MAY 2019


First United Methodist Church

Hughes Springs, Texas

Volume 35
Pastor Bill Laubenberg
May 2019
Editor Debbie Kelley

New Beginnings

This time of year, is a time of new beginnings for many of the children of God as they bid goodbye to what they have known and get ready to step forward into something new.

For some it is time to say goodbye to kindergarten and move on to that strange world of 1st grade. Some will be saying goodbye to Elementary and looking ahead to Jr. High. They have been the top of the ladder, now they will face a new ladder. So too will those who will move from Jr. High to Senior High. They face a new school with different challenges and changes. For those saying goodbye to high school, it is time to take one of two big steps. Either they go to face the strange world of college or they move on to the world of career and work. Let us not forget those who went to college and now face the transition from the world of education to the rest of their lives. To all those facing the changes, congratulations on your accomplishments.

You have worked hard to get where you are. Stop and enjoy. You deserve it.

As we rejoice with these young people, we remember their journey and the changes and challenges they had along the way.

May God be with you as you move forward on the pathway of life. Where ever you are and where ever you go, our prayers and God’s love go with you.

As we think about these young people and their new beginnings, we are reminded of a new beginning we have all experienced not that long ago, the news of Easter. This message of God’s love brings change and new opportunities into our lives every day.

We start each day with a new chance, knowing that through the Love of God shown to us in the person of Jesus the Christ we get the chance to start anew with our sins and our past mistakes washed away. May we go into each new day confident that the Love of God will go with us, that the Spirit of God will guide us, and that through Jesus actions on the cross, a new life is waiting for us. Filled with new possibilities to go forth as the people of God.

Pastor Bill

More from Pastor Bill

Bible Study Update

This month we are starting a brand-new Bible study. No book to buy for this study, instead the only book we will use is the word of God.

Together we will walk through the Letter to the Romans. As usual, we will be having the study at both 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Come to the study time that fits your schedule and your life. Join us as we examine this special book of the Bible.

Looking Ahead

Coming soon to our church and our community, a Grief-share ministry based in our church. This is a biblically based grief support group that you can have a part in bringing to life. For those who feel called to take part as facilitators, keep your eyes open for training that will be coming your way soon. We will also be needing people to take part in the refreshment portion of this ministry, bringing gifts of love to share. The communication group will serve to spread the word of this ministry to our community as well as keeping members of the group aware of any changes that might come about. If you are interested in taking part, please contact Pastor Bill or the secretary’s office.

80th Anniversary Homecoming

On Sunday, October 13, 2019, First United Methodist Church will celebrate 80 years in this sanctuary.  Bishop Scott Jones was invited to be the guest speaker for this special event, but had to decline because of a previous commitment.  However, he will be addressing the congregation via a video message.

There is need for volunteers to prepare for this special event – 80th Anniversary Homecoming.  Also needed are photos, documents, letters, scrapbooks, old pictorial directories and anything in the way of memorabilia to have on display. Include information on the additions and remodeling of any part of the building through-out the years.  Anything offered to be exhibited will be returned after the celebration. 

Make sure the church office has an address or other means of contact for any former members that you feel should receive an invitation. This includes past district superintendents, the families of former pastors, former administrative assistants, nursery workers, any inactive members, nursing home residents, and all persons who have had a connection of any kind to this church.

There will be a covered dish meal and time of fellowship, nostalgia and sharing of memories following the worship service. 

Make arrangements for your extended families to also participate.  Also, make plans to have your and/or your family’s picture made later this month for the new pictorial directory.  Among other reasons, we would like to have it for this and any future celebrations of life at First United Methodist Church, Hughes Springs, Texas.

Nita Clark

Men’s Breakfast

scrambled and bacon

May was a good month for the men. We had a total of fifteen attending on a very rainy morning. Among those attending were seven of our church family and eight guests.

Dave Avis gave an uplifting devotional. The next breakfast will be June 4, 2019. We will see you there!

Danny Lancaster

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

Thank You!

Danny and Kathy,

I want to thank you for taking care of cleaning the church for me while I had my surgery. I would also like to thank the church for giving me time off to recover.

I appreciate your support and care.

Jeannie Stephens

A Special Thank You

Reading Buddies has drawn to a close for this school year. I want to take this opportunity to thank those who gave of their time to help God’s children. The program was well received by the school and by the youngsters who we read to and with. Congratulations on a job well done.

Pastor Bill


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.


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


Mustard Seeds

Children’s Moments: 

We have filled the need through July, thanks to wonderful volunteers.    That still leaves us quite a bit short for the year.

Pray about it and listen closely to see if God is placing it on your heart to fill in one of these months.

Either sign up on the sheet in the hallway or contact Debbie in the church’s office.

Children’s Department

Carly Tower,


Interested Women of the Church

On Tuesday, May 6, the IWC prepared and served a taco lunch to the NTCC Wesley Foundation.

The entire IWC worked to prepare the meal and Robyn Shelton, Karen Carroll and Pastor Bill delivered and served the members.

Thank you to all who worked for this mission.

Church Family Directory

Directory pictures will be taken on Monday, May 13 and Tuesday, May 14 from 2-9pm. Please sign up for a time on the website.

Go to our church website and click the large yellow button in the center of the first page.

It will take you to the Lifetouch website. There you will be able to sign up for a time open that is best for you.

There will be a sign up after church on Sunday.  This is the last day for an in person sign up.  If you miss it and want to sign up before pictures are taken and you miss being in the directory, go to our church website and follow the link on the front page. Please make sure we can see your smile in the church directory for years to come.

Administrative Council Chairman

The year is quickly flying by, and we have had a lot going on within the church.  Everyone please join us in keeping the lines of communication open so that everyone can stay informed of what all is going on.  This newsletter is a good way of doing this.  It allows each committee and group to tell us what they have accomplished in the recent month(s) and what they have planned in the near future.  I have not done the best at this over the last couple of months.  I apologize for that.  

We are taking directory pictures this month, and I am looking forward to seeing our new directory come together.  Thank you everyone that has signed up to have their families picture taken.  We have had better participation this go-around, and I appreciate that!

We will also be celebrating the 80th anniversary of our church this upcoming fall!  That is exciting!  Our church has been part of the Hughes Springs community for 80 years…wow!  It will be exciting to look back at how things have changed over the years.  If you would like to be a part of planning this celebration, please let myself or Pastor Bill know. You may also contact the church office.  

If anyone has any suggestions or ideas of better ways we can reach out and bring the love of God to more people, please let us know!  We are always open to input and new ideas.  May the Lord bless you and yours!

– Cody McCain, Administrative Council Chairman


We had a busy April.  We served 45 clients at Shepherd’s Harvest Pantry and 76 at the Senior Box distribution.  Many thanks to all the volunteers that work on distribution day and behind the scenes to allow us to serve people in need. We had a fantastic volunteer turnout this month.  We had many volunteers from Cornett that helped plus thanks to Robyn’s recruiting efforts, we also had 7 students from the high school helping.   With summer right around the corner there will vacations, grandparent duties, etc. that will reduce our volunteer numbers. So, we will continue to need volunteers to fill in. 

We also continue to have a great turn out for the diaper bank.  Lisa with help, continues this great community service project every month.  

We again hosted a spaghetti luncheon for the carnival workers during the WildFlower Trails Festival.  Many thanks to the IWC. They out did themselves providing the beautiful table set up, spaghetti, desserts and help.  The workers are always so grateful, they love that IWC cooking!

I want to thank the volunteers that worked so heartfelt on our float in the Wildflower parade.  What a Joy! Go to our Facebook page, there should be some pictures of volunteers in action!

Submitted by Marsha Bryan Edson

Diaper Bank News

Remember the diaper bank is on the first Saturday of each month.

The diaper bank is always in need of more diapers and wipes.

Lisa Moreland