January 2019


First United Methodist Church

Hughes Springs, Texas

Volume 31
Pastor Bill Laubenberg
January 2019
Editor Debbie Kelley

Welcome to 2019

Yes, it is that time of year when we need to remember that the last two numbers on the year have changed. A new year has arrived with new possibilities, chances to change, and new hope. It is the time to reflect on the past and plan for the future.

As I think over the past year here at the church many different things stand out. We have had two great cantatas performed by our choir to the glory of God. We have had many different members of the congregation and some visitors bless and enrich our services through the gift of song. New projectors have been installed that make it easier to follow the service. The young people of our congregation presented a delightful Christmas program to us. During the summer we had the fun of sharing Christian Movie nights. We found out who won the chili cook-off. Had the fun of seeing who had the best homemade ice-cream. There was an across the board tie for the barbeque cook off every contestant did a great job. The Christmas cookie exchange also went well. The Reading Buddies program got off to a good start, as we went and read to and with K-2nd grade in our local elementary. There was the fun of the door decorating contest at Christmas time which added so much to the season. Our food pantry continued through the year to serve members of our community who are in need. Work was begun on turning the property on fourth street into Nadine’s Outreach. As part of that, we had the Christmas Decoration place fund raiser, which went very well. We took part in both the Christmas parade and the wildflower Trails parade, where our float took third place. Our hayride to our shut ins included stopping by at the nursing homes and bringing songs and cards to get the season started. Bible studies were held through the year and one of our Sunday School classes brought the word and song over to The Springs on every fourth Sunday.  Fifth Sunday Contemporary Services have continued. To match up with the Men’s Breakfast held each month, a Woman’s breakfast has been formed. The Diaper bank was another outreach of our congregation.

   As I write these down, I am sure there are things that I am forgetting. It is only as you try to remember everything that you realize how much has been done.

   Now as we face the new year there is much to do. January we will be picking up the Senior Box Program, which will run the same day as our Food Pantry. This is another way for us to serve our community and help those in need.

   Please consider joining in and helping with this new program. As we move into 2019, may God guide us in ways to spread His word and share His love with those in our mission field.

   Next month, in February, our church will be meeting in General Conference to consider the report of the Way Forward Committee. Please remember the delegates to the conference in your prayers as they consider which way God wants our church to go. During this time, it is important to keep the main thing, the main thing. As a church our main thing is to continue to work in God’s world with his people for the transformation of the world. The message of Jesus to love one another is ours to share, let us focus on that. If you are worried about the decision, I have this advice that was recently passed on to me. Take a deep breath and know the God is king.

Pastor Bill

More from Pastor Bill

Bible Study Update

On the 16th of this month our Bible study will resume. We are on Chapter 4, “Turn Your Life Around with Grace,” in our 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.
Pastor Bill

Reading Buddies

On the 22nd the Reading Buddies go back into action. We will be meeting with students in 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 meet with them on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We are always looking for more people to come and join us. 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 in taking part please contact either the church office or Pastor Bill to find out how to become part of our group.

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



Men’s Breakfast

scrambled and bacon

December was a good month for the men. We had a total of twenty-six attending; seven of those being church members with nineteen guests. The next breakfast will be February 5, 2019. We will see you there,

Danny Lancaster

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

Thank You!


We are on break. Yea!

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.


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.

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.

food basket

Our first Senior Box distribution will be January 17, 2019, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., bringing around 60 new clients to our church that day!  Since it runs at the same time as our usual distribution, we anticipate serving 115+ clients.   That’s double our usual number!  We have excellent help as we begin this new program—East Texas Food Bank administrators, Charles Parkes and Michelle Rodriquez, will be with us for the next several months during distribution, providing training and assistance. 

With 60 additional vehicles moving in and around the church, the safety of our clients is a major factor.  If you want to be one of the volunteers who watches the flow of traffic and assists clients (as they walk across the street, enter and exit the church, and drive their vehicles to the back of the church), please call or text Betty Harris (903 573-3416).  

We are so blessed to be able to expand our Pantry by providing food (at no cost to the church) to this additional group of clients!  Please pray for us each month for a smooth and safe distribution process.

Betty Harris

Shepherd’s Harvest Senior Box Program Fun Facts!

  • Food is provided through a government grant from East TX Food Bank, Tyler
  • Free of charge to our church
  • Must be 60 years or older to participate
  • Must meet certain income eligibility requirements
  • Proof of age and income are required
  • Will receive canned and boxed foods, block of cheese, dried milk, produce
  • Our Pantry will receive food for 75 Sr. Box clients each month
  • ETFB provides the list of the 75 qualified clients, along with a waiting list of other qualified clients
  • Waiting list clients receive the food of absent clients who are on the list of 75
  • If there are no absent members, waiting list clients receive a smaller box of canned & dry food, and produce, as available
  • Clients are usually on the waiting list for 6 months or so before moving up to list of 75
  • New clients at our Pantry can sign up for Sr Box during distribution time (3rd Thursday of month, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.)
  • New clients signed up by our Pantry will go on the waiting list
  • All Sr Box clients must re-certify every six months
  • Clients who meet requirements of our current Pantry program and new Sr Box can receive both distributions.
  • Food for both programs (Pantry and Sr Box) will be delivered by ETFB the morning of distribution
  • Talk to Sheila McCain, Betty Harris, Robyn Shelton for more information or to volunteer


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 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 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

Gift of Love School Supply Drive

Once again to help both the students and teachers in our local elementary we will be holding a school supply drive to help get the second semester off to a good start. We will be collecting through the month of January and delivering the gift around Valentine’s Day. We have asked the school for a list of needed supplies and should be getting that list soon. When we get the list, it will be published in the Sunday bulletin. You can then either purchase an item from the list to place in one of the boxes at the back of the church or you can contribute money that will be used to purchase the needed supplies.

Pastor Bill

Mustard Seeds

Our Next meeting is scheduled for the 25th of January at 6 p.m. This is our group for elementary age children. The plans are to have pizza and a movie at this meeting and to make plans for future meetings. Come join the fun and fellowship.

Pastor Bill

Children’s Department

Carly Tower,

Children’s Coordinator

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.


Nadine’s Outreach received over $1000.00 in donations for Christmas decorations and figurines. It was a very successful project. We hope to collect enough money to have the hardwood floors refinished. We also need to have the windows and doors caulked.

Billy and Cathy Zachry have put in many hours work repairing and securing windows and doors. Also, wrapping figurines and ornaments for storage.

Cliff McCain installed the chimney with a metal cover that was built by Billy Zachry.

Thanks everyone for your contributions to Nadine’s Outreach and to our church members for your help!!  We are getting closer to opening her up for community service.

Thank you

Greta Wright

Administrative Council Chairman

I would like to start out by thanking all of the following individuals for accepting their role on the administrative council for 2019:  Cathy Zachry, Nita Clark, Betty Harris, Rod Wright, Greta Wright, Carly Tower, Synthia Parker, Shelli Fickling, and Pastor Bill.  It takes all of us to keep our church going, and for your help, I am grateful.  

Our first council meeting of 2019 will be on Sunday, January 27 immediately after church.  If possible, all members should do their best to attend.  

Any topics, ideas, or issues that need to be addressed or voted on in this meeting need to be given to Deb in the church office no later than January 23 so that she can populate an agenda for the meeting. If anyone needs to talk to me anytime throughout the year, please do not hesitate to contact me.

– Cody McCain, Administrative Council Chairman



Every Sunday, our congregation participates in “Passing the Peace” as part of worship service.  Some church members exchange the traditional words, “The peace of Christ be with you”. Others respond, “And also with you.” 

Others use the time to welcome guests or share news and needs:

“So glad you are worshipping with us! Can you stay for the soup lunch?”

“Susan’s knee replacement went well”

“My cousin has lost his job and is struggling to pay bills”

“A young man was seriously injured in a rollover north of town.”

Later in the service, the whole congregation prays for these and other joys and concerns.  After church, those prayers set in motion plans for follow-up to help people with their needs.  In many ways we continue to pass the peace after worship.

 …We remember the angel’s words to the shepherds: “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace” (Luke 2:14).  We remember that when Jesus appeared to the puzzled and terrified disciples after His crucifixion and resurrection, He said, “Peace be with you” (John 20:21).

 We embrace Jesus’ call for us to share His peace with others.

 Prayer: Lord, may we seek and share Your peace…. always.

Penny Schwab from Copeland, Kansas, is a Christian contributing writer to Daily Guideposts.

Submitted by Nita Clark

Diaper Bank News

The diaper bank is thriving, as we are giving to more and more parents and guardians. Please remember that we always need diaper and wipe donations.

Lisa Moreland

District Training Event

Every year our district gathers to learn and grow from one another’s experiences and to work together to equip the saints for the work of the church. Our District Leadership Team has compiled an exciting & diverse set of workshops that we hope will enrich our ministries throughout the north district and continue to build up the body of Christ.

I write to you today to share about our upcoming 2019 district training event, and to ask for your help.  Attached you will find the brochure for the district training on Saturday, January 26 at First United Methodist Church in Marshall with all of the workshops listed (25 in all).  Our District Leadership Team has put together a great event, with some outstanding leaders from around our conference and district and beyond, sharing ideas and info from their areas of expertise.  As your DS, I make you this promise:  if you will encourage your people to come and take part, I promise they will come away with some very helpful, very practical ideas that they can implement in your church and mission field to strengthen your church’s mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ!  This will be an amazing day of worship, prayer, fellowship, and learning together that you and your people don’t want to miss.

I want to say again what an honor it is to serve our Lord together with all of you, and how thankful I am for your leadership! 

Yours in Christ,


Rev. Jill Daniel

Rev. Jill Daniel is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church since 2000. She was appointed on July 1st to serve the churches of the Texas Annual Conference as the Director of We Love All God’s Children, an initiative of Bishop Scott Jones, We Love All God’s Children seeks to equip United Methodist Churches in the areas of children’s discipleship, early childhood literacy and health.  Jill’s background includes service to the National Head Start Association as a workshop speaker throughout the United States, charged with opening numerous Head Start Centers in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana, published developmentally appropriate curriculum for the program; in addition, she and her husband owned and operated Atlanta Child Development Center in their hometown of Atlanta, Texas. Jill has served Trinity United Methodist Church in Beaumont where she oversaw the Christian Education and Weekday Ministries of the church as well other congregations in the North District. 

MARSHALL FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH                                                                                             300 Houston St, Marshall, TX 75670                                                 January 26, 2019                                                             

Workshop Schedule                                                                   9:30 am registration Fee: $10 includes lunch in the Christian Life Center (CLC)

Sign up for workshops                                                                          10:00 am Worship

In the CLC  with Rev. Jill Daniel, Director, Texas Conference

We Love All God’s Children Initiative 

11:00 am Workshops

12:15 PM Lunch                          \

1:15 PM Workshops            

Enter at the doors in the circle drive on Houston St.