COMMENTS FROM GRACE UCC MEMBER IN DISCERNMENT BRENDA FLUITT
At our congregational meeting last month, the congregation voted unanimously to call Grace UCC Member in Discernment, Brenda Fluitt to be Grace UCC Minister of Evangelism and Outreach! With the Houston Association pending approval, Brenda will be ordained as a UCC minister hopefully next month. Details to follow. Congratulations Brenda!
THIS TRIP HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED to Oct 18. Special Bus Trip Invitation (offered by the Silver Sneakers)
Greetings all! It's been over a year since we've gone on a bus trip together. Many of you have been asking me about when we were going to begin again. Finally. we have a trip scheduled! A bus will be provided by Harris County Precinct 3 for senior citizens 55 and older, and they provide an experienced bus driver. Since we are again in a pandemic, they are making sanitation even more important, and encourage the use of masks. They have also lowered the minimum number of passengers from 15 to 10. There is usually good ventilation in the bus as well.
When: Wednesday, September 15th, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
To where: The Sea Center in Lake Jackson and then lunch at the Seahorse Bar & Grill on Surfside Beach.
Cost: A donation, usually $1, to help pay the bus driver's expenses, plus whatever you want to spend for lunch. There is no entrance fee at the Sea Center, but they would appreciate donations.
Schedule: 9:00 a.m. Board the bus in the parking lot of Grace UCC, @ 8515 Brookwulf Dr, Houston, TX 77072. The church is located about a block south of the intersection of Dairy Ashford and Beechnut. There's a nursing home on the corner where you turn on to Brookwulf. Here's a link to the Google Maps site: ttps://goo.gl/maps/
10:30 a.m. We tour the aquarium at The Sea Center in Lake Jackson. Website: https://tpwd.texas.gov/
12:00 Lunch @ The Seahorse Bar & Grill on Surfside Beach. You can view the menu on this website: http://places.singleplatform.
2:00 Board the bus to return to the church. We should be back there by about 3 p.m.
Please reply to this email if you want to "sign up" for the trip, or if you have any questions, and provide me with your address, phone number, and emergency contact. I need that for the bus form. Also, you can bring guests. Just let me know.
If you don't want to receive these invitations anymore, just simply reply STOP. Looking forward to being together again and having fun!
Wishing you peace, Donna C 713-591-7164 email@example.com
Special Invitation from St. Justin Martyr Catholic Church.
The church is invited to a performance of Tolton: From Slave to Priest, an original one-man live drama performed by actor Jim Coleman and produced by Saint Luke Productions. The story is of the first African American Catholic Priest. The performance will be at St. Justin Martyr Catholic Church, 13350 Ashford Point Drive, Houston, TX 77082, on Thursday, September 9. at 7 PM. Admission is a Free Will Offering. Suitable for ages 10+
Marigold D 3, Simeon J 4, Rosita M 6, Gilliw R, & Lenelle J 8, Lemjun B, Noah B, Brenda M 15, Anna L, Eli W 16, John H 17, Marilyn R 20, Karen P 22, Stephen L 25, Jay P/W 28
THANK YOU TO ALL WHO CAME TO THE LAST ALL CHURCH WORK DAY. We were able to accomplish a great deal thanks to your help!
Update on Church Building
The church building repairs are in full swing. The Fellowship Center, has been repaired and the kitchen and the classrooms in the Education Wing should be done within the next two weeks. The new preschool is scheduled to begin this month. Brenda Fluitt has been working tirelessly with the contractor and workers. Thank you Brenda and the Church Council for all your hard work! A special thank you to all those who have been unpacking a mountain of boxes - Lee, Juli, Laura, Lenelle, and Esther. If you would like to help, please contact Brenda.
Please Remember in Prayer
Members: Marissa B and Family (her father Jamie). Donna C, Barbara C and family (her son Bruce), Rose F, Perla F, Brenda F, the family and friends of Elaine H, Gail H, Mae Delle J, Bola K and Family (her mother), Lisa L, Cyd N and family (her father), Halima P and family (her mother), Jay P, Tatiana R, Valerie R, Jessie S, Millie W, Martin W. Aster F-Z and family (her father).
ï»¿Friends: Leah B (Laura B), Barbara & Milas D (Juli K), Rick J (Laura B), Dick S (Juli K)
Please send all articles for the September newsletter by Wednesday, 9/15/2021, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Information: Grace United Church of Christ
8515 Brookwulf Dr., Houston, TX 77072-3838
Labors of love
ï»¿Thomas Merton, an American monk, writer and social activist, said, “It is in the ordinary duties and labors of life that the Christian can and should develop his spiritual union with God.” As the United States observes Labor Day, may we find meaning not simply in marking summer’s end but in celebrating the ways nearly all “duties and labors of life” can empower ministry and faith.
Whether as a dentist, parent, artist, teacher, mechanic, gardener, city councilor, farmer, day laborer, attorney or anything else, a Christian can begin each workday or shift by praying for opportunities to serve whoever they’ll encounter. We also can pray for and seek ways to grow in “spiritual union with God”: cultivating spiritual fruits; actively loving God and neighbor; seeing Jesus in the vulnerable; practicing humility, gratitude and praise.
In Labor Day, may we find inspiration to make all our labors loving and faithful!
A cheerful what?
Guideposts editor Mary Ann O’Roark recalls hearing the phrase “cheerful liver” so often in church as a girl that she asked her grandmother what a liver is. “It’s a part inside you, like your stomach or your heart,” Grandma replied.
Rather confused, O’Roark tried to figure out how to be cheerful from the inside out. Then during Sunday school one week, a classmate explained that God loves a cheerful giver, not liver. Years later, however, O’Roark realized that her younger self wasn’t too far off the mark. After all, God does indeed love someone who lives cheerfully, spreading the hope and joy that he longs for all people to know!
After all, it was Jesus who said, “I came that [all] may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10, NRSV).
When God crosses our paths
Pastor and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions.” Last spring, the whole world had plans canceled, first by Covid-19 and then by God “sending us people with claims and petitions.” Some needed prayers for healing or for coping with grief. Medical staff, teachers, pastors and others serving long hours needed support: meals, check-in calls, “thinking of you” cards. Parents working remotely while helping kids with distance-learning needed encouragement. Crucial nonprofit work still required donations.
Pre-pandemic, you may not have realized that staying home or wearing a face mask could be a ministry. Or that sending a card expresses love in Jesus’ name. Or that buying takeout from a local restaurant can be a gift to the owners. When our calendars empty, God “crosses our paths” in new ways — both to be with us and to nudge us toward others (even if virtually, or 6 feet apart!).
Power in weakness
In the late 1970s, Henry Smith was struggling to find work after finishing his education. He also lived with a degenerative disease that caused him to become legally blind. But one day he heard a pastor explain that Jesus became poor so we might become rich through him. This idea inspired Smith to craft a song of thanks for God’s gift of Jesus. Though Smith wrote more than 300 songs, only this one became widely known (sometimes labeled “author unknown” or misattributed, but finally rightfully credited to him).
“Give thanks with a grateful heart,” the song begins exuberantly. One of its most poignant lines urges, “Let the weak say, I am strong … because of what the Lord has done for us.” Across two millennia, Smith’s words and faith echo the apostle Paul: “[The Lord] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NRSV).
Christian Community Service Center - COVID-19 Update:
*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!
to all our guests!