HMC E-Newsletter September 6, 2012  

Congregational Meeting Sep 23 for Campus Development

We invite you to join us after the potluck this Sunday September 23 for a very important meeting regarding new developments. An informational and dialogue meeting on September 2 was highly valuable. You can find minutes from that meeting attached. PLEASE READ THESE MINUTES PRIOR TO OUR NEXT MEETING! (They will be particularly helpful for those of us unable to be present on Sep 2)

A Property Tour will be given immediately following worship this Sunday (meet at front door). An outline of a possible building expansion is set up outside of our building. Also, see north sanctuary wall for picture image of property.

If you have ANY questions please contact Ed W. or Mitch M., Jane M. or Jose K. Please put THIS Sunday September 23 on your calendar for our next meeting where decisions will be made, and prayerfully keep this in your prayers.

Several builders have presented us preliminary proposals for approximately half of the property (the section of woods and land behind the Annex). The picture to the left reveals what we would retain (the green) and sell (the section boldly outlined, colored red). The initial price they offered may allow us to fund construction costs for a new building and provide funds for remodeling the existing building. We see this as a door opening that had been closed and feel that it warrants further study. At the April 2011 congregational meeting, the congregation tasked us with determining how we could fund building the new sanctuary and whether Hilshire Village would allow us to build it.

This option, now presented to us, might provide a solution to the funding concerns and may also put us in a stronger position to be granted permission to build while still maintaining our current central location and freeway access.

Over the next several weeks we will be seeking answers to a number of questions raised by this option. Would a smaller campus be sufficient for HMC’s desire to grow? Are there others who would give us offers for a partial sale? Will the Hilshire Village council grant us a SUP knowing the partial sale will increase their tax rolls? And to understand and clarify the terms and conditions of the preliminary proposal.

As always, any sale will require congregational approval. In addition, we would not enter into a partial sale agreement without our obtaining an SUP being a condition of sale.

Agenda, Goals and Process for the Meeting Sunday

Goals: Discerning God’s best regarding future campus development of HMC. Clear presentation of information, clear dialogue from all present, open and honest dialogue, everyone is heard in responding to the presentation, faithful decision made that reflects the authentic (unbiased, openly shared rather than votes to avoid conflict, etc…) will of the people.

Process: We’ve chosen a process over our last several meetings intended to maximize discussion, listening, multi-voiced decision-making, collaboration, speaking, awareness of group feelings. It’s our goal to empower participation of everyone present, including those less comfortable sharing before a large group. Thus we’ll again go through several of the following cycles: Presentation ~ Table Group Discussion~ Table Group Sharing with Large Group~ Large Group Discussion. The use of such a cycle, rather than large group discussion only, allows for more discussion, for minority opinions to be freely shared, and for everyone to be heard. We’ll ask that table groups report in, but encourage individuals to respond as well. Our meeting Sunday will have three such Cycles (see agenda).

We’ll also again, as we’ve done numerous times in the past, utilize a non-binding information-gathering poll to understand where people are to guide our discussion. Roughly ½ way through our meeting, we’ll take this informal poll, allowing us to understand where we are in our group process, and to ascertain if we are ready and prepared to move on to a formal, binding decision-making vote.

Any decision made by the congregation to move forward in the taking of a Binding Vote will include the following:

  • Ballot polls that remain open until September 30 so that everyone at HMC can cast a ballot, whether present Sunday or not;
  • use of anonymous ballots;
  • Open sharing of Meeting Minutes from Sep 23 including the results of any informal polls we take.

We hope you can see we’re very serious about encouraging participation of everyone at HMC!

Finally, as the body of Christ we want to bathe our meeting in prayer, and thus to a deeper extent than in previous meetings, we’ll embrace the model of “worshipful work.” This means that at any point in our gathering we are open to pausing for prayer, or to sing, or simply meditate. And that at intentional times throughout we’ll pray through song. It’s our hope this will open us to trust and obey God to our fullest capacity.


Classified Ads

HMC Building  Maintenance Coordinator Do you do projects around your house or hire others to do work at your house?  We are looking for someone like you to coordinate maintenance and repairs at the church and annex.  You will not be expected to do this work yourself rather just note what needs to be done and help hire/coordinate work to be done by a contractor or through the church.  Are you ready for this exciting role?  Contact Gerald G.

Yard Maintenance Coordinator Do you like being outside and working in the yard?  Do you enjoy seeing well maintained church grounds?  You can help make this happen!  Would you be willing to serve as a coordinator of volunteers or to coordinate with lawn or tree service personnel to take care of the church grounds?  Are you ready to help keep our grounds beautiful?  Contact Gerald G.

Financial – Assistant Treasurer Would you like to use your business skills to serve the church? Do you like working with numbers and spreadsheets? Would you like to develop your own ability to use a budget?  Are you ready to embrace the exciting world of numbers?  Contact Gerald G.

Sunday Morning Sous Chef Would you like to work with the church to ensure great hospitality for church Sunday morning?  Do you enjoy praying for our people and having some quiet time while you work on some clear, effective tasks?  We are looking for someone to be the Sunday Morning Sous Chef in charge of opening blinds, straightening up the sanctuary, distributing song books, and rolling out the welcome mat while praying for our people while you’re working.  Are you ready for the excitement of being a Sunday Morning Sous Chef?  Contact Twila W.

Youth Leaders Do you see our younger generation and appreciate the great opportunities ahead for them?  Do you think that they could use someone to invest in them and offer them guidance and love?  Are you interested in being that mentor for them?  We need someone to teach our young people!  You are even welcome to set-up some fun activities with them in addition to church if that interests you as well.  We want YOU to invest in our youth!  Contact Kathryn B.

Connecting More Fully at HMC:          

Fellowship Meal Sunday after worship: Please bring table ware and plates (we’ll have some available also)! Everyone is welcome! Please join us today.

Congregational Meeting to Discern Campus Development after Meal Today:  A Property Tour will be given immediately following worship (meet at front door). An outline of a possible building expansion is set up outside of our building. Also, see north sanctuary wall for picture image of property.
iCare Dialogue time: 9:30AM Sunday School. We are studying the foundational book on congregational caring, The search to Belong: Rethinking Intimacy, Community, and Small Groups. Join us!
►Growing for Peace in our Hearts, in our families, in our world: Saturday September 29, 9-5PM at Houston Mennonite Church. It’s like Peace Camp, but for all ages (literally, all ages, it’s designed for you, your family, and your friends in mind, whether 3 or 93!). Please register online at Registration is $10 per person and $20 per family. Free childcare all day for children under 3.

Read and Share Sunday’s sermon, Saying what is so.Look for “sermons” on our website.
►With Literacy and Justice for all:
Guest post by Kathryn Bauchelle on The Peace Pastor. Check it out at

Fall Retreat Picnic October 13, 2012: 8:00am- 5:00pm at Frankie Carter Randolph Park- Pavilion #2 in Friendswood for Christian Fellowship Fun. Coffee, Orange juice and Muffins provided in the AM Potluck lunch – Sandwiches & Extras

Children’s Message Workshop: October 28 after Fellowship Meal, 1-2PM.
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.
► Pastor Marty will be in New York City this week (Sep 25-28) for a presentation and training on seeking peace in our city. For pastoral care, please contact Twila, Gloria, or Kristi from Community Life Team.


Need One Take One: Great links and Shameless Plugs

With Literacy and Justice for all? This week Kathryn B. writes on the Peace Pastor, “Across our planet, education is linked to empowerment, peace, prosperity. Girls who have been educated are more likely to marry later, have smaller, healthier families, go to work, and invest the money they earn into their families and communities. The inverse of all the negative points above is also true – literate people are less likely to live in poverty, less likely to be incarcerated, more likely to live long and prosper. Above all, being literate; being educated and informed, is an issue of justice. “People who can read enjoy better health, make more money, create safer and more stable democracies, and serve their communities more effectively.”  Read her complete piece here:

Is it OK to call her Muslim? Here’s my reason for doing so this week on my blog:
“To humanize her: She is a woman whose faith and people have been so deeply marginalized and otherized in this country for decades (with increased intensity since 9/11). This week in particular  all the protests regarding the Islamaphobic film have brought an increased otherizing effect on our Muslim neighbors. It was my way of saying, “I had this teeny tiny, yet beautiful, little connection with a woman who is Muslim that made me realize ‘they’ don’t hate ‘us.’” I had an opportunity to let my friends know that I connect meaningfully with Muslims, and I grabbed the chance. Many folks who follow me don’t have this opportunity, never interact with Muslims, and only hear about “them” through Shawn Hannity, Fox News, Focus on the Family, etc.. and so therefore “they” are always “enemies.” This is just crazy talk. My effort to humanize her necessarily calls that myth into question.

Mutuality and Why we spend so much time in DialogueThis timely post describes both our style of worship and our Discernment Process we’ll use Sunday in our meeting.  Here’s a quote from Stuart and Sian Murray, “We believe multivoiced church equips the Christian community for mission, stimulates personal growth, encourages responsible discipleship, protects the community from many ills, and allows God’s Spirit freedom to accomplish so much more in and through the church.” It operates out of the narrative that “the whole community is gifted, called, empowered, and expected to be involved in all aspects of church life.”

Sunday’s Sermon: Managing Conflict & Loving Ourselves/Neighbors By Saying What is So
Reflecting on the Martha and Mary story from Luke 10:38-42 last week, Pastor Marty said:
Martha said the right thing but to the wrong person. Her conflict was with Mary, yet she directs her comments to the guest of honor; and does so in a way that apparently everyone else can also hear. She creates a triangle, pulling in a third party with the goal of getting her needs met. Yet in so doing, she disrespects her sister, allows the anxiety in her to ripple throughout the room, and asks the guest of honor to invalidate her sisters’ gift. Jesus’ teachings are clear on this point: when you have an issue with someone, resolve it through direct communication with them (Matt 18).  What truth do you need to speak to your family about what is so for you?



So what’s this thing we call a “Relief Sale”?

The Texas Mennonite Sale & Auction for World Relief has been held in Houston every November since 1990, raising nearly $750,000 during those years.  We typically have about 40 quilts that are auctioned—many of them coming from friends across the country.  We also sell crafts, woodworking, baked goods, used books, food, and a variety of other things.  We’re always looking for new ideas of things we can add.

Of course, each year we need people to pitch in and help make this event happen.  Whether by making crafts throughout the year, helping out with the organizational details, or lending a hand with one of the many tasks on sale day, we welcome everyone’s involvement.                                    

Why do we do this?

As Mennonites, we believe in service to others, in helping to ensure that all people everywhere can enjoy the abundant life that God intends for them, and in making peace—even in difficult situations.  One of the ways we express these beliefs is through our support of Mennonite Central Committee—the relief, development and peacemaking agency of North American Mennonite churches…  Through the efforts of more than 1,000 dedicated men and women, MCC provides food relief, agricultural assistance, education, health services an much more to people in more than 50 countries.

In the late 1950s, Mennonites first held an event at which they donated hand crafted items and food, which were sold to benefit MCC—a sale to support relief work, or a Relief Sale.  Today 45 such events are held annually across the US and Canada, raising over $5 million for MCC.


I want to serve too, how can I?

The Relief Sale is a great way to connect your faith God’s love for the whole world. Here’s several ways to serve:

  • Come to The Relief Sale November 10 and have a great day! Eat, drink, buy Christmas gifts, splurge on a special something, and grab a loaf of bread to gift your boss or neighbor.
  • “Like” The Texas Mennonite Relief Sale on Facebook and share it so that all your followers know about it too!
  • Make or create something for the sale: Quilts, crafts, fresh bread, cookies, wood work and handmade soap can all share God’s abundant life through something you’re passionate about.
  • Get donations for the silent auction: Each year we gather gift cards from local businesses, merchandise, and other gifts for our silent auction. Ask your favorite restaurant or business for a donation. On the back table are official invitation letters from The Relief Sale.
  • Penny Power: Bring your spare change and add it to our Penny Power jar. A painless way to raise funds to support development.
  • Invite people to the Sale: Pass out Relief Sale flyers to your friends, coworkers, neighbors, and well, everyone. Even people you don’t like might want to come! Be creative in using media and other outlets in your invitations.
  • Volunteer: The Sale itself is a huge event. We use volunteers to sort, transport, set-up, display and present, serve food, sell crafts and baked goods, clean, and tear down. We’re in particular need this year of a Leader to set up our quilt displays.
  • Pray! This is more than a business, this is an expression of faith. Hold director Roxie V. and all our Texas volunteers in your prayers that God might return all that is given, and more!
  • Attend Sewers and Doers: This group gathers twice a month at HMC to make handcrafts for the Sale.
  • Be a Sponsor: Consider an in kind donation to off-set the costs of the sale itself. Or host a fundraiser to do so.


Order of Worship for September 23, 2012

Call to Worship

Opening Prayer

*Songs of Praise  Lord, you give the Great Commission SJ #63      Jesus calls us SJ #3
Children’s Time
Sermon & Small Group Dialogue        Caring where we live, work and play
Pastoral Prayer                     Please feel free to light a candle prayer at this time
Response Song                                                I am Loved
Connecting more fully
Offering and Offertory
*Song of Sending                         Blessed be the tide that binds   HWB #421
* Commitment to caring
            “Do you commit to each day this week showing care to someone where you live, work, or play?”
Congregation response: “I promise”




Thanks to the following for offering your gifts: Worship Leader: Kristi;  Dialogue Leader & Children’s Message:: Pastor Marty Troyer;  Scripture Presenter: Rosa B.;  Song Leader: Paul S. Pianist: Erika R.; Children’s Church: Danielle G.; Banners: Margaret G.; Visual and Bulletin Cover: Kathryn B..

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.


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