Category: Faith UCC News and Comments (Page 1 of 4)

No in-person worship beginning Nov 22, 2020

Greetings to all Faith Church members and friends,

Given Comal County’s increase in new cases of Covid 19, Faith Church Council has decided to temporarily discontinue in-person worship, beginning Sunday, November 22.

Previously the Council agreed that if the new case daily average exceeded a 7 day average of 30, we would discontinue worship in the sanctuary. For the past 7 day the average is 40.

The In-Person Committee and the Council will continue to monitor the new case number and revisit the decision when there is a decline. In the mean time Faith worship will continue on Zoom.

We thank all Faith Church members and friends for your faithfulness in worship and support of the church ministry. We trust that you, your family and friends are well.

If you have question, please call the church office.
Grace and Peace,Michael ZieglerBob Manning

Heart of Texas Association News

    Our Heart of Texas Association Fall Meeting met on Zoom on Saturday morning, October 24th.  We had a good turnout with 13 of our churches represented.  Open Cathedral led our opening with a video worship on YouTube that included excellent music — with one of the musicians sharing from out of state, creative video segments, and a reflection by Ryan Hart.  We appreciate deeply their skilled, faithful, and uplifting work. 

    The meeting began with a time of recognition for Hope United on their tenth anniversary.  Their council president, Jim Robichaux, shared about their send off for Ron Trimmer as Ron and his family left for Missouri, the recent interim time with Kyle Walker leading worship, and the exciting news of a new designated pastor coming on board.  Jeremy Albers, Director of Slumber Falls Camp, shared with us that the camp is in difficult financial condition because all of the groups that were scheduled to come have canceled due to COVID-19, stopping the major revenue stream.  Slumber Falls was able to have our UCC summer camps last summer due to careful planning and hard work to keep people safe (no one got sick), but the revenue that is needed to support the camp is missing for now.  Jeremy is working quarter time, and major fundraising is needed.  We also recognized and lifted up our chaplains with great gratitude as they continue their life-giving work in this time of real risk.  Our attendees connected with a breakout time in small groups, and representatives from each of the churches present shared quite a bit about the life, challenges, and things to celebrate in their churches — always a rich time in these meetings.  Finally, we appreciated the excellent presentation that Campbell Lovett, our Interim Conference Minister, gave on the proposed Unified Conference level Fitness Review Committee and the work needed in the next few months to be able to make a decision on whether to join with the other South Central Conference Associations in forming this committee.

    An important decision at this meeting, made during our financial report time, was to donate $5000 of our dedicated youth funds to Slumber Falls Camp.  We did this both to show our financial support and because we had funds set aside to give scholarships to the National Youth Event last summer, which had to be cancelled as an in-person event.  Also, we are encouraging our churches to give as generously as possible to Slumber Falls.

    I also shared the news of my trip last week out to Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, Mississippi to deliver 110 hygiene kits — 100 from Friends Congregational Church and 10 from Friedens Gay Hill — along with a check from Friedens.  The staff at Back Bay Mission welcomed me and received our gifts with joy, as the need among the homeless people they serve with these particular donations is greater than ever.  We are encouraging giving to Back Bay Mission along with Slumber Falls as an offering from our churches.

    We offer congratulations to Crystal Silva-McCormick and Church of the Savior.  Crystal has been their designated pastor since Mary Wilson retired last spring.  In this role, a designated pastor has a contract for a specified period of time, during which the pastor and the church can decide to make the call a permanent one as a settled pastor.  Church of the Savior recently voted to call Crystal as their settled pastor.  Our joy and prayers for a thriving ministry go with Crystal and Church of the Savior as they embark on this profound calling together.

Blessings in Christ, Liz Nash, Association Minister

Upcoming Events/Dates

Pastor Scott to be on Vacation November 16-27th

       Pastor Scott will be in Florida from Monday November 16th to Friday, November 27th.  Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving!



Hanging of the Greens Service Sunday, November 29th      

On Sunday, November 29th we will hold our annual Hanging of the Greens service in the sanctuary.  This also marks the first Sunday of Advent.






  First recognized in 1988, World AIDS Day falls on December 1 each year. World AIDS Day is dedicated to spreading awareness of the AIDS pandemic spread by the spread of HIV infection, and to mourning those who have died of the disease. An estimated 40 million people worldwide have died of AIDS since 1981, and an estimated 37 million are living with HIV, making it one of the most important global public health issues in recorded history. Despite recent improvements in treatment, the AIDS epidemic still claims an estimated two million lives each year, of which more than 250,000 are children.

Confirmation Sunday is November 15th!

     On Sunday, November 15tth we will confirm four young people at Faith United Church of Christ:  Adam Gossett, Hayes and Fischer Marlow and Ava Perry.  We have been meeting for two one hour sessions every Sunday via zoom since September 13th.  We’ve been using the re-form material from Spark House Publications.  It has been Janet Sherman’s and my privilege and pleasure to lead these sessions and work with these talented young people who are a credit to their families and to Faith UCC.      It has been our practice at Faith UCC to ask the young people to take a portion of the UCC Statement of Faith and give their take on it, what it means to them.  Here are the portions they have chosen:

Hayes Marlow –  “You call the worlds into being, create persons in your own image, and set before each the ways of life and death.”

Fischer Marlow – “You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.”

Adam Gossett – “In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Savior, you have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself.” 

Ava Perry – ” You promise to all who trust you forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, your presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in your realm which has no end.”

     Be sure and join us in person or via zoom to hear what they have to say and be part of their confirmation. 

Slumber Falls Work Camp

       We had a great cool day for the work camp at Slumber Falls October 24th.  A lot of work got done.  Among the various jobs: laying a floor; trimming, edging, painting, weed eating, and as you can see in this picture, moving rocks and landscaping.  Quinn and Grace were among the 30 or so people who worked.  Way to go Quinn and Grace!

     The camp is fund raising now to replace the main water pumps.  They are also asking for donations to offset all the cancelations they had this year due to covid 19.   The UCC Summer Camp program went ahead as planned with safety precautions but all outside groups have canceled.   Go to the camp website to make a donation.  At the recent Heart of Texas Association meeting the association voted to give the camp $5,000.

Worship in the Sanctuary Starting Sunday November 8th!!!

Greetings Faith UCC,

The church council and Pastor Scott Martin have approved plans to safely resume in-person worship services. We have chosen November 8, 2020 at 10:30am as our start date. We look forward to being together again, but we must all do our part to ensure the health of those who choose to attend. Below are the guidelines that have been adopted.

  1. Masks must be worn by all attendees over 2 years of age and kept on during the entire worship service. If anyone arrives without a mask, one will be provided to them.
  2. Temperature checks will be done upon arrival. Anyone with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher will not be admitted. If you feel sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please remain at home. 
  3. An usher will seat all people in order to maximize our seating capacity while maintaining the 6 foot social distancing between family units. Ushers will fill the sanctuary from front to back and empty it at the end of the service from back to front. Please remain in your seat until directed to exit by the usher.
  4. Please do not gather and socialize closely in the pews, aisles or Narthex upon entry or exit. For now, there will be no coffee time following the service. We hope to return to this once the pandemic is over. 
  5. Nursery services will not be provided. In-person Sunday school and youth activities will not yet resume. Children should sit with their families and will remain there during the children’s time of the service. 
  6. To begin, there will be no congregational singing. The pastor, liturgist, soloist or anyone speaking or singing without a mask should be 15 feet or more from the congregation. If Covid case numbers remain low, we hope later to add congregational singing with masks in place.
  7. Prepackaged communion elements will be used and available for pick-up upon entry so the elements will not have to be passed from person to person 
  8. An offering basket will be placed at the entrance to the sanctuary. Offering plates will not be passed. 
  9. Pastor Scott will light the candles at prayer time and prayer requests will be taken from the pews so that people will not need to get up and move around during the service. 
  10. One person at a time will be allowed in the restrooms and a person will be designated each Sunday to clean bathroom surfaces between users.

We will continue to broadcast our worship services on ZOOM and recommend those at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (older adults and people with serious underlying conditions) continue to worship in that manner. We ask your patience and understanding during this time and your respect for the fact that people may have different comfort levels with being physically close to other people.

If you are willing to be a greeter, usher, or restroom monitor, please let Mary Owen know (830-265-0570 or maryjeanowen@att.net). Thanks. If you have any questions or suggestions, please call Mary Owen, Chairperson of the Reopening Committee, or Pastor Scott. Thanks to everyone for your continued prayers and support during these difficult times. We look forward to seeing you in our sanctuary or on ZOOM.

We look forward to being together again,

Faith UCC Council 

Texas Impact Zoom Discussion

From: Sheila Angerer

Texas impact

Texas Impact presented a webinar last Sunday, August 23rd.  I attended four panel discussions via Zoom.   Texas Impact is a trusted voice for faith and justice at the Texas Legislature.  Faith in Democracy is in partnership with a team from Dallas faith organizations for this webinar.  The speakers were from Hamilton Park United Methodist Church, Yaqueen Institute for Islamic Research & Faith Forward, Northern-Texas Northern Louisiana Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America And Faith Commons (representing the Jewish faith).

     They each shared their experiences within their faith and the problems they are facing during COVID, racism and the political climate. The next presenters spoke about recruiting election workers.  They stressed the need for volunteers to step up to help and explained the process which you would be required to do. This is a paid position.    If anyone is feeling the spirit to volunteer for early voting or election day, please contact the Democratic Headquarters in New Braunfels,  830-620-5739.  

     The next panel discussed Vote By Mail.  The Presbyterians, in Austin,  conducted an extensive VBM strategy.  They were successful and talked about the problems they incurred.   This panel encouraged those who are eligible to send in your application for a ballot as soon as possible.  And when you received your ballot, mail it as early as possible.  If you have questions, once again call the Democratic Headquarters.  Their message was to be expedient.

      The final panel talked about the 2021 Legislative and gave a preview and how much different it is going to be due to the ongoing COVID.  Texas Impact was even certain the legislation was equipped for a Zoom gathering.  To be continued in January.

     I joined another Zoom meeting with a representative from Congressman Lloyd Doggett.  There were five in attendance and we discussed climate change/global warming.  The topic discussed at length was a rail system from San Antonio to Austin to alleviate the congestion on I-35.  The may or may not be any movement on this project. 

 It was a short Zoom meeting with sharing our thoughts about the topic and the election.  I will make an effort to update anything from Texas Impact is involved with during the rest of this year and into 2021.  There is a conference meeting Sunday and Monday, August 31st and September 1st.  I plan to attend by Zoom.

VOTE!

Sheila Angerer

Heart of Texas Association News

    Our Heart of Texas Association Fall Meeting is still on for Saturday, October 10, 2020.  We had planned to hold it at Hope United in Georgetown in celebration of its 10th anniversary, but as all of us know, the COVID situation has sent all of us in directions we could not have imagined several months ago.  Many of our churches are not meeting in person yet, including Hope United. Hope is also in transition, as it is in the interim and pastoral search process. The plan now for our Fall Meeting is to meet via Zoom. Our Association Board will be planning that gathering over the next month, and we will send each of our churches and ministers information and a link to the meeting as soon as that planning happens. I think we can all look forward to the opportunity to share our churches’ experiences, commitments, and journeys together as we gather — always an uplifting and vitally important part of our meetings. Perhaps even more important than ever in this time will be your stories of how our churches are continuing to minister and how we are each dealing with the challenge that the COVID pandemic is presenting.  We will look forward to the time when we can meet in person once again but are grateful, in the meantime, that we have the opportunity to gather easily from home online.

    I am also grateful for the many ways I am aware of that our churches and pastors are adapting their ministries and even growing them in new ways over this time. Some of our churches are meeting outdoors (seated outside or by driving up and staying in cars); some are meeting in person but spread out to keep each other safer; and some, particularly those in areas with high COVID case numbers, are meeting online in various ways. Many have found that the process of learning to meet online has led to new and very creative worship formats. Some have also found that our online platforms have brought distant members and friends to worship with us as well as allowing very broad participation in discussion and study since people do not have to drive. Our pastors have met via Zoom several times to continue our “Jam and Bread” gatherings, the last time being to say farewell to Ron Trimmer as he prepared to move to Lake Ozark, Missouri.  Ministers who otherwise would have had to drive a long distance have been able to gather easily with colleagues. The youth of United Christian and others who joined them were able to have a virtual mission trip this summer after the muti-church mission trip they have been part of was cancelled. A host of people have worked hard to make all of this happen. I thank God for all of you.

    On Sunday, September 17th, Lee Zillman, pastor of Redeemer UCC in Marion (in the Zuehl community) will retire. Lee has served Redeemer for the past 11 years, and in ministry and in Christian ministry for forty three years. I hope to give news of the celebration in a future newsletter. At this time, I ask for prayers of thanksgiving and support for Lee and Sharon, and prayers for the ongoing service in ministry of the whole Redeemer community as they embark on this interim time.

Blessings in Christ,

Liz Nash, Association Minister

We Measure Our Serenity by Coffee Spoons

From Rev. Peter E Bauer

     Our lives make imprints.   I have a good friend that I meet with every couple of weeks for coffee. We have known each other a long time. It’s wonderful to be together to discuss our work, our mutual intellectual interests and family.    Right now, of course, with the ongoing quarantine, there are no opportunities to meet. Instead there is the occasional E-Mail or telephone call, but it is not the same as seeing the person in real time.

     As I have noted before, more and more of our time is being devoted to digital space. We do our work online, maybe go to church online, meet with chat groups online, or go to a happy hour online.  Many of us are noticing different interiors of rooms. Maybe we are getting some ideas for home decorating or renovating by observing the living spaces of others.  Then there is the altered perception of having a conversation digitally with people in unexpected places. I have had people talk to me from their cars, their bathroom, sitting against a headboard talking to me while sitting up in their bed.  Depending upon the conversation and the depth of material , the experience can feel disconcerting. You can feel like a voyeur, that somehow you are not in the right place, that this may not be what you need to see.

     Where is the comfort of having someone else in the same room sharing time with you ?  The pleasure of another’s company can get obliterated in the pursuit of making as many digital contacts as possible. All of the Emojis that one can use will not necessary replace the connection of a handshake or the warmth of a smile in real time.  This pandemic has forced people to get very creative. New opportunities for contact over the internet are emerging all of the time. Churches are also experimenting with new offerings including the digital coffee, tea and conversation hour.

     Former Secretary Of State Madeleine Albright has noted in her book:  “Hell And Other Destinations:  “ We all, in our own way, search for fulfillment, happiness, or a general sense of well-being. Many-by far the majority-are too busy coping with life’s complications to allocate to this quest more than a series of passing thoughts;  We measure our serenity in coffee spoons.  Perhaps we hope to find time in the future to sit on a mountaintop or recline beneath a banyan tree and figure everything out. “ ( P. 318 )

      For now, I will settle for being able again to see people, those I love , friends and family who are important to me, in person and in real time.  It’s important to be in the room and know it again as if t were the first time.

May it be so.

Rev. Peter E. Bauer

Going on at Faith

The Cactus at
Church Were in
Full Bloom on
Monday, August 3

Come By and Sign the Habitat Stud

    Come on by the fellowship hall and sign the Habitat stud. They will be built into the next Habitat House this fall.  You have until September 15 to come by.  Share your prayers and best wishes for Gary’s new house and his two young boys.

More Kiva Loans Confirmands Help Choose

Veronique  Cameroon/Fruits & vegetables    $25 
$25 A loan of $350 helps to buy more stocks of fresh foods
(plantains, taro, and cassava).

Abisunzekristo Cb Group    
A loan of totaling $3,500 helps a member to increase the stock of various types of food in her restaurant

Yeremy Rafael     
Alpha, Gutierrez Brown, Coto Brus,
 Puntarenas, Costa Rica / Cattle    $25 
A loan of $525 helps to purchase calves
 to raise so he can take advantage of his land.

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