HMC E-Newsletter June 21, 2012
Connecting More Fully at HMC:
►June Fellowship Meal Potluck: June 24th. Main dish will be provided. Please bring a small side or dessert and your tableware. Thanks!
►Memorize the Books of the Bible: Remember, as part of our summer series we’re all memorizing the 66 books in the Bible. Grab your bookmark (provided at church) and (re)memorize God’s Word!
►Kroger Donation Program: An easy way to donate money to HMC is to sign up for the Kroger Neighbor to Neighbor Program. When you use your Kroger card on purchases, Kroger will automatically add a portion to HMC’s account. Simply take the “customer letter” to your local Kroger store and have the cashier scan the bar code at the bottom to link up your Kroger Plus card. You are all set! The new program year begins July 1 so sign up now and begin earning money for the church! Find your customer letter in your box at church.
► HMC Women’s Luncheon
When: Saturday, August 4, 2012
Where: Brookwood Cafe in Brookshire
Time: 11:00 am
►Pastor Marty and family will be out of town Sunday night June 17th – 27th. Please contact a Community Life Team Member for pastoral care needs: Twila, Gloria, or Kristi.
►Join us on Facebook if you haven’t already! www.facebook.com/HoustonMennonite
►Western District Conference annual gathering will be held July 6th – 8th in Oklahoma City. www.mennowdc.org for more information (or see below).
WDC Annual Gathering
Becoming One to be Sent in Christ (John 17) is the theme for the upcoming Western District Conference annual assembly, set for July 6th – 8th at Meridian Convention Center in Oklahoma City. You, as a member of a WDC church, are invited to attend this gathering of resourcing, meaningful worship and community-building conversations. Featured speakers are Chuck Neufeld and Eugene Thieszen. Check your church office for registration info or: www.mennowdc.org.
Note these upcoming deadlines for the WDC Annual Assembly:
Hotel – for the lowest rate, call the Magnuson Hotel in Oklahoma City by JUNE 6 at 1-800-784-7830 to reserve your room. Say that you are with the Western District Mennonite Convention, code #13408. (Please do NOT book rooms online, as this will not allow use of free meeting rooms.)
Registration form – Send your registration form with payment by JUNE 22. After this date, the registration fee increases.
Building up the Body of Christ: What is the Gospel anyway?
- The Gospel in the Gospels, an excellent short summary of what the gospel really is! http://www.mennoworld.org/2012/6/11/gospel-gospels/
- Storm Front: The Good News of God, is a great 120 page book that presents in a fairly dense way the Gospel of God in the American context. I loved this book both times I’ve read it, and recommend it if you enjoy theology.
- Have you ever been truly understood? This is a rich blog post that reveals not only a feeling about what the gospel is, but how to inhabit it for others, and how it feels when someone genuinely shares it with you. http://faithwalking.blogspot.com/2012/06/have-you-ever-been-truly-understood.html
Bible Book Summary: Romans
The book we call “Romans” was not written to you or me. Nor is it systematic theology or God’s little instruction manual for faith. Paul’s letter was specifically written to the church in the imperial capital of Rome for specific reasons in a very specific way.
Writing to those in the heart of empire, Paul teaches the church how to read or mirror empire, and maps or orients Christians in how to live within empire and the reign of God. Juxtaposing Jesus’ kingdom reign and cruciform life with Caesar’s empire and idolatry (peace through victory, religious patriotism, etc…), he calls us to live into Jesus’ narrative and righteousness, not empire’s. It is a narrative approach in how to “read” the culture around us.
Paul uses three theological arguments to “read” empire: Christology, eschatology, and the New Community. All subvert Caesar and empire’s claims to lordship, and place Jesus as lord of all peoples. An excellent summary of Romans can be found in Karl Barth’s rendering of Romans 12:2; He says, “Do not fashion yourselves according to the present form of this world, but according to its coming transformation, by renewing your mind.” To do so brings “life”, “redemption”, freedom, and the capacity for obedience (Romans 6), victory over the powers (Romans 8), a new community (9-11), peace and harmony with one another (14:19,15:5), and spreads the gospel to all.
In sum, “The gospel of Jesus reveals the righteousness of God” (Romans 1:17) who is the “God of peace” (15:33,16:20).
Does it still matter today? You bet! Paul teaches us not only what to believe, but how to express it in the public realm. “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus” is a statement that critiques everything about a quietist, disengaged faith and invites us to not only live for Christ, but to do so publicly before the watching world.
GOD’S STORY (YOU ARE HERE) June 24, 2012
God is Worthy of Praise
Opening Scripture Psalm 111
Songs of Praise and Celebration
Praise to the Lord the Almighty HWB #37
When long before time SJ #25, vs 1-4
God Calls a People
Scripture Genesis 12:1-10
Song The God of Abraham Praise HWB #162
Moment in Mission
God Redeems the People
Scripture Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Song When Israel was in Egypt’s Land HWB #164
God Exiles the People
Scripture Jeremiah 7:1-15
Song By the Waters of Babylon HWB #148
Prayer of Confession HWB #690
God Sustains the People
Scripture Daniel 3:8-18
Sharing Time How do we need God to sustain us?
Prayer for the People HWB #720
God Defines His People
Scripture Micah 6:1-8
Song Micah 6:8
Connecting More Fully
Sending Song Obey my Voice HWB #163
* Please stand if comfortable when indicated by asterisk.
SJ- Sing the Journey (Green spiral-bound) HWB- Hymnal Worship Book (Blue hardback).
Thanks to the following for offering your gifts:
Worship Leader: Brad Myers; Children’s Message: Judy Hoffhien; Song Leader: Nick Gehman; Scripture Reader: Diego Rodriguez; Pianist: Margaret Gehman; Children’s Church: Elizabeth Melendez
Here’s a Summer Series Summary (say that 3 times really fast!)
Act 1: Creation: It is very good!
Act 2: The Fall: Something has gone terribly wrong.
Act 3: God’s Solution, Part 1: Israel
Act 4: God’s Solution, Part 2: Jesus
Act 5: The age of the Church
Scene 1: The New Testament Church
Scene 2: Church History
Scene 3: Houston, TX, 2012
Scene 4: Future History
Epilogue: Remember the Future
Christian Formation Options at HMC:
Join us each Sunday morning at 9:30AM!
►Adults: Over the summer, we’re meeting as a multi-age group and welcoming the young adults to the group as well. We’re looking at the Bible, with a different leader taking us through a different book each week.
►Junior High/High School Youth: Meeting with the adults (see above).
►Young Children: We are currently exploring options for this group! If you have young children and you’d like to discuss possibilities for their Sunday School, please talk to Hannah or Kathryn.
** 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! Mondays through Thursdays, and weekends by appointment.
Marty Troyer, church office (713)464-4865, firstname.lastname@example.org, also available on Facebook.