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Westbury United Methodist Church

2 | cares&gives: Sympathy, church finances, Easter offering

3 | asks: Interview with Cody Cruise 4 | s erves: Braes Interfaith fundraising, Garage Sale for Orphans

May 2012

4 | c onnects CHILDREN: Easter photos,

6 | c onnects YOUTH: summer Bible study, visiting youth choir concert introduces: 2 pastoral interns

7 | c onnects ADULTS: Alzheimer’s Support Group, PrimeTimers, Caring Ministry

8|w  elcomes: youth confirmands

VBS volunteer kick-off

Worshipping together is fertile ground for strengthened discipleship ◗ REV. TOMMY WILLIAMS, SENIOR PASTOR


hat a joyous Easter celebration we experienced at Westbury UMC! On Easter Sunday, we saw just over 700 people worship the risen Christ. This was the largest Easter crowd in years. I am so grateful to our staff, our choirs and the untold number of servants who helped make egg hunts, confirmation, worship and so much more such a memorable day. I would like to take the opportunity in this space to share where we are in our mission and where we are heading as it relates to worship. Join with me in remembering that our mission is “to make followers of Jesus Christ who transform the community and the world through God’s love.” This mission is not just a statement on paper but is the way we organize our ministry teams, our staff, our future planning and our budgeting. We are working to align all we are doing around the mission. That key disciple formation begins in worship.

“What we are doing in worship and beyond is about making followers of Christ.” We pray for and plan a year that will form us and inspire us as followers (disciples) of Jesus Christ. We are now in the midst of the Credo sermon series. Credo is Latin for “we believe.” These beliefs are known as orthodoxy. These historical classical beliefs about creation, the Trinity, Jesus’ birth, resurrection and the end times are mysterious miracles of faith that provide the foundation for our relationship with God. When we root ourselves in these core beliefs of the faith, we deepen our discipleship. Following this worship series, the focus for two Sundays will be on our mission. It is a good thing to periodically talk directly about the mission God has given us. It is especially appropriate as we embark this June on our new Fondren Community Apartment Ministry. This second site of worship and discipleship formation is another powerful way we are going to make followers of Jesus Christ who transform the community. The secret is that we are not simply doing the “making” of disciples, but we ourselves are also being made even deeper and stronger disciples through this ministry. This summer we will preach on Heroes and Heroines of the Old Testament. It has been awhile since we preached out of the Hebrew texts, so this summer will see each Sunday focused on a different person from the Old Testament. We will have multiple preachers doing this between your pastors and our two summer interns. I’ll share with you another time what we are praying about for the fall, but I want you to see the common thread. What we are doing in worship and beyond is about making followers of Christ. Disciples are well-rounded students of our Lord. My prayer is that our worship experiences, over the course of time, deepen and strengthen our journey with Christ and that indeed the community and the world will be transformed because of it, to the glory of God. ■



May 2012

Westburycares IN MEMORY OF... Gayle Sailor from Lee Appleberry and Ida and Al Bathey

CHURCH FINANCES FOR THE 1ST QUARTER OF 2012. We are off to a good start

in financial giving. You’ll notice that our income is running some behind our expenses. This is due to some serious plumbing issues that have been very costly. The pipes in the oldest portion of the building are 50+ years old. Please consider increasing your giving commitment even just a little to help your church cover this issue and provide for the ongoing ministry of the church. We thank God in advance for your giving! Income = $193,685 | Expenses = $216,796


Fondren Community Apartment Ministry

Elsa Garza from John and Ofelia Patlan Al and Ida Bathey, the Harmony Class, Romonica and Julius Malone-Wardley and all those who love the Lord in word and deed

Willowbend Blvd.

Our sympathy and prayers extend to those grieving the loss of:

Willowbend Blvd.

W. Bellfort Ave.

W. Bellfort Ave.

Gayle Sailor, 03/29/12

In the hospital: Harriet Bennett, Memorial Hermann Southwest

What do we believe? How do we live it out?


n worship on Sundays at 10:45 am, we will continue to unpack the basics of what we believe and how that influences the way we live. CREDO: WHAT WE BELIEVE

May 06 | Atonement and Resurrection May 13 | Judgment, End Times and the New Creation

Praise God! Our Easter offering this year totaled $27,408.

Above regular pledge commitments, donors have given ≈$10,000. W. Airport Blvd.

W. Airport Blvd.

Please tell us ‘I’m here to worship!’


ou’re not just a number—you’re a person. And that’s why we’re moving beyond a mere “head count” to gauge worship attendance. We urge you to take time to write your name on the “I’m Here to Worship” pew cards. Consider it an act of worship, and drop the card in an offering basket. This isn’t just for guests! We hope it will become your weekly habit to turn in this card, and should you need to update any contact information for the church office, please fill out the blue shaded area at any time.

I’m here to worship!

Date ________________________


to Westbury UMC! Your presence in worship truly matters. Please take a moment to fill out this card and place it in the offering basket. Name ________________________________________________


q I am a member of Westbury UMC. q I am a guest today and this is my

q 1st q 2nd q ______ time to worship here.

If you are a new guest or simply need to update your contact information, please continue below.

I prefer to be reached by (check all

that apply)

q Phone: (__________) ________________________________


q Email: ________________________________


q Address: ________________________________





My children’s names and ages ________________________________






My race, nationality and/or ethnicity





May 20 | Westbury UMC’s Mission May 27 | Westbury UMC’s Vision and Values (Pentecost Sunday)


I am in my q 20s q 30s q 40s q 50s

q 60s q 70s q 80s q 90s

I came to worship today because




(does not include April 29)



May 2012



etermined to create a vibrant youth ministry, Cody Cruise accepted his current position at Westbury UMC in December 2009. Nearly three years later, he often gives thanks for what he calls “the best teens ever” who make his job easy. For someone who devotes so much of his time to youth, Cody still manages to attend college part-time. He’ll soon earn a degree from the University of Houston in Computer Information Systems. And, if you haven’t heard already, he has big plans for the fall—read on to get the scoop!




Describe your first experience in youth ministry. It was when I was 18. I had to lead worship in front of 100 teenagers I had never met. I had never sung by myself before, and it was rough. This was my first week at St. Peter’s UMC, and I ended up working there for seven years before coming to Westbury UMC.

What’s been most meaningful in your ministry here at Westbury? My most meaningful experience at Westbury UMC so far was seeing the teens worship Jesus with their hands held high in Daytona Beach, Florida last Summer. They were giving their all to Christ.

What makes you most passionate about working with youth? When a youth has an encounter with Christ for the first time or when I notice them growing spiritually.

How can the church and families with teens encourage them to grow in faith? I think the best thing you can do to encourage your teen to grow in his or her faith is to make church a priority in your teens life and not an option. I promise, if a teen gets in a habit of coming to the Westbury UMC youth activities, they will grow in their faith.



What’s your favorite thing about Westbury UMC? My favorite thing about Westbury is feeling the Holy Spirit in me wherever I go. I love the mission statement, and I believe the church is doing a good job making disciples of all nations. This is why I feel the Holy Spirit.

How would you describe Westbury UMC to someone who has never been before? I would describe Westbury UMC as a place that looks like heaven. People of all ages and races full of love and passion for Christ.

What makes you excited about coming to work each day? I get excited about coming to work and seeing how well the other staff members work together. I also get excited by seeing the volunteers in the youth department taking ownership of what they can do to help the teens. Every other month, we highlight an interview with members and staff here at Westbury UMC. In July, we will publish an interview with longtime member, Violet Lewis. 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

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SCRIPTURE?  ohn 16:33: “I have told you J these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” I love this because many Christians think that life will be easy once they accept Christ, when, in fact, it sometimes gets harder. We have to remind ourselves that Jesus suffered more than any of us could ever suffer, and he did it for us.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR HOBBIES?  ishing, playing music, watchF ing sports, playing sports, reading my Bible, and hanging out with family and friends.


I’m a twin! DO YOU HAVE SPECIAL NEWS TO SHARE? I got engaged Easter weekend to a special girl named Brittany Peavy. Yes, this is the girl you see me holding hands with or sitting next to in the church service. We will be getting married sometime this fall!





May 2012

Supporting our partner, Braes Interfaith Ministries



ach of the 12 congregations that support Braes Interfaith Ministries (BIM) commit to one month each year to make a special “over-the-top” effort in fundraising. Westbury UMC’s designated month is May! DONATIONS OF FOOD AND FUNDS

Look for the BIM bins around the church to donate your non-perishable food. (Please check the expiration date on each item.) Also, be aware that BIM can turn your $1 donation into $27 worth of food at the Houston Food Bank. JAZZ BRUNCH AND AUCTION

We’re hosting a jazz brunch and auction to benefit BIM on Sunday, May 20, right after church. If you’d like to donate an auction item, please contact the church office or Artwork, music lessons and vacation home stays are all great ways to help BIM.

Garage Sale for Orphans on May 5


n Saturday, May 5, from 8:00 am–noon, Westbury UMC will have a churchwide Garage Sale for Orphans with all proceeds going to vulnerable children in Haiti. Here are three ways you can help: 1) DONATE. Consider donating some of your excess belongings, like...

Clothes (especially baby and children’s items) Power tools and gardening equipment Sporting and workout equipment Bicycles and toys Electronics (TVs, stereos, computers) Books and magazines Household items (linens, picture frames, dishes) Appliances (refrigerators, toasters, blenders) Furniture (chairs, tables, sofas) Jewelry (watches, rings)

Drop off items at the church in Room 102. Notify the church office at 713-7230175 if you need assistance or use of a pickup truck for transporting items. Drop-off times: Sunday, April 29: 8:30–10:30 am & 5:00–7:00 pm

Monday, April 30–Thursday, May 3: 8:30 am–7:00 pm

2) VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME. We need help sorting and setting up all week long. A sign-up sheet is posted outside Room 102 (just across the hall from the Café), or you can contact Kelsey Johnson at 3) SHOP AND INVITE SOMEONE. Come shop the sale on Saturday! Only cash will be accepted for payment. Additional monetary donations will also be accepted to benefit the cause.

Pray for General Conference 2012


he United Methodist Church’s top legislative body, the General Conference, will gather April 24–May 4 in Tampa, Florida. Setting policy and direction for the church, as well as handling other business, will be 988 delegates from around the world. General Conference meets every four years and is the only entity that speaks for the more than 12.1-million-member denomination. Rev. Tommy Williams, Westbury UMC’s senior pastor, is serving in Tampa as an elected delegate, representing the Texas Annual Conference. Members across the United Methodist denomination are encouraged to pray for the future of the church and for God’s will to be done through General Conference. John and Charles Wesley taught early Methodists, “God does nothing apart from prayer.” Let us join together in prayer for Rev. Williams and all the delegates over this 11-day Conference. To follow live streaming legislative sessions and worship services, visit


May 2012



Children celebrate an ‘eggstra’ special Easter


ur elementary students enjoyed Westbury UMC’s 4th Annual Easter Egg Launch where over 1,000 empty plastic eggs showered down as the kids scrambled to fill their baskets. They “redeemed” their eggs for candy and learned about what redemption through Christ means. Meanwhile, our preschoolers had some fun of their own during an Easter egg hunt out on the playground.


in preparation for “Operation Overboard” Vacation Bible School to be held July 30–August 3, 9:00 am–noon. Sign up now!

Sunday school to focus on the Spirit


n May, children ages 3 years– 5th grade will learn about the Holy Spirit. 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. For more details, visit May 06 | Love, Joy, Peace May 13 | Patience, Kindness,


May 20 | F  aithfulness,

Gentleness, Self-control

May 27 | Pentecost



May 2012

Photos needed for Senior Sunday


n Sunday, May 13, we will celebrate our Class of 2012 seniors at Westbury UMC. We will have a breakfast, special guest speaker and gifts at 9:30 am. All parents, grandparents, family and friends are invited to join us for this celebration. Stay tuned for more details regarding the special guest speaker. We will also celebrate our graduates in worship at 10:45 am that morning. Any parents who do not have teens that are seniors can help with food on this day. Thank you for your support! Parents of graduating seniors, please collect five photos (baby, middle school, current, etc.) by Sunday, May 6, and email them to Cody Cruise at codycruise@gmail. com or give them to him to scan.

Summer Bible Study on Romans


ill you open up your home one evening for our summer Bible study? Hosts will need to provide drinks and snacks for the teens. If any parents are interested, please email Cody Cruise at The following dates are open: June 20 and 27; July 11 and 18; and August 1 and 8.

Westburyintroduces Church’s pastoral interns coming this summer


he Texas Annual Conference pairs host churches with pastoral interns who have applied to work in a local church setting for the summer season. It is an honor to be chosen as a host church! Please welcome our interns and pray for them. They arrive on Sunday, May 20. Michael Draper Howdy! I am a junior at Texas A&M University, studying Recreation Parks and Tourism Sciences with an emphasis in Youth Development! I am from Sugar Land, and I’m excited to be spending my summer interning at Westbury United Methodist Church to learn about the ministry here and grow in fellowship with everyone!

Jeff Gleghorn I grew up in Rockford, Michigan, raised by my parents along with two sisters and a brother. I attend Calvin College where I’m double majoring in philosophy and psychology while being pre-seminary. I enjoy ballroom/ social dancing, reading, and video gaming. I also love good conversation, and I’m looking forward to the summer and meeting all the folks at Westbury UMC.

Guest artist/speaker


att Robison, a special guest speaker, will come for Impact Youth on Sundays, May 6 and 13, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. This is a series the youth will be doing called “Ready, Set, Go.” Matt does freelance art projects, teaches art lessons and leads an apartment ministry near Houston. He wants to use art to share the gospel and the love of Jesus with teens and people of all ages. We hope your teen can join us for these great nights of worship and teaching.

2012 summer calendar


ummer 2012 is almost here! Look for the release of a calendar of summer events for our youth on Sunday, May 13.

Visiting youth choir to sing May 30


n Wednesday, May 30, at 7:00 pm, come to a concert at Westbury UMC given by Attitude 423, a youth choir from Grayson UMC near Atlanta, Georgia. Currently in its fifth year, the choir has grown from a group of 12 to over 70 middle and high school singers. Their name is based on Ephesians 4:23, which says to “take on the attitude of Christ.” The group sings upbeat choral arrangements of current, contemporary Christian music like Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, Steve Fee and more.

Westburyconnects::ADULTS Meals needed for U.M. ARMY youth in June


his summer, Westbury UMC will be the host church for a group of U.M. ARMY teens and adult volunteers who will be serving in the Westbury community. Over 120 participants will be staying at our church the week of June 17–23. During this week, the group needs help providing dinners on certain nights. If a Sunday School class or a group in the church would be interested in providing a dinner one night at the church, please contact Cody Cruise, Director of Youth Ministries, at or 713-723-0175.

May 2012



More hands and hearts caring for congregation ◗ YVONNE CANIDA, COORDINATOR OF LIVING WATER CARING MINISTRY


he Living Water Caring Ministry Team is counting its many blessings every day. After our plea for volunteers to help us care for the members of our congregation, 43 people have volunteered to help this ministry in some way. They are willing to pray for us, write cards, make phone calls, donate money, visit in homes and care facilities, and help with receptions—including cleaning the kitchen. The team has spent many hours sorting forms, making lists, communicating with the volunteers and making some changes to the team structure to include all the people who volunteered. VOLUNTEERS INVITED TO MEET AND GREET ON MAY 6

On Sunday, May 6, 9:30–10:30 am, the Caring Ministry Team invites all those who volunteered to a Meet and Greet Coffee Hour in the Parlor. Meeting with each other will help us be able to put faces with names, and we will also answer any questions you might have regarding your assignments or any other questions about the ministry. We hope that, with more hands and hearts, we will be able to provide care to more people in our congregation. HELP US UPDATE OUR PRAYER LIST

We are in the process of updating our contact information and need the help of the entire congregation. We especially need email addresses for our military personnel and have recently sent requests for updated information to church members who we know are contacts for a person on the prayer list, which is published each week in the Weekly Word. There are some names on that list for which we do not have a church contact. Look at the list and if you see names you recognize and have contact information, please send that information to Martha Upton in the church office. Or, if you know of members who might appreciate receiving calls, cards or a visit, email Martha Upton at martha1@ or call 713-723-0175.

Alzheimer Caregivers Support Group


tarting Monday, May 14, the Alzheimer’s Association of Houston will hold a Caregiver Support Group on the second Monday of each month at 6:30 pm. The goal of the group is to enhance the lives of caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s and memory loss issues. For more information, call Daniel Heathcock at 713-314-1313.

PrimeTimers pickin’ to bluegrass gospel in May


n Monday, May 21, 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. This month, the young Sowell Family Pickers from Hempstead, Texas, will entertain. You can expect to hear a variety of music and a variety of instruments as these homeschooled kids join their voices, banjos, mandolines, guitars, ukuleles, a fiddle and a bass in harmony. Membership to PrimeTimers is open to all persons over 50 years of age, regardless of church affiliation. Dues are $5 per year. For more information, contact Martha Upton at or 713-723-0175.

Westbury United Methodist Church

5200 Willowbend Blvd. Houston, Texas 77096-5298


Main Office: 713-723-0175 United Methodist Church

NON-PROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit No. 7821 Houston, Texas Address service requested

Westbury United Methodist Church

The next monthly issue will be on June 1, 2012. Submissions are due by May 24 at 4:00 pm to Martha Upton at

* youth who were also baptized

Grant McKenzie*

Richard Rodriguez*

Hudson Hartzog*

Kyle Falls

Megan Farr

Mekdim Sanders

Aviance Obie

Brett Cole

Danielle Dotson

Noah Welch

On Easter Sunday, April 8, Westbury UMC welcomed 10 young people into our church family through confirmation!



May 2012

May 2012 Newsletter  

A monthly publication of Westbury UMC

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