MARK YOUR CALENDAR
On Sunday, April 24, we welcomed these new members into the family of Grace UCC.
Kathyrn W, Ayesha L, Elayne W, George W, and Nicholas W
Welcome to Grace UCC and sharing in the life and mission to the church!!
Renewal of Baptism Vows
On Sunday, April 24 Kathryn W and Ayesha L also renewed their baptismal vows. We celebrate this witness to God's work in their lives!
Please Remember in Prayer
Please continue to remember Barbara C , Lisa L, Mae Delle J, Martin W and their families in your prayers. Prayers are also requested for Donna C's husband Tom. Thank you.
Members: Barbara C and Family, Perla F, Mae Delle J and family. The Family of Dnarrius J, Lisa L, Jay P, Tatiana R, Gene S, Jessie S, Martin W. Friends: Leah B (Laura B), Barbara & Milas D (Juli K), Rick J (Laura B), Billy P (Sonny P), Dick S (Juli K)
Please send all articles for the May newsletter by 5/15/2021, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Information: Grace United Church of Christ
8515 Brookwulf Dr., Houston, TX 77072-3838
Congratulations to Erin J who is receiving her master's degree this month!
If your son/daughter is a graduate this year, please contact Pastor David and we will honor them in the June newsletter.
Mr. Rogers, to grads — and to us all
Our world hangs like a magnificent jewel in the vastness of space. Every one of us is a part of that jewel, a facet of that jewel, and in the perspective of infinity, our differences are infinitesimal. We are intimately related. May we never even pretend that we are not. … Deep down, we know that what matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What really matters is helping others win too, even if it means slowing down and changing our course now and then. …
[Roman philosopher] Boethius wrote this sentence: “Oh happy race of mortals if your hearts are ruled, as is the universe, by love.” … [There is a] deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive: love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed. So in all that you do, in all of your life, I wish you the strength and the grace to make those choices which will allow you — and your neighbor — to become the best of whoever you are.
—Fred McFeely Rogers, 2002
Honor thy teachers
When President Eisenhower invited James Michener to a White House dinner, the bestselling author replied: “Dear Mr. President, I received your invitation three days after I had agreed to speak a few words at a dinner honoring the wonderful high school teacher who taught me how to write. I know you will not miss me at your dinner, but she might at hers.” Instead of taking offense, Eisenhower answered: “In his lifetime, a man lives under 15 or 16 presidents. But a really fine teacher comes into his life but rarely.”
Fine teachers are indeed worth cherishing, whether they hold classes in churches or public schools, on Sundays or on weekdays. Let us honor and appreciate all teachers, all year long. Thank you for preparing lessons with care, for going above and beyond to meet each student’s needs, and for sparking curiosity about God and everything he created. You’re a blessing!
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY - May 8
Exactly a century ago, Irish physician Alexander Irvine published My Lady of the Chimney Corner, a book dedicated to his saintly mother. The protagonist, Anna, lives and ministers to others as Irvine’s own mother had done.
In the story, Anna visits a neighbor who has just lost a son at sea. After talking for a while, Anna suggests they pray together. With heads bowed, she reaches to place a loving hand on the grieving mother’s forehead. Afterward, the woman says, “I think I felt his touch upon my brow,” referring to God.
Anna says, “God is everywhere looking for hands to use. Sometimes he takes the hand of a doctor and uses it in healing. Sometimes he takes the hand of a mother to soothe the brow of a fevered child. And sometimes he takes the hand of an old critter like me to bring a bit of help and comfort to a neighbor. But they are all God’s hands, and God is everywhere looking for hands to use.”
A Mother’s Day hymn by Peggy Ferrell
Sing praise to our Creator God!
Earth prospers from the way
God “mothers” each new child into
This world day after day.
God fabricates in motherhood
A channel from above
That longs to share with every child
God’s comfort, grace and love!
Sing praise to our Creator God,
Who “mothers” us from birth!
Providing what we truly need
Throughout our lives on earth.
More than 150 years ago, Memorial Day took shape amid the backdrop of the U.S. Civil War. Before it ended, women began decorating the graves of fallen soldiers. In 1868, when May 30 was designated as Decoration Day, loved ones placed flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers alike.
By 1882, Decoration Day became known as Memorial Day, and soldiers who died in other wars were honored too. Over time, it became a day to remember all loved ones who have died — in war and otherwise. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be observed on the last Monday in May. On Memorial Day, we pause to remember people who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and for our freedom. We also pray for those who continue serving, especially those in harm’s way.
Rachel K - 2, Patrick P - 5, Hano M - 9, Jason D - 10
Peter L - 11, NamNam P - 11, Niesan E - 13
Jaime B - 16, Ken and Tim M -17
Aster F Z - 21, Jessie S - 22, Dave M - 25
Dmitry R -30,
Update Food Barrel Collections for 2022
Grace UCC members have been generous in bringing items for the food barrel. Lisa Lum has been taking the items to House of Amos on Beechnut and Boone Road. Since we also have a strong connection to CCSC (Christian Community Service Center) with volunteers in their Food Pantry on Bellaire Boulevard and financial contributions, Council has given its approval to alternating monthly collections for both locations. January has been designated for House of Amos; February for CCSC Food Pantry on Bellaire Blvd; alternating the rest of the year. Families in crisis situations may receive a distribution of food from House of Amos every 30 days. During this pandemic, CCSC is serving a bag of groceries to families as often as they need, with no restrictions on their zip code or the number of times they can come. Both locations ask the clients to complete an application form. Most needed items at this time are cereal, peanut butter, meat (tuna or chicken), fruit, hearty soups, pasta and sauce, vegetables. Thank you for your continued generosity in helping our less fortunate neighbors. You can learn more about each organization at their website: http://www.houseofamos.org/ and https://ccschouston.org/
Christian Community Service Center - COVID-19 Update:
CCSC is open & helping those in need. CCSC is continuing its work and mission, while taking the necessary precautions with our staff and volunteers. The CCSC food pantries are essential services - serving as a grocery store to our clients - in compliance with the "Stay at Home, Work Safe" order issued by the City of Houston. Your assistance is needed now more than ever. CCSC continues to closely monitor recommendations from local and national officials and experts regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. After significant consideration, we have made the following adjustments to program operations:
*The Emergency Services sites (3230 Mercer and 6856 Bellaire Blvd) are focused on providing food to those in need. We have modified operations to get clients served quickly - foregoing interviews and supplying a preassembled grocery package. Thank you to Donna Cardinale and Jane Eixmann, who continue to volunteer to help serve clients during this pandemic.
We are conducting phone interviews for financial requests for help with rent or utilities for residents living within our zip code range. If you need financial assistance and live in one of these zip codes: 77002, 77003, 77004, 77005, 77006, 77007, 77010, 77011, 77012, 77019, 77020, 77021, 77023, 77025, 77026, 77027, 77028, 77030, 77031, 77036, 77046, 77056, 77057, 77072, 77074, 77081, 77096, 77098 and 77401, please call for an appointment--713-8719741.
The community can help by donating nonperishable food items or making a donation. Go to ccschouston.org and click on the "Make a Contribution" button.
*JobNet is primarily serving clients via phone, e-mail, and online tools. In person appointments may be scheduled for limited services, based on need. New and existing clients are encouraged to call JobNet at 713-626-8320 to receive ongoing virtual support during this time.
*Scheduled Martha's Way classes are postponed until further notice.
There are two convenient ways to make a donation: Donate on-line by visiting our secure website www.ccschouston.org OR Mail a personal check to CCSC, PO Box 27924, Houston, TX 77227 (Please make checks payable to CCSC with "Back To School" written in the notes section.) Donations needed and accepted year-round!
UCC officers share prayer for Ukraine
by UCC Leadership | published on Feb 24, 2022
“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” Proverbs 6:16-19
As the attention of the world turns to the ignored cries for peace from the people of Ukraine, we the officers of the United Church of Christ join our prayers with those of churches and people of faith all over the globe that the attack against Ukraine will cease. As a Just Peace Church, the United Church of Christ calls for the de-escalation of violence and a return to diplomatic negotiations, the only true way conflict ever ceases. We urge our members to pray...
Holy God, Hear our prayers for all those who will die today because of war in Ukraine and other war-torn countries all over this world. Grant them an end to the suffering of this world and eternal peace that is only found in You.
We pray for the people of Ukraine, Russia, and all nations — that war and bloodshed can be avoided and a new, just peace can be forged out of this crisis. We ask God grant wisdom to the leaders of nations, calling them to end provocation on all sides and invest instead in “the things that make for peace” as called for in all our faith traditions (Luke 19:41-2).
We pray for an end to the deep insecurity and mistrust on all sides, and call on leaders to build trust, based not on military might or alliances, but on the basis of our shared future and common humanity. Now is a time in which past harm should be acknowledged and addressed, and new partnerships can be envisioned.
We pray for and call on our leaders to have the courage to take small, verifiable, and independent steps toward peace, inviting others to reciprocate. Now is time to invest in conflict resolution, diplomacy and international cooperation — not more weapons which only escalate tension in the region.
Be with those suffering in ways that we cannot. Protect them from devastation in ways those positioned in authority will not. Shield and comfort them as they confront the terror of violence that surrounds them. Hold them close to your heart and stay the hand of the enemies against them. Give us the courage and the strength to cry aloud against wickedness in high places that dare to harm others made in your image. Comfort the children and heed their cries to be saved from harm in this world.
Make us a people who love our children, all of our children, more than we love greed, power, and control. Overturn governments of tyranny wherever they are found. Disrupt the intentions of evil and give us power to stand against demonic forces of greed and control. Grant that peace and justice come to warring nations by the hands of those courageous enough to stand and study war no more. Let Thy kin-dom come on earth as it is in heaven, we pray.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
The National Officers of the United Church of Christ
The Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson — Associate General Minister
to all our guests!