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December 2013

Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church 16245 Nacogdoches Rd, San Antonio, TX 78247 Phone: 210-654-3411

Fax: 210-654-0161 Web:

God’s people called by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the joy, the presence and love of Jesus.

Preparing the Heart It’s December and the world around us has begun its rush to Christmas. The stores are lit up and those familiar Christmas Carols ring out everywhere. ‘Tis the season for giving and receiving, for parties, for greetings, and for traveling home for the holidays. While it has often been said that giving is more blessed than receiving, let us not under-rate receiving. In some ways, receiving is the harder discipline. In giving we maintain control and display our own power and strength. (We can also wear ourselves out taking care of everyone else.) In receiving we admit our dependency on another person and show our own weakness. Notice that for children this is not a problem. What is offered us again this Christmas is the greatest gift ever given; a baby, a savior, God in human form. The question is …. if and how will we receive this gift? Will we make room in our hearts and lives to receive this greatest of gifts and dedicate ourselves to Christ, because he has given himself for us? Check inside this issue of The Grapevine, or travel to our HTPC Website ( to find all the opportunities to prepare for Christmas. There you will find the Holy Trinity family gathering to prepare our hearts with worship, with caroling, with decorating, and with fellowship and of course eating, as we travel once again to Bethlehem. I hope you will join us as we journey to Christmas and bring a friend. Let us prepare our hearts to receive the new born king. On behalf of your Church Staff, I thank you again for the pleasure and privilege of serving at Holy Trinity in 2013 AD. It is truly a blessing to be part of this family of faith and to behold the wonders of His Grace in our midst. We wish you a most Joyous Christmas. Blessings,

Pastor Dick Pastoral Staff

Dick Kreutzer Dick Lavender Al Hockaday Mark Widmer

Music Staff

Children’s Ministry

Office Staff

Milagros Ramirez James Garcia Debbie Osborn Evelyn Reiffert

Cheryl Serrato

Kathy Piere

Brenda Boyd

Ellen Kilian

Annie Marshall

Musical Ministry Happy New Year! If it sounds a bit early, it’s because we celebrate the beginning of our liturgical year about a month earlier than the secular world. Additionally, we are also about to begin the first of a three-year cycle on December 1, the first Sunday of Advent. What is the liturgical cycle all about? In terms of a single year, the Sunday lessons are arranged to celebrate events in Jesus’ life (birth, baptism, crucifixion, resurrection, etc.) as well as historical moments in our history, such the Fall in the Garden of Eden and the Exodus. As for the lessons, each days readings usually consist of a Psalm or Canticle, and selections from the Old Testament, one of the four Gospels, and an Epistle (letter). The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke (the synoptic Gospels) are divided into Year A, B, and C, respectively, with the Gospel of John used at various points during all three years. Each set of readings are designed to reinforce, explain, or expand one another; often prophecies from the Old Testament accompany the Gospel readings and Epistles that tell of their fulfillment. The Great Implications Although great care has been taken in structuring the sequence of readings, the purpose is simple: to allow us to see how the scriptures are woven together across time and to give us a deeper understanding of our faith in the present. In this sense, we are given a peek at how Christ’s birth resonates throughout time. Not only does that singular event culminate in His ultimate sacrifice; it affects us at the moment you read these words and will secure our passage into the next life. Additionally, (and more mysteriously), we are told in John 1 that the Son of God was present before the Big Bang and His coming was heralded throughout many books of the Bible - in short, His birth, life, death and rising are in the very fabric of time. I am excited to begin this three year cycle with you. The myriad possibilities of prayer, life events, music, and worship arts are indeed endless. Most New Year’s resolutions are concerned with physical habits; to lose weight, live more conservatively (or, more liberally), curb spending, etc. Imagine a three-year spiritual resolution: What parts of our church history will we learn? What mysteries will we find by faith and prayer? We pursue answers because we think they offer stability and finality, forgetting that sometimes God’s Universe greets with answers that deepen our faith, but other times answers us with more questions (apparently, the Universe was not taught good manners). I am grateful that I get to listen to the music of the spheres set in the heavens by our Great God and that I get to study the Word in preparation for selecting, creating, and arranging the melodies of our worship. I look forward to a blessed Advent season, James E. García

Christmas Cantata December 15, 2013 10:30 a.m.

From the Youth Corner We would like to Congratulate Joshua Saleen this month. His high school agricultural project was awarded 1st place in the national competition held this past month in Kentucky. His project compared the various brands of duct tape and their comparative strengths. Josh previously presented his project in Dallas at the state competition to enable him to participate at the national level. Joshua was given a monetary award for this achievement. Again, congratulations Josh. We are proud of you! The youth had a fun and enlightening time at the recent overnight Lock-In. We enjoyed singing, cooperating, and having fun together, while increasing both our knowledge of one another and of God. That event, along with the Amazing Race on October 13th, helped the youth get to know one another better by spending time just having fun together. Future events similar to these should be even more fun as we all begin to know one another better and appreciate the uniqueness of our group. Thanks to Ms. Renee, the other adults, and the youth for making this a huge success. HTPC YOUTH GROUP

Our youth have been trying to do a monthly Mission activity. In October, they assembled a bucket of supplies for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and the Church World Service project. In November they will participate in the Fishes and Loaves program.

Youth Activities December 5 December 7 3:00 p.m. December 13 6:00 p.m. December 15 12:30 p.m. December 22

Deadline for Mo-Ranch Midwinters All Church Christmas Caroling Santa’s Ranch Youth Group Leadership Team Meeting Youth Group Christmas Party

HTPC New Braunsfel Youth Room Steve & Jan Jonson’s home

Book Divas The Book Divas will be reading “Skipping Christmas” by John Grisham for their book discussion on December 5, 2013. The Book Divas will be meeting at Sheila Clark’s house at 6:30 p.m. on December 5th. Bring a snack for six. Beverages will be provided.

KeenAgers When: Where:

Thursday, December 19, 2013 @ 11:30 a.m. Grumpy’s 18817 FM 2252 – Bracken 210-651-3444

Stewardship Update At this time we have received 93 pledges totaling $329,348.36. Our goal is 115 pledges totaling $370,000.00

Mission and Outreach HTPC does it again! Between donations of cleaning supplies and cash, HTPC members have made a contribution of 25 Disaster Cleanup Kits to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) worth approximately $1,300. PDA works with Church World Service to deliver assistance and supplies to victims of any kind of disaster all over the world. Contributions of cleaning supplies ranging from sponges and scouring pads to disinfectants and detergent were loaded into buckets between the early and late services on Sunday, November and will be delivered to PDA’s distribution center near Little Rock, Arkansas on November 19, Mission and Outreach sends a big THANK YOU to all those HTPC members and friends who participated.

Angel Tree (House of Neighborly Services) The Angel Tree will be placed in the Family Room on the first Sunday in December. Please come by and select a family member from the thirteen families with kids whose names will be on the tree. The names will be available on Dec. 1 & Dec. 8. The gifts will be brought to the church on Dec. 15 for delivery to the families that Sunday. For more information see us at the Angel Tree Dec. 1 & 8. Mano & Debbie Perez


Holiday Meal Basket Program Each Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Randolph Area Christian Assistance Program (RACAP) provides food to many area families who would otherwise not be able to prepare a holiday meal. The organization has already begun accepting applications for this year's meal basket program from clients who qualify for its regular services. We at HTPC can assist by giving food, by donating money and gift cards to buy turkeys and other perishable items, and, as individuals or organizations, by sponsoring one or more families. Sponsorship of a family for Thanksgiving or Christmas involves providing and delivering all of the meal basket contents and, at Christmas, gifts for the family's children. Checks with "Holiday Program" on the memo line and gift cards can be mailed to RACAP, 307 Pfeil Street, Schertz, TX 78154. Food for the Holiday Meal Basket Program can be left below the Mission Area bulletin board in the church's family room. Holiday Program food, as well as supplies for RACAP's food pantry can also be taken to RACAP at the address above between 1:00 and 3:00 PM Monday through Friday. Sponsorship application forms are available in the Mission area of the family room and need to be returned to RACAP by October 25 for Thanksgiving and by December 5 for Christmas. Items needed for RACAP's Holiday Meal Basket Program: Chicken Broth Flour Granulated sugar (four-pound bag) Brown sugar (one pound) Canned green beans and corn Evaporated milk Stuffing mix Canned pumpkin Canned yams Fruit cocktail Cranberry sauce RACAP asks that those sponsoring a family also include eggs, margarine or butter, pie shells and rolls or bread in the basket. Current RACAP food pantry needs: Toiletries—soap, shampoo, feminine hygiene products, razors, toilet paper Canned items—meat, mixed vegetables, fruit, sweet peas, tomato products Rice

Highlights of the Officers Retreat at Mo Ranch November 9, 2013 1. Session adopted a new policy restricting announcements prior to worship service. 2. Community Fellowship Church, New Braunfels, which HTPC has helped sponsor, will be chartered as a Presbyterian Church on November 17, 2013. 3. The draft 2014 operating budget was distributed. As of October 31, the current year operating budget shows income exceeds expenses by $65,113.82. 4. The Session celebrated the many ministries happening at HTPC.

Folks, We Have a Problem and a Solution Last Saturday morning at approximately 8:00, Pastor Dick went into the Bethel Library to prepare for the meeting of the General Council of Mission Presbytery which he was hosting. He also serves as the Moderator of this group. The Pastor discovered a number of items in the room which he did not recognize and could find no identification. He did not know who had left the items, so he removed the items to a different area. We all share the meeting spaces at HTPC. We should take all items that we bring to a meeting when we leave, and remember to place all discarded items, (drink cups, etc) in the waste baskets, thus leaving the space welcoming to those who follow us. We have an ongoing issue at Holy Trinity. Items appear; sometimes nobody knows where they came from. These items must be disposed of when they are not in the best interest of Holy Trinity. We ask for your cooperation in correcting this concern. Please inform Kathy or Ellen, who will notify a member of the Admin Committee (Building and Grounds) who will accept the item(s) on behalf of the Church or politely refuse when accepting the item is deemed not to be in the best interest of Holy Trinity. With the cooperation of all building users, we can prevent Holy Trinity from becoming a depository for garage sale and Goodwill items. Thank you for ensuring the safety and esthetics of our buildings and grounds. The HTPC Staff and Administration Committee





1st 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 3rd 3rd 4th 5th 5th

Nancy Ericksen Mary Jane Katter Alexandria Shoots Daniel Agee Ardie Bond Frank Walton Erica Ward Brooks Pfeil Randy Waters Jerry Zellers Sam Colvin Moe Guthrie


Graycee Porter

6th 7th 8th 10th 10th 11th 11th 12th 12th 12th 12th 13th 15th 16th 17th 17th 18th 18th

Elinor Greene Rhonda Puder Tamara Schuster Caitlin Anderson Leo Beach Evelyn Johnson April Pennington John Armstrong Zenaida Baer Don Taylor Leah Young Kohl Schuster Natalie Mehaffey Trisha Warren Andi Matt Brandon Puder Janice Shute Dick White

19th 20th 20th 21st 23rd 23rd 24th 24th

Scott Cales Brenda boyd Scott Schavrien Kris McFarlin Buddy Clark James Miksch Lois Horch Ralph Keller Gilian Armstrong


25th 25th 25th 25th 26th 26th 26th 28th 28th 29th 31st

Jack Arnold Jim Ball Ruth Decker Kathy Piere Diana Mascilli Emily Mueller Marcia Parks Nicole Eichinger Tracy Jacobsen Carlos Baladez Jr. Neil Cato, Jr.

Wedding Anniversaries 1st 8th 15th 21st 22nd 22nd 28th 28th 28th 28th 29th 29th 30th 30th 30th 31st

Susan Bartlett Bob & Lois Horch Roy & Rhonda Puder Carlos & Silvia Baladez Jr. Steve & Kate Forisha Fred & Elaine Hutchinson Joe & Jackie Lopez Bob & Marcia Parks Kenn & Andi Stansbury Joe & Julie Trevino Brian & Anne Parks Zack & Cheryl Serrato Jack & Diann Arnold Jefferson & Morgan Johnson Paul & Katherine Mehaffey Art & Carol Scarbrough

23 68 39 33 3 49 47 50 17 28 23 12 47 18 24 6

Thank You Remembering Joan Smith I am trying to think of the words that will allow me to say THANK YOU in the strongest way possible, to you, the members of Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church, for everything you did to honor the memory of Joan. The untold number of cards, letters, emails, phone calls and visits that showed us how much you all loved Joan. The Memorial Service, from the beautiful bulletin, Pastor Dick’s very personal comments, the letters from her daughter, Debbie Cook and her granddaughter, Taylor Cook, which were so eloquently read by Pastor Caryn, the testimonials that told so much about Joan, and the music. Jubilation, James Garcia, Wanda Keller, Debbie Osborn and Evelyn Reiffert all expressed love and joy through their music. The reception coordinated by Pam Miller and Gail Schavrien was very delicious. All this was uplifting and so appropriate for a lady who loved her family, friends, God, and her church. On behalf of our family, thanks again. God Bless You All, Wayne Smith

Dear HTPC Friends, My appreciation to all who have been with me through my hip replacement surgery in prayers, cards, food and calls--each meaning so much to me. Lots of helpful information to my many questions have been answered by a number of people, but especially by those who have been through this--Judith Comin, who encouraged me to do it, and The Marshalls. Dick Kreutzer's time with us ahead of surgery and after, is truly appreciated. The flowers and prayer shawl brought to me from Diann and Jack helped bring the love of God and His people closer to me. Of course, I could not have gotten through this without my faithful husband, who took over in many different ways. In Christian Love, Mary Lavender

About the New Banners Using the visual art of quilting we created these banners seeking to glorify God and enhance the worship experience. Just as a quilt is multi layered so are the meanings to be found in these banners. The titles are mere springboards for you meditation. Let the Spirit take you where it may. There are no wrong answers. Titles are “Creation”, “History”, “Unity” and “Peace”. The banner team consists of Linda Clark, Kay Perez, DiAnn Arnold, Elaine Frank, Kathy Hayson, Pam Miller, Gretchen Johnston, Deanie Nunns and Val Ajas. Machine Quilted by Ann Barnett.

December 2013 SUNDAY













Meet & Greet Communion 1st Sunday in Advent 8:30am Worship 9:45am Classes 11:00am Worship

1:00pm Afternoon Games (Bethel) 6:30pm Women’s Emmaus (Children’s Library) 7:00pm Fellowship Com Mtg (Geneva) 7:00pm Men’s Fellowship (Bethel) 7:00pm Stephen Ministry Training (Westminster)

10:30am Staff Meeting 7:00pm HTPW Bible/Circle (Bethel) 7:00pm Worship Com Mtg (Pastor’s Office) 7:00pm Jubilation (Sanctuary)

9:00am Women’s Emmaus (Jim’s) 9:30am Prayer Shawl/Sewing Group (Bethel) 11:30am Women’s Lunch 6:30pm Handbell Choir (Music) 7:00pm Bible Study (Bethel) 7:30pm Sanctuary Choir

6:00am Women’s Emmaus (IHOP) 6:00am Men’s Emmaus (Jim’s – Nacogdoches & 1604) 7:30am Green Team 9:30am Mary Martha Circle (Bethel) 7:00pm Stephen Ministries (Bethel) 7:00pm Book Club (Westminster)









2nd Sunday in Advent 8:30am Worship 9:45am Classes 11:00am Worship 5:30pm HTPW AGAPE FEAST

6:30pm Women’s Emmaus (Children’s Library) 7:00pm HTPW Bd Mtg (Bethel) 7:00pm Men’s Fellowship (Music) 7:00pm Stephen Ministry Training (Westminster)

7:00pm CE Meeting (Geneva) 7:00pm Evangelism Mtg (Westminster) 7:00pm Jubilation (Sanctuary)

9:00am Women’s Emmaus (Jim’s) 9:30am Prayer Shawl/Sewing Group (Bethel) 6:30pm Handbell Choir (Music) 7:00pm Bible Study (Bethel) 7:30pm Sanctuary Choir

6:00am Women’s Emmaus (IHOP) 6:00am Men’s Emmaus (Jim’s – Nacogdoches & 1604) 7:30am Green Team 7:00pm MO Ranch Planning Meeting (Bethel)

Youth at Santa’s Ranch (New Braunfels)

Fellowship Set-up 9:00am Choir Rehearsal








NEWSLETTER DEADLINE Christmas Cantata 3rd Sunday in Advent 10:30am Worship 9:00am Classes All Church Christmas Party

12:00pm Men’s Lunch 1:00pm Afternoon Games (Bethel) 6:30pm Women’s Emmaus (Children’s Library) 7:30pm Chairs Mtg (Pastor’s Office) 7:00pm Stephen Ministry Training (Bethel)

10:30am Staff Meeting 6:00pm Finance Mtg (Office Work Room) 6:30pm Session Meeting (FR) 7:00pm Admin Mtg (Bethel) 7:00pm Jubilation (Sanctuary)

9:00am Women’s Emmaus-Jim’s 9:30am Prayer Shawl/Sewing Group (Bethel) 6:30pm Handbell Choir (Music) 7:00pm Bible Study (Bethel) 7:30pm Sanctuary Choir

6:00am Women’s Emmaus (IHOP) 6:00am Men’s Emmaus (Jim’s – Nacogdoches & 1604) 7:30am Green Team 11:30am Staff Christmas Lunch 11:30am KeenAgers 7:00pm Mission Area Mtg (Geneva)








Joy Gift Offering 4th Sunday in Advent 8:30am Worship 9:00am Classes 11:00am Worship 5:30pm Women’s Emmaus (Geneva) Youth Christmas Party (Johnson’s)

6:30pm Women’s Emmaus (Children’s Library)

CHRISTMAS EVE 12:00pm OFFICE CLOSED 5:00pm Family Worship Service 7:30pm Christmas Eve Service 11:00pm Christmas Eve Service




8:00am Spiritual Garden




8:30am Worship 9:45am Classes 11:00am Worship



3:00pm All Church Caroling

2013 - December - The Grapevine Newsletter  

Monthly newsletter sharing updates on congregational life and ministry at Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church.

2013 - December - The Grapevine Newsletter  

Monthly newsletter sharing updates on congregational life and ministry at Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church.