Category: Glimpses of Faith (Page 1 of 7)

Church World Service Clean-Up Buckets

CWS is currently running a campaign to fill 3,000 buckets by the end of the year. The buckets were all donated; we’re asking for monetary donations to fill a bucket.

The cost of one Clean-up Bucket is $75. Right now, individuals can fill a bucket for $25. Thus, the campaign name: 3-in-1- Bucket Challenge. These buckets provide assistance to families and communities affected by flooding, tornados, fires and other disasters.

For more information.       https://cwskits.org/3-in-1-bucket-challenge/

Faith Rally: Election Day Home Stretch — A UCC Digital Event – October 14

Rev. Brooks Berndt UCC Minister for Environmental Justice

     Feeling bruised, battered, or fatigued by this election season? Looking for a source of uplift down the home stretch to November 3rd? Then, this digital event is for you.

This will be a time to renew our energies and our focus as we approach an election day with so many profound implications for those who care about the climate crisis and the many interconnected issues of justice that we face today.

     Our three featured speakers will include: Karenna Gore of Union Theological Seminary, the Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. of the Hip Hop Caucus, and the Rev. Gerald Durley of Interfaith, Power & Light. The webinar will be co-hosted by the Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt of the UCC’s Environmental Justice Ministry and the Rev. Michael Malcom of Alabama Interfaith Power & Light.

    Even if you can’t make its scheduled time on October 14th at 1 pm ET, still sign-up, and we will send you a recording of it. 

Sign-up now to join the webinar!

Heart of Texas Association News

     The date of the Heart of Texas Association Fall Meeting has been moved to Saturday, October 24 at 10 am to noon (a shift from the original date of October 10) on Zoom.  The reason for the change in date is to allow us to prepare for a presentation on the proposed formation of a Conference level Fitness Review Committee.  The formation of this committee has been a project of the South Central Conference Board of Directors, and would be a joining of Associations (rather than a taking over by the Conference) in the work of ministerial fitness reviews.  I will explain a little more about what this means below.

     Our Association Executive Board will be putting the agenda together before the Fall Meeting, but we expect that we will have an emphasis on sharing from the churches about how we are doing our ministry during this time of enormous change, an opportunity to give toward needs generated by the pandemic, an update on what the work and needs of Slumber Falls are, and our normal financial/budget approvals and other brief reports.  The leadership of the Heart of Texas Association believes that it is perhaps more important than ever to share from our lives as churches in this time of change. 

     One of the most difficult, detailed, and time consuming tasks of our Committee on Ministry is a fitness review.  This work happens when a complaint regarding the fitness for ministry of one of our ministers is raised in a substantial way.  There is currently a thorough and demanding process for raising, investigating, and considering these types of complaints that the Association Committee on Ministry uses, as outlined in the United Church of Christ Manual on Ministry and supporting documents.  Since fitness reviews do not occur often, Committee members must be trained to understand and to work with this process when one does happen. Additionally, the Committee often needs to do quite a bit of follow up work after a fitness review occurs.  Normally, our Committee on Ministry has a full load of work for its meetings  working with our Members in Discernment and ministers before the major addition of fitness review work. An ongoing committee, composed of members elected from all of the Associations in the Conference, could do the demanding work of fitness reviews with members who are trained and experienced in this work.  That proposed ongoing committee, as well as a process to be able to join it, will be what will be presented at our Fall Meeting.  We would not vote on joining this committee until the Spring of 2021.  However, it is important for us to hear what is being proposed, to understand what we would be voting on, and to share feedback about it at this time.

    We will be sending out the Fall Meeting Zoom link, the agenda and instructions to all of our churches, to our ministers, and to as many people on our email list as we can once we are closer to the meeting date.  It is my hope and prayer that this meeting will be uplifting, informative, and a time of bonding and mutual support in our faith as we continue to do the work Christ calls all of us to do.  I hope many of you will join us.

Blessings in Christ, Liz Nash, Association Minister

Comal County Senior Citizen Christmas Wreath Fundraiser

Due to COVID-19, the Comal County Senior Citizen Foundation had to cancel our Festival Of Trees fundraiser scheduled for December. The decision was made to cancel this fundraising event for the safety of the general public and our senior population. The CCSCF is now attempting to raise funds with our Online Holiday Wreath Auction. We are requesting your donation of a Christmas Wreath and also hoping you will check out our online selection to purchase for yourself.  All funds will be used for our Senior Wellness programs which includes our multi-county Meals on Wheels program.

 Please review the information below and contact me if you would like to be part of our FIRST Online Holiday Wreath Auction & Sale.

  • Any size wreath will be accepted.
  • No minimum or maximum dollar amount requirements.
  • Wreaths may be donated from one person, a team of people, churches & companies.
  • The sooner you confirm your participation enables your company logo to be on advertising materials.   
  • Please send company logo with reply of confirmation to participate.
  • ALL Holiday Wreaths MUST be delivered to the Comal Senior center between Sept 30th & November 16th.
  • The auction will be a 100% online fundraiser. No public viewing at Senior Center address.
  • Wreaths may be self-made or store bought.
  • Online Auction will run 3 days, November 17th, 18th & 19th.
  • Winners of Auction can pick up wreaths on Nov. 20th at Senior Center address.
  • You may donate more than one wreath.

Thank you for any support you can give us at this time. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Linda Null

Membership & Activities Director

655 Landa St. New Braunfels Tx 78130

830-629-4547

lnull@nbsenior.org

Slumber Falls Camp Updates

Slumber Falls Camp 2020 Fall Work Weekend 10/23-10/25

Having two work weekends worked out so well in 2019, we are excited to do again this year!

Please join us for fun, good food, hard work and fellowship in this season of pandemic.  We will of course be practicing social distancing and mask wearing when doing projects inside but most things will be outside.

We will be finishing up transitioning from summer camp mode to retreat group / family group mode and prepping the property for winter.  We are currently compiling the project list and will share it soon.

Please remember if you or someone in your family needs volunteer hours for school, college applications or court mandated community service hours…this counts!  There is no cost for the weekend, but Love Offerings are always appreciated.  Lodging, Saturday breakfast, lunch and supper and Sunday breakfast are all provided.


Water of Life – Well #1 Repairs

While SFC is currently running a COVID Campaign to mitigate the financial state of the camp as a result of the pandemic, we also are seeking donations to cover the expenses of repairing Well #1.  In mid-August, both wells on the property went down.  While we were able to repair Well #2 in house, Well #1 faced more serious issues.  The pump on Well #1 seized up and burnt a section of electrical wiring.  We called in Kutscher Drilling in to replace the pump, a section of pipe, and wiring, which amount to $2,800.  A day before they came, the water reservoir tank in Well #1 sprang a leak.  David Lamensky is helping us repair the tank, but we are reaching out for donations to cover this non-budgeted repair expense.  If you have a passion for water, bathing/showering, or even drinking it in some form or fashion, consider giving a donation to the Water of Life effort so that others may experience the joys that come from fresh well water.

From the Pastor – October 2020

Usually when a pastor leaves a church he or she is going to another church and so they leave the area and are not available to do weddings and funerals, etc.   I am planning to retire and stay here in New Braunfels.  Even though I will still be in the area.  PLEASE do not ask me to perform any pastoral/professional functions.  The UCC “A Pastoral Vacancy: Guidelines for the Departing Pastor and the Governing Board” is quite clear on this:

“The personal relationships established within a parish setting sometimes make it difficult for both the pastor and the people to remember that the role is a professional one governed by a professional code of ethics.  And that code of ethics mandates that the professional relationship cease at the end of the term of service in a church.  As a pastor, you have an ethical obligation not to ‘intrude upon the ministry of my successor.”  Intrusion includes performing pastoral services (funerals, weddings, baptisms) as well as conversing with members about church life or decisions the church is considering.” 

As you can see the guidelines are quite clear on this and I would ask your help in helping me honor these guidelines.  When my predecessor, Rev. Lee Zillmann left Faith UCC to take up a position as a chaplain in the local hospital he followed these guidelines and it made my transition to being the pastor of Faith UCC much easier.  I want to do the same for whoever follows me, for both the interim and whoever the settled pastor will be.  

This also means that I will not be attending Faith UCC when I retire.  Instead, I will be attending other UCC churches in the area.

Please understand that this does not mean I won’t continue to care about you individually or for the church, far from it.  I value my relationship with each and every one of you highly and will continue to do so.  I will also continue to care very much about Faith UCC church.  I’ve only served four churches in my career and it is not an overstatement to say that God has blessed me greatly by allowing me to serve Faith UCC these last 15 years.  In many respects God saved the best for last.  I will continue to pray for you and for Faith UCC church.  I am reminded of the Apostle Paul’s words to the church in Philippi, his favorite church, “I thank God every time I remember you, constantly praying with you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.  I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.”  (Phil 1:3-6)            

Grace and Peace,  Pastor Scott

From The Pastor – September 2020

As you all know I will be retiring on December 31st.  I announced my retirement at the beginning of the year to give the church as much time as possible to hit the road running.  There is much to be done and it is not too soon to start.  It will require all hands on deck to prayerfully go through the various steps.  The council will not be able to do it all by themselves so I pray you will prayerfully consider serving if the council asks you to help with the transition process.  Faith UCC is a wonderful church and it serves a vital role in the South Central Conference and UCC; in this community and beyond and in your life as well as the lives of your fellow members.  I have always said that Faith UCC punches above its weight when it comes to outreach, mission, and standing up for justice in this community and world.  A transition, such as the church is facing, comes with many challenges and these challenges are being multiplied by the current pandemic, but with diligent effort and God’s help Faith UCC will come through this transition and be all the stronger for it.

     Generally after a long pastorate, I’ve been here 15 years, a church will hire an interim minister(s).  An interim minister is temporary and serves as a bridge between the past pastor and the new settled pastor.  Whoever the interim is the general understanding is that they will not apply to be the settled pastor.  During the interim period the congregation takes the opportunity to assess its history, mission and unique ministries and where it wants to go in the future.  The interim minister and the congregation use the interim period to address issues that would significantly impact the next settled pastorate and the church.  Often times interim ministers have had special training to help them help churches deal with this interim period and what needs to be done then. 

     Know that you will have my prayers during this transition time.  It is, however, inappropriate for me to, as the UCC “A Pastoral Vacancy: Guidelines for the Departing Pastor and the Governing Board” puts it, “to engage in any conversations about the future roles of other staff members or to suggest interim names.”  Rev. Campbell Lovett, the Consulting Conference Minister for the South Central Conference and Rev. Liz Nash, Heart of Texas Association Minister, will be available to help resource this transition time.  Rev. Campbell has already been in consultation with Council President Mike Ziegler and the church council. 

Grace and Peace, Pastor Scott

Letter from the Rev. Cambell Lovett, Consulting Conference Minister

Dear Friends In Christ,     Sometimes I think that the Apostle Paul was a Conference Minister!  He traveled – a lot, spent time writing letters, prayed for his many congregations, thanked people for contributing to the “needs of the saints” and extending hospitality, and encouraged churches in their ministries in challenging times.  I will follow his lead in this letter.

I’ll begin with words of thanks.  Thank you for your ministry and leadership during this time of global pandemic.  In the midst of increased isolation, people are seeking connection to a higher power and one another.  Our South Central Conference (SCC) churches are responding to these needs and serving with grace, compassion and courage.  Thank you for being a powerful presence of hope in your community.  Thank you also for sharing donations with the wider church.  Your offerings to Our Churches Wider Mission have helped make a difference in the life of many clergy and congregations in the SCC, and also across the United Church of Christ. Thank you!

As for prayers and encouragement, here are a few updates:

  • At every staff meeting, we pray for five different SCC churches and three National Setting staff members.  We passionately feel that we are all in this together and so we spend time in prayer for each church, each authorized minister, and then ask God’s blessings upon the unique ministry and mission in each church community.
  • A number of our SCC churches are in seasons of pastoral transition.  The Conference has established a Search and Call Team that is a resource to churches that are saying farewell to pastors and searching for new settled ministers.  The conference has a variety of resources and focuses on shepherding each congregation through the search process. 
  • The Conference has received a grant from the United Church Funds for establishing a series of clergy support seminars.  In August, September and October, national leaders in clergy wellness, stewardship, visioning and online worship will be meeting online with our pastors to offer encouragement, support and new resources.
  • Slumber Falls Camp completed a modified camp season within the guidelines suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Camp Association.  This was a very difficult decision to open the camp for these sessions, but our camp leaders felt the mental health of our young people would benefit from this opportunity to experience God’s presence in nature, spiritual exercises, and one another.
  • The Executive Committee of the Board has met to consider how to reduce budget expenses to match a forecasted decline in giving.  We are also working hard to identify additional revenue streams, and we remain committed to supporting the UCC National Setting at the financial level approved in the 2020 Conference Budget.

I want to thank you for helping to make all of this possible with your donations to OCWM.  I know that you have many financial challenges of your own in your congregation.  Like Paul, I am thankful for your sharing of the gospel and for your partnership with other churches in the UCC.  With your ongoing support we are sure that we can serve local churches more fully and more faithfully.

     If you have particular concerns or needs, please do not hesitate to contact me at campbell@sccucc.org or via telephone.  Together, we are making a difference. 

With you on the journey,   Campbell Lovett

From the Faith UCC Moderator

Hello! I want to give everyone a short update on a couple of very important items in the life of Faith Church. As you know, our Pastor Scott Martin will be retiring on the last day of December this year. We have several things to do before that time in order to have a smooth transition in our church life. The main projects we must undertake are convening an interim pastor search committee.  Our thanks to the following people for agreeing to serve on the interim search committee:  Beth Bizer; Kyle Kramm; Mikki Ward and Jenna Wendel.  We will also need to form a pastoral search committee in the New Year to look for a settled pastor.

The church council has a lot of materials to help in the search process. We also have the help of Rev. Dr. Campbell Lovett, Consulting Conference Minister for the South Central Conference, United Church of Christ. Rev. Lovett has provided some specific materials that will help the committee greatly in the task at hand. In addition, he has offered to be a part of the committee’s meetings as a guide and support person. I am also committed to offer any support and assistance I can to help make the job run smoothly.

If you have any questions or want to help  please contact me soon at mzieglertx@yahoo.com (see Church Directory for phone number).

Signed in Faith, Mike Ziegler   

Update on SOS

Mike Ziegler reports that the following information was in the last SOS Board minutes, “We plan to start using the new building on September 8th.  There will be a panic button for those in the new building who do not feel safe.  Also, board members were reminded that we can always call 911 if we feel threatened.”There is also another number for the food bank, which will ring in both buildings. Once the move into the new building is complete, work will begin on the new storage building.

      Sheila Angerer, Janet Sherman, Joe Ward and Pastor Scott worked at the SOS Food Bank on our August Friday.  One of the families we helped that day were from Aransas Pass.  They are here in New Braunfels because their house burned down.  The husband worked landscaping and construction and lost all his tools.  His wife is on oxygen and she lost her oxygen machine.  They currently are living in a hotel room  provided by Salvation Army.  SOS was able to provide them with emergency food.




 

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