First United Methodist Church
Hughes Springs, Texas
Pastor Bill Laubenberg
Editor Debbie Kelley
Lent a time of Preparation
This month we will be starting our Lenten preparation to celebrate God’s great loving and redeeming act of giving his Son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for our redemption. Yes, this year Lent and Easter come early. There are many different traditions that the church has adopted over the years to prepare our hearts and lives for the Good News of Easter.
One special tradition that we follow each year it Ash Wednesday. This celebration traditionally begins the Lenten season and helps us to begin our preparation. The palms of the previous Palm Sunday are burned and ground to fine ash to remind us that the celebration of Easter was brought about by the suffering of our Lord. Have you ever really listened to the words as the ashes are placed upon your forehead? They are, “Remember you are ashes and to ashes you shall return.” They serve as a reminder that the season is not special because of how special we are, but rather Gods actions through Jesus Christ are what makes us special. Too often we can get all caught up in our own greatness. I see it at times in modern Christian music. There it is proudly proclaimed that we are overcomers, we are warriors, and the power of our testimony has something to do with salvation. What? God is the one who overcomes. Jesus went to battle for us on the cross. God is great, and salvation was his action without our help. So, this year as the ashes are placed upon your forehead remember the greatness of God and that during this season we need to have a time of repentance and reflection.
Another tradition that some follow is the act of giving something up for lent. This is done in remembrance of what Jesus gave up for us when he went to the cross. If you follow this tradition, make sure that what you give up is important to you. As most of you know, I do not drink coffee. So, for me to say I am giving up coffee for lent would mean nothing. Unlike the year I gave up chocolate for Lent. This was before I was diagnosed as a diabetic. I loved chocolate and wanted some every day. This plus the fact that every time you go to the checkout at the grocery store, there it is right in your face, tempting you. Whatever you give up. Make it something that counts and one more thing, keep it between you and God. Do not tell others.
As we enter this Lenten season, may God be with you and help you to truly take the time to repent and prepare our hearts and lives of God’s great act of salvation as He gave his Son for us.
See You in Church
Pastor Bill Laubenberg
More from Pastor Bill
Bible Study Starting Soon
Our Lenten Series is about to begin. The title of the Series is Restored: Finding Redemption in our Mess. There will be two sessions each Wednesday, one at 10 a.m. and one at 6 p.m. Please contact the church office is you plan to attend so that we can get the right number of books. Come join the journey as we prepare for Easter.
For the month of January, there were 20 men who attended the breakfast, including cooks.
The next Men’s breakfast is Tuesday, February 6 at 6:30 a.m
Come join us!
This breakfast is open to all men from anywhere, any denomination and friends.
The council, together with the pastor, will be looking into forming a grief support group in the near future. We are looking at the possibility of utilizing a program called GriefShare. GriefShare is a grief recovery support group where you can find help and healing for the hurt of losing a loved one. The program is built around a series of videos from grief experts as well as discussion and support time at each meeting. If you would be interested, please contact the church office.
THE CHOIR CORNER:
Choir practice will be each Sunday after worship and some Saturdays through out the holiday season.
they are scary
If your organization or committee has an event to be held at or sponsored by the church, please call the secretary’s office at 903-639-2131, so it can be placed on the calendar, in the bulletin and in the newsletter.
This will help prevent double bookings at the church.
We will be glad to include a listing of your church meeting or activity in the newsletter, but remember that Debbie must have the information before the first of the month in order to have it in the newsletter.
Ash Wednesday Service February 14
Pastor Going Out of Town
On February 15th, I was invited to go see a pre-release screening of the Movie, Paul the Apostle of Christ. As this is occurring in Austin; Dianna, Amy, and I will be out of town that Thursday through Saturday.
Bring your Homemade prepared Chili to the Fellowship Hall for the Chili Contest. Contest will begin immediately after worship.
Everyone in the Hughes Springs Community is invited to enter. Everyone in the Hughes Springs Community is invited to eat and vote. We hope that you can come and enjoy.
Prizes include a Trophy and Bragging Rights for One Year.
No entry fees. Deadline to enter, February 7.
Shepherd’s Harvest Food Pantry
The spotlight this month is on our Pick-up and Delivery Team—Billy Wayne McKinney, Rod Wright, Don Edson, Danny Lancaster and Pastor Bill Laubenberg. These guys travel to the Tyler Food Bank each month on the morning of distribution, bringing back canned fruits & vegetables, canned meat, rice, spaghetti, potatoes, juice, cornbread mix & more. Due to below freezing temperatures and melting ice still on the streets, January 18th was a real challenge. But because our guys have “servant’s hearts”, 47 families were blessed! Thanks, Guys!!
If you are scheduled to enter a hospital please let the church office know. Need name of hospital, city and date of check in. This will help Pastor Bill be able to be with you in your time of need.
If you or a family member is unexpectedly admitted to the hospital, please give the church office the same information.
We are on this journey together and communication is key.
The church office is not on the prayer phone chain. Because of this, sometimes we miss information about members’ prayer requests or joys to share.
If you have a prayer request or know of one, please call (903-639-2131) or email firstname.lastname@example.org, the church office. If you call after office hours, please leave a message on the voicemail.
This will help us to know when one of our church family has a special need.
If you have a Thank you to include in the newsletter, please send it to the church office. You may bring it by or email it to me.
Thank you, Deb Kelley
YOUNG CHRISTIAN METHODISTS
Spring Mission Project supporting
Hughes Springs Elementary
Once again, this year, to help our local elementary and support young people in our community, we will be holding a mid-year school supply drive through the rest of January on into February. You can either purchase the supplies yourself or contribute to a fund that we will use to purchase what is needed. Please consider contributing to the youth of our community.
This is a list of supplies that the elementary could use this Spring.
Please either purchase the item(s) and bring to the church or give a monetary donation so the items can be purchased. Donations accepted from now to February 13.
If you bring donations to the church and the office is closed or you leave them anywhere but the Pastor’s or Debbie’s offices, please let us know.
- Composition books (spiral or journal type)
- Dry erase markers
- High lighters (yellow)
- Construction paper (colored)
- Manilla file folders
- Disinfectant wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
Your help with this project is greatly appreciated.
Love is in the air! Valentines day is upon us. We will be making valentine arts and crafts during Sunday School, 9:45 – 10:45 am.
We will have a Valentine party on Sunday, February 11th during Sunday school. Hope to see all the kiddos there!
The Mustard Seeds
Our Elementary age youth group has moved its meeting time to Fridays at 6 p.m. We will be working on learning songs to sing for the church during this month, in addition to our usual Bible studies, prayer times and fun activities We are also looking into service projects for the young people to begin doing in the near future. Come and join the fun.
Praying for our Pastor
The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. Psalm 121: 7 – 8
Most pastors travel many miles in the course of a day or week. They drive back and forth to hospitals, conferences, meetings and the like. The car becomes a second office. Pray today that the Lord will protect our pastor as he travels; turn the car into a kind of chapel where the Holy Spirit encourages Pastor Bill by His presence, reminding Pastor Bill of His love and His purposes for him that day; and direct Pastor Bill in faithfully bringing His Good News to the hearts of many.
Offer to save the Pastor a few miles this month. Pick up supplies, Take a vehicle in for an oil change during sermon preparation time. (Why not have it washed while you are at it!)
Interested Women of the Church
The IWC wishes to invite all women of the church to our meetings. Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month, unless otherwise cancelled in which case a notification will se sent to everyone.
Looking forward to have you join us. Greta Wright
2018 has begun. I have accepted the position of Trustee Chairman. The Trustees have many things on the planning list and will work on them in priority order. Safety always being our first concern.
If you have suggestions contact one of the trustees or the church office. All suggestions will be discussed and put in priority order.
2018 Trustees are: Troy Perry, Cliff McCain, Cody McCain, Bill McKinney, Bill Zachry, Jim Sinkule, Greta Wright, Robyn Shelton and Scott Hanes.
With your prayers and support, we are looking forward to a great year.
Troy Perry, Chairman
Administrative Council Chairman
First off, I would like to thank the members of this congregation for trusting me to lead the church council this year. I pray that God will be with all of us this year to not only grow the spiritual outreach in our community, but to also grow in our individual spiritual journeys. I pray that He will be with us in every decision we make as a committee to help our church grow, thrive, and make an impact on others’ lives through Jesus Christ.
As far as church council is concerned, I will lean on Brother Bill, Debbie, and all of the other committees to help me learn what all tasks I am responsible for. Please do not be afraid to approach me with any question or concern. I may not have the answer immediately, but I will do my best to figure it out.
I wanted to also give everyone an idea of what is going on in my head as far as sound and projection for our church is concerned. I am researching different options to get both of our front facing projectors back in operation. The units we are currently using are too outdated to feasibly repair, so we are looking into what will best suit our needs for replacements. Troy and the trustees are helping me with this research. As I am sure everyone is aware, the microphone that the pastor uses has not been available the last few weeks. That is because it was acting up, and we took it to the mic doctor for an evaluation. They were not able to give us a proper diagnosis, therefore, I am asking everyone to bear with me as we continue to use this microphone, and I will try to determine the problem myself.
In conclusion, I know that God has a lot in store for us at FUMC Hughes Springs. If you have certain ideas for our church, events you would like to see happen, a different type of ministry outreach in mind, or any issue that you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to come talk to me. I try to be as open-minded as possible and welcome any and all help and input. See you Sunday! Thank you and God bless!
The Mission Committee met in January to discuss mission projects for 2018. Thanks to the support of the church and committee members, we had several successful projects in 2017 and are repeating those again for 2018: The mid-year school supply drive to be presented on Valentine’s Day to the Hughes Springs Elementary School, the lunch during Wildflower days for the carnival workers, supporting the diaper bank by supplying wipes and continued support for the Lame Deer Reservation in Montana.
We will add an additional mission project for 2018 which will be a twice a year Hughes Springs teacher appreciation.
Thanks to everyone for the continued support in 2018.
Lame Deer Reservation Mission Project
Thank y’all for your patience! It’s been a crazy first term, but we’ve made it out alive! I can’t express my gratitude for the money and prayers that y’all have given me the past eighteen months.
My kiddos are so excited to get new supplies and new equipment in 2018. They are also so grateful that people outside of the reservation care so much about them.
Again, thank you so much. The kids are also planning to make a video with their supplies and equipment once we order and receive it, so stay tuned!
Have a Great Day! Hope to see y’all soon!
Scarlett Day- Aleman
Diaper Bank News
Thank you so much for the staff bonus. It was so appreciated at this time of year and also, I would like to thank Danny and Kathy Lancaster for all they have done for me.
God Bless you,
Thank you for the gift of flower from the church. I love that church a lot.