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.
We 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.
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
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Posted by jenngribble
June 23, 2016
By 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
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!
During camp, everyone has a secret helper. Their secret helper is extra nice to them and pushes them in the right direction.
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!!
I love the outside space at Artesian Lakes. Our house is huge, and I love how big our living room is. #lake
I loved the pool another favorite is the slide and finally the store the best of all the three!
One thing that I love about Camp Out is swimming. I also love the Gratitude Cafe. I also love circle time.
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.
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.
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.
My favorite things about Camp Out are:
-Swimming in the lake
-Circle time outside
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!
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Posted by jenngribble
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.During 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.
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Posted by jenngribble
June 20, 2014
One of my favorite things to do on summer vacation used to be hitting an amusement park. I loved the roller coasters that looped and corkscrewed and turned me upside down. The forces and the the velocity-charged changes in perspective was the attraction. However, my age and the accompanying fact that the function of my inner ear balance mechanism is apparently fossilizing keeps me from riding these coasters 5 or 6 times in a row like I used to growing up.
Nevertheless, I do still enjoy being turned upside down by a writer, theologian, dramatist, or artist who dramatically changes my perspective. As together we read through our summer congregational book, How Can I Find God, I wanted to point out the perspective-changing offering of Stanley Hauerwas which appears roughly half way through the book, on page 75 and 76. Hauerwas, is a Christian ethicist, author, and professor at the Divinity School of Duke University where our own Amy Grizzle-Kane studied with him. He turns the book’s central question around writing that “God is not easily found because we cannot ‘find’ that which is so near to us as our next breath…”
He asks if perhaps the better question therefore is, “What do I do now that God has found me?”
He goes on to teach that one can fully discover that God has already found them by seeking out a person who is an adept follower of Christ, writing that such apprenticeships are readily available by simply going and getting involved at a local church. So, even as you are away this summer, stay close to your church home and your co-followers of Christ. And if you are nearby this summer, come to church, where you will discover how near God already is as you worship each Sunday. As Professor Hauerwas puts it, “…nothing can be more important than simply turning up and placing one’s self amidst people who are praying to and praising the One know as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
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Posted by jenngribble
June 9, 2014
Sister Helen Prejean answers the question in our summer book, How Can I Find God? and writes how she finds God in the faces of the poor and struggling people of the world. She has spent a lifetime serving the least of these and her service has evolved into a special passion for persons on death row and in prison and their families. Guilty or not guilty, it’s not for her to say. It’s her calling to love no matter what.
I have read her book, Dead Man Walking, and I have heard her speak here in Houston. She is truly a phenomenal woman of God’s grace and strength. I think sometimes our temptation is to almost immediately say, “well, I could never do that, so how will I find God if that’s how she did it?”
As we read through this book this summer, we might all have moments where we say, “Well, I’ve never experienced God that way” and it’s important to remember that’s ok.
Even Sister Prejean says, “I can’t function if I don’t have that sense of being at the center of myself and in the soul of my soul, so that I am truly operating from the inside out.”
She reminds us that each of us is created in the image of God and each of us has a gift and a passion that God gives us. Perhaps in finding that and staying true to who each of us is as a child of God (operating from the inside out) is part of the journey of “finding” our God, who is, actually, always present.
Do you find you have a sense of wholeness, a centeredness in God, when you operate from the inside out? What does that mean to you?
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Posted by jenngribble
May 15, 2014
By South Main Member Erin DuBroc
I’ve always been a lover of change. There were no tears from me on the last day of high school — I was already half-way to College Station in my heart and mind. Even at the conclusion of those college days my Dad told me would encompass “the best time of [my] life”, I couldn’t wait to start graduate school and get a move on. That isn’t to say that I don’t value loyalty or enjoy nostalgia, but rarely have I experienced fear over changing circumstances. Although, recently I started to wonder if that was wholly good. Darn that desire to practice more self-awareness in my thirties.
For me, change is almost always partnered with an intoxicating novelty I tend to bask in. Novelty, that I’ve just begun to see, can do a number on my already handicapped ability to be objective. Not that I never suffer from cynicism, but it’s not often my vice when presented with new people, a new order or way of doing things, or even a blank slate from which to create. I usually approach change with, I admit, a fair amount of naiveté and blissful enthusiasm. This is slightly different from my husband, of course. How else would iron sharpen iron, right?
For example, the first Sunday we visited a new church — that I had already researched and read up on, of course — I was quickly overwhelmed with giddiness. Rightfully so as many of the aspects of church I had deemed non-negotiable moving forward were playing out in this beautiful harmony right in front of me and to a degree I honestly didn’t know if I’d ever find in Houston. (See, I do suffer from some cynicism.)
Between the condensed size of the congregation, inclusion of women in every aspect of the service and church leadership, emphasis on slower, more contemplative worship, and the mention of a book by one of my favorite authors being the congregational devotional for Lent (oh, and the recognition of the liturgical calendar!), I was beside myself. I probably teared up with joy nine times, and you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face if you tried. I was not hallucinating, I was affirmed in my convictions (as opposed to feeling like an outsider, troublemaker and quasi-heretic), and that was only the first ten minutes.
The inclusion of children’s church, the thoughtful recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, the singing of the doxology, the heartfelt congregational responses to celebrations like baptism and infant dedications, the beyond-impressive number of unprompted welcomes we received from various members, and the fact that the pastor greeted us on our way out and said “let’s get lunch sometime”, nearly pushed me over my emotional limit. On a scale of one to ten with my wedding day being a ten, I was probably at an 8.5. I wish I could bottle that kind of enthusiasm and sell it. If only, Shark Tank.
But if you were to look over to my husband during those first ten minutes, you’d see a more reserved portrait of a person vacillating between open-mindedness and nervous tics. We were definitely on the same page regarding our desires for church, but our outward appearances and processing methods were polar opposite. His right knee couldn’t stop bouncing, his eyes were slightly wide and his body a bit shifty sitting amidst the wooden pews, cathedral ceiling and breathtaking stained glass. He couldn’t have been more supportive of my curiosity of this newly discovered egalitarian baptist church a mere fifteen minutes from our front door, but the man isn’t as much of a lover of change. He analyzes first and feels later, is admittedly more pessimistic than me, and plays the role of devil’s advocate very well. His overall attitude couldn’t be more gracious, but he’s a harder sell overall. This used to drive me crazy and prompt a lecture about him being a stick-in-the-mud, but I’ve really learned to appreciate this aspect of his personality.
The balance his perspective brings challenges me to temper my assessment of newness with little less emotion and a bit more objectivity. I’ve come to understand that’s not a proverbial wet blanket at all but rather a strength. Plus, it leads to a lot less disappointment if something doesn’t end up being as perfect as those first few glances deem. Thankfully, our marriage has been thriving despite this difference between us, and it’s been a real testament to our commitment to being true and mutually submissive partners.
If I’m perfectly honest, though, I have to make note of the fact that the type of change I love is usually the kind I can anticipate or control. I don’t know many people who thrive on being blind-sided, so I’m sure this perfectly normal. However, how I choose to respond to abrupt change is what I’ve also been working to improve. Constructive coping skills don’t naturally bubble up when my expectations are challenged, and I’m tired of paying the price for poor ones. Between the inevitable disappointments in relationships, the flat-out crazy throes of newborn-hood (which I can still remember and anticipate, even four years later), and minding the delicate balance between personal preference and compromise with my husband for the greater good of our family, it’s a worthy, if not crucial, endeavor. Change, tumult, and sheer surprise will be recurrent companions as I journey through life, that’s for sure.
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Posted by jenngribble
May 9, 2011
Kate Campbell in Concert at South Main
By David and Mary Corban – David serves as the chair of deacons and Mary has prepared thousands of meals for our youth and church family. They are parents to Andrew and Ethan and members of the Graceland Sunday School Community.
You need to come hear Kate Campbell when she performs at South Main’s Youth Center on Saturday evening, May 14. Previous notices of this event have touted Kate’s gifts as a musician and songwriter, and folks in the music business obviously regard Kate as a thoughtful (sometimes even side-slapping) lyricist – else she would not have had guest artists on her most recent CD such as John Prine, Nanci Griffith, and Spooner Oldham. Her music is rooted in traditional Southern hymns, the blues, soul, R&B, country, and folk music, and she tours extensively across America and overseas in support of her CDs, including an upcoming tour to Ireland.
We would add that Kate conveys a real sense of time and place in her music. If you were a child in the South during the 1960’s, her songs will speak to you. When she sings the humorous “Funeral Food” or “Jesus and Tomatoes Coming Soon,” she captures the scene so well because you’ve been there — you’ve eaten the food, shared the laughter, and stopped at the roadside produce stands with hand-lettered signs. Other songs tell stories that touch the heart in a more serious vein, like “Visions of Plenty,” which vividly portrays a family’s desire to overcome poverty in the rural South.
But more importantly, we need to point out that Kate is the grand-daughter of Kathryn Henry (Kathryn and David’s mother were life-long best friends, and yes, that’s Kathryn on the cover of Kate’s CD, Moon Pie Dreams); the daughter of a Baptist minister, Jimmy Henry, who grew up with David’s brother, Bruce; and the wife of another fine fellow, Stan Campbell, who formerly pastored the Corban family’s church in Orlinda, Tennessee. Now if you can follow all those relational connections, then you must be a Southerner, either by birth or inclination; well acquainted with fried chicken and garden-grown tomatoes; and generally gifted with a sense of humor and an appreciation of music, history, literature, and the storytelling arts.
In other words, you are a Kate Campbell fan just waiting to blossom.
So come join the Corbans and the rest of the South Main family when Kate Campbell performs in the Youth Center on Saturday, May 14 at 7 pm. Tickets are available here. (Alternatively, David says to just give him some money and he’ll see what we can do.) Oh, and bring your friends, too!
South Main Baptist Church – The Inner Loop Church
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Posted by jenngribble
April 13, 2011
Cliff Nickel was born and raised at South Main Baptist Church. He is an active member at the church, currently serving on the Outreach Committee an helping with the Church Archives.
I was in the cradle roll here at South Main and grew up watching the love and support a church family gives. My parents were not only in a very supportive Sunday School class, but they were also part of another group that gave our family support—SMUT (South Main United Tenters). This was a camping group of several families who went camping at least twice a year together. While growing up I remember the support when I was in junior high when my mother, Sharon, had surgery and then again when I was in high school and we discovered she was diagnosed with MS. Our church family supported our family in many ways during these times.
As an adult I wondered if my family would have that same type of support. After getting married my wife and I were members of the newlywed class with Larry and Lecia Carroll as the Sunday school teachers. They gave us a nice blend of bible study and fellowship. My wife and I developed some wonderful relations from that group. One couple with whom we socialized frequently were John and Beth (Kaiser) Clark. One evening we were out and ran into two other couples who were in the next class up. These couples were Lloyd and Susan Culp and Gordan and Gail Musgrove. That is when the idea first came about.
Gail (Chandler) Musgrove grew up with her parents having a “Quarter club “ that met several times during the year for fellowship. Gordan thought it would be a great idea for us to start our own. We got together in December of 1994 and started our own “Quarter Club”. We have been there for each other through the oldest Graham Musgrove’s marriage to the youngest Carleigh Nickel’s birth ; to moving of houses to the service of baptism; through illness to deaths of parents and family members. The Pitschmann Family joined the group and we still meet through out the year.
Being an adult here at South Main, I have experienced the same love and support that my parents did through my Sunday school class and my “Quarter Club”. These are friendships that last a lifetime.
fresh faith. vintage church.
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Posted by jenngribble
July 8, 2010
By Erin Conaway, Associate Pastor
Sam recently became fascinated with hiding things. He’s three and a half now and just loves to find the perfect spot for one of his cars or a bouncy ball. That’s all fine and good until he hides his puppy and it’s bedtime and we can’t find it. Then the whole house goes into search and rescue mode and we leave no pillow, cushion, chair, drawer, or cabinet unturned or unopened. I remember being enamored with hiding places when I was little. There’s just something wonderful about finding a spot out of the way, where one of your G.I. Joe men will fit or where a special Lego creation can rest without fear of being destroyed by a big brother or sister.
Now, I am finding little signs of Sam all over the house. When I put my shoes on in the morning, there is usually a T-Rex taking a nap in one of them. A few times I’ve opened my computer bag at the office to find a little alligator or a race car carefully perched just beneath the flap. Sometimes I open the drawer to get a fork and there’s a dump truck sitting with the spoons. I love it and know that when this season of hiding gives way to something else, I will miss these little signs of Sam all over the place—maybe even the occasional marble in my shoe.
The Psalmist writes in Psalm 119:10-12:
I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees.
I love the idea that when we hide God’s word in our hearts there are signs of God all around our hearts. When we go to that place in our heart that is overwhelmed with joy and gladness, we find “Rejoice it the Lord always, I will say it again, Rejoice!” or when we visit the place of sadness in our hearts and open a drawer of memories we find, “You do not know what I am doing now, but later you will understand.” It is imperative that we continue to read and study Scripture, and hide verses in our hearts in various places because we need those signs of God’s presence in every nook and cranny as we journey through life.
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Posted by erinconaway