March 2016


First United Methodist Church

Hughes Springs, Texas

Volume 3 March 2016

from the pastor

I am on the district committee on ministry; Monday and Tuesday of this week we have been interviewing local pastors and candidates for ministry. They have to be re-approved each year. Local pastors typically are not seminary graduates but attend classes provided by the church to provide some theological education and training for ministry. They serve the smallest churches in the district, often serving more than one church at a time.

I am the mentor for a young local pastor in another district who serves 3 churches every Sunday morning which are spread over 26 miles and even further from where he actually lives. One of the women we interviewed lives between Kilgore and Gladewater and has been serving a small church in Jefferson and another in Ore City for 15 years. It is over an hour drive for her to either church.

Local pastors do not usually get paid very much, they have no guaranty of getting an appointment, most will never be ordained, but they are pastors because they love the Lord and his church and they feel called to this ministry. It was inspiring to hear their stories and to hear of their love for their churches.

This morning as I am writing this at the parsonage, workers are at the church moving the electric service connections to the fellowship hall and preparing to put a new drive under canopy in the rear. Soon we should have a canopy where people and things can be dropped off to avoid rain or harsh weather. This will also be a convenience for those quick trips and drop offs during the week.

Also during recent weeks the Church Council has approved some changes to the sound and projection system in the church. One pew will be removed at the back of the church and a new area will be created for the sound board, computer projection system and sound assist.

This will be advantageous for several reasons. Cody cannot hear the sound from his present location and this will allow him to be in the room so that he can actually hear the sound that he is controlling. We also are getting a new computer and new presentation software that will enhance the visuals that we can project and also control an electronic carillon so we can play chimes or bells from the church tower. There was just not room for this in the little space that Cody has been working from. We will also be able to lock everything up in the new work area.

You may have noticed Cody working from the front of the church in recent weeks. This was necessary because the church lap top that was being used for power points conked out and he is using his own laptop which cannot be used at the back for technical reasons which Cody explained to me and I pretended to understand. He has also been preparing the visuals in order to learn the new presentation software that was acquired with the new computer.

Cody and Troy have recently installed new speakers in the church tower for the electronic bells. This saved the church about $500 from what was quoted to us for installing them.

Last but not least, a new adult Sunday school class was started last Sunday. The class is meeting in the chapel area which is in the hallway between the fellowship hall and the sanctuary and across from the pastor’s study. The class is being led by Tara Day-Aleman and is using a resource called “The Wired Word” for its discussion. I really like these materials and am excited about the class. There is already a great group making up this class, and you could make it even greater. If you are not now part of a Sunday school class, please consider giving this one a try. I think you will like it.



Thank You with purple flowers

Richard and I would like to say thank you to our wonderful church family. Thank you for your prayers, calls, and visits during the loss of our sister, Reba. Also, thank you for the time Richard was in the hospital with pneumonia.
We love you all
Richard and Joyce Black



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.

hands n church

Did you miss someone at church this month?

Give them a call.

food basket


In the month of December we had 10 new clients register for the mobile food pantry, serving a total of 65 families. Our volunteers continue to work diligently with the distribution process making our project successful.  Please encourage anyone you know who has a need to join us on January 21, for our next distribution.



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.

Scriptures for the month of March

March 6

Joshua 5: 9 – 12
Psalm 32
2 Corinthians 5: 16 – 21
Luke 15: 1 – 3, 11b – 32

March 13

Isaiah 43: 16 – 21
Psalm 126
Philippians 3: 4b – 14
John 12: 1 – 8

March 20

Luke 19: 28 – 40
Psalm 118: 1 – 2, 19 – 29

March 27

Acts 10: 34 – 43
Psalm 118: 1 – 2, 14 – 24
1 Corinthians 15: 19 – 26
John 20: 1 – 18 or
Luke 24: 1 – 12