November 2016


First United Methodist Church

Hughes Springs, Texas

Volume 11 November 2016

from the pastor

Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is good

The days are going closer to my favorite most forgotten holiday, Thanksgiving. The time all turkeys dread and belt buckles fear happens this month. Let us remember to give thanks.

The first Thanksgiving was held at the end of the Pilgrim’s first harvest season in the new land. If you look at some modern-day history texts, they will tell you that it was in thanks for the Indians having helped them. WHAT? There are times I get upset with those who want to rewrite history to fit their agenda. Are they forgetting who the Pilgrims were and why they came to this land? They were pious Christians who came to this land to be able to worship God without fear of persecution. Why would these people forget God at an important time in their lives? The answer is that they would not! The first thanksgiving was a time they were thanking God for bringing them safely to the new land and for helping them through the first harvest. The Indians were invited to share in the celebration of thanks to God.

Let us follow the true meaning of Thanksgiving and remember to give thanks to God for all we have received in the past year. It seems that often we are much better at asking God for things than we are in remembering where they come from after they arrive and saying thanks.

In the next season, there is a lot of talk about lists. You remember Santa? This is also a good time to make a list of all the good things God has given us. My list would include family, friends both old and new, a place to preach His word, a quick sale on my house in Katy, a new home, health, and the gift of grace. What would you put on your list? Remember to give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good.

God’s grace be with you,
Pastor Bill Laubenberg

college bound college babies

Care Packages Away!

This week the care packages were sent to our five college students. Hopefully, they will remind them that their church still cares about them, though they are not here. A second care package will be sent during the second semester.

Pastor Bill

Men’s Breakfast

scrambled and baconMen’s Breakfast met on October 4, 2016. There were (24) twenty – four men and the cooks who enjoyed a

great meal. We also enjoyed hearing Dr. Brockway deliver a great devotion.

Come join us on November 1, 2016 at 6:30 am at First United Methodist Church and enjoy a good meal and hear Reed Pearson speak.

Larry Cannon

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



The hospitality committee gave several loaves of bread to visitors. All the bread was made and donated by Ms. Mary Wallace.

At the request of the Trustees, the hospitality committee secured and placed four large planter pots with beautiful flowers in them at the entrance of the awning to the pavilion. The objective is to prevent parking under the awning. With the increased amount of activities that are being planned for that spot, the trustees would like to keep it free from oil spots from leaking cars.

The hospitality committee wishes everyone a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving.

Greta Wright
Hospitality Chair

The hospitality committee, Greta Wright, chair and Patsy Lancaster, co chair ask if you are missing someone in church, please contact one of them to let them know who you are missing.

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

One study finished and many more to go. We have completed Heroes of the Faith and moved on to Five Marks of a Methodist. If you would like to join in on the chance to learn more about the Bible and our faith, you are welcome to join us. We meet at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Pastor Bill

food basket

In spite of a rainy start for October’s distribution day, we served 64 clients and enrolled eight new participants. As always, our volunteers were helpful and compassionate to those we serve.

Ed and Betty Harris arrived early this month and had things set up by 8:00 am. A local Girl Scout chapter donated several shipping boxes of Girl Scout cookies, which we were able to distribute as an extra treat to our clients.

This month the East TX Food Bank provided sweet potatoes as our produce. We were amazed at the large quantity we were given plus the incredible size of some of the potatoes.

To top off our successful day, Mary Wallace treated volunteers to her famous pound cake – always a church favorite!

Lyn Baker


The Mission committee is hard at work on Christmas. They ask for donations for the project.  Please clearly mark your donations “Christmas Mission”

The deadline will be the first Sunday in December, 12-4-2016.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Lyn Baker

Missions Chair


The month of October is just about ending and the Interested Women of the Church have been hard at work! We had our monthly meeting on October 4th to discuss everything going on in the month!

After our meeting we started getting stuff out of the storage building set up for the annual Treasure Trails GARAGE SALE! We set-up Tuesday and Wednesday and were open Thursday, Friday and Saturday! We had a decent sale but not what we were expecting! Not sure what we are putting money toward in the church at this time but we will discuss it at our Nov 1st meeting in a couple of weeks! And, anyone is invited to come join IWC! The more ladies we have join us the more things we can get accomplished!
After, putting away GARAGE SALE goodies we served lunch to Mary Joyce Welch’s family on Tuesday! We had a wide spread of food and were very thankful for all of it! On Thursday we served Virginia Taylor’s family from the loss of a son-in-law! Another great turn out of food!! We were all tired during those two weeks but did what was needed and very grateful we were able to!
For the end of this month we are having our 5th Sunday luncheon on October 30th!! It will be great also!!
Now, to see what’s in store for the month of November from IWC!!

Shelli Fickling



Reverend Chuck Huffman has been appointed our District Superintendent.  As your lay leader, it was my honor to attend a district meeting along with our Pastor Bill Laubenberg.  Rev. Huffman offered a very genuine and Spirit filled message, conducted the business of the conference, then called for each church to present brief State of the Church remarks.  What a joy to hear the missional work of God going on in each one.  At the direction of our Church Council, it was my joy to talk about the Food Bank Ministry of our church and Cornett, in conjunction with the Texas Food Bank, as our highlight ministry of 2016, and emphasis on an enhanced music ministry program for our church in 2017.  Additionally, I submitted a written State of the Church report, as requested by our superintendent, so that he could become aware of how our church is making a real difference, loving and serving Jesus by loving and serving others.

 Cathey Lannerd


Advent is approaching quickly. Hanging of the Green Service will be Nov. 27 at 6:00 pm. We will be asking for volunteers to read during Hanging of the Green and the lighting of the Advent. If you would like to volunteer contact Debbie in the church office.

A temporary worship chair has been chosen from the existing members. Nita Clark will fill the position to the end of the year.


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

Confirmation Organization

Confirmation is a young person’s time to study their faith and make their commitment to God. One class has been started and others will arise as the need is made known. If you would like further information, contact Pastor Bill or the church office.
Pastor Bill

happy and you know it

I am happy to have a ‘full calendar’. Full calendars show increase in activity. Increased activity leads to growth.

Thank you for sending reports from all committees so the activities can go in the newsletter and on the website.

I am also happy that we have a website to be able to share information with the public.

What are you happy about?  Send me an email and let me know what you are happy about. You may see it in next month’s newsletter.

Debbie Kelley

if you happy

What are you happy about? Send me an email and let me know what you are happy about. You may see it in next month’s newsletter.

Debbie Kelley

The youth are meeting every Thursday at 6 PM with around eight youth in attendance, but there are youth church members that we would love to see there.

Sandra and I began a lesson series: Being a Romans 12 Christian, and the youth are finishing up the series with student-led lessons from Celiz, Treston and Carson.

Thursday, October 20, Scarlet Day-Aleman joined us to talk with the youth about mission work, Youthworks and Americorps.

Lisa Moreland


Very little has changed with our new audio visual station since the last newsletter.  There are still a few touches that remain to be done on the A/V desk.  Bruce Laigle so generously donated his time and labor to do the work for us, but his schedule is so busy right now.  Pro bono work is a gift that sometimes requires waiting patiently, so we’ll just gratefully wait.

Since the weather is cooling down, Troy Perry, Hollywood, and I will soon get the final wiring ran into the attic to power the rear projector.  We have been waiting on it to cool off as it is too hot in the attic during the summer months…

The old sound desk in the foyer will also soon be removed, and that area will be turned into a “Crying Room” for parents to take children that may get a little too noisy to remain in the sanctuary during services.

Another project on my to-do list is to add an accessible volume control knob in the fellowship hall so that the speaker mounted up high on the wall can be turned up/down as needed.

We still have a lot in-the-works, but a busy personal schedule has made the progress slow…

Thanks for your patience and understanding.




If you have any suggestions that you would like the trustees to look into, please contact one of the trustees. Currently and through December the trustees are:

Billy Wayne, chair, Troy Perry, co-chair, Billy Zachry, Larry Cannon, Juan Aleman, Ben Boyd, Robyn Shelton, Cody McCain and Cliff McCain.

 The trustees work together well as a group. With a property this size, there is always something to do.  If you can, give a trustee a thank you.

Billy Wayne McKinney



In case you didn’t hear, Nita is doing fantastic with the choir. The Christmas music she ordered has a CD track also. We will each get a CD and a book. Our practice will be right after church on Sunday. We have a very good group. Also, Amy and Dianna have very nice voices so they are a welcome addition.

We did our first special Sunday, with only 20 minutes rehearsal and did very well.

If there is any way, it would be great if you could join us.


Scripture Readings for November

November 6

Haggai 1: 5b – 2:9
Psalm 145: 1 – 5, 17 – 21
2 Thessalonians 2: 1-5, 13-17
Luke 20: 27 – 28

November 13

Isaiah 65: 17 – 25
Isaiah 12 or Psalm 118
2 Thessalonians 3: 6 – 13
Luke 21: 5 – 19

November 20

Jeremiah 23: 1 – 6
Luke 1: 68 – 79
Colossians 1: 11 – 20
Luke 23: 33 – 43

November 27

Isaiah 2: 1 – 5
Psalm 122
Romans 13: 11 – 14
Matthew 24: 36 – 44