Heart of Texas Association

July 2022 Newsletter

Summer Vacation

Rev. Nikki Stahl will be on vacation July 3 - July 20! She will have limited availability to phone/email and will be trying really, really hard not to work on Heart of Association stuff.

"Thank you for this opportunity to visit friends in Vermont, be with family in Galveston, and float a river with other friends/family. I hope you each find some time to rest, be with ones that you love, and/or travel/experience the world!"

~ Rev. Nikki Stahl

Special Note to Trinity: I will still be working on your Executive Minister needs but that is outside of my Association Minister work.

Do you need a pulpit supply preacher?

Rev. Nikki Stahl has a growing list of pastors available for pulpit supply whether it be for one Sunday or a short-term period of time. Names like Rev. CJ Wood, Rev. Gerry Metzger, Rev. Stephanie Cooper, Rev. Mark Dowell, Rev. Peter Bauer, soon-to-be Rev. Shelby Nowland, MID Brittany Hicks, MID Hailey Sietz, and more...
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Special Invitation to Join the Journey

Journey # 17 Sept 29 - Oct 2

On behalf of North Texas Journey, Rev. Nikki Stahl and Cathy Hansen (Friends Congregational Church Church - College Station) would like to extend a warm invitation for all Heart of Association members to join us on Journey #17 taking place Thursday, September 29th - Sunday, October 2nd.

The Journey actually started in the Brazos Association (prior to Brazos & South Texas Association merger to Heart of Texas Association), before moving to North Texas. Every Journey since then has included pilgrims and/or team leads from our Association. This year Cathy will be serving as Lay Leader and Nikki will be serving as Spiritual Leader. The hope is to have a good participation from the Heart of Texas Association.

What is the Journey?

The Journey is a three-day spiritual renewal experience based on the Cursillo tradition. The Journey is intended to strength the local church through the development of Christian disciples and leaders. It is designed for active church members and leaders who want to rekindle their faith or renew their vision!

You can find out more information here or contact Cathy and/or Nikki!

UCC History & Polity Nugget

Tasks of General Synod

According to the Constitution and Bylaws of the United Church of Christ, the General Synod is the gathering of a faith community representative of the wider Church to listen for and discern the call of God to the United Church of Christ. The General Synod deliberates, discerns, and identifies the mission of the wider Church of the United Church of Christ in God’s world and receives and offers suggestions, invitations, challenges, and assistance in covenant with local churches, conferences, and other settings as they engage in mission together (Constitution, Article IX).

One of the major tasks of the General Synod is to review, edit, and vote on pronouncements and resolutions.

  • Pronouncement: A statement of Christian conviction on a matter of moral or social principle. These statements describe the historic roots of the United Church of Christ and connect it to current identity and theology, noting the current engagement of various settings of the Church. A proposal for action usually accompanies a pronouncement. A proposal for action is a recommendation for specific directional statements and goals for implementing a pronouncement.

  • Resolution of Witness: A Christian witness to the world; an expression of the General Synod concerning a moral, ethical, or religious matter confronting the Church, the nation, or the world. When adopted, its purpose is to guide and help focus the wider Church’s work. These resolutions, when passed, speak to local churches, associations, and conferences; they do not speak for them. However, because every setting of the church exists in covenant and relationship to all of the others, local churches, associations, and conferences are expected to listen closely to the resolutions of General Synod and discern what they mean for their ministry in their context.

  • Prudential Resolution: A resolution for the purpose of church polity and policy. These resolutions establish policies, institute or revise structure or procedures, and authorize programs.

From Exploring UCC History, Polity and Theology

Association Events

2022 Scholarship Recipients

The Heart of Texas Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of scholarship funds for 2022.

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Funds were sourced from the Heart of Texas Association Fund, the Greg Felder Fund and the Tessmann Fund at Bethany Gardens UCC.

If you would like to support future scholarship funds from the Heart of Texas Association, you may contact our treasurer, Joe Ward. We would love to continue supporting our future ministers.

A special thank you to our scholarship committee members Joe Ward, Steve Miller and Anne Wehrly.

Can we do it? Yes, we can!

The Heart of Texas Annual Meeting Planning Committee has made the decision to collect hygiene kits for Back Bay Mission this year at the Conference Annual Meeting, but we didn't want to lose our tradition of the Conference collecting School Kits for Church World Services (CWS). We know how much this mission means to so many of our members. So, the Heart of Texas Association would like to challenge North Texas, Houston, and New Orleans Association in a "School Kit Challenge" and see who can put together the most school kits by our Fall Association Meetings.

A link to the CWS School Kit can be found here.

If assembling "one kit" = kit + $2

If collecting money, "one kit" = $17

Clergy & Lay Leader Gatherings Summer Break

We are going to take a break in July and August from our usually monthly gatherings. Rest. Relax. Have some fun. We will reconvene on Sept 6 (clergy) and Sept (lay leaders).

Mark Your Calendars

Executive Meetings via Zoom 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

(*if you have not received a Google invite, let Rev. Nikki know)

  • November 1
  • January 3
  • March 7

Association Meetings

  • Fall November 12
  • Spring March 25

Want to know what other churches in the Heart of Association are doing? Click here.

If you ever want to share your local church happenings, let Rev. Nikki know!

Conference & Wider Church Events

*all free unless indicated

Wednesday, July 6

  • 11:00 am OWL Taking Flight: Amazing Amaze
  • 12:00 pm Wartime Threat: Increased Fossil Fuel Production at Home

Thursday, July 7

Wednesday, July 20

  • 1:00 pm Witness with the World's Workers UCC.org

Thursday, July 21

  • 2:30 pm Our Faith our Vote 2022: Faithful Engagement in a Time of Increased Voter Suppression UCC.org

Tuesday, July 26

  • 7:00 pm How to Recognize and Deal with Church Bullies Register

Wednesday, July 27

Thursday, July 28
  • 1:00 pm How Broad Based Community Organizing Might Transform the Church Register
  • 2:30 pm A Conversation with Franklinton Center at Brick's Rev. Elly Mendez Angulo UCC.org

New Free Webinars on Frontline Faith:

Repurposing Your Resources for Mission

Abuse Prevention Webinar

Church Needs & Offers

1. Several churches in the Austin-area are looking for qualified accompanists and/or Director of Music. Churches, please ask your professionals if they have musical friends that may be interested. Contact Rev. Nikki Stahl for more information.

2. Anyone in need of small organ for their worship space? Contact Rev. Nikki Stahl if interested.

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