The TNT team could use your help. Can you cook? Set tables? Bake a cake? Clear tables? Serve a meal? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Cathy Justus and her cooking team need you. Perhaps you would be willing to bake a dessert once a month or stay a little while after the meal to help clear the tables. Maybe you would like to help serve the meal…it’s a great way to meet and greet everyone who passes by the window to get a plate of food. Or maybe you can give one afternoon a week or a month to help cook for the Wednesday night fellowship dinner. Please consider offering your help. Talk to Cathy about what you can do. We all enjoy the food and fellowship. Now let’s pitch in and help. (P.S. Men and women are equally welcome!)
CTCYM Meeting for all Youth and Adults interested in going on the Summer Sr. High Mission Trip
Sunday, March 1 @ 10:15
Mission trip is headed toward us, and we need to start getting prepared for the trip this summer, if you are planning on going, please make every effort to be in attendance at this meeting. Registration for the trip is different this year, so there is new information, even for the seasoned veterans which needs to be covered. We’ll also cover fundraising and important due dates for the trip.
5:30 - Terrific Nights Together (we eat and enjoy the company of the church and community)
6:15 - Junior High Youth
7:00- Senior High youth
Sunday, March 1 @ 10:15 – CTCYM MEETING FOR ALL GOING ON THE SR. HIGH TRIP –
Meeting for all who are going or thinking of going on the Sr. High mission trip, youth and adults. The meeting will be between the services and will be about 30-45 minutes.
Sunday, March 29 – Youth Trip –
Details will be coming shortly, but we’ll probably leave at around 9:30-10:00 and attend worship at a different denomination’s church and then have a bite to eat and go do something fun…perhaps Main Event.
P.S. We’ll need an adult or two to tag along with us, if you’re interested give David a shout.
Pay attention to the sermon - there will be a test later and it probably won’t be from the pastor! That is what I found it after Reed’s sermon on Risk-Taking Mission and Service. As most of you may or may not be aware, I deliver the Waco Tribune-Herald very early in the morning on a route that includes Malone, Penelope and Abbott. I left at 2:30 a.m. that next Monday morning and stopped at 7 Eleven to get gas. I went in to pay before I pumped the gas and noticed the clerk talking to a young girl. I could tell from bits and pieces of their conversation that she was desperately in need of gas but was running short on money. I proceeded to go ahead and pump my gas. By the time I got through she had gotten what little gas the clerk had agreed to give her and was about to get back in her car. I asked her if she needed some gas and she said she was fine, that the clerk had given her a little bit. I had $10 in my pocket just screaming to get out. I told the girl to put $10 more gas in her car and may God always be with her and may He bless her always. She started crying, hugged me, told me, “Thank you very much!” I drove away and haven’t seen her since. I had also gotten from the conversation she had with the clerk that she was a student in Dallas. I had been in her shoes a few times and knew how she felt. I was glad I was there at the right time to help her out.
If I had not been there to help her out, this next opportunity might not have been there. You see, it is my strong belief that God puts us where we need to be at the right time for our mission and purpose in life. When I got to Penelope that same night, I was turning on FM 2114 to deliver a paper at a house out there. As I was going around the curve, I noticed a wierd light going back and forth coming from the side of the road. As I went past, I noticed it was a woman. I slammed on my brakes and backed up to where she was. I rolled down the window and asked her if she was alright. She said she had just rolled her car (which I noticed was upside down in the culvert) and she had glass all over her and would I please help her out. I got on my cell phone to call 911. Within five minutes, the Volunteer Fire Department from Penelope was on the scene, a state trooper and an ambulance were on their way. The firemen put the woman in the fire truck as it was very, very cold and rainy that morning and very dark. As I talked to her for the last time, I made sure she was going to be alright and then told her the same thing as I had told the other girl. I said, “May God always be with you and bless you always.” She thanked me very much and I drove away.
When I drove away from both of these instances, I felt so spiritually uplifted I wanted to shout out loud! Then I thought about the sermon for that Sunday that I had just heard a few short hours before. I thought, “Yep, pay attention to the sermon. There just may be a test later and it won’t necessarily be from the pastor……”
The economy. Everyone seems to be concerned and wonder what will happen next. There are those that want the government to do something and those who think the government is doing too much. Nearly all of us have watched accounts shrink. Every night on TV on in the paper we see what seems to be another round of bad news and dread the next report.
As a Christian what should be our response and approach? Well, let’s see shall we? Now to begin with let me say that I cannot answer in terms of financial advice. Heavens, even my 401 K is now a $1.98 k. So I won’t go down that path. Let me give what I think are three responses from a faith perspective.
The first is don’t panic. Remember who you are and to whom you belong. We belong to God and we have a treasure laid up for us in heaven. Ultimately we are wealthy beyond means. That wealth, obtained through Christ, is not built or accumulated by human hands. It is secure.
The second is it’s only money. I know we need it to live, eat, house and clothe ourselves but again in the words of the Apostles, “Gold and silver I do not have but I give you what I do have, Christ Jesus.” In other words remember that there are things that make you wealthy that are worth more than money. In “It’s A Wonderful Life” George Baily discovers that friends and family made him the richest man in town. Real wealth is who you love and who loves you not in assets.
The third is found in a wonderful scripture “Behold says God, I make all things new.” As Christians we need to remember that we can be people of the past and today or we can be people of the future. Now to be sure we cannot say what tomorrow holds but we can sate with certainty that this too shall pass. In fact, usually out of times of stress comes days of joy.
Now I am not being Polly Annish about all this. It is a difficult time and a time we may remember for a very long time. However rest assured, we will come through it and will be better and wiser as a result.
Now let me offer an idea. Here in these times we will see more and more people who will need help. Do the opposite of conventional wisdom. GIve away more of your money. Be sure to give to Hillsboro Interfaith Ministries or put just a bit more in the collection plate. Let’s make sure we can help those who need us. I think you will find God’s blessings in the giving and you won’t worry as much about the rest.
The study phase of the Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations concluded with the presentation of the top ideas from each of the five study teams at both worship services on Sunday, February 22. A fellowship brunch also was provided by the Events Team between services. Each of the team leaders briefly discussed the experiences of their group and presented the top five ideas generated in their group meetings. It was evident from the presentations that the group meetings had been active and energetic and that they clearly had more than five ideas for consideration.
The ideas presented show us how to become a church with ministry that might be characterized by the terms: radical hospitality, passionate worship, intentional faith development, risk-taking mission and service, and extravagant generosity. It now is up to us to implement the ideas with quality and thoroughness, so that we realize the total benefits and move forward. As Bishop Schnase said: “We can do better.”
The next step in this process is for the Church Council to choose which ideas to implement first. We can’t tackle them all at once, but we can expedite the process. The Council has a small team already working on this activity. Stay tuned for more information.
Monday night , February 16, the Church Council endorsed a follow up plan for the ideas and suggestions that have come out of the Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations study.
The first step is to have a small team (7 people) to screen the suggestions from the five groups and recommend to the Council which suggestions we should implement first. We want to act with dispatch, but we cannot do everything at once. Earl Elam, the Council Chairman, appointed the Screening Team which consists of the Five Practices Team leaders and two others who were not directly involved in generating the ideas.
At the Council meeting on March 16, The Screening Team will give its report and out of that meeting will come the implementation plans for the first wave of Five Practices ideas.
The ideas adopted by the Council for implementation will be identified to the congregation, progress will be reviewed at each subsequent Council meeting, and other items will be added to the implementation list when advisable. Let’s all get behind this effort and put these good ideas to work!
The Screening Team consists of the following:
Becky Cliett Sandra Gage Jim Gwaltney Cathy Mackey
O.k. so the 5 practices are over. Now what? Good question. This Sunday we will present the ideas that the study groups have generated. They will do so in both services. We are going to then group them and begin to work on them until we accomplish all of them.
We will start with some that might be easiest to implement or we might start with one or two that are the the most pressing and important but we will start and we will ge them done. It will be an exciting year for us.
Two thoughts: First, we hope you enjoyed the studies and worship guides as well as the worship services throughout the month. We tried to provide some different and moving experiences for you. If you failed to participate, we believe you really did miss something that you may regret later. At least we hope that you enjoyed the prayer guide. If you didn’t read it, you can at any time. If you did read it, go back at some point and read it again.
The second thought is that all of this will simply be another busy activity in our church unless you get involved. There will be additional activities hospitality, worship, faith development, mission and service and generosity throughout the year. If you don’t get involved, you will miss out. That would be a shame. It’s kind of like the story about the rich young ruler. He came so close but because he couldn’t let go and let God, he missed out. What a shame.
Well, anyway, don’t forget this Sunday is Celebration Sunday. We will have communion in both services, the presentation by the 5 Practices Teams and a Brunch at 10:00. Do come.
We need help. One of our study groups wants us to put on come commercials in KHBR. However, we want to do something that might get the attention of those seeking a church home but don’t want to hear from the normal church approach. Once there was a commercial with a preacher talking about his church on a TV ad. In the background was clowns, elephants, acrobats, etc. He stated that while other churches were jsut a three ringed circus, his church took your faith seriously and invited folks to his church. Another church had the typical “See you Sunday” commercial. Which one would stick with you and which one to you think would bring others to a church for the first time?
If you are interested in writing, producing, directing or starring in a church commercial, contact the church office. We will get you on the team.