Bethany Congregational UCC in San Antonio has called  Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Moncrief to serve as their minister. Pastor Jacque will be moving to San Antonio from the Virginia side of the Washington, DC area.   She begins her ministry there on April 1st.  We rejoice with Bethany at the beginning of this new era in their ministry and look forward to welcoming Pastor Jacque into the Heart of Texas Association.

     Bethany is also saying farewell to their interim minister of the past three years, Rev. Tom Robison.  Tom, who has been “on loan” to us from the Lutherans, has served Bethany with grace and wisdom.  He has helped the church through its long search process and has been a key part of the welcome and partnership Bethany has had with the pastors of our new church start, Rev. Billie Watts and Pastor Kerry Kirtley, as they have come into the UCC and started Touchstone Community Church.  Tom has been a friend to me personally, and I am grateful for his ministry at Bethany.

     Our Heart of Texas Committee on Ministry, at its January meeting, welcomed Brett Hart as a Member in Discernment.  Brett, a member of St. Peter’s Church of Coupland, has served as a pastor for many years.  After being the pastor of several Assembly of God congregations,  he served for a number of years at Hope Chapel in Austin and as the senior pastor of Doxology Church, a church plant associated with Hope Chapel. In addition, Brett has significant experience teaching, starting schools and an education-related business, and in spiritual direction.  Currently, he and his wife, Kay, have started the Serene Disciple Project (with videos available on YouTube) at their home at Egret Isle Farm near Coupland.  As a child, he was part of a Congregational Church, and he has now come “full circle” in finding a home in the UCC.  Brett brings a deep and varied Christian ministry experience, and we welcome him as a Member in Discernment.

     Our Committee on Ministry also welcomed Dr. Gus Lott as a Member in Discernment.  Gus is currently a Master of Divinity student at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.  He is a member and a student minister at Trinity Church of Austin.  Gus comes to us with a background in neuroscience and robotics, having earned his PhD in biophysics.  He comes to us with a creative, seeking faith as he continues on his path in the synthesis of science and theology.

     Finally, our prayers are with Rev. Jacqueline Lamensky as she recovers from a recent car wreck.  Her car was totaled, but as of the time I write this article, it appears that her injuries are not major.  Several members of her congregation, Evangelical Church of Lyons, came right away to help her. I am grateful for the care that her church has shown her, and hope that she will be fully recovered very soon.

Blessings in Christ,

Liz Nash, Association Minister