HMC E-Newsletter October 20, 2011

Join us Sunday for our monthly potluck Fellowship Meal.

Formation Resources:. Christian formation takes more than 20 passive minutes once a week. It takes passionate spirituality, authentic community, and unusual commitment. Here are some tools for your journey:

  • Practicing Like Jesus: Here’s a great resource for learning more about the spiritual disciplines that Jesus practiced. Practices such as reading Scripture and praying are importantnot because they prove how spiritual we arebut because God can use them to lead us into life. ~ John Ortberg, The Life You’ve Always Wanted Jesus is the way to life—and not just life after death, but life here and now.  When he said, “Follow me,” he meant it.  In all he did and taught, Jesus conveyed that our spiritual life takes place in our physical reality as well as in the heart.  If we believe what he said about the spiritual life, it only makes sense we should do what he did. The practices of Jesus have been recognized for centuries as the core activities of the spiritual life.  In the same way a runner is equipped to compete in a marathon by the discipline of physical training, so training through spiritual disciplines frees us to live each day with the “easy yoke” and “light burden” Jesus spoke of (Matt 11:30). Disciplines do not earn us favor with God or measure spiritual success.  They are exercises which equip us to live fully and freely in the present reality of God—and God works with us, giving us grace as we learn and grow.
    This website teaches us about: meditation and prayer, submission, simplicity and service, as well as 7 other disciplines.
  • Two Truths that need each other, by Paul Schrag. Looks at how we need both word and works to share the gospel.
  • Living More with Less book study 9:30AM Sunday’s, this week covering the chapter on Money (chapter 10ish). I’m not sure what’s better: the book or the people discussing it!
  • Common Prayer: Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals: a great daily online prayer resource for those of us who are wired is This is my primary prayer guide and I absolutely love it.
  • Rain Barrels and Compost Bins: On Saturday, October 22, 2011, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Houstonians can buy rain barrels for $55 (a $120 value) and compost machines for $45 (a $100 value) on a first come, first served basis at Minute Maid Park, Parking Lot “C” corner of Texas and St. Emanuel, Houston 77003. Parking is free.

Spiritual practices like this are not an end in themselves. They have no point unless they serve to help us to love self, God, neighbors and enemies more. May it be so for you!

Meet our new Office Ad-minister:
Laura P. has begun serving in the church office Wednesday mornings from 9-12PM. Please forward her all announcements for the bulletin and Newsletter by Tuesday evening for bulletin printing.

Connecting More Fully at HMC:
►Fellowship Meal Potluck This Sunday after Worship: Everyone Welcome!

► Spread the Word: On Oct. 23 after the Fellowship Meal, the Outreach Team has planned a mailout to our church neighborhood.  Information about the Relief Sale and our basic beliefs will be sent to folks in our community.  Anyone who is able to stay and help in this effort is invited to participate.

Congregational Meeting to discern Campus Development: Sunday October 30, 1PM.  A meal will be provided.
Christmas Choir Practice 4:30PM Saturday: October 29, November 5 &19, December 3 & 10. All welcome to join!
Sewers and Doers Sat, November 5th at 9:30am

Texas Mennonite Sale and Auction for World Relief: November 12, 9-4PM. Raising money for projects related to PEACE BUILDING, HUNGER, WATER, EDUCATION, HEALTH and EMERGENCIES & DISASTERS.

►No Sunday School on November 13 (“The Day After”)

Christmas Banquet: Sunday Evening December 11


►Wanna move from Thinking Peace to Making Peace? If you enjoy outreach work and peace and justice activities, plan to come to the Nov. 6 planning session after church.  We will also be working on the calendar for the year and the budget.  If you have ideas or a particular area of interest, but cannot attend the meeting,  please share them with  Marty, Danielle or Adrianne Graybill or Judy Hoffhien.  Lunch will be provided.

God’s Glorious Kingdom
Marty Troyer


Make known to all people your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. -Psalm 145:12 (Read: Psalm 145:10-18)

On his fourth birthday Malakai skipped happily from one activity to the next at our Aquarium chanting, “I like it. I like it. I like it.” A young nephew stared at an alligator’s tail for 3 minutes before seeing the entire animal and exploding with glee, shouting, “Big! Big!” Overwhelmed and in awe, children can’t control expressing what they experience.


The Psalmist expresses this same level of awe when experiencing “the glorious splendor of [God’s] kingdom (vs 12).” He begins by declaring his desire to meditate and marinate in the glory of God’s works (vs 5) before boldly committing to make these known “to all people (vs 12).” And what is so glorious about God’s coming and present kingdom? Our text gives us ten qualities of the kingdom that deserve the label “glorious.” First off, God’s kingdom is everlasting and will always endure. Secondly, the kingdom takes on the character of its King, who is seen as faithful and full of grace (vs 13); just and kind (vs 17); and “near to all who call on him (vs 18).” Finally, God is active in our lives, acting to uphold and raise us up (vs 14), giving us our food (vs 15) and satisfying desires (vs 16).


It’s no wonder in Jesus’ first sermon “kingdom” is the primary definition of “the good news of God (Mark 1:14-15).” This glorious kingdom is the gospel. The pulsing, thriving, living, breathing kingdom of God present among us.


This is what Jesus came to bring us; called kingdom, joy, life and life abundantly, etc… To pattern our lives after Jesus is to make known the glorious splendor of God’s kingdom through word and deed. Through worship and meditation, and through joining in God’s mission, we’re invited to respond to God’s coming and present kingdom by saying, “I like it. I like it. I like it.”


Respond: God, I like what you’re up to. May the glorious splendor of your kingdom be a reality in my family, workplace, neighborhood, church and city, just as it is in heaven. AMEN.

Order of Worship October 23, 2011
Movement 1: Praising (See “Theme” below for info each movement)
*Opening Scripture                 Psalm 1
*Opening Prayer
*Songs of Praise and Celebration
Here in this place  HWB #6 & Joyful, joyful, we adore thee  HWB #71
*Prayer for illumination

Movement 2: Hearing (See “Theme” below for info each movement)
Scripture                                  Matthew 22:34-46
Children’s Time
Sermon            Loving God and neighbor

Movement 3: Responding(See “Theme” below for info each movement)
Songs of Response
I love you Lord  PPP – Red #21 & Renew your church   HWB #363, vs 1&4
Sharing & Prayer
Offering and Offertory

Movement 4: Sending (See “Theme” below for info each movement)
Connecting More Fully
*Sending Scripture                   Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18
*Song of Sending
Christ be near at either hand   SJ #80
*Sending Prayer or Litany

Thank you to the following for sharing your gifts! Worship Leader: Kristi Long; Scripture Reader: Maria Gonzalez; Children’s Message: Linda Washburn; Speaker: Pastor Marty Troyer; Song Leader: Mike Schmidt; Pianist: Linida Washburn; Children’s Church

Movement 1: Praising: Orients us to loving God. Psalm 1 says we are to “delight” and “meditate” in God’s ways; two words that inspire  consistent commitment and heartfelt feeling. When we praise God, we step into reality: the reality of God’s love for us, the reality of what God is creating in our world, the reality of how God sees us (“we shall arise at the sound of our name!”). Our first song says that in God “the darkness has vanished away,” this is what God does for us. We can be like “trees planted by streams” if we love God.
Movement 2: Hearing: Focuses on learning what the pattern of Jesus/Divine action is. I’ll be looking at Jesus own spiritual life for clues as to what energized and sustained his love of neighbor. It’s my belief that love of neighbor/enemy/self/other is impossible without a consistent deep relationship to God.
Movement 3: Responding: People are invited to commit to patterning their life after the way Jesus/God has acted towards us and the world. What does a spirituality for the modern/technologically advanced Christian look like that is modeled after Jesus’ own love of God?
Movement 4: Sending: Here our ritual acts orient us towards life lived throughout the week. People are sent out into the world to live like Christ. Everything we do in this movement is designed to equip us for that level of faithfulness: scripture, Commissioning/Sending, song, and even the announcements are all tools to equip us for this kind of a life. Notice how the sending scripture again invites us to “love our neighbor.” In hearing these words, we are commissioning each other to love our neighbors/co-workers/families for the next 7 days.

The Peace Pastor Update:
This week I celebrated Clara’s birthday by digging into the archives for a sermon preached after her birth.

I am thankful that God is re-creating our world in the image of shalom and not empire. I am thankful that God is transforming swords and bombs into plowshares. I am thankful that my children will hear the gospel of peace and not war. I am thankful for the power of women and nonviolence and that I have the blessed responsibility to raise both. I am thankful that Jesus, and not Truman, Bush or Obama, is king. I am thankful that “the Prince of peace is Jesus Christ.

Read the entire article 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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