January 2018


First United Methodist Church

Hughes Springs, Texas

Volume 22
Pastor Bill Laubenberg
January 2018
Editor Debbie Kelley

from the pastor

We apologize for this issue being late. Each year, the church has to turn in the End of Year Report to the District and file it online with the conference.

This year, it was due on January 8. Working on the report made it almost impossible for us to get the newsletter out on the first of the month.

We will make every effort to publish the newsletter timely this year. Thank you for your patience.


Happy New Year


The new year has arrived. It is time to remember to date things 2018 instead of 2017. A New year brings with it, new possibilities as we move forward in our shared ministry. This January the new church council will be gathering together to get us started and point the direction for our efforts in the coming year. It is time to plan. As a wise person said people do not plan to fail, but it can happen when they fail to plan.

We need to decide if we will use a shotgun approach, in which many things are attempted at once, or a rifle approach, where one thing is focused on and completed before moving to the next. Both have their advantages and drawbacks. It is important to decide which way to go.

As we move forward, it is important that we have the input of individual members. Is there anything that you would like to see happen in the coming year? Are there any programs you would like to see started in this year? What programs should continue through the coming year and are there any changes that need to be made in those programs? If you have any ideas let either the church council or the pastor know so we can look into them.

One of the most dangerous things that can happen to any organization is to fall into the, “We’ve never done that before,” attitude. This leads to nothing changed, no growth, and stagnation. I would encourage you to be open to change and new things. This is not to say that all old traditions are bad and need change. Just remember that there was a time when they were new and where would we be if someone had not taken the chance and tried it.

As we start the year, it is hard to know where we will be at the end. Let us face the year with courage and the willingness to follow where the Lord will lead us. Let us work with God in His kingdom to spread the good news and to care for his people.

 See You in Church

Pastor Bill Laubenberg


More from Pastor Bill

 Bible Study Starting Soon

Adult Bible study is taking the month of January off. We are looking at starting up again in February with a Lenten study series. As we move into the coming year, are there any subjects you would like to study or issues you would like to focus on. This is your chance to get your ideas in as we plan for the coming year of study. As Christians it is important to continue to study God’s word and grow in our faith. Come and join us when we start back up in February.

Pastor Bill

Church Council Gathering

We will be gathering together on January 20th from 10 am until about 2:30 p.m. This will be a time for all members of the council to gather with all members of committees. We will be planning for the coming year and making decisions about the church’s direction. The morning will be a group meeting with a starting devotion and the afternoon will be time for committees to get organized for the coming year. Donuts and kolaches will be provided at the start of the meeting and lunch will be served so that we have the opportunity to break bread together. I look forward to seeing you all there.

Pastor Bill

Men’s Breakfast

scrambled and bacon

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.



A really awesome program for the choir to sing for Easter is in the works.  It is titled “The Day He Wore My Crown”.  It is not NEW music, but features 12 of the greatest Easter songs written by iconic names like Bill & Gloria Gaither, Lari Goss, Dottie Rambo, Dallas Holm and Michael W. Smith.  These are not newcomers to the Christian music scene, they are legends!  Most of them have numerous Grammy and Dove awards going back over 35 years.

This musical, created and arranged by David T. Clydesdale, tells the Resurrection Story in 12 songs that are expressive, inspirational and emotional.  The music will present some new and interesting arrangements of familiar songs and I think everyone will agree with me that this choir has matured enough to meet the challenge.  The commitment of the choir members to faithfully attend practices is impressive and admirable. The comradery is exceptional. There is room for anyone who finds joy in singing for the Lord. Reading music is not a requirement, just a heart willing to try.  The invitation to join is always open and everyone is welcome.

The date and time for the program will be announced later.

prayer large Please remember to call the Church Secretary’s office to add or remove anyone from our prayer list that is printed each week.

Samaritan's Purse Shoe Box Mission: Donations accepted. Please see or call Mavis Boyd for information: 903-588-0280


they are scary

call the office

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.

Looking Ahead


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 fee.

food basket




Shepherd’s Harvest Food Pantry –

3rd Thursdays    12:30 pm




Communication in the Church

It is important to let everyone know what is going on in this coming year, so I ask that all committees please get information in each month to be included in the monthly newsletter. It is easier to get support if people know what you are doing.       

 Calling all Readers and Communion Assistants

We have been blessed by those who are already serving the church by taking part in the service as a reader or communion assistant. There is a core group in place, who are doing an excellent job, but we always could use more people. If you are interested in serving God and the church in this manner, please contact Debbie the church office.

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.

Pastor Bill

Office Needs

Prayer Lists

Please remember to call Debbie in the Church Secretary’s office to add or remove anyone from our prayer list that is printed in the bulletin and power point each week.

If you would like a church wide email sent for a prayer request, please contact Debbie in the office by phone or email.

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 hsfumc@yahoo.com, 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


The Mustard Seeds

On the 12th we will be starting our elementary age group back up. We will meet on Friday nights starting at 6 p.m. Our first meeting will run for about an hour. Meetings will focus on learning about God, serving others, and having fun. Every other week we are thinking of having meetings lasting 2 hrs. to allow parents a chance to relax and maybe even have a date night together. There will be game nights, movie nights, songs to sing, and people to help. Any elementary aged member of the congregation in encouraged to attend and guests are always welcome.

Meetings continue Wednesday nights with a snack provided.


The Trustees will hold their first meeting on Sunday, Jan. 14. This will be the time they elect a new Chair and other officers.


Scripture Readings for January

January 7

January 14

I Samuel 3: 1 – 10
Corinthians 6: 12 – 20
John 1: 43 – 51

January 21

Jonah 3: 1 – 5, 10
Corinthians 7: 29 – 31
Mark 1: 14 – 20

January 28

Deuteronomy 18: 15 – 20
I Corinthians 7: 29 – 31
Mark 1: 14 – 20