Thanks be to God,
Read stories from our Pastor and staff!
Back to School...Back to Church; Labor Day; Book Clubs; Small Groups; Choirs; Bells; Confirmation; Crop Walk; Immunization Clinics...the list goes on and on for all that is going on at Holy Covenant United Methodist Church as we move into the fall of 2014. This is a busy place! I wonder if the very first group of people that met in 1974 understood the power, hope, and mission they were launching as they gathered as a church for the first time?
This month, we are celebrating the courage and dreams of that very first collection of disciples who founded this church 40 years ago. When you consider all that has taken place on this corner over the past forty years, it is staggering, but what is even more powerful is the number of lives that have been changed. Literally thousands of people have been touched in some way because of this church. Either through attending worship, Vacation Bible School, camps, food pantry, Project Transformation, El Salvadorian refugee housing, neighborhood events, scouting, and a multitude of activities, events, and missions.
What a wonderful foundation for Holy Covenant as we enter our next forty years! On September 14, 2014, we will launch our 2014 Stewardship Campaign, #facingforward@40/planning for vitality. We have this outstanding history of strength, generosity, faithfulness and tenacity to inspire us as we head face first into our dreams for ministry for 2015. During this campaign, we will consider what it means for Holy Covenant UMC to be a vital and powerful presence in Carrollton, Texas. Through sermons and family meetings, we will consider three questions:
Week One: What does it mean to be vital?
Week Two: What are our resources?
Week Three: Why are we a church?
What better way for us to consider where God is leading us than for us to celebrate how far God has brought us! We are ready and equipped to face the next forty years with an even greater sense of hope and passion than our founding members because God has already begun working through this congregation!
On September 28, 2014, we will come together as a church in one worship service followed by a fellowship meal to celebrate all that God has done, is doing and is calling us to do. God is asking us to claim our legacy but not to get too comfortable in our past accomplishments. God has brought each of us here to launch new hopes, dreams and missions. We are disciples who are called to face forward in ministry so that Holy Covenant is a vital and transformative force for this community — today!
Thanks be to God,
I was watching television the other day and I was playing my favorite game - remote control channel roulette.
I was flipping back and forth through the guide trying to decide what program offering was going to capture my attention. And then, I was completely offended! Lifetime or Hallmark or some network that specializes in keeping old primetime sitcom actors employed making movies designed to reduce you to tears was celebrating Christmas in July! CHRISTMAS IN JULY!!!! No thanks!
I do not want to think Christmas when it is 100 degrees outside. I do not want hot cocoa, evergreens and sweaters. I do not want to think about Christmas movies, Santa Claus or Crèches filled with livestock, the holy family or wisemen. As I was just about to work myself up into a full episode of righteous indignation, I wondered what it would mean to me and the world if we truly did celebrate Christmas in July. Christmas is about acknowledging that God loves us and all the earth. The God of all creation, put on skin to walk among us, teach us and empower us to love God above all else. We are called to set aside all other love as secondary. We are to put aside love of lifestyle, money, success, image, reputation, patriotism, power, fear, children's success, church's success and the list goes on. We are to focus totally and completely on loving God and being loved by God! We are to stand before the holy child and allow ourselves to be captivated by the power of love - unexpected, resilient, and compelling love!
It may seem a little self-indulgent to stop your summer and absorb the love God is pouring out over you; but, is it really? What did most of us think in December when we experienced a kinder, more generous community? I, too, asked the question, "Why can't we act like this all year long?" A natural and divine response to feeling loved is to love another. Jesus knew this when he was gathered with his friends in the Upper Room for the last time.
34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples..." - John 13:34-35a
The world will be a more loving and kind place if we can stay captured by God's love. If we can allow our spirits to stay in love with God, then our hearts will be courageous enough to stay in love with the people God places before us - black or white, yellow or brown, rich or poor, young or old, gay or straight, citizen or sojourner. Perhaps we can all benefit from standing in the power of love this summer because all the earth needs to know love exists. Thanks be to God.
Spiritual growth and service opportunities for you!
Parent's Night Out is Friday, November, 17, 2014 from 7:00 - 10:00 pm. Please make your reservation no later than Tuesday, November 11, 2014.
You can sign up in the Narthex, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling Susan Bryan at 972-492-2432 ext. 25. A reservation is REQUIRED! We must be properly staffed for the safety of the children, and can not allow any child without a reservation to stay.
Please reserve your spot today! Enjoy your evening for $5.00 per child, not to exceed $10.00 per family.
We are interested to hear how you think we're doing, and what we might be able to do in the coming months to assist you in your personal faith journey, inspire you to get more involved, or expand your involvement at Holy Covenant. Take a moment to respond to the questions below. Your open and honest responses are greatly appreciated and needed to help us build and improve ministries as we continue to grow closer to God and each other.
We are welcoming and open to all people;
black or white, yellow or brown, you are welcome here;
rich or poor, young or old, you are welcome here;
gay or straight, citizen or sojourner, you are welcome here.
MICAH 6:8 He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?