Please plan to remain after worship Sunday July 17th for an information session about needed repairs to the roofs of all buildings on our property and other maintenance needs to care for our church!
Members of Council will present our options and answer questions of congregants on that date.
Representatives from R&R Roofing, who won our confidence after we received three different bids, will also be on hand that day. They came highly recommended to us from members of the Pantermuehl family and we are grateful for their introduction.
On July 31st, please make plans to attend a special Congregational Meeting after worship during which we will vote on which repair and financing options to pursue.
This is an exciting time for us to come together and be the Church as we dream into our future plans for tending to and caring for the campus God has gifted to us.
Per request during the congregational meeting, attached is a letter from the South Central Conference—UCC attorney verifying the correctness and legality of the pastor’s compensation package approved with our annual budget. For further questions, please see a member of Council.
Faith Church has entered into a rental agreement with Weight Watchers beginning in June. They will be using our Fellowship Hall three times a week for one hour meetings. Weight Watchers had been a previous tenant of ours several years ago and we are happy to have them back.
We also are leasing the Fellowship Hall to the Comal County Crisis Center to provide a day camp to a few children each week. The Crisis Center is so happy to have the use of our building just a few blocks away from their facility that experienced a fire a few months ago.
Our May Balance Sheet and Income vs. Expense reports are filed in the church office if you would like to view them. May offerings are reported below:
Greetings and Salutations my fellow Heart of Texas Association Pastors!
For those of you who may not know, not only am I a fellow pastor, but I am also the Heart of Texas Camp Council Liaison! During this summer, I am also volunteering in the office at camp, helping out wherever I can!
I have been asked to send out an SOS for Volunteer Counselors! We are in desperate need of counselors 18 years and older! If you or any of your church members would be interested in spending a week here on the beautiful Guadalupe River, I promise that you will not be disappointed! Your cup will be filled with the Spirit and the joy of camp! And even better yet, you won’t have to worry about leaving camp with a sore back from camp bunks….because we have tempurpedic mattresses in every cabin! 🙂
We should be good on staff for our new Color Splash camp starting Thursday and for Springs Alive next week.
Here is where we do need help: June 25th-July 2nd: Roaring Rapids/Sports Camp (Roaring needs more counselors at this time!) July 3rd-9th: Streams of Faith 1/ Geek Week July 10th-16th: Living Waters/ Eco Camp July 17th-23rd: Streams of Faith 2
Now, if you live in a nearby radius of New Braunfels and Slumber Falls and you would like to help, but can’t necessarily spend the night every night for a week, WE CAN STILL USE YOUR HELP!
Our Day Camps are back for Sports Camp, Geek Week, and Eco Camp. Day campers arrive at 9am and are picked up by 5pm each day. If you can only help a few hours here and there, we can always have the help around lunch and an hour after lunch during FOB (flat on back) time! Our day campers don’t go to the cabins to rest, so we need helpers to hang with them in the Bizer Lodge!
Any help that you or any of your church members can provide will be greatly appreciated and welcomed with wide open arms!
If you are interested, feel free to email me at email@example.com. My cell phone is 830-660-1440. And when I am out at camp and in the office, the number is 830-625-2212.
I hope you are all having a wonderful summer so far! Hope to see you all soon! You can find me here at SFC for the next month!
Faith Church will be partnering with Friedens UCC to host up to four families at Slumber Falls Camp the week of September 11 – 18, 2022.
Volunteers are needed to be present at the camp overnight (7pm-7am). We also need donations of breakfast and lunch items as well as someone willing to make a special breakfast for the families on Saturday morning.
Families in the program are always so glad to spend the week at Slumber Falls where they get to have their own cabins and get to experience a little of the great outdoors.
New volunteers will need to complete a background check through Family Promise and watch the two training videos. More information about signing up and completing the training will be coming soon.
Join us at Faith Church on Wednesday, June 29th 6:30pm as we host a screening of “On the Divide”, a film about some of the realities of and struggles for reproductive justice. A discussion for healing and hope will be provided afterward.
McAllen, TX is home to the last reproductive health clinic on the Texas/Mexico border. It is the center of the tension between religious protesters who try to stop patients coming inside and the security staff of the clinic who fight to protect it. On The Divide follows three different Latinx members of this community and the unforeseen choices they face for their daily survival.
A Fishbowl Films production in association with Giving Voice Films, Willa Productions and Latino Public Broadcasting, and is a co-production of POV. Official Selection, Tribeca Film Festival.
Pastor Carla and Yesenia will be serving on the team for this event and invite you all to join us.
Please see the flyer here or continue reading below for more information.
North Texas Journey #17 A Three-Day Spiritual Renewal Retreat Thursday, September 29 – Sunday, October 2, 2022
Leadership Team Spiritual Leader – Rev. Nikki Stahl Lay Leader – Cathy Hansen North Texas Journey Administrator – Stephanie Hudson North Texas Spiritual Leader – Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson
Location – Camp Crucis, Granbury, TX
A ministry of New Church, UCC & The Brazos Valley & North Texas Journey Communities.
Is it Time to Take a Journey?
Perhaps you’ve been hearing about The Journey. The program is being finalized and the Journey Team is anxiously awaiting the opportunity to share this incredible weekend experience with you.
What is The Journey?
The Journey is a spiritual renewal program intended to strengthen the local church through the development of Christian disciples and leaders. The Journey experience is a 72-hour short course in Christianity, comprised of talks and activities led by clergy and lay persons. Themes of God’s grace, disciplines of faith, Christian discipleship, and what it means to be the church will be explored. The weekend is wrapped in prayer, meditation, special times of worship and daily celebration of Holy Communion.
The “Journey Community” is made up of those who have attended a Journey weekend or a similar weekend offered by many other denominations. The Journey Community supports the weekend experience through prayer and other acts of love and self-giving. The Journey will begin on Thursday evening and conclude mid-afternoon on Sunday. The weekend is open to adults over 18 years of age and offers the experience to open and affirming groups throughout Texas.
The three-day Journey experience and the follow-up groups strengthen and renew Christian people as disciples of Jesus Christ and as active members of the body of Christ in mission to the world.
Cost: If your application is submitted by August 15th, 2022, the cost for The Journey is $225. After August 15, the fee is $250. The cost covers your room for the retreat, daily meals, snacks, project supplies, and much, much more. There are scholarships available. Please contact the Journey Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Lay Leader for Journey 17, Cathy Hansen (email@example.com) for more information.
The deadline for submitting applications is September 15, 2022.
When we say, “everyone welcome, seriously everyone,” we mean it. This year, Slumber Falls and New Church have come together to craft a junior & senior high experience that is a safe, brave space for all youth to deepen their faith in an open & affirming community!
Pastor Mak Kneebone is at the helm of a queer-affirming congregation in Spring, TX.
Growing up Roman Catholic and being assigned female at birth, one won’t find many role models for becoming a clergyperson. The path towards a vocation in a pulpit can be, shall we say, not straight.
But that’s where the story of Mak Kneebone, pastor of Plymouth United Church in Spring begins. Growing up in Michigan, first in Detroit and then in more rural areas, he knew he didn’t fit in, but didn’t have the language to explain it. In college, he used the label “lesbian” to describe himself for a while, and found a community, but he still felt out of step. There were few resources for dealing with what he was feeling. “Saying I’m not actually a woman’ didn’t get met with great applause,” Kneebone admits. Text Link
Having a strong religious impulse and finding so little support for his queerness in the early 1980s, Kneebone switched religious traditions. “I went into the Pentecostal church, where I became ashamed of everything about myself and became an ‘ex-gay'”, he says. For ten years, he was involved in that tradition, teaching and leading small groups. It was not a sustainable situation. “I couldn’t imagine it; I couldn’t pretend anymore,” he says. “I knew I needed to explore and discover how God actually made me.”
He came out again, and found himself shunned by the community he’d served all those years. He left with a new conviction. “I decided I knew two things. I knew I wasn’t heteronormative, and I knew that God loved me.” He just had to figure out how those things worked together.
Kneebone had a close friend in Chicago who he trusted, so he moved there to begin really addressing his gender identity. He found a therapist there who listened to him and agreed that he was not a woman and also that he had a calling to ministry. “That was really profoundly moving to me that somebody else could reflect back to me something that I knew about myself,” he says.
We celebrate with the Open Arms community the graduation of the Rev. Dr. Jules Williams from Eden Seminary!
Pictured from left to right is Rev. Dr. Jules Williams, Jr.; Margaret Smith and Pam Mayo, members of Open Arms UCC; Kim Williams; Rev. Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister of Justice and Local Ministries of the United Church of Christ.
Meet Rev. Dr. Jules Williams, Jr.
On May 20, 2022, Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, conferred the degree of Doctor of Ministry on Rev. Jules Williams, Jr., Pastor of Open Arms United Church of Christ in Conroe, TX (Tamina Community). Rev. Williams, who earned his pre-doctoral degrees at the College of Biblical Studies and Dallas Theological Seminary, has pastored Open Arms, a new church in the area, for two years. In efforts to lead his congregation to follow the way Jesus intended, Jules models one who strives for justice and equality, for inclusion, for service, for love of all. In addition to his church duties, Rev. Williams works for the Texas Department of Corrections in the Windham School District as educator and counselor. Jules cherishes his family: his wife, Kim; daughter, Nia; and sons, Jules III and Mustapha. Incidentally, all three of his children are talented musicians, Nia having just completed her degree in Music at Sam Houston State University; and all contribute their talents to Open Arms worship. The Open Arms congregation congratulates Pastor Williams on his achievement and cherishes his leadership.
Your Invited! Pastor Leslie Jackson’s Anniversary Celebration – June 26th
Please join St. Peter United in celebrating the anniversary of Pastor Leslie Jackson on Sunday, June 26th at 4:00pm at the church located at 9022 Long Point Road in Houston.
Central St. Matthew’s Celebrates Pride Month
If you drive pass Central St. Matthew UCC in New Orleans in the month of June, you will see that their Pride Flags are displayed front and center at the entrance of the church.
These beautiful flags represent Central St. Matthew’s open support and welcoming of the LGBTQ community.
2022 UCC Southern Regional Women’s Retreat
Greetings to the UCC Women of the Florida, South Central, Southeast, and Southern Conferences!!
Have you ever attended one of the Southern Regional UCC Women’s Retreats? If you have, I expect you will be coming to Camp Weed and Cerveny Conference Center in Live Oak, Florida October 14-16, 2022. You value the inspiration, camaraderie, making new friends and reconnecting with old ones, learning new skills, and listening to God in a natural setting.
If you have never been to our retreats, you are in for a treat! We are meeting in the same beautiful northern Florida setting on a small lake where we met in 2013. It has a lovely chapel looking out on the water, nice two-bed rooms with private baths, an inspiring outdoor patio area with rocking chairs overlooking the lake, a large dining room with great food, and trails through the woods. A perfect spot to retreat from our everyday lives.
As part of our ongoing effort to increase communication and share resources across the Conference, we’re inviting all congregations to update their key church leaders’ information annually.
Please take just a few minutes to share with us your leadership team information so that we can make sure everyone is “in the know” about what’s happening across the Conference.
So far, we have only received five responses. This information is extremely important. Please take a few moments to complete this form. It assists the Conference office in updating the UCC National Data Hub Church Staff tab and keeping the SCC Directory current. Thank you!!
During Pride month, three of our most popular webinars are on sale. For just $35, an unlimited number of members of your church can participate from their own computers or devices. ONA 101 and ONA and the Bible are for congregations taking their first steps towards, or just curious about, an Open and Affirming Covenant. Bending Gender is for both ONA and not-yet ONA churches: with transgender and nonbinary Americans under attack in many states, it’s time for congregations to understand how to welcome trans and nonbinary seekers into their congregations.
Tuesday, June 21, 7 pm EDT
This webinar explores how and why congregations can become ONA—in ways that do not divide, but unite the church. Applying the basic ONA principles of “graceful engagement” and “covenant,” ONA 101 has helped hundreds of congregations successfully navigate through an ONA process.
A LOW-COST LOAN FROM THE CORNERSTONE FUND IS JUST A CLICK AWAY!
Sometimes you need to ask the difficult question. Deep down inside, you may already know the answer. But it’s not until you actually take the time to assess and realistically address the situation that you decide to act on the solution. While this scenario applies to a variety of issues in life, the topic at hand is the condition of your church property.
Is your congregation considering making improvements on your building to expand ministry or increase revenue? Is it finally addressing deferred maintenance items that worsen every year? Are you ready to reduce your building’s carbon footprint and save money on utilities in the process? Can you enhance digital capabilities to maintain and grow your online community?
If any of these questions apply to you, then now is a good time to talk with the Cornerstone Fund about low-cost loan options that will directly improve your facility and potentially strengthen your congregation.
Our friends in the Wisconsin Conference have created a series of online stewardship courses to help congregations consider these concerns, and we encourage you to check them out! Each opportunity has a unique registration button so that you can select those most relevant to your local church. These are offered at no cost, and we hope you’ll be able to participate!
“From Bread and Cup to Faith and Giving” makes the connection between our experience of God and our generosity as disciples. It includes practical tools such as logos, commitment cards, bulletin inserts, and letters. The materials also provide resources for preaching about stewardship throughout the year. Campaign guidance and calendars help leaders make the best use of these robust materials for their specific content and size.