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Let’s Journey to Jerusalem together! Lent commemorates the 40 days of testing, discernment, and preparation that Jesus spent in the wilderness before he began his ministry in Jerusalem. When we visited the Holy Land, a few years ago, we saw a hill (by Texas standards), called the Mount of Temptation, which towers over the city of Jericho. Tradition says this is where Jesus went to reflect on his baptism, to discern his call to ministry, and to prepare for God’s work in and through his life. From this desert retreat, Jesus of Nazareth returned to teach and preach and heal by the power of God. Today, the season of Lent calls us to return to God through the practices of spiritual discernment, reflection on the life of Jesus through scripture, and personal renewal through seeking and waiting on the Holy Spirit. Lent prepares us for celebrating the Week that Changed the World forever – Holy Week. This week, over 2000 years ago, is still remembered around the world, because God acted out his love and forgiveness for us all through the suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Below are a few highlights of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter at Holy Trinity. Please check out this newsletter and the Sunday bulletins for all the opportunities for worship, fellowship, service and growth opportunities in Lent.

And why not invite a friend to join you as we Journey to Jerusalem together. Our Journey will begin March 5th with a fellowship dinner at 6:30 pm followed by our Ash Wednesday Worship Service at 7:15 pm. This service is a great time to receive the marks of our humanness and our sin (ashes) and to receive signs of God’s grace (bread, wine, prayers and oil). On Passion Palm Sunday (April 13th) at the 11 am service, we will celebrate with seven Holy Trinity youth as they make their confession of faith and join Holy Trinity as believers, completing their confirmation journey. Maundy Thursday (April 17th) we will gather for a fellowship meal and Worship at 7:15 pm in the Sanctuary. Good Friday (April 18th) at 7:00 pm the Sanctuary Choir will lead us in worship through music, presenting an Easter Cantata called “Followers of the Lamb”. Easter Morning (April 20th) will begin with Sunrise in the Garden at 7:00 am followed by 8:30 and 11:00 am Resurrection Worship Services and special music. At the 11:00 am service we will also commission our new class of eight Stephen Ministers. Make plans now to join us for Lent and Easter at Holy Trinity and bring a friend. See you in church,

Pastor Dick

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Life After Loss We’ve had a record number of deaths and funerals at Holy Trinity. There are many in this congregation that are left alone and/or in grief. Where can we find strength and healing in our times of loss and grief? Holy Trinity Caregivers are pleased to announce a seminar entitled Life After Loss. Darwin Huartson, a trained grief counsellor, will be here to lead us in a six-week experience in healing. The topics covered include: 1. Overview of Physical, Emotional, Spiritual and Social implications of grief. 2. The Stages of Grief 3. Memories and How to Use Them to Heal 4. How to Take Care of Yourself While You Grieve 5. Holidays and Anniversary Dates 6. Planning for the Future Seminar will meet Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. at Holy Trinity beginning April 24, 2014 ending May 29, 2014. If you or someone you know has experienced grief recently, make plans to come or to bring them to this seminar. You can reserve a place for yourself (and a friend) by calling the Holy Trinity church office at (210) 657-7522. For more information call me. See you in church,

Pastor Dick

From the Music Stand: March is here, with Spring and “the sound of turtledoves in the air” (Song of Solomon, 2) following close behind. We often enter Lent in March, although Ash Wednesday can occur in February.

Lent is: always having to say you’re sorry... As is the case with other liturgical celebrations, Lent is often a point of contention in congregations that have converts from different traditions. Some hold it in high regard; others see it as a contrived, “Romish” tradition that borders on mass coercion; a time to give up some libation or food, be contrite, and to beat our chests, uttering mea culpa for 40 days. Is sacrifice and depravation all there is to Lent, or is there something more? Is there a point to our collective withdrawal symptoms? What if, instead of skipping the chocolate and alcohol, we added a daily discipline to bring us to a deeper understanding of God, our faith, or each other? (Allow that thought to marinate in a light, lowcalorie sauce for a spell.) Create in Me a Clean Heart Psalm 51, appointed for Ash Wednesday, is one of my favorites. In it, we find one of the most poetic supplications: Create in me a clean heart, O God and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Some psalms praise with exuberance, others lament with profound despair, but this one begs for a true change of heart, a rebirth. Not surprisingly, many composers have set this text to music. In that tradition, we will present a new setting of a portion of Psalm 51 by one of our choir members at the Ash Wednesday service. I thank You God for most [these] amazing day(s)... Birthdays in our house usually become birth weeks. Every March, I celebrate my two best Easter gifts: my oldest son, Jonathan (March 16), and my daughter Jazzi (March 28). (Trini is my early birthday present, and Toran was our Grapevine, March 2014, Page 2


Christmas pageant baby Jesus!) Growing up Catholic, I had always observed Lent with my family, but the Lent/Easter season of 2005, which included Jazzi’s birth, forever changed my perceptions of the seasons of Lent and Easter, but that is a story for another day. May you have a blessed Ash Wednesday and Lenten season,

Chili Cook-Off held February 16th The Annual Chili Cook-Off was held February 16 and we had a great turnout! There was plenty of Chili, Gumbo, Cornbread, and great Pies for all to enjoy. Votes were cast for first, second and third place in each category and award ribbons were presented to the winners. Congratulations to the following participants:

James E. García Director of Music Holy Trinity will host some great musical events, including musical worship and evenings of entertainment in the next two months.

Chili: David Saleen, First Place; Elinor Greene and Linda Clark, Second Place; and Eric and Joyce Tietze, Third Place.

The Long Lost Sisters

Cornbread: Nelba Vermeer, First Place; Martha Platt, Second Plane; and Sharon Boles, Third Place

An Evening with Jackie Sears and Friends 6 APR 2014, 7:00pm Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church Family Room Come enjoy an informal program that includes a variety of musical genres, a special guest artist, and a sing-along! Refreshments will be served.

Followers of the Lamb Good Friday Cantata Presented by the Holy Trinity Sanctuary Choir, Narrators, and Chamber Music Group 18 APR 2014, 7:00pm Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church Sanctuary

Gumbo: Nelba Vermeer, First Place; and Diann Arnold, Second Place

Showmanship: David and Kay Perez, First Place; Jim and Karen Ball, Second Place; and Eric and Joyce Tietze, Third Place Pie Baking, Youth Division: Zoey Brown, First Place; Aaron Mehaffey, Second Place; and Noelia Vermeer, Third Place Pie Baking: Elinor Greene, First Place; Jennifer Hester, Second Place; and Bobby Saleen, Third Place The Fellowship Committee thanks all the participants and volunteers for their help making this event a fun time for all!

** Fellowship will sponsor a Pancake dinner at 6:30 pm in the family room on Ash Wednesday**

Please join us for a worship experience that tells the story of the Passion from the perspective of Jesus’ followers.

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Pocket Prayer Shawls These pocket prayer shawls are small enough to fit in a pocket or be used as a bookmark. They serve as a reminder that God is with you and that you are but a prayer away from your brothers and sisters in Christ. Please pick one up for yourself, or someone you know, that is in need of prayer and comfort. The Prayer Shawl Group will be available in the Narthex and Family Room the first Sunday of March to answer any questions you may have. After that there will be a basket with these pocket shawls in the narthex for your taking as needed. We would like to say a special thank you to Rev. Dick Lavender for bring this idea to us from his son's church. Remember, we still have prayer shawls available for, or to give, to those with a prayer concern or health need. Please contact one of us through the church office. As of this date, we have given over 250 shawls since we begin in January of 2010. Thanks you.

Make a New Friend at Mo Ranch Retreat An important harbinger of Spring for Presbyterian women, is the Mo Ranch Retreat. This year is particularly exciting because Holy Trinity is hosting the retreat! Additionally, Pastor Caryn is the Keynote Speaker Debbie Osborn is the Music Director There are lots of interesting, helpful and fun workshops as well as plenty of time for yourself and

your friends. The retreat is taking place on March 28-30. Registration applications are available at the HTPW shelf in the Family Room. Scholarships are available. If you need more information, please contact Mary Ann Hester Zink at marywyomin@hotmail.com.

Vacation Bible School An Exciting Time Ahead – Please Get Involved Planning for this summer’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) is already underway. Amanda Iacovino is this year’s VBS Program Coordinator. Amanda is committed to preparing a highly festive, creative, and innovative VBS experience that should enrich and capture the imagination of all the children who attend. She hopes to engage a host of volunteers in support of the various ministries associated with VBS as well. Anyone interested in helping with VBS or anyone interested in participating on the leadership planning team is asked to please contact Amanda. With everyone’s help and involvement, this year’s VBS program promises to be an exciting, entertaining, and enchanting experience for all our children.

From the Youth Corner Youth Spotlight Hi I am Zoe Brown. I am an eighth grader at Lopez middle school and next year I will be going to Reagan high school. I have lived in San Antonio, along with my mom Kathy, my dad Tony, and my brother robin, for about three and a half years and we’ve been going to HTPC for about the same amount of time. Right now I am participating in confirmation class which has been opening my heart and mind to more deeply understanding God and his love.

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Mo Ranch Youth Retreat "I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who abide in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5

During the first weekend of February, eight Holy Trinity youth hugged their parents and pledged their best behavior while loading duffle-bags into Steve Johnson’s Super-Van. The excited group embarked on their long-awaited pilgrimage to the 2014 Mid-Winter Youth Retreat, which is an event held each year at Mo Ranch in the spectacular Texas Hill Country. Despite menacing weather reports, the weekend rested perfectly between 2014’s two arctic superstorms: Hercules and Pax; so attendees were delightfully surprised by only a pleasant morning chill, followed by cloudless blue-skies, and a picture-perfect 70-degree Saturday afternoon. Thank Goodness for the stunning weather! We were doubly fortunate to stay in the unique Guest Lodge next to the river, which offers the feel of a frontier-like mansion with its Spanish, Hill Country, and log-cabin influences. It’s like an old-timey movie set!

Mid-Winter Retreats are incredible faithbuilding regional events, designed by leaders of Mission Presbytery, to convene and connect Presbyterian youth from across Texas in the spirit of Christian Education, Fellowship, and Worship. The legacy of the event spans more than 30-years, and is now offered on multiple weekends. Our group joined 282 other students, so the weekend was the largest of its kind in years, and was an unquestionably Grand Success! We particularly enjoyed the new mixed format that allowed our middle and high school participants to participate together. Our MidWinter pilgrims were: -

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(young ladies) Zoe Brown, Paz Garcia, Bridgette McFarlin, and Natalie Mehaffey; (young men) Robin Brown, Alan Johnson, Aaron Mehaffey, and Josh Saleen; (adult Leaders) Andrew Gayley and Bobbie Saleen.

And in the spirit of all things Presbyterian, there’s was actually a great deal of structure to the

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weekend – but even meetings are fun at MidWinters! Four blocks of time included: a general assembly with (1) high-energy praise “energizers”, (2) a Keynote Address (as components of a multi-part sermon), and (3) small-group lessons. During each gathering, we excavated new knowledge from the weekend’s John 15:5 theme: first, the vine’s foundation and supportive root system; an escalating framework and our need for healthy faith communities; followed by branching out and pruning. The Retreat Leader was the captivating Rev. John Leedy, Young Adult Minister at University Presbyterian Church on the campus of UT. His demeanor was connective – his messages clicked with the students’ experience of life – and they hung on his every word!  To keep everyone occupied, some fun organized games were: stacking hexnuts using shish-kabob skewers, bouncing Ping-Pong balls into a milk crate, rolling marbles onto double-stick tape, and trying to build a tower of whiffle-balls?! And fortunately, because our dorm was by the water, the guys played Ultimate Frisbee (with many other churches) near the river during free time, and many of the ladies hiked upstream to soak their feet in the refreshing rapids. The kids got a real kick out of the “Rumble in the Jungle” theme of the Saturday night dance, and many even dressed up as their favorite animals. There was a horse, a cat and mouse, a leopard, Animal from the Muppets, a kilt wearing Scot, a Minecraft Samurai, and even

a caveman with a life-size stuffed lion! As expected then, enormous energy was evoked by the recently popular song by Ylvis, “What Does the Fox say?”, but also by the 2005 “Cupid Shuffle”, and re-mixed hits from the 1980’s (like the Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran, and New Order). Exhausted animals finally embraced the opportunity to rest, at the dance’s conclusion, when four staff-members successively took the stage to share personal accounts about: (1) an alcohol-related car accident, (2) moving to a new city, (3) grasping ahold of hope and purpose from within the quagmire of teenage depression, and (4) welcoming the call of Christ amidst worldly distractions. In those reflective listening moments – the attitude of the assembly was palpably transformed from a place of dance and praise into an uplifting prayer service with six interactive prayer stations: (a) lighting a tea candle as a glowing, visual prayer; (b) pin a friend’s name to a world map; (c) meditative prayer while tracing Celtic knotwork or a finger labyrinth; (d) tie a written prayer ribbon to a framework of chicken wire; (e) send a “prayer offering” heaven-ward by burning concerns written on rice paper; and (f) sharing feelings of gratitude within home-group circles. It was breath-taking to watch the candlelit movement from station-to-station in silence. For Sunday morning worship, the sanctuary’s chairs were arranged in the shape of a Celtic targe. At the center of the labyrinth lie the Lord’s table, which the students gazed across toward their new friends during the sermon – adding to the sacred feeling of the space. Young Rev. Leedy’s messages came to fullness as he addressed the “fruit of the vine”, and emphasized the importance for “you (the students) to cultivate good fruit now, as today’s disciples, not Grapevine, March 2014, Page 6


disciples of some arbitrary future time. You’re not partial people – you’re already followers of Christ – and your fruit matters!” As a sermon illustration, he even shared the familiar barrierhurdling life story of our honorary lay pastor, Christian Ginesi, who built an e-mail congregation with 100’s of virtual members across four states. What a message! Following the sermon, the students “prayer ribbon-covered chicken wire framework” (from the candlelight prayer service) was presented as our communal offering, when Pastor Leedy reminded us that “God is like a mother hen – who gathers her chicks beneath her wings” (Mt 23:37b). I honestly think our young people experienced a significant “increase in stature in wisdom” during the brief weekend – and it was definitely one of our best Mo Ranch Mid-Winter trips ever! Our Thanks: To the parents, the Youth Group Leaders, sponsors, Pastors, Session, CE Committee, Leaders at Presbytery, the Planning Team, the Youth Connection Committee, the Mo Ranch staff, Steve Johnson and his Super-Van, to Fudruckers, Sonic, the youth themselves, and many others – Thank You! to all who made 2014 Mid-Winters happen! Andrew Gayley

Youth Group Announcement of T Shirts Sales Attention All Adults: Youth Group “T” shirts go on sale this month. The shirts are green in color and were designed by our youth. Shirts are available to you and your family members in a variety of sizes. Proceeds of the sale go to support the youth program here at Holy Trinity. The “T” Shirts are being sold for $20 per shirt. Church members are thanked in advance for their support. Please contact any one of our

middle school or high school youth to place a T shirt order while supplies last. Submitted on behalf of the Holy Trinity Youth Group.

Confirmation Journey Continues Our confirmation class has begun its journey with seven delightful, inspiring, and inquisitive young people accompanied by a group of dedicated, faithful mentors and covenant partners. We are meeting weekly on Thursday evenings and look forward to growing in faith with this group of young men and women. Please uplift each of these confirmands and their mentors by name in your continual prayers as we travel this confirmation journey together. The youth involved in the class are Florence Antwi, Zoe Brown, Madison Cato, Destiny Jones, Preston LeBlanc, Aaron Mehaffey and Natalie Mehaffey. Their covenant partners are Anne Parks, Debbie Newlin, Len Gray, Andrew Gayley, Steve Johnson, Terry Widmer, and Buddy Clark, respectively. Again, please pray for understanding, insight, and a faithful, fulfilling personal relationship with our Lord and Savior for all participants as we grow in faith together. Pastor Dick and Mark

YOUTH ACTIVITIES Mar 2nd Dinner and Devotional

Joe & Jackie Lopez

April 25th Fiesta Day Parade – set up and selling chairs April 26th Fiesta Night Parade – set up & selling chairs Stay tuned for more detailed activities in the Spring. You will be able to find them on the HTPC website, in the Grapevines, and on bulletin boards throughout the church.

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Youth Group Would you like to get to know our Youth Group better and host them for dinner? The Youth Group meets once a month on a Sunday at an HTPC member’s home for dinner and a devotional. If this sounds like something you would like to do please contact Katherine Mehaffey 210-464-0297 or Bobbie Saleen 210216-5467.

Women’s Luncheon When: Monday, March 3, 2014 @ 11:30 am Where: Buon Giorno Café 15033 Nacogdoches 210-967-9830

KeenAgers When: Thursday, March 27, 2014 @ 11:30 am Where: Dragon Lake Chinese 2053 Universal City Blvd. 210-659-3168

Mission and Outreach Corner Tools for Development Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. -I Corinthians 13:13 Spring is just around the corner and the first of our four visits to the villages we sponsor is fast approaching. Our volunteers are busy preparing donations and activities which will bring smiles to the village children as well as to the adults. This year is another challenging year and it seems it has been challenging for several years. Nevertheless our love for the people encourages us to continue. We know it’s a big effort which is mainly done by our supporters in Mexico and we

are grateful for their dedication and resilience to continue with God’s work. Two more young ladies will be graduating from college this summer. The scholarship program has been a blessing to the youth. For the ones that finished high school it has given them the opportunity to work in jobs other than agriculture. For those who have been able to graduate from college it has opened opportunities never dreamed off. For us, is the satisfaction of giving a young impoverished person the opportunity to overcome poverty? This project has been possible because of Godly sponsors who support the student’s studies. Our sewing room continues to be used on a regular basis by our village ladies. This has become the place where women come together and is the perfect venue for them to find support in each other. Donations of fabrics and sewing notions are very much appreciated. Sunday children’s activities have become “Sunday Fiesta” for the children of the communities. Our missionaries make it a point to always have a treat and plenty of activities. The children look forward to it and in the process encourage the parents to come to worship. The lord is touching many hearts in the midst of extreme poverty. How wonderful is our God that gives his children the strength to endure their heavy yoke. We hope to be able to build a dedicated house of worship in the near future. On behalf of the Oto-Pame people we would like to express our heartfelt thanks for all your support and we hope to see you at our next fundraise dinner which will be held on 22nd November. Love in Christ The board of Tools for Development

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Habitat for Humanity

Happy

of San Antonio, Inc.

Birthday

The Presbyterian Cluster is happy to announce we have raised enough money to begin our house construction for 2014. Holy Trinity is part of the Presbyterian Cluster of churches who support the Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio, Inc. We need volunteers to sign-up for this year’s home build which begins in March of this year. There are three functions a participating church does to help support the building of our house. You have a church that is responsible for the coordinating of the day’s build. You have another church(s) that are responsible for supporting the day’s build with volunteers. And you have a church who provides lunch to all the participating churches and volunteers which is somewhere between 25-30 people each build day. The construction will begin March 7, 2014 and end on May 17, 2014. It is every Friday and Saturday for thirteen weeks until the build is completed. The following are the dates that Holy Trinity will be supporting the build. March 2, Saturday – provide volunteers. March 29, Saturday – provide lunch. April 5, Saturday – provide volunteers. May 17, Saturday – provide volunteers. Stop by the family room and sign-up for a day you can help or see Mano Perez if you have questions. You can only work half a day? Not a problem. We welcome every one of you who is eager to help. No experience needed. You will go home feeling good about yourself and you will be making a big difference in someone’s life.

2nd 3rd 3rd 4th 5th 5th 6th 6th 6th 7th 7th 9th 10th 11th 13th 13th 14th 16th 20th 20th 20th 21st 21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th 25th 26th 26th 26th 27th 27th 28th 29th

Robert Vermeer Hiroshi Ajas Jared Taylor Mary Gash Melissa Cox Andrew Diaz Trish Doyscher Diane Niccum Dale Rasler Abby Maloy Aubriana Thompson Carolyn Pfeil Aaron Jacobsen Nancy Kinard Amy Kamata Bobbie Saleen Anna Foster Kendyll Turnage Don Clark Thomas Stansbury Larry Yano Vivian Lawson Kelvin West Scott Platt Dennis Revell Ericka Jathan Beverly Brannam Jay Collins Philip Amon Marilyn Juarez Bruce Miller Brenda Cales Donna Stein Rosemarie Robertson Kim Ellis

Wedding Anniversary 7th

11th 13th 16th 19th 21st 22nd 26th

Carla Garza

Graham & Dee Roberts Wally & Carolyn Thurston Ruben & Betty Hernandez Don & Carole King Bob & Judy Spencer Scott & Brenda Cales Eric & Joyce Tietze

8 32 57 9 50 34 11

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2014 - March - The Grapevine Newsletter