Friends of Maua Hospital Gathering

Devotional by Bishop Jones of the Texas Annual Conference

For the 5th year, a Gathering of churches who send teams to Maua Methodist Hospital in Kenya met in Houston on Nov.9-10. 31 churches from 9 states were represented. It is a yearly East Africa Love Fest! At home the attendees struggle to articulate the power of a pilgrimage to Maua but it’s easy when you are with 50+ other like-minded people. This year there was consensus that we should refer to our trips as pilgrimages and not as Mission Trips. WHY? A pilgrim is defined as a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons. Friends of Maua Hospital completely agree that the hospital and the work that is done there is sacred.  And as pilgrims who travel there, we are blessed long after we return.

Christian Washington, who is a lay minister at Chapelwood UMC in Houston has written a powerful essay entitled, “I’ll Never Be the Same After Kenya!” In it he beautifully articulates what I’ve felt in Kenya: I receive far more than I give. He says, “I learned that my “material wealth” is actually worse than their “material poverty” because it affords me the opportunity to forget that I need God. What a dangerous luxury that is! The people of Maua showed me what it looks like to be saved by the grace gift of God alone and not of ourselves.” I receive more when I travel to Maua because in Maua, it hits us right in the face that material poverty is only ONE kind of poverty. What about spiritual poverty (how many people do you know who don’t have a personal relationship with God) or poverty of affection (how many in our society only know violence as a way of life). In Maua, I know that I need God and I need Him every minute. It is indeed a very dangerous bubble that we 1st world people live in. It’s so very easy to forget that we cannot save ourselves; that we are not saved by our wealth or our education or our good deeds, but by God alone.

For more information on Friends of Maua Hospital, check out our website: friendsofmaua.org.

 

 


2018 EARTHGLOW MARKET An Overwhelming Success

Church of the Servant’s hallways were bustling with enthusiastic shoppers on Saturday, November 3, when the annual Earthglow Market hosted 109 artisans and craft people sharing their gift items, holiday and home décor, jewelry, food items, and more. It was perhaps the most successful market ever hosted by Earthglow. Proceeds from booth and table rental, food/bake sales, as well as the profits from the Gift Shop, are distributed annually to local missions. Over our history, Earthglow has donated over $817,000 to various missions in our community. Your participation in our Earthglow Market has made a valued contribution to this effort! Thank you for your continued patronage!

The 2019 Earthglow Market is already scheduled for Saturday, November 9, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Earthglow advertises in numer- ous ways in our church and on social media. If you are interested in signing up as a vendor for next year’s event, go to churchoftheservant.com/events.

Earthglow is filled with beautiful, unique items that will meet the specifications of the most discriminating shopper. Make it a point to stop by often – there are new items arriving almost every day!


A Heartfelt “Thank You” from TEEM

Throughout this past summer, Earthglow shoppers donated many hygiene items that were then forwarded to The Education and Employment Ministry (TEEM). The following letter was received from TEEM:

Dear Church of the Servant Friends – On behalf of the board of directors, staff, and participants of The Education and Employment Ministry (TEEM), thank you for participating in this year’s “Spring Cleaning” Summer Hygiene Drive. Because of your partnership, TEEM collected over 9,000 hygiene items for our participants! This level of community support demonstrates the care and concern that is life changing for the justice involved individuals.

One of the many barriers TEEM participants face is a lack of basic hygiene items to address basic needs. Your decision to participate in this year’s drive alleviates this challenge by providing necessary hygiene products directly to participants. Thank you for your continued support of our organization and mission, and most of all, thank you for believing in our participants. TEEM serves approximately 1,500 individuals each year and your support helps TEEM to continue breaking cycles of incarceration and poverty by empowering individuals to achieve personal and career goals. Thank you again for making this year’s drive successful! We look forward to partnering with you again in the future.

Kris Steele, Executive Director


Bless Our Schools

For five years, Church of the Servant has partnered with Hefner Middle School to bless the children with weekend backpacks of food. The numbers of backpacks going home declined the past couple of years not due to lack of need but partially due to distribution methods (middle school kids are more sensitive about receiving them) A new counselor has been working hard to identify students in need and make pick-up more discreet.  As of this week, 9 backpacks and 9 drawstring bags are being distributed! In addition, food is available in a “pantry”  at school and if any student tells a teacher they are hungry, they can go select something to eat. The food is furnished through the Regional Food Bank.
The second part of the program is to bless Hefner’s teachers and para-professionals with support throughout the year. In August every teacher is provided with a plastic box of goodies supplied by our congregation. The boxes are quickly grabbed from the concourse table and many people go away empty handed.  Para-Professionals are also recipients of a zip-loc goodie bag. Along with the extra supplies and snacks, donors are asked to write a note to the teacher who will receive the box. It’s fun to fill the box but it makes one pause to try to put down in a few sentences what our hopes and dreams are for the teacher, her classroom and her students. Amber Neaves, who has championed this from the very beginning, shares the thank notes she receives from teachers during Mission Council meetings. They are often moved to tears by such thoughtfulness.
But wait! There’s more! Several times a year, a meal is prepared for the whole school staff! Not only is food homemade, but the area is decorated so that Servant can again encourage, uplift and honor them. A big shout-out to Jim and Lynda Talkington who faithfully set up, decorate and clean-up.
There’s a lot to celebrate at Hefner so please remember everyone there in your prayers and thank God for this wonderful opportunity to serve those close to home.

FRUIT SALE Benefits Whiz Kids

The annual fruit sale will benefit Whiz Kids of Oklahoma. Boxes of oranges or grapefruit and mixed boxes of oranges and grapefruit will be available for pre-sale on December 2 and for sale on December 9 at the tables in the Concourse for $20 per box. Fruit can be picked up on December 9 or picked up in the church office after the sale, December 10-12. The members of the MVC Sunday School Class will be happy to carry the fruit to your car.
Whiz Kids of Oklahoma is an organization that improves the lives of elementary school students by partnering each child with a caring volunteer tutor. The tutors are there each week to work one-on-one with their student and to build a relationship. The volunteers help pri- marily with reading. The students are picked up from school, driven to a partnering church, fed a meal, spend time learning, and are driven home. The volunteers become invested in their student, get to know their families, and build lasting relationships. Please consider helping fund Whiz Kids by purchasing a box of fruit on December 2 or 9!


Help “My Heart’s Appeal” on United Methodist Giving Tuesday

UNITED METHODIST GIVING TUESDAY
Tuesday, November 27, is United Methodist Giving Tuesday. This is an opportunity for us to join the United Methodist Church Global ministries in the advance special work of our denomination around the world. One of the advance specials that is connected to our local congregation is My Heart’s Appeal. It is a ministry in Liberia for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, modeled after our Hannah’s Promise respite ministry here at Servant. The Advance Special number is project #3022086 can be found at https://www.umcmission.org/Give-to-Mission.


“Shepherd’s Servants” Veteran’s Ministry

To Listen, To Hear, To Understand, and To Provide Hope

“Our mission is to provide services to our Veteran Community in the Oklahoma City area in the form of Transition Assistance Programs, deployment support for spouses of active duty military, spiritual guidance and emotional support for all veterans, regardless of their current status.” – David Myers

In 2019, led by layperson and veteran, David Myers and a team of passionate people, a ministry is unfolding to adopt and support military families in the Oklahoma City area, support spouses of veterans when deployment is being experienced, transition assistance for veterans and families moving from the military service, assisting veterans with VA disability claims, and mentoring and connecting with scout- ing programs. If you are interested in serving in this ministry, please contact David Myers at bugmesh@gmail.com.


A Walk Through Bethlehem

DECEMBER 14 & 15 (6-9PM) AND DECEMBER 16 (6-8PM)

On December 14, 15 and 16, a new tradition will begin at Church of the Servant. On these three special nights, part of the campus will be transformed into a far-away land and an immersive experience for God’s children of all ages. A Walk Through Bethlehem will serve as a unique and special way for each of us to share the great story of the birth of Jesus and invite our friends and family to Church of the Servant.

During these three nights, you will have the opportunity to walk the streets of Bethlehem! The royal decree of Caesar Augustus will be fulfilled as all are counted in the census! You can attempt to check into the King David Inn (is there a vacancy?). And as you stroll the city bazaar, you will be transported back in time to the great story of the day of Christ’s birth. You can also experience a petting zoo at the Royal Stables, a manger, and many other special interactive booths in the bazaar.

As Church of the Servant prepares for this special season, you are invited to become a part of the cast! Many cast members are needed to make A Walk Through Bethlehem a great success! Plan on attending the Casting Call meetings in Community Hall on November 18 and 25 at 3:00 p.m. to learn more. 100 volunteers are needed! You will not want to miss out on this wonderful time where the greatest story ever told comes to life!

CHRISTMAS EVE – DECEMBER 24

Christmas Eve service times will be 3:00 p.m. for our child- friendly service led by NextGen Ministries, and 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. for our Candlelight Communion services led by our Celebration Choir and Worship Orchestra.