News and views of the First United Methodist Church in Cross Plains, Texas

Friday, March 31, 2006


Zora Mae Bryant was an inspiration to our church for the many years that she worshiped with us and continues to be an even greater inspiration after she went to a more wonderful place than her mansion overlooking Cross Plains. Rev. Senkel tells us that he heard from her estate that she continued to tithe to her church in her will. She designated ten percent of her estate to our church.
As Finance Chair I hope Zora Mae will inspire all of us to consider our church home in our wills.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


We need to talk to Dr. Chisholm about his announced plan to retire after preaching Easter. He has come out of retirement before and needs to come out again. We at least need him to help Jim Senkel by preaching every other Sunday until we get the new Methodist sanctuary built. It will keep him young to have a large congregation that appreciates great sermons.


There is a great photo by Lindy Cooper in the March 24 edition of The Central Link, our Central Texas Conference newspaper, showing Rev. Senkel and District Superintendent, Dr. Shelly Brooks, riding the fork lift elevator at the Presbyterian Church. The article is entitled Cross Plains UMC recovery on fast track. If Lindy will send me the photo I will see if I can post it to this blog. I am still learning how to use it.

Monday, March 27, 2006


I was rushed this morning and didn't get to finish my love comments. One other example of love is when the pastor can forgive a loud-mouthed member shouting at him during the service. He knew what he was talking about, but this loud-mouthed member doesn't hear too well and thought he heard something else. Methodists do have Deacons, but as Jim was explaining they are ordained and are no longer classified as laymen. I am glad he forgave me. That is real love!


Big meetings this week. Monday night the Trustees meet. They have a lot on their plate with getting the information for the furnishings lost in the fire to the insurance company, selling the old parsonage lots, and I don't know what else. The Parsonage Building committee meets Tuesday night to hopefully choose a contractor and start clearing the site and BUILDING! Or not. Still have to look at whether they want a metal roof or composition. We don't get the minutes of their meetings so I don't know what is going on.
The Church building committee had plans Sunday for comment by everyone in the congregation and will be meeting sometime to continue their decision-making deliberations.


Christ told us the greatest commandment was to love God and love our fellow man and I see this everywhere in our church. I am continually amazed at the women in our church who contribute their time, money and energy to provide food for prisoners and workers in Cross Plains and for two funerals in five days feeding many family members. The love of the choir came through as they sang for H. A.'s funeral Sunday. Love has been shown to our congregation by the ourpouring of gifts to our church from churches and people far distant. And from the Presbyterians as they welcome us to use their facilities and share their pastor.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


If I can copy them I will post the latest preliminary designs for your comment.
I tried, but I got an error after several minutes of uploading. So much for modern technology.

Read Joel 1:20 for insights into the wild fires.

You never know what will show up here. I have only had one comment posted. Wes Castleman wins the prize for being number one!

Friday, March 24, 2006

PRAYER CONCERNS: I just got this email from Arlene: We lost another member this morning about 8:30. H.A. slipped away peacefully. No details of anything yet about a dinner, except it will be at the Church of Christ Activity Center. Calls will start around as soon as we have a date and time.
And this one from Rev. Senkel:The service will be Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at Higginbotham's. Visitation will be 4:00 til 6:00 p.m. Saturdary.
Keep the family in your prayers.

The Building committee meet last night and I have good news and bad news. The good news is that our construction manager, Jimmy Hyde, and his project manager, Randy Steffey, met with the committee and assured us that we can build this floor plan including the balcony area within our budgeted amount. The bad news is that the decisions by the committee are not getting transferred back to the designer or the manager. But these are small problems that the committee will solve. It was decided to have the floor plan at Sunday services and ask for approval of that part this Sunday. So everyone will be asked to comment on that part. The committee suggested ways to improve the outside appearance to look more like our old sanctuary.

PRAYER CONCERNS: The communications committee are working on plan to get everyone's email address for breaking news. For example many of our congregation didn't know that R. C. Merryman died Monday with the funeral held Wednesday. We have had a telephone committee for prayer concerns, but it doesn't contact the entire congregation. Arlene emailed me the following patient update: "H.A. (Freeman) also came home, but his is definitely not good news. found cancerous spots on his liver and gave him just a couple of weeks. They've gotten Hospice care arranged and a niece is coming to stay around the clock. We took several carry-out boxes of food to them -from our excess today. Smaller quantities of food would be appreciated, starting on Fri. If anybody would like to help with this Ministry, please contact me -725-4993 - so we can coordinate our efforts. Please keep in mind that they are diabetic. Oh yeah, while we're on the subject - Marian actually had a pretty good report. The seizures are stress related. She sounded pretty positive when she told me that she would continue with some medication and was getting lined up for appropriate counseling."
COMMENT: I am still learning how to write and edit this blog. Please forgive my trespasses. Charles

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Cross Plains First United Methodist Church Blog

This is being provided as a bulletin board to keep our members informed and allow them to comment on the activities of our church, especially during this time when we are rebuilding our church and parsonage. A word from our District Superintendant: "On the blog idea – something to keep in mind regarding members with health problems, in the hospital, etc. – churches need to be respectful of the privacy of members and also keep the new privacy laws in mind. Remember that anything put out on the internet is public information to anyone. Personal or health information should be shared only with the clear permission of the person it concerns, and even then it should be stated very briefly and in general terms. Also, it is possible that someone could determine that someone who lives alone is in the hospital and see it as an opportunity to break into their home. I don’t like to bring up such possibilities, but I would hate to see it happen." I am trying to learn how to compose on the blog. Right now I don't know how to get a new paragraph. So I will just space. The Building committee is meeting tonight at 7 p.m. I will try to get a copy of the latest plans to copy to the blog for everyone to see and comment on. You can post your comments. Charles