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Grace United Church of Christ, Houston Texas

CLERICAL COMMENTS

Rejoice in the Savior always! I say it again: Rejoice! Let everyone see your forbearing spirit. Our Savior is near. Dismiss all anxiety from your minds; instead, present your needs to God through prayer and petition, giving thanks in all circumstances. Then God’s own peace, which is beyond all understanding, will stand guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 Inclusive Bible

Dismiss all anxiety from your minds? It is hard not to worry these days. Think of all the essential workers who face imminent danger everyday for themselves and their loved ones. Think of the millions who have lost their jobs and those who cannot pay their rent or mortgage or any of their bills. Think of the teachers and students who are facing a very uncertain new school term. Think of the children who are absorbing all their parents and guardians worries and fears. Think of all the congregations that are not able to congregate. Dismiss all anxiety from your minds? It is hard not to worry these days.

The Apostle Paul had good reasons to worry. He may have been under house arrest when he wrote these words. He was promoting a religion rejected by his own faith community whose leader had been crucified by Rome. Paul had been arrested and beaten several times and his life ended with his execution in Rome. Dismiss all anxiety from your minds? It was hard not to worry in Paul’s day.

How could Paul rejoice? Paul knew that the Risen Christ was near. In chapter one, he writes, “I’m glad to announce to you, sisters and brothers, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the Good News. Consequently, it has become clear throughout the Praetorium and everywhere else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of our sisters and brothers in Christ have been encouraged to speak the word of God more fearlessly.” (verses 12-14) Paul understood that God can use even the worst situations for God’s purposes. Paul calls for prayer. In prayer we open our heart to God and open ourselves to the heart of God. In this we can move from worry to rejoicing. How is God using our greatest fears and concerns for God’s purposes today? I have been inspired by the courageous sacrifices being made every day by the essential workers. My faith in God is strengthened by all those who have united in the purpose of bringing an end to the virus and what is possible when we work together. Every person wearing a mask is a testimony. This virus has revealed in greater and more visible ways the injustice and inequity experienced by our minority sisters and brothers. There is new hope that racism can be addressed by our generation. Parents and guardians are growing in their appreciation for teachers.  Many congregations like ours have come to understand the importance of being online and how our absence from each other has truly made our hearts grow fonder. Many of us are discovering a greater empathy for those who struggle everyday to obtain the necessities of life. Some of us have increased our prayer life, daily devotions, and scripture study. We are discovering in new ways God’s peace that passes all understanding. I am not suggesting for a moment that God caused this virus or any of the deaths and sorrow than has happened because of this virus. I do rejoice that God can use even this terrible virus to bring us closer to God and to each other. Thanks be to God! I look forward to seeing you on Zoom. Yours in Christ, Pastor David

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

AUGUST BIRTHDAYS

August 01 Leah P; Don P, August 04  John L, August 10 Tobi K, August 14 Juli K,   August 21 Cynthia P, August 26 Lee B,  August 28 Tonya L

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 the month of June and July from the church parking lot. THANK YOU!!

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.
 

Back to School Changes
 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CCSC has adjusted the 2020 program so we can continue to equip low-income students with the academic tools to succeed while using logistics that minimize social gathering.
Unfortunately, our annual community event originally scheduled for early August has been cancelled. Instead, CCSC will expand partnerships with high-need schools to deliver academic supplies and uniform vouchers directly to these campuses. CCSC has created Back To School campus "adoptions" like this for many years (in addition to the community event) and already has tools in place to move forward. We are confident this approach will result in successful support to students who need help in an unprecedented time. How you can help: Sponsor A Student! $50 provides a new school uniform/shoes and a grade-appropriate school supply package for 1 student. 
 
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!

    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