HMC E-Newsletter November 17, 2011

Connecting More Fully at HMC:
November 19: Christmas Choir Practice 4:30PM Saturday: November 19, December 3 & 10. All welcome!
November 19: Outreach opportunities Open House and Dinner: All ages are invited to attend an Open House and dinner at the home of Eric and Judy Hoffhien, 1129 West 23, 77008 on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 6:00 PM. Kathryn Bauchelle will share about her work with a local literacy program, and other information will be given out about the Spring Branch Food Pantry and Memorial Area Ministries. We welcome other ideas about outreach efforts for the coming year. This is an opportunity for fellowship and making our community stronger.
Sunday is Mennonite Sunday to volunteer at Ten Thousand Villages.
November 22: Ten Thousand Villages Shopping Night: Make your dollars count and help artisans in developing countries. A wonderful selection of gifts for the holidays are available at the Rice Village store. Peace Camp staff will be sponsoring a Shopping Night at the store on Nov. 22 from 6 -8 PM. 15% of the sales will go to this non profit group. If you cannot participate that evening, the Houston Peace and Justice Center will have a Shopping Night on Dec. 12. Support our local peacemaking groups which will also help struggling families in poverty stricken areas.
►November 24: Community Thanksgiving Meal at the church on Thursday, Nov. 24 at 1:00. Turkey and stuffing provided, please bring a side dish and invite some friends to be a part of this special holiday time.

December 5: Congregational Meetings:

Sunday December 5, 1PM. Annual Business meeting, Part 1.
Sunday January 15, 1PM Annual Business meeting, Part 2.

December 11: Christmas Banquet: HMC’s annual Christmas banquet will be held on Sunday, December 11 in the evening.  It is followed by the Christmas program, consisting of musical and dramatic pieces performed by members of the congregation.  Please begin thinking about what you would like to do, and let a member of the worship team know.
Christmas in the Park: area churches coming together to host a huge outdoor “Stations of the Nativity” at Spring Valley Park on Campbell at I-10 (just west of us). HMC will be hosting the refreshments. Sign up’s coming to help out with this event.

Christmas is coming to HMC: We’re collecting blankets, sleeping bags, coats and other winter clothing for the homeless for the next 6 weeks. Please place donated items in the blue box or see Judy Hoffhien. This is a great time to clean out closets and share with others. These will be given out after the sharing of meals by the Food Not Bombs group.

Worship-Full Work Week
By Harry Jarrett Jr.

We have been talking a lot lately about Sabbath. How we should Cease, Rest, Embrace and Feast one day in seven. But what about the other six days in the week? What should I do with them? Well, the same passage that talks about Sabbath says that six days a week we are called by God to work.

David W. Miller of Laity Leadership Institute was studying Biblical Hebrew in seminary when he discovered the Biblical understanding of work described in Exodus 20.

“As I was slogging through Hebrew vocabulary, I came across the word avodah. The root of that word is translated three ways in the Old Testament. Sometimes it’s translated to mean ‘work,’ as in a job; other times, avodah is translated to mean ‘worship,’ as in worshiping God; the third way it’s translated is to mean ‘service,’ as in serving others. That’s what my whole calling is about: avodah,” said Miller.

“Whether one is a secretary or a CEO, our work itself can be a form of honoring God, of worshiping God, and of serving neighbor. It combines the vertical and the horizontal. This concept has ignited me ever since,” he said.

Another more well known father of faith who thought a lot about how we are to spend our work week in worshipful ways is Brother Lawrence. He wrote the book The Practice of the Presence of God.

In the monastery, he was assigned the full-time, lifelong job of dish duty! He decided to take this most mundane of tasks and turn it into the chance to go deep with God. Over the years he developed “a habitual, silent, secret conversation with God” to the result of a soul at rest who could joyfully proclaim, “there is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God.” Remember, that joy is in the midst of washing dishes most of the day, every day! There is even one place in the book when he says that his times of experiencing God’s presence while doing dishes were just as powerful as any worship service he would attend!

Most of us have jobs. Some are more mundane than others. Some of us get paid for our work while others of us are very busy at “work” but do not receive a paycheck for our efforts. Regardless of what you consider to be your “work”, God invites us to enter into our workweek in a way that acknowledges God’s presence with us. God is there as much as God is with you on Sabbath. Somehow we need to begin to notice God’s presence while we work.

How to practice:

1. Integrate faith and work through attention to personal virtue, business ethics, and to broader questions of social and economic justice.

2. Become a servant leader by serving greater societal purposes and needs. Discover that work is a calling. Put the employee, coworker or family first, the company or extended family second, and the shareholders or friends third.

3. Openly practice your spirituality at work through interior disciplines, practices, and habits (e.g. prayer, meditation, contemplation) that provide comfort, healing, and strengthen the soul to handle the rigors of the workplace. People are watching you even if they are not joining you.

4. Express or communicate your faith tradition and worldview to others at work.  This expression may manifest itself in word, deed, or attire and the goal may be to persuade others to join your faith tradition or adopt your worldview. Basically, live, “out loud,” who you are.


Harry, a Mennonite pastor, is a friend of mine, leader in church-media services, and the guy who was slapped in the video posted at the PeacePastor. You can read more of his at:

Nov 20 ORDER OF WORSHIP Thankful: Christ is King

*Opening Scripture     Psalm 95:1-7
*Opening Prayer

*Songs of Praise and Celebration

Now thank we all our God HWB #86
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty  
HWB #37

Children’s Time
Sharing & Prayer

Song of Response Our lives are in your hands SJ #29
Prayer of Confession and Assurance
Song of Confession Our lives are in your hands SJ #29
Offering and Offertory

Connecting More Fully
*Sending Scripture
* Song of Sending        Praise God from Whom HWB #119

*Commissioning Prayer

Thank you to the following for sharing your gifts! Worship Leader: Denise Duff; Scripture Reader: Judy Hoffhien; Children’s Message: Judy Hoffhien; Speaker: Sylvia Klauser Song Leader: Mike Schmidt; Pianist: Linda Washburn; Children’s Church:  Maribel Hinojosa

The Peace Pastor Update:
This week you can see pastor’s getting slapped in the pulpit, lessons learned from folks on the margins, a prayer I prayed Saturday night at the HPJC annual awards, something about the death penalty, and guest post on the breadth and beauty of the gospel. You can read all this and more at:

 Christian Formation Options at HMC:
Join us each Sunday morning at 9:30AM!
►Preschool: (ages 3-5): Adrienne Graybill
►Adults: Living More with Less book study
►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.

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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