Category: May 2022 (Page 1 of 2)

A Note From Pastor Carla

Faithful Friends,

I’ve never met anyone who wants abortion to be a necessary reality. Of the 1 in 4 women who have had abortions, I’ve never met or counseled with any for whom it was about selfishness or convenience and I’ve certainly never heard anyone involved in such a difficult decision who’ve approached it lightly.

Steeped in emotion, this is a challenging issue. Certainly, faithful people can prayerfully disagree on a variety of topics. When it comes to issues of justice, safety, equity, and health, it is important that we wrestle together with our feelings, consider all the facts, move past the hype, and ask ourselves what God asks of us, individually and collectively. 

Then, we seek to follow God in standing with the rights of all people to access healthcare in the way that best meets their individual circumstance and needs.

To help support rational dialogue and promote justice around Reproductive Health, Faith Church will be hosting a community screening of a documentary film Wednesday, June 29th, at 6:30pm called On the Divide.

Organizers promoting this film are from Peace is Loud, a nonprofit that uses storytelling to advance social justice. According to their conversations with us, the film “follows the stories of three Latinx Catholics living in McAllen, TX, who are connected by the most unexpected of places: the last abortion clinic on the U.S./Mexico border. The film explores how each person balances faith and the right to reproductive services, and sparks important conversations about how people can be Christian AND pro-choice. 

The film is a powerful tool to start conversations about how we can provide comfort and compassion for those in the midst of their reproductive story.”

I hope you will join us for the screening and dialogue session afterward as we share our honest concerns, questions, and thoughts together while considering how to best support all women (and men) in a just and compassionate way, especially in light of news of SCOTUS’s pending ruling to overturn Roe v Wade.

In the meantime, I refer you to the UCCs statement on Reproductive Health and Justice linked here and included below) as an idea of how many persons of faith see this issue.

Our spiritual history as God’s people is full of stories of those who have wrestled with God, including Jesus, and were willing to hang on until they had found God’s direction and blessing. 

May we follow that tradition, together. 

Peace,
Pastor Carla


Reproductive Health and Justice: Why the UCC is a leader in this area
God has given us life, and life is sacred and good. God has also given us the responsibility to make decisions which reflect a reverence for life in circumstances when conflicting realities are present. Jesus affirmed women as full partners in the faith, capable of making decisions that affect their lives.

There are many justice issues related to reproductive health, including access to pre- and post- natal care for all women, equal access to the full range of legal reproductive health services including abortion, the right of women to determine when, if and how many children she should have, access to emergency contraception and other family planning services and information, the right not to be sterilized against one’s wishes, and the ability of women to negotiate safe sexual practices and non-coercive sexual experiences.

The United Church of Christ has affirmed and re-affirmed since 1971 that access to safe and legal abortion is consistent with a woman’s right to follow the dictates of her own faith and beliefs in determining when and if she should have children, and it has supported comprehensive sexuality education as one measure to prevent unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, and to create healthy and responsible sexual persons and relationships. (General Synods VIII, IX, XI, XII, XIII, XVI, XVII, and XVIII)

We have also supported that women with limited financial means should be able to receive public funding in order to exercise her legal right to the full range of reproductive health services. What is legally available to women must be accessible to all women.

The United Church of Christ is one of the founding faith groups of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, formed in 1973 as the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights. Over the years, RCRC has continued to bring a strong voice of faith on the moral and religious issues that swirl around public debate over abortion, contraception and pregnancy prevention. 

Because there are many religious and theological perspectives on when life and personhood begin, the UCC joins others in advocating that public policy must honor this rich religious diversity. Our position is not a pro-abortion position but a pro-faith, pro-family and pro-woman position.

RCRC has resources to train clergy and others in a counseling position in All Options Counseling which is centered on what is best for the individual woman and supports her decision-making. It also has a pro-choice religious leadership network, specific resources for African American and Latina/o church communities, a Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom network active on college and university campuses, many state affiliates, resources for post-abortion counseling, a Theologies of Choice course for seminaries, and a Seminarians for Choice network. For more information, visit www.rcrc.org.

General News, Announcements and Dates to Remember

Dates to Remember (details below):
Pastor Carla on Vacation May 11th-19th
Deadline to Register for SCC Annual Meeting May 13th
Slumber Falls—Register NOW!!!!
Recognition of Graduates May 22nd
City Council Meeting—Chance to Speak to Support Homeless Services May 23rd
SCC Annual Meeting May 27th-29th
Interfaith Pride Service June 9th
Riverside Pride June 11th


General News and Announcements:
Pastor Carla Vacation Days Pastor Carla will be working remotely May 9th and 10th, then completely unplugged the 11th through 19th. She will begin returning messages and calls at that time. Please plan to be present in worship and prayerfully support Faith Church member, Rev. Rohn Armstrong, who will be preaching that day along with Philip Graves and others who will be assisting with worship May 15th. For emergency needs during this time, please contact a member of Council.

Youth Group Thanks Thanks to those who helped our youth have an amazing time
bowling last week! Ten of our young ones and mom, Melissa, enjoyed the outing. Stay tuned for details of the Cookout and Pool Party June 5th after worship or contact one of our Youth Leaders—Lauren Pearce, Carol Sisco-Martinez, and Sue Ashinhurst.

UCC/Faith Church 101 Thanks Thanks to Rev. Bill and Florence Burns, Revs. Ralph and Sandy Ludwig, Tim Marlow, and others for their help with last week’s UCC/Faith Church 101 session. We had 24 in attendance! Our next class will be the first Sunday in August. Until then, Tim Marlow and others will be presenting special Moments of Our History during worship services and in Glimpses of Faith newsletter articles specifically about the history of Faith Church to help our growing congregation understand our strong and vibrant beginnings and heritage of inclusion, service, and social justice.

Serve Spot Prayer for Unity Gathering Thanks A special thank you to Rev. Jim and Mary Pohl and Rev. Bill and Florence Burns for their presence and help at last Monday’s gathering hosted by Faith Church. Nine of us gathered with Kim Francis of Serve Spot to pray for and with one another as we seek to be closer as faith siblings so we can work together more effectively to care for our community. We left refreshed and encouraged by this beautiful time together and cannot wait for the next gathering to pray and grow and build, to be scheduled every other month.

Deadline to Register for SCC Annual Meeting May 13th Please consider attending our first gathering in-person since the pandemic for a time of worship, fellowship, workshops, and discussing the business of the Conference at gorgeous Camp Allen. Worship will be streamed to churches from the Conference so all leaders may attend. Go to https://sccucc.org/ to register and for more information.

Slumber Falls Registration Filling Up Fast, and Counselors Needed!!!! Rev. Jeremy Albers says more campers than ever from outside the denomination are registering for camp so that long-time attendees may wind up not having a slot available, so register ASAP. Also, Jeremy says the issue is not number of beds, but number of Counselors. Prayerfully consider volunteering for a camp this summer to help make this memorable experience more available to more kids and youth. Go to https://slumberfalls.org/ to register and learn more.

Recognition of Graduates May 22nd If you have a young one set to graduate from high school, please contact Administrative Assistant, Janet Sherman, so we may honor your child and pray for this momentous occasion in their lives on Sunday, May 22nd.

More Pews Available to Members At least one, perhaps two more of the short pews in the fellowship hall have become available to members of the church. To claim one of these for your home or office, please contact Janet Sherman.

Adult Sunday School 9:00am In-Person and By Zoom Rev. Bill and Florence Burns are leading a discussion of Dr. Beverly Brown Tatum’s book, “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations Around Race.” Books are available from the Burns. Contact the Burns for more information and join them in the Fellowship Hall or by Zoom. Please let Pastor Carla know if you can help run Zoom for this class.

Building and Grounds Committee Our worship space and surrounding property is in need of some repairs and sprucing up to be good stewards of our buildings and to provide an appealing space for members and visitors. A meeting will soon be planned to walk the property, create a list of items that need attention, make plans for what needs to be done first, and discuss ideas for colors and plants and other updates. To participate in these discussions, let your thoughts be heard, and participate in this revitalized committee, please contact Molly Dixon.

New Members Committee As we grow, it is important that more of us engage in
welcoming visitors and helping new members build relationships and find ways to get involved with our activities and ministry. To participate in this newly-forming committee, please connect with Rev. Bill and Florence Burns and Revs. Ralph and Sandy Ludwig.

TIME CHANGE FOR WORSHIP MAY 29 ONLY

On May 29, SCC Annual Meeting Worship will be streamed to churches from the  meeting so all church leaders may attend.

On May 29 only, Faith Church will worship from 10 to 11 am. in order to take part in the unique worship experience. 

As with the weekly email with the Zoom link for worship, a message will be sent with the link to participate.

More information will be available before the event.

Grounds Maintenance Update/Opportunities

We are collecting information and estimates on repairing playscape, repairing roof and water damage, removing bushes and tending to trees and flower beds. 

We will be holding an information briefing on May 22nd in the sanctuary directly after graduation cake to provide updates and collect further input and Q and A. 

If you are interested in helping us make the church beautiful or have suggestions, please consider attending.

Bookkeeping Help Needed

We are transferring our church accounting from Quickbooks to Realm (an all-encompassing church management software) over the next few months.  

We are looking for a small group of people who are interested in helping out with church bookkeeping.

If you have a love of numbers and are willing to learn a new system, please reach out to Michelle Perry.

We hope to set up a training opportunity with the experts from Realm to help us get things transferred easily.

First Prayer for Unity – Organized by Serve Spot

Faith Church hosted the first prayer for unity organized by Serve Spot on May 2nd.

We hope this will be the first of many opportunities to pray for and with our sibling churches to ask God to help us learn to work better with one another.

We received a postcard of thanks and wanted to share with the church.

Please see card below!


Treasurer’s Report for May 2022

From the Treasurer:

As of now we have 28 members who have made their pledges of support for Faith Church this year. Many more members and friends are contributing each month but have not made a formal pledge. Members who have not yet made their pledge for the remainder of the year are encouraged to do so by completing the pledge card that was sent out last month. Our Statement of Faith as well as April reports are filed in the church office and linked here for anyone interested to view. April offerings are reported below:

General Fund Offerings April 2022$11,866.23
Our Church’s Wider Mission Contribution (2.5%)$296.66
SFC Contribution (1.5%)$177.99
Eden Hill Contribution (.75%)$89.00
Back Bay Contribution (.75%)$89.00
CUE Contribution (.5%)$59.33
Designated Offerings April 2022 
Faith UCC Youth Group$500.00
Riverside Pride$100.00
One Great Hour of Sharing (UCC)$100.00

Church Roofing Project

The church insurance company has determined that all four buildings (the sanctuary, the fellowship hall, the children’s classrooms and the shed) have roof damage caused by hail and wind. We are in the process of getting bids to replace the roofs as well as repair/replace the damaged fascia boards and the gutters. This will be a massive undertaking but will protect our property from further damage for years to come. As we collect bids and deal with the insurance company, we will update the congregation every step of the way.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding Faith UCC finances.

Sincerely,
Michelle Perry
Treasurer

Welcoming Newest Members to Faith Church!

Please join in welcoming our newest members! We’re so glad you’re here!


Welcome, Kelly Pape!

I am married to Shannon Pape, we have 3 children and I currently work for Mountain Valley Middle School as a bookkeeper. I have been looking for a new church home and am so excited to find Faith UCC! 

I was raised in a First Baptist Church where I was baptized and made a profession of faith at the age of 12.  As an adult I became an active member of Northwest Hills Methodist Church in San Antonio. 

I have been visiting Faith UCC for a little over a month and I am so happy to find a congregation whose beliefs align with my own.  After a lot of prayer, I know this is where I belong. 

I would like to thank everyone for making me feel so welcome and I look forward to getting to know each of you better and to being a faithful servant in whatever capacity I am needed.


Welcome. Jim and Mary Pohl!

It was with deep joy that we professed our faith and joined in covenant with the people of Faith UCC on April 24th!  As one of our sons and family live in Buda, we have been exploring and roaming the Hill Country for about a decade seeking where to relocate.  In March 2021 we purchased a home in Kissing Tree and began the process, and were thrilled to find Faith Church (on the internet) and excited that it’s only 20 minutes down Hunter Road from our home!  Now, something about each of us.

Mary is a RN and began her career in the heart/lung ICU at Barnes Hospital in St Louis, MO.  After a few years she began working as a research nurse for the Thoracic surgeons at Washington University where she directed clinical trials in thoracic cancers and lung transplantation.  She then became the Director of Research for Cardiothoracic Surgery there.  After 10 years in that position they moved to Lake of the Ozarks and she began working for a Swedish medical device company (XVIVO Perfusion Inc.) working in lung transplantation as their Product Specialist for North and South America, then Head of Clinical Research for the company,  and finally as Senior Clinical and Marketing Advisor.   After 20 years of non stop travel, COVID and life helped her slow down and finally retire.  She had no idea how good retirement could be!

She and Jim have been married for 46 years and for all of those years Jim has been an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ.  Half of that time was serving one congregation in St Louis, where he obtained his Doctorate in Ministry, and the last 20 years living  and serving a congregation at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.  People will ask what did he do all those years?  He did everything!!  And finally the time came to move on.

We have three sons, one a retired Naval pilot (now flying for Atlas Airlines) and is married with three girls, one a retired Army helicopter pilot (now flying for Starflight out of Austin) married with 2 girls and one boy, and one a certified chef working in Sweden and is married with one girl and one little one on the way.

We have loved being able to travel the world and have visited all 7 continents.  We now spend our time enjoying the kids and grandkids, catching the great music in the area, playing bocce ball, and making new friends.  We hope to get back to traveling soon.

We feel we have been adrift for a few years and are thankful to have found a church HOME, because there is NO PLACE LIKE HOME!!

Jim and Mary Pohl


Welcome, Wade Eernisse!

Please also meet Wade Eernisse, the newest member of our Faith Church Family.

He is a gentle and joyful souls with a dedicated heart and we are grateful to have him with us!

Hello Everyone! My name is Wade Eernisse. I’m originally from Weesatche, TX but I recently moved to Seguin with my two dachshunds, Pebbles and Dixie. I work in Sales at Crestview RV in Selma, so if you’re looking for a RV, come see #WadeTheRVGuy and I’ll take care of you!

In my spare time I love to ride my CanAm Spyder, entertain and sing for people, and I’ve also been told I’m a pretty funny guy. I was looking for a more modern church that is welcoming and accepting of everyone from all walks of life, and I happened to run across Faith UCC’s Facebook page and after scrolling through the page and seeing all the posts, I was instantly excited to attend church again.

On my first visit, listening to Pastor Carla’s message that Sunday warmed my heart and touched my soul…I knew I was where I needed to be. Immediately after service I asked her how I could become a member…and I’m so glad I did. I look forward to being the best church member I can be, helping my community, and praising God for all my many blessings along the way!

Thank you for being so kind and welcoming towards me, I love you all.


Welcome, Fawn Coombes!

I’ve lived here for 22 years and am a direct descendant of the original settlers of New Braunfels.

You could say I’ve come ‘full circle.’

My son, John, is a compassionate young man who loves to help those in need; and our pooch Margaret is an 8-year-old mixed breed we adopted from a shelter last year.

KIVA Loan Program Updates

Please read below for updates on this loan program that we participate in. Find out more at kiva.org.

More than 1.7 billion people around the world are unbanked and can’t access the financial services they need. Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 in San Francisco, with a mission to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive.


A Borrower Success Story

How one cow changed it all for Neriman

Neriman, Kiva borrower, Turkey
Neriman

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY, TURKEY

Wondering if microloans work? Read on to see the positive impact of a loan for Neriman. 

Neriman lives in Turkey with her husband and nine children. The family struggled until she applied for a Kiva loan and used the money to buy a cow. Its milk fed her children and she sold the surplus for extra income—enough to buy more livestock. Now she oversees an animal husbandry business that supports her family and their future. 

Opportunity when options are limited

Neriman wanted to contribute to her household, but there are few economic opportunities for women in rural parts of Turkey. Even if formal financial institutions did serve her area, it would have been hard for Neriman to get approved for a bank loan.

“I was told that banks did not give anything to those without an income,” she says.

Neriman, Kiva borrower, Turkey

How a loan changed everything

“After receiving the loan, my life changed,” says Neriman with pride. “I know that I have a job, I have something to work on. I am contributing to my house. I have money.”

Neriman and her husband, Sehmus, continue to thrive in their village and recently were able to pay for their son’s wedding. 

Contributing to Kiva loans helps people like Neriman achieve success. For as little as $25, you can make an impact on individual lives around the world. 

Want to be a part of someone’s success story?


A Borrower Update from The Phillipines

Arlene

This update on your loan to Arlene was written by Kiva’s Field Partner.

Dear Kiva Lenders,

Warm Greetings of Peace and Good Health!

The whole world is indeed experiencing a global crisis right now because of the pandemic. As this brings changes and challenges in all area of our lives, we continue to be hopeful in the coming days.

As an organization, CEVI (A Microfinance NGO) in the Philippines continued to fulfill its mission of helping poor families and communities.

CEVI is moved with your generosity, through the loan for Arlene. It has indeed help sustain her livelihood and family’s needs.

Dear Kiva Lenders,

Warm Greetings of Peace and Good Health!

The whole world is indeed experiencing a global crisis right now because of the pandemic. As this brings changes and challenges in all area of our lives, we continue to be hopeful in the coming days.

As an organization, CEVI (A Microfinance NGO) in the Philippines continued to fulfill its mission of helping poor families and communities.

CEVI is moved with your generosity, through the loan for Arlene. It has indeed help sustain her livelihood and family’s needs.


A Borrower Update from Ghana

This update on your loan to Moringa Connect was written by Kiva’s Field Partner.

Dear Kiva Family,

With Mother’s Day around the corner, we have teamed up with candle makers extraordinaire Freres Branchiaux (a Black-owned, family owned fragrance company) to build the perfect gift set for the hardworking mamas in your life in need of some TLC. Each set includes their luxurious This Woman’s Work candle alongside our Rejuvenating Body Polish and Simplicity Moringa Oil.

This Woman’s Work Candle – Set the mood for a luxurious bath routine with this hand-poured organic soy candle. The perfect blend of delicate floral and deep sandalwood and musk, This Woman’s Work is an ode to women everywhere – especially to hard working moms who give their all to make the world a better place for all of us.

Rejuvenating Body Polish – Tough on impurities and gentle on skin, our Rejuvenating Body Polish exfoliates with pure sugar and farmer roasted coffee, brings smooth texture, and restores a brilliant glow to dry and damaged skin. Did we mention it smells like Heaven?

Simplicity Moringa Oil – Seal it all in with our signature moisturizing moringa oil. This multitasking, single origin hero ingredient delivers nutrients deep into the skin and provides long-lasting moisture and glow to face and body.

Best of all, 20% of purchases go toward our True Moringa Scholarship Fund for our women farmers and their families to pursue higher education.

Thanks to your generosity, we have surpassed our initial goal of raising $2000 for the True Moringa Scholarship Fund. These funds will provide 1 year of tuition for 5 scholarship recipients from the community of New Longoro where our farm. We have set a stretch goal to raise an additional $1000 through the fund to support our nursery childcare program by Mother’s Day

You can purchase our Mother’s Day bundle here: https://truemoringa.com/products/mothers-day-gift-set

And donate directly to the scholarship fund here: https://truemoringa.com/products/true-moringa-scholarship-farmers

Happy Mother’s Day & Moringa Love,

Kwami, Emily & Team True Moringa

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