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December 2017

Joy to The world! The Lord is come, Let earth receive her King Let ev'ry heart prepare him room, And heaven and nature sing, And heaven and nature sing, And heaven and nature sing! Merry Christmas Gruene UMC! Christmas is such a joyful time! I love Christmas music and I start early with my favorite Christmas records. I have an old Bing Crosby album that always makes me feel all warm and nostalgic… I remember listening to that on an 8-track as we decorated the tree when I was a kid. When we dust off those songs again, when we share them with friends and family... once again we experience the wonder in the eyes of children all glowing in the Christmas lights as the old familiar Christmas story becomes new again. Over the years I’ve learned to play some Christmas favorites too! I love to sing the ‘Little Drummer Boy’ on the banjo and a little known song called ‘Some Children See Him’ about how different children from different cultures see the baby Jesus. The song closes with this powerful yet simple lyric: “The Children in each different place - will see the baby Jesus face- Like theirs but bright with heavenly grace - and filled with holy light… O lay aside each earthly thing, and with your heart as offering, come worship now

the infant king, ‘tis love that’s born tonight.” I wonder what your favorite Christmas traditions are? I wonder what songs make you feel all warm and nostalgic? This year our family has the Joy of celebrating our Savior's birth with our Gruene church family. I am looking forward to seeing all your faces in the candlelight glow as we sing the familiar words of ‘Silent night’... “Christ the Savior is Born… Christ the Savior is born” On the first Sunday of Advent this year we wrote our prayers on ornaments to hang on the ‘prayer tree’ in our worship space. As I read and prayed those prayers, it was so clear that God is moving in the lives of the people and is active and present with each of us… May we notice that even in the business and hustle and bustle of the season- the Good news is for each of us: Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy- for unto us is born a Savior who is Christ the Lord! May we make room in our hearts for the newborn King. Pastor Dan Harrington

This Month • Christmas Eve Services • Kids Corner • Five:32 • Missions and Muffins • Care Team

Calendar December 13th @6:30pm

Christmas music, worship, refreshments, and fellowship.

Be Thankful For A Teacher This is dedicated to all teachers that do hard work all day, every day, and who go beyond the call of duty to innovate and educate. We get a lot put on our plate and still pour out much love, all because we are anointed and appointed to teach from the best teacher, the Creator from above. Enjoy your break. Give yourself a date. Give thanks in Jesus’s name that we have the strength of Him to lead a class, carry on multiple tasks, exemplify love, share knowledge, be a witness, and serve the community. Teaching is not about money, it is about sowing a seed to have a grand future harvest. Be thankful this Thanksgiving for a teacher indeed. Blessings, Ms. Rebecca GTLC Director

The Gruene Care Team needs YOU!!! The Care Team helps in several ways to meet the needs of those in our church and we’d love for you to be part of the team. There are many ways to serve and please read the following to see how you might be a part of this ministry. CARDS We send “Get Well”, “Thinking of You”, and “You are in our prayers” cards to those who could use a boost, prayer or friendly word. Karen Emerson sends us an email requesting cards (including the address and information). Send a card, if you can. Our feedback has been that recipients truly appreciate them! MEALS: A Sign up genius is sent to volunteers for those in need of meals due to illness, surgery, or recuperation. If this is a Mission area for you, there a 3 ways to serve *Preparing and delivering a meal , *Making meals and cookies for future needs or *Getting restaurant gift cards for those needing help.

TRANSPORTATION: Help in driving others to church or doctor appointments. FUNERALS and RECEPTIONS: Needs are: Setting up, Food preparation, Serving, and Clean up. Peggy Smith and Karen Emerson have taken care of these events for several years and we need a co-chair to help with this area. Please consider this important role.

For more info please contact Ann Burnett by email at

Growing in Faith as Families Advent is the season in the church when we get our hearts ready for the mystery of Christmas. During these four weeks, we journey with the holy family to the city of Bethlehem and the manger that holds the Christ child, the promised king. It is a time to turn inward and to focus on our relationships with God and neighbor. We ask, “God, how are you calling me to change? How can I prepare my heart and home for your promised coming?” These questions invite us into a time of self-reflection as we seek to deepen our faith and strengthen our relationships with God and neighbor. Advent is the perfect time for families of all shapes and sizes to pause and reflect on their faith and to develop new spiritual practices and remember old ones that help them connect to the holy. You can grow in your faith together during this time by: • Retelling the story of the holy family (Luke 2:1-20). • Say the same prayer every night or every morning as a family and invite God to help prepare your hearts for the mystery of Christmas. • Wondering together. As a family, wonder together at the end of the day, asking: “I wonder how you experienced God today.” “I wonder how you are getting your heart ready for the mystery of Christmas.” “I wonder what you will do tomorrow to share God’s love with others.” • As a family, worship together regularly. After the worship service, reflect together as each person shares their favorite parts, their least favorite parts, and one moment they want to remember. • Share God’s light by serving together as a family. • Plan to participate in our church’s Countdown to Christmas family event at 4pm on Sunday, December 3rd. • Practice a 1:1 giving discipline: As children start to create their Christmas wish lists, encourage them to write next to their wish-list items those items that they will give to others. Ask them to note people with whom they want to share God’s love. Encourage all family members to give/donate one item for every gift received.

May you and your families be blessed during this Advent Season.


Starting January 4th!

Item of the Month This month Steve’s Pantry is collecting sleeping bags and blankets. These donations will help benefit our friends who visit Steve’s Pantry. Please drop your donations off in the baskets in the gathering space at the church. Thank you in advance for your donations and support!

Missions & Muffins (M&M’S) Update Whew! Is it December already? We are so thankful that Gruene is a Giving Church!! We have sponsored the Giving Tree for many years now and it just gets better every year!! Please check at the table in the Main Gathering Space on Dec 3rd to see if all the names have been claimed and remember to PLEASE RETURN ALL GIFTS by December 10th so they can be delivered to their recipients. The M&Ms Elves are very very busy in December!! We will have a full report of tallies and totals in January. STAY TUNED: Because we are such a generous group and just cannot contain ourselves, M&Ms are branching out! An evening meeting of M&Ms will begin in January 2018!! This is in addition to our 2nd Thursday at 9:30am at MoTown meeting. We are hoping to accommodate women who are not able to attend in the daytime. Initially, we will have a combined messaging list and program planning, but who knows which direction God will lead us? Well… to HIS Glory, of course!! � To join the M&Ms Google messaging group please send an email to When you receive the invitation email, please click “Accept this Invitation”. Contact Laura for further information or assistance.



Take a break from all that shopping for just the right gift for your wife and join us for lunch at the next Men's Huddle at Noon on Wednesday December 13 at the Buttermilk Cafe. You might even win a free lunch. If you have any questions, please contact Terry McCaffrey at (830) 837-0026. Hope to see you there!

Volunteers are needed to fold bulletins on Fridays at 9:30 a.m The Office Angels need volunteer to help fold Sunday bulletins on Friday mornings at 9:30 a.m. If you have an hour to spare on Friday mornings, we would LOVE to have you. For more information, please contact Nadia at the church office (830) 625-7200 or email at

Do you or your ministry have an event you would like to share in the Gruene UMC Newsletter? Please email your event info to Nadia at The deadline is the 15th !

SAVE THE DATE! February 24, 2018 We are looking for both Corporate Sponsors and Family Sponsors for our 5K. This years race is February 24, 2018 and the last chance to get your sponsorship in to be on all the shirts and signs is January 12th! If you know of a business or if your business would like to be a Sponsor, please contact Rebecca Marrou at or call (623) 810-6347.

Turkey Tailgate 2017

Rev. Dan Harrington - Senior Pastor

Brandi Carnes - Nursery Director

Rev. Brock Gillman - Associate Pastor

Amy Howell - Children and Family Ministry Director

Rev. Aaron Carter - Associate Pastor

Alyssa Rowe - Director of Student Ministries

Nadia Hoffman – Administrative Assistant

Rebecca Goossens - GTLC Director

2629 E. Common St. New Braunfels TX 78130 (830) 625-7200 Fax: (830) 625-7208 OFFICE HOURS M-F, 8:30 - 4:30

SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES 8:30, 9:40 & 11:00 a.m. (Main Building) 9:50 a.m. (Motown) “Come…be you, be filled , be loved. Go…be joy, be hope, be love. Be His! ”

See What’s Happening There are so many fun and exciting groups here at Gruene! To find out what’s going on, check us out on the Gruene UMC facebook page or on our website,

Gruene UMC News December 2017  
Gruene UMC News December 2017