From the Pastor by Rev. Malcolm Monroe

July 28, 2020
Dear Friends

Last Sunday, we ended our worship time by singing “Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine.” What a wonderful thought. It’s wonderful because our faith is a possession. Our faith is a gift from God and because it is a gift from God it is a good gift that brings only good with it.

Our gift includes The Giver himself. As Fanny Crosby says in the lyrics, “O what a foretaste of glory divine!” Our faith is supposed to be so much more than a crutch to use when we are limping. The gift of our faith is to provide the very presence of the God in our daily living. Of course, having faith in the grace of God requires us to live out our faith. This means living intentionally. We choose to be “those people.” The ones who know that rainbows are gifts after the storms. The ones who see the good in others. The ones who forgive as we have been forgiven. And of course, we are ones who go counterculture in that we don’t simply get all we can for us. We give as we have received. We give not for good feelings or in the hopes that by giving we will get back. We simply give because God has first given to us. We simply respond because we are created in the very image of the giver of life, the giver of faith! You can’t so much give away your faith as you can share it. So, share it generously!

Please join us at church as we worship here on Sunday or worship with us online (https://www.facebook.com/FUMCCenterTexas/), but please join us here or there. This way we can truly be one in faith, one in hope and one in love.

Holy Communion: This Sunday, August 2nd, we will be having communion. For those who are able to attend in-person worship, we will pass out individual juice cups with wafer included. We hope you can join us at the 8:30 or 11:00 am in-person worship service. For those who are unable to be at the in-person worship, please come by the church office and pick up your cup and wafer and wait until you attend the 11:00 am live service to take your elements. For those who are unable to pick up your elements, we can bring them to you. Call the church at (936) 598-2707 if you have questions. The communion offering will go to the Pastor’s Care Fund.

See ya soon!
Blessings,
Pastor Malcolm

July 21, 2020
Dear Friends


“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

The grace of God is an awesome gift. It’s actually amazing, this grace thing. Grace is a gift, a good gift, a free gift. We can’t earn it and we can’t buy it. God, in his exalted wonderfulness, saw fit to renew his mercy and love within us by applying his grace into our lives through his son Jesus!

In last Sunday’s message, I mentioned that having received such a gift, our natural response is to feel we must respond by doing something. How we act, think and speak is how we respond. Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

We can’t engender more love or grace from God (because his grace and love are infinite), but we can surely live for him and proclaim his glory among the nations, beginning right here, right where we are! If we are going to brag about anything in our lives, let’s brag about the joy of Jesus and the grace of God. See ya soon.
Blessings,
Pastor Malcolm

July 14, 2020
Dear Friends

My first few weeks in Center and at first UMC Center have been wonderful. Teresa and I are already beginning to feel at home. We might not be able to give a tour of the area, but we can certainly sing the praises of all the people we have met since we arrived.

Summertime is definitely here, it is hot, hot, hot! The A/Cs are running for all they are worth and being outside for too long is surely taking your life into your own hands. If heat killed the Coronavirus, it would have long been gone. But apparently, it does not kill the virus. So, be careful of both.

Do you remember when Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah,” meaning that Jesus was sent to set people free.

Jesus didn’t end slavery, but he set those enslaved free. He didn’t end poverty, but he set the poor free. He didn’t end illness, but he set the sick free. He didn’t end a lot of things or situations, but he changed the condition of things for everyone. How did he do this? By changing the hearts of all who came to him. Sure, many received physical or emotional healing and to be sure, many that were hungry were fed a meal, but his mission was to set people free. He freed the heart. He showed a better way. He brought “heart” to the religion and life to the ritual. Jesus cared about the heart.

Anyone can be religious, especially Methodists. It’s in our name. If we do the same thing the same way twice it becomes a tradition or ritual, or at the very least, “The way we’ve always done it.” We must be careful about our faith and religion. The heart of matter matters most to the heart of God.

What do you need to be freed from in order to be free in Christ? Jesus cares about your heart. Where or what does your heart need healing from? John’s gospel tells us that Jesus said, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” (John 8) When he said this, he was telling the people that they will have a forever place as a child of God when they listen and follow him. My prayer is that we always allow the Lord to free us from those things that bind us. When we are free from . . . We are free to . . . to love, show mercy, share grace and to lead others to well spring of joy that it is the Kingdom of Heaven.

See ya soon.
Blessings,
Pastor Malcolm

July 7, 2020
Dear New Church Family


Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the gracious hospitality you have shown to Teresa and me as we have joined with you in your amazing, joy, grace and loved filled journey with Jesus. We are truly grateful for the many ways in which you have demonstrated your support as we have arrived. You have “Pounded” on us, Meal Trained us, and offered countless kind words. We are humbled and give thanks to God for your expressions of love. Your deeds of kindness speak deeply of love of Jesus.

As I assume the role of pastor at Center FUMC, I do so knowing that many have gone before me. Please keep Pastor Karen and all your former pastors in your prayers, even as you pray for me and Teresa. The best way for us to get to know your names is for you to continue to tell us your names…. (for the foreseeable future.) Last evening, as I lay down to go to sleep, I started trying recall the names of those we have met in the last week or so. I can associate about 25 names and faces are already. Please continue to tell us your names. Of course, the best way for us to remember names is for us to share events and activities together.

This coming Sunday we will be looking at the beautiful words from Psalm 119:105-112. Many years ago, Amy Grant had a very popular song from this song, “Thy Word is a Lamp unto my Feet.” In a crazy world it’s nice to have a north star. The Word of God is constant and amazing as we see God reveal himself to all who will receive him. Join us Sunday as we celebrate in worship. If you’re not comfortable joining with us in-house, be sure and join with us online at 11:00 AM.

Blessings,
Pastor Malcolm

June 25, 2020
Dear Church Family,

I’ve always advised youth who are graduating high school and moving off to go to school, to look for the “Cross and Flame.” Those people in those churches are family. If you need friends, go there. If you need a church home while away from home, go there. If you need help, go there. I would tell them to tell the people that they meet, where they are from and that they are part of the Methodist family.

I’m originally from Rosenberg Texas, grew up attending First United Methodist Church of Rosenberg and graduated from Lamar CISD High School. I continued my education at the University of Texas at Arlington as a business management major. After the closing of our family business, I returned to school and received my BSW in preparation for ministry. After receiving my degree, I enrolled at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky where I earned my Master of Divinity Degree.

I began in ministry as a short-term missionary in Kobe, Japan. After Japan, I began local ministry as a youth director and as a Local Pastor in Arlington, Texas. After graduating seminary, and returning to the Texas Annual Conference, I was ordained a Deacon in 1993 and as an Elder in full connection in 1995. One of my many ministry highlights include serving as the founding president of Habitat for Humanity in Orange, Texas, and building a neighborhood of 30 homes. I was involved with clown ministry for many years as a clown named, “Whoso Ever.”

Teresa and I recently celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary. Teresa is an educational professional with over 30 years of combined experience in administration and in the classroom. She is a native of Roseto, a tiny Italian town near the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania and is still adjusting to the “Methodist” way of doing things. Together, we have four children and two grandchildren. Whew, enough about us. We’ll get to know each other better soon enough.

Teresa and I are giving thanks to God for what has been, what is and for what is yet to come! We look forward to meeting you soon.

Blessings,
Pastor Malcolm Monroe