August 2017


First United Methodist Church

Hughes Springs, Texas

Volume 17
Pastor Bill Laubenberg
August 2017
Editor Debbie Kelley

from the pastor

School time rolls around

The Bible tells us that to everything there is a season. For children, this is a time of mourning as the freedom of summer is coming to an end and school is about to start. For parents, it’s time to get in that one last vacation trip before the kids head back to school. In some households, there can be heard sounds of rejoicing as mothers celebrate getting their days back. It is also a time to start seeing our corndoggers coming back to town. It will be good to see you again.

Our school’s athletic programs are starting up, the marching bands are practicing for their shows, the starz are practicing, the cheerleaders are getting ready to lead the fans in shouting. During this time, I hope we are all getting ready to support our young people in their activities.

At church, it is time to get things up and going again as well. Not too much longer and the choir will start focusing on Christmas music. Different groups will start up again. Our youth will start up their meetings. There should be a lot of activity starting. Come and be part of the fun.

I am considering starting a prayer warriors group here at the church. This would be a group that will gather

regularly and pray for our church, our community, and the world around us. If you would be interested in taking part, let me know. A time and day have not been set yet, that will depend of the members of the group.

We may have an organizational meeting after church in a few Sundays.

Our Abide group has started its year long journey in examining the church and our mission field around us to discover ways to reach out and revitalize our fellowship here at the church. We have just about finished our study of Autopsy of a Deceased Church. It has been a good book and I would encourage everyone to get a copy and read it.

Next steps will include a video meeting with our coach and an upcoming 2-day retreat to help us get started and focused. We have a good group gathering, but there is always room for more if you would like to join in.

If you have any ideas for groups you would like to see started, please let me know.

May God bless you this and every day.

Pastor Bill Laubenberg

Men’s Breakfast

scrambled and bacon

The first Tuesday of each month, please join the men for great fellowship, devotion and some good eggs at the

Bring a friend with you at 6:30 AM.

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



Choir practice has resumed.  Come join the camaraderie and the fun. Rest assured, you do not have to “be a singer” to be in the choir.  All you need is a desire to worship, praise and serve.

The choir is currently working on something special for the worship service on August 27th.  The worship committee has declared this day as COOKIE SUNDAY, and the choir will be adding to the fun and frivolity during the worship service.

The worship committee has also declared Sunday, August 13th as LEMONADE SUNDAY. So be prepared for both days.

Submitted by the music director, Nita Clark

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.

Looking Ahead

The North District Conference is coming up on August 12th. It will start at 10 am and will be taking place at Pittsburg First United Methodist Church. Come find out what is happening in the district.

Vision Day Workshop will be September 30 at Longview First United Methodist Church from 9:30 am until 3:30 p.m. Come look at new ideas in ministry. The cost is $25 before September 15th and $30 after the 15th. There is a poster about this on the bulletin board outside the pastor’s office.

Big Church Night Out fall tour

is happening Thursday November 30th starting at 7 p.m. at Shreveport Municipal Auditorium. We are trying to get a group together from the church. The cost is $25, but if we can get 12 people together the cost will go down. There is a signup sheet outside the pastor’s office. Let’s get our tickets before they are all gone. Artists performing are listed on the signup sheet.


food basket

Shepherd’s Harvest Food Pantry is open 2:00 – 4:00

The 3rd Thursday of each month.






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


Our new young people’s youth group has been having fun this summer. As we face the end of summer vacation, we have a few more weeks before we will start to settle into school year mode.

The first week we will have a Bible study/Arts and crafts week and on the Second week of the month Movie night/Parent’s night off will be happening. The next week will be cook-out time with a hot dog roast and smores. The group is open to all elementary age youth in the church and friends are more than welcome. Come join the fun.

Bible Studies

The trip through Psalms has reached its halfway point. This week and next, we will be looking at where we want to go next. Meetings are still at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and of course they are open to all members of the congregation. Come, explore the Bible with us.

Pastor Bill Laubenberg

Autopsy of a Deceased Church

If you haven’t had a chance to pick up this book from Deb or Pastor Bill, I highly recommend it!  It’s a small, short “easy to read, hard to put down” type of book.  The author dissects several churches who actually “died” — closed the doors and went out of business!  He interviewed their members to discover why this happened, and how it might have been avoided. Some of the reasons given were almost humorous, if they weren’t so sad.

Pastor Bill’s 4-week study of the book was fun and enlightening! We compared our church to those who died.  We have SO much going for us, particularly in community outreach.  Our congregation is loving and caring.  To carry out our Lord’s Great Commission (Spreading the Word and the Love of God), we need new, exciting ways of serving our church family and community.   Here’s my thought–if each member commits to praying each day specifically for our Church and looks purposefully for ways to contribute, we will have an unprecedented time of growth and great blessing!

Submitted by: Betty Harris


Thanks, and Gratitude

I want to thank all the ladies that came out to help set up, serve and clean up for the lunch on Sunday.  The ladies did an excellent job as usual.  They make it look so easy and always have smiles on their faces. You ladies are certainly appreciated.

I also want to comment on the wonderful food that was brought. I found some dishes that I would love to have the recipe for.  Hopefully, I can track those dishes down to make for Kelly and Daddy.

Thank you to everyone who stayed after church for the lunch and the wonderful fellowship. Looking forward to the next one!

Debbie Kelley


Scripture Readings for August

August 6

Genesis 32: 22 – 31
Romans: 9: 1 – 5
Matthew 14: 13 – 21

August 13

Genesis 37: 1 – 4, 12 – 28
Romans 10: 5 – 15
Matthew 14: 22 – 33

August 20

Genesis 45: 1 – 15
Romans 11: 1 – 2a, 29 – 32
Matthew 15: (10 – 20) 21 – 28

August 27

Exodus 1: 8 – 2: 10
Romans 12: 1 – 8
Matthew 16: 13 – 20