Avoiding the Darkness of the Holidays

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December 4th, the Griefshare ministry at First Met will host a Griefshare ministry for the body of Christ.  The meeting that normally meets on Monday, will meet Wednesday at 7:00 pm to allow the congregation to experience the power of these meetings.  Griefshare is a powerful ministry tool that allows the community to be in relationship with one another, sharing in the pain, and working through the grief.  The group is private, but the affects of the private meetings result in public rejoicing. SurviveHolidays

You might be thinking, why the special meeting?  I’m glad you asked.  There is a sad tradition for many during the holidays.  While some are joyous, celebrating, roaming from party to party and enjoying the company of others, some throw their a private part at home.  Dr. Elaine Aron said in the article, Attending to the Undervalued Self,  “There is nothing bleaker, or more dangerous to survival, than being alone in the cold, physically or emotionally hungry, left out, while others are gathered around the fire, sharing food and gifts and above all, love.”  Many find themselves removing themselves from the company of others, to marinate in their hurt and pain, driving themselves into dark corners; many crashing into depression.

“Those suffering from any type of holiday depression or stress can benefit from increased social support during this time of year. Counseling or support groups can also be beneficial” says Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD.   Because of this, ministries like Griefshare are able to serve as a powerful group to battle the individual nature and dangers of grief.

The last session of Griefshare will be December 9, in the Upstairs Fellowship Hall of First Met.  The special Griefshare event is one that should not be missed.  The video, message and dialogue are ones that will be beneficial to all.  To find out more about the meeting on December 4th, email Sister Brenda Harvey.  Come and let the support of the body aid you in avoiding the darkness of the holidays.

11 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Depression Triggers

Lifes a Beach; so Clean it up

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September 28, 2013, Girl Scout Troop 15513, took a trip to Galveston Texas for their Adopt a Beach Clean up.  Troop Leader Linda Burnett & Group Leader, Monica Martin took 4 troop members across the Gulf of Mexico on the Bolivar Peninsula Ferry to a private shore line to assist a community in removing trash and debris from the shore line.

Girl Scouts Cleaning Beach
Girl Scouts Cleaning Beach

The troop experienced both the beauty of Gods creation, and the un-appreciation shown from His creation.  On the ferry,  the young ladies enjoyed the gentle cool breeze provided by the ferry, along with a wonderful view of dolphins breaking the water of the gulf.  After the ride, the young ladies walked the shore line, armed with trash bags, gloves and good old fashion woman power.  They combed the area, helping the habitat remain clean, and gathering materials to be recycled.   Working as a team, they formed a strategy to work the coast.

As the girls broke for lunch, they received encouragement from each other as well as their leaders.  Troop member Layla expressed, “we needed the encouragement, because the work was challenging.  It was also discouraging because a person on the shore line, threw a piece of trash on the ground despite seeing their efforts to clean.  Sister Burnett & Sister Martin both expressed their pride in the girls effort, reminding them that their efforts were both beneficial and not in vain.

The girls scouts continue to look for new ways to impact the environment.  Their determination and hard work are sure to extend the life of the local habitation.   To unite with Troop 15510 ( K-1st), 15512 (6th – 12th) or 15513 (2nd – 5th) , contact Sister Burnett at fmctroop@gmail.com.

Choatic Communication

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Lady O Presenting at Leadership Retreat
Lady O Presenting at Leadership Retreat

Saturday the 16th of November, Lady O spoke a powerful message to the Leaders of First Met under the theme of “Back to Basic” called “Church Membership.  Her message was both informative and challenging, calling leaders and future leaders to step up to the plate of leadership, consider how they are serving.

On Friday, Pastor O stated, “We must learn to affect people not infect people”, and Lady O continued “Leaders attitudes are caught!  You can be infectious.”  Her message, one important to the cultural change of the body.  The Bible encourages us not to deny ourselves the fellowship of the saints.  The fellowship of the saints is an important part of spiritual growth and maturity.  It helps believers stay focused on the path of righteousness, offering accountability as well as healing and wise counsel.  In the midst of all these key elements to our spiritual deposits is the potential for negative interaction.  It’s this potential that causes some to fall away, thus as leaders, we must help by keeping our interactions cleans and insuring the interaction between those in the body are nurturing and not negative.

In our quest for leaders, Lady O stressed an importance of cleaning up our interaction with others, when she spoke, “We must remember that leaders were once members.”  This point drew a great response.  As we look for other laborers, we must insure in our interaction with others that future workers are not chased off because of our negative attitudes, frustration and conversations.  “Chaos kills church growth”  Lady O continued.

If we are to be who we are called to be as a congregation, we must insure that our dialogue does not create negativity and chaos.  When this happens, we will see membership up, volunteer up, staff moral up and God pleased with our efforts.

Changing Cultural Content

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There were many powerful points from the opening message of the leaders retreat by Pastor O.   Our Pastors session, entitled “Back to the Basics“, addressed some of the concerns and many of our star qualities about the church. Using the book, The Fred Factor, Pastor positioned his message to address the type of members and leaders we must be to be the city on a hill and life changing agents we are called to be.

Pastor O teaching at the Leaders Retreat
Pastor O teaching at the Leaders Retreat

Pastor O called from a change in culture, stressing a move from clique to community, but stated, “We must learn to affect people not infect people.”  True to form, Pastor O challenged us as leaders to govern not just our ministries according to biblical principles, but our personal lives and interactions with others.  In this, we discussed the many  lost and hurting people, not by the world or through personal loss, but through interaction in ministry through service.  He addressed the growing trend in congregation of members that have been injured in service, not by the work, but by the worker, and demanded a shift in these trends.  As believers, we are to affect those near to us in a positive way. Our words should inspire and encourage growth, not tear down and discourage.  We have to close the back door to our churches by properly caring for the sheep God has entrusted us with or our new members and ex-members will grow at the same rate.

When ministries become members only in their approach, the reception and interaction with new converts and or believers seeking a local body to unite with is not positive.  We must fight to change the cultural content received in our churches that infect people. We must make sure that our conversations build and create order, not destroy and encourage chaos.  If we are to be the church God has called us to be, we must manage each encounter knowing that we are causing movement either forward or backwards.  If we do this, our church can truly live up to our slogan; we are The Place Where You Belong!

It’s Snowing on the Beltway

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SnowBelt5In 2012, the first ever “It’s Snowing on the Beltway” was held at First Met, The Place Where You Belong on December 22nd.  The event, a vision of Lady O, Executive Pastor of First Met, was brought to life by a concerted effort from the You Belong Food Pantry and the Young Adult Ministry of First Met. 


Pounds of snow were cast across the Infant Development Center playground; allowing kids of ages ranging from toddlers to 12 years of age to enjoy snow living.  Children made snow men and snow angels, giving them a moment to form childhood memories and just for the moment, enjoy being children.

While playing, the kids were able to share moments with the Senior Pastor  of First Met, Dr. John Ogletree, Jr.  Dr. Ogletree, a Trustee on the Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District Board, took time to pour into the lives of all present, praying and playing; building moments that will never be lost.  SnowBelt6  

The Young Adult Ministry served hot chocolate and snacks, some of which were donated by Cook Middle School. Later, the kids were welcomed by a surprised guest, Santa himself.    Santa took pictures with all present and encouraged the children to enjoy the days of their youth and to never loose hope. SnowBelt8

Dates for the 2013 It’s Snowing on the Beltway will follow soon.  You can receive notification by following us on Twitter at FirstMetChurch , Instagram at 1stMetChurch or Tumbler at 1stMetChurch, as well as Facebook and Foursquare.

Let’s Geaux….Spring Break 2014

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Spring Break 2014 is fast approaching

In 2014, the Teen Ministry of First Met will have its 4th Spring Break College Tour.  Each year, the teen ministry combines a spiritual journey, with information to expose and enlighten students about the world academia.

The tour will hit the following cities:  1.  Baton Rouge, Louisiana 2.  New Orleans, Louisiana.  While present, local colleges will be toured, as well as experiencing the cities social scene.  Students will be able to dine at a popular eating establishment, as well as a visit to popular historical sites.

Students will camp at a local retreat center near on in the city of Baton Rouge.  The retreat centers, being reviewed for contract, include high and low ropes course, cabin style lodging and general camp ground amenities.  Last year, the students were exposed to a week of Kosher cuisine from the hands of the Kaplan Mitchell Retreat & Conference Center staff and the beautiful mountainous terrain of Georgia.

Past college tours included:  University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas State University & Hutson- Tillotson for Spring Break 2011, Texas A & M, Prairie View A &  M & Baylor University for Spring Break 2012, and Emory University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, & Georgia Institute of Technology in 2013.

To register your student for the Spring Break tour, contact Dr. Quinita Ogletree or Pastor Johnny Ogletree, III for more information.image

Hallelujah Fest 2013 Recap

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On October 31, 2013 First Met hosted our annual Hallelujah Festival. We are excited to have had over 200 attendees from the community and over 100 members in attendance. Guest were able to enjoy food, drinks, candy, games, treats, goodie bags sponsored by Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and a Live performance from Christian Rapper, Iam Justified.HallFest2013

Children of all ages dressed up in their favorite costumes. We had many creative choices to choose from for our Costume contest. James, of Post elementary dressed up as President Obama, and received second place in the costume contest. It was apparent that each child put a lot of thought into their costume, and everyone walked away from the contest as a winner.   Needless to say, all who attended had an amazing time participating in the annual costume contest, even the adult.

Guest really enjoyed the live performance by Christian Rapper, Iam Justified. He debut his new single #ChurchFolk featuring Shei Atkins, as well as the video. Everyone loved the performance including Kiotti of Radio-One Houston who just so happen to bring his daughter to enjoy the festivities.

First Metropolitan would like to thank everyone who attended and those who helped make this event a huge success. We are excited to put on positive events for our members, and the community. Save the date for October 31, 2014!

For more information about Hallelujah Fest please visit www.firstmet.org