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NTA News to share with your Congregation for April 2015
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Important NTA Dates

6/5-7
Conference Annual Meeting in New Orleans

6/13 at 10am
Committee on Ministry

6/25-7/1
Synod National Gathering

10/17
Fall Meeting at Cosmopolitan UCC in Carrollton
Rev. Earl J. Lawrence, age 84, loving, devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and pastor passed to life eternal on Feb. 25, 2015. Raised and educated in Michigan, he was a graduate of General Motors Institute, Michigan State University, and Methodist Theo-logical Seminary of Ohio. During his life, he was a tool and die maker, ordained minister in the United Church of Christ serving churches in Michigan and Texas and businessman. He is survived by his wife Nancy, children Terry (Ruthann), Randy (Linda), Tina Kryzwada (John), and Heather Hopper (Kyle); grandchildren Jason, Chris, Jennifer, Daniel, Justin, Andy, Joshua, Bexley and 12 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Jerry and sister, Karen Kasson. He was preceded in death by his parents Andrew and Edna (Gamel) Lawrence. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday March 6th at Central Congregational Church, U.C.C. 5600 Royal Lane, Dallas. In lieu of flowers, memor-ials may be made to The American Cancer Society , CASA of Collin County, or Alcuin School, Dallas. 
Per your requests, we will be sending out a friendly reminder in the mail that your 2015 dues will be $3.50/member.  We have bills throughout the calendar year, so we encourage dues paid early in the year, or in bi-annual/quarterly/monthly installments!  For any questions, please call NTA Treasurer Alice Miller at (254) 546-2242.

Letter of Resignation

[Please see below this letter for the monthly news to share.]


Dear brothers and sisters,

It is with deepest regret that I write you today to inform you that I will no longer be able to be your Association Minister after June 7, 2015. 
 
Several months ago, my husband Rob began looking for a job.  When he was unsuccessful finding a position in the Dallas area, he widened his search to include the Austin area as well, where my extended family resides.  Rob has accepted a position in Austin and will be beginning his work there on April 6th.  I, however, intend to stay behind in Dallas with my children and serve you until June 7th, through the conference annual meeting in New Orleans.
 
I want you to know that it was never my intention to serve you for such a short period of time, and
 I humbly ask for your forgiveness for what I failed to do and what I have left undone.  After just a year and a half as your association minister, I feel as though we had only begun to accomplish exciting things together, and I had so many more dreams of all that we might do together in the years to come.  So it is my sincere prayer that some of that dreaming and excitement of mine rubbed off on you -- that you caught a vision of all that we might do and be together, so that you might continue this great work we have begun.  
 
It is also important to me that you know how much I have loved ministering to you, our churches, and our pastors.  I have never been so confident of my calling to ministry as when I have been with you.  This has been an incredible experience of growth for me, and so from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.  I thank you for your prayers, your support, your faith in me, your covenantal commitment to the NTA, and most of all, I thank you for simply being you.
 
Please do not hesitate to contact me in the days to come.  I plan to do everything in my power to set you up for the smoothest transition possible.  My priority going forward will be to organize information and files for my successor and to tie up any loose ends, so I will not be adding any more travel or preaching to my calendar.  I hope you understand.
 
As always, you remain in my heart and prayers.  I also ask that you pray for me and my family during this difficult time of transition ahead, and that I might find another meaningful call in Austin.  Even though the road ahead is uncertain, I trust in our guiding God and brother Jesus Christ, who has walked me through every dark place thus far, into the bright light of a new day.
 
Peace be with you,
Rev. Anna Kreisle Humble
Association Minister of the
North Texas Association of the
United Church of Christ

NTA News Update
April 2015

[Please Copy and Paste the update below into your congregation's newsletter!]


Dear brothers and sisters,

First of all, let me say again that I deeply regret that I will not be able to continue as your association minister after June 7th of this year.  If you have not yet read my letter of resignation, please find it included at the bottom of this month's e-newsletter, on our Facebook page, and also on our website, ntaucc.org, under the menu bar heading "News and Events."  Again, I ask for your forgiveness for the brevity of my tenure, and I sincerely thank you for the great honor and privilege it has been to minister to you.

On a happier note, it was wonderful to see so many of your faces at the Spring North Texas Association Meeting in Marlin, Texas!  Pastor Ludy Manthei opened our day together with worship and a sermon that was even more beautiful than the stained glass windows and historic white building of St. Paul's.  Business clipped along ahead of schedule, and then we were all treated to a keynote speech by SMU's director of missional studies, Dr. Robert Hunt.  A delicious lunch of country fried chicken and fixings was served up by the welcoming members of St. Paul.  Then, after lunch, we were blessed to welcome three new clergy into our association by way of ecclesiastical council: Rev. Steve Davis, Dr. Ron Wood, and Rev. Allen Pope.  Thanks be to God for the hospitality of Pastor Ludy and St. Paul's, for the edifying worship and learning, for the smooth business, and for the gifted clergy who we now call family.

Several of our churches were also blessed to host students and a faculty member from Chicago Theological Seminary this past month.  Our churches heard a fresh word from budding UCC ministers, and the seminarians caught a glimpse of what their ministry might look like across the country in the United Church of Christ.  We were also able to send four of our own members in discernment (Susan Perry, DeSorrow Golden, Robert Kates and Melissa Ashmore) to the national gathering of Members in Discernment in Cleveland.  Thank you for your financial support of the NTA, which supports future leaders of our church in this way.

The Master's Workshop Camp has successfully hired a new groundskeeper.  Donnell & Kevin Smith are the new campsite managers. Donnell has been active with the youth camps at MWC for several years.  Please pray for them as they prepare for the upcoming camping season!

And last but not least, the NTA lost a wonderful pastor this past month in Rev. Earl Lawrence.  Rev. Earl Lawrence was a wonderful man, father, pastor and husband who will be greatly missed.  A moving memorial was held at Central Congregational Church on March 6th.  Please pray for his family, particularly his wife Nancy. For information about memorials and Earl's obituary, see Earl's obituary on the NTA newsletter or website.

Still with each death, we remember we worship a God of new life.  Easter is just around the corner!  As the bluebonnets cheerfully rise to greet another Texas springtime, I pray that you witness through God's Creation our risen LORD, and I hope that power of resurrection seeps into your hearts and church families, raising you to new life.

Peace be with you,
Rev. Anna Kreisle Humble
Association Minister
North Texas Association
United Church of Christ

NTA Photo Album

Members of Central Congregational Church, UCC participated in AIDS Walk Dallas on March 21st.  The theme of this year's 5K walk/run was "Celebrating 5 Years of Creating Change and Impacting Lives." 
Members of Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities fight hunger by volunteering their time at Tarrant County Food Bank.
Rev. Allen Pope delivers heartfelt words during his ecclesiastical council at the Spring North Texas Association Meeting.  Allen was one of three pastors accepted by unanimous vote into the North Texas Association, along with Rev. Steve Davis and Dr. Ron Wood.

Newsletter Submission Guidelines

- If you would like to share events, photos, or news with your brothers and sisters in the North Texas Association, please email the information to akhumble@gmail.  This newsletter is emailed on the 25th of each month so that each church has enough time to copy and paste the main body into their monthly newsletter.  Please submit your news to me, therefore, by the 24th.  
-- I also ask that each church to please add me to your mailing list, church directory, and e-mail list!  My email and mailing address can be found in this email.


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