October 2016


First United Methodist Church

Hughes Springs, Texas

Volume 10 October 2016

from the pastor

And the Seasons Turn

Summer has reached its end a fall has come upon us. It is strange to see how fast time passes. I went into the store the other day and saw that they already had Christmas decorations out for sale. Why are they in such a hurry to get to the end of the year?

There are so many holidays and occasions between now and the end of the year that they would miss if they jump ahead.

There is reformation day, a time to celebrate those who stood up for what they felt was right, no matter what the consequences might be. They changed the church. All hallows eve, otherwise known a Halloween would be lost. Originally it was a time to deal with the evil spirits before the time of All Saint’s Day. It has been changed to a time of fun and candy, which I fondly remember from my childhood. All Saint’s Day, a time to celebrate and remember those saints who came before us and showed us the way as well as those we have loved and lost. A truly special day.

One of my favorite events would be lost, the end of daylight savings day. I really love that extra hour of sleep. This would be a truly tragic loss. Christ the King Sunday, which marks the end of our church year with its emphasis on Our Lord and Savior and his kingship would disappear. Can you imagine a year without the Sundays of advent, the
Christmas programs, or Candlelight services?

There is always a temptation to skip to the end, but you miss so much in the middle. Let us take each day as it comes, mindful of what lies ahead, but remembering that, “This is a day that the Lord has made. Let us be glad and rejoice in it.”

God’s grace be with you,
Pastor Bill Laubenberg

college bound college babiesWe want to make sure that we remember those students who have gone off to college. According to our records, we have five students currently in college.

This is the Month we will be sending our first care packages. We will meet on Tuesday 11th at 6 p.m. to gather the elements of the packages together and pack them to send. Come take part and let these young people know that their church still cares about them.

Pastor Bill

Men’s Breakfast

scrambled and baconOn Tuesday, September 6, 2016, Men’s Breakfast was attended by twenty seven (27) plus the church members that cook. The speaker was Pastor Bill

We meet again on October 4, 2016 at 6:30 AM. The speaker will be Dr. Brockway. Come and enjoy great food and fellowship. I am looking forward to seeing you and bring a few friends. All men are welcome!

Larry Cannon

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

New Website announcement

You will find the latest edition of the newsletter, thoughts from the pastor and a current calendar of events for the church. If you have an event scheduled and you do not see it on the calendar, call the church office to reserve the church for that date and time.

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

hands n church

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.


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 are rapidly coming to the end of the Heroes of Faith study. It has been a good study and we had good attendance. The next study we will be doing is called, Five Marks of a Methodist. If you would want to take part in this study, come on and join. The cost for the book will be $6.00.

food basket

Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians, “…through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.(Galatians 5: 13 – 14) displayed their desire to obey these instructions by helping our neighbors.
We served 49 clients in the month of September. We continue receiving new clients monthly even though some are out of our qualified area for distribution. We see this as a good sign: the existence of our Food Pantry is becoming known in our neighboring communities. Next distribution day is October 20.

Confirmation Organization

Confirmation started last month. We have found that there was a need to change our meetings. We will now meet every other Sunday at 3 p.m. The class will last about an hour each time. The next meeting is October 9.

happy and you know it

I am happy that I get to come to work for the church every week. I am happy that the official church calendar is full of events, group meetings and other things showing more activity in our church. I am happy that you can look at the calendar on the website, as it is constantly changing. I am happy to get to do a job that I love which makes it feel not like a job at all, for a wonderful group of people, the members and family of First United Methodist.

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

High school youth bible study is in full swing again on Thursday evenings at 6pm. Sandra Willis, Heather McGregor and I are working together to create lessons and activities for a study of Romans 12. The youth will also plan lessons for this series. We are all working to be Romans 12 Christians.

If anyone is interested in providing dinner for the youth, please let me know.

Lisa Moreland


As most people have already noticed, a lot of changes have been going on in our church this year. Some of these changes are starting to become the norm while others are still fresh on our minds. The most obvious change in our sanctuary has been the removal of the two rear pews on the north side of the sanctuary that made room for our new audiovisual (AV) desk. This desk houses our new, custom-built desktop computer, sound board, amplifiers, etc. All of these components are helping to keep our worship services as up-to-date as possible with the new advancing technology of today.

If you have not had a chance to hear our new chimes, they play at noon everyday. Come by to hear them. Our new computer makes this possible. Software on the computer allows us to play any music that is saved onto the computer at any time of day. We will be able to play Christmas music through the steeple speakers when we get closer to the holidays.

Other recent additions include a strong wireless connection throughout the entire church building. I hope everyone has also been able to utilize this (except when we’re supposed to be paying attention during services). I am also trying to incorporate short video clips into our services, and I pray that they enrich your lives as they have mine.

Thanks to the Laubenberg family, we have a newly installed flat screen TV and Blu-Ray player in our fellowship hall. I would also like to install a similar setup in our nursery. These setups can be used to play videos that add to our bible studies and/or videos to help keep our younger children entertained. I would like to eventually connect both of these TV’s to a video camera mounted at the back of the sanctuary so that people in either the fellowship hall or nursery, will be able to view any event is taking place in the sanctuary. Both of these locations already have a speaker installed, so all they need now is video. We will be looking for funding for this in the future.
We have encountered a few hiccups with all of these changes, however, but that was inevitable. Some things are still left to be completed. I anticipate that we will always be adjusting and adapting our setup as technology progresses. Currently we are waiting on 3 main people before I would say that our original improvements are complete. There is still has some work to completed on the AV desk itself. We need to run permanent electrical power to the rear projector. We currently have it plugged into a light strand in the attic. We are having memory issues with one of the programs and their tech team is currently working on correcting these problems.

I have tried to give a brief summary of the things that have been underway recently, but I am sure I have left a lot out. This has been a bigger job that I originally anticipated, but I couldn’t be happier with the way things are turning out. I hope you feel the same!

God Bless!


This was the first year for me to be chairman of trustees.  We have a good committee that works well together.  We are trying to dress up and patch up things around the church.

We have a new awning behind fellowship hall, organizational cabinets in the pavilion and we organized all the storage areas.

We have patched the ceiling in the south hallway.

The sound system and chimes are almost complete.

Future plans include: making the restrooms handicapped accessible, replacing sanctuary and office carpet. The trustees are looking for large planting pots for the pavilion area, waiting on the gutter company to come back and complete their job.   Always continued maintenance of the church property

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, and Cliff McCain.

Again, 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

Scripture Readings for October

October 2

Lamentations 1: 1 – 6
Psalm 137
2 Timothy 1: 1 – 14
Luke 17: 5-10

October 9

Jeremiah 29: 1, 4 – 7
Psalm 66: 1-2
2 Timothy 2: 8 – 15
Luke 17: 11 – 19

October 16

Jeremiah 31: 27 – 34
Psalm 119:97 – 104
2 Timothy 3: 14 – 4:5
Luke 18: 1 – 8

October 23

Joel 2: 23 – 32
Psalm 65
2 Timothy 4:6 – 8, 16 – 18
Luke 19: 1 – 10

October 30

Habakkuk 1: 1 – 4, 2: 1 – 4
Psalm 119: 137 – 144
2 Thessalonians 1: 1 – 4, 11 – 12
Luke 19: 1 – 10