HMC E-Newsletter March 1, 2012

Communion Prep:
This Sunday we’ll be celebrating Communion in worship. To prepare your heart to come to the Lord’s table, I invite you to spend time in prayer and confession. You might find
The Danger of a Single Story, by Chimamanda Adichie (which is a fantastic TED talk) helpful in your preparation.
This is the best intro to our Lenten theme you will ever find.

Put on new glasses from the Margins!!

Ways of Celebrating Lent Multi-culturally  
Instead of dropping something for Lent (the traditional method, through fasting, etc…), we invite you to pick up a new set of multi-cultural lenses and see the world through the eyes of another. How? By picking up one or more of the following:

  • ·        Corporate worship: 10:45AM Sunday join us for worship as we encounter the story of Jesus before his crucifixion. Ask yourself, What can you bring to worship that will build up the body of Christ? Each Sunday we’ll offer space for you to share what you are learning as you study Lent from the Margins. Lessons from Sunday School, personal explorations or group meetings are welcome and encouraged!
  • ·        Group discernment of Scripture from the Margins texts: 9:30AM Sunday In the spirit of our Anabaptist ancestors, you are invited to corporately study 10 key texts through the lens of the Third World, using Unexpected News: Read the Bible through Third World Eyes, by Robert McAffee Brown as our guide.
  • ·        Pick something up: Many of us our familiar with celebrating Lent in one of two basic ways: dropping something or picking something up. Instead of cutting back on something, we invite you to do what you usually do (read books and blogs, study the Bible, watch movies, listen to music, eat, pray) but to step outside familiar culture and take the opportunity to learn from communities on the margins of society. We’ve provided a great list of books, blogs, films and commentaries, and we invite you to pick one or more of them up this Lent and see the world from a different perspective. Find it at: or get your print copy at church Sunday.
    Some resources on the list will be available for check-out at HMC through Lent.
  • ·        Special Events: Community nurtures us and expresses our faith. By establishing and nurturing relationships within the church and the surrounding world we can better understand our call to follow Jesus in a world that is not. Join us at these relationship-building events this Lent:
    • ·         Sunday evening March 4. Worship with our sister church in Pasadena at Casa de Alfrero (Potter’s House). In Spanish, with translation.
    • ·         Saturday Night March 10 7PM Movie Night at Twila and Ed Wiens. We’ll be watching a film which looks at one community on the margins.
    • ·         Sunday March 17, 1-5PM Volunteer and Shop at Ten Thousand Villages, a Fair Trade store connecting Houstonians to third world artisans.
    • ·         Sunday Morning March 11 or 18 (dates coming). Worship with our sister church at Houston Mennonite. Nueva Jerusalem (New Jerusalem) will be joining us for Sunday School, worship, and our fellowship meal this morning.

Our prayer is that whatever you decide to do, or don’t do, will draw you closer to Jesus as a committed follower of his way of life. May you know that being in Jesus universe is the safest place for you to be! It’s the only way the world makes sense.

Connecting More Fully at HMC:
►Worship with our Sister Church: Sunday evening March 4. Worship with our sister church in Pasadena at Casa de Alfrero (Potter’s House). In Spanish, with translation. Carpool available.

►Women’s Retreat: Mark your calendars now and plan to attend the annual Women’s Retreat April 27-29 at the Blackwood Educational Land Institute near Waller, TX. You won’t want to miss this great opportunity for fellowship with each other in this beautiful setting.  Registration and program details will be available in the next few weeks.  Contact Gloria Wilson, Denise Duff, or Lynda Voran.

►Movies from the Margins!

  • Saturday Night March 10 7PM Movie Night at Twila and Ed Wiens. We’ll be watching a film on our resource list.
  • Sunday Night March 11 “Dominique’s Story: Thou Shalt Not Kill.” About the execution of Dominique Green. 7PM at HMC. This is open to the public and is part of Death Penalty Action Week.
  • This Friday, March 2: blacktino  is showing at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. blacktino is a dark teen comedy about an overweight, half-black, half-Latino nerd named Stefan Daily. Raised by his black grandmother in a suburb of Austin, and struggling to find his place in a mostly white high school, Stefan finds sanctuary among the eclectic mix of social outcasts in the school’s Theater Department. A coming-of-age story reflective of today’s cynical times, blacktino gives an honest, and hilarious, depiction of high school life as seen through the imaginative eyes of a biracial computer nerd. In the tradition of the great teen comedies of the last 30 years, blacktino keeps the torch of teen angst burning bright. Winner for Best Director at HBO’s New York International Latino Film Festival.
  • This Saturday and Sunday, Come Back Africa, showing at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Lionel Rogosin’s Come Back, Africa is a historical wonder and an honest glimpse into the harsh reality of life under the now-abolished South African apartheid government. (Rogosin’s On the Bowery screened at the MFAH last year.)  After witnessing firsthand the terrors of fascism as a soldier in World War II, Rogosin vowed to fight against it wherever and whenever he saw its threats reemerging. Rogosin traveled to South Africa and secretly filmed Come Back, Africa, which revealed the cruelty and injustice with which black South Africans were treated. Restored by the Cineteca di Bologna and the Rogosin Heritage Foundation, this 1959 film on apartheid can finally be celebrated as a masterpiece of cinema and of political protest.


There will be no Sunday School class for the youth on March 11 due to Spring Break vacation.  Class will resume on Sunday, March 18.
►Ten Thousand Villages Sunday: Sunday March 25, 1-5PM Volunteer and Shop at Ten Thousand Villages, a Fair Trade store connecting Houstonians to third world artisans. The Mennonites and Zontians will be switching Sundays at TTV for this month only. The Mennonites will take on March 25th (instead of the usual third Sunday).  This will allow more time for families who are gone on Spring Break; also no one was available to open the store on the earlier date.

Are you warm at night? We’re collecting Blankets and Sleeping Bags for Houston’s homeless community. Donations will go to Food Not Bombs participants.
►Coffee Time!!!! Friday March 9, 10AM at HMC for all available. Informal, chatting, coffee & tea, chance to connect during the week. Come if you can.
Sound System issues: We’re having some issues with our church sound system. Do you have time to help us figure out why we can’t record our worship services?
The Ten Thousand Villages Oriental Rug Event
will take place March 7th -11th! We will feature beautiful rugs made by fairly paid adults in Pakistan. We are seeking some strong people to help load & unload rugs for the following dates & times:
Unloading-Tuesday, March 6th from 6:00 p.m. till 8:30 p.m.
Loading –  Sunday, March 11th from 6:00 p.m. till 8:30 p.m.
If you would like to help, please contact Alicia Campos at or (713) 533-1000.
FaithWalking Retreat: Want space and time to think about your vocation? And encouragement to live like Christ? Are you interested in becoming non-anxious under precious and emotionally mature? Sign up today for a faith walking retreat (it’s not an actual walk, it’s a metaphor!) Retreat dates are: April 13-15, 2012, June 8-10, 2012 (Focus on Education Sector), August 24-26, 2012, October, 12-14, 2012. See MCC in action, go on a Learning Tour!   April 20-30 an MCC Learning Tour will travel to Honduras.  Participants will learn about Mennonite Central Committee’s work with marginalized children, at-risk youth, vulnerable river neighborhoods and the Honduran Mennonite Church.  Registration deadline is March 9 and the cost of the trip is $1500 (includes all costs except necessary immunizations).  Curious?  Call Sarah Bunn or Maynard Knepp with questions at 316-283-2720 or email

Special Thanks

1.      Offerings for January of 2012 totaled $11,154. Offerings for February totaled approximately $8,000. The budget offering amount is $9,183 per month. Thank you for your generous tithes and offerings!
On behalf of the Stewardship Team, Gerald Gehman

2.       To all who have helped with the Garden this spring. Especially Byron and Dave!! From Jim Emmert and George Robinson, Gardeners


Becoming a Disciple of Christ: Links to dig deeper

1.      Through Fire and Water: Surviving Life’s Storms Here’s a condensed version of last Sunday’s sermon on the Persecuted Church. complete with the super cool Slide presentation called “Path of the Martyr’s” we watched in church last week.

2.      What’s a Disciple and How do you Make one? I have been on a decades long journey of becoming a disciple of Jesus. Like Peter before me, it’s difficult to pin down the one moment in my life where I “became” a disciple. Was not my childhood faith an authentic and beautiful thing? Was it when I first gave my life to God as an early teenager? Was it later, when I actually decided that being a Christian should matter in how I live? Etc… You get the idea. All along the journey I, as do we all, have continually refined not just my commitment to being a disciple, but also and more importantly what that actually means.

Does being a disciple of Jesus mean I go to church, pray, give a little time/talent/treasure and in return get some out of this world benefit? Does it mean I have to learn to love my neighbor AND my enemy? Does it mean I have to live missionally at home, and in my neighborhood, and where I work?

I invite you to read this article by Jim Herrington, who you now know after his two visits to our congregation, and some of you have further connection with him. Jim’s passion is not to make nice churches, or even nice Christians. It’s to make disciples. Which is, after all, our calling.

3.      A Distinctly Christian Peace Presence in Houston? February was the one year anniversary of The Peace Pastor blog. I celebrate this as an amazing gift from God and as a rich expression of my faith and what it means to be Anabaptist in the city. In a blog post this week, I tell the story of how it came to be, and list the top ten posts from the last year. Here it is: In the future, I’d love to work more collaboratively and closely with supporters and those passionate about embodying peace to Houston. Perhaps you’d like to be part of a small missional community committed to being a distinctly Christian peace presence in Houston?

Order of Worship for March 4, 2012
Lent #2 from the Margins
*Opening Prayer                                                      
*Songs of Praise Cantemos al Senor  HWB #55 & Tu has venido a la orila  HWB #229


Reflections on Mary in Art, from the Poor of South America             Luke 1:46-55 Children’s Message
Scripture                                  Exodus 20:1-17
Reflection   Reading the Bible in Spanish: Latina/o Mennonites, 1940’s to 1970’s

Song of Response        Oyenos mi Dios  HWB #358
Lenten Reflections:
What are you learning about Jesus by wearing multicultural lenses?
Sharing Joys and Concerns
Feel free to light a candle prayer at this time

Connecting More Fully
*Sending Song Amazing Grace  HWB #143

Thank you to the following for sharing your gifts! Worship Leader: Marty Troyer; Speaker: Felipe Hinojosa; Song Leader: Gloria Wilsom; Scripture Reader: Margaret Gehman; Children’s Message: Gloria Wilsom; Pianist: Margaret Gehman; Children’s Church: Jane McNair

Christian Formation Options at HMC:
Join us each Sunday morning at 9:30AM!
Unexpected News: Read the Bible through Third World Eyes, by Robert McAffee Brown as our guide.

►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.

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