Wednesday, October 29, 2014


This is a handout that you can use anytime this month. Again, reformat the document into two columns so you can get two copies from one page of paper.


The following prayer is from a service of Communion created by Discipleship Ministries, UMC.
We send to you, Creator God, our dreams, visions, and prayers.
For our mission,
Let your Spirit move us to honor and respect one another – from the least to the greatest. May we treat everyone we encounter with dignity and love. May we affirm the image of the Creator within each one of us. May we help restore the image of the Creator on earth. May our words, thoughts, and actions nourish and sustain your creation.
For the Church,
May she lead and dance with honor. Let all who follow her steps and rhythm know and feel righteousness and strength. May her regalia exemplify purity and perfection.
For the world:
May the nations of the earth gather to listen to the heartbeat of God. May they sit in silence as the Great Peacemaker teaches and shows them how to walk upright. May the war clubs and instruments of destruction be transformed into life giving means of grace. (Isaiah 2)
For the hearts of the people,
Created with your sacred fire burning within us, we confess that we struggle to live out of our great potential. When we do harm to your Creation, your creatures and fellow human beings, forgive us. When we fail to do all the good we can, in all the places we can, forgive us. When we turn away from your love and grace, forgive us.
Leader: Hear now the good news of Jesus Christ,
People: You are forgiven. I am forgiven. We are forgiven.
Leader: Peace be with you.

The Twenty Third Psalm
A Native-American Indian Version

I am His and with Him I want not.
He throws out to me a rope
and the name of the rope is love
and He draws me to where the grass is green
and the water is not dangerous,
and I eat and lie down and am satisfied.
Sometimes my heart is very weak and falls down
but He lifts me up again and draws me into a good road.
His name is WONDERFUL.
Sometime, it may be very soon, it may be a long long time,
He will draw me into a valley.
It is dark there, but I'll be afraid not,
for it is between those mountains
that the SHEPHERD CHIEF will meet me
and the hunger that I have in my heart all through life will be satisfied.
Sometimes he makes the love rope into a whip,
but afterwards He gives a staff to lean upon.
He spreads a table before me with all kinds of foods.
He put His hand upon my head and all the "tired" is gone.
My cup he fills till it runs over.
What I tell is true.
I lie not.
These roads that are "away ahead" will stay with me
through this life and after;
and afterwards I will go to live in the Big Teepee
and sit down with the SHEPHERD CHIEF forever.

-- From the West Michigan Conference

Thursday, October 23, 2014


IS 48th OF 50!

Although Texas’s voter participation had improved as of the 2012 presidential election, election watchers expect only 40% of its registered voters to actually vote in this coming election. We need to improve a lot more!

So…. Our election is November 4 and I urge all of you to vote yourselves and to encourage family and friends to vote. Regardless of your party affiliation, exercise your right—and duty—to help select men and women to represent you at the State and local levels.

It can be difficult to decide how to vote, but as Christians and United Methodists, we have help there.

First, we have scripture: “Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind …and your neighbor as yourself.” Those commandments give us initial direction.

Then we have the Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes, which tell us that we are to be peacemakers, be merciful, be pure in heart, etc. Those instructions lead us further in our thought processes about choosing our positions on the social issues.

And then we Methodists have the UMC Social Principles, which state in very simple and direct terms how our church, our faith puts those Biblical instructions into action. (There are copies of the Social Principles in the FUMC Denton library, and probably in most all your church libraries.)

There’s nothing anywhere about political parties…only about issues and our living out our faith according to our understanding of scripture. So it is up to us to choose the candidates who seem to support the positions that manifest the Biblical admonitions.

So continue to pray, read, listen, educate yourself, and then VOTE! Early voting is very easy in Denton County because you can vote at any poll in the County.


We should not forget the refugees in South Texas, and in connection with that situation we have a message from Carol Barton, UMW Inc., social action….
“The UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights has just released a new document, ‘Recommendations for Principles and Guidelines for Human Rights at International Borders.’ The document represents an important step forward in recognizing the significance of human rights at borders. It presents us with a tremendous challenge to strengthen adherence to these principles and guidelines by governments around the world. The document is “non-binding” and does not introduce “new” rights, but by clearly spelling out human rights principles in the context of borders and providing numerous recommendations for guidelines for government adherence and implementation, it provides advocates and organizers with a great tool to incorporate into our efforts.”         Rose: I urge you to stay in touch with the progress via website UMW Immigrant/Civil Rights Initiative.
herence to these principles and guidelines by governments around the world. The document is "non-binding" and does not introduce "new" rights, but by clearly spelling out human rights principles in the context of borders and providing numerous recommendations for guidelines for government adherence and implementation, it provides advocates and organizers with a great tool to incorporate into our efforts. Join United Methodist Women and partners at the Church Center for the UN on Thursday Oct 23 for a celebration and strategy session in New York.herence to these principles and guidelines by governments around the world. The document is "non-binding" and does not introduce "new" rights, but by clearly spelling out human rights principles in the context of borders and providing numerous recommendations for guidelines for government adherence and implementation, it provides advocates and organizers with a great tool to incorporate into our efforts. United Methodist Women and partners at the Church Center for the UN will celebrate and strategize on Thursday, Oct 23.

 I would encourage you to stay abreast of this situation at UMW Immigrant/Civil Rights Initiative on-line.

And UMCOR continues its work in the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoons Glenda and Mario. Almost 400 families displaced by the typhoon will receive food packages to meet basic needs. The relief packages, which consist of locally purchased rice, sardines, instant noodles, sugar and meatloaf, will go to those deemed most vulnerable. To enable UMCOR to support the needs of survivors during times of disaster, we can give to Advance #982450, International Disaster Response.

Let us continue to pray for the people of the U.S. Midwest during their time of recovery from the severe storms that ripped through the region recently, as well as for the dedicated missionaries returning to countries ravaged by Ebola as well as for the victims and families.

United Methodist churches celebrate U.N. Sunday, Oct. 26, the Sunday closest to the Oct. 24, (1945) founding of the United Nations.

Monday, October 13, 2014


As those who were there can attest, our meeting Saturday at St. Luke’s Community UMC was indeed a celebration! There were around 150 of us, and the UMW and the Rev. Dr. Michael Bowie, Jr., of St. Luke’s welcomed us in fine Christian fashion—of course. I want to tell you just a bit of what went on.

The Rev. Sarah Squires spoke with great enthusiasm and conviction about the work at Wesley-Rankin. (I hope most of you know about this great National Mission Institution. If not, look it up online—or look into the “Older Posts” on my blog:  Her theme was this quotation: “We’re ready to ride...but first we have to decide…Do we ride in the direction we’re all facing?...Or is that too easy?” That’s a thought worth contemplating. She pointed out that, to remain relevant and effective, Wesley-Rankin has had to re-think some practices, implement new ones, and continue to serve.

Six focus groups were available; I chose to attend the “Visiting Missionary, Chennai, India.” Ms. Kasthuri Devaraj is—as she told us—80 years old but is still leader of the Opportunity School for mentally challenged children in Chennai. The School tries to teach all of them to become less dependent on others and where possible, it teaches them to become independent citizens. She is a charming, vivacious lady, and she was attended by Grace, a volunteer who travelled to America with Ms. Devaraj and who has her own story. (I’m so sorry that I’ve misplaced the card with Grace’s full name on it.) Although the ladies came to the meeting to tell us about the school and were not actively fund-raising, I was led to leave a contribution.

I encourage you to look up their website and learn more. Then, if you feel led, you may send a contribution to The Board of Global Ministries, 475 Riverside Drive, NY 10115. Gifts processed through GBGM are eligible for tax exemption. You may also send checks directly to the school, and the instructions are at the website.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


This post is information from the Conference Connection newspaper, September edition. I plan to distribute the flyer this coming Sunday. October is a busy month, observing also Breast Cancer Awareness, World Food Day and United Nations Day. So there will be one focus each Sunday, if we like.


In Texas…
2,632 Texas women have been killed in family violence since 1990.

223,000 Texans called family violence hotlines in the past year.

79,000 people, mostly women and children, sought services from family violence programs in the last year.

5,598 family-violence members were served each day by Texas programs in 2011.

8,028 unmet requests that Texas Health and Human Services Commission reported for fiscal year 2012.

45% of family violence programs report insufficient funding.

27% of young Texans have been victims of physical dating violence. Adding emotional and verbal abuse, the percentage rises to almost 50%.

In the U.S…
1.3 million are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.

$5.8 billion is the cost of intimate-partner violence each year.

$4.1 billion is spent for direct medical and mental health services for family-violence victims.

Twice as likely are the chances that boys who witness domestic violence will abuse their own partners and children as adults.

(Sources: Texas Council on Family Violence; 2011 National Census on Domestic Violence Services; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

To help equip faith leaders and advocates with the tools and knowledge to address the issues of abuse, you may donate to FaithTrust Institute Advance #951160.

Message from the Bishop

“Let’s unite in the effort to end abuse. Domestic violence is something the Church cannot ignore. It affects our families. It affects our children. It prevents us from living into the fullness of the loving and grace-filled community Christ calls us to be. This October, we encourage you to promote awareness within your congregations and communities. Let’s join the movement to make North Texas a safe place for women, children, and families. For a downloadable list of resources, go to

“Sunday is the most violent day of the week, experts say. Domestic violence is a reality in all of our communities, and we as the Church must admit that and work to end it. I am asking all North Texas United Methodists, lay and clergy, young people and adults, to come together to say no to domestic violence. Here are a few examples of how to begin our work together.
*Pastors will not tell domestic violence victims to go home and be better wives. They will listen to them and offer to help.
*Laity will not ask “Why does she stay?” They will ask him, “Why are you hurting her?”
*Youth will know that dating-violence is unacceptable.
*And even the abusers in our midst will know that their behavior must stop and that counseling and other forms of help are available.

We are a compassionate, empathetic annual conference. We know that there is a problem and we care about others. The Bible teaches that we are to have loving relationships built on the love of Christ as found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:  Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

For escape plans, signs of abuse and the effects of abuse on children, go to

--from North Texas Conference Connection--