This year we will be having both a Maundy Thursday and a Good Friday service. We appropriately call it Maundy Thursday service because we include footwashing as part of the service. We recall the new commandment (mandatum novum in Latin) to love one another that Christ gave us in John 13:34. Anyone may choose to participate in the footwashing or one may choose to simply observe. Coming without socks or hose may ease your participation in the service. The service will also include the Lord’s Supper and the stripping of the church. With the church bare everyone is invited to come on Good Friday for a Service of Tenebrae, which is an extended meditation of the passion of Christ. Please enter the chapel in silence on Good Friday and we will all exit the church in silence at the conclusion of the service. Be in prayer for our church until we meet again on Easter Sunday morning to celebrate the Resurrection.
Here are some practical tips for Lenten disciplines. If you blow it and take a bite of whatever you gave up, don’t beat yourself up over it, just stop what you are doing and return to your discipline. If you are fasting and you discover that you have plopped a goodie into your mouth just stop eating and return to your discipline. I know that it would be tempting to just say, “I blew it for today” and eat all the candy or chips as you want for the rest of the day and start again fresh tomorrow. Resist the temptation and simply return to your discipline. If you added prayer to your daily routine and you realize that you have missed a prayer time, simply return to your prayer. One of the things I noticed when I fasted during the daylight hours for Lent was that I had a hard time after the time change. When the clocks were set forward for one hour I would have a harder time for that one hour than for all the other hours combined. I would have to remind myself that it was just an hour, return to your prayer, return to your fast. The last few steps are often the hardest to take. Loving those it is easy to love is difficult enough at times, return to your prayer, return to your discipline of love and take those few last steps and love those are who difficult to love. Forgiving is easier to do in some cases and with some people. When it is hard to do, don’t just give up, return to your prayer, return to your walk with God and take the last few steps and forgive. Keep a holy Lent.
The Texas Annual Conference Cabinet determined this document needed to be shared with local congregations. These recommendations come from your Texas Annual Conference Chancellors and we are making it available for your consideration.:
THE TEXAS OPEN CARRY LAW FOR CONCEALED HANDGUN HOLDERS
The Open Carry Law for Concealed Handgun Holders (“Open Carry Law”) becomes effective January 1, 2016. This law authorizes an individual who possesses a concealed handgun license issued by the state of Texas or by a state that Texas recognizes to carry the handgun in plain view in a public place as long as the handgun is carried in a shoulder or belt holster.
Property owners may prohibit the entrance onto their property by a person licensed to openly carry a handgun by providing verbal or written communication of the prohibition. The written communication may be a card, document or sign posted on the premises of the owner. The sign would be required to: (1) include in English and Spanish the statutory warning prescribed in the Texas Penal Code, (2) have contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height, and (3) be displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public at each entrance to the property.
Signs can be purchased on line or can be “homemade” as long as they meet the statutory requirements.
Believing that the open carry of handguns on church property is inconsistent with an atmosphere of prayer and worship, it is the recommendation of the Conference Chancellors that oral and/or written notice be given in accordance with the statute prohibiting the “Open Carry” of handguns in churches of the Conference. We make no recommendation regarding the prohibition of concealed handguns on church property and suggest that this be left up to individual congregations. It is our further recommendation that, in addition to whatever normal security churches provide during worship services and other activities occurring on church campuses, trained personnel, whether ushers or others, be designated as persons to assist in the event of a disturbance or an apparent violation of the notices the churches have posted with regard to the presence of guns on the property.
Mary A. Daffin
Frank G. Jones
TEXAS ANNUAL CONFERENCE CO- CHANCELLORS
Now is an especially appropriate time to remember and celebrate that God is with us. The news constantly tells us of the evil in this world both abroad and at home. Is there any hope in the darkness? Yes, there is. Remember our faith. The light of Christ has entered into the darkness of our world but the darkness cannot overcome it. In the midst of a cruel, dark and violent world God came to us in the form of a babe lying in a manger. May every child we ever hold remind us of the God who is our hope. The God who is still with us. The God who will always be with us. May the light and love of God revealed in Christ be reflected in all of our lives by our words and our deeds. The light still shines, the darkness cannot overcome it. Thanks be to God.
A big Thank You to the Demisemiseptcentennial Celebration Committee: Barbara Read, Ken Berry, Lindsey Smith, Jr., Carolyn Victery, Lisa Meisch, Faye & Cori Clevenger, Ann Marks, Lona Odum, Bryan Campbell, Tom Richert, Charles Fisher III, Tinya Griffin, and Cathy Harbour. Your planning and execution of the celebration was a huge success. Thanks to anyone else that helped in any way. That day of celebration was wonderful. It was great to see old friends and past pastors. A good time was had by all!