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Gruene UMC News

July 2017

Greetings friends! This is Pastor Dan writing you one week before we move to our new home in New Braunfels (very close to GUMC!) As you can imagine, this has been such a whirlwind time for our family. A mixture of emotions, bubble wrap and boxes, tearfully saying goodbye - and at the same time, joyfully looking forward to a new season in ministry and all the wonderful adventures God has for us. God has put together a great team and I am looking forward to serving with Pastor Brock, Pastor Pastor Dan Harrington & Pastor Karen Aaron, and the entire Gruene UMC staff. As that old song says “The future's so bright - I’ve gotta wear shades” From the bottom of my heart I give special thanks to Pastor Karen! That lady rocks! I met Karen in ‘07 (maybe ‘08?) when I had the opportunity to interview her for a seminary paper I was writing on new church starts. Her office was beside the gas station next to an empty field on the corner of Common and 306. I remember her excitement about the blueprints, community outreach possibilities, and the cases of promotional water bottles to give away. Over the years Karen has become a great friend in ministry and during this transition we have had many opportunities to pray and meet together. She is a shining light and will continue to do amazing things in Jesus name! I join you in thanking God for her. I have worshiped at Gruene several times over the years, once in the high school, and several times in recent years- and I’ve always felt right at home. Gruene has a “come as you are” vibe, a warm welcoming spirit, great music, a passion to serve the community, and a heart seeking to share God’s love with everyone. We will have several “listening tour” meetings in the next few weeks with the goal of listening and getting to know you and your dreams for Gruene. Thanks for being you! In Christ, Pastor Dan

Calendar July 4th - Church office Closed

July 23rd - Welcome Party! Join us as we welcome Pastor Dan, Pastor Aaron & Amy Howell (Director of Children & Family Ministry) after 11:00 service. Please bring a dozen of your favorite cookies to share.

July 29th - Church by the River Join us for worship by the river as we bring Gruene to our friends without homes.

July 30th - Aug. 5th Family Promise volunteers are needed. Email

Save the Date! October 7th! Missions & Muffins is having a Festival of Arts & Crafts vendor show on October 7, 2017 from 9am to 3pm, at MoTown both inside and outside.

It was an amazing week at VBP! We got to share Jesus with over 250 kids from pre-k - 5th grade! We heard amazing stories, played super fun games, sang awesome songs, ate delicious snacks, and created interesting crafts. We learned how we are all uniquely wired and wonderfully made. THANK YOU to ALL our VBP volunteers who make VBP what it is and have a heart for all these kids! A BIG THANK YOU to our new Children & Family Ministry Director Amy Powell and Brandi Carnes for all their hard work and preparations. Our amazing MCs Wendy Inman and Jessica Ramirez. Also a BIG THANK YOU to our new Senior Pastor Dan Harrington for being such a good sport allowing us to use him for some fun games. To ALL VBP VOLUNTEERS we are so blessed to have you and can’t thank you enough for your love and compassion for these kids. YOU ALL ROCK !!

Join the Women at the Table on Saturday, August 5th at Motown from 9am-3pm for a Summer Splash event. A fun day filled with spiritual rejuvenation before the craziness of the fall season. Cost is $20 includes Lunch. Childcare also available. For more information or to sign-up go to

Did you know‌ Gruene UMC has an App?

YES and it’s FREE! Be sure to download it today and get connected to the GUMC Facebook page, get alerts about events, and PUSHPAY our electronic giving. Go to the apps store on your phone and search for Gruene UMC.

NOW HIRING Teachers!

Gruene Tree Learning Center (GTLC) is Now Hiring for the 2017/2018 school year. Previous experience is great to have, but having the love for children is always a must. Applications can be picked up at the GTLC front desk with Ms. Karmin or at the church office with Ms. Nadia. For more information, please contact GTLC Director Rebecca Goossens at

Saying goodbye to Bill & Pastor Karen Horan

A Note from our new Children & Family Ministry Director

Hello Church! My name is Amy Howell and I am thrilled to be your new Director of Children and Family Ministry! My husband, Phil, and I are blessed with two daughters — Emma, who is going into first grade, and Cara, who will be in Kindergarten this Fall. Our family is excited to be part of the Gruene UMC community! One thing you need to know about me is that I am passionate about influencing the next generation and equipping them with a lifelong faith! I believe that nothing is more important than someone’s relationship with God. I believe the Church has the most potential to meet the spiritual needs of families. I am excited to lead ministry for children, Kinder through 5th grade. At the same time, my focus will be on ministry to all families with kids birth through high school. My approach to ministry centers around children and students developing significant relationships with their peers, parents and other generations. This strategy includes developing intentional opportunities for deep discipleship through these relationships. These influences are at the core of a child developing their own faith and being an integral part of the church as a whole. I believe that ministry to children and their families is a ministry of the entire congregation. I am passionate about developing volunteers in whatever capacity fits their gifts, passions and talents and meets a ministry need. I am excited about what Gruene UMC is doing and the great potential for continuing to reach children and families in our greater community. I love meeting new people and would welcome the opportunity to visit with you if you would like to. I’ve told you a few things about myself, and would love to hear part of your story as well! Please don’t hesitate to reach out and connect! Blessings, Amy Howell Director of Children & Family Ministry

By Pastor Brock

WOW, the month of June was the month of mission trips around Gruene. In June alone 55 folks from Gruene went on mission trips. It all started with our middle school youth going on the UM Army trip. 21 youth and adults headed to Rockport, TX where they joined other youth groups to do service work, worship and enjoy fellowship. Later in the month we had the high school mission trip. 34 adults and youth went to Virginia to do home repair work with a group called Appalachia Service Project (ASP). I had the blessing to be able to join this group of awesome youth and to watch them step further into their faith and love amazingly on some beautiful people. This was our fourth year to work with ASP. They are an amazing organization that does some great things in Appalachia, to learn more about ASP you can visit their website at

Mission trips are a beautiful way for us to push the boundaries of our comfort zone, step further out in our faith, to break down barriers, to see the world through God’s eyes and most importantly to love our neighbors the way God does. Most of Jesus’ ministry during His time here on earth was somehow someway relational; it involved encounters with people, with God’s children. Every year on these mission trips that is the biggest take away for me, watching the relationships being built and seeing how God is moving in that. God’s love is on full display and it is beautiful for sure. Your Missions Team here at Gruene is always looking to support individuals and/or groups get involved in mission work and trips. Please contact me if you want to discuss any mission ideas you may have. Pastor Brock at

Steve’s Pantry Update Additional Volunteers Needed Steve’s Pantry is an outreach ministry that helps folks with food, clothes, use of laundry facilities, showers and most importantly builds relationships with some great folks. The activity in the pantry definitely does not slow down during the summer; in fact the summer months last year were some of the busiest they have ever had. As summer is upon us I want to put out an all call for volunteers at the Pantry. Due to folks traveling and schedules changing it is always a bit more challenging over the summer to keep the volunteer slots full. Please consider getting involved, I know that Stephanie would love to hear from you. If you want more information about Steve’s Pantry or want to volunteer, please email Stephanie at

Church By The River Did you know that Gruene puts on a service for our friends in need down by the river under the bridge at IH35? Yep, and it is awesome. We worship with music and a brief message, we share Communion, we share a meal, we share donated clothes, food and toiletries. Most important of all, we love on some amazing folks. If you have never experienced Church By The River (CBR) come on out and check it out. CBR is held the last Saturday of every month. We meet at Gruene at 8:45 to load up supplies then we circle up to pray and head down to the river. Check out CBR, a life could be changed and it may be yours. For more information or to help out with CBR please email Brock at

Missions Team In the month of June your Missions Team was able to support the following ministries: * SOS Food Bank – local food bank serving our community * Any Baby Can – ministry that supports families of children and youth with special needs * Holding Institute Community Center – faith based community center on the border in Laredo, TX Good Samaritan Rescue Mission – homeless shelter in Corpus Christi, TX. For the last two years Gruene has had the blessing to partner with Good Samaritan to host a Church By The River style event at the shelter while we are attending the Rio Texas’ annual conference on Corpus. Your Ideas Are Needed Your Missions Team wants to hear from you. The Team meets the first Wednesday of every month @ 6:30 in Steve’s Pantry here at Gruene. Come hear what the Missions Team is up to, come share your ideas and most important of all come help shape what LOVE looks like in 2017. Or you can email Brock at with any ideas of projects for your Missions Team to support. Blessings, Pastor Brock

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 !

High School Appalachia Service Project in Virginia

Middle School UM Army Mission Trip in Rockport, TX

Rev. Dan Harrington - Senior Pastor

Nadia Hoffman – Administrative Assistant

Rev. Brock Gillman - Associate Pastor

Brandi Carnes - Nursery Director

Rev. Aaron Carter - Associate Pastor

Amy Powell - Children and Family Ministry Director 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,

July 2017 newsletter  
July 2017 newsletter