HMC E-Newsletter January 19, 2012

Potluck This Sunday: Bring your own table settings (plate, cup, silverware).
After worship Sunday it was suggested we follow other Mennonite churches who invite their members to lower  trash output and the sweat-equity needed to host fellowship meals by having members provide table settings. One church, Hesston Mennonite, has done this for so long it’s simply part of the culture, everyone acts as if that’s what a potluck meal is. Give it a try this Sunday. When you pack your yummy casserole or side dish, just through in the rest as well. If you forget, table ware will be provided as always!

Connecting More Fully at HMC:
Congregational Potluck Meal and Meeting: January 22, 2012 after worship and the potluck fellowship meal.
►See Attachment for Congregational Meeting Agenda and 2011 Reports, 2012 Budget, etc…

Leaf Racking Saturday:
Fellow Houston Mennonite Participants:
Please join me and if you have the following: bring your own leaf rake, wheelbarrows, tarps, weed eaters for a yard clean up this Saturday at HMC from 9 AM till noon. I have a few leaf rakes in the shed.
Email me at or call me at 713-201-5534 with any questions or comments.
I hope to see you on Saturday.  Have a great week! Gerald Gehman
Peace Club:
Come this Saturday, January 21 from 3:00-5:00 and help create a banner that can be hung and carried in parades.  Donations of felt pieces and other art materials that could be used for this project would be appreciated.  There will also be some vegetarian recipees to make for the Food Not Bombs group and those who enjoy gardening will have an opportunity to plant some seasonal vegetables. There will also be time  to read and share about Black History Month.  For additional information, contact Judy Hoffhien.  This is a project of the Houston Peace and Justice Center and the Mennonite Church.
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.

Are you being Formed in the image of Christ?
Here are excerpts of  several articles to inspire your life of faith; follow the links to dig deeper. Send me articles worth sharing here!

1. FaithWalking:
Prayer, worship, fellowship, intentional living, serious faith, Christ-centered devotion. These are all components I’ve come to be nurtured by here at HMC and witness in your lives every day. I’m thrilled to raise my children in a community I hope they grow up to mirror in behavior, grace, and life of faith. FaithWalking is a retreat that combines all the elements we’ve come to love about our Anabaptist Christian heritage: and it’s right here in Houston! My FaithWalking Retreat in August reenergized my faith, has helped me to see some patterns of behavior in my life that are not consistent with my Christian values, strengthened my mission in the community, and helped me to trust people and God more deeply.

A retreat setting is a specific time to cultivate qualities of leadership and Christian living we all strive for: hope, humility, patience, ministry, and devotion. I can’t recommend it enough. As a church which says we value discipleship to Christ and growth in faith, this is our kind of event! I can’t recommend enough that you follow the link right now and sign up for a FaithWalking Retreat that suits your schedule. And when you do, let me (Marty) know so I can be a prayer partner for you!

You can find more info, dates, locations, what to expect, etc… at the website. Here’s the 2012 dates:

  • February 10-12, 2012
  • April 13-15, 2012
  • June 8-10, 2012 (Focus on Education Sector)
  • August 24-26, 2012
  • October, 12-14, 2012

You can read the full article here:

2.WorldPeace Game
John Hunter believes in the power of a fourth grader. Equipping kids with “the things that make for peace,” this elementary teacher places the worlds biggest problems in front of his class and asks them to solve them. And they can (“We solved global warming in a week!”).

“The World Peace Game” is a wildly creative simulation game involving countries and governments, land and sky, armies and power. Each child holds an office or plays a role such as prime minister, arms dealer, peace force, or weather goddess who controls the weather and the stock market. A “crisis document” with 50 interlocking problems and injustices (oil spills, famine, war, etc…) is then put into play, as Hunter steps back to let the children lead. “I don’t know. And because I don’t know they have to dig up the answer.”

It’s great teaching and looks like a lot of fun. 

You can watch the 20 minute video here:

3.Forgiveness Norms
By Robert Yutzy

Robert Yutzy acknowledges the difficulty of forgiveness and offers us a way forward in making it a part of our Christian DNA.” As much as I love that idea of it being part of my DNA, neither asking for or giving forgiveness comes easy to me. Read what he has to say about cultivating “Forgiveness norms” in your life.

It is to be embodied, not ingested for a temporary effect…Several characteristics can help explain why forgiveness isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. This is where my colleague’s metaphor of “taking a walk around the lake” is invaluable and helps us realize that forgiveness takes time. Often, before we can even get to the point of forgiveness, we need to be heard and validated for our experience. We need someone to recognize that an injustice has occurred. A huge part of nurturing forgiveness norms is taking that “walk around the lake” to give the time to hear from each other and to understand each other’s perspective. It is hard to get to forgiveness when we are caught in our hurt, pain and anger.

You can read the full article here:

Order of Worship for January 22, 2012
Building up the Body of Christ

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.

*Call to Worship                               
*Opening Prayer                                                      
*Songs of Praise                               
Here in this place  HWB #6
Help us to help each other HWB #362
Scripture                                  Ephesians 4:1-16
Children’s Message
Sharing Joys and Concerns
Scripture                                  Jonah 3:1-5,10
Song of Response        One is the body  SJ #72
Connecting More Fully                                                       
*Sending Song There are many gifts HWB #304

Thank you to the following for sharing your gifts! Worship Leader: Linda Washburn; Speaker: Pastor Marty Troyer; Pianist: Pam Stephens; Scripture: Lynda Voran; Children’s Church: Jane McNair

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.

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.

I hope your day is filled with joy!

Marty Troyer
Pastor, Houston Mennonite Church
Cell: (713)835-9436

Church: (713)464-4865
Blogging as The Peace Pastor at

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