The Church Council of Houston Mennonite Church (HMC) met on Monday, September 19, 2022, 7pm, via Zoom. “The Church Council functions as the highest legislative and governing body of the congregation. It shall consist of the leaders of each of the ministry teams, plus the pastor and all other members of the Congregational Life Ministry Team.” (HMC Bylaws) Roxie Voran is the Council Chairperson.
I appreciate this monthly event when HMC leaders check in with each other and discuss the life and ministries of HMC. I am glad we began with prayer. I am thankful for the faith, gifts, commitment, and time of church leaders and volunteers. I appreciate the opportunity to reflect on my work among you and for the feedback that is offered.
Here is a summary of the meeting which lasted a little under two hours:
Stewardship Team - Income is down about nine percent from budget projections. Expenses are also down. The Discipleship, Outreach, and Worship Teams are not spending money. The most significant expenditures are staff and facility costs. We are exploring getting a church credit card. We are planning a Church Work Day on October 15. We are planning to remove the large dying tree and salvage a few logs for the playground. We will trim other trees on the property during the winter months. We are beginning to think about the 2023 budget process.
Care Team - We continue to stay in touch with members and friends of HMC. We are planning a baby shower for Teresa Pecinovsky on October 2. To accommodate needs of families with young children we will continue the pattern of potlucks during 2nd Hour on the first Sunday of the month.
Worship Team - Planning for Advent/Christmas. We would like to hear members preach periodically. Pastors LaTayna and Lee currently preach 50/50.
Hospitality - Providing great snacks on Sunday morning. Exploring more gluten-free snacks and adjusting placement of food and beverages to reduce pinch points.
Tech - Working on street sign repairs. Involved in responding to discussion about cameras and recording on Sunday morning.
Document management discussion. HMC needs to organize and streamline file storage and ongoing use. We will have a summit gathering to chart a way forward.
Clarke Ohlendorf gave a brief introduction to ChurchTrac, a church management software. HMC will try for 30 days then determine whether to purchase.
Pastor LaTayna noted that her contract goes to the end of the year.
Pastor Lee noticed the shift of energy from summer to fall with the start of the school year and return of folks from summer activities. The fall season brings various church processes that need to be addressed - Volunteer nominations, Budgeting, Leadership nominations. The congregation seems ready for more focused transitional work. Recent 2nd Hour discussions on cameras and recording had good participation and were helpful to get us talking with each other.
Council noted the various leadership voids at HMC and the lack of clarity about how long persons are expected to serve in various positions. Pastor Lee will bring an updated survey to the next council meeting for approval.
The next Church Council meeting is Monday, October 17, 2022, 7pm, via Zoom.
Lee Lever (he/him), Transitional Pastor
Houston Mennonite Church
Sunday Worship at 10 AM (map)
In-person at Houston Mennonite Church (HMC)
Off-site Connectivity (meeting ID: 910 835 693 )
Zoom Online Video Meeting, or
Zoom Dial-in: 346-248-7799
NO classes for 10/02/22 — Join us for the potluck and Teresa's baby shower instead
Thursday Zoom Hangout from 7-9 PM
Sunday, Oct. 2
After service, two events together:
Potluck Sunday at HMC
Join us to share your culinary talents with the community!
If you can share what you plan to bring, that could help others prepare (even just dish type can help), but is not required
Baby Shower for Teresa Pecinovsky and family at HMC
Baby registry available online by clicking here
Contact Gerald G. with questions
Childcare available until 12 PM
No Sunday School
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
Need to make any changes? Please try to find your own replacements and then contact Lynda Voran with updates.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.”
Offering / Giving
Go Electronic: Give online by clicking here or the button below. Mail Checks to our building at :
Houston Mennonite Church Attn: Treasurer 1231 Wirt Road Houston, TX 77055-6852
Houston Mennonite Staff
Pastor (Transitional): Lee Lever
Pastor (Associate): LaTayna Purnell
Administrative Assistant: Clarke Ohlendorf