March 2018


First United Methodist Church

Hughes Springs, Texas

Volume 24
Pastor Bill Laubenberg
March 2018
Editor Debbie Kelley

from the pastor

Marching Through Lent

I could not resist using the title. It talks about the Month we are in and looks at what should be going on in our faith at this time in the liturgical year.

Yes, it is that time again, time to prepare our hearts for the joy of Easter and to examine our lives to see what might need to be changed.

The first and hardest step on the journey is admitting our faults. It is human nature to want to blame others for things that go wrong. Just look at Adam and Eve. When confronted by God about their sins they started the blame game. Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent. This is a game that has been going on ever since. We seem to love to play. It has been said that you really haven’t truly experienced the fullness of parenting until you have two children. Up until then you always know who did it. As a teacher I saw the game played out over and over again in the classroom. The blame game helps us to avoid responsibility and if we can avoid responsibility, we do not have to change.

It is time for us to own up to our faults, knowing that God is willing

and able to help us work through them. Let us be honest with ourselves because God already knows the truth.

If we are to truly give up something for Lent, let it be those things that separate us from God. God gave so much to get this march going. Jesus was willing to go to the cross for US. It is now our turn in response to this great act of love and grace to do our part and follow our Lord and Savior.

The March has begun. You can hear the echoes of the marching music in the hymns we sing on Sundays. Let’s get in step and keep our focus on Him. The Spirit is here to guide us and enlighten us along the way. We have the witness of those who have gone before us to encourage us. We are not alone.

Let us March on.

See you in Church on Sunday

Pastor Bill Laubenberg

More from Pastor Bill


Bible Study Update

Our Lenten Series is has begun. The title of the Series is Restored: Finding Redemption in our Mess. There are 2 sessions each Wednesday, one at 10 a.m. and one at 6 p.m. All members are welcome. Come and bring a friend. Let us study God’s word and his purpose in our lives, together.


Pastor Bill

Heading down the Road 

This Thursday, March 1st through Sunday, March 4th I will be taking part in an event called The Emmaus Road. It is a spiritual retreat. I will be joining together with other Christian men in this journey. This is my first time going. Look to my blog to see how it goes.

Pastor Bill

Men’s Breakfast

scrambled and bacon

The February  Men’s Breakfast brought out 24 men for good food and fellowship.

We invite you to join us for the March breakfast on March 6 at 6:30 am.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Danny Lancaster

This breakfast is open to all men from anywhere, any denomination and friends.


As of February 2018, I turned my Leadership of the Men’s Breakfast over to Danny Lancaster.

Norma and I will be moving to Tyler, TX in April.

These past 6 years with Men’s Breakfast have been a very rewarding part of my life. The men in our church who work in the ministry are the greatest!! Could not be possible without everyone of them!!

Please continue to support Men’s Breakfast and look forward to a great devotion and good food the first Tuesday of every month!

God Bless

Larry Cannon

Thank You!

We would like to express our gratitude for all the food your congregation sent. Thank you for the many prayers send our way. Special thanks to Bro. Bill for his thoughtful words of comfort and for his beautiful send off for Cheryl Elaine Cates

Janie King

Samantha Brown and family

Paula Odom and family



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

Administrative Assistant



Work continues on the Easter Cantata “The Day He Wore My Crown.” 

The music will be presented during the morning worship service on April 8, 2018, the Sunday after Easter.  Make plans to worship with the choir as they give of their time and talent to glorify the resurrected Jesus.


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.

food basket

Thanks to our volunteers, we served 47 families in the February distribution.  Is there someone who lives in the Hughes Springs ISD that you’d like to refer to the Food Pantry but you’re not sure they’d qualify?   Tell them about the Pantry and encourage them to come.  If they do not meet the qualifications, they will still be served on a one-time basis.  The Pantry is open the third Thursday of each month from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.  If you have questions, see Betty Harris, Cathey Lannerd, Robyn Shelton, or Marsha Bryan.

Betty Harris


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

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, 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

We are still trucking along in the youth department. Wednesday night devotionals are focusing on love and using our gifts, and we love the snacks and fellowship.

Our youth is also very successful in their extra-curricular activities at school.  Celiz Giron and Elizabeth Keuhn earned first division ratings at UIL Choir Solo and Ensemble and will be advancing to state, and Dedrick Hill will be advancing to regionals in power lifting after receiving several medals at different competitions.  Shelby Fickling will be starting her softball season and hopes to make it to another state tournament.

Lisa Moreland

Youth Leader



Our annual Easter Egg Hunt will be on Saturday, March 31st at 2:00 p.m. at the back of our church. Bring your basket and camera and get your picture made with the Easter Bunny!!!

If you would like to donate candy for our egg hunt, please make sure it is individually wrapped and no chocolate (it melts). Thank you

Carly Tower

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.

Golden Globe Recipients

Congratulations to Mr. Jim Sinkule’ for being honored with the Lifetime

Achievement Golden Globe at this year’s Chamber of Commerce Banquet.

Also, congratulations to Libby Bruce being the Sesame Club Golden Globe recipient.

Interested Women of the Church

The IWC handed out their annual Carnations for Valentines for our shut – ins!  We delivered four carnations and Greta and Patsy were the ones that delivered them.

The IWC would be blessed to have more women joins us on the first Tuesday of each month!! Anyone is welcome!

                             Shelli Fickling

Our next meeting will be March 11, after worship.  In preparation for this meeting, I ask each Trustee to make a list of everything that the church needs and another list of everything that the church wants.  We will discuss the lists and assign some order of priority to the needs and wants.  Needs, especially those concerning safety, will be top priority.
I will see everyone with your lists on March 11 after worship.

Troy Perry,

Trustee Chairman


Administrative Council Chairman

I do not have a lot to say thus far for the church council since we have not had our first meeting of the year yet. Our first meeting is scheduled for March 25, immediately after worship.

I would like to ask everyone, if you have an issue to discuss or a topic that needs to be addressed, please get that to Debbie in the church office as soon as possible so that we can create an agenda for the council meeting.  This will help us to be more organized and make sure we do not miss things that need to be addressed.

I appreciate everyone’s help in making the business side of our church run smoothly.  I am always available if someone needs to ask me something or to make a suggestion.  I welcome any and all input.

May God bless each of you!






From the Worship Chairman

We are well into the season of Lent.  Most of us have committed to fasting from something in our daily lives to help us remember this sacred time of preparation for celebrating Easter, everything from giving up chocolate to abstaining from television.

Giving up something for Lent is a practice in discipline that lasts for forty days.  Following his baptism by John in the River Jordan, Jesus spent his 40 days in the wilderness as a time of preparation for his ministry.  But even Jesus was not immune from the distracting temptations of Satan. As Jesus was tempted, we, too, can be tempted and distracted from our resolve to be prepared.

As a reminder to keep oneself constantly aware of our own personal time to prepare and remember the sacrifice Jesus made, each person is invited to take a nail from the foot of the cross in the sanctuary. Take a nail to place somewhere at home where you will see it frequently.  I placed my nail on the table where I sit to eat my meals each day.  Since I am constantly bombarded by the distractions of the world, I also took a nail to place on my desk at work and one for the dashboard of my car.  I don’t want to take a chance that I might ever forget, anytime, anywhere, or anyplace.

Next time you are in the sanctuary, take as many nail-reminders as you need to never ever let Jesus be forgotten.

Nita Clark 

Scripture Readings for March

March 4

Exodus 20: 1 – 17
I Corinthians 1: 18 – 25
Mark 1: 29 – 39

March 11

Numbers 21: 4 – 9
Ephesians 2: 1 – 10
John 3: 14 – 21

March 18

Jeremiah 31: 31 – 34
Hebrews 5: 5 – 10
John 12: 20 – 33

March 25

Isaiah 50: 4 – 9
Philippians 2: 5 – 11
Mark 14: 1 – 15:47