MainKids Camp Out 2016: Part 2

June 23, 2016

By Dolores Rader, Minister to Children

Camp Out is coming to a close and we are filled with sadness to leave our
friends and this beautiful, beautiful place! It has been such an amazing
camp filled with God’s presence at every turn. Here are a few highlights
from me and then highlights from the boys!

Since worship is our central theme to Camp Out, we have one worship
service each day we are here. On Tuesday, Rachel Moore was our preacher
for our midday service and the girls lead in every aspect of the service
from tolling the hour to singing “Little Lamb” as the offertory anthem to
praying, reading scripture, and ushering. On Wednesday, Suzann Herrmann
and the boys led the evening service at the water. Suzann preached on
looking up and finding God wherever we are. The boys sang Amazing Grace
and ended the service with a joyful “I’ll Fly Away”. As is our tradition,
on the morning we leave, we will have our final Camp Out worship service
outside at the giant cross here at Artesian Lakes. Anna Rader is our
preacher and the camp counselors lead in worship. All of our worship was
based in Psalm 92 this year.

MKCampout2016FWe played at the playground, played capture the flag, hiked, swam, flew
down the slides into the lake, and shopped at the gift shop for candy and
souvenirs. In between all of the fun, we talked about and practiced
different disciplines for personal worship. Amanda Villasenor talked to
us about what the Bible says about personal time with the Lord and how
she practices journaling. We made our own journals and journaled
throughout camp. Emily Westerburg talked to us about the importance of
devotion time and how she and Mr. Trey do this together and separately.
We also talked about ways to ask for prayer from our friends and ways we
can pray when we can’t find the words and when we only want to share our
thoughts with God. We made teeny, tiny prayer boxes, lit candles, and
prayed for each other.

MKCampout2016E

And now highlights from the boys:

I loved everything about this camp. My favorite parts though were playing
with my friends, swimming, free time, and seeing wildlife. –TrevorMcLaughlin

I love camp because we can have fun. My favorite part in camp is the
slides and seeing wildlife. -Ulysses Paredes

I liked naming the wildlife. That is my favorite thing. -Cody Sawyer

I love swimming with my friends and spending time with my friends. For
swimming, I love the slide! -William Fowler

My favorite thing here to do is Circle Time and free time. -Timothy Kutz

Quiet time is my favorite time at camp. -Marco Campos

My favorite part about MainKids Camp Out is hanging out with my church
friends. I love playing tag, swim, and do a bunch of other stuff. -Lee
Fowler


MainKids Camp Out 2016

June 23, 2016

MKCampout2016DBy Dolores Rader, Minister to Children

Our fourth and fifth graders are at a point in their lives when they are ready to exercise their gifts of leadership and to dig deeper into the practices of corporate and personal worship. Camp Out at Artesian Lakes is the perfect place to safely and boldly lean into these two ideas. Below is a sentence or two from each of the 9 4th and 5th grade girls on what their favorite aspect of Camp Out is, but before you read on to their favorites, let me briefly share some of my favorites.

I love that we bring high school youth to serve as the perfect role models to the children in how we lead with a servant’s heart. They work REALLY hard and at the same time swim and play games establishing relationships to ease the transition to the Youth Group, sing songs around a campfire introducing them to Youth music and traditions, and sit side by side in worship praising and praying together.

One of my other favorite elements of Camp Out is our tradition of “Circle Time”. Every child, youth and adult gets the opportunity to sit in the middle of a big circle surrounded by all the rest of us, where we each, one by one, sisters and brothers, boys and girls, best friends and new friends, offer a sincere blessing which begins “What I like about you is…”. It is a beautiful gift of affirmation to receive and a empowering gift to give. This tradition is life giving and life transforming.

I could on and on about all of my other aspects of Camp Out, but for now hear straight from the kids and counselors themselves…

 

My fav part of camp is riding the horses. It’s fun. #horses

Gillian Tinsley

I love to ride things mainly horses, and Lily G. Hot coco in my mouth is the best! J Playing games in circle time is great!

Isabella Campos

MKCampout2016A

During camp, everyone has a secret helper. Their secret helper is extra nice to them and pushes them in the right direction.

Elaina Mays

The absolute best thing about camp out is the opportunity to watch each and every child be authentically and completely themselves! We have the BEST kids!!

Amanda Villasenor

I love the outside space at Artesian Lakes. Our house is huge, and I love how big our living room is. #lake

Lily Gribble

MKCampout2016B

I loved the pool another favorite is the slide and finally the store the best of all the three!

Kiran Harper

One thing that I love about Camp Out is swimming. I also love the Gratitude Cafe. I also love circle time.

Lily Durden

The absolute best part of camp is quiet time when all my friends come in my room and we have a snack party and talk. It is nice being new to the church and getting to know everybody. I love circle time a lot. I also enjoy swimming.

Jessie Horton

One thing I like so far in camp is hanging with my friends. Another thing I like about camp so far is Gratitude Café. The last thing I like so far in camp is the swimming and the alligators.

Kayden Nickel

 

One of the many things I love about Main Kids Camp Out is Gratitude Café. First thing in the morning, everybody in the house gathers to make crazy drinks – topped with sprinkles and whipped cream, and talk about the many blessings for which we are grateful. Gratitude Café allows us to really reflect on the joys in our life, from tangible objects to our friendships and opportunities. This daily morning ritual fills our hearts with thanksgiving and prepares us for the day.

Anna Rader

MKCampout2016C

My favorite things about Camp Out are:

-Swimming in the lake

-Circle time outside

-Free time

Rachel Kee

My favorite thing about Camp Out every summer is watching the development of every child’s leadership skills! I have especially loved so far this week seeing both the fourth and fifth graders be and grow into incredibly mature and thoughtful members of our church family, and I am so excited for the future of the youth group and the church in the hands of such open-minded and knowledgeable Christians. The respect and care for which each and every child treats their peers and counselors and their unrelenting curiosity and joy has made Camp Out this summer an unparalleled experience!

Elysa Tulek


Peru Mission Trip Summer 2016 Day 5

June 16, 2016

By Brian Chambers

On our first mission trip to Peru our group was able to visit La Plaza de Armas, the beautiful area within Lima containing the Presidential Palace, Congress, and the Cathedral of Lima. Though we could walk around the cathedral’s impressive exterior, we were previously unable to enter.

PeruDay5.JPGHowever, this time around our small group was fortunate enough to be allowed to enter into this awe-inspiring building. Enormous sculptures of meticulously crafted wood and stone adorned several inlets within the main chamber of the cathedral, great care taken to perfect even the smallest aspects of the artwork. Our tour guide, Marta, took us into the crypt below the altar. Once in the crypt our music minister, Carey Cannon, lined up the youth choir and we proceeded to sing “Esto Les Digo”. The sound of the music echoed through the catacombs, enhancing our voices. Other visitors to the cathedral came down the narrow stairs leading to the crypt, some with cameras in hand, to listen. The entire experience was extremely moving and unforgettable!

Brian Chambers is beginning his Freshman Year at Texas A&M this Fall. He was active in band, but this week is helping in the Discovery (science, art, gardening) and Recreation Classes at OSA. He is the son of Mark and Jeannie, and the brother of Suzanne.


Peru Mission Trip Summer 2016 Day 3

June 14, 2016

By Isabella Baar-Hill

As a member of the music and dance team on the mission trip to Peru, I teach the kids songs and dances to perform for their parents and friends at the end of the week. Breaking through the language barrier, we learned specific Spanish words that are often used in teaching music and dance. During our second full day in Peru at OSA, we presented the children with the theme of Cultural Exchange; we worked from American & Texan perspectives so the kids got a taste of our culture. During dance, we played many rounds of musical chairs (a game I’ve quickly learned they LOVE). We only played English music because that’s what we know and brought with us. While others led the game, I played and stopped the music, watching the kids from the side lines. I began to notice that the kids were quietly singing and humming along to our English songs, words they couldn’t have known. I realized these kids were subconsciously, and joyfully learning our culture in ways we had not planned.PeruSummerBlogDay3During the music classes, Carey took time to teach and translate words we could use in common enabling us to bond with them in a unique way. I was reminded of how excited the kids were two years ago when I came when they would ask how to say things in English and I’d attempt to teach them. This was a new and eye opening experience because I was accustomed to being their student, struggling to learn Spanish. Their willingness to overcome our foreign language and pronunciations with attitudes of joy is a gift I will carry home with me. Their openness to a new culture despite the struggle is inspiring. Every moment I spend with these kids who show such eagerness to learn despite failure, makes me strive more and more to be like them.

Isabella Baar-Hill completed her Junior Year at Houston Christian High School. She is the daughter of J Hill and Hillevi Baar.


Peru Mission Trip Summer 2016 Day 2

June 14, 2016

By Drew Barkley

Day one of VBS. We’ve spent weeks preparing songs, dances, crafts, games, stories, etc. all for today. For my team, recreation, we had thought about the games we wanted to play with the kids and how the games could relate to the daily scripture and theme. We even prepared back up games in case we had to call an audible, or had extra time at the end.

This is not my first Peru trip, and certainly not my first time leading a group of kids, even in a foreign language. Each time I’m working with kids whether it’s at VBS, here in Collique, or working at a camp, I always try to have everything prepared and ready to go for day one. However, I seem to forget that no matter how much I prepare ahead of time, I will NEVER know what to expect each day.

PeruSummerBlogDay2As the OSA kids came in for the morning session, I found myself thinking, “Am I REALLY ready for this?” For me, I’ve had enough experience to know that the answer is “no”. Yet knowing that I’m not really ready doesn’t stress me out or worry me. I’ve learned that as long as I keep a positive attitude and a willing spirit, I can help and serve wherever and however I’m needed. So today I feel like I did just about everything: told bible stories, led games, ate deformed PB&Js, and learned how to assemble a wooden penguin (which was a lot harder than we expected). To some, my day of running around being a leader, an interpreter, and a teacher sounds chaotic and exhausting. Truthfully, days like today are why I come on trips like these. I get to have an abundance of such diverse experiences all in one day. It’s my hope that our youth continue to dive into to the work we have started this week and find the same joy I do in working with the people of Collique. 

Drew Barkley is a recent graduate of Emory University, fluent in Spanish, and is leading our Bible Story and Recreation rotations with VBS at OSA. This is his third trip to OSA, and first as an adult chaperone.


What if? By Erin DuBroc

October 9, 2014

Erin DuBrocWhen I was asked to share what motivates me and my husband to bring our family to church throughout the week, I had to laugh as the first idea that popped into my head was self-preservation. The throes of young parenting can be tough, and who doesn’t love free coffee, childcare, and spiritual refreshment from the late night, early morning, and hormone-wrecked trenches? More than that, who doesn’t appreciate being able to show up somewhere exactly as they are and be greeted by empathetic smiles, sincere kindness, and real talk?

For me, time at South Main embodies Jesus’ words, “Come to Me, all who are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Inhale. Exhale. Reset. Plus, there’s a whole lot of Jesus in and through the grounds and people of South Main, and I need more Jesus every second of the day.

What if we realized we can show up as the person weak and weary from whatever trials we’re walking through and be loved by others in our church family regardless if we know them well or not? Conversely, what if we sought to be that blessing to others when we’ve made our way out of the valley and encounter someone who’s in one of their own? To give and receive, by God’s grace — that’s one of the aspects of South Main I deeply appreciate.



To God Alone be the Glory

September 6, 2011

Dear Church Family,

In the spring of 1987, while serving Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church, Virginia, the Cokers were approached by a dedicated and enthusiastic search committee regarding the position of Minister of Music at South Main Baptist Church. Following some agonizing days of pondering and praying about what God would have us to do; we ultimately felt the call to lead this music ministry. We believed in and committed ourselves to building and maintaining a music ministry at South Main that could help the church inspire people, lead them in worship,develop fellowship, and help people find their ministry.

By early fall of 2012, I will have served actively as a Minister of Music for 50 years. I will also have served South Main for half of those 50 years. I am extremely blessed to have been able to spend a large part of my life doing what I felt God has called me to do.  Now it is time for me to pass on the baton to the next generation. Therefore, I will be retiring from the position of Minister of Music at South Main Baptist Church on June 3, 2012.

In these past 25 years with you, we have tried to honor the traditions of the past while strengthening church music for the future. We inherited a music ministry program that had been carefully and lovingly developed by those who had gone before us. That ministry had been built on the concepts of teaching children, youth, and adults how to sing, play, and lead music–using the musical varieties of “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” in worship and ministry. We believed in this ministry and focused our efforts on building and maintaining a music ministry that could help the church continue to inspire people, lead them in worship, develop fellowship, and help people find their ministry.

In more recent days here at South Main we have rightly called these: Worship, Discover, and Share. I am firmly convinced that these three ingredients must be the foundation of the music ministry as well as a part of each individual involved in the ministry.

In order to celebrate our musical past, present and future together, the ministerial staff, Music Council and I are working on a plan for the music ministry for this year. We anticipate the music year as follows:

October 30, 2011, 6:00 p.m.

The Sanctuary Choir will combine with the Houston Children’s Chorus to present John Rutter’s Mass of the Children.

December 11, 2011

Unwrapping Christmas is our theme for Advent. Unwrapping Christmas/Unwrapping Glorias: A Christmas Concert, will feature the Gloria of John Rutter (with brass, percussion and organ) and the Jazz Gloria of Houston composer Rob Landes as well as other glorious Christmas music.

Ash Wednesday Evening – February 22, 2012

A possible presentation of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Mass in G Minor (an a cappella double choir work of great beauty and historic text; it will beautifully set up the Lenten Season).

Glorious Easter –  April 8, 2012

 

June 2-3, 2012

A Joyous Musical Festival celebrating the vibrant music which is one of the hallmarks of South Main’s ongoing ministry.

Youth and children’s choirs will have significant plans for this year, with a terrific mini-tour and a full musical scheduled for youth and Bach to Broadway Jr. for children.  Let me invite you all to join with us in the music ministry to celebrate Christ through the gift of music at South Main. I hope to see many of you active in choirs, handbells, orchestra and congregational singing.

I firmly believe the years ahead are to be years of growth and vibrancy. It is my prayer that South Main continues to teach and reflect the work of Christ through the psalms, hymns and spiritual songs learned by children and adults at South Main and that the beauty and majesty of our Creator will shine through these our gifts in the indigenous worship style of South Main.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, here with you at South Main Baptist Church in Houston, and I look forward to this special year as your Minister of Music.

Soli Deo Gloria (to God alone be glory),

Thomas Coker, South Main Minister of Music

 


The Family of God Away from Home

February 1, 2011

After living in dozens of different addresses (literally), who would have thought coming to Houston 3 years ago would be one of three times of life-changing personal growth. Leading up to my coming to Houston I, to my shame, had been resisting God in a specific area of interpersonal relationships. Enter Dolores Rader. Without knowing anything that was going on in my life she broke down all of the barriers that I had constructed and forced me to deal with this issue in my life through her persistent, gentle persuasion. Result –freedom from the prison of my disobedience; from the anger that churned within my soul that boiled over into hurtful sarcasm that tainted relationships. My wife continues to express surprise at the change she sees.

During the 8 months that these events occurred I spent my time here in Houston mostly alone while going to different churches on the Sunday’s I was in town. But not getting involved beyond attending Sunday morning service. Enter Steve Rader. In the caring way that he interacts with people so effortlessly, Steve invited me to spend time with the Rader family. What a wonderful gift that has turned loneliness into fulfilling relationship that comes from becoming an extension of a loving family. I continue to rely on Steve’s guidance in my interaction with the family so that I don’t overstep my welcome.

Then God called Dolores to become the Children’s Minister at SMBC. I wanted to show my appreciation to Dolores for what she had done for me by going to see her be introduced to the church. Not knowing exactly how long it would take to drive to the church I gave myself plenty of time to find the church and arrived at the end of the first service in time to hear some of Dolores’ testimony. Enter Perryman and Miriam Collins. Their genuine welcome and interest in me was a pleasant surprise. Even more pleasing was their continuing interest each week that made me feel more welcome. A bonus has been the opportunity to get to know my cousins Nancy and Dave McNeil. Nancy and I grew up in different parts of the country and only saw each other 3 or 4 times before now. What a special couple I’ve grown to love.

While attending Bible school I studied for a career in Christian Education with special interest in children’s ministry or camp ministry. Although I didn’t follow this career the Lord has used children’s ministry to bring me back into His service when I wander away that I have historically done with depressing regularity. So it seemed natural that I would work with Dolores in the children’s ministry. Problem – I need to be a member. Say what? OK, but I don’t want to leave my home church in Omaha since I’m still active there when I’m home and expect to be in Houston for only a time before returning home. Solution – become a Watch Care member. Enter the Family of God at SMBC. What an amazing feeling to stand at the front of the church and hear you commit to be the family of God to me in this place. I’ve never experience such an overwhelming feeling of support. But even more, you have kept your commitment and shown that it’s more than words that are recited. To anyone feeling like you need a place to belong and be loved; I recommend you commit yourself to this SMBC family. You’ll not regret your decision.

I don’t know how long I’ll be here. But when it’s time for me to go I’ll leave a truly enriched man; so grateful to Dolores and Steve for your love, for your input in me as a person, for inviting me into your life and family. I’ve seen you at work, in your home, at church, in fun times, in struggles. You’re real. Simply saying thank you seems inadequate. So I’ll continue “doing” to try to express my appreciation.

Blessings on each of you, my family away from home.


Give Grace…by Erin Conaway

December 3, 2010

By Erin Conaway, Associate Pastor, South Main Baptist Church

There seem to be these tiny pockets of grace that jump out at us and sometimes we are fortunate enough to catch them and other times we sail right by without even blinking.  It was at the end of a long day; Carmen was at a choir rehearsal so I was on daddy duty.  We ate dinner and had the usual dinner struggles, played games and laughed and cried, read books and bargained for just one more, changed into jammies and brushed teeth and used the potty and it was finally time to turn off the lights and go to bed.  I was spent and not in any position to negotiate through any more questions or requests.  Sam was stalling like professional sports agent.  I finally kissed him goodnight, told him I loved him and walked to the door.  He said in a voice that I knew instantly was sincere, “Dadda, please come lay with me in the dark…I’m scared.”  I turned off the light and lay down next to him.  He’s had a few dark issues lately and we’ve talked about how he’s brave and strong and how his stuffed animals will help keep him safe and most importantly, how God is always with him.  He anticipated what I was going to tell him and asked, “Is God here?”

“Yes, buddy, God is here.”

“How tall is God?”

“Well, God is taller than anything you can imagine—even taller than the stars.”

“No way—if God was that tall he’d tear up our roof.”

I laughed—so in love with the combination of his little mind at work and his sensitive spirit.  “Good point…God has a way of being with us without breaking our houses all apart.”

“How old is God?”

“God is as old as anything there is—even older than dinosaurs—God was around before all of that because God is the one who made it all.”

“I sure wish we could see God?”

“Me too…and we can—when we do things the way God would do, sometimes we see God in each other—like when we are kind to other people and love other people.  And sometimes we see God in the beautiful things around us—like beautiful flowers and sparkling stars—because God made all that and in the same way I can tell when you’ve colored a picture—we can tell that God is here because we see the wonderful things God made.”  Doh!  I went too far and lost him…I thought…because he asked me about taking the manna bags to the homeless on Sunday.

Then he said, “Do the homeless get to play in the snow when it snows?”

“Yes, but they also have to sleep in it, which is very cold and no fun at all—snow is mostly fun when you have a warm place to go.”

He was quiet for a minute and I know enough not to mess with his contemplation or try to rush him in these sacred moments.  He held up his little puppy and was doing something with him, but I couldn’t tell what it was in the dark.  I asked, “Sam, what’s puppy doing?”

“He’s trying to look in his heart so he can see God.”

“Good for puppy…in his heart is the best place to look—yours too.”

Sam made it to sleep that night without any further assistance on my part.  I almost missed it…almost just turned the light out, told him he’d be fine and closed the door.  I am confident I have missed more of those wonder-filled moments than I have taken in, but what a blessed gift they are.  I heard a song on the radio by Lady Antebellum that echoes a similar sentiment and want to share the lyrics with you:

Traffic crawls, cell phone calls, talk radio screams at me

Through my tinted window 
I see

A little girl, rust red minivan

She’s got chocolate on her face, got little hands,

And she waves at me,

Yeah she smiles at me.

Well hello world…

How you been? 
Good to see you my old friend

Sometimes I feel, cold as steel broken like I’m never gonna heal

I see a light, a little hope in a little girl,

Well hello world…

Everyday I drive by a little white church,

Its got these little white crosses like angels in the yard

Maybe I should stop on in, say a prayer

Maybe talk to God like He is there

Oh I know he’s there, yeah I know he’s there

Well hello world…

How you been? 
Good to see you my old friend,

Sometimes I feel as cold as steel and broken like I’m never gonna heal

I see a light, a little grace, little faith unfurl.

Well hello world…

Sometimes I forget what living’s for,

And I hear my life through my front door,

And I’ll be there, 
oh I’m home again

I see my wife, little boy, little girl,

Hello world…

Hello world…all the empty disappears

I remember why I’m here

Just surrender and believe

I fall down on my knees

Oh hello world, hello world, hello world…
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