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Grace United Church of Christ, Houston Texas

'A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.'Matthew 2:18

In the wake of yet another mass shooting, parents are weeping for their children, refusing to be consoled, because they are no more. This time it is the parents of the children of Santa Fe High School just south of Houston. The author of the Gospel of Matthew shares the story of when King Herod was tricked by the Magi and ordered the death of all the children in Bethlehem who were two years old and younger in the hopes of killing the infant Jesus. Herod believed Jesus was a threat to his empire. The Bethlehem parents wept for their children because they were no more. In the first chapter of the book of Exodus the Egyptian Pharaoh feels threatened by the growing population of the Hebrew slaves and orders the Hebrew midwives to kill all the male Hebrew infants. The Hebrew parents wept for their children because they were no more.

All across our nation we are weeping for our children who are no more. In our pain and despair, we seem completely helpless in the wake of this perpetual violence that sweeps across our country. Our leaders seem incapable of finding a solution and only widen the gap polarizing us. One student from Santa Fe High School said she expected a shooting to happen at her school. She understood it was not a matter of if, but when. This cannot and must not be our new normal.

The scripture stories remind us that God was at work in Egypt and Bethlehem. The stories of Moses and Jesus rise up from the depths of despair and sorrow. Their stories point us to the God of liberation who creates new realities. As followers of Jesus the Christ, we know that violence is never the solution. More and bigger guns are not the solution. Our United Church of Christ urges faith over firearms. Just as God was at work in Egypt and Bethlehem, God is at work in Santa Fe, Texas, and throughout the world, challenging us to be the healers God knows our world needs. We have work to do until violence is no more. I look forward to being with you in worship this Sunday. 

Yours in Christ, Pastor David

 GRACE UCC WELCOMES OUR GUESTS

It was our joy to welcome the following guests in April: Tiffeny and Debbie Benge and family. 

 

MAY BIRTHDAYS

Rachel K 02, Patrick P and Rita P   05, Jason D 06, Peter L 10, Helen D 11, NamNam P 11, Niesan E 13, Jaime B 16, 

Ken M 17, Timothy M 17, Aster F 21, Dave M  25

                                                                                                     Grace UCC Clusters

Responsibilities:
Every Sunday:
☻Have ready by 9:30 am for Sunday School Make coffee, decaf and regular Set up coffee table
☻Set up by 11:30 am Fellowship Time
More coffee if needed Make punch
Arrange to serve: Cookies, fruits, or chips, etc.
Consider the Diabetic members (low sugar or sugar free snacks)
☻Clean up kitchen, bathrooms, and fellowship hall
Put tables and chairs away (stack 8 chairs & use dolly to place in closets)
Check bathrooms; replace trash can liners
Take trash to dumpsters (outside at end of parking lot)
 
In addition:
☻Potluck Lunch: First and Third Sunday unless there are changes that will be announced 3 Sundays before (examples: Rally Sunday, Thanksgiving Sunday, Christmas, Easter Sundays)
Set up tables and chairs
Arrange food brought by members
Clean up, put tables and chairs away, check bathrooms
Close& lock doors (door to closet in fellowship hall, pantry inside kitchen, fellowship hall door to outside and door by day care entrance),
Turn off a/c and lights
Clusters alternate months assigned
Cluster Team Leader will remind member what to bring and Sunday assigned
 
Cluster Lists are in the Newsletter and Office
CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY SERVICE CENTER - CCSC
"Think Outside the Bag"
In addition to food, Christian Community Service Center's clients need many non-food related items!  Please consider donating some of these special items:
Ziploc Gallon Bags, Diapers, Shampoo, Toothpaste, Toothbrushes (individually packaged), Deodorant, Razors, Reusable Cloth Bags with Handles (for our clients who ride the bus), Manual can openers, We will have a plastic bin in the narthex for these extra items.

As part of our covenant with CCSC, Grace UCC is asked to provide one or two people who will attend bimonthly meetings where information is given about the organization and its programs.  These meetings are held on a Tuesday from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at the central location off Newcastle between Richmond and West Alabama.  This person would then share the information with the church through newsletter articles, posting flyers on bulletin board, moments during Church Announcements, etc.  

For the past eight years, Jane Eixmann has served in this role, but can no longer do so.  We need someone or two to step up in her place.    If we have three people to share the responsibilities, each one would attend two meetings a year.  Donna Cardinale has agreed to take one slot.  The next meeting is not scheduled until early in 2018. If you would like more information, please see Jane E and she would be glad to share details with you.

CCSC Capital Fund Campaign
Because of flooding numerous times in its present location on Branard Street, CCSC has decided to begin a multi-year capital campaign program for a new building to house all of their programs (Food Pantry, employment, youth),  administration and staff offices, and growth to address future needs. As one of the 42 churches in the ministry, Grace has pledged to donate $1,000 per year for three years. The Council and congregation voted to meet this pledge through Love Offerings collected quarterly. We held our first collection on in February and collected $225.
We later received a generous $1,000 donation. 
June 06 -- Graceful Diners, 
Cafe Express, 15930 City Walk, Sugar Land
June 08 -- Lunch at Luby's, 11:30 am
June 12 -- Special Congregational Meeting, Council meets
Installation of Rev. Leslie Jackson at Cathedral of Hope Houston 3 PM
June 20 - Week long special webinars discussion on White Privilege - see article below.
June 25 -- Baby Shower for Leah Plagens, 2 to 4 pm
HOUSTON PRIDE FESTIVAL
12 - 7 PM, Parade 8:15
Volunteers are needed to help with the UCC booth. Please contact Brenda Fluitt.
    Soaring With The Spirit

    Grace

    UNITED CHURCH O F   C H R I S T
    8515 Brookwulf Drive
    Houston, Texas 77072
    PH: 281-575-7866

    Worship 10:00 AM Sunday School for all ages 11:30 AM