December 2016


First United Methodist Church

Hughes Springs, Texas

Volume 12 December 2016

from the pastor

The reason for the

The time has come to get ready for Christmas. There are trees to get up, lights to be strung, and presents to find. It is truly a busy and joyous time of year. There are lists to prepare, people to see, cookies and cakes to bake, and Christmas specials to watch.

Amid all this it is important to remember the true reason for the season. It is not a jolly old fat man bringing toys to girls and boys. It is not a talking snow man. The reason for the season is a baby born in a stable and laid in a manger. The Christ child come into the world to bring the greatest gift we can receive; the gift of God’s love, the forgiveness of our sins, peace, hope and a new relationship with God. So much for a little baby to do for us. Let us join the shepherds in worshiping the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace. This is the gift of God given to all so long ago in Bethlehem and celebrated each year. A story that never grows old. A gift that does not break, nor will we ever grow out of.

I hope that the stores have forgotten the politically correct Happy Holidays and have remembered to say Merry Christmas this year. I have not looked at the sales circulars yet or been in the stores yet. I try to avoid Black Friday as much as I can. It seems strange that as we start toward Christmas, a time of peace on earth and good will to all, we begin the celebration by people pushing, shoving, and fighting to get those great deals. Here is a great deal for you, “While we were yet sinners, God send his Son into the world to save us all.” No money down needed, no easy payment plan, just a free gift from God.

So, as you hurry to get your preparations finished, don’t forget to keep the Christ in Christmas. I will help make the season brighter and our lives better.

God’s grace be with you,
Pastor Bill Laubenberg


Men’s Breakfast

scrambled and bacon

November 1, 2016, 25 guests plus all the cooks enjoyed a delicious hot breakfast and fellowship, The message was brought by Reed Pearson who s associated with hospice.

We meet again on December 6, 2016 at 6:30 AM. Looking forward to seeing you there and bring a friend or two with you. You will receive a blessing.

The speaker will be Rev. Dave Avis.

Larry Cannon

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

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.

bible study

We have finished our study titled, “The five Marks of a Methodist.” It was a very good study with many good lessons for us.

It has been decided to take the month of December off, it can get kind of busy you know, and then start our new study in January. It will be on the Gospel of Matthew. This is fitting as the lectionary texts for the coming year will be coming from Matthew.

Start up will be Wednesday, January 11. Groups will meet at both 10 AM and 6 PM. Come Join in the fun of studying the Bible.

Pastor Bill

food basket

“Serve the Lord with gladness…” (Psalm 100:2) “Enter His gates with thanksgiving… Give thanks to Him… (Psalm 100:4)

 The time of year we celebrate thankfulness, we know our thanks are directed to the Lord. In November the Mobile Food Pantry had an opportunity to serve the Lord and our community. We served 70 clients during November’s distribution day making it one of our busiest months in 2016. We thank the Lord for the opportunity to serve and for His many blessings

 Lyn Baker


Thank you for your generosity, so far, we have gathered around $750.00 to send to Northern Cheyenne tribe, where Scarlett Day – Aleman works, to help make sure that young people have something to eat. There are just a few days left, if you would like to contribute, December 4 is the cut- off day. Please have donations in to the secretary’s’ office by then.

 Pastor Bill


Please come and join in the hymn singing, the scripture reading, the communion, and the candle lighting. It will be a celebration of the Christ Child and his birth. Come and join in the celebration. The service will be at 6:00 PM on Dec. 24th.

Pastor Bill


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


The youth will be shopping for their Santa’s Secrets kids this Sunday to help bring Christmas cheer and God’s love to those who are less fortunate.

We will be completing an advent lesson series with student-led lessons, as well as, leader – led lessons.

The youth will not meet on December 29, however will continue on schedule on January 12.

Lisa Moreland



I do not have any new and exciting updates related to our technical endeavors here at FUMC (as I have not had a lot of free time to get anymore accomplished), but I do want everyone to listen for some new sounds coming out of our steeple at noon everyday during this holiday season.  I think this will be a blessing to our community.

I would also like to thank my church family for showing me your gratitude for the things that I do for our church.  That gift is much appreciated; however, I do not do the things that I do in hopes for any type of recognition.  That is how I give to the church, with my time and talent.  But once again, I want to thank you for this generous gift.

If anyone has any input or suggestions, please come and talk to me.


The Chancel Choir of

First United Methodist Church

Under the encouragement and leadership of Pastor Bill, the congregation of FUMC is being blessed by some dedicated souls who are using their hearts and love of the Lord to give us the gift of music. These 25 hard-working dedicated people are using their precious resources of time during an already very hectic period of the year, just to praise Him Whom we are celebrating.

Do not miss the Christmas program “Come Let Us Adore” that will be presented during the morning worship service on Sunday, December 18th.

These people are practicing every Saturday and Sunday while everyone else is shopping, relaxing, partying or whatever, and you will not be disappointed as you enjoy the fruit of their labor. Trust me!

And on an even brighter note — they want to continue with this musical ministry on into the future, so look forward to hearing the Chancel Choir of First United Methodist every Sunday as they “Sing Unto the Lord a New Song” (and some old favorites, too)

Scripture Readings for December

December 4

Isaiah 11: 1 – 10
Psalm 72: 1 – 7. 18 – 19
Romans 15: 4 – 13
Matthew 3: 1 – 12

December 11

Isaiah 35: 1 – 10
Luke 1: 47 – 55
James 5: 7 – 10
Matthew 11: 2 – 11

December 18

Isaiah 7: 10 – 16
Psalm 80: 1 – 7, 17 – 19
Romans 1: 1 – 7
Matthew 1: 18 – 25

December 25

Isaiah 52: 7 – 10
Psalm 98
Hebrews 1: 1 – 4
John 1: 1 – 4