Scripture John 15: 1-8
Holy Spirit come with power HWB #26
Meditation and Offering HWB #750
How are you called to join God’s mission by giving your time, talents and treasure?
What do you bring to build up the Body of Christ, and how can we build you up?
Prayer Please feel free to light a candle prayer at this time
Scripture Reading Acts 8:26-40
Message God is leading! Will you follow?
Song of Ministry
Lord Jesus you shall be my song SJ #14
Commitment to Ministry SJ #171
Connecting More Fully
Sending text I John 4:7-11
God loves all his many people HWB #397
♦ 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.
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.