HMC E-Newsletter January 12, 2012
Connecting More Fully at HMC:
►Annual Covenant Signing Ceremony: Covenant Signing: Last Sunday we celebrated covenant signing, saying to each other that “We are the body of Christ, a family of faith, in it together to support nurture and care for one another in shared mission and life.” If you were unable to sign last week and want to commit to HMC in 2012, please sign our 2012 Covenant on the back podium. All friends and members of Houston Mennonite who journey with or long to journey with Jesus and others are invited to sign as a symbol of commitment and faithfulness.”
►New Adult Education Class: The Heart of Mennonite Worship. Enter the sanctuary of any congregation on Sunday morning and you’ll see people at worship. We sing, we pray, we listen to the Word, and we break bread together. Worship, and especially singing together, is our common ground. It shapes our faith in profound ways.
This four-session study guide, The Heart of Mennonite Worship: Five Vital Rhythms, will help your congregation think more deeply about worship.”
►Ten Thousand Villages: This Sunday, January 15th, is our Sunday to volunteer at the store. Consider shopping and volunteering at Ten Thousand Villages (2424A Rice Boulevard).! Supporting Fair Trade is one of the main ways we express our care for the world around us as a congregation. To register, please go to http://www.villageshouston.org and click on “Volunteers” to register with Shiftboard, or call the store at (713)533-1000.
►Congregational Potluck Meal and Meeting: January 22, 2012 after worship and the potluck fellowship meal. (Note date change to accommodate TTV Sunday)
Spiritual Formation in the image of Christ
Here are excerpts of several articles to inspire your life of faith; follow the links to dig deeper. If you run across an article worth sharing, please do!
1.Overcoming Evil with Good
By Steve Kriss, first posted at Mennonite Weekly Review
Kriss explores the connections between the civil rights movement of King’s day and what it means for Christians in America that “love calls forth real action,” especially in our relationship to the immigrant community. He goes on to say:
Recently I skimmed through a book on the Underground Railroad’s passages through Pennsylvania. I noticed the seeming lack of Mennonite actors, even though the pathways were near to areas heavily populated by Mennonites. Since “the underground” was illegal, I’m not surprised law-abiding Mennonites weren’t actively participating. However, it made me wonder what our place might be in the midst of social action and human liberation. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Spirit is always on the side of freedom. What does this mean practically?
You can read the full article here: http://www.mennoweekly.org/2012/1/16/overcoming-evil-good/?page=2
2..Hope for a new Haiti: Two years after a devastating earthquake
By Sheldon C. Good, assistant editor of Mennonite Weekly Review.
2 years ago today 220,000 Haitians lost their lives in a magnitude 7 earthquake that highlighted the injustices already there. Here’s an excellent example of a Mennonite author getting broader exposure through a wider platform than Menno-media. Good’s article posted at The Huffington Post explores his recent trip to Haiti.
Haiti will always be Haiti. It will never change. That’s what a young, educated Haitian told me as our Land Cruiser meandered past the still-destroyed National Palace two years after a devastating earthquake struck. The young man said he had little hope for his country but would always have hope for himself and his family.
Haitians profess hope for their personal lives but not for their country. But individual hope can lead to collective hope. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” NGOs and Haitians are working together to bend that arc.
You can read the full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sheldon-c-good/hope-for-a-new-haiti_b_1196281.html
3.A Spirituality for our time
By Marty Troyer, Posted on The Peace Pastor website for Chron.com
I’m becoming more aware of the disconnect in my life between my profession of faithfulness and reality. Here’s an attempt to look more deeply for a spirituality to form me to be a sustained follower of Jesus:
The saints of history are not formed in comfort. Nor are they known for the commonness of their religious practice. The hero’s of history are formed by the extraordinariness of their context and the depth of their religious practice. Indeed, the two seem to go together: the context demanding spiritual formation for survival, but which catalyzes a strength of character that changes the world around them.
When death and hate, corruption and discrimination are all around you, how will you survive? Such was the dilemma for Mohandas Gandhi of India, known for his nonviolent resistance to and victory over the British Empire. Gandhi searched for a framework of resistance and spirituality to counter the injustice in his country.
While studying overseas he discovered Jesus and his most famous sermon from Matthew 5-7, which went “straight to my heart.” Here he found a spiritual leader speaking directly to his position in the margins, empowering “experiments in truth” directed at imperial power. He says in his autobiography, “The verses ‘But I say unto you that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man take away thy coat let him have thy cloak too,’ delighted me beyond measure.”
These verses are not common religious practice for most followers of Jesus. But for Gandhi the Sermon on the Mount formed the background of a radical life of faith and action. As my prayer book Common Prayer reminded me this morning, “For most of his adult life, Gandhi read -Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount every morning, convinced that it contained a truth more powerful than the empire that occupied his native India.”
You can read the full article here: http://blog.chron.com/thepeacepastor/2012/01/gandhi-and-king-a-spirituality-for-our-time/
Order of Worship for January 15, 2012
*Call to Worship (inside bulletin)
*Songs of Praise Praise with joy the World’s Creator SJ #16 & Jesus calls us SJ #3
Scripture Ephesians 4:1-16
Sharing Joys and Concerns
Scripture 1 Samuel 3:1-10
Reading of Mission and Vision Statement (inside bulletin)
Song of Response Here I am Lord HWB #395
Connecting More Fully
*Commissioning Song God the Spirit HWB #632
Thank you to the following for sharing your gifts! Speaker: Pastor Marty Troyer; Children’s Message: Jane McNair; Song Leader: Mike Schmidt; Pianist: Margaret Gehman; Scripture Reader: Dave Bauchelle; Children’s Church: Maribel Hinojosa.
Christian Formation Options at HMC:
Join us each Sunday morning at 9:30AM!
►Adults: Worship study
►Junior High/High School Youth: with Lynda and Roxie Voran, 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.