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this week's letter: "take hold of life"

Item added January 9, 2019

Dear friends,

Recently a Bible verse jumped out at me. Like a jingle you can't get out of your mind, it's stayed with me for months. "Take hold of the life that is really life."

As an Anabaptist I think the really real life includes a couple of key ingredients.


First off is faith that shapes our minds and influences our identity as a follower of Christ. Jesus' way to human flourishing differs from the flourishing peddled on Black Friday and the American Dream.


Second is relationships based on both grace and truth. For Mennonites the church is defined primarily as a group, a family, a people; more than it is a place we go to receive religious goods and services.


And third, the really real life includes loving action, kindness, self-sacrifice, and peacemaking. With tit for tat military action with Iran (who we've really been in a proxy and financial war with for well over a year), we Peace Church people really need to engage in bold public witness.

But I'm also convinced that for us to have a life that is really a meaningful life, we need self-care. Poor cholesterol, uneven blood sugar, bad blood pressure can be symptoms of living a life that's less than optimal and less than God intends. We know the facts - eat clean, get your body moving, sleep enough. And no amount of selfless altruism should derail us from taking care of ourselves.

This new year, pursue a life with deeper meaning. "Take hold of the life that is really life" (1 Timothy 6:19). Invest time in loving union with God. Deepen or start relationships. Be a bold public witness for Jesus' better way. And take good care of yourself. You deserve it. And so do we.

See you Sunday for our annual Covenant Signing service, where we're invited to commit to one another as a family of faith.

Much love,
Pastor Marty

peace club is back at HMC!

Item added October 10, 2019

Peace Club meets once a month at the Houston Mennonite Church building. Ages 5 - 18 are invited to participate. Bring your friends and join the fun!

Sunday, January 12, 5pm - 7pm

You are invited by Judy Hoffhien and Claude Jager-Rubinson.

strength and grace in numbers

Important info

Thank you for your contributions to our shared life. We rely on one another and it's beautiful!

Use the links below to check the upcoming rosters.
If you're scheduled for a day that no longer works for you, please arrange a switch with someone else on the schedule, and email the updated information to  Thank you!

Current January volunteer roster.

potluck fellowship meals

Regular event

Potluck Fellowship Meals take place on the fourth Sunday of every month (with a few exceptions - see below). It's a great opportunity to hang out and enjoy some community with your church family.

Please bring something to share - dishes that work for those with food restrictions are particularly welcome! These include: Gluten-free, and FODMAP-friendly (need some recipe suggestions for that last one? start here...).

Upcoming dates:

Sunday, January 26 (also includes Congregational Annual Meeting, part 2)

Sunday, February 23

Sunday, March 22

Exceptions to the "every fourth Sunday" pattern:
We celebrate Easter Sunday with a potluck brunch, and skip our regular fellowship meal that month. The summer pool party is our potluck meal for whichever month it takes place. We also skip the meal in November and December due to Thanksgiving and Christmas busyness - but there are many other celebrations to take their place, including our our Christmas Banquet in early December, and our Christmas Brunch on the morning of the Sunday before Christmas.

let's eat together: lunch after church

Regular event

Once a month, we go out together for lunch to a local restaurant. Come join us! We'll leave the building after Second Hour gets done and make our way to this month's venue.

Coming up (dates subject to change):

Sunday, February 9

Sunday, March 8

potluck supper + games nights

Regular event

Once a month, we gather for games. Come to the HMC building any time from 6pm; we'll eat a potluck supper together at around 6:30pm, and start the games from around 7pm. Bring a game or two or just show up and see what's on the table!

Kid-friendly; there are usually 3 - 5 games going at any one time, and range from simple through to all-evening strategy sessions. If games aren't your thing, bring a craft with you, or just come for the conversation. This is a casual and fun event, and friends and family are welcome.

Coming up (dates subject to change):

Friday, January 17

Friday, February 14

Friday, March 13

work party + grounds upkeep

Regular event

Our building isn't brand new any more, but still looks amazing! That's thanks in part to our dedicated volunteers who come to work days. We have indoor tasks as well as outdoor ones, so come along on any of these Saturdays, any time between 9 am and noon, to help keep our building and grounds beautiful:


Saturday, February 1

Saturday, April 4

If you've noticed something that needs repair, cleaning, or other attention, please talk to Rebecque Demark, who serves on the Stewardship Team and coordinates our work days.

hmc council & leadership

Important information

At Houston Mennonite Church, the leadership team is referred to as the church “council.” They meet regularly, make decisions, and discern how to strengthen the identity, vision, and people of HMC. They also do a lot of ministry tasks.


HMC is organized around five core ministries. Each ministry is led by a council member to help that ministry come alive in your life. Our five core ministries are (with the team name in bold):

1. Care for all our people;
2. Discipleship opportunities for kids and adults;
3. Outreach to the community in word and action,
4. Worship on Sunday mornings; and
5. Stewardship of property and finances.

The members of your council include:

Linda Washburn and Elizabeth Melendez on Care;

David Cooper on Discipleship with Lauren Hall as Children’s Ministry Coordinator;

Margaret Gehman and Rebecca Voran plan our worship, but do not currently serve on Council.


On Sunday mornings check out Council name tags; they’re a bit different so you can find them when needed. Contact any Council member if you have questions or concerns regarding anything at HMC.


Each Sunday, one council member takes on the role of Church Host to answer any questions you have and to be in charge during emergencies. They come early, leave late, and hang out in the Common Space during worship. Look for their name on the roster and in your bulletin.​

safety in our building

Important information

Your church leaders work to stay current on best practices for evacuations and other emergencies so that everyone can be safe in our building.


Here are some things to know about the HMC building:

  • There are four exits: Main, Sanctuary, Patio, and South.

  • There is a fire alarm pull station by each exit.

  • Our assembly point is to the north, by the labyrinth, and is marked with a sign.

  • We have a defibrillator in the common space (by the door to the sound closet), and a first aid kit in the kitchen (look for the red label).

  • There are fire extinguishers in the kitchen and common space, with a third by the south entrance.


More information is available in the building on wall signage and elsewhere. We want EVERYONE to be safe in our building at all times and knowledge is power! We hope to never need that knowledge, but are glad to have it just in case.

food pantry support

Important information

Each month the East Spring Branch Food Pantry provides assistance to 400 - 500 families within several ZIP codes in the area of our church.  One in six children in the Houston area lives in a family that is food insecure.  


Please show your support of the food pantry with donations of food. You can also donate cash via their website.

kroger community rewards

Important information

Kroger is committed to helping our communities grow and prosper. Year after year, local schools, churches and other nonprofit organizations will earn millions of dollars through Kroger Community Rewards.  Kroger Community Rewards makes fund-raising easy... all you have to do is shop at Kroger and swipe your Plus Card!  


If you would like to participate, please do the following:

1.  Go to the Kroger Community Rewards page and log into your Kroger account (or create an account if you don't already have one).

2.  Select an organization to link to your Kroger Rewards Card.  We are listed as HOUSTON MENNONITE CHURCH and our organization number is SV723.

Houston Mennonite will receive a percentage of the money you spend.  In 2018 we received $130.

Thank you for your participation!

join the conversation on facebook

Important information

Find us on Facebook for thought-provoking articles, art, prayer, discussion, and more!

Houston Mennonite Church has a public page, which you can find here:

For regular attendees, we have a closed Facebook group, HMC Community. You can find it here. On your first visit, you'll need to request to join the group. After that, you can post and reply freely.


NOTE: The HMC Facebook group is JUST for current members of the HMC community, so that people can post and discuss with some privacy. Requests from others to join the group will not be approved. Thank you for understanding! We welcome everyone to join us on our public page.

mennonite church news

Important information

Stay in touch with news from the wider Mennonite world!

MC USA = Mennonite Church USA
Mennonite Church USA is one of about 40 different Mennonite groups in the United States. While we share a common faith ancestry with these groups, we may vary in the way we dress, worship, and relate to the world. 

WDC = Western District Conference
Western District Conference is a regional grouping of congregations in the Mennonite Church USA denomination. WDC is composed of congregations located in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. 

Blogs from Mennonite Church USA.

News from Mennonite Church USA.

Stories from Western District Conference.


© 2019 Houston Mennonite Church

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Houston Mennonite Church | 1231 Wirt, Houston, TX 77055 | 281-783-9070