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June 2017

“God will continue to grow this place because of who you are…” Pastor Karen Horan Summer has started, yea! Kids are out of school, the days get longer and warmer and lots of new people look for a church home as they move into the community or visit on vacation! With summer comes more casual dress, preparation for Vacation Bible Party (June 26 -30), and lots of fun possibilities. So, how can we be creative? Consider starting a short term small group for families that might meet outside on the side patio or under the pavilion….or we have plenty of classrooms in the AC! Or maybe we can get kayakers together… or a play group for pre-school or elementary school kids that meets at the church. This place gets too quiet in the summer…come and connect with each other! If you can dream it up, we can help you get the word out! (and our connection team would love to help!) One of the best things I hear from new folks is that we are so much like a “family”, so friendly and welcoming…so how might we just hang out together? Let’s pray and step in that direction… nothing formal, just come and be with each other inviting new people to connect in new ways…

With summer also comes a lot of travel, and as you know, when people travel our offering often drops a bit. There are some creative ways to keep our giving as consistent as possible (which is our goal… consistency!) If you haven’t connected with push pay, please consider doing so! You can do one time giving or set up a schedule to give even when you are out of town! Of course, be sure to watch on line…all three services in the main building is streamed live at 8:30, 9:40 and 11. And, send us an email or tag us on Facebook with pictures of your travels so we can keep up with you! As you and your family get out and about in the community (Schlitterbahn, ball fields, community pools, etc) , I pray that you will invite those you meet to come to Gruene. So many people are searching for a church home…a connection they are missing. It is the easiest way to be God’s hands and feet! More times than not, if you invite them…they will come!

Finally, we know that this June will be unique because I will be preaching my last sermon here as the “Senior Pastor”. June 25th will be a bittersweet day for me and Bill. My love for this place is deep and wide…and that will not end. However, I know that God planted this church…God tugged on your heart to come…God may have used me in the process, but God has done this all and God will continue to grow this place because of who YOU are. Thanks for being you! You are amazing…and I will miss you. God’s peace, Pastor Karen P.S. Pastor Dan Harrington and his family will be here July 2nd for this first sermon! I know it is July 4th weekend, but I pray you can be here to welcome them! Pastor Aaron Carter will be here too that weekend. Love them all well!

Vacation Bible Party (VBP)

June 26th - 30th 9 a. m. - Noon.

Registration is now open! Go to to sign-up! We need everyone’s help to make this the most awesome VBP ever. Here’s how you can help: Pray for the VBP leadership team. Pray for all the children who will attend, that their hearts would be open to the message of what Jesus can give them- hope, courage, direction, love, and His power. Pray for all the volunteers who make VBP possible. Please pray about how you can help with VBP. Please stop by the VBP table on Sunday to sign-up to volunteer or contact Brandi Carnes at brandi

Calendar UM Army Mission Trip - Youth June 11th – 17th ASP Mission Trip - Youth June 16th - 25th Father’s Day - “Flapjacks & Flipflops” June 18th during all services. “NEW” Mighty God Girls Bible Study For girls ages 8-12 yrs. Starts June 22nd 4 p.m. Bill & Pastor Karen’s Dinner Party

June 25th 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Vacation Bible Party June 25th-30th

9a.m. - noon

Save the Date! Arts & Crafts Show October 7th! Missions & Muffins are having a Festival of Arts & Crafts vendor show on October 7, 2017 from 9am to 3pm, at MoTown both inside and outside. If you would like to rent a table space for the show, please contact Susie Cummins at (830) 708-0228 or Forms are also available at the front counter in the “Missions & Muffins� mailbox. Forms are due to Susie by June 30th.

MoTown will be open on Thursday mornings at 9:15am for Coffee and Fellowship. Some of us might work on quilts or crochet, but there is no set agenda or plan – please come and join us for visiting and coffee! Bring your own snacks, if desired. For further information, please contact Laura at, or stop by on Thursday.

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

Gruene Tree Learning Center News


GTLC has had another blessed year that I am so thankful for! By the end of Thursday May 18th, we said goodbye to 170 students with their families. Well not really “goodbye”, more like see you around town! How lucky are we to be able to bump into our families at church, HEB, or maybe even the NB Feedstore (I love that place)!? VERY LUCKY AND BLESSED! We as staff and administration look back and see where we could do better… which path is God leading us? It is in the silence of this place during our summer break I can hear Him more clearly. I pray we listen and follow with much joy in our hearts! Lastly, I want to thank GUMC and all my staff for being so faithful to this ministry! Besides providing a preschool education, there is so much more that we do for our families that many would not realize. It is a honor to work for THIS PLACE and the GTLC STAFF! Have a wonderful summer! God Bless, Rebecca Goossens GTLC Director

Welcome Amy Howell our new Children and Family Ministry Director!

We are so excited to welcome Amy and her family: husband Phil and two girls Emma (6) and Cara (4). Their first Sunday with us will be June 11th. Amy has 14 years of experience with youth, children and most recently with Family Ministry. She will be full-time so that we can really pour into children’s and expand into family ministry…a way to connect the WHOLE family together to Christ. While her focus with children will still be K-5th grades, her focus with family ministry will be birth-high school. We are super excited to see where God will lead this ministry. Please find and welcome the Howell family on June 11th!

Father’s Day June 18th Flapjacks and Flip-Flops! Invite all the amazing men of God you know to join us for flapjacks and flip-flops on Father’s day, June 18th. We will eat and worship and celebrate the call God offers all men…father’s or not…to lead and love well at all four services. (and gals…we will need some help cooking and serving! Let Mike Lawson or Pastor Karen know if you can help).

Annual Conference June 7th-10th

Annual Conference? What is Annual Conference? Many of you may not know that as United Methodists, we are connected to every other United Methodist Church in our conference or geographical area (Austin to Brownsville, Victoria to Kerrville, and all the way up to San Angelo!). Annual Conference is the time where every single UM clergy of every single church in our conference gathers with equal numbers of UM lay people to “govern” our conference. While it is primarily business meetings, Annual Conference is also a time to worship together, celebrate together, learn and plan together, and just connect with one another. Another important aspect of Annual Conference is the setting of appointments for clergy for the next year. (Yes, clergy are only guaranteed one year at a time) At conference this year we will be receiving Rev. Dan Harrington and Rev. Aaron Carter along with Rev. Brock Gillman who is reappointed to Gruene. If you haven’t heard, Melissa Lind will be appointed as Associate Pastor at First UMC Seguin! It is a very exciting time! Keep all the pastors and our Lay delegates, Clifford Wheeler, Jacob Amaro, and Micaeli Smith in your prayers as they travel to Corpus Christi in the days to come. Pray for God to lead the conference, to bless the clergy and their families, and to empower us collectively and locally to be the Church God calls us to be.

By Pastor Brock A season of change is upon us, spring to summer, school to summer break, schedule changes, more travel and sadly a change in the weather. Some folks talk about summer being a bit of a slow season for the church and I have to say I have never experienced that here at Gruene. Things may feel a bit different but they don’t seem to slow down much around here, especially in regards to mission and outreach. We have youth and adults going on mission trips, Steve’s Pantry continues to stay busy, kids all about for Vacation Bible Party, basketball camps, volleyball camps, soccer camps and the list goes on. Schedules may look a bit different over the summer but I invite and encourage you to stay involved when in town. I look forward to seeing you at church, at events and involved in ministry opportunities here on campus and out in the community. I know of one thing that does not change with the seasons and that is the need for God’s love. And that is something you guys do so well. Thank you for the way that

You love, not only one another but also those neighbors that we may not know as well (yet!!!). Watching you all love on folks in is one of the most rewarding things about this place for me. You are an inspiration!

Summer Mission Trips We have youth groups and individuals from this community of faith going on mission trips this month. A group of middle school youth will be going to Rockport, TX for the UM Army mission trip. They will join a bunch of other youth groups and do mission work for five days. A group of high school youth are heading to Virginia to do home repair work with a ministry called Appalachia Service Project (ASP). ASP is an amazing organization that does some great things in the Appalachia area, to learn more about ASP you can visit their website at . Thank you to our “stockholders” that financially helped these youth by buying stock in these trips. We also want to ask for your prayers for these youth, the adults going with them, the relationships built and the lives touched by these groups.

Steve’s Pantry Update

Backpack Ministry Update

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 month of June last year was one 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

Gruene’s Operation Backpack is a "gap" food program that provides weekend food supplies for food-insecure families within Comal ISD. Volunteers packed and delivered food for the last week of school last month. As the bulk of this ministry takes a break over the summer, Sarah and some of the volunteers work behind the scenes throughout the summer gearing up for the next school year. Backpack Ministry will be back in full swing mid-August and I am sure they would love additional help. If you want to learn more about Backpack Ministry or want to help out please email Pastor Brock at

**DONATIONS NEEDED** Steve’s Pantry is in need of canned fruit and underwear (all sizes). Please drop off your donations at Steve’s Pantry.

Home In A Week Gruene is excited to continue its partnership with Home In A Week Ministry. This is a ministry that partners with churches to host and sponsor “pre-build” days to put together many different components of a house and then all those components come together in one week and a house is built. MARK YOUR CALENDARS for these upcoming Home In A Week events:

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 come on out and check it out. It 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 Church By The River, a life could be changed and it may be yours. For more information or to help out please email Pastor Brock at

Sat. 11/18 – pre-build day at Gruene UMC Sat. 12/9 – pre-build day at Dripping Springs UMC Sat. 1/6 – pre-build day at First UMC Seguin 1/12 – 1/19 build week down in the valley If you want more information about Home In A Week or about volunteer opportunities please email Pastor Brock 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 IH-35?

Your Ideas Are Needed Your Missions Team wants to hear from you. The Team meets the first Wednesday of every month @ 6:30 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 Pastor Brock at with any ideas of projects for your Missions Team to support. Thank you for allowing me the joy of walking alongside you on this journey.

Blessings, Pastor Brock

Parents, Volunteers, students and friends, As my first-year ends, I reflect on this past year in Texas and I am grateful for the opportunity to have met such amazing people. Unaware of the true depth of my “YES”, I moved across states with the faith that God was covering my every footstep. Walking through the doors at Gruene United Methodist Church in Motown every Sunday morning and night brought my children and me such great joy. Even with the joy of being a part of such an amazing church, I continued almost every day to wrestle with the loud screams of loneliness and lack of community support. A strong support system when having children especially being a single parent, is very important. Because I moved states before with my children, I thought to myself…yea, I can do this again. I’ve got God and it’ll all work out. Though God is and has been definitely present through this process, being a part of a complete community with very little family like support is extremely difficult. I will say that the relationships I’ve been privileged to make since being in New Braunfels allowed me to see God in a different and exciting new way. I along with my children have experience great love and acceptance since we’ve arrived to Gruene. We absolutely love Gruene United Methodist Church. That is why it brings me great sadness to share with you all that I will be moving back to Memphis in June. My official last day at Gruene will be June 2nd. Please know that this decision did not come easy and it was bathed in lots of prayer and discernment. The decision to moved back to Memphis has nothing to do with the church, youth, adults volunteers or pastors. This decision is based upon what I feel is best for me and my family and the level of support we need from a community standpoint.

Thank you all for the different levels and roles you play at Gruene and especially within the DNA of the youth ministry. I am grateful for the ways you all taught me, allowed yourself to learn from me and the ways in which you all love on and serve students. You all are amazing. I will forever be grateful for Gruene and especially amazing youth ministry. I wish you all the best in every endeavor your heart’s desire. Love you all. Shalom, Tiarra

Thank you for all the donations and sponsorships for youth mission trips. Because of your generosity, more students can attend mission trips and serve God’s community and people beyond Gruene. You are greatly appreciated.

Rev. Karen Horan - Pastor

Brandi Carnes - Nursery Director

Rev. Brock Gillman - Associate Pastor

Rebecca Goossens - GTLC Director

Nadia Hoffman – Administrative Assistant

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,

June 2017 news