August 2015 newsletter
Aug 9 – Holy Communion
August 30 – Fifth Sunday singing, fellowship potluck after worship service
Sept – Congregational meeting for referendum vote – date to be announced
Sept – Christian Sisters meeting – date to be announced
October 9-11 – Primetimer’s Retreat at the Hus Encampment
Pastor’s Corner: Dear Ones, At the Convention, I had the privilege of listening to many stories of different areas of missions that are being done throughout the Unity. Here are a few of those stories:
Home Missions: Rev. Linda Chandler, Pastor at Austin Brethren Church, works with “the least of these,” those who are struggling to become self-supporting young men and women. Recently, Martha and Jerry Dove (from the Fayetteville Brethren) went to Austin Brethren to teach some of these young ones how to sew and quilt. They are doing a BEAUTIFUL job and are hoping to begin using their skills to better themselves. She doesn’t receive ANY money from the Unity to help with this mission. If you are so inclined to find out more & to help, contact her at 512-203-7293, 512-267-4826; email: L77c@aol.com
Rev. Jim Heckman, Pastor at Cade Lake Community Chapel, continues to live in the area and offer services such as after school tutoring, modeling and teaching those in the area what it means to be a Christian, and working with “In God’s Hands” ministry to supplement grocery needs of this community. The maintenance of the Church grounds has been done by volunteers, even those who do not even attend the church. Clearly, they are seeing that the church is light to the community and they are taking pride in its appearance.
Foreign Missions: The Raifords continue to live in Mexico and provide medical services and they model the Christian walk to all that come to the clinic. The future plan is to plant a church. The Woos and the Theissan’s, the wives are going through cancer treatment and are unable to minister as they were doing before. Keep their families in your prayers. Carolyn Groseclose continues to serve as a teacher at New Day Orphanage in Africa. John Brinkley -leading a team to Africa to provide prosthetics, eye and limb.
This is God’s money in action. By giving, we are helping to spread the Gospel. People need to hear the Word of God. We need to model Christianity by living as Christ would have us live.
There are still people who do not know and it is our job to tell them. There is a story about a painting that someone did. It is a picture of Jesus sitting in the middle of a crowd of children. The children are of all races and manners of dress, indicating that they come from all around the world. And they’re all happy, laughing and playing at the feet of Jesus. Except one child, a little girl, who has taken Jesus’ hand and is holding it palm up in front of her. She’s looking up, into Jesus’ eyes with a puzzled look on her face and the caption of the picture reads, “What happened to your hand?”
The Great Commission – Matthew 28: 16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
“There’s a Story to Tell to the Nations:” 1 We’ve a story to tell to the nations, that shall turn their hearts to the right, a story of truth and mercy, a story of peace and light, a story of peace and light.
Refrain: For the darkness shall turn to dawning, and the dawning to noonday bright, and Christ’s great kingdom shall come on earth, the kingdom of love and light.
2 We’ve a song to be sung to the nations, that shall lift their hearts to the Lord, a song that shall conquer evil and shatter the spear and sword, and shatter the spear and sword. [Refrain]; 3 We’ve a message to give to the nations, that the Lord who reigneth above has sent us, His Son to save us, and show us that God is love, and show us that God is love. [Refrain]; 4 We’ve a Savior to show to the nations, who the path of sorrow has trod, that all of the world’s great peoples may come to the truth of God, may come to the truth of God. [Refrain]
If you can’t go, you can still give two things: time in prayer and/or your money – small or large. May you be blessed, Pastor Kay
The 66th Biennial Convention of the Unity of the Brethren was held on July 10-12. The Convention Theme was “Branches Bearing Fruit” with scripture from John 15:5. Registration began at 8:00 a.m. at Nelsonville Brethren followed by Worship with Holy Communion. The convention hymn was “To God Be the Glory”. The call to worship was given by Rev Dr. Jerry Terrill. James Marek, President of the Synodical Committee welcomed everyone to the service. The morning prayer was given by Rev Lawrence Junek. Rev Michael Groseclose, pastor of Nelsonville & Wesley gave the sermon entitled “Won’t Take Nothing but an A.” He said to bring the best you have and offer it to God, don’t settle for just passing, make an “A”. The pianist was Sondra Brau. There were about 110 in attendance.
Following the service, the opening session of the convention began. All Unity of the Brethren churches were presented with gifts to commemorate the 600th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Jan Hus. Gifts from the Unity included a framed painting by Suzanne Huser (Granger Brethren) with Brethren history listed, a book “The Theology of the Czech Brethren from Hus to Comenius” by Craig Atwood and a DVD “Truth Prevails – The Undying Faith of Jan Hus.” Rev David Guthrie, President of the Elders’ Conference – Moravian Church Southern Province brought greetings from the Southern & Northern Provinces. President Marek went over the committee assignments and discussion topics. After lunch, session 2 began with the singing of “My Savior’s Love”. The convention pianist was Liz Ripple. Unity business included a briefing on minister’s insurance and new tax laws, amendments to the by-laws, election of officers and other committee chairs and members, discussion on a new Administrative Position, having a history symposium and discussion on bylaw changes to the Moravian Board of World Missions.
Mission presentations and updates were heard from Roy Janek (West Brethren, how the church was doing 2 years after the fertilizer plant explosion), Phil & Dr. Eunice Raiford (Mexico), Rob Thiessen (Mexico), John Brinkley (works with prosthetic limbs and eyes in Zambia, Africa), Rev Jim Heckman (Cade Lake) and Carolyn Groseclose (missionary in Zambia, Africa, New Day Orphanage). Rev Junek and David Miller (Wall Brethren) spoke about a Kairos Prison Ministry that they are both involved with.
The devotional Saturday morning was led by Pastor Tim Chaplin, pastor of Temple Brethren. Following the devotional, he reported on a “Feed My Sheep” ministry at the church. Other “Faith in Action” reports were from Rev Linda Chandler (“Wrapped in the Word” quilt project w/Martha & Jerry Dove) and Bro David Johnson (Sustaining Food ministry). Speakers were Jimmy Pokorny, who gave a Brethren history presentation and Rev James D. Hejl, who read a manuscript written by Rev. Dr. David Schattschneider and acted out as if he were Jan Hus. Rev Hejl was dressed in a robe and hat similar to what Jan Hus would have worn in the fifteenth century. Saturday evening concluded with a video presentation of Jan Hus. All meals were catered by Schovajsa Catering.
Sunday morning, everyone gathered at Wesley Brethren Church for an outdoor service under a big tent set up next to the first church. A devotional was given by Jimmy Pokorny. Bro Mike gave the welcome and announced that Wesley is celebrating the 140th anniversary of the organization of the Wesley congregation (1864-2014). The first church was built in 1866 and everyone was welcomed to tour the church. Bro Mike proclaimed the event a family reunion. Pastors present were Groseclose, Junek, Tommy Tallas, Jimmy Hejl, Nello Strickland, Larry Zabcik, Jim Heckman, Larry Koslovsky, Joseph Polasek and Kay Polasek. The pastors present who had served at Wesley all took part in the service – Hejl, Strickland, Groseclose. Other who served but were unable to attend were Rev Albert Michalik, Rev Gordon Hejl and Rev Milton Maly. Recognition was given to the oldest member in attendance, Miss Sylvia Vavra (99) who is a member of Houston Brethren and has family ties to Wesley.
Hymns sang included “To God Be the Glory” (convention hymn), “This is the day”, “Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above” (a hymn of the “ancient” Unity of the Brethren) and “He’s Everything to Me”. The pianist was Brenda Garrett. Rev Hejl led in the invitation for Holy Communion. Tallas delivered the message entitled “Playing Right Field in God’s Kingdom.” Special music was presented by former students of Hus School; they sang “Hoj Verni v Boj” in Czech directed by Tallas and accompanied by pianist Donna Tallas.
After the service, everyone enjoyed a BBQ brisket and sausage lunch served under the pavilion. Several churches had canceled their services so their members could attend this memorable worship service. The year 2015 also marks the 160th anniversary of the First Czech Protestant Preaching held in Texas at Ross Prairie in the homes of the Czech-Moravian Brethren settlers (near Fayetteville Brethren Church).
Elected to serve on the Executive Committee for 2015-2017 are: President – Kent Laza (Bryan-College Station); Secretary – Angie Hairrell (Snook); Financial Secretary – Liz Ripple (Fayetteville); Treasurer – Harvey Treybig (Industry); First VP – Rev Mark Sebek; Second VP – Rev Mike Groseclose; Third VP – Dr. Jerry Terrill; Ministerial alternate – Rev Larry Zabcik; Lay alternate – Wiley Marx (Ocker). Other elections included Brethren Journal Business Manager – Ben Polasek (Fayetteville) and Home Missions Chair – Martha Dove (Fayetteville).
In attendance were 37 Delegates, 16 Lay Representatives, 19 Ministers, 4 chairman and 55 guests. The Sunday service attendance was 200. Sandra Stepan, our church delegate, served on the Board of Christian Education Committee & Pastor Kay served on the Foreign Missions committee. Liz Ripple is our church Representative and currently serves on the Executive Committee as Secretary. Others attending were Ben Polasek, Joe Ripple, Betty Yoakum, Ray & Chris Stepan.
The Christian Sisters’ Society: The Christian Sisters will meet in September (date to be announced). Among the items to be discussed is the distributing of funds to various charities and organizations. If you would like to join the Christian Sisters’ Society or have any questions about some of the activities, please contact Liz Ripple. Dues are ($20). All ladies age 16 and over may become a member. You do not have to be a member of the church to join.
Collecting Supplies for the Military: Everyone is asked to collect the following items that will be sent from our church to an individual serving in the military: Non-aerosol deodorant, non-aerosol bug spray, flea collars, baby wipes, razors, Visine, hand sanitizer, sinus/allergy medicine, Advil, Tylenol, lip balm and foot care products. Snacks are always good. No candy or snacks that will melt in the heat over there. Personal size packets of tissue, band aids, instant drink mixes, q-tips, pens, paper, envelopes, seeds/nuts, trail mix, disposable cameras, batteries sizes AA, AAA, C and D and LETTER/CARDS of Encouragement. Smaller sizes are easier to ship and for individuals to carry. Please put your donations in the box in the church entryway. Questions? – please contact Pauline Ott.
Church Cookbooks & Plates – Church cookbook – $20.00 donation of which all proceeds go to the building fund. Commemorative church plate – $25.00 donation. If you would like to purchase either of these, please contact Liz Ripple. If you would like to have it shipped to you, please send the purchase price plus $5.00 for cookbooks / $6 for plates for shipping and handling to FBC, PO Box 11, Fayetteville Texas 78940.