Each Christmas, First Met participates in the Adopt-a-Family project. This project connects people from the church and community with needy families who lack the resources to buy gifts for their youth. For many of these families, these gifts will be the only ones received during the holiday season.
The team has already identified some needy families, in which we can share the love of Christ with. These families are made up of a variety of family units in Northwest Houston and Acres Homes, but all have one common trait; their need for assistance making the holidays special for their youth.
To help these families, we are asking, those who are able to, prayerfully help a family from our community this Christmas. Children can be adopted by an individual or as a group or ministry. Groups can also adopt a family, as some of our identified families have multiple children who are in need of a holiday blessing.
Forms will be available in the church foyer and can be obtained online through the Adopt a Family team. Choose to show the love of Christ through personal sacrifice and gift giving. All gifts must be delivered to the church by Saturday December 15th. Gifts will be distributed on Saturday December 21st. For more information, please contact Sister Jackie Henry at 832-588-0505.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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 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!
In 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.
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.
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.
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.