Join us Sunday for Mennonite Heritage Sunday, Communion, and a Campus Development discernment meeting!
Formation Resources in a Mennonite Perspective:. 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:
· Desiring God’s Kingdom? What’s the Best, most up to date definition of a Mennonite? If you want the clearest, most modern yet-rooted-in-tradition understanding of what it means to be a Mennonite, check this out. If you were to ask me for the core document defining who we are, and what we are about as a denomination, I would point you here. It’s called: Desiring God’s Kingdom: A Missional Vision and Purposeful Plan for being Mennonite. As leaders here at HMC, we’re currently studying this document in our meetings, and being refreshed and renewed to do so.http://www.mennoniteusa.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=2%2baoYW2d38Y%3d&tabid=1743
· The Pangea Blog: Kurt Willems’ writes an Anabaptist/Mennonite blog (similar to ThePeacePastor) with a passion for Jesus and all people. He writes brilliantly about peace, justice, the gospel and church and is consistently picked up by larger publishers like Sojourners and Red Letter Christians. http://thepangeablog.com/
· Who are the Mennonites? Here’s a 4 minute video to learn more about who you are. Also, a great link to share with inquisitive friends and neighbors. Watch it, and you’ll know what to say next time someone asks you “What’s a Mennonite anyway?” http://www.thirdway.com/menno/
· Living More with Less book study 9:30AM Sunday’s, this week covering the 2 chapters on the Home (chapter 11-12ish). I’m not sure what’s better: the book or the people discussing it!
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!
Connecting More Fully at HMC:
►Celebrate Communion this Sunday at HMC. Please take time to prayerfully prepare to receive from the Lord all that God has in store for you.
►Family Night at Church THIS FRIDAY to Prep for the RELIEF SALE!!! 7PM. Bring games and snacks and yourself. Sewers and Doers will bring the rest. If you have questions contact Denise Duff, Jane McNair, Sylvia Klauser, Margaret Gehman.
►Alicia Campos, the Volunteer Manager at Ten Thousand Villages, has agreed to set up a special Orientation session for those from the Mennonite church on Sunday, Nov. 6th from 5pm to 8pm. We would really like to have everyone up and running, so to speak, by the next time we are set to staff the store (on Nov. 20th and Dec. 18th as well). The holidays are fast approaching and everyone is needed to staff the store at this time of year! It is very busy and alot of fun too! Please register by going to www.villageshouston.org and fill out the registration under VOLUNTEERS. This way you will be registered with the Shiftboard scheduling program for the store and in the future, you will be able to sign up for your shift. In addition you will receive e-newsletters, notices regarding special events, documentation of volunteer hours, etc. Thanks for registering online as quickly as possible! Feel free to contact Jean Koshy-Hertzler (email@example.com or call 713-660-6688) if you have any questions at all.
►Upcoming Congregational Meetings:
Sunday October 30, 1PM. To discern Campus development and growth. A meal will be provided.
Sunday December 5, 1PM. Annual Business meeting, Part 1.
Sunday January 15, 1PM Annual Business meeting, Part 2.
►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
►No Sunday School on November 13 (“The Day After”)
►58 Film Screening: Nov 06, 2011 05:00 PM-07:00 PM at The Fellowship at Cinco Ranch in Katy.
The Fellowship is hosting a premier showing of 58:, the inspiring true story of the global Church in action. Witness bravery and determined faith in a journey from the slums of Kenya to the streets of New York. Confront the brutality of extreme poverty and meet those who live out the True Fast of Isaiah 58 and create stunning new possibilities for the future. Travel from the sun-scorched plains of rural Ethiopia to British shopping centers, from Brazilian ganglands and the enslaving quarries of India to western churches, businesses and conferences. 58: invites audiences to discover the incredible work of God through His people in our hurting world. Meet ordinary people, hear their stories, and see their struggles and their victories as 58: shows the relentlessly loving God at work through His Church bringing hope to the darkest challenges of our day. Experience eye-opening reasons to lift our expectations of the future. Anyone interested in seeing this is totally cool.
►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.
►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.
We’re Going on a Wisdom-Hunt
Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding? It is hidden from the eyes of all living. -Job 28:20 (Read: Job 28:20-28)
“Bone-crushing poverty” was the phrase one woman’s story conjured inside me as she wrestled with family obligations, low wages, little to no social system, and the temptation to return to prostitution. Her problems exceeded my experience: we needed wisdom in order to actually change things.
A dear friend, gifted beyond measure, struggles with issues of identity and vocation. Clearly what is not needed is more information or options. What is needed is wisdom.
A growing congregation is refused permits to expand. Questions abound: Do you “fight” to build? Relocate? Plant a church? Transform into a cell-church model? Everyone has an opinion, but what is desperately needed is wisdom.
How often we find ourselves exasperated by life without the knowledge or experience to move ahead. While Google can find the closest restaurant, it has no “wisdom button” in the face of life’s most real needs. With Job, we may find ourselves saying, “Where then does wisdom come from?” After all, it’s “hidden from the eyes of all living (vs 21).”
Out of all creation, only God “understands the way to it (vs 23).” Only God knows that wisdom is character in action, formed through the consistent and long work of “the fear of the Lord (vs 28)” and departing from evil. In each case, wisdom is God’s remedy for our confusion. When I read the Job, and the Psalms and especially Proverbs it’s apparent wisdom isn’t something that comes quickly, or easily. It’s something you have to work for, dig after, and commit to. The practice of discernment in the Christian tradition bears this in mind and gives us some help as we think about our Campus Development meeting Sunday. Here’s some helpful practices:
· Wisdom comes from God. While we say we know that, we need to practice it. We’re a church, we need to make decisions with this in mind. Prayer, silence, and humility all help our practices reflect this theology.
· Wisdom comes in community. Listening to the voices and ideas of all, including or especially those on the fringe, help us see the whole picture, understand options, tune in to feelings, and move forward. When you’re in a room filled with trusted friends and Christians, its impossible to see yourself as the smartest person in the room.
Sunday during our meeting we’ll try to put these into practice. We’ll listen to God and each other, ask some good and tough questions, listen to each other some more, and together we’ll move forward. “Where then does wisdom come from?” It comes from the Lord. I hope you’ll join us Sunday.
Respond: Jesus, you are the wisdom of God and the remedy for brokenness. Please, we need character in action and help in faithful decision-making. We earnestly seek your wisdom today. AMEN.
ORDER OF WORSHIP FOR October 30, 2011
JESUS: The Pattern for Our Lives
Let the same mind be in you that was in Jesus Christ.
Opening Scripture Psalm 107: 1-9
*Songs of Praise and Celebration We are people of God’s peace HWB #407 & Praise, I will praise HWB #76
*Prayer for illumination
Scripture Matthew 23:1-12
Sermon Seven Days of Service
Songs of Response Will you let me be your servant HWB #307
Sharing & Prayer
Offering and Offertory
Connecting More Fully
*Sending Scripture Psalm 107: 1-3,8,9
*Song of Sending Jesus Christ is waiting SJ #30
*Commissioning Litany SJ #157
* Please stand if comfortable when indicated by asterisk.
SJ- Sing the Journey (Green spiral-bound) HWB- Hymnal Worship Book (Blue hardback).
♦ Communion: Houston Mennonite Church celebrates an open communion. All people (members and visitors) who follow or long to follow Jesus are invited to pray and celebrate with us at the Lord’s table.
Thank you to the following for sharing your gifts! Worship Leader: Brad Myers; Children’s Message: Margaret Gehman; Speaker: Pastor Marty Troyer; Song Leader: Paul Siemens; Pianist: Pam Stephens; Children’s Church: Jane McNair.
Theme: Jesus: The Pattern for our lives: Service Jesus says the greatest command is to love God and neighbor, which often means we serve people. God’s love for us, his grace and generosity come to us as he serves us, we see this in Jesus lifestyle most readily. Our actions are to mirror God’s action to us. Check out how the very order of our worship plays into this theme of Jesus (Divine Action) being the pattern for our own action. All worship has 4 movements, leading us through the great Story of God back into the world where we join the Story as characters alongside Abraham and Sarah, Mary and Jesus.
Movement 1: Praising: Orients us to loving God. Psalm 107 reminds us of God’s “wonderful works to humankind.” When we praise God, we step into reality: the reality of God’s love for us, and what that has and does look like. Our first song is written by Menno Simons, reminds us of some of how God serves (creating community, calling us his people, spreading joy and happiness). Second calls us to love, praise, and serve God. Finally, the Prayer of Illum orients us to our faith and hope.
Movement 2: Hearing: Focuses on learning what the pattern of Jesus/Divine action is. Jesus calls us to serve. I’ll be looking at 7 time periods where God through people served (OT, NT, early church, etc…) and what that might mean for us.
Movement 3: Responding: People are invited to commit to patterning their life after the way Jesus/God has acted towards us and the world. Here, we commit to serving as Christ served in at least 2 ways: Inviting our fellow worshippers to let us serve them (song) and then serving each other in communion.
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 do what God does: satisfy the thirsty and feed the hungry. This is what you’re being commissioned to do!
The Peace Pastor Update:
This week I blogged about an experience I had in relating to two young women who were working in a sweatshop and had money stolen from them by their boss. It was a humbling and learning experience to stand beside them as they courageously confronted their boss. I’d love for you to read about it as this is a growing ministry in my life that is winning my heart.
I also shared a link to a video from a Christian pastor who jokingly dismisses the teachings of Jesus on a pretty key issue.
You can read both articles in their entirety at: http://blog.chron.com/thepeacepastor/
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.