First United Methodist Church
Hughes Springs, Texas
Pastor Bill Laubenberg
Editor Debbie Kelley
Happy Valentine’s Day
It is that time of year when our thoughts turn to those we love and start making plans for Valentine’s Day. Florists and candy makers have been preparing to meet the high demand for their products. In the stores we see hearts and candy samplers everywhere. Diamond stores are also making their bid to be part of the celebration. Young ladies are watching their mailboxes to see if they will get a card from that special someone. It is a celebration of love.
As I think about the holiday, a smile comes to my heart and my lips. How very Christian this day this truly is. Although Valentine’s Day is officially a religious day of remembrance, its spirit and meaning relate very well to the Christian message. It is the day we tell others that they are loved. If you examine the scriptures and see what Jesus told us how we are to be known, you can see the connection. People are to know we are Christians by our love. On of my favorite songs when I went to a Christian retreat or camp had a line that went, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Do we as the people of God live up to this standard? What is the church known for today? If you look at what people say about the church today, you will find that for some reason we are not meeting that goal. Too often, as was said in one of the “God’s Not Dead” movies, people are more aware of what the church is against and not what it stands for. This has caused some to see the church as a place to be judged or a place of anger.
How did we get so far from the pathway that Jesus laid before us? Why did so many things stand in the way of us recognizing the mission of the church? We are to show God’s love to everyone. The example has been given to us. We
know how to love because God first loved us. Who are we to love? Scripture tells us we are not just to love those who love us, but also to love those who hate us. What a radical call. What a strange thing to do. However, it is exactly what God did for us. While we were yet sinners Gods sent his Son to die for us.
As we prepare to celebrate this Valentine’s day, may we seek to rekindle in our hearts the love of God that reaches out to all people. May we learn to say to others, “God loves you and so do I.”
More from Pastor Bill
Bible Study Update
We are continuing journey through the book The Wesleyan Way. This has been and continues to be a very good study. Please come and join us. You have your choice of a 10 a.m. meeting or one at 6 p.m. Come join us as we study the Bible and our faith.
Gift of Love School Supply Drive
I am happy to see the supplies starting to arrive as well as the monetary gifts. We will continue to take either through the second Sunday in February, then we will bring our gift to the school during the week of Valentine’s day.
February was a good month for the men. We had a total of twenty-six attending; seven of those being church members with nineteen guests. Jimmy Samples gave an uplifting devotional. The next breakfast will be March 5, 2019. We will see you there,
This breakfast is open to all men from anywhere, any denomination and friends.
Thank you to Sheila McCain for volunteering to bring the Children’s moments for Feb and Lisa Moreland for signing up for April. That still leaves us quite a bit short for the year. Pray about is and listen closely to see if God is placing it on your heart to fill in one of these months.
Congratulations to Mike Jenkins. Golden Globe recipient of the Daingerfield/ Hughes Springs Lions Club Award
We are working on the Easter Cantata. Come Join Us.
Please remember to call the Church Secretary’s office to add or remove anyone from our prayer list that is printed each week.
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.
Shepherd’s Harvest Food Pantry & Senior Box Program
January was our first month to run/host the Senior Box program funded by a Federal Grant. In the past, this program was being run by the East Texas Food Bank on property owned by the Baptist church. The Baptist church was selling the building so the East Texas Food Bank was looking for someone to host and run the Sr. Box program to prevent the loss of the Federal grant. Our church jumped in and took on this task. The Senior Box program distribution is being run simultaneously with our regular Pantry distribution. We served 72 clients in the Senior box program and 51 of our regular pantry clients plus 10 new pantry clients. We were quite busy even with 25 volunteers. We are always looking for volunteers. Even if you don’t want to make a commitment every month, we can always use subs. There is a lot of paperwork that goes along with these two programs that could be done from home. So, if you want to help and are not available the day of distribution, speak with Robyn Shelton to contribute your time in other ways. Marsha
SHEPHERD HARVEST FOOD PANTRY: Spotlight on Volunteers
At our January distribution, we used approximately 900 plastic bags. Thanks to everyone who donated! Please keep them coming!
Special thanks to Mary Wallace and Danny Carroll for their efforts in the “plastic bag ministry”. When donations of bags are made to the Food Pantry, Mary makes sure the bags are clean with no rips. She double-bags and numbers them, then brings them to Distribution Day neatly folded and ready for use.
Danny visited several stores and received generous donations of new plastic bags from Brookshires, Spring Market and Dollar General. Both Mary and Danny saw a need and came up with their own solution. We appreciate them!
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.
It is also requested that each committee take minutes and attendance at each meeting. Turn in a copy to the office for filing. This will keep us compliant with the Disciple.
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.
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 email@example.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 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
YOUNG CHRISTIAN METHODISTS
We are still meeting with Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade students to help them learn to read. This program has been both rewarding and well received by both teachers and the students.
We need more volunteers as we have lost a couple of our regulars. We meet with them on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can choose to come one day or even a part of a day.
Our Times are: Kindergarten from 11:50 a.m. to 12:25 p.m., First Grade 12:50 p.m. to 1:20 p.m., and Second Grade 1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
If you are interested please contact either the church office or Pastor Bill to find out how to become part of our group.
Our Next meeting is scheduled for the 22nd at 6 p.m. This is our group for elementary age children. The plans, this month, are to make cookies both to eat and to share with others. Come join the fun and fellowship.
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.
Administrative Council Chairman
The first month of 2019 was definitely a busy month for us here at FUMC Hughes Springs. We’ve had some big changes occur within our children’s and youth departments. Carly Tower has been a faithful member of our congregation for her entire life, but some changes in her life are moving her (and her husband, Gavin) away from our community. Don’t worry, she isn’t going too far. She has served as our children’s department coordinator and Sunday school teacher for many, many years, but before taking on this responsibility, Carly ran our nursery for quite some time also. I want to say thank you to her for all that she has done for our congregation over the years, all in the desire to bring glory to God and to share His love with others. Carly, I am proud to call you my baby sister, proud of the young woman you have become, and grateful for your love of our Lord. No matter what life throws at you, always stay strong in your faith and trust in Him. Your presence will be missed in our congregation, but I wish you nothing but the best!
I am happy to announce that we have found a wonderful successor to fulfill Carly’s roles within our children’s department. Nicole Willis reached out to Carly and informed us that she felt the Lord tugging on her coat-string, so-to-speak, to step up and fulfill this need within our church. You would be hard-pressed to find a better replacement. I have known the Willis’ family most of my life, and Nicole has the perfect personality, drive, and love for this position. Thank you, Nicole, for your love for the children, your love for your church, and your love for our Lord which led you to realize this calling!
I am also happy to say that we have found a new Sunday school teacher to lead our junior high youth department. Holly McCoy has felt led to accept this position within our church. Holly is a new member to our congregation, and I am glad that the good Lord has led her to us. She is going to be a wonderful addition to our church family.
Dianna Laubenberg will be leading our senior high youth group. She is new to this position also and I am grateful that the Lord continues to fill her heart with love and compassion as she continues to help our youth grow in their relationship with our Lord. Thank you, Mrs. Dianna,
I also want to welcome two additional new members to our church family. Dave and Liz Avis have recently transferred their membership to our congregation, and I cannot wait to get to know them better and grow in love and faith along our spiritual journeys together. Dave has also agreed to be the teacher in our Wesley men’s Sunday school class. This is awesome news as well! Praise be to God!
Lastly, I want to inform everyone that we are planning to create a new church directory soon. We are in the process of setting up a time for a company called Life Touch to come and take professional photos of everyone for this directory. Nicole Willis has also agreed to help in the planning and scheduling of everything for the directory. Thank you so much, Nicole! We are scheduled to take the pictures on March 18 and 19.
Nicole will let us know more as we get closer to these dates. I just wanted to make everyone aware of this project. It has been several years since we have composed a directory, and I am excited to see this happen.
The good Lord is working fervently in our congregation! I am excited for this coming year! Please continue to join me in prayer for our church, in prayer for our pastor, in prayer for our community and in prayer for our world
May the good Lord bless you and yours!
– Cody McCain, Administrative Council Chairman
Diaper Bank News
The Diaper Bank has been serving more clients recently. As a mission, this is an awesome thing! However, this requires more supplies to fulfill the higher demand. Please remember the Diaper Bank, if you are able, when you give to the church.