November 2018


First United Methodist Church

Hughes Springs, Texas

Volume 30
Pastor Bill Laubenberg
November 2018
Editor Debbie Kelley

Thanksgiving is almost here with all its traditions. Have you been getting your stomach ready for all the goodies of the traditional Thanksgiving feast? Are you ready to get up early to watch the parades with the floats, marching bands and those gigantic balloons? Then in the afternoon and evening it’s time for football. Families will be gathering together to share old stories and love. It is normally viewed as the start of the Christmas season and that Jolly old gentlemen comes in at the end of the parade. Those who work in retail stores are resting up for Black Friday with all the sales. In all this have we lost the real meaning of the day? Have we forgotten something?

 On November 1, 1777, by order of Congress, the first National Thanksgiving Proclamation was proclaimed, and signed by Henry Laurens, President of Continental Congress. The third Thursday of December, 1777 was thus officially set aside: “…for solemn thanksgiving and praise. That with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their Divine Benefactor… and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them (their manifold sins) out of remembrance…

Then again, on January 1, 1795, our first United States President, George Washington, wrote his famed National Thanksgiving Proclamation, in which he says that it is…”Our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue is… our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experienced…”

It seems that our founding fathers remembered the most important part of Thanksgiving and that it to give thanks to God for all he has done and continues to do for us. Do not let those who try to rewrite history take God out of Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving remember to bow your head, not just before the meal, but through the day to thank the author of our salvation for His love. As we start the Christmas season we need to place Christ firmly in our hearts for He is the true reason for the season.

Pastor Bill

More from Pastor Bill

Bible Study Update

Adult Bible study will continue its walk down the Wesleyan Way this month. We will be taking the week of Thanksgiving off. Study times are 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.  As Christians it is important to continue to study God’s word and grow in our faith. Come and join us.

Pastor Bill

Fourth Wednesday Movie Night

On November 28th we will have our monthly movie. There will be two showings, one at 10 a.m. and the second at 6 p.m. This month’s movie will be ‘The War Room.’ Come find out what a war room is and why you need to have one in your home

Be Sure to Check Out Pastor Bill’s Weekly Blog.



Hanging of the Greens

December 2nd after the hanging of the greens we will once again be having a hayride to go caroling to our members who are shut in.

Sometime in December we will be having a Christmas cookie exchange. There will be no competition in this one. Instead just bring your favorite Christmas cookie to share.

Thank You!

A huge thank you to Cathy Zachry for being the hostess for the Lay Ministries Training event held here at FUMC on Saturday, October 27.

Cathy set up the fellowship hall for breakfast. Pastor Bill supplied the donuts for the students to enjoy.  Cathy then supplied lunch of ________________. After lunch, they returned to class and Cathy set up the dinner for them to eat before they left for home.

You did an awesome job.

Thank you

In His Love

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.


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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.

Remembering Your Church with Your Gifts

As all of us know, giving to our church to support God’s Ministry is something we need to remember. Today, we all have active lives. Including vacations, visiting out of town family, attending those special weddings and of course seeing our grandchildren.

Our lives can get hectic and sometimes we can forget our ministry to God. To help with that, we now offer online giving to the church.

Simply go to the church website:

From here you can donate your gifts to the church.

Heartspring Methodist Foundation is offering this to us at no charge. Every penny you donate comes directly to the church with no fees or service charges.

On this tab, you can decide to give to the general account for the church’s budget or to another special or designated fund. You can make memorials or honorariums to people. (Notifications will be sent to those families). You can make a one-time gift or set up a reoccurring gift. You can use your credit or debit card or have it drafted from your personal account. You can register and create an account or give as a guest. You have a lot of options to have it set up your way and you can change or delete your selection at any time.

So, during your busy schedule, give online giving a try.

If you have any more questions about the process, please call Debbie at the church office. 903-639-2131 Monday – Thursday 9:00 am – 1:00 pm


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

A Little Reminder:

In case something comes up and you miss Sunday morning service.

You may go to the church Face book page and watch the entire service streamed live. If you can not watch it live, each Sunday’s service is streamed and stored on Face book. You can watch them anytime. If you have a favorite sermon that you would like to hear again, find that date in the video section and listen anytime.

Also, the church website offers many things for church members and those looking for a church home. The pastor’s blog, current calendar of events, the newsletter archived online, online giving, our church ministries and much more. Try to visit regularly, things are always changing.

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

Also, please try to keep us informed on the person’s condition.

Thank you, Debbie Kelley


Youth Stuff

Reading Buddies

The Program is up and running. Every Tuesday and Thursday we go to the elementary to read to and with Kindergartners, First graders, and Second graders. The program has been well received by the school, the teachers, and the students. We are still open to more people coming to join with us. For some reason our biggest need is to find people who can read on Tuesdays. I would love to see us grow this ministry to be able to put two people in each room. If you would like to join us, please contact Pastor Bill of the church office. Let us answer the call to love all God’s children.

Mustard Seeds

Our apologies that this past month my foot and Dianna’s illness have caused us to miss times we should have been meeting. This month we will both do our best to stay healthy. We will continue to meet on Fridays when there is not a home game and then every Friday when the season is over. Please come and join us. There are cookies to be made, and tasted, as well as a Christmas program to work on. Come join the fun and we might even get a movie night in as well. The group is open for elementary and Jr High youth.

Pastor Bill

Children’s Department

Have you noticed?

I love to go by the bulletin board at the south entrance of the church. Ms. Carly and the kids always show their creativity and share with us on the bulletin board.

The next time you think about it, stop by and see what the Children’s department has to offer you by way of their creativity.

Thank you, Ms. Carly and all the kids.

Worship Committee

Our sanctuary and fellowship hall were built in 1939. In the 50’s, the west wing, housing Sunday school classrooms and the nursery was added.

To celebrate the 80th anniversary of our church building in 2019, the Church Council would like to have an event that will commemorate the history and legacy of First United Methodist Church of Hughes Springs.

This hopefully will include a homecoming of sorts, inviting former pastors and members to participate in the celebration.  It will require a great deal of planning and execution of those plans.  A committee will be created to work on the project with church members willing to volunteer to commit to it.

The consensus of the Council is that sometime in the early fall of next year would be the best time for the event. This means that there is plenty of time to plan and work out details. 

Please contact the church office (903-639-2131) to volunteer for the project. Once the volunteers are in place, the committee can begin meeting. That should be in January. Without YOU, this won’t happen.

Worship Committee

The 4th annual “Blessing of the Animals” was held on Saturday, October 6th, in the pavilion behind the church. There was a total of 43 animals blessed, either live or from a picture.  Pets included dogs, cats, turtles, chickens, turkeys, parakeets and a donkey.  Pastor Bill read the creation story from Genesis, those present sang a hymn “All Creatures of Our God and King” and a blessing was bestowed on pets from Reno, Nevada, Longview and Austin, Texas, Daingerfield and Hughes Springs.


The dates for taking pictures for the directory has been moved. Due to Charge Conference,Thanksgiving and Christmas, the dates had to be moved to March 18 – 20.  We are still looking for volunteers to help manage and organize this project.

If you are interested in helping, please contact Debbie in the office.

                                             Thank you

Interested Women of the Church

IWC had our annual garage sale in October. We ended up having a great garage sale. We got everything set up and marked on Monday and it actually went pretty quick with everyone helping. We opened Thursday from 8-4:15, Friday 8-4:30 and Saturday 8-12! Saturday we were one of the only garage sales open because of the nasty weather so that helped us a little.
I want to Thank everyone from the church that came and looked and bought from the garage sale and the ones that donated items for the garage sale. IWC could not do this without the help of the church members! I also want to Thank Robyn Shelton, Greta Wright, Patsy Lancaster and Mary Wallace for all the time and effort they put in to help with this garage sale. It is a lot of work and I wouldn’t be able to do it without the help of these special ladies!! We will be having our annual Thanksgiving dinner in November on the 18th. It is the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Hope everyone brings a dish and comes and enjoys the fellowship!
Thank you,

Shelli Fickling

Words from the Administrative Council Chairman

Let me start this off by thanking everyone.  I don’t do that often enough.  I want to thank everyone in our congregation for their help in keeping our church actively trying to bring people to know God, actively trying to show God’s love to one another, and for actively trying to help things run as smoothly as possible with day-to-day life in our church.  We have a lot of different outreaches, activities, and projects going on, and it takes all of us make everything happen.  Again, thank you for that!

One main issue I want to keep on everyone’s mind is our general budget.  I have spoken about this previously, but it is going to be an ongoing issue for us.  In the recent year, we have lost several generous members that have left an extremely noticeable deficit in our budget.  Whether these members went on to their forever home with our Lord, or they simply moved geographical locations and no longer attend our specific church, their absence has greatly impacted our budget.  We simply do not have near as much money coming in as we have money going out.  I need you to join me in asking God for help with a solution to this problem.  

I also want to update everyone on our projection project in the sanctuary.  We are still working behind the scenes to perfect some things with the new projectors, but hopefully you will never even notice those changes.  However, I am eventually wanting to install screens below the new projectors.  These screens will provide us with a much better image quality as compared to projecting onto the off-white, textured wall.  In time, we are going to have a very nice, completed setup.  I would like to thank all of the people that have helped me to physically install all of these components, and I would like to thank everyone who has made monetary donations toward these projects.  Without all of you, these technological advancements would not be possible.  

If anyone has anything they want to suggest or talk about, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

– Cody McCain, Administrative Council Chairman


Once again, several members of the mission committee and church members helped with October Shepherd’s Harvest. We thought we might be short a few volunteers for distribution but just in time, several volunteers from Cornet came to help. GOD always provides.   We served 49 clients and signed up several new.

 Lisa Moreland and others helped with another successful diaper bank.  Continued donations of diapers and wipes are appreciated.

 The mission committee has one more project for this year and then we will be planning for next year.  If you have any ideas for next year’s mission projects, we always welcome suggestions.   We have fun and it is so rewarding to serve the community. We encourage people to join the committee or let us know you would like to participate in the projects. 

 Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!