It was no hardship to fly from this snowy weather to Texas last weekend, but that was hardly important once we arrived. We had a splendid time of ministry at the Katy First United Methodist. Art and Judy Coen are the kind sponsors of an annual lectureship at Katy UMC, and I was honored to be this year’s lecturer and to share the banquet table with a solid Longhorn fan. (No hoop, hoop at that table.)
Marlin Fenn, the senior pastor, and his wife, Kay Lynn, are a team — and both of them are tireless workers both at the church and in the community. We had a wonderful time chatting with them, and they were kind enough to drive us into the countryside around Katy — folks, this is Houston and the word “big” describes everything. Big stories and big warehouses and big, big farms and space upon space. Anyway, we went to Blue Bell Creamery — it ranks up there for us (but can anything beat Italian gelato?) — and then we had lunch at cool diner in Brenham at a place called “Must Be Heaven.”
Saturday morning I began the day with the UMC men’s prayer and Bible study group and I talked about themes in The Blue Parakeet. A great time. Saturday evening involved a banquet and a talk about Mary, but the whole event was fantastic: perhaps, no cross that out, definitely, the finest dinner we’ve ever had at a church banquet. Daniel, the cook … they don’t get better. The worship director, Barry Barrios, guided a high school singing group and they brought down the house. I’d offer the whole group a scholarship to NPU! Fantastic.
Sunday morning … three services and I was asked to preach about the Jesus Creed, and undoubtedly the most encouraging thing about it was the number of women who told me they were reading The Jesus Creed in their Bible study and enjoying it. Barry led a children’s choir and the adult choir as well, and he led the congregational singing (and he can sure sing). Pam Cline gave the children’s sermon and Lani Rousseau was the liturgist.
Let me add this up: the work of God is through local churches, and First United Methodist in Katy is one of those local churches where ordinary people are extending God’s grace to one another and to the community.