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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 28, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas 6A Q Herald-Zeitung g Friday, November 28,1997 Church Life BTO talk with News Editor Sue England about Church Life, call 625-9144, ext. 221. Herald Z e I t u n g Church Life '> •:    I    vti\- rn. tm- Church Bulletin SJL Northeast Aglow The San Antonio North East Aglow has no meeting in November but extends an invitation to attend its meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday for fellowship at LaQuinta Inn Room 140,12822 Interstate 35 North, Exit 170. Child care will not be provided. Bring a friend to hear officers share highlights of Aglow’s International Conference they attended in New Orleans. There will be Christmas carols and partaking of special Christmas desserts. Raymond Ratch Association Bluebonnet Baptist Association (formerly San Marcos Baptist Association) moved to a new office building at 1424 N. Business 35. Randy Taylor Construction Co. built the new facilities. Dee Brannan, who was recognized earlier this year as World Changers good citizen, was building construction coordinator The Bluebonnet Association serves all Southern Baptist Churches in the area. Dedication of the new facility was conducted on Nov. 16 at the new building Approximately 200 were present Dr William Pinson, executive director of the Baptist (ieneral Convention of Texas, gave the dedicatory address Pastor Reich retires Sunday. Cross Lutheran Church will observe the retirement of Pastor Raymond Reich Worship services will be conducted at 8 and 10:30 a.rn. in the church at 172 South Hickory President Dr Gerald kieschmck, Texas District Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, will he the guest speaker for the worship celebration Immediately atter the second service will be a dinner in honor of Reich’s ministry in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Reich has se rv cd an New Braunfels for the past 15 12 years Reich was bom near Hana lion, Texas He attended Daniel Baker College and Howard Rayne College in BrownwtHxl, Texas In I9S8. he graduated from Concordia Seminary, springfield, IIL, atter serving as vicar at first f nglish I utheran t hun. h in New (Means, La. Reich’s first parish was /ion Lutheran Church in Rockville, Mo. I here he helped organize and serv e as the pastor of a new mission, faith I utheran in El IXirado Springs, Mo In 1%2 he accepted the call to St Paul Lutheran Church in Aleman near his hometown of Hamilton Dunng the next 12 years at St Paul’s, Pastor Reich helped start another mission congregation, first Lutheran in Gatesville St Paul Lutheran ct Bishop. Texas, was their next home trom N74 to 1982 Pastor Reich served as the principal ol the parochial school at St Paul s tor a period dunng those eight and one-half years. In 1982 Reich and his family moved to New Braunfels He occupied v annus official positions within the Texas Distnct and served 14 years as circuit counselor un the district He and his wife, Alenc, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary rn August They have four children Janet Moerbe of La PO or, Philip of Granbury, Nancy Muecke of Fredericksburg and Jonathan of Victoria. Pastor and Mrs Reich have seven grandchildren When asked what he would like to do after retirement at the end of November, he said, “We are looking forward to settling into our new home being built in New Braunf els. I plan to buy a boat and do some fishing and perhaps spend time working with wood and doing carpenter work. I enjoy making things with my hands ” They are both looking forward to traveling to visit the grandchildren and children This official retirement from "active duty” will definitely not be the end of Reich’s ministry God’s road for him still goes on as he continues to reach out to those in need. In which house do you think God lives? It amazes me how people equate the churctf building with God’s presence. I can’t tell you many times I’ve quizzed people about their faith, only to have them answer with something like, “Yeah, I don’t attend church like I should.” The inference, I guess, is that by going to a church, you can meet God and appease His wrath. Going to a church doesn’t make you any more of a Christian than going to McDonald’s makes you a hamburger or sitting in a garage makes you a car! Somehow, we’ve created a misperception of this building we know in America as a “church.” Calling the steepled edifice on the comer of Main and Mulberry “God’s House” adds further confusion to this issue. Does this mean God lives there9 Furthermore, if you haven’t dropped by his “house" to visit Him for a while, could you send Him a card or letter at this address and comfort Him with the knowledge fruit you haven’t forgotten Him completely ch* lost touch with Him totally? We revere the building and treat it with extra care because we would like to believe that somehow God is there like nowhere else. We can swear like sailors outside the door of the church, but we could never dare utter such filth on the other side of the threshold lest we anger or offend God in His “house.” This means, I guess, that God can’t see or hear beyond the walls of the sanctuary. I realize these are far-fetched examples. I am concerned, though, that we are not telling Tim Judkins people the truth about who God is or where He lives. This is not a recent development, thankfully, and we can cite Jesus for insight into this phenomenon. When asked by a woman about where is the “best” and “only” place for true worship, ” assuming it was a specific address, Jesus shot down any conception that God is confined to a location, or in this case, a church. “But the hour is now coming,” He said “and now is, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” (John 4:23) Our worship is not limited to a plot of land or a spired building. I am free to experience God and worship Him on the golf course, in the shower, at a football game, on a deer lease, or even in a church. And the beautiful thing about this is that God wants it this way! Of course, you won’t even think about Him in these various places unless you are intimately related to Him. Only through a daily experience of His incredible presence will your eyes by open to Him in every setting and context of your life. This is what Jesus and His life are all about — opening the door for us to interface with God as children do with a loving father. This kind of authentic Christianity generates worship that spills over into church. That’s what is supposed to happen anyway. A church, then, is not die place where God lives. Instead you and every other believer bring Him with you each time you meet. Ifs the place to go because He lives in you and you want to be with others who know and love Him as much as you do. (The Rev. Tim Judkins is associate minister at First Protestant Church in New Braunfels.) Catholic Pioneers rn rn 1 ll I rf 4 V I V * '7    \ Photo submitted Pictured members of The Catholic Pioneers: Nancy Gillespie, Jim Wesoiick, Diana Lynn Grohman, Jason Edwards. Johanna Lester. David Gettys, Christine Wesoiick. Not pictured: Tom Strauch and Elizabeth Barney. Music ministry singing group to perform at Wassailfest Jim Wesoiick and The Catholic Pioneers, a music ministry group from Now Braunfels, will perform a program of traditional < hnstmas Music from 7 to 8:30 p rn Thursday at Angels and Inspirations, 204 West San Antonio St., New Braunfels Admission is free The Catholic Pioneers will be among several entertainers performing in downtown New Braunfels at (he tilth annual Main Street program Wassailfest from 5:30 to9 p m. on Thursday. Merchants sponsoring the event are providing entertainment, bugg> rides, wassail and chances for prizes \ngels and Inspirations is a Christian Store offering a variety of girt items in downtown New Braunfels. (Provided bv the Catholic PioneersJ Hearts prepare for Christ during Advent By MICHAEL E REINEMANN Special to the Befaid-Zeituny As Chn st mas approach, we enter the time of \dvent Advent refers to the “coming” or “arrival” of Jesus Christ W ithin the Church, the term has several meanings: the Advent when our Lord will return bodily in glory Each meaning stirs the joyful anticipation of what God has accomplished, is doing and will yet bring to completion. The observance of Advent is something of a late addition to history, as is the celebration of Christmas itself. When the Church began to observe Christmas in the fourth century, a period of preparation was added The length of time varied widely from three to seven weeks Not until the tenth century was an agreement reached in the Western world that Advent should consist of four Sunday s A custom that many Christians find meaningful is the preparation of an advent wreath containing five candles. During each Sunday’s observance of Advent, an additional candle is lit. The light bums brightly, providing a fitting climax to the weeks of preparation and symbolically demonstrating the Light of the world that Hashed forth centuries ago with the first cry of the Christ child. The Gospel readings of each of the four Sundays of Advent call on us to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Christ child, lf we follow Jesus’ way, we have every reason to greet Jesus’ coming with joy. Jesus’ way involves forgiving, shanng wealth, hanging out with outcasts and sinners, touching lepers, speaking the truth, serving rather than being served, loving God and one’s neighbor as one’s self Jesus asks an attitude of watchfulness or being awake to life, of prayer for strength to get through hard rimes In the second Sunday Gospel reading we are told (hat John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus I his message calls for our personal response to John\ message by making a road into our lives for the Messiah to be revealed among us. I ncourage our family, friends or groups to do something that will build community spirit There are many neighbors and friends who need help in building the Christmas spirit. In the third Sunday t tospel reading we are told that John the Baptist announces that One greater is coming This message calls tor us to become involved in the needs of those less fortunate than us W ithin in our own town and county , let us each of us or in a group, adopt a community need such as supporting the United Way of Comal County, SOS Food Bank, St. V incent dc Paul Collection, Habitat for Humanity, Children’s Shelter, Women’s Shelter and other community agencies, not only now but all year long In the fourth Sunday Gospel reading we read about Mary shanng her good news with her cousin Elizabeth This message calls for us to recognize that Elizabeth is blessed by God, will be the Mother of God and trusts God’s word to her God dignifies Mary and all of us by asking for her consent to this mission. Our mission could be joining a prayer group, Bible study group, music study group, or community serv ice group. This Advene, let us not limit our understanding of preparation or discipleship as the work of a chosen few A disciple of Jesus is one who believes in him and wants to follow him. We can all become his disciples. We can all taste of the love of Jesus who came to us as a baby, like us rn every way but sin. We can all experience the life of the Spirit in our hearts. That life is rooted in Christ Inner-city business helps robe church choirs, workers off welfare and displays itself in love, joy and peace (Galatians 5:22). The call to discipleship is for all people We are all special to Him. Each of us feels and says: I want to make a difference in my school, my community, my world but I’m just one person. What can I do? Some considerations are; hope somebody important cares, serve a meal at a shelter, visit an elderly neighbor, eat lunch with someone in a nursing home, collect food for SOS, work less, volunteer more, go out to work on a Habitat For Humanity building site, talk to those less fortunate than us. As our C hnstmas preparation goes along, let us not neglect the message of love that is the heart of the gospel. The gospel must not be reduced to a moral code devoid of any feeling of love. We must all realize that the best way to show our appreciation of God is to offer him praise and thanksgiving, to consecrate our lives to Him every day. In this way, we can receive Him, believe in Him and follow Him God has promised that those who believe will learn what it means to be his disciples, his dearly beloved sons and daughters. From an unknown author, a poem was found, titled “Christmas is Forever When the song of the angels is stilled, When the kings and princes are home. When the shepherds are back with their flocks, The work of Christmas begins, To find the lost, To heal the broken, To release the prisoner, To build the nations, To bring peace among brothers, To make music in the heart. (Michael E. Peinemann is a deacon at Sis. Peter and Paid Church in New Braunfels.) By TIMOTHY R. BROWN Associated Press Writer JACKSON, Miss. — A choir-robe company that recruits welfare recipients is getting by with a little help from some big-money friends. Support from several philanthropies is helping West Jackson Apparel survive in a textile industry threatened by foreign competition. In the early 1990s, the Rev. Thomas Jenkins, pastor of New Lake Church of Christ in Jackson, started the company through a nonprofit organization. “We wanted to be in a longlasting market.’’ Jenkins said. “The natural thing would be to create a custom choir-robe business, because in Mississippi there are over 5,000 churches — and each church has an average of three choirs, ranging from 25 members to IOO members.’’ The plant now employs 14 women, including nine former welfare recipients screened by the state. “We deliberately wanted to hire people that were unemployed. We deliberately wanted to hire people that were on welfare, because these people need to get intqrthe mainstream,’’ Jenkins said. “A lot of times people say, ‘Get ex-workers back into the mainstream.’ Some of the welfare workers have never been in the mainstream.” Employee Christina McGee, 46, a former welfare recipient, received six weeks of training after the frustrating job search. “Employers would say they were hiring, and when I go to fill out an application, they would tell me they are not hiring,” she said. “It was kind of hard.” Ms. McGee welcomed the work. “Since I have been working full time, it has made my life much better. I can look forward to a paycheck when I come to work now, and I like working.” Backing for the effort comes from several sources. A $250,000 federal grant from Department of Health and Human Services helped open the company, which also makes draperies. In 1990, the nonprofit Seedco, of New York City, unveiled a plan for *Wo deliberately wanted to hire people that were on welfare, because these people need to got into tho mainstream. — Rev. Thomas Jenkins, Jackson, Miss. local groups to revitalize communities    surrounding historically black colleges and universities. With Ford Foundation funds, Seedco offers technical arui financial assistance to community groups tied In 1991, the West Jackson Community Development Corp., one sponsor of the choir-robe factory, linked up with nearby Jackson State University to raise more than $3 million to rebuild the neighborhood Over lie past five year*, SefcdWffrovideft "$400,000 for the CDC to keep the factory going. Howard Boutte, the CDC’s executive director, called it unusual for nonprofit organizations to fund a for-profit company. “In the terms of economic development, we can be considered a model,” he said. While still a struggling startup, West Jackson Apparel is not afraid of foreign competitors because it produces robes for very local customers. “The mass-produced sewing operations all are moving out of the country,” Boutte said. “Because the robes are custom made, we have a certain level of intrigue.” The Rev Jenkins agreed: “That’s not a robe that you can do in Mexico or the Philippines. That’s why we came up with the business.” West Jackson Apparel is the only minority-owned choir robe producer in Mississippi, a state in the center of the Bible Belt. With those neighbors in mind, director Boutte is optimistic about market growth. “We have gotten the quality to a point where we are producing well-made robes,” he said, “and we wanted to hold up on rolling out a marketing program until we got the quality in place." Hill Country Christian Church Morning Worship, Sunday 10:30 ajn. Arian Seay School Hwy46W ’/«mile west of US 281 on Hwy 46 Contemporary Wonfaip 980-2019 Open Conmunioa OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP CATHOLIC CHURCH - SELMA 16075 N. EVANS RD.    651-6913 Announces the addition of an evening Mass at 7:00p.m. each Sunday Mass Schedule Saturday: 5:30pm Sunday: 8:30am, 10:00am, 11:30am and 7:00pm ;