Category: Faith UCC News and Comments (Page 1 of 7)

From The Pastor – April 2021

Faithful Friends,

This season of Lent, I’ve asked us to take on gratitude as a new spiritual discipline, rather than sacrifice even more than we have already this year. 

Gratitude journals remain available in the Narthex of the church for adults (solid color books) and children (the smiley-faced ones) to use to write down each day things for which they are grateful.  Suggestions for gratitude exercises are also provided.

We do have so much to be grateful for—vaccines are rolling out in greater numbers, we survived SNOVID 2021, our committees are organizing greater work and mission of our congregation, our financial giving is growing, and new members are joining!

There also remain struggles in our lives and our world that hurt our hearts, fuel our anger, leave us questioning where God and goodness are, and have us reeling to know how to even begin to respond.   

In this month’s Glimpses of Faith Newsletter, you’ll read of the death of our former conference minister and friend to many, our current interim conference minister’s prophetic call to action in the face of yet another mass murder in our nation, opportunities to serve our faith family and our community, the chance to help teach our children how to engage in mission to support our world, and much more.

Joys and sorrows are interwoven, and yet we as a people of God look for the good not in a glory to come but in what is available to us in the gifts God gives each moment, even during the hardest of times. 

As followers of that radical advocate of justice and love, Jesus, we seek to BE the good by the ways we show up as co-creators of equality, peace, and extravagant welcome to all God’s children and each part of God’s creation. For what are you grateful?  In what ways do you feel called to BE God’s church in the world?  Where can you be the good you wish to see?  How can we follow Jesus in bringing change by changing ourselves, first, by loving and accepting ourselves and letting go of the fear that drives us to be less than our best selves?  Let us begin, right now, to live out our hope for a brighter future as people of God’s resurrection.

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7.

Peace,

Pastor Carla

Tech Help Needed 4/18 & 4/25

Our fabulous tech gurus will be on vacation and not available for worship April 18th and 25th

We need to add members to our tech team on an on-going basis so the work is shared by several and feel easier on everyone! 

If you are willing to help with tech, particularly by learning now what is needed and being ready to help those two Sundays in April, contact me at pastorcarla@faithuccnb.org!

Thanks, in advance for helping make sure our virtual services remain a source of worship for many and stressless ease for those of us leading them!

Pastor Carla

KIDS & YOUTH—Help Us Loan Money April 14th at 6:00pm

KIDS & YOUTH—did you know that you have $1,406.71?!  We need your help spending it. 

Through your tithes and offerings your church has loaned $63,125 to people from 85 countries, through the KIVA microloan lending program, to help them start and run businesses and bring more financial health and freedom to themselves, their families, and communities. 

As they pay us back the money they’ve borrowed from us, we re-invest that money in other people.  We currently have $1,406.71 to loan to others, and we want our young ones’ help deciding to whom we should loan our support next.

PARENTS—We want to help teach our young about mission, about the plight of others less financially fortunate than us in the U.S. and around the world, how money and lending work, what a big difference every little bit they do for others can make, and how good it feels to work with God by serving God’s kids. 

We also want to help them engage with their pastor and other grownups in the congregation to help them feel connected with their greater Faith Family, and we need your help, as well!

Bring your kiddos and join me, Mike Ziegler, and Frank Dietz on Wednesday, April 14th at 6:00 pm for 30 to 45 minutes max as we demonstrate the KIVA program to you and your kids and get their help making our next round of loans. 

If it’s dinner time or happy hour in your household, bring the merlot (for you) and the mac and cheese (for the kids of for you, we won’t judge) and join any way. 

This will be an informal Faith Family time as we love on your kids, on you, and teach us all a bit more about serving God by caring for and supporting our human family with a hand up, rather than a handout.  We hope to see you, there! 

Peace,
Pastor Carla

SOS Food Bank/Faithful and Safe Forms of Mission

SOS Food Bank

Since 1988, the SOS Food Bank has served as an ecumenical partnership amongst area churches and non-profits to provide nourishment to our neighbors in need.  Faith Church has a long and proud history as one of these partners and there are multiple ways you can contribute to this mission.. 

If you have been fully vaccinated, we need your help!  We need a couple of new volunteers to join our group the third Friday of every month from 1-4pm.  While food recipients are required to wear masks, and only two at a time are allowed into the front office where intake occurs, workers in the back where we gather food are not being required to do so.  Therefore, we are asking those who have been fully vaccinated, are willing to mask, and feel safe doing so to consider joining our team once a month to help support this work.   

If you have NOT yet been fully vaccinated, there are others ways you can help.  Just as SOS is fully run by volunteers, it is also fully funded by the same:

*Each family is supplied a Basic Bag of food that includes frozen meats, 1 dozen eggs, flour, rice, sugar, beans, pasta, tomato sauce, oatmeal, and peanut butter.  This is then supplemented with canned and baked goods, depending on the number of persons in the family.  Each Basic Bag costs approximately $20, which you can donate directly to the food bank at:

SOS Food Bank
P.O. Box 311032
New Braunfels, Texas 78131

            *While the food bank is able to stretch dollars further as they purchase food through special arrangements with others in our community, they do still welcome those who prefer to donate food rather than money.  Food may be directly donated and dropped off either at the SOS Food Bank (248 Merriweather St.) between 1 and 4pm Monday through Friday or left in the basket in the Narthex of Faith Church where our Faith SOS Team will gather and deliver it for you. 

            *Egg cartons that are clean and in good shape are needed to help sort the large flats of eggs received into batches of 12.  You may also drop these off directly at the food bank or in the basket in the Narthex at Faith.

*Pray.  Ask for God’s guidance for the board of directors who lead the organization, blessings for the volunteers who show up to share the work and for those who donate, peace and comfort and avenues to greater food security for the food recipients, and for those who do not yet know this support is available to find their way to SOS as needed.

For those fully vaccinated and willing to mask who wish to volunteer, please contact Mike Ziegler at mzieglertx@yahoo.com.  Thanks for helping us feed our neighbors in safe and thoughtful ways.  To learn more about the great work of this mission, go to https://www.sosfoodbank.org/

Cards and Calls and…Casserole Patrol?! (Pastoral Care Team)

The Pastoral Care Committee is working diligently caring for members and friends of our Faith Church family, and we need your help in three ways:

  1. Let us know when and how we can help each other — from prayers to cards and visits to meals — as needs arise. Contact any member of the Committee if you have a need we could assist you, or someone you know, with.
  2. If you would like to help serve our Faith family and friends by sending cards, notes, and letters, and making phone calls, we would love to hear from you! 
  3. If you would be willing to provide a meal or 2 to members and friends of our Faith family during times of illness, injury, hospitalization, birth, or the death of a loved one, join what is lovingly being referred to as the “Casserole Patrol.” 

Email (booau1@yahoo.com) or call (512-701-1337) Committee member, Karen Booth, to add your name to the list. When we learn of a need, Karen will contact those on the list to see who is able to participate at that time.

Members may either cook a meal and deliver it, purchase an already prepared meal from a restaurant and have it delivered or deliver it yourself, or purchase and deliver ingredients for an easily prepared meal such as a frozen entrée and a bag of salad.

For more information regarding the Pastoral Care Team, contact any of the team’s members. We look forward to answering any questions you may have and to better coordinating our efforts to all work together to care for our members and friends in whatever ways we can.

Team members are: Sheila Angerer, geminibo2@hotmail.com; Karen Booth, booau1@yahoo.com; Shirley Manning, wrsmanning@gmail.com; Mike Ziegler, mzieglertx@yahoo.com; Janet Sherman, jcmsherman681@gmail.com; and Pastor Carla, pastorcarla@faithuccnb.org 

Submitted by Pastoral Assistant, Janet Sherman

Heart of Texas Association News

We invite all of you to attend our spring Heart of Texas Association meeting, to be held on Saturday, April 24th beginning at 10 am on Zoom.  Worship, which begins the meeting, will be led by clergy from our South Texas cluster (Faith Church—that includes us!). 

One major part of our business will be to help people understand our possible participation in a Unified Fitness Review Committee at the Conference level, which would transfer most of this extremely time-consuming work from our Association Committee on Ministry to the proposed Conference committee — if we decide to go in this direction.  We already offered some explanation of this possibility earlier, but our aim at this meeting would be to help those who attend to understand the change more fully (as the process to make this change is fairly complex) and possibly vote to participate. 

We also anticipate having up to three Ecclesiastical Councils. One, which has already been announced, will be to grant Rev. Amelia Fulbright, who is currently a Baptist minister, Privilege of Call in the United Church of Christ, meaning that, if approved, she would be able to search for a ministry call in the UCC and gain full ministerial standing with us.  Our Committee on Ministry will be meeting in April with two other candidates.

If these candidates are approved, we will be announcing their Ecclesiastical Councils in advance of our Association Meeting.  We also will be sending out the papers the ministry candidates have written to our churches to allow reading before the Meeting. It will be important to have a quorum of attendees from a majority of our churches to allow voting on our candidates  We hope to finish midday and encourage you to join us.

Blessings in Christ,
Liz Nash, Association Minister

Poem of the Month for April 2021

Forget About Enlightenment

Sit down wherever you are and
listen to the wind that is singing in your veins. 

Feel the love, the longing and the fear in your bones.
Open your heart to who you are, right now,
not who you would like to be.
Not the saint you’re striving to become.
But the being right here before you, inside you, around you. 

All of you is Holy.
You’re already more and less
than whatever you can know.
Breathe out, look in, let go.

John Welwood

Sad News—Death of Rev. Douglas Anders

It is with a heavy heart that we share with you news of the death of former SCC Conference Minister Douglas Anders.  As many of you know, Rev. Anders has been living with cancer for several years and was called home to the Lord March 22nd

Rev. Anders served the SCC as Conference Minister from 2007- 2015. He will be dearly missed by all who had the privilege and pleasure of working with him. 

A Zoom service is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 10th, the time is to be determined. We will share updates regarding the Zoom service as soon as they become available.

Please keep Rev. Anders’ family in your prayers during this most difficult time. 

If you would like to send condolence cards, you may send them to Douglas’ Mother, Fumi Ko Anders at 90 Greendale Dr., St. Louis, MO 63121.

Mark Your Calendars!

March

Meet-and-Greet with Final Conference Minister Candidate
(Sunday, March 28th)

April

Meet-and-Greet with Final Conference Minister Candidate
(Wednesday, April 7th from 7-8 pm via Zoom)

Meet-and-Greet with Final Conference Minister Candidate
(Saturday, April 10th from 10-11 am via Zoom)

Presentation of Rev. Phil Hodson to the Conference for a vote at a special meeting of the Conference on: 
(Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 10 am via Zoom)

HOTA Spring Zoom Meeting
(April 24, 2021) – Link to meeting not yet known.

SCC Virtual Annual Meeting
(June 12, 2021)- Link to meeting not yet known.

UCC 2021 General Synod
(July 11-18, 2021)

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