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Newsletter 2022-09-21: Live justly. Love abundantly. Walk humbly.

Recently President Bidan gave a speech about democracy. Here are some statements he made:

  • "You can't love your country only when you win."

  • "History tells us that blind loyalty to a single leader and the willingness to engage in political violence is fatal to democracy."

  • "Democracy cannot survive when one side believes there are only two sides to an election--they win or they were cheated."

  • "You can't be pro-insurrectionist and pro-American. They're incompatible."

  • "There are public figures all but calling for mass violence in the streets...This is inflammatory. It's dangerous."

  • "We must be honest with each other and with ourselves...Too much of what's happening in our country today is not normal."

As I reflect, I am grateful to hear this honest telling of what living in America is like in these times. Calling out political violence, authoritarianism, intimidation, and lies that erode democracy is crucial to this moment, no matter where you might fall on the political spectrum.

I think about what I have spent years teaching my own children (and children I have coached): to be a good sport is to play hard, work as a team, acknowledge your losses and let them teach you, congratulate the winners after a hard-fought game. Basic human kindness matters. All human beings are beloved by God, and each of us also knows brokenness, it's a human condition. Grace, therefore, is paramount. It is a spiritual life practice. Demonstrate compassion toward those suffering. Sit next to the kid who is alone. Listen to the voices of everyone, and speak the truth you have to give. Respect the bodies, minds, and souls of others and seek mutual consent in all things. Love your neighbor as yourself, and your neighbor isn't just the person next door. Live justly. Love abundantly. Walk humbly.

A primary issue I have always had with white supremacists, Trump, and the MAGA crowd is lack of character. Lack of respect for immigrants, women, Black folks as fundamentally human beings worthy of abundant lives. Joy in belligerence. Inability to admit wrongdoing or mistakes. Denial of the truth. Sorely losing. Appealing to the worst in others. Overtures toward violence and satisfaction when it breaks out. Censorship and demonization of any voice or book outside of one's ideology. To call out this lack of character, particularly as I seek to teach my children and all the young people I am privileged to pastor the exact opposite, is, well, normal. I respect all people, but not all behavior is welcomed with that. And we have a situation here in this country that truly threatens us all. I hope we will not just believe in democracy, justice, and liberty for all, but that we will live them.

LaTayna Purnell (she/her), Associate Pastor

Houston Mennonite Church




  • Saturday, Sept. 24

    • Jude J.R.'s Birthday Party at HMC from 3-5 PM

      • RSVP online here

      • Contact Claude with questions

      • Q: What can I bring for a birthday gift?

        • "It's truly not necessary to bring anything. For Jude, having a party with his friends and community is what he'll love best. (If you insist, he loves drawing and coloring, dinosaurs, construction vehicles, and building things -- blocks, Legos, MagnaTiles, etc.)"

    • Drag Queen Bingo at FCC Katy

      • Join FCC Katy for a fun-filled evening of bingo hosted by Drag Queen Kiki Dion Van Whales.

      • Seating is very limited, and tickets must be purchased online.

      • 5 PM: All Ages Bingo and Show

      • 8 PM: Adults Bingo and Show

  • Sunday, Oct. 2

    • Potluck Sunday at HMC

    • Baby Shower for Teresa Pecinovsky and family at HMC

      • Baby registry available online by clicking here

      • Contact Gerald G. with questions

  • Saturday, Oct. 15

    • Work Day at HMC from 8 AM to 1 PM (come and go as available)

      • Join us to help clean-up and fix various things around the building and its premises

      • There are ways for everyone to help!

        • Have a green thumb? Handy with tools? Like to clean? Good at keeping folks hydrated and rested? Want to pick weeds?

        • If you're willing to help, there will be a way for you to contribute!

      • Contact Mitch M. or Gerald G. with questions

      • If you can, let Mitch and/or Gerald know when you may join, so they can plan projects better (not required, just helpful)

  • Sunday, Oct. 16

    • Care Team Meeting on Zoom at 3 PM

  • Monday, Oct. 17

    • Church Council Meeting on Zoom at 7 PM

  • Saturday, Oct. 22

    • Games Night & Snackluck from 6-9 PM at HMC

      • Bring your favorite games and something yummy to share (and a friend or two) for a fun-filled evening!

      • Use Facebook? RSVP to the event on our HMC Community Facebook Group

  • Sunday, Oct. 30

    • "Thanksgiving Meal in a Bag" Collection Begins for East Spring Branch Food Pantry


Resources to love yourself and your church family


Resources to help you grow as a follower of Jesus

MCC's Welcoming Place in Akron, PA, October 14th-16th, 2022

Coming Together at the Well - Renewal Through Exploring the Five Life Standards

A weekend of refreshment, fellowship, worship, and deep conversations with your fellow Anabaptist healthcare providers in a beautifully wooded setting!

Details and registration available online here.


For the months of October - December 2022, MDS is offering financial travel assistance for anyone who serves for a week or more in McAllen, Texas or Jennings, Louisiana. Contact Deanna Frey ( or call 1-800-241-8111 with any questions or to schedule a week.

By MC USA staff with input from John Roth

Work has officially begun on the first ever Anabaptist Bible to be published by MennoMedia in time for the 500th anniversary of Anabaptism in 2025. “This project is an invitation for the Anabaptist churches to gather and listen to and through the Incarnate Word – Jesus,” said Sue Park-Hur, Mennonite Church USA’s director of racial/ethnic engagement, who participated in the conference. “I’m excited that the leaders of this project are committed to the challenging work of including diverse voices of Anabaptist groups.”

Learn how you can be involved in Anabaptism at 500 (many opportunities available), visit


Offering / Giving

Mail Checks to our building at :

Houston Mennonite Church Attn: Treasurer 1231 Wirt Road Houston, TX 77055-6852


Houston Mennonite Staff

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