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


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.


Sharing Our Stories…Andrea Hoxie

May 2, 2010

This is a fitting day to write about my family of God called South Main Baptist Church. It was seven years ago, Sunday, April 4, that I walked down the south aisle of that wonderful room in which we worship, I met for the first time “that new guy,” a man whom I came to love and respect as my pastor, and my friend.

For five years prior I had visited South Main. The 8:30 worship hour was perfect for me. As a minister of music, it was important for me to have personal worship time in which I could focus solely on communing with God, not having to fret over singers or musicians running late or just not showing up despite their commitment to be in place on time. That meant worshiping with a congregation that I did not serve. I was first invited to South Main by my good friend, Errol Brooks. That was odd, as he was not a member at that time either. Generally, I found the worship hour meaningful and substantial, with scriptures, prayers and songs relevant to the sermon. And, as important, I found the folks to be friendly and outgoing. They made me feel welcome. And if I missed a Sunday or two, a familiar face would greet me with “I was wondering what happened to you — I haven’t see you in a while — is everything okay . . .” .

I always left South Main thinking about when I might next return. On one special occasion, I attended a concert featuring Esther Hinds. I came in and took my usual place near the back. As other folks came in several stopped to speak and give me a word of welcome. Before the concert began, one woman left her seat near the front, came back to me and said “There’s an empty seat in the front. Why don’t you come up and sit with me?” Perhaps she has forgotten, but I hope to always remember Barbara McNeir.

Fast-forward to April 4, 2003. I awoke that morning, feeling the emptiness of not having a church home and being connected to a family of God. It was Sunday, after all, and I belong in worship with like-believing and like-minded folks. Recent weeks had been spent wandering from one house of worship to the next, leaving me feeling like an orphan. I just hadn’t found a place where I felt “at home.” “I know! I’m going to South Main!” The thought was so loud I imagined I heard myself speak the words. Then I called my daughter, “Sweet Pea! I’m going to South Main today.” “Good for you, Mom.” So, I mustered. As I drove around the west side of downtown Houston, an imp whispered in my right ear, “You know, that new guy is there. You don’t know anything about that new guy.” I replied, “That’s okay. Let’s give the new guy a chance.” (Note: you really have to watch the imps. They’ll keep you from doing anything you ought to do.)

I had not visited South Main in several weeks. It was before I had decided I need a church home more than I need to do music ministry. I was emotionally and spritually bruised, bleeding and broken. Even in that state, or perhaps because of it, the hymns bounced of their respective pages, closeting me in their warmth, comfort and blessed assurance. And the “new guy” had something to say. As the invitational hymn began, I found myself halfway down that aisle before I realized it. After the benediction I was overwhelmed by a stream of folks who greeted me with smiles and hugs and handshakes, renewed the acquaintance of the one who became my first and favorite Sunday School teacher, and met many who unknowingly tended my wounds and helped me to heal, just by being who God called them to be and doing what He called them to do –love one another. Their love and caring are unmistakenly genuine and unchanging.

In retrospect I have been the recipient of so much in so many ways in this my first 7 years as a South Mainer. My prayer and plan are that I will give more in the next.

Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.

We are never more like Jesus than when we SHARE…. As we learn to share our stories, we learn to share our faith…

Share Campaign 2010


Sharing Our Stories…Kaci Coble

May 2, 2010

By Kaci Coble, South Main Member

Kaci Coble is a new member to South Main Baptist Church.  She is actively involved in the Young Adult Community and periodically writes for The Main Blog.

Finding South Main Baptist Church was like searching for and finally finding my soul mate. Finding a church home was something I’d been meaning to do for some time, but just hadn’t gotten around to. I began “church shopping” – often feeling disappointed or uninspired, but the day I walked into South Main, I knew I was home. I didn’t want to visit another church – I had found my heart right there on that Midtown corner.

South Main is truly a church I didn’t think existed anymore. It’s a genuine, pure, kind-hearted place of love and acceptance. The church family is warm and welcoming without being overbearing; motivational yet non-judgmental. The passion, resources, and opportunities run deep. The pastor, Steve Wells, is nothing shy of amazing. Week in and week out he moves and touches my soul in a way I couldn’t imagine making it through my week without. The message is always an eloquent balance between pick me up and keep me grounded. Never fluffy, not dated, just right. This is truly a place where you can feel God’s grace and peace throughout the buildings and the people alike.

Despite the fabulously ornate sanctuary or the magnificent campus, should all the walls come crumbling down, the group of people left standing would have enough faith and love to move mountains. Becoming a member of this church family was like committing to a lifelong journey together with my soul mate, one I am certain will carry me through all of my sad days as well as my glad days, making life just that much sweeter.

We are never more like Jesus than when we SHARE…. As we learn to share our stories, we learn to share our faith…

Share Campaign 2010


Sharing our Stories…Marie Parks

April 30, 2010

By Marie Parks, South Main Member

Marie Parks is actively involved at South Main as a College Community Leader, singing in the Sanctuary Choir, and leading in Youth Choir programs.

I came to South Main as a college student church-sick for Ardmore Baptist Church, the North Carolina church in which I had grown up. Resigning myself to the fact that I wouldn’t find another Ardmore in Houston, I started searching for a new family of faith to call my own.

First on my list to explore was South Main, the church my parents had attended as newlyweds and where I had briefly been on the cradle roll. I discovered that my parents had had great reason to attend! The worship I experienced was honest and profound, my Sunday School community welcomed me and all my questions with open arms, and the music ministry immediately provided me with a place to share my creative gifts.

One of the most basic ways South Main ministered to me was by offering courses like Financial Peace University and Discovery Weekend that have given me dedicated time to explore my life and spiritual development. I encourage everyone to participate in these!

When I had the pleasure of serving on a committee, I was amazed to see how much thought and care goes into South Main’s ministries. I have never known a church to be so organized and focused on caring for every single member, visitor, and neighbor (both locally and globally speaking).

My South Main friends have been an incredible community of support by encouraging, listening to, and teaching me, and by providing a home-away-from-home, such that South Main has truly become my home.

We are never more like Jesus than when we SHARE…. As we learn to share our stories, we learn to share our faith…

Share Campaign 2010


Sharing Our Stories…Claire Frazier

April 29, 2010

By Claire Frazier, South Main Member

Claire Frazier is married to Joe Frazier.  She is active in our Music Ministry, starring in several productions of Bach to Broadway, South Main’s Summer Musical.

A few years ago our family was homeless. Not in the way you might think. We had a lovely house that was home to our family of 5. What we did not have was a church home. And although we had no lack of shelter, food or clothing, being “church homeless” was very distressing to us.

We spent a long time visiting churches in Houston, carrying our mental checklist for comparison – beautiful worship space, inspired preaching, strong music and youth programs and on and on. We stayed in some places longer than others, but still yearned for something more – a place to belong, a community, and the assurance of God’s will for our decision. I became so unsettled about the matter that I commented to Joe, “What if something happens to one of us? Without a church family, who would we call for help?”

South Main was home to many of our friends, and we had visited from time to time over the years. But at the time of our search, South Main was without a pastor. And fearful of getting involved during that period of uncertainty, we crossed it off of our “short list”. God, however, continued to nudge us in the direction of the church at 4100 Main Street. Our son Stephen had become active in the youth program after accepting an invitation from his friends. He soon made the decision to join and was baptized. Our friends began inviting us to worship every Sunday and our daughter Annie’s friends began inviting her to Sunday School and Youth Camp.

One particular Sunday, Thomas Coker invited me to sing for worship. And the next day something did happen to one of us. I received a phone call from M. D. Anderson with the news that I had cancer. The whirlwind that followed is a blur except for a few important details – Steve Wells was immediately by our side to support us and pray with us. The people of South Main surrounded us with love and prayers. And God’s voice was unmistakable on the morning you promised to be His family for us in this place, our new home.

We are never more like Jesus than when we SHARE…. As we learn to share our stories, we learn to share our faith…

Share Campaign 2010


Sharing Our Stories… Meredith Pinson-Creasey

April 28, 2010

By Meredith Pinson-Creasy, South Main Member

Meredith is married to David Creasey and they have two college aged sons, Austin and Brooks.  Meredith sings soprano in the Sanctuary Choir.

The house I’ve been building in my head for 15 years is well defined. Materials have been selected, function perfected and now room size redirected. I rebuild my “forever house” each time we move. Moving often, you either grow to love the change or you tolerate it. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I love it.

Knowing a place may be temporary, finding a house to enjoy – or letting go of one – has been fairly easy. Finding the right church home has not always been so. We have been in wonderful Baptist churches all over the country, each one with unique qualities and characteristics. And characters!

Shortly after moving to Houston, our eldest son chose to move to the church his schoolmates attended and we followed so our family would be together. As we approached the time to send our youngest to college, we began thinking about the kind of church we wanted to be a part of going forward. Christian Baptist distinctives, worship, music, preaching, ministry opportunities, and location are a few things important to me when choosing a church home.

Having attended several Christmas Eve services at South Main, I knew I would enjoy being in the choir program and I’ve always known of South Main’s missions and ministry focus. I am encouraged or challenged each Sunday through Steve’s message, as well as Thomas’ understanding of the importance of worship through music.

Although we’ve been members less than a year, South Main has been a wonderful place to call home.

We are never more like Jesus than when we SHARE…. As we learn to share our stories, we learn to share our faith…

Share Campaign 2010


Sharing Our Stories….. Hart Brupbacher

April 21, 2010

By Hart Brupbacher, South Main Member

Hart and Linda Brupbacher are both members of the Discipleship Committe.  Hart sings in the Sanctuary Choir and Linda teaches Sunday School to our Young and Median Adults.

During the year we spent looking for a church home, Linda and I went to many different churches. We visited South Main for the first time in August. The mountain of shoes that greeted us as we entered the Welcome Center told us that South Main is a church focused on missions and helping people in need. We proceeded to the church service where the special offering taken to help provide water for Houston’s homeless further reinforced South Main’s mission emphasis.  The missions emphasis was appealing to us.

Equally appealing was the warmth and friendliness we encountered as well as the theology we heard expressed and saw lived out. We visited Sunday School, and one of the first Sundays we were invited to go to lunch after church. We found the worship service to be very meaningful and Steve’s sermons to be thoughtful, challenging, and inspirational. Steve spent time with us discussing our beliefs and helping us figure out that South Main would be a good fit for us. After only a few weeks, we joined–and our lives have really changed in a positive way because of that decision.

We are constantly amazed by the way the family of South Main has embraced us. The Christian fellowship and friendships that we have encountered in our Sunday School Community, South Main at Home groups and choir have been a wonderful experience. Through some potential health problems we found out that we do not have to travel the road alone – we have a family at South Main who will be with us and support us in the journey. We also have friend to celebrate with us.

At South Main we’ve found friendship, service opportunities, meaningful growth and worship opportunities and much needed support—all of which make us really glad we are a part of this family of faith and totally comfortable recommending South Main to others.

We are never more like Jesus than when we SHARE…. As we learn to share our stories, we learn to share our faith…

Share Campaign 2010