HMC E-Newsletter January 26, 2012

NOTICE: We’re studying Ephesians 4:1-16 in-depth this month. Please read Paul’s letter to the Ephesians this weekend in prep for Sunday. As you read, imagine Ephesians is the only source you’ve ever had to understand Jesus. How does Paul talk about Christ, and what he might mean when he says in chapter 4 we are to “come the measure of the full stature of Christ.” Here’s a link to read it in “The Message” for a nice change.

Connecting More Fully at HMC:
February 5: Super Bowl Party at HMC. Bring a snack to share, a game to play, and some canned food to donate. Kick-off is 5:25PM.

February 12: Congregational Meeting for Campus Development. After worship.

February 19: Ten Thousand Villages Sunday: Shop, Volunteer, Support Fair Trade.
FaithWalking Retreat: Sign up now for a 2012 FaithWalking Retreat here in Houston. It is FREE! Retreat dates are:

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

William Cavanaugh (!!) lecture: “Being Consumed: Christianity and Consumerism.  Monday, February 6, 2012 .• 8:30 a.m. The Victual Event Room 3814 Lyons Ave .Houston TX 77020 (Breakfast served, and a lecture).  William Cavanaugh is a professor at DePaul University.  His writings provide alternative ways for Christians to re-imagine how to live faithfully in their political and economic lives.  His writings include: The Myth of Religious Violence, Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire, and most recently Migrations of the Holy: God State and the Political Meaning of the Church.  Please RSVP to: Pastor Marty has RSVP’d.
The Peace Pastor: This week The Peace Pastor blog was on the 39th anniversary of Roe v Wade. You can see it here on Mennonite Weekly Review’s website:

Are you Interested? In…

  • Community Garden? We have great capacity for a community garden. We need to create a small team of 5-10 folks who are willing to make it happen whether hell or high water. There are folks who are interested? Are you? Are you interested in being part of that core team? Are you interested in determining what kind of a garden it could be (donation, you keep, individuals from community have their own designated plots, etc…)? Are you interested in investing the time/energy into making it happen? If so, contact Pastor Marty, whose empowering a core team as you read this!
  • A Midweek coffee hour on Tuesday or Wednesday morning or afternoon? Who doesn’t love sitting with friends with a warm drink in your hand? There are plenty of folks available during the week for us to gather regularly (weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly?) in an informal setting to, what: chat, pray, talk, book study? Interest has been expressed, if you want to add your interest, let Pastor Marty know! Meeting times and place (church? Local coffee shop?) to be determined by interested parties.


 Please join some HMCer’s  for a special screening of:


 8pm, Wednesday, February 1,  2012
Edwards Greenway Theatre
3839 Weslayan St., Houston


In 1991, Cameron Todd Willingham’s three daughter died in a Corsicana, Texas,  house fire.   Tried and convicted for their arson murders, Willingham was executed on February 17, 2004, despite overwhelming expert criticism of the prosecution’s arson evidence.  Today,  Willingham’s name has become a call for reform in the field of forensics and a rallying cry for the anti-death penalty  movement;  yet he remains as an indisputable “monster” in the eyes of Texas Governor Rick Perry, who ignored the science that could have saved Willingham’s life.  Equal parts murder mystery, forensic investigation and political drama, INCENDIARY documents the haunted legacy of a prosecution built on “folklore”.   


The Willingham case has captivated theatrical audiences.   Winner of the 2011 Louis Black Award at SXSW Films, INCENDIARY has been called “one of the most timely movies of the year…nonfiction filmaking at its most classic.   Crime, punishment and hardball politics make for an explosive narrative mix all their own” (Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post).  

 The Houston Peace and Justice Center will host a discussion of the most recent developments in the Willingham Case and the death penalty immediately following the film. 

 Tickets can be purchased by going to the following website:  A limited number of half-price tickets are available to teachers and students – call Dave Atwood at 832-693-5710 for details. 

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!
On Sunday I spoke about how we are “the body of Christ” first and foremost, and individuals only secondarily. As Christians we are called to unity, to be one, to see ourselves as individuals-in-community who are defined in relationship to the whole. If this is true, how does that change anything? What’s that mean when you live an hour and a whole city away from others you see only once or thrice a month? Here are several resources that flesh out what it means for us to “consider the whole.”

1.There is no such thing as a Christian
Here’s a sermon I preached 3 years ago that forms the foundation of Sunday’s sermon.

There is no such thing as a Christian. There is no such thing as a Christian. But only the church, only the body of Christ. Only people committed to their faith and to their faith community.

We too, are not alone. We are not alone in our despair. We are not alone in our collapsing finances. We are not alone in our brokenness and doubt. We are not alone in our joy and in our celebrations. We are not alone in our calling, or in our service. No! We are the body of Christ. We are the church. And you are loved. We bear one another’s burdens. Our love is patient, and kind. We forgive not just 7 times but 70 times 7 times. When our peace is broken we will work to restore it. We will love you through prayer. You are not alone.

You can read the entire resource here:


2.Is Worship all about “Me and Jesus” or “Us and Jesus”
Here’s a short video by Kurt Willems, an Anabaptist blogger who attends the same seminary that Sylvia graduated from. In it he explores the communal implications on worship music. It’s called “Is worship all about ‘Me and Jesus’ or ‘Us and Jesus’?” He’s asking a good question, one we answered in our closing prayer Sunday, praying “Our Father…” Check it out:

You can watch the 3 minute video here:

3.The Biblical Premise for Diversity in the Church
Here’s a great look by Katelin Hansen at what “unity” looks like. Hint, it doesn’t mean uniformity, or homogeneity, or being culturally exclusive. Rather, but Christian definition it MUST be diverse! Her entire site is worth surfing.

Diversity in the church is scriptural. It is holy. God himself is a manifestation of three vastly different entities communing together in unity.  God has designed his people so that we need everyone in order to fully understand who He is.

Notice that we are not supposed to be ‘colorblind.’ If we pretend as if ‘we are all the same‘ then we miss richness that God gave us. He has designed the church to be a body that is unified, but that has unique parts that need each other—we are not all eyes or feet, remember. 

You can read the full article here:

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

*Call to Worship                      Psalm 111
*Opening Prayer                                                      
*Songs of Praise                                        
Jesus Christ is waiting  SJ #30
I want to walk SJ #95
Scripture (inside bulletin)        Ephesians 4:1-16
Children’s Message
Sharing Joys and Concerns
Leaders Follow

Song of Response                                                    
Will you let me be your servant  HWB #307

Connecting More Fully                                                       
*Sending Song
There are many gifts HWB #304

Thank you to the following for sharing your gifts! Worship Leader: Dave Bauchelle; Speaker: Pastor Marty Troyer; Song Leader: Paul Siemens; Scripture Reader: Byron Gingrich; Children’s Message: Margaret Gehman; Pianist: Linda Washburn; Children’s Church: Hannah Troyer

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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