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Grace United Church of Christ, Houston Texas

The Spirit immediately drove him into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him. Mark 1:12,13

The Season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, February 17. Lent marks the forty days (not counting Sundays) that Jesus spent in the wilderness after his baptism. We have been in this pandemic wilderness since last year’s Lenten season. We missed sharing Easter, Pentecost, Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany in our sanctuary. During this pandemic, I have often thought about our ancestors in faith who spent decades exiled in Assyria and Babylon, far from the Temple in Jerusalem. Separated from what they held dear; what temptations did they face? What stories sustained them? Did they reflect on their ancestor’s forty-year journey in the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land? Did they recall how God provided manna for their hunger and water for their thirst?  Were they tempted to abandon their faith, to lose hope? When they felt their faith slipping away, did they recall how Abraham and Sarah waited and waited for God’s promise to be fulfilled? A miracle was born.

I think of the early Christians who worshipped in secret in the woods and underground in the catacombs. What stories encouraged them in their wilderness of persecution? Did they recall Jesus’ teachings, his healing, his death, and his resurrection? As fear and stress pressed down on them, did they break the bread and share the cup in remembrance of him? How many wilderness experiences have been faced by those who journeyed before us? What of their stories can we tell?

February is Black History month. After over four hundred years of slavery and racial injustice, only in this century have we witnessed the election of an African American President and now Vice President. Our Lenten wilderness will last more than forty days just as our ancestors experienced, but it will come to an end. The Promised Land of equality, liberty, and peace with justice for all beckons us. In the words of the psalmist, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” (30:5b). In this long night of wilderness, let us be kind to one another and pray to resist abandoning hope. Like all who have journeyed before us, we too will discover that God’s angels surround us. I thank God for each of you, my traveling companions. I look forward to being with you in worship this Sunday on Zoom. Thanks be to God! Yours in Christ, Pastor David

A daily prayer from the NewsletterNewsletter

Whatever happens today, dear Lord, help us remember that you are present. If we find ourselves in the shadows of disappointment or rejection or pain, let us see your comforting light. If we’re in the radiant light of success or acceptance or wholeness, may we acknowledge your providence and grace. Wherever we are, grant us the assurance of your nearness. Amen.

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

 Upcoming Grace Events 

 

All church events have been postponded until after the pandemic ends.

Worship will be by video found on line and Facebook

FEBRUARY BIRTHDAYS

Candelaria J  2/02,  Ra'Jean W J 2/03, Delandre J W 2/05, Jacob M  2/14, Yasmeen Z  2/14, Rev. Tim M 2/15,              Linda M 2/22, Joshah P 2/23, Erin J 2/25, Rose F 2/25, Barbara C 2/26, Elaine H 2/26, Wardo J 2/28

 HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

THANK YOU TO ALL GRACE UCC VOLUNTEERS WHO HELPED DELIVER

FOOD CONTAINERS FROM BRIGHTER BITES. 

Hundreds of boxes of fruits, beans, and vegetables from the FOOD BANK where shared throughout this past year from the church parking lot. THANK YOU!!

We distribute the food every other Thursday (February 11 & 25) from the church parking lot for two Head Start Communities from 2:45 - 4:15. Call the church office for details.

Volunteers are welcome!

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!

Slumber Falls Winter Work Weekend - March 12-14, 2021

The Slumber Falls Winter Work Weekend is March 12-14 instead of February 5-7, 2021. Hopefully this will allow us to avoid any cold wet weather. If you are planning to attend, mark March 12-14 on your calendar for now! Just like the Fall Work Weekend, there will be no charge for this event although "love" offerings are always appreciated.

Register Now for Summer Camp 2021 at Slumber Falls!

June 20-23  -  CIT Training Camp

June 23-26  -  Springs Alive

June 27 - July 3  -  Roaring Rapids & Sports Camp

July 4 - 10  -  Geek Week & Streams of Faith 1

July 11-17  -  Eco Camp & Living Waters

July 18 - 24 -  Streams of Faith 2

For more information and to register go to www.slumberfalls.org or call the church office.  Discounts for early registration - Scholarships are available!

 to all our guests!

    Soaring With The Spirit

    Grace

    UNITED CHURCH O F   C H R I S T
    8515 Brookwulf Drive
    Houston, Texas 77072
    PH: 281-575-7866

    Worship 10:00 AM Sunday School for all ages 11:30 AM