HMC E-Newsletter November 15, 2012
to Lilya G. and Rosa B. on your Baptisms by confession of faith Sunday November 11!!
Welcome to the Faith Family. You are loved!!
The Christmas season is fast approaching with all that is brings, the parties, the presents, all that shopping, so much to do and never enough time. Are you tired of all the hustle and bustle of the season? Do you long for a simpler kind of celebration? Do we or our families really need all the gifts that we receive?
Here at Houston Mennonite Church, we are planning a simpler Advent and Christmas season. Our theme will be “Just Celebrate.” The emphasis will be two-fold. We want to have a time of simple celebration, not in terms of small, but rather uncomplicated, without all the trappings that many feel have to go along with the Christmas season. We want to take time to really celebrate the Advent of our salvation. A very special part of our celebration at Houston Mennonite Church will be music. The Christmas Choir will be singing at various times throughout the Advent and Christmas season and we are making plans for some harp music as well. This is in addition to our usual hearty congregational singing. A highlight of our celebration will, of course, be our Christmas banquet. There will be opportunities to participate in some community events as well.
We also want a “just” celebration, with an emphasis on justice. We have been so blessed. Many of us have much more than we need and we would like to share some of our wealth with others. We will be encouraging members of our congregation to take some of the money that they planned to spend on presents and give to charity. We are suggesting Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), the Mennonite agency that does relief work around the world. We will be providing everyone with an MCC Christmas Giving catalog (click here), outlining programs to which we can contribute. However, if there is another charity to which you would like to give, we would encourage you to do that instead. The emphasis is to share what we have with those who have not. So let’s…
Our worship services will be planned around Mary’s Magnificat, which will be read each Sunday. For more info on our worship services, check out our church’s webpage!
To everyone who helped out with the RELIEF SALE Saturday with your volunteerism, donation of products for the sale or auction, organization and administration, hosting, social media, connections to the community, presence and invitations to others.
$41,000 was raised for ministry in the name of Christ!
We celebrate being part of the story God is writing through Mennonite Central Committee!
Connecting More Fully at HMC:
► Thanksgiving Meal: Thanksgiving Thursday, 3PM at HMC. Are you spending Nov. 22 in Houston? If so, invite your friends and come enjoy a community Thanksgiving meal at HMC. The celebration will start at 3:00. Turkey and stuffing will be provided, so bring a side dish or dessert to share. Let’s rejoice and be grateful together. Hope to see you there!
►COLD WEATHER ITEMS NEEDED: Marty’s sermon last Sunday really spoke to me. How we treat the “least of these” is a reflection of our faith. Since the weather has turned colder, there is a huge need for winter coats, blankets, jackets, sweaters, and other clothing to keep folks warm. It is hard enough to be homeless in normal Houston weather, but brutal when it is raining or the temperatures fall. So, clean out the closets and donate what is not being used in your home and start the holiday season by sharing. All sizes of both men and women’s clothing are needed and will be greatly appreciated.
►ART SUPPLIES NEEDED: The Peace Club will be helping the children with crafts at the daycare center during the Relief Sale. One project will be making turkeys using pinecones, feathers, bobble eyes, etc. If you have any extra of these items, please bring them on Nov. 10 to supplement what is available. If anyone over 12 would like to volunteer, we can use the energy and help. Just stop by and join in the activity.
►Are you on Facebook? We are! “Like” Houston Mennonite Church, The Texas Mennonite Sale and Auction, and/or The Peace Pastor today! Thenclick “share” so that all your followers know about it too!
►Mennonite Central Committee Penny Power: Please bring your change to church for Penny Power. Proceeds this year go to relief and development work in Mexico through Mennonite Central Committee.
► Christmas Banquet: Sunday night December 16 at HMC.
The Peace Pastor: This week the blog published: What is a faithful Christian Interpretation of Drone Warfare, a pacifist review and outline of the Halo video games, a guest post from Joel Goza called Thank God the Election’s over which includes an incredibly challenging invitation for Houston Christians; and a reflection on why folks believe what they believe about Israel and/or Palestine called More Fighting in Jesus’ Neighborhood.
Book Recommendations: Are you looking for some interesting books to read? Here are some suggestions from the new Second Sunday small group. Put December 9 on your calendar and join us for the next meeting!! Chimamanda Adichie’s Half A Yellow Sun. Walter Percy's, The Moviegoer; Chaim Potok's My Name is Asher Lev, Clavelle's Shogun.
Worship Order for November 18
Opening Scripture Psalm 16
*Songs of Praise and Celebration
Praise the Lord, sing Hallelujah HWB #50
Wonderful Grace of Jesus HWB #150
*Offering and Offertory
Message The Gospel in conversation with my weary soul and eroding faith
Song of Response
Create in me a clean heart
Scripture Reading: 1 John 1:5-9
Christ we do all adore thee HWB #105
*Sharing & Prayer
Connecting More fully
Commissioning Scripture Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord
Song of Comissioning Gentle Shepherd HWB #352
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, also available on Facebook.