p. 2 | cares&gives: Stewardship results, altar flowers, our sympathy
United Methodist Church p. 3|a sks: Nina Crawley interview p. 4 | serves&worships: More Than Enough Day, 40 Days Together
p. 5 | c onnects CHILDREN: VBS 2012,
p. 6 | c onnects YOUTH: Spring Break activities, summer mission camps
p. 7 | c onnects ADULTS: Handbell choir workshop, PrimeTimers, Auxiliary
p. 8 | i nvites: Centenary College Choir and spring special music events
Easter egg hunt, Day School/MDO
Ask yourself, ‘What do I think that I cannot do without?’ ◗ REV. TOMMY WILLIAMS, SENIOR PASTOR
uring the season of Lent 2012, our theme is 40 Days Together. While Lent certainly involves the solitary journey, it also involves the communal one to the cross of Jesus Christ. As a part of this 40 Days Together, we’re calling the people of Westbury UMC to a churchwide prayer and fast. A CALL TO PRAYER Our prayer is three-fold and comes from
the Gospel of Mark: that we would deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus. Maybe you’ll notice that I’ve substituted the communal pronoun for the singular one. In addition to reflecting on those individual admonitions, take some time to pray this prayer. What would it mean for us as a church to deny ourselves? What self-centered concerns would fall away for us as a church? What would it mean for us to take up our cross? What pain, what sacrifice, what suffering, what load, what burden should we bear together? And finally, what does it mean for us to follow Jesus as a church? This last one would seem elementary except that we should ask ourselves as a church, from time to time, if we are truly following Jesus. We study, we serve, we worship, we give…but are we doing it as a function of our discipleship, our followership of Jesus?
“If we think we can’t do without something other than Christ, we might have just discovered an idol we’ve started to worship.” A CALL TO FASTING I know the anxiety level begins to go up when we hear
about fasting. Most do not regularly engage this age-old spiritual discipline. While it is thoroughly biblical and true to centuries of the faith, we often see it as the practice of a few, the practice of monks or maybe we see it as an unnecessary form of Christian devotion. I was a latecomer to this discipline myself. There are many different forms of a fast. For medical reasons there are some who cannot healthily engage in a food-related fast. However, many of us can and should. The main point of fasting is exactly the point of the prayer above: deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus. Remember that Jesus spent much time fasting in order to be present and totally dependent on God. Fasting from food, TV, Facebook—whatever it may be— reminds us that none of these things save us. The main test is to ask, “What do I think I cannot do without?” If we think we can’t do without something other than Christ, then we might have just discovered an idol we’ve started to worship. It’s hard to discover those things in ourselves. But God’s grace abounds. Let me share with you a form of fasting that I’m calling on you to join with me.
Fast in solidarity, in oneness with poor people around the world. Here’s how you can do it. Pick a country, pick a people, someone you know or sponsor who doesn’t have much and eat like they eat. For my family, we’ll be eating a simple diet of tortillas, beans, fresh vegetables and fruit for dessert. We’ll do this in solidarity with those in South America and around the world for whom this is their only menu. When we do this, we participate in the prayer in a very practical way—our household will deny ourselves the luxury of every kind of food we want, remembering those who really take up their crosses of hunger every day, as we follow Jesus’ teaching to fast and pray. We’ll do this six days a week. In keeping with biblical tradition, Sunday will be a feast day, so on this day we’ll break the fast, eat regularly and enjoy our family and friends. A great resource for this solidarity fast is A Place at the Table: 40 Days of Solidarity with the Poor by Chris Seay. It’s on our reading list, and I challenge you to join us in this churchwide call to prayer and fasting. If we do this together, God will deepen us, grow us and change us more into the church He is calling us to be. ■
Westburycares IN MEMORY OF... Diane McMinn from Jack McMinn Charles Farwell from Richard and Violet Lewis Our sympathy and prayers extend to those grieving the loss of:
Accomplishing more than we can imagine
Myrt Gruchalla, 01/27/12
Ann Owens, 02/11/12
Caleb Wardley, 02/12/12
Eloy Gonzales, 02/12/12
Sue Lipe, 02/21/12
Edwin White, 02/25/12
Averages in Sunday school and worship worship
◗ REV. TOMMY WILLIAMS, SENIOR PASTOR
’m pleased to report your outstanding response to the church’s “Beyond Our Own” stewardship initiative. Over $520,000 in financial commitments have been received to date, including just over $100,000 from our eight lay leader chairs and the church staff who are members of this congregation. These pledges will support the operating budget of the church—everything from youth and children’s ministries to facilities upkeep to neighborhood outreach and global missions. Your commitment to God’s purpose for Westbury UMC is greatly appreciated and valued.
Do you have a reason to celebrate?
ou can recognize an upcoming anniversary, birthday, graduation or other milestone by signing up for an altar flower arrangement to adorn the Sanctuary for worship. It is also an opportunity to memorialize a loved one. A personal tribute is printed in honor of the occasion or person in that Sunday’s order of worship. The cost is $60. If you and another family or Sunday school class would like to go in together, that is possible too. Call the office or come by and sign up on the calendar. IT’S ALL IN THE FINISH. A big thank you goes
out to professional artist and Westbury UMC member, Emily Hartzog, who volunteered her time to do a stained concrete treatment on the bare floor of our Connection Café. The uniquely rich tones and polished finish create a vast improvement over the previous dull gray flooring. We appreciate the week Emily spent achieving these fantastic results through a labor-intensive, multi-step process. If you haven’t seen the new floor, go check it out for yourself! The Connection Café is open every Sunday morning, at 8:00 am, for community fellowship time. Come in and grab a cup of regular or decaf brew!
March 2012 |
Interview with Nina Crawley ◗ MARTHA UPTON, COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT
ou might find Nina in her garden after her early morning walk through her Meyerland neighborhood. Of course, she could very well be in the Westbury UMC kitchen stirring up a pot of soup for a fellowship luncheon or missions meeting. Nina Crawley, a treasure to Westbury UMC for 50 plus years, continues to serve and use her gifts in so many areas. When visiting with Nina, her passion comes out when she talks about the children and youth, quilting, and making the kneelers for the altar in the Sanctuary. She has spearheaded many mission projects and believes that there is a place for everyone to serve at Westbury UMC.
What originally brought you to Westbury UMC and how long have you been attending?
My husband, Carroll insisted that we belong to a neighborhood church 51 years ago. All three of our children grew up in this church. I have been here ever since, so it worked out well.
How have your experiences at Westbury UMC shaped your faith?
Well, I found that if you wanted something done you had to do it and in the doing and the fellowship with others and seeing the end results, we saw God’s hand in it all.
Describe your most meaningful worship experience. I’ve relished many of the Sanctuary
and Youth Choir presentations through the years. And the ribbon cutting for the Children’s Building (January 1990) was like a worship service to me. The children and youth of Westbury UMC have been dear to me ever since I started teaching Sunday school when I first came.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SCRIPTURE?
Romans 8:28 “We know that
What memories can you share from your time here? I remember all the accomplishments, like the Chrismon tree, the kneeling pads for the altar that took a year to finish that I took part in. Also, being the only woman on the building committee when we planned, developed and dedicated the Children’s Building has become a highlighted memory.
How would you describe Westbury UMC to someone who has never been before? Our new sign says it: “A church for all people.” There are opportunities to serve for everyone here.
Every other month, we highlight an interview with members and staff here at Westbury UMC. In May, we will publish an interview with our youth director, Cody Cruise. You are invited to nominate people you’d like to see featured in this section for future issues. Send in any nominations to Martha Upton, Communications Assistant, at martha1@ westburyumc.org.
all things work together for good for those who love God, according to his purpose.”
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR HOBBIES? ardening, sewing, quilting, G cooking and reading.
WHAT IS SOMETHING FEW PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I have a hard time asking for help sometimes.
WHAT MINISTRIES ARE YOU INVOLVED IN? Living Water Caring Ministries, Methodist Hospital Auxiliary, Women’s Mission Society, Quilting, Crafters, PrimeTimers and the Harmony class.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT WESTBURY? The people and programs offered.
Staff-Parish Relations Community Ministries
May 21 August 27 November 26
April 2 June 4 August 6 October 1 December 3
April 16 June 18 August 20 October 15 December 17
April 2 June 4 August 6 October 1 December 3
April 9 June 11 August 13 October 8 December 10
2nd Tuesdays Global Ministries Room 102
*All meetings are at 7:00 pm. If you have questions, please confirm dates with the church office.
ill you be one of the 90 volunteers we are seeking? Simply choose a ministry worksite for Saturday, March 24, from the options below. We will meet at the church at 8:00 am for worship and group activity, then break out into site teams from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Register online at WestburyUMC.org or the church office.
LENTEN WORSHIP All with Holy Communion… 2nd Sunday in Lent, March 4 @ 10:45 am (Mark 8:31–38)
u Casa El Buen Samaritano
3rd Sunday in Lent, March 11 @ 10:45 am (John 2:13–22)
Teams of 5–10 people will visit homes of clinic patients to help with yard work, handyman work, and/or cleaning. A ministry team liaison from the clinic will accompany each team to facilitate.
4th Sunday in Lent, March 18 @ 10:45 am (John 3:14–21) 5th Sunday in Lent, March 25 @ 10:45 am (John 12:20–33)
Appropriate for: Adults, Families, Youth
PASTORS’ WEEKDAY BLOG
v Nursing Home Medley A multi-generational opportunity focusing on serving the elderly at several different locations with socialization (cards, bingo), religious connection (hymn-sing, Bible study) and clerical work.
Go online to WestburyUMC.org/40days to read and comment as Rev. DeAndre Johnson and Rev. Tommy Williams post devotionals. Please offer your own reflections in this blog space by making comments!
Appropriate for: Adults, Kids, Youth, Families, Older Adults
wB raes Interfaith Ministries Community Garden Group will assist in vegetable garden maintenance. The produce grown in this garden is donated to the Braes Interfaith food pantry to feed hundreds of people weekly. Appropriate for: Adults, Youth, Families, Older Adults
x Anderson Elementary School Participants will first join together in a prayer walk for the school, staff and students. Then we’ll wash large windows throughout the grounds and/or assist with grading papers. Appropriate for: Adults, Kids, Youth, Families, Older Adults
y Homeless Ministry Description TBA. Psalm 140:12 “I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and justice for the poor.”
Join us for Holy Week worship services ◗ REV. DEANDRE JOHNSON, PASTOR OF MUSIC AND WORSHIP
he last week of Lent, leading up to Easter, is often referred to in the life of the church as Holy Week. Historically, it represents the last seven days of Jesus’ life leading to his death and burial and his resurrection on the eighth day. The week begins with Palm Sunday, April 1, the day in which the gospels record Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey and being hailed by palm-waving crowds as the Messiah. At our morning worship service at 10:45 am, we will mark the day with a festival of our own as the Westbury UMC Festival Choir and Orchestra present Joseph Martin’s “The Rose of Calvary.” This work is an exciting and dramatic retelling of the passion narrative in word and song. Two other important events during that week include Maundy Thursday, April 5, and Good Friday, April 6. Maundy Thursday is the day that the church remembers Jesus’ last supper and subsequent betrayal. The name “Maundy” appears to have been derived from the Latin word for mandate, referring to Jesus’ statement to the disciples after washing their feet during the last supper: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34). Westbury will worship on Maundy Thursday with identical services at noon in the Chapel and 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary. Good Friday—“good” meaning pious or holy—commemorates the day of Christ’s death and burial. In the ancient tradition of the church, we will mark the day with a service at noon in the Sanctuary.
God’s love is deeper than the sea at VBS 2012 ◗ REV. JANA KINCANNON, DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN’S MINISTRIES
an you believe it’s time to plan for Vacation Bible School!? We’re setting our course for the week of July 30–August 3, 9:00 am–noon, with the theme “Operation Overboard: Dare to Go Deep with God.” Registration for children will begin in May, but we need adult and teen shipmates who are willing to report for duty. There are over 100 jobs available: big jobs, little jobs, jobs before VBS, during VBS and after VBS is over. Jobs on Sunday mornings, jobs at night, jobs during the day. There are jobs for people who can run, walk, drive a car, stand or sit down. There are jobs for those who can operate a telephone, a computer, or a pad and pen. There are jobs for people who can paint or sing or draw or cook or…well, you get the idea. There is no good enough reason for you to miss the blessing of VBS 2012. The sign-up sheet is on the table in the East Foyer (the tiled area between the Children’s Wing and church office).
Easter eggstravaganza for kids
aster on Sunday, April 8, for children will be filled with fun and the Easter message. It all begins at 9:30 am during Sunday school. Preschool children will meet in room C-12 for a story, then an egg hunt on the playground. Kindergartners through 5th graders will gather in the gym. We’ll start with activities and Wii station games. At 10:00 am, we’ll hear what it means to be redeemed. Then everyone will go to the garden where 1,000+ empty plastic eggs will be launched from the second floor onto the lawn. Each egg can then be “redeemed” for candy.
There is no charge and everything is provided, so you don’t even need your Easter baskets. Your children and their friends won’t want to miss this!
March 2012 |
estbury Methodist Day School and Mother’s Day Out (MDO) provides a loving experience for children from 14 months through 4 years of age. Registration is now open to the public for Summer 2012 MDO “Rumble in the Jungle” as well as Day School and MDO for the 2012– 13 year. Members of Westbury UMC receive a monthly tuition discount. Families with multiple children enrolled also receive a break on tuition fees. For details, visit WestburyUMC.org/day-school.
Stories about Peter
n March, children ages 3–5th grade will learn about Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples. Stories about Peter show us that God can use imperfect people. Sunday School starts at 9:30 am. Our teachers use the Live B.I.G. curriculum to enliven Bible stories through crafts, games and more! Visit iLiveBIG.com. March 04 | You Are the Messiah
March 11 | Wash My Feet March 18 | Pray With Me
March 25 | Peter’s Denial
Spring Break activities
he youth will be very active over Spring Break with fun, fellowship and mission projects. Sunday, March 11 IMPACT youth go out to eat @ 5:00 pm. Monday, March 12 Youth to Braes Interfaith for mission work. Meet at the church @ 10:00 am. Tuesday, March 13 Clean up and organize youth area @ 10:00 am.
Worship + Serve at Student Life Camp 2012
he Christian life isn’t easy and some would say it shouldn’t be. At Student Life Mission Camp 2012, teenagers entering the 7th–12th grades will be challenged to be bold in their faith not just for the sake of being seen, but bold because they serve a God that is bold. A God who sees what they can become. How do they do that? They do that by being on guard, standing firm in the faith, being courageous and being bold (I Corinthians 16:13). By being AUDACIOUS. The youth of Westbury UMC will be traveling to Denton, Texas, the week of July 23–27. Held on the campus of the University of North Texas, Student Life Mission Camp will involve engaging worship from experienced worship leaders, learning through sound teaching and Bible study, community in Family Groups, and mission projects in the local community. It’s a week of focused learning, heartfelt praise, dramas, community building and teamwork. Put down your $100 deposit to secure a spot. You won’t want to miss this lifechanging event for teens!
Wednesday, March 14 Youth to Rockets vs Bobcats game. Meet at the church @ 5:30 pm.
UM ARMY mission trip
M ARMY is an opportunity for youth to experience Christian growth through mission, worship and fellowship. Participants provide free home repairs for low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners. We want to remind all youth and adults to go ahead and start registering for UM ARMY 2012. The dates are June 10–16 in Fairfield, Texas, and the cost is $200. Scholarships are available.
LOVE GOD | LOVE NEIGHBOR
Flash flood prompts church to offer aid
t just kept coming down—sheets and sheets of heavy rain. As the rising flood waters overwhelmed vehicles nearby, our church became a makeshift refuge for people looking to wait out the storm.
On that morning, Monday, January 9, a phone call came to the front office from a panicked husband whose wife and two young children were trapped on Willowbend inside their minivan. Westbury UMC’s staff quickly sprang into action. As Cody Cruise ran out to assist the young mom, Jana Kincannon grabbed umbrellas, Cindy Parker and Martha Upton went for towels and blankets and Kelsey Johnson brought in books and toys to put the toddler-aged children at ease as they took shelter in the Café. Patsy Caughman tended to leaks around the campus and opened the Narthex near the Sanctuary for stranded motorists to come in for coffee. Whatever umbrellas the church had on hand were given away and assistance was offered for people needing to use the phone or Internet. Later, after the deluge let up a bit, Cody and Kelsey ventured out with the young family, fording high waters (see photo above) to get them to safety at a relative’s house just a block from the church. In a thank you card to the church, the relative wrote: “We appreciate the way you cared for them—showing God’s love and protection…We are thankful for your ministry here in our neighborhood.”
March 2012 |
Auxiliary supports Methodist Hospital
or nearly 84 years, members of the Methodist Hospital Auxiliary have upheld the aims of the patients through the approval of the Governing Board, the President and Chief Officer of the Meth0dist Hospital and the Executive Board of the Auxiliary. The Auxiliary has presented its gifts to the Hospital each year to purchase medical equipment, furnish patient and public areas and to complete special projects. These generous gifts have been made possible through the operation of the Roberta Powell Dwyer Memorial Gift Shop and Boutique and through jewelry, shoe and book sales. By the end of 2011, Methodist Hospital was the beneficiary of Auxiliary gifts totaling over $5.5 million, including: Gift Shop
Quostic Wound Therapy System Bioness L300 Plus for Thigh Weakness
Auxiliary General Fund and Children’s Fund
• • • • •
GE InBody 250 Descriptive Stones Bladder Scan BVI 3000 (Transplant D10) Bladder Scan BVI 3000 (CCU) Wigs for Oncology Patients
For more details on the Methodist Hospital Auxiliary, call the church office or contact Ellie Hansen.
Here’s a friendly reminder to move your clocks one hour ahead on Sunday, March 11.
WESTBURY’S MASTER RINGERS ATTEND HANDBELL WORKSHOP FebFest, a continuing education event sponsored by the Greater Houston Handbell Association, was held on February 24 and 25. With over 500 ringers in attendance, the workshop featured instruction and rehearsal led by guest clinician, Monica McGowan, and culminated with a mass concert. Above (left to right): Sarah Winkel, Mary Ann Riggs, Juanita Rogilio, Centha Davis, Mike Sturdevant, DeAndre Johnson and Ann Scherer. Photos by: Matthew Robinson.
German shanty men’s choir at PrimeTimers
n Monday, March 26, the PrimeTimers will meet in Humphrey Hall. The general meeting starts at 11:00 am, followed by a potluck lunch at 11:30 am and the musical program at noon. Singing for the PrimeTimers will be the shanty men’s choir from Houston Liederkranz. They sing sea shanties and may be the first or only serious choir in the United States to produce this genre of music. Directed by Franz Schoennagel, the group will sing shore songs that were popular with the German and Scandinavian sailors, particularly for entertainment on shore and abroad.
PARENTS IN FELLOWSHIP will again meet on Saturday, March 10, from
5:00 to 7:00 pm in the Parlor. All parents of young children are invited to enjoy dinner together and social time to informally discuss parenting issues. Bring a potluck dish to share for the adults and pack a sack dinner for your child(ren). Childcare is provided for $5/child. For more details, contact Jenny Hester at email@example.com.
Collegiate choir kicks off a spring series of special music
he Centenary College Choir will join us in worship on Sunday, March 25. Hailed as “America’s Singing Ambassadors,” this internationally known collegiate choral group sings a myriad repertoire of both sacred and secular music. In addition to worship at Westbury UMC, the choir will be performing a concert at Memorial Drive UMC at 7:00 pm that afternoon. The choir is comprised of undergraduate students at Centenary College of Louisiana, a private, United Methodist liberal arts institution.
Missy Wise, April 15
Celia Whitler, April 22
Next, on Sunday, April 15, we will be inspired by the ministry of song through Missy Wise. Having just released her second album, “Issues,” Missy is an advocate for the 27 million victims of modern slavery, also known as human trafficking. “Music is the vehicle by which I get to spread the message of love, justice, and mercy I find in a relationship with Christ,” she says. Westbury UMC will welcome her in worship, as well as a concert that afternoon, time TBD.
Finally, on the afternoon of Sunday, April 22, singer-songwriter Celia Whitler will be in concert, weaving together song and storytelling. More details on these concerts will be coming soon!
The next monthly issue will be on April 6, 2012. Submissions are due by March 22 at 4:00 pm to Martha Upton at firstname.lastname@example.org. United Methodist Church
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