As I write, we are just a couple of days past the very difficult days of our freeze, power outages, and water problems. Many in our churches have suffered. We have had illness and death over this past week among our churches. Many of us faced situations in our homes that we never thought we would face — extreme cold, lack of water, the inability to get out or even communicate at times. Some faced these while being ill at the same time. Others who did not have problems or had fewer issues to deal with offered help and care with great generosity. My heart and prayers go with all of you. We have had several churches with building issues from burst pipes, including (to my knowledge as I write) Friends Congregational College Station, Faith UCC in Bryan, St. John’s UCC in Burton, and Church of the Savior in Cedar Park. Slumber Falls Camp has also sustained damage. The United Church of Christ Disaster Ministry is reaching out to the churches in our Conference with support. Our Conference Minister Campbell Lovett has been reaching out to our churches, and I have been in touch with a number of our pastors. If there are ways I can support your congregation, please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org, 512-799-2782).
I ask you at this time to pray for our faithful brother in Christ, our former Conference Minister Douglas Anders. Douglas, who moved home to the St. Louis area when he retired, has been fighting colon and very aggressive liver cancer now for a number of years. While continuing to serve the church and his local community in numerous ways, Douglas has undergone several forms of treatment, including travel to MD Anderson in Houston for experimental treatment. He is in the final stages of his life now. His example of faith and service to us while he was with us and, in the past few years, during his illness, has been extraordinary and inspiring. Let us pray for him and give thanks for his years of ministry with us.
Carl Schwartz-King, our Association Vice-Moderator, a licensed minister in the Heart of Texas Association, and a commissioned minister in the Christian Church Disciples of Christ, has resigned his position at United Christian Church as Minister of Congregational Care at United Christian Church of Austin. He has served in this position for the past five years, giving generously of his time and talents. Following a call to ministry, Carl completed the Certificate program at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary to be able to serve after retiring from his position as Manager of Emergency and Trauma Services at St. David’s Medical Center in Austin. He has served the Heart of Texas Association in many ways, and I am happy to say that he will be continuing in that work. If elected at our Spring meeting, he will serve as our moderator for the next term. I know United appreciates Carl’s ministry, and I look forward to his gift of excellent leadership in this Association.
Our Association Spring meeting date will be set soon. We will be having an Ecclesiastical Council for Amelia Fulbright for Privilege of Call in the United Church of Christ. We anticipate having one more Ecclesiastical Council. More details and a meeting date will come soon.
Blessings in Christ, Liz Nash, Association Minister.