HMC E-Newsletter March 31, 2011
________________________________________You’re invited!! Congregational Meeting This Sunday: This Sunday April 3, after church, with meal provided. Discussion regarding Future building plans, designs, campus development. The Campus Development Taskforce has some exciting questions to process with you, and design concepts to present. Please make a point to join us so we can listen to your voice! In preparation for the meeting, please read two documents: First, the minutes from our last congregational meeting on this topic, from summer 2010 (provided in your church mailbox); Second, our statement on “What makes a Mennonite building?” which can be found at:
________________________________________Ladies: You are invited!!
Second annual Soul Sisters Brunch: THIS Saturday April 2 from 10AM-12 at Ashland House on 7611 Westview Dr, just Northeast of the church.
Everyone else: You are invited!!
43rd annual Work Day at HMC: This Saturday, April 2 from 9AM till we’re done with our work.
Typically, we’re not so old fashioned around here as to have separate parties. But sometimes the calendar just catches up on you and work just needs to be done. We’re not saying that women and men can’t do the same work, just that we don’t have enough Saturday’s to go around this month.
________________________________________FEEDING THE HUNGRY
By Judy Hoffhien

The scripture from Exodus that I read last Sunday was very meaningful to me. For the past two months I have been volunteering with a group called Food Not Bombs who feeds the homeless and hungry four nights a week on the steps of the downtown library. It is a very informal, relaxed atmosphere where pots of homemade vegetarian foods are served to anyone who is in line. I have become very fond of both the volunteers and the poor, many of whom have been there every time I work so their faces have become familiar and there is friendly conversation. I realize for most of the folks at HMC that it is not convenient or possible to go downtown, but there are concrete ways everyone can help. Our church has supported the Spring Branch Food Pantry located at Holy Cross Lutheran Church for many years and they serve hundreds of families in the neighborhood. Donate canned goods and place them in the black and white barrel or designate monetary
donations to help this worthwhile effort. Ed Wiens continues to volunteer there, so ask him about his experience and work. The Outreach Team has put together sacks of non-perishables for folks to take and keep in your car to give to those who are in need. Let us know of any restaurants or grocery stores that might donate leftovers normally thrown away, and we will contact them. Living in a culture and society that encourages conspicuous consumption is difficult, and every day it seems that it is a challenge to me to spend the money I have wisely. Still, I want to be transformed to live a Christ-like life and that is an ongoing effort.
________________________________________Connecting More Fully at HMC:
►Congregational Meeting This Sunday: You’re invited!! This Sunday April 3, after church, with meal provided. Discussion regarding Future building plans, designs, campus development. The Campus Development Taskforce has some exciting questions to process with you, and design concepts to present. Please make a point to join us so we can listen to your voice! In preparation for the meeting, please read two documents: First, the minutes from our last congregational meeting on this topic, from summer 2010 (provided in your church mailbox); Second, our statement on “What makes a Mennonite building?” which can be found at:

►Lent: Becoming Human: Called and Shaped by Jesus is our Lenten theme. Christianity 101 says that Jesus is 100% human and 100% divine. We’ll look at how Jesus’ humanity effects our own life of faith. Services for Maunday Thursday (April 21), Good Friday (April 22), Easter and Easter Sunrise (April 24) are being planned.
►Work Party at Church: Saturday April 2, 9AM

► 2nd Annual HMC Community-Wide BBQ!!!: April 17th. Invite your friends. After worship Sunday.
• Prayerfully prep for our outreach event
• Plan to attend, and sign up to help out with this event.
• Print of the attached flyer and distribute to neighbors, community bulletin boards, etc… (NO, WE’RE NOT JOKING, SOME PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO THIS, AND IT WORKS!.

►June 4: Men’s Breakfast.

►The Peace Club will meet this Saturday from 3:00-5:00 at the Mennonite Church, 1231 Wirt Rd. There will be an opportunity to use laptops to find additional information about peacemakers, and we will practice for the Peace and Justice Potluck on Sunday, April 3 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. The group will also learn how to play two new co-operative table games. If time permits, we will prepare soup for the Food Not Bombs group. On April 23, there will be a special guest who will help with bringing the dead pond on the property back to life. Mark your calendar and invite your friends to join us for these fun activities. All ages are invited to participate. This is a project sponsored by the Decade of Non-Violence, the Houston Peace and Justice Center, and Houston Mennonite Church. For additional information, contact Judy Hoffhien at 713-863-8708.

►HPJC Potluck: Are you looking for an interesting evening out with delicious food and exciting entertainment that is free? Then plan to attend the Houston Peace and Justice Center potluck on Sunday, April 3 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. It will be in Pecore Hall, 1805 West Alabama, 77098. The Peace Club youth will be telling about their favorite peacemakers and playing drums, guitar, flute and violin. There will also be fun songs by The Raging Grannies. Ten Thousand Villages will be tabling and will be providing the centerpieces. This is a great opportunity to network with other peace and justice groups and meet some exciting folks in our city! For additional information, see Judy Hoffhien or go to

________________________________________Lenten Schedule
Sunday March 13: Lent 1, Shaped by Testing Text: Matthew 4:1-11, Psalm 32
Sunday March 20: Lent 2, Shaped by New Birth Text: John 3:1-17, Psalm 121
Sunday March 27: Lent 3, Shaped through Thirst Text: John 4:5-42, Romans 5:1-11, Psalm 95
Sunday April 3: Lent 4, Called to Light Text: John 9:1-41, Ephesians 5:8-14, Psalm 23
Sunday April 10: Lent 5, Called to Life Text: John 11:1-45, Psalm 130, Romans 8:6-11
Sunday April 17: Palm Sunday, Called to Worship Text: Matthew 21:1-11, Philippians 2:5-11, Psalm 31:9-16
Thursday, April 21: Maundy Thursday meal at a local restaurant 6:30- 8PM For information, please contact the church at 713-464-8465 or
April 22, Good Friday, 7PM at HMC. Tennebrae Service of Lights
Sunday April 24: Easter Sunrise Community Worship, 6:30AM at Spring Valley Park, Cambell Rd, just North of I-10.
Sunday April 24: Easter Sunday!! Turn to Jesus, go with the Spirit Text: John 20:1-18, Colossians 3:1-4, Psalm 118

Ways of Celebrating Lent
There are as many ways to celebrate Lent as there are people who want to get closer to Jesus. Find some practices that are meaningful for you. You might want to consider adopting one or more practices for the entire Lenten season.
• Corporate worship: join us or another congregation for weekly worship. We meet Sunday mornings at 10:45AM, and everyone is welcome to join us!
• Drop Something: Christians have for centuries and still do practice fasting (see Linda’s article below). Fasting is cutting out a normal part of your daily life for the sake of spiritual growth and learning. Consider fasting for several meals each week, or a particular type of food (such as chocolate, or meat). Or, consider fasting from a non-food item such as the Internet, or TV, or gasoline, or anything that is blocking you from wholeness.
• Pick something up: Instead of cutting back on something, think about something you could add to your normal schedule for the sake of spiritual growth and learning. Consider scripture reading, solitude, prayer, walking more, exorcize, writing personal notes, journaling, simplicity, etc…
• Special Projects: I know people who have found it meaningful to undertake a special project for Lent as a way of sharing Christ’s love. Perhaps this would be a good time to put your hobby to use for others (many at HMC do this regularly!), or to save your pennies for Mennonite Central Committee, or take on a needed project around the church or neighborhood.
My 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.
________________________________________The Peace Pastor
Check out Pastor Marty’s blog on He writes as The Peace Pastor (look for the familiar green peace dove). This week’s blog is called “Our Beloved Houston.”
________________________________________Christian Formation Options at HMC:
Join us each Sunday morning at 9:30AM!
►ADULTS: NT Bible Study.
►Preschool (age 2-4): With Adrienne Graybill.
►Intermediate Youth: with Lynda Voran.
►Junior and Senior High: With Kristi Long and Alan Wilson.
** Children’s Church during worship in our children’s ministry room for kids 1-5. They hear a Bible story, sing, and play together.
Open Table Anti-Poverty Initiative
The following letter of thanks and invitation was sent to Pastor Marty as rep of HMC:

Dear Marty,

MAM’s mission statement includes the vision that we “enhance MAM’s value to its member congregations and the community”. We certainly hope that you experience MAM Membership as a “value-add”. I have the great honor of seeing your people at work on a daily basis and it causes me to marvel. I see people of faith, working together to help others. Your people come to MAM unconcerned about one’s preference in worship style or particular interpretation of scripture but simply share their gifts in order to ease the suffering of others who are in economic struggle. It is quite a picture of faith in action.

In 2010, our 29 member congregations made a significant difference in MAM programming with a collective financial contribution of $144,649. Attached is a summary of accomplishments for the year and a picture of the gift your church and its members have collectively given to our neighbors. Houston Mennonite Church has supported us with:

$1,000.00 financial support from a covenant gift
$0.00 financial support for Back to School
$0.00 other financial support (Sunday School Classes or other groups)

And the following volunteers have identified themselves as members of your congregation:
Judy Hoffhien

Our next Congregation Council meeting is Thursday, April 7 at 7:00 pm. We will be hosting a presentation from OpenTable, a unique faith based response to raising families out of poverty. You are welcome to send as many interested persons as you would like. Just let me know with an RSVP to Lily Barrios at

Yours in faith,
Martha Macris 713 574-7543
________________________________________ORDER OF WORSHIP April 3, 2011
Welcome and Call to Worship
Opening Prayer
* Singing Immortal, Invisible God HWB #70
Confession and Silent Prayer
Confession Song Come and be light for our eyes SJ #5
Dedication of Clara Sue Troyer and Family
Children’s Time
Scripture Reading Ephesians 5:8-14
Response Song Longing for light SJ #54, vs 1-2
Scripture Reading Psalm 23
Sharing, & Announcements
* Song of Sending Sun of my soul HWB #654
* Sending Prayer/Commissioning
Thank you to the following for sharing your gifts! Worship Leader: Adrienne Graybill; Speaker: Pastor Marty Troyer; Scripture Reader: Amina Miller; Children’s Message:???? ; Children’s Church: Twila Wiens; Song Leader: Jim Emmert; Pianist: Margaret Gehman; Greeter: Gerald Gehman.
________________________________________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. ________________________________________Additional Information
HMC E-Newsletter is compiled by Houston Mennonite Church pastor Marty Troyer.
All are invited and encouraged to share articles, personal updates, stories, announcements, pictures, etc… to include in the weekly updates
Know of others who would like to receive HMC E-Newsletter e-mails from Houston Mennonite? Have them send name and e-mail to Marty at

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