HMC E-Newsletter March 22, 2012
Glen Guyton will be speaking in worship this Sunday.
Here’s a bio on Glen, who is in charge of the Intercultural Relations committee of Mennonite Church USA. http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=221685204514658
Connecting More Fully at HMC:
►Lenten Resource Guide from the Margins: houstonmennonite.org/lent-2012/
►Unexpected News: Reading the Bible Through Third World Eyes discussion group Sunday’s at 9:30AM all welcome.
►Did you miss last week’s sermon? Here it is, in all its glory! Thank you Sylvia for inspiring our women (and all of us) to self differentiate, self-organize, and self-author! You’re not a feminist, aren’t you? http://bit.ly/GBoHu2 She says, Self authoring for a woman is an essential step towards full personhood and moves away from the margins. My life cannot be lived by anyone else but myself. Your life cannot be lived by anyone else by yourself. But how do we teach those steps to young women (and men, for that matter) so they learn to speak up for themselves? Self authoring needs initiative by Yourself to read scripture on your own, to listen to the still small voice of the holy spirit that might guide you away from conventions towards a life of service and adventure. HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE:
►Palm Sunday: Next week. With Communion Celebration.
►Maunday Thursday: 6:30PM With Pleasant Hills Baptist Church, for supper and worship. In the “Victual Room” at 1510 Pannell St. Houston, TX 77020. http://pleasanthillministries.org/contact/ Pleasant Hills is a historic black church with amazing ministry in the 5th Ward.
►Good Friday: Worship with a congregation near you!
– Community Easter Sunrise with HMC “Blooming Cross.” 8AM at Spring Valley Park, 1025 Campbell Road. HMC “Blooming Cross.”
– Easter Potluck Brunch: 9:30AM at HMC.
– Easter Worship: 10:45AM at HMC►Celebration Send-off for Sylvia Klauser. Sunday, April 15, 3-6 pm OPEN HOUSE – GOOD BYE and take something with you PARTY. See attachment for list of items she’s selling and/or getting rid of pre-move.►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. Brochures with registration and program details are now available (I’ll try to remember to attach it). The deadline to register is March 25. Please see Gloria Wilson, Denise Duff, or Lynda Voran for more information. ►Potluck Fellowship Meal next Sunday after worship.
►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. ►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 email@example.com.
Why put on new glasses and see the world from a different perspective? Doing so helps us empathize with people who are different than us. This has been totally true for me. Putting on different glasses, seeing life from a different perspective, these are practices that build empathy. Indeed, I’m not sure compassion/empathy can be born without it. James Cone, in his fabulous new book “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” slams theologian Reinhold Niebuhr for his inability to empathize with the black community, which is why he did not take a stand against lynchings and racism. He posits the absolute importance of relating to others, in order to expand our caring capacity.James Cone writes in his new book, “The Cross and the Lynching Tree are separated by nearly two thousand years,” James Cone writes in his new book, “The Cross and the Lynching Tree.” “One is the universal symbol of the Christian faith; the other is the quintessential symbol of black oppression in America. Though both are symbols of death, one represents a message of hope and salvation, while the other signifies the negation of that message by white supremacy. Despite the obvious similarities between Jesus’ death on the cross and the death of thousands of black men and women strung up to die on a lamppost or tree, relatively few people, apart from the black poets, novelists, and other reality-seeing artists, have explored the symbolic connections. Yet, I believe this is the challenge we must face. What is at stake is the credibility and the promise of the Christian gospel and the hope that we may heal the wounds of racial violence that continue to divide our churches and our society.”
These are hard, perhaps awkward words to hear. But they create empathy (one thinks of the recent shooting of the black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida), and more importantly connect with a second point: faith creation. However important empathy-creation is for us, that is not the core reason our lent series is indeed practical (for me, it’s been wildly so!). In the Lenten resource guide I stated, “Putting ourselves in another’s shoes creates empathy and increases our capacity to love all people. But more importantly it reveals the depth of faith which sustains and inspires radical devotion to Christ in a resistant world. As missional Anabaptists situated on the margins, this is our kind of faith!”
And that, to me, is the primary gift of a new set of [contextual] glasses! By glimpsing faith from the unique context of the margins we also glimpse essential aspects of what our faith should look like. If, that is, we want to be sustained in our daily discipleship and faith in a world that finds radical faith unnecessary and/or an elective. Cone, Martin King, Delores Williams and a series of documentaries I’ve watched for Lent have been consistent on this theme: faith is sustained by identification with the person and suffering of Jesus Christ, particularly on the cross. This is the same lesson I’ve been learning from all those pushed to the margins: the persecuted church, third world church and liberation theology, third world women, the black church, the gay and lesbian Christian community, latino/a’s, etc… A topic which, by their standards, I rarely touch upon in preaching; perhaps leaving us ill equipped for modern faithfulness. What is it about their faith that empowers them to say “yes” to God in a world that resists? What does it take to sustain faith as a radical follower of Jesus? Our Lenten journey probes these questions and invites us to embody the Jesus narrative to such a degree we too can say “yes” to God, regardless the consequences. That’s why I’m so excited to share this Lenten journey with you! And why I look forward to native 5th Ward Houstonian, Glen Guyton, speaking on Sunday.
I’d love to hear what you’ve read, listened to, watched, etc… and how that has helped you to either A). empathize or B). deepen your own faith. Sunday during sharing time bring something to offer, and let us hear your learnings! You might consider the simple formula for sharing: I’ve celebrated Lent from the margins by ______ and this is what I’ve learned_____.”Here are three great resource suggestions for this week.1. Podcast on Gender, Sexism, and Community. http://www.jesusradicals.com/the-iconocast-episode-11-gender-sexism-and-community/ Sylvia mentioned this in her sermon, and highly recommended it!2. Here’s an excellent book review of Cone’s book: The Gospel of the Penniless, Jobless, Marginalized and Despised, by Chris Hedges. 3. http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_gospel_of_the_peniless_jobless_marginalized_and_despised_20120109/4. Looking for good fiction that critiques violence in our world? Not a bad thing for a pacifist to look for! Check out my latest article which further explores The Hunger Games phenomenon, a book clearly written by and from the margins. The movie comes out Friday (and its excellent!). Indicting Violence: A Pacifist Review of The Hunger Games http://bit.ly/GBoHu2
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: https://houstonmennonite.org/lent-2012/ 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.
Order of Worship for March 25Prelude
Call to Worship based on Jeremiah 31:31-34
*Songs of Praise SJ #18, Over my head; HWB #579 Lift every voice and sing
Scripture Reading John 12:20-….
Prayer of Confession Psalm 51
Message Responding & Sending
Song of Response Were you there, #257HWB
Sharing Time “What are you learning from the margins this Lent?”
Connecting More Fully
Sending Text Luke 9:23-24
*Sending Song HWB #439 I want Jesus to walk with me
*Commissioning Speaker: Glen Guyton
Worship Leader: Felipe Hinojosa
Pianist – Linda Washburn
Song leader – Mike Schmidt
Children’s message – Marty Troyer
Children’s Church: Maribel Hinojosa
Christian Formation Options at HMC:
Join us each Sunday morning at 9:30AM!
►Adults: 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.
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.