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 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.


New chances. New life. New futures.

February 23, 2011

By Kevin Sinclair, Minister to Youth

I’ve seen two things recently on which–I think–God wants me to reflect. These two events represent, on one hand, the paradoxical spectrum of work that we ministers do from time to time.

First off, let me say, have you ever had one of those weeks where you had like three things you HAD to get done, and by Thursday you realize, due to other metaphorical fires that need extinguishing (Tom Ehlers, a firefighter, is one of my all-star youth leaders, so I feel as though I should specify the figurative, imaginary nature of MY fires), you have not done any of those tasks? Yep. That is what I am talking about.

Armed with a cup of coffee and the best intentions, I set out to complete my task: DiscipleNOW logistics, an exhaustive email to Host Homes and Leaders, and Curriculum, Curriculum, Curriculum! In the words of the great poet, Meatloaf…two outta three ain’t bad…right?

As the morning rolled along and I crafted my emails and work, like Michelangelo if he had an Apple Laptop and was writing emails, and I received a distressing email from my beloved former church colleague, now turned city-wide colleague, the always marvelous, Chelsea Wade, who is now doing extraordinary development work over at SEARCH Homeless Service. It was the day of their GED Graduation service, and Erin Conaway was commissioned to offer the invocation. The pianist for the service canceled at the last minute, and they needed not only a keyboardist, but a keyboard itself. Fortunately, the ever-resourceful Thomas Coker had an extra electronic keyboard in his office that he allowed me to take to Chelsea. After dropping off this relic from 1994 of an instrument (Hey, it played notes at least!), I left SEARCH. A hour later, poor, sweet Chelsea discovers that her now back-up keyboardist has canceled, and asks if I can bring my guitar and play a little. Erin and I rush to my house where my trusty guitar, affectionately named Hudson by my friend Chris August, the previous owner, and I see my new accordion. “Hmm, I wonder…” I pick up my accordion and play, without a blemish the first half of pomp and circumstance, and then fumble through a few notes. Surprising as it might seem, I am not so bold and brash to carry an instrument I can barely play (I am getting there, but not quite yet!), to a graduation service and blare out tunes on my accordion (Yet to be named, btw).

We arrive to the service, and in walk the graduates. Two young men enter from the back wearing green graduation robes and hats, followed by many others who are being promoted to the next level within the program. As the teachers and also Mike Feinberg who started KIPP and Yes Prep (If you don’t know what these are, google them) rose to spoke, a sense of affirmation and pride swelled in the room. I can’t speak for everyone else in the room, but the dining area at SEARCH, for that moment at least, became holy ground…a place of second, third, fourth, possibly even seventy times seven chances…a place of resurrection and salvation. One woman rose to tell her story, a story of abuse, addiction, failure, and ultimately victory and redemption. She ended by saying, as simply as I have ever heard, yet more profoundly than all my seminary classes combine, “When I was going through recovery, my sponsor always said, ‘I know it’s hard, but with God all things are possible.'”

New chances. New life. New futures. Who could ask for more for these young men?

So as I right this on a cold evening, I took my youth bowling at Palace Bowling Lanes. To match the standard Kid’s Night Out format, we were scheduled to be at Palace Lanes from 6:30 to 10:00 bowling. In case you have not done the math, that’s 3 1/2 hours of being in the same place with a gaggle of middle schoolers and high schoolers. Now, faithful blog reader, if I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’…our group two years ago would have after about 2 hours started fussing about how bored they were or just left…but not this group. Our youth group has gone through some major maturation and evolution in the past two and a half years I have been here. It takes time to knit community, and God is doing that with us on a day to day basis. Tonight, I was absolutely floored at the camaraderie, patience, love, enthusiasm, and joy that just permeated our five lanes. Everyone being cheered for when they knocked down even one pin, and then encouraged on every gutterball.

I told some of my leaders, “Look at this. They just love each other!” The drama, cliques, and junk all left at the door…high schoolers and middle schoolers playing together and just living life and loving every second of it. I struggle a great deal to think how I can make this group closer and better.

Am I one good curriculum or night of worship away from becoming exactly who God has created us to be? I think not. I think we are, in fact, already exactly who God created us to be, but the beauty with how God sees workmanship is that the work is never complete. We are all at once whole and perfectly formed, and broken, longing for repair.

What do these stories have to do with each other. Maybe nothing at all. Maybe everything. What seems to amaze me the most about how God does whatever it is that God does is that so often the most beautiful, holy, sacred moments in life are the ones that we don’t orchestrate…we just show up with our guitar to make some music or we buy a couple of pizzas and God takes those meager offerings and before we know it, we stand in the presence of the Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.


Gathering Stones…Advent 2010

December 1, 2010

After the loss of a loved one or the loss of a job or the loss of a home, the holidays can be a particularly difficult time of poignant grief. Being in community with others can help you cope with the holiday season and the pain and the joy brought about by the traditions associated with this time.  We want to offer you a place to talk about your grief, to learn from others who are grieving, and break down the isolation that death often brings to those of us who are left behind.

We will gather the stones of remembrance and share them with one another. Each lunch will include a time of sharing over a specific aspect of grief. These lunches are open to anyone; particularly those who have experienced a significant loss in the past few years. For more information and to RSVP for a lunch, contact Erin Conaway.

Join us on Wednesdays, December 1, 8, 15, Noon – 1:00 p.m. in LB 204 at South Main Baptist Church.


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….. 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


Community

February 10, 2010

J. D. Salinger 1919-2010

By Erin Conaway, Associate Pastor

I’m sure some of you have been thinking about J. D. Salinger lately—I have and I know that it’s terribly ironic to blog about one of the most infamous recluses of our time. He told a reporter from the New York Times “There is a marvelous peace in not publishing. … It’s peaceful. Still. Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I live to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure.”

I heard an op-ed piece on NPR about Salinger and how no one in our culture would ever dream of something like that as we busy ourselves blogging, tweeting, and facebooking the ins and outs of our lives to anyone who will subscribe, follow, or friend us. While there is a certain romanticism about preserving the mystery of one’s inner soul—it makes for lousy community. If we all lock ourselves in a closet and try to ride out life individually, who will we talk to when our parents are falling apart and need us to parent them? Who will hold our hand when our spouse changes his or her mind about our marriage? Who will walk us through those difficult days at work when you doubt if this is what you are supposed to do? We were created to live in community and drudge it out with one another.

In the book The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caufield gets some advice from a sage with a highball in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Mr. Antolini writes this down on a piece of paper for Holden to keep and be guided by: “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” I hope we are wanting to live humbly with our brothers and sisters for the various causes we get inspired to fulfill and in doing so find that the togetherness of it all is mostly the point.

innerloopchurch.com


Reflections on Peru

January 5, 2010

By Chelsea Wade, Buckner Ministries Coordinator at South Main Baptist Church.  Chelsea visited Peru from December 4-13, 2009.

During the first orphanage visit a fellow participant asked me who my favorite was. I said that I wanted to spend time with as many children as possible and that I didn’t have one. After listening to my response he reiterated: “You always have a favorite”. There were certainly children that took my hand for reasons that I can’t explain. At times they smiled at me with so much joy that I became overwhelmed. I have no doubt that I was placed there for divine reasons. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say “You’ll always become a favorite”.

Chronicling my experiences was a bit difficult for this trip. I usually enjoy writing journal entries but this method seemed futile for this experience. I found myself summarizing the itinerary instead of taking an introspective approach. I opted to e-mail friends and family tidbits about emotions and observations. After re-reading these conversations I’ve decided that they give an accurate representation of my personal growth.

Here at South Main the concept of community is emphasized in activities. I’ve become much more aware of what we can accomplish together and learn from each other in community settings.  My awareness of community was certainly increased during this trip. I had the opportunity to function as an extension of South Main and as a Buckner employee. In addition I got to work alongside others to accomplish a common goal: showing God’s love.

When the trip was coming to a close, we discussed the challenge of describing our experience. How could we effectively communicate the happiness that the children felt? How could we explain the changes in our hearts? How could we show that we have been humbled? I suggested that those around us will learn about experience from our actions. I added that I couldn’t wait to step off the plane and be a different person that I was before leaving…thank God.


Holey house shoes

September 18, 2009

wornoutslippersBy Amy Grizzle, Minister to Adults

My college friend Katie grew up Episcopalian. She and her husband now attend a Baptist church, joined a Sunday School class, and make sure their children are in Sunday School and worship every Sunday.  They are enjoying a good church with good folks.  She calls me from time to time to ask me “Baptist questions” since I’m the homegrown Baptist she knows best.

Katie called recently to let me know she’s on bed rest late in her pregnancy with their second child and to ask a “Baptist question.”  I was expecting a doctrinal question, but Katie’s question concerned casseroles.  Members of her church surprised Katie with a meal saying they knew bed rest makes it hard on a family.  She was truly touched by their thoughtfulness, but also truly shocked.  “In our church growing up, you came to worship, you were seen, you went home, and you told people you go to church there.  Here, people showed up at my door with a casserole and I thought they were at the wrong house.  You’re a minister now, what’s up with that, Amy?”  I laughed and simply said, “we’re Baptists—food says you care.  And it means they know you.” Katie laughingly responded, “yeah, now they know I have holes in my slippers.”

Sometimes being cared for means being known.  It’s what happens when you’re invested in a community. It has nothing to do with denomination and everything to do with the heart and soul of a community of faith.  Being a Christian means we are both willing to give and willing to receive.  And sometimes that means people see the holes in your slippers…I’m just glad I’m not the only one with holey house shoes.