Travis Park United Methodist Church
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Unconditional Love and Justice in Action

News & Calendar

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 8:45 am Liturgical Service 
Holy Communion every Sunday
pipe organ
11:00 am Celebration Service
Celebration Band and Singers
July 27, 2014
Rev. Monte Marshall preaching
Genesis 29:15-28
Lessons from the Life of Jacob:
Promises Delayed
August 3, 2014
Rev. Monte Marshall preaching
Genesis 32:22-31
Lessons from the Life of Jacob:
Wrestling before Reconciliation
 Emmaus Singers Youth Choir Reunion
August 10, 2014
Rev. Taylor Boone preaching
Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Learning the Hard Way
Senior Recognition Sunday



July is the time to order shirts in preparation for the Sept 20 Pride Parade in Austin. A group from
TPUMC—all in purple shirts—joins with many other  United Methodist Reconciling Ministries Network folks in their differently-colored shirts. It’s a beautiful rainbow when we gather together! Stop by the table in the foyer and order your $10 shirt from Rachel Jennings.

The trustees are very humbled and excited by the generous response of our church members in meeting our capital campaign’s goal of $250,000.   Gifts have been received and pledges are being paid in amounts which are now sufficient for us to begin the capital projects that were specified in the campaign. 
Here is what has transpired to date:
· Work has begun on replacing the vent hood over the stove in the kitchen and bringing the fire suppression system and duct work up to code.   The estimated cost for this project is $22,364.84.
· Work to repair and paint the deteriorating trim on the Stephenson Building’s windows is scheduled to begin the week of July 13.  The estimated cost for this project is $5,140.00.
· We received a check from the Spellman Charitable Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation in the amount of $15,975.00 to match TPUMC’s contribution to the cost of Phase 1 repairs and maintenance on the sanctuary organ.   The estimated cost for Phase 1 is $31,950.00.   All necessary funds are now available to move forward in scheduling this phase of the repairs with the Wahl Organ Builders in Appleton, WI.  (Additional funds from the San Antonio Area Foundation will be forthcoming as additional phases are scheduled.)
· Upgrades to the air conditioning system will be scheduled and the debt to TPUMC’s Foundation repaid as funds become available.
We will keep you posted as work proceeds and will do our best to be diligent and faithful stewards for this body of Christ.


News accounts cite official figures of some 39,000 adults with children who have crossed the border since last October. Another 52,000 refugee minors have made the crossing on their own, without adult accompaniment, the reports said. United Methodists along the border are joining with others to respond to the needs of these sojourners. At sites in Laredo, McAllen and Brownsville, volunteers and agencies are working with families who have been released by the Border Patrol to appear in courts in other places across the country. Learn more about these efforts here:
For an excellent summary of the situation from the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy, click here:
According to Laura Merrill, McAllen District Superintendent of the UMC, the crisis among unaccompanied children is harder to respond to, as it is very difficult to gain access to the facilities where they are being held. Please pray for these children and for those trying to reach and help them.
To make monetary donations to the effort along the border, you can send checks to any of the following UM organizations:
SWTX Conference - marked "Texas Border Crisis"
16400 Heubner Road, San Antonio TX 78248-1693
McAllen District of the UMC - marked "Immigrant Relief"
1909 W. Harrison, Harlingen TX 78550
Holding Institute 1220 McClelland, Laredo TX 78040
In addition to giving to the UM organizations listed above, you can give UNDIES! First UMC Laredo is collecting new children’s underwear for distribution as needed. Please bring donations to the TPUMC church office.
 Check back to learn about other ways to respond to this crisis of human need as the news unfolds.

August 28:
An evening of food,
wine and fellowship.
The DoubleTree Hotel
502 W. Cesar Chavez
(next to UTSA Downtown Campus)
6:30 Reception,
7pm Dinner
$100.00 per ticket;
Corporate Table for $1,000 (includes 8 seats)

You are invited to help our Middle school class as they collect supplies to create UMCOR sewing kits through August. Donations can be dropped off in their3rd floor classroom on Sunday mornings. The goal is 15 kits. Each kit will contain:
· 3 continuous yards of new cotton or cotton blend fabric      
    (no corduroy or knit)
· 1 pair of sewing scissors in original packaging
· 1 package of hand needles in original packaging
· 1 medium to large spool of thread (no travel kit thread)
· 1 package of buttons in original packaging (5-8 buttons)
· 1 plastic storage bag (one gallon size and sealable)
UMCOR distributes these sewing kits in communities around the world, fostering independence rather than dependence. Women can make clothing in their own size and in the style of their culture. Cottage industries often grow out of the sewing classes where women use these kits to practice valuable income-generating skills.

Erika Stiner is forming a new TPUMC group for families with children aged preschool and under. Contact Erika at

SEEKERS CLASS 10 am Sundays, Room 217
We are revisiting our commitment to engage each other in dialogue about some of the best of today's theological thought.  We will also explore new avenues of thought about Christianity's future.  The newly developed Living the Questions videos will be our guide as we search for a meaningful faith.  Fred Kandeler, Bill Barker and other class members will be leaders.  All are welcome to join us. "Taking the Bible Seriously" will be the topic this Sunday.

Travis Park UMC Announces
Love Your Neighbor Coalition 2015 Gathering
August 6-9, 2015
This huge event will be hosted at TPUMC and the Sheraton Gunter Hotel. At this time, the Love Your Neighbor Coalition participants will include: Affirmation, Black Methodist for Church Renewal, Love Prevails, Methodist Federation for Social Action, National Federation of Asian American United Methodists, Native American International Caucus of United Methodists, Reconciling Ministries Network, and United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities. This will be a first-ever national gathering of the Love Your Neighbor Coalition that formed around the 2012 General Conference of The United Methodist Church. Previously, RMN and MFSA have joined together for a joint national convocation during the summer preceding General Conference, then worked with an expanded coalition the next year. For LYN Coalition to have a national gathering in 2015 will be history in the making! Place the dates, August 6 to 9, 2015 on your calendar now!

2014 Spiritual Life Retreat
Friday, Sept 19, 5:30 pm to
Sunday, Sept 21, noon
Oblate Renewal Center
Costs: $120 (double room) or $160 (private room)
Retreat Focus - The retreat will follow a rhythm of life that offers time for intentional spiritual growth in a community of prayer, study, worship, gentle silence, and joyous fellowship. Study times will focus on five areas - Defining Fear, True vs. False Self, Means of Moving into the House of Love, Discerning the Voices of Love, Building Our Spiritual Strength.
Fear pervades our lives, our society, and our world. The Bible speaks of two kinds of fear. One is awe over what God can do that we cannot, and the other kind opposes God’s love and seeks to paralyze us. Breaking free of this second kind of fear is the focus of our time together in Christian community.
Retreat Facilitators:
Rev. Peter Aguilar, Senior Pastor at Floresville UMC and Rev. Taylor Boone, Associate Pastor at TPUMC. Both Peter and Taylor have a deep love for Jesus Christ and a commitment to spiritual formation in the Christian tradition.
Sponsored by Alamo Heights UMC Spiritual Life Committee
Registration materials available from Taylor Boone or Taylor Brown; or contact Pastor Donna Strieb at

We’ll begin at 9:30am for breakfast then a short rehearsal before singing in the 11am worship service. We are changing things up this year and singing a new (old) African hymn we all know and love! As always, family and friends are invited to join the fun! See you August 3rd!   Analisa Vitola Campbell  

 SINE NOMINE CLASS 10am Sundays, Room 217
For the next several weeks, the Sine Nomine class will be studying How Jesus Became God by New York Times bestselling author and Bible expert Bart Ehrman. In this book, Ehrman reveals how Jesus’s divinity became dogma in the first few centuries of the early church. The claim at the heart of the Christian faith is that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. But this is not what the original disciples believed during Jesus’s lifetime—and it is not what Jesus claimed about himself. All are welcome!

Families or groups are needed to prepare and/or help serve Wednesday evening dinners at the weekly Prayer Picnic. Contact Pastor Dale at 210-279-5743 or


 When Will We Learn?
by Rev. Monte Marshall, May 15, 2014
With the recent action by the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Southwest Texas Annual Conference to hinder Mary Ann Barclay’s pursuit of ordination as a deacon in The United Methodist Church, I’m not only grieving for Mary Ann and all other LGBTQ persons who are struggling to open the church’s eyes to God’s work in their lives, I’m also feeling the weight of the dark side of our United Methodist heritage:
• I’m remembering those of our Methodist forbearers who defended slavery as a matter of “biblical obedience” and “orthodox” practice, in contradiction to John Wesley’s abolitionist position, and then split the church in 1845 over the issue. This memory tears at my heart still. When will we learn humility? When will we learn—even from the scriptures—to view with suspicion any appeal to “biblical authority” and “orthodox” practice that justifies oppressive discrimination, and blinds us to the work of God’s Spirit in people’s lives and in the world?
• I’m remembering those of our Methodist forbearers who appealed to the Bible to justify racial segregation, both within the church and the larger society. I remember the turmoil generated in my home church in 1970 when Bishop Eugene Slater made the first cross-racial appointment in the Southwest Texas Annual Conference, assigning an African-American to serve an all-white congregation as associate pastor. Many people left that congregation over this “violation” of “biblical principles” and cultural norms. When will we learn to lead the way toward justice rather than being dragged kicking and screaming into the new thing that God is doing?
• I’m remembering those of our Methodist forbearers who fought successfully over many decades to deny full clergy rights to women simply because of their gender. Those who stood in the way “justified” their position with appeals to scripture and tradition. Even though women were finally allowed to vote in the United States in 1920, The Methodist Church did not extend full clergy rights to women until 1956. When will we learn to stand with the oppressed and the marginalized from the beginning of their struggle for justice, rather than arriving so late to the cause? And the struggle continues. I’m feeling the pain that accompanies the struggle, and the weight of the dark side of our United Methodist heritage. But I’m hopeful. Despite intense resistance, our church has changed in the past, and we can change again! Past appeals to “biblical authority” and “orthodox” practice that justified oppressive discrimination based on race and gender, have now largely fallen silent as many have managed over time to find agreement on new possibilities for biblical interpretation that are far more compassionate and just. I’m trusting today that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was right: The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice. I’m trusting today that God is at work in The United Methodist Church and beyond, to achieve this end—all setbacks to the contrary notwithstanding! My prayer is for God’s mercy in our resistance, and God’s power to effect change—albeit change at a faster pace! And I’m thanking God today for Mary Ann Barclay and others like her who are courageously pursuing God’s calling in their lives despite the obstacles. When will we learn? 

The clothes closet is always in need of clean, machine-washable donations. Consider having a Clothing Drive of your own!  

Want to promote a program, initiative or event? Here’s how it works: Let me know no later than 9am Tuesday if you have a news item to include so that I can save space. Please submit the content for your news item no later than 9am on Thursday. Submissions should be concise with a title, day, time, location, contact person/info and short description. It’s best to promote events for at least two weeks in advance. News items are generally shared in four ways: the printed Travis Park News, on the News page of, in the weekly news email, and during announcements in worship. Betty Curry, Director of Communications,

Travis Park United Methodist Church
230 East Travis Street, San Antonio, Texas 78205