Round Rock Christian Church friends, it's hard to know where to begin to describe the multitude of emotions that Americans are experiencing right now. I know that for me, grief, anger, helplessness, determination, outrage, sadness, empathy, and chaos all seem to be waging war to control my heart. The killing of George Floyd has forced us--all of us--to face the reality of ongoing systemic racism in our country.
What is God doing in the midst of this deadly pandemic, and how can the church be a part of that? What is God doing in the midst of our collective anguish over the dehumanization of people of color in our society, and what can the church do to shine light on the way of love?
Today I share with you a message from one of our denominational leaders, Rev. Dr. Timothy James. You'll also find, in the following box, a link to a message from our General Minister and President, Terri Hord Owens.
Peace in Christ,
What the world needs today
June 2, 2020
by Rev. Dr. Timothy James, Associate General Minister and Administrative Secretary of the National Convocation
"Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love." 1 John 4: 7-8 (NRSV)
The consciousness of police brutality and violence on black men and women has always been in my awareness due to consecutive incidents reminding me through the years. It was deeply reinforced when our youngest son, Christopher, called home to tell Joyce and I that Tamir Rice, the middle school African American youth killed by a policeman in Cleveland, Ohio, was one of his students. His pain and grief became ours in a most profound way. Part of the American dream for African Americans is that our children will not have to face or endure the painful reality of America's sinful shame, racism. The death of George Floyd, so inhumane, has opened the wounds of old. We remember Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Atatiana Jefferson, Freddie Gray and so many more.
Dr. William Barber said, "Whether it's police abuse of power or policy abuse of power, these deaths serve as a collective knee on the neck of people of color." The public death of George Floyd shocked the conscience of America to acknowledge its complicity in and exercise of systemic and institutional racism. The response of major denominations and ecumenical bodies has been to honestly admit or confess the church's role in perpetuating the myth of white supremacy and black inferiority. In the meantime, the world is facing the pandemic of COVID-19. Yet, protestors of the murder of George Floyd and the systemic racism that allows it, are willing to risk the coronavirus to have their voice heard and to seek justice. Protests are not in America only, they are taking place in Italy, Germany, London and other parts of the world.
This world filled with sickness and sin, heartbreak and sorrow, fear and anxiety, and jealousy and hatred; God loved enough to send His only begotten Son. This love was so amazing it proved that God was all in to go all out, holding nothing back, not even His own Son to save the world through Him. God loves everybody, the sinner, the racist, the rich, the poor, oppressor, the oppressed, the weak, the strong and people like you and me. ...The love with which God loves this world is the love given to us to love one another. God gives us the Holy Spirit, imparting to us love, to live the life of love. This we cannot do without God. "By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit." 1 John 4: 13.
This is where the church comes in. We must work within the church to have honest dialogue, confession and deep conversation regarding the narrative that needs to be adjusted to bring about a change and the dismantling of racism. We must work with our government and political leaders to bring about transformational legislation that will change policies of discrimination and bring reform and/or overhaul to our judicial system and mass incarceration. There is a lot of work to be done. We are loved to do some loving. The myth of white supremacy is based on racial hatred. Violent and destructive protests are seeking to distract the nation and the world from the real issue, BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Disciples of Christ let us take our Anti-Racist/Pro-Reconciling initiative to the next level by doing tangible and significant work to expose and root out the systemic and institutional racism in the church and society. The world does not deserve this love with so much inequity and disproportionate grief. But God wants us to love, actively love the unlovable, the unlovely and even those who despise us. This is the true character of Christian love. We need to be agents of a love uprising through the church. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." The power of love, the Spirit of Christ in each of us, can do much more than we think. Let the work begin with you and me.
"I want a church..."
Rev. Teresa "Terri" Hord Owens
Our General Minister and President, Terri Hord Owens, dreams of the day the church becomes what we say we are:
"I want a church that loves so courageously that we will stand up and insist that the killing of black and brown people must stop, and will work to remove those in office who fail to enact laws and policy accordingly . . ."
three ways you can still give your tithe:
Go to the RRCC website rrdisciples.org and click on the "GIVE HERE" button at the top of the main page. Or use the link at the top of each newsletter. It will take you to the same place.
Use your bank's electronic bill pay feature to have a check mailed directly from your bank to RRCC.
Mail your check directly to RRCC.
Address your envelope to:
Round Rock Christian Church
22 Chalice Way
Round Rock, TX 78665
Pentecost Special Offering
You can give to the Pentecost Special Offering online or by mailing a check to RRCC indicating "Pentecost Offering" in the subject line. (see above for details)
Celebrating 1,000 New Churches... and Counting! In 2001 the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) embraced a bold vision: to start 1,000 new churches in 1,000 different ways by the year 2020. And we did it! We started 1,000 new churches... and counting!
Today, we have welcomed 1,034+ new faith communities into the Church. The Table around which we gather has grown in language, diversity, and life experience. Our church has been transformed by the movement of the Holy Spirit and an audacious vision to start new churches. Celebrating 1,000 new churches... and counting! Courageous leaders have answered the call to grow the Disciples family through the new church movement. They have given their hearts to reaching the underserved, welcoming new neighbors, and creating communities of love. And we, as a church, have committed to supporting those who have stepped out in faith to start new churches. We celebrate these brave leaders and recommit to continuing to support their call. Because, together, we started 1,000 new churches... and counting!
Participate in the 2020 Pentecost Offering. Express your gratitude for what God has done and contribute to the continued work of starting more churches. Each year, half of what you give stays in your Region to support and sustain new churches near you. The second half helps train, equip, assist, and nurture leaders across the United States and Canada through New Church Ministry programs.
Your gift to the Pentecost Offering will help the movement continue. Celebrating 1,000 new churches... and counting! For more Pentecost Offering resources, including a brief video, visit:
As you may recall, we had planned a special event for all the women of RRCC - "Alma's Secret Garden Ladies' Brunch" - for June 6. Because of continuing health cautions, that event was cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later time.
RRCC "Reopening" Task Force
Assess, Decide, Communicate, Implement
"Reopening" Task Force Begins Work
The church, known as Round Rock Christian, is alive and well!
Even though we closed the doors at 22 Chalice Way, like other bodies of Christ around the world, we continue to worship, serve, and grow.
There is no date to return to our campus; however, a task force appointed by the Guiding Board has begun the task of considering how this will happen with safety for all who enjoy the facilities.
From our Disciples of Christ regional office (Christian Church of the Southwest), led by Rev. Dr. Any Magnum comes the process "Assess, Decide, Communicate, Implement," to prepare for the return prayerfully and carefully. Our task force is in the Assess stage, looking at those critical components of safety coupled with maintaining the elements of worship we cherish.
The task force includes:
Chair: Perry Mouser
Mildred Adair/Amy Tucker
Pam Knight/Amy Osteen
Christian Education Ministry
Board Vice-Moderator & Head Elder
Board 2nd Year Trustee
Pastor Maxted On
R&R June 3-9
The Guiding Board approved the recommendation to grant time away from pastoral duties to Pastor Mitch Maxted this coming week. The Board, along with the Elders and Pastoral Support Team, commend Pastor Mitch for his 24/7 commitment to the welfare of the congregation during the past two and a half months of the uncertainties of the novel coronavirus. The entire congregation is grateful for the love and devotion he showers on us and for his faithfulness to
Father, Son and
Pastor Mitch led the transition from services at our 22 Chalice Way campus to gathering via zoom. From the closing weeks of Lent, through Holy Week and Easter and to Pentecost Sunday on May 31, the congregation has gathered to worship, fellowship, pray and reach out to others beyond the greater Round Rock area. During that period there have been fourteen (14) opportunities to worship and fellowship remotely. Routine weekly activities have continued as the Les Misérables study, the Elders prayer journey, the Caring Hearts Wednesday prayer group, the choir, and adult Sunday school classes regrouped and remain active. Leadership teams (Board, Ministries Council, Elders, Pastoral Support) maintain their schedules and a Reopening Task Force formed.
Thank you Pastor Mitch for your leadership in these unprecedented times. You have kept the church known as Round Rock Christian spiritually alive and well. We continue to worship, serve, and grow as you provide opportunities to strengthen our purpose and identity, both as a congregation and individually. We have experienced love in new ways. We love you and wish you a relaxing time away from us to be with your family.
During the period June 3-9, all activities of the congregation will continue on schedule. Should you have any needs or communication with our church, please contact Moderator Linda Glover (512-924-1440) or Head Elder Gary Tucker (512-585-4394).
Chancel Choir will be meeting via ZOOM Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.:
Since 1953, the women of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have had a special way to express their gratitude to God for the blessings they have received - the Blessing Box. The Blessing Box was created by the founders of Christian Women's Fellowship (now Disciples Women's Ministries) as an over - and - above way to help fund the wider mission of the church. For 67 years, Blessing Boxes have been kept in the homes and offices of women across the church to enable them to express their gratitude for everyday blessings.
In addition to cultivating life-long habits of thanks-giving, the Blessing Box has generated millions of dollars in mission support. From 2000 to 2019, Blessing Boxes have contributed a total of $3,604,057 for the mission of the church. Since 2007, 50 percent of the donations go directly to the ministries carried out by the women of our church through the International Disciples Women's Ministries.
In 2017-18, donations from the women of Round Rock Christian Church ranked among the top 50 congregations in the United States and Canada. Last year, RRCC's total Blessing Box giving was $945.85.
Blessing Box donations will be recognized during a worship service in June. Please "count your blessings" - all those coins representing the blessings you've counted this year - and send your donation to the church now, in one of two ways:
1. Mail your check, designated "DWM Blessing Box," to Round Rock Christian Church, 22 Chalice Way, Round Rock, TX 78665.
2. Make an online donation designated for "DWM Blessing Box" through the church website, www.rrdisciples.org.
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1. Our staff--Jimmy, Mitch, Katie, Randy, and Molly
2. Guiding Board, Ministries Council, Elders, Deacons, Ministries and Teams
3. Ad Hoc Youth Programming Team and youth director search
4. Our Elders as they continue their evangelism study Unbinding the Gospel
5. Shut-In Servers & Caring Hearts Prayer Group
6. Stephen Ministries (Care Receivers and Caregivers)
7. Our music ministries and their leaders: Randy Preston, Rod Walker, and Jimmy Horowitz
8. Our partnership with Shalom Seventh Day Adventist & Manantial de Vida congregations (and their pastors Edy Rosa Paez and Maria Rosario)
9. Reverends Christal Fisher (South Texas) and Andy Mangum (CCSW)
10. "Reopening" Task Force--Perry Mouser (chair), Gary Tucker, Gary Collier, Mildred Adair, Amy Tucker, Pam Knight, Amy Osteen, Tricia Mouser, Mitch Maxted, and Linda Glover
MEMBERS AND FRIENDS
1. Adair, Mildred (grandson Austin Adair's Tommy John surgery last Friday went well)
2. Bell, Jean (son Chris ongoing cancer treatments) 3. Davis, Marilyn (living in Georgetown with her son and daughter-in-law, Duane and Keri Davis)
4. Guilbeau, Rick & Cynthia; Hubbard, Harold
5. Habtemariam, Solomon and Meaza
6. Hunt, Darlia (skin cancer removal today, June 2)
7. Krop, Carleigh (heart surgery last Friday went well -- great granddaughter of Bea and Charles Whitley)
8. Maybaum, Katie -- ankle surgery last Friday (broken in two places) went well
9. Maybaum, Liz (platelet count)
10. Plough, Paul
11. Pollock, Paula
12. Putnam, Jim (hip surgery last Thursday went well)
13. Sanford, Collin and Sonya
14. Sherry, Bea
15. Singer, Merle (Tara Pollock's family -- advanced cancer)
16. Snider, Rev. Ed
17. Terrell, Hank and Gwen -- hip replacement and congestive heart failure, respectively (brother and sister-in-law of Anna Marie Blair)
18. Walker, Lisa (siblings Connie and Dale with significant health issues)
1. COVID-19 (the ill, their families, medical professionals, essential workers, treatment and vaccine researchers) 2. The many newly unemployed; businesses that are struggling 3. The many who are resolutely trying, through peaceful means, to effect positive change in a society that undervalues people of color, especially African-Americans 4. Innocent people and businesses caught in waves of destruction when demonstrations are sabotaged by criminal activity 5. Law enforcement officers attempting to protect people and property in the midst of large groups of frustrated, angry, grieving people 6. All people who are persecuted for their faith throughout the world
7. Our military personnel and families
8. International cooperation in responding to climate change challenges
9. Development of an immigration policy for the U.S. that is fair, just, and responsible
10. For all efforts toward universal, affordable access to health care here in the U.S.
11. All who don't know Jesus
12. U.S. lawmakers and community leaders to work together to solve the problem of frequent, deadly mass shootings
13. Our neighborhood schools: Union Hill Elementary School and Hopewell Middle School.
Sunday School Classes
[There will be no Sunday School classes at the church for the foreseeable future. Some classes will be meeting via Zoom during this time of social distancing.]
Early Childhood Class (ages 4-7) - Taught by Lisa Walker
Intermediate Class (3rd - 5th grade) - Taught by Jennifer Kienzle
Chi Rho Class - (6th - 8th grade) - (studying the book, "Middle School TalkSheets" for ages 11-14. "These TalkSheets present every aspect of Jesus' life in a way that young teens can connect with as they learn to apply the lessons to their own lives.")
CYF Class (9th - 12th grade)
Open Circle (primarily adult women) -
10:00 a.m. Sunday mornings via ZOOM, Studying
Searching for Sunday, by Rachel Held Evans
Explorers (mixed adults) - 10:00 a.m. Sunday mornings via ZOOM, Facilitator is Mildred Adair; studying a gospel of Luke resource by John MacArthur.
There will be no events/meetings held in the RRCC facility until further notice. Many RRCC activities and events have been cancelled until further notice. Some are continuing online.
Tuesday, June 2
- Shalom Congregation (via Zoom)
- Caring Hearts Prayer Group (via ZOOM)
- Chancel Choir (via ZOOM)
Thursday, June 4, 2020
"Re-Opening" Task Force Meeting (via ZOOM)
Friday, June 5, 2020
Matthew 28: 18-22
- And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Saturday, June 6, 2020
- Shalom Congregation (live stream)
Sunday, June 7, 2020
- Explorers Sunday School (via ZOOM)
- Open Circle Sunday School (via ZOOM)
- Worship with us (via ZOOM)
- Manantial de Vida Congregation (off site)
Monday, June 8, 2020
-Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."
One of the most wonderful gifts that I received this past Christmas was a small book entitled Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I have since enjoyed various daily inspirational readings from it and I thought that I would share the reading for June 2nd with our congregation in this Elder's Newsletter Devotional. Imagine if you will, Jesus speaking directly to you.
"Relax in my healing, holy Presence. Be still while I transform your heart and mind. Let go of cares and worries so that you can receive My Peace. Cease striving, and know that I am God.
Do not be like Pharisees who multiplied regulations, creating their own form of godliness. They got so wrapped up in their own rules that they lost sight of Me. Even today, man-made rules about how to live the Christian life enslave many people. Their focus is on their performance, rather than on Me.
It is through knowing Me intimately that you become like Me. This requires spending time alone with Me. Let go, relax, be still, and know that I am God."
Lord Jesus, come into my heart and mind. Help me to know you and to practice living as you taught. Grant me the ability to find my own peaceful place in my heart and mind. Be with me Lord, for you are my Savior always and forever. Amen!