2017 Christmas Boxes for Seafarers

seafarers-2016-group

Photo:  The packing crew for the 2016 Christmas Boxes for Seafarers.

 

Christmas Boxes for Port of Houston Seafarers 2017

We are looking forward to another generous and joyful year of preparing and sending the Christmas Boxes for the Seafarers at the Port of Houston.  A few years ago we revived this ministry and it has gone quite well.  The Men in Mission organization of MLLC organizes this each year.  They are thankful for the congregational partnership in this caring ministry.

Here is a link to our special page about this project.  It will have the information from this page, plus updates as these become available.

Here is a bit of history of our preparation and sending of boxes:

In 2014 there were 34 boxes assembled.

In 2015 there were 50 boxes assembled.

In 2016 there were 49 boxes assembled.

 

The Port of Houston Chaplains are our ambassadors to these seafarers. They visit the ships and bring the boxes to the crews. On their web site the chaplains tell us: “Crew sizes vary between 8 and 30, with an average number of 22 seafarers to gift per ship. In 2015, we placed 12,278 gifts on board 538 ships which had seafarers from 65 different countries! These gifts had been donated to the seafarers by 246 churches and organizations! The Christmas boxes are personally carried to each ship by your staff of Port Chaplains.” Their web site is: http://houstonseafarers.com/

With our work together at MLLC we can help reach even more with the love of Jesus Christ.

Here is the official notice about this program from the Port of Houston Chaplains.  Click this link.

For this year (2017), please gather items such as these for the men on the ships – you can buy things throughout the year and drop these off at any time.  There is a large blue storage bin for this purpose in the room directly across from the church office:
Empty shoe boxes or purchased plastic shoe boxes to pack the items.
Address books
Band-aids (fabric)
Baseball caps
2018 Calendars
Comb
Dental Floss
Antiperspirant/deodorant
Disposable razors
Flashlight and batteries
Kleenex – small packs
Lip balm
Lotion
Nail clippers
Gold Bond cream
Gold Bond powder
Hot Chocolate (individual serving size)
Needles and thread
Q-tips
Shaving cream
Soap
Shampoo
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Gum and hard candy
Key chains
Pocket-sized notebooks
Mechanical pencils
Pens
Playing cards
Microwave popcorn (individual packages)
Socks
Sudoku books
Texas souvenirs
T-shirts
USB flash drives
Word search books

 

Here are some of the crew working, and some photos from when our boxes were delivered to the Houston International Seafarers Center.

Hurricane Relief: Help Now

Hurricane Harvey Relief

Photo of Relief Workers, as shown on the Lutheran Disaster Response Web Site.

For continued updates on Hurricane Relief, see this page:  Click Link

Together We Can Help

We will have an ongoing Hurricane Harvey Recovery Page on the church web site.

There are several ways to help right now with relief for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.  There are and will be many volunteer opportunities.  As you are able, please give of your time to help those in need.  Much of the focus has been on Houston, since there are millions who have faced damage, displacement, loss, or more.  There are also many in Fayette County who have faced similar struggles due to flooding of the Colorado River and other waterways.  Our town has had flooding, but not to the point of massive damage.  It looks like the flooding of May 2016 in Carmine was worse for our town than that brought by Hurricane Harvey.

Ways to help:

At this time monetary donations are the most helpful.  You can always give through MLLC. All gifts will be forwarded to Lutheran Disaster Response, our ELCA organization which is already at work for long term relief from Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

*We will receive donations through the offerings at every worship service as long as there is need to help.  Designate the gift as Hurricane Relief.

*You can mail in a check to MLLC at any time.  Designate the gift as Hurricane Relief.

*You can give through our web site.  Click this link for our special giving web page.  On that page you can choose the section for Disaster Relief.  Gifts can be made through your bank account, debit card or credit card.

Mucking Crews – groups of people who will help clean up junk and ruined parts of homes so householders can fix up their homes and move back in.  Our Gulf Coast Synod has partnered with crisiscleanup.org to coordinate volunteers to help muck out homes.   Chris Markert, Assistant to the Bishop, will be helping synod church volunteer crews get connected to opportunities to serve.  Here is the contact page for Pastor Markert:  Click this link.

 

ELCA Gulf Coast Synod Message

Our Gulf Coast Synod has shared this message:

The number one question we hear: “How can I help?”

As followers of Jesus, we seek to love our neighbor and serve those in need.

So first, thank you. Here on the Gulf Coast, we have heard and felt your love and support during this disaster.

Second, as people of faith, join us in prayer. For first responders and those who had to evacuate flooded homes, for people worried about family and those who trying to pick up the pieces.

Third, financial gifts are more helpful than gifts of goods right now. Financial resources are portable and used for many different purposes. Consider donating to the Gulf Coast Synod Disaster Fund (to help congregations and their people get back on their feet and serve their neighborhoods http://gulfcoastsynod.org/Hurricane-Harvey) and to Lutheran Disaster Response (for case management).

Finally, wait and listen. The disaster isn’t over. It is still raining. Once the rain stops and the water recedes, then the work begins. Then we will begin to assess what the needs are and begin to clean up.

Hurricane Harvey – Special Announcement

Hurricane Harvey

A Letter from Pastor David Tinker

Dear Members and Friends of Martin Luther Lutheran Church of Carmine,

As most of you have heard, there is a hurricane hitting Texas this weekend.  The northern part of the storm is already bringing rain to the Carmine area.  After consideration of the safety of all, Blake Dooley (Council President) and I have decided to cancel the worship services, Sunday School and all activities this weekend (August 26 & 27, 2017).  There were already some activities, such as the Blood Drive, which had been cancelled or postponed due to the storm.  Although we will not be receiving the worst part of Hurricane Harvey, we will be getting a significant amount of rain, likely at least 10-20 inches.  As there are many low water crossings of roads in the area, including Luther Lane, just down the block from MLLC, we felt it was the right thing to do.

Our Shared Ministry Partner Church – Waldeck Lutheran Church – has also cancelled their weekend worship and activities.

Please share this information with others in your life, especially people who are less likely to use the internet or social media.

As you are able, please do these things throughout these days of this difficult storm:

  1. Please tell others, as noted above.
  2. Pray for those who are helping the victims of the storm, and for those victims.
  3. Pay attention to those who are more vulnerable in the community, especially the elderly or sick, as well as families with small children.  See if they need any assistance.
  4. Be ready to serve and help others in the community who are in need.
  5. As you are able, know that the church will receive financial donations to help with hurricane relief.  We will work with our synod to make sure these funds are brought to our partner agencies which will help the victims.  We will publicize other opportunities for helping with hurricane relief as we learn of them.
  6. Take time to pray and read God’s Word this weekend.  At the end of this email I have included our Prayer of the Day and Readings for this weekend.
  7. Plan on gathering for worship this next weekend – September 3.  This will be our Labor Day Weekend worship (in the Fellowship Hall) and picnic.  We will have the Rally Day events on this Sunday as well – blessing of Sunday School teachers, Sunday School Awards, Rally Day Party, etc.
  8. Please remember to make up your missed offerings from this weekend.  You can bring them with you when you are at worship again in the coming weeks, mail them in to the church office, or use our church web site to make your offering to God by credit care, debit card, or bank account.  Remember, all the usual expenses continue even when we have these rare cancellations.  Our online giving link is:   https://mllccarmine.com/online-giving/

Feel free to contact me with any questions.   We look forward to seeing you at worship on September 3 and beyond.

Yours, in Christ’s Service,

Pastor David Tinker

___________________________________

Pastor David J. Tinker

Pastor of Martin Luther Lutheran Church

and Waldeck Lutheran Church
Martin Luther Lutheran Church

211 Luther Ln

P O Box 362

Carmine, TX 78932-0362

979-278-3388 – office in Carmine

979-278-3387 – fax in Carmine

979-278-3380 – Martin Luther Lutheran School

pastordjt@industryinet.com

http://mllccarmine.com

 

Waldeck Lutheran Church

6915 Waldeck Church Ln

Ledbetter, TX 78946

979-249-3802 – office in Waldeck

 

Readings and prayer of the day

for weekend of August 26-27, 2017

 

PRAYER OF THE DAY

O God, with all your faithful followers of every age, we praise you, the rock of our life. Be our strong foundation and form us into the body of your Son, that we may gladly minister to all the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

 

First Reading: Isaiah 51:1-6

Just as God had called Abraham and Sarah and given them many descendants, so now God offers comfort to Zion. God’s deliverance will come soon and will never end.

 

 

1Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness,

you that seek the Lord.

Look to the rock from which you were hewn,

and to the quarry from which you were dug.

2Look to Abraham your father

and to Sarah who bore you;

for he was but one when I called him,

but I blessed him and made him many.

3For the Lord will comfort Zion;

he will comfort all her waste places,

and will make her wilderness like Eden,

her desert like the garden of the Lord;

joy and gladness will be found in her,

thanksgiving and the voice of song.
4Listen to me, my people,

and give heed to me, my nation;

for a teaching will go out from me,

and my justice for a light to the peoples.

5I will bring near my deliverance swiftly,

my salvation has gone out

and my arms will rule the peoples;

the coastlands wait for me,

and for my arm they hope.

6Lift up your eyes to the heavens,

and look at the earth beneath;

for the heavens will vanish like smoke,

the earth will wear out like a garment,

and those who live on it will die like gnats;

but my salvation will be forever,

and my deliverance will never be ended.

 

Psalm: Psalm 138

1I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with | my whole heart;

before the gods I will | sing your praise.

2I will bow down toward your holy temple and praise your name, because of your steadfast | love and faithfulness;

for you have glorified your name and your word a- | bove all things.
 3When I called, you | answered me;

you increased my | strength within me.

4All the rulers of the earth will praise | you, O Lord,

when they have heard the words | of your mouth. R

5They will sing of the ways | of the Lord,

that great is the glory | of the Lord.

6The Lord is high, yet cares | for the lowly,

perceiving the haughty | from afar.

7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you | keep me safe;

you stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies; your right | hand shall save me.

8You will make good your pur- | pose for me;

O Lord, your steadfast love endures forever; do not abandon the works | of your hands. Amen

 

Second Reading: Romans 12:1-8

In response to God’s merciful activity, we are to worship by living holistic, God-pleasing lives. Our values and viewpoints are not molded by this age, but are transformed by the Spirit’s renewing work. God’s grace empowers different forms of service among Christians, but all forms of ministry function to build up the body of Christ.

 

1I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
  3For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. 6We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; 7ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; 8the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

 

Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20

At a climactic point in Jesus’ ministry, God reveals to Peter that Jesus is “the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” and Jesus responds with the promise of a church that will overcome the very gates of Hades.

 

13Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Seafarer’s Boxes for Christmas 2016

seafarers-2016-car

 

Christmas Boxes for Port of Houston Seafarers 2016

Thank you to everybody who contributed to this project this year.  The Men in Mission truly appreciate the partnership with the people of MLLC.  They had another successful year in preparing and sending the Christmas Boxes for the Seafarers in 2016.

The boxes were assembled on Monday, November 28, at the regular meeting of the Men in Mission.  A few more were completed in the days following this.  The Men in Mission were able to prepare 49 boxes for the seafarers this year.

In 2014 there were 34 boxes assembled.

In 2015 there were 50 boxes assembled.

In 2016 there were 49 boxes assembled.

Here are photos from the packing and delivery of the boxes to the Port of Houston in late November and early December 2016. Thanks to Brick Peele for delivering the Christmas Boxes to the Seafarers Center, and for taking the photos of the delivery.  Thanks to the Tinker family for taking the photos of the packing on November 28.

Here are scenes from the Houston International Seafarers Center where the packages were delivered.  There are typically over 12,000 packages prepared for the seafarers each year.  These are delivered by the Center Chaplains to various ships which visit the port for loading and/or unloading each December.  These come from various churches and organizations in Texas.  The white bags are the ones ready for delivery.  The chapel and various storerooms are filled with these boxes in preparation for delivery.  The seafarers often have the opportunity to take a break for some friendly hospitality and a good meal at the Houston International Seafarers Center.

The men on the ships truly appreciate the love and hospitality offered by these Christmas Boxes. Think about your life. Most of us get to be home every night with family and/or near friendly neighbors. Those who work in shipping are away from home for months at a time. They are thankful for the work, but they miss their families, friends and home communities.

The Port of Houston Chaplains are our ambassadors to these seafarers. They visit the ships and bring the boxes to the crews. On their web site the chaplains tell us: “Crew sizes vary between 8 and 30, with an average number of 22 seafarers to gift per ship. In 2015, we placed 12,278 gifts on board 538 ships which had seafarers from 65 different countries! These gifts had been donated to the seafarers by 246 churches and organizations! The Christmas boxes are personally carried to each ship by your staff of Port Chaplains.” Their web site is: http://www.venturecd.net/SeafarersCenter.org/Home_Page.htm

With our work together at MLLC we can help reach even more with the love of Jesus Christ.

Here is the official notice about this program from the Port of Houston Chaplains.  Click this link.

For next year (2017) when we do this again, please gather items such as these for the men on the ships – you can buy things throughout the year and drop these off at any time.  There is a large blue storage bin for this purpose in the room directly across from the church office:
Empty shoe boxes or purchased plastic shoe boxes to pack the items.
Address books
Band-aids (fabric)
Baseball caps
2018 Calendars
Comb
Dental Floss
Antiperspirant/deodorant
Disposable razors
Flashlight and batteries
Kleenex – small packs
Lip balm
Lotion
Nail clippers
Gold Bond cream
Gold Bond powder
Hot Chocolate (individual serving size)
Needles and thread
Q-tips
Shaving cream
Soap
Shampoo
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Gum and hard candy
Key chains
Pocket-sized notebooks
Mechanical pencils
Pens
Playing cards
Microwave popcorn (individual packages)
Socks
Sudoku books
Texas souvenirs
T-shirts
USB flash drives
Word search books

 

 

 

Seafarers Boxes 2016

dscn1385

An Invitation to Love our Neighbors at the Port of Houston

We have begun gathering items for the 2016 Seafarers Boxes.  This annual program brings Christian Care and Christmas Cheer to the men who work on ships.  Our Christmas Boxes are distributed through the Seafarers Center Chaplains at the Port of Houston.  The MLLC Men in Mission group organizes this program each year.

Click this the link to the page which describes this annual ministry, and how you can participate.

The photo above shows an abundance of boxes which are ready to be given to the seafarers in Houston.

Boxes for Seafarers – November 30

Christmas Boxes 2014 filling

Packing of boxes will take place on Monday, November 30, at 6 p.m. in the parlor at MLLC – the room just before the church offices.
All are invited to participate.

 

Dear Friends in Christ,

The Martin Luther Men in Mission want very much to express our appreciation and thanks to all congregation members and friends who chose to contribute to the Port of Houston Seafarers Shoe-box Christmas project. You did a very good job last year, but you have exceeded that this year.

I know that many times it’s not wise to single out someone for the fear of missing someone who has contributed as much. However, I’ll take the chance (and if I learn that someone has done likewise, I’d gladly apologize and give them their due). About four to six weeks ago Ms. Dianne Sager told me that she and Mr. Ted Sager had applied for a $250.00 grant from Thrivent Financial for items to fill the shoe boxes. Several weeks ago she told me she had received the grant. Two weeks ago she had purchased the items and had filled the collection box, and if we needed help she would gladly help. It is hard to beat her enthusiasm.

We will be packing and wrapping the boxes on Monday, November 30 at 6:00 p.m. All congregation members and friends who want to join in the project are invited to come when they can. Again, thanks.

Yours in Christ,
Alvis Mueller – MLLC Men in Mission President

Carmine Christmas Festival – December 6

Carmine Hall SignThe Carmine Community is pulling together for our annual Christmas Festival.  We will gather at the Carmine Hall (300 N. Hauptstrasse in Carmine) on Sunday, December 6.

We will enjoy food, craft booths, local music, visits with Santa, and much more.  The theme will be a Dickens Christmas.

Click this link for this flier for more complete information.

Please share this information with others on social media, email, or in print so more folks can enjoy this delightful annual tradition.

God’s Work, Our Hands Day 2015

School Kits 4

Join Hands–God’s Work Our Hands report (from Dianne Sager):
In April, Ted and I attended the Synodical Convention in Houston. At the convention, we became interested in the Join Hands–God’s Work, Our Hands program. I became convinced that we could make that happen at MLLC. Nancy Eilers and myself each applied for monies from Thrivent Financial– Action Teams and were approved. Nancy applied for funds for School Kits and I applied for funds for Personal Care Kits. Each team received $250.00. In September, we choose a date to take items out of original packaging and pack for the upcoming shipment to LWR, that will happen the Monday after Easter. We packed 120 School Kits and 50 Personal Care Kits. We still lack about 150 pens for the School Kits.

Here are our volunteers for this event: Dianne Sager, Nancy Eilers, Thelma Hinze, Carol Carmean, Donna Mueller, Karen Dooley, Beverly Cucuzza, Diana Wunderlich, Ann O’Hara, and Dianna Gerland.

School Kits 7 School Kits 6 School Kits 5

School Kits 3 School Kits 2 School Kits 1

Christmas Boxes for Seafarers 2015

Christmas Boxes 2014 out front

Photo:  Pastor David Tinker and his son delivering the boxes last year at the Port of Houston.

Christmas Boxes for Port of Houston Seafarers 2015

We invite you to participate in this caring ministry of MLLC.  The Lutheran Men in Mission of MLLC will again prepare the Christmas Boxes of Port of Houston Seafarers. This is a ministry which brings cheer, God’s love, and practical gifts to people from around the world who must be away from family at Christmas. Between now and Thanksgiving weekend 2015 we invite you to collect items for the Men in Mission to pack for the seafarers. A collection station for these items will be set up during September. Last year there were 34 boxes assembled. Here is the address to our web page article about last year’s efforts: https://mllccarmine.com/2014/12/07/christmas-boxes-for-houston-seafarers/

The men on the ships truly appreciate the love and hospitality offered by these Christmas Boxes. Think about your life. Most of us get to be home every night with family and/or near friendly neighbors. Those who work in shipping are away from home for months at a time. They are thankful for the work, but they miss their families, friends and home communities.

The Port of Houston Chaplains are our ambassadors to these seafarers. They visit the ships and bring the boxes to the crews. On their web site the chaplains tell us: “Crew sizes vary between 8 and 30, with an average number of 22 seafarers to gift per ship. In 2014, we placed 11,392 gifts on board 512 ships which had seafarers from 69 different countries! These gifts had been donated to the seafarers by 223 churches and organizations! The Christmas boxes are personally carried to each ship by your staff of Port Chaplains.” Their web site is: http://www.venturecd.net/SeafarersCenter.org/Home_Page.htm

With our work together at MLLC we can help reach even more with the love of Jesus Christ.

Here is the official notice about this program from the Port of Houston Chaplains.  Click this link.

Please gather items such as these for the men on the ships:
Empty shoe boxes or purchased plastic shoe boxes to pack the items.
Address books
Band-aids (fabric)
Baseball caps
2016 Calendars
Comb
Dental Floss
Antiperspirant/deodorant
Disposable razors
Flashlight and batteries
Kleenex – small packs
Lip balm
Lotion
Nail clippers
Gold Bond cream
Gold Bond powder
Hot Chocolate (individual serving size)
Needles and thread
Q-tips
Shaving cream
Soap
Shampoo
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Gum and hard candy
Key chains
Pocket-sized notebooks
Mechanical pencils
Pens
Playing cards
Microwave popcorn
Socks
Sudoku books
Texas souvenirs
T-shirts
USB flash drives
Word search books

Labor Day Weekend Sunday 2015

people working

Special Worship and Sunday School Times for Sunday, September 6, on Labor Day Weekend

Also, remember our Fellowship Pot-Luck after worship this Sunday.

See reflections on Labor Day after these notes about the time changes.

These are times for Sunday, September 6, 2015 only.

We will resume our regular schedule on the weekend of September 12-13.

*Sunday School at 9:00 a.m.
All regular classes will be in session for the new Sunday School Year

*Worship at 10:15 a.m.
We will gather in the Fellowship Hall. Worship will be “in the round”.

*Fellowship Meal – Pot Luck at ~11:30 a.m.
We will reconfigure some of the Fellowship Hall space for our meal together.

*The Plan for Food: The church committees are providing pulled pork and buns, onions, pickles, and sauce, along with basic drinks. You are invited to bring a side, salad or dessert to share with others.

*What to Wear: You are invited to wear to worship the typical garb or uniform of your daily work. This could be your current work, your work before retirement, or the vocation you have chosen for the future following school.

Labor Day Weekend Worship

By Pastor David Tinker

The beginning of September brings a Holy Day of sorts for all of us. Labor Day is a civic holiday to celebrate the opportunity for work. As Lutheran Christians we go deeper with this and view all work as part of God’s calling and his provision of our daily bread. All Christians are doing the work of God, regardless of where or what they do in their honorable vocation in life.

Some time ago I discovered a concise statement written by a fellow Lutheran pastor regarding the Lutheran Christian understanding of vocation. Here is an excerpt of what Pastor Samuel Schuldheisz, Redeemer Lutheran Church (LC-MS) of Huntington Beach, CA, writes, “… our earthly vocations or “stations in life” as Luther called them are fruits of our heavenly calling as God’s children in baptism. The purpose of vocation is to love and serve the neighbor in the particular stations in life that God has called us to whether we are a husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, teacher, student, etc. We don’t live life hidden in a corner. This was the danger of many priests and monks in the Reformation era. Many taught that the highest form of Christian living was to become a monk and live in a monastery. Luther wrote extensively against this false teaching as he re-discovered the doctrine of vocation and began to teach and preach about its necessity in the Christian life. Luther taught that on one level, there is no difference between monk and magistrate or priest and plumber. Each Christian is called according to God’s Word and Spirit, regardless of what their status in society is. This means that God’s calling of a Roadkill Collector is just as holy as God’s calling to be a pastor.

The difference is the office and duties that are unique to each vocation. For example, the pastoral office is not the office of school teacher, just as the office of father is not the same as the office of mother. Each vocation, or calling from God, has particular and unique duties attached to it. This is how God works in, with, and under the ordinary means of this life to accomplish His good and gracious will, physically and spiritually.”

To celebrate this blessing of vocation we will be taking the Sunday of Labor Day weekend to give thanks for the blessings of daily bread, of work, of school, of family, etc. To enhance our time together you are invited to wear the clothes or uniform of your current or pre-retirement vocation. No matter what, know that we will be giving thanks for and honoring all that God has called each of us to do as part of his greater work in the world. Know that who each of us is and what God has called and equipped each of us to do is important. On Sunday, September 6, we will take time to give thanks for all which God calls and equips us to do. As part of this we will have a pot-luck lunch following worship. Bring an salad, side item or dessert to share.

We look forward to seeing you September 6 and on other Sundays in the weeks to come.