GRACE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Non Grace United … · Non-Profit Organization U. S. Postage PAID...
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U. S. Postage PAID
Corpus Christi, TX Permit No. 690
GRACE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 14521 Northwest Blvd. Corpus Christi, Texas 78410-5501
Address Service Requested
Grace United Methodist Church 14521 Northwest Blvd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78410 361.933.0109
PORTERFIELD’S PASTORAL PONDERINGS
I remember an old Lone Star beer commercial series where we were told, through several commercials, of a giant Armadillo making its way around the state drinking up all the Lone Star. In one episode, a ragged looking cowboy has barricaded himself inside his house to protect his 'stash' from the Armadillo.
He is concerned that too many others have bought up so much of the elixir (in case there is a shortage brought about by the Armadillo) that he will not have enough. As he describes the situation, he walks toward the camera while moving down his hallway. With each step, his emotional level rises, and we see that his entire house is lined with cases of Lone Star. At the peak of his anger, he screams out in rage at those stockpiling the beer... "HOARDERS!!!!"
This ragged cowboy is a great example of our struggle, as persons of faith, with scarcity and abundance. The cowboy obviously has more than anyone could use in a lifetime, and yet all he sees is what he might not have. In the midst of massive abundance, he sees only scarcity. The majority reading this newsletter have sufficient 'daily bread', and yet how many of us live as if we might not have enough?
Scarcity and abundance. The Bible tells the story of how the two affect our lives. People of faith know only abundance no matter the economic level, the state of one's health, or difficulty of daily living. Persons who turn their faces from God know only scarcity, even if they have an abundance of food, dollars, and good health.
The 8th chapter of Mark shows Jesus trying to help the disciples get the idea of abundance. Abundance is a way of life not dependent upon how much we have at any given time. Scarcity is the same; it is an (empty) way of life that consumes us no matter how much we have. I have known people in stark poverty living life abundantly, not sure where their next meal will come from yet living life abundantly. I have known people of great wealth who are consumed with what they do not have, never satisfied.
The movement from scarcity to abundance comes through putting our trust in God's grace; knowing that nothing separates us from the love of God. Is your lifestyle one of scarcity or abundance? God is waiting to help you live abundantly.
February 2020 Altar Rail Offerings will go to support Wesley Community Center
Church Office: Main: 361.933.0109 fax: 361.933.0154
Pastors: Reverend Mark Porterfield ext 205 [email protected] Cell: 512.657.0405
Reverend Rebekah Rochte ext 204 [email protected] Cell: 540.288.7141
Director of Youth Ministry: Victoria Low ext 203 [email protected]
Director of Children’s Ministry: Debbie Shannon ext 206 [email protected]
Director of Communication: Kristen Veit ext 200 [email protected]
Office Manager: Elizabeth Theiss ext 202 [email protected]
Property Manager: Jon Borhauer Cell: 361.548.7638
Financial Secretary: Cathy Chaloupka ext 221
Director of Music Ministries: Michael Perez [email protected]
Pianist: Natalie Rumfield [email protected]
Wesley Counselor: Erica Garcia Cell: 361.658.9708
Wesley Nurse: Laura Rivas For Appointment: 361-933-0109
Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:00-9:30 AM
Room 115 Cost: Free
Sit & Be Fit is a 30 minute chair exercise program that offers low impact exercises for the young and old and those with limited mobility. For more information, contact Linda at 361-241-4743; please leave a message and contact information.
January 2020 Visitors Kurt Kneuker Teri Zema
Average January Worship 8:50 147 11:15 120 Nursery 10
Small Groups (Sunday School) Average 115
A Moment in Time #66 On a cold foggy morning in1952, Florence Chadwick began a 21-mile swim from Catalina Island to the California Coast. She was determined to be the first woman to make the swim. Miss Chadwick had been swimming for more than 15 hours when she asked her trainer to take her out of the water. He urged her to keep going because she was near land. But when she looked toward the coast, she could only see the dense fog and she abandoned her goal. She soon discovered she had been pulled out of the water only a half-mile from the coast! Florence Chadwick had not been defeated by fatigue or even by the bone chilling cold, but by the fog that had obscured her goal. She told a reporter afterwards, “If I could have seen land, I might have made it.” Two months later, she made the swim. Fog again hid her view, but this time she kept going, confident that somewhere behind the fog was her destination. When the view of your goal is obscured, it’s hard to keep going. That is why it is so important to keep your eyes of faith on Jesus and remain confident that, with His help, you can make it. Don’t give up! The goal you’ve been striving for may be almost in sight. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Heb.12:2.) The Good News of Grace, August 5th. 1982. Mary Lutz
Questions sometimes arise as to exactly what happens at the Thrift Shoppe? How many people do we serve at this mission? In 2019, we served 1,525 indigent customers. How awesome is that?
Your generous donations help fund the mission goals at the Thrift Shoppe. How much was paid toward Local and Community Mission, you ask? Almost $14,000 dollars!! An additional almost $4,650 dollars was sent to the Rio Texas Conference UWM Coastal Bend District. Way to go!!!
A huge round of applause goes to Joan Morgan, Director of the Thrift Shoppe and her many volunteers who give so generously of their time, energy, talents, and love!!! This would not be possible without them. Also, once again, we thank each and every one of you for giving so freely of your gently used treasurers.
The Young at Heart group is still collecting and recycling #5 Medicine Bottles as an outreach project with Matthew 25: Ministries.
Please continue bringing your empty medicine bottles to recycle. This mission project for Mathew 25: Ministries is full-filling the needs of those who don’t have access to medicine bottles. Thanks to all who participate.
Missions and Outreach
We continue to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world! There are so many opportunities to volunteer, donate, or otherwise change the world! Whether you’re interested in an ongoing project or have an idea for a new one, contact Pastor Rebekah ([email protected], 540-288-7141) or Pam Fordtran ([email protected], 361-537-3979) to get started.
Attention Ladies of the Church! UMW hosted a meeting of Church Women United on February 7th. Pastor Rebekah was the guest speaker. She gave us a very interesting and informative presentation on her visit to the Holy Land. We feel so blessed to have her as a member of our Grace family.
JOY Circle met on Wednesday, February 12th. Kris White spoke on the topic, “How to Let the Light In”. We’d love to have you join us on March 11, 2020 at our next meeting.
HOPE Circle will meet on Tuesday, February 18, in the Fellowship Hall. We will gather for refreshments at 9:15 AM followed by a lesson from “Women of Faith”, presented by Ruthie King and April Shaffer. Please join us.
District Women’s Retreat: “Joy and Resistance” April 17-19
Due March 30 - sign up early!
Gather with women from all over the Coastal Bend District for a weekend of inspiring teaching sessions, reflection, and delicious food! The keynote speaker is the Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, President of Auburn Seminary and noted author, speaker, and leader in multifaith community leadership. For more information or a registration brochure, contact Pastor Rebekah or check out the bulletin board outside the Fellowship Hall. Update on Finances for 2020,
We encountered some financial uh-oh’s in 2019 and established plans to address them. We have made a good start and I am hopeful we will continue the same in 2020.
Here are some of the highlights: • We paid 100% of our apportionments with the help of some special giving. • We were able to pay all of our bills and had some money in the bank at the end of the year. • We have reduced our budget for 2020 by $39,000 • Our overall giving in 2019 increased from 2018 by $11,000 • We are refinancing our debt and will soon be paying P & I from our budget rather than just ‘I’ • Our Expanding the Mission for Principle reduction contributions continues to be strong. • We were able to give staff bonuses through designated giving. • We established three RESERVE Funds and have received contributions for each in the amount of
13k (General) 15k (A/C) 15k (Parsonage) • We received a ‘surprise’ distribution from an endowment that was set up to benefit Grace
UMC. Dollars to be put into the General Reserve Fund.
February 9th was Consecration Sunday where you were invited to pledge financially for 2020. I encourage you to take a step toward tithing or if you already are a tither to step beyond. God calls us to tithe and so you will hear me encourage you to move in that direction over time. If you have any questions or concerns regarding finances, please don’t hesitate to ask. If you would like a monthly email of our financial statements just say the word and we will put you on the list. I am looking forward to 2020 and what God will be doing through Grace UMC.
“Did You Know…”
1. We have a new Office Manager and her name is Elizabeth Theiss! If you see her in the office, make sure and say hello!
2. The Grace Kids are looking for a 72 key keyboard that they can use. If you have a keyboard that you think the children would be interested in contact Debbie Shannon.
3. $1,006 was raised during our Souper Bowl Sunday soup competition. Congratulations to the Grace Kids for winning first place for their Cowboy Soup!
4. 20 people from Grace attended Home in a Week in the Valley.
5. Sea City Work Camp is now accepting youth and adult applications! Head over to www.seacityworkcamp.com to download an application.
6. 15 people went to the Midwinter retreat at Camp Zephyr.
7. High School Youth will be having a Going Deeper class for those who are interested in attending.
8. We need volunteers to help with Wednesday Night Live for Kindergarden-2nd Grade. If you’re interested, contact Debbie Shannon.
9. The Children will lead worship on March 1st. 10. Sofas and a recliner were donated to the
Tuesday Women’s Bible Study: “Fierce” by Jennifer Cowart
Begins February 25, 6:30-8:00 PM
“Fierce” is trendy. It’s often used to describe women who are at the top of their game. But what about the rest of us? Can we be fierce? Absolutely! Join Lisa Boggs for this 6-week study about some of the lesser-known but no less fierce women in the Bible and the ways they changed the world by living into God’s calling. As we explore their stories, we’ll discover how we, too, can live into our callings, honor the Lord, and even change the world through our courage, faithfulness, and obedience.
I love music! Did you know that the Bible is full of accounts of people singing? Miriam and Moses sang after the Israelites crossed the Red Sea; the Psalms brim with admonitions to “make a joyful noise” with voice and instruments; Jesus and the disciples sang hymns at the Last Supper. Music has long been a vital part of human self-expression and community formation, and the Church has a rich musical heritage that praises God, teaches about our faith, and forms us together as one community. The songs we sing shape us unlike any sermon or book can – just as I remember children’s rhymes better than names and dates from history class, putting our faith to music taps into the core of our identity and memory. The songs we sing ought not to be merely rote sentimentality, but should make bold claims about our faith and call us to action!
Singing together enables us to express and reflect upon our individual and communal identity and commitments. While listening to worshipful music can be beneficial, there is something divinely special that happens when our voices join the ongoing song of faith. Worship music is not a concert, nor hastily thrown together, but is intentionally planned and skillfully led in order to encourage all of us to join in together, praising God and affirming our faith.
John Wesley, who knew the importance of spiritual singing, developed “Directions for Singing” that to this day are printed in the front of our hymnal. They are worth a read, not only because they are good advice for how to sing together in worship, but I find that they are applicable to our spiritual lives in general!
1. Learn these tunes before you learn any others; afterwards learn as many as you please. 2. Sing them exactly as they are printed here, without altering or mending them at all; and if you have learned to sing them otherwise, unlearn it as soon as you can. 3. Sing All. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a slight degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up and you will find a blessing. 4. Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, than when you sung the songs of Satan. 5. Sing modestly. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony; but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound. 6. Sing in Time: whatever time is sung, be sure to keep with it. Do not run before nor stay behind it; but attend closely to the leading voices, and move therewith as exactly as you can. And take care you sing not too slow. This drawling way naturally steals on all who are lazy; and it is high time to drive it out from among us, and sing all our tunes just as quick as we did at first. 7. Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your Heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve of here, and reward when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.
I urge you, my dear friends, to lift your voice when we sing together in worship! As my seminary choir director would say, “If you can breathe, you can sing!” Let us all make a joyful noise unto the Lord!
Yours in Christ,
Revolution Youth WNL… It is a great place to connect with other students and hear biblical teachings on issues students face. Join us every Wednesday during the school year from 6:00-8:00 PM. There is a meal provided and a donation of $3.00 per person is accepted to cover the cost of food.
NEW for WNL High School… We know that everything gets really busy and your time is valuable! Still, it is important to spend some time with God each week. To better fit your schedule, we have created the following options (youth can choose to participate in all or just the High School Youth Group): 6:00 – 7:00 Middle School/High School Dinner, Games, and Fellowship 7:00 – 8:00 High School Youth Group Option 1: General Topics… Love God, Love Self, Love Others Option 2: Going Deeper… A true Bible study for youth 8:00 – 8:30 High School Hangout in Youth Cave
Revolution Youth Uprising (Sunday School)… Sunday morning from 10:00 – 11:00 The Bible is filled with stories of miracles and inspiration, but it wrestles with stories of pain and loss. This month, the youth will be digging into the story of God that we find in the Bible.
Confirmation Classes for February: February 23 – Accept and Confess
Grace Kids are collecting pop tabs to donate to the Ronald McDonald House
Charities of Corpus Christi It's easy...just save your pop tabs. Once
you have collected enough, drop them off in the children's area in a
Sharing Books...Bringing People Together...
Creating a Community of Readers
Located in the Children's Area of Grace UMC
The Little Free Library doesn’t just belong to us, it belongs to the whole church community. It’s our hope that this Little Free Library will bring a little more joy, a little more connection, and a whole lot more books to our community.
Here’s how it works! • We initially stock the Little Free
Library with a variety of books • You stop by and take whatever catches
your eye • You bring books to contribute when you
Wednesday Night Live 6-8pm
Kinder-5th grade Dinner, Activities, Games, Music, Lessons, and FUN!!!
Easter Egg Hunt… We need your help!
Help make our annual Easter Egg Hunt a
success. Stop by the Ministry Table in MARCH to grab a tag and see how you can
help. Your donations are much appreciated!!
Please bring items back to church no later than Sunday, March 15th