3.27 Church Notes - The Monitor: News

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Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2009 12:00 am

EDINBURG - St. Joseph Catholic Church of Edinburg Parish Festival will be today through Sunday at the corner of 10th and Sprague. There will be carnival rides, cook-off, food booths, game booths, car raffle rides and games for all ages, all types of carnival foods with different cook offs each day. There will also be a Toyota Hybrid Car Raffle. This festival is very important to us, we are raising money for a new magnificent church to be built on the ground at 1oth and Sprague.

EDINBURG -Pastor David Trexler is coming from Maryland to preach at the Edinburg Church, located at 602 W. Wisconsin Road across from (Sheriff's Posse Arena). All are invited, especially the Deaf community at 10:30 am. tomorrow. There will be a meal afterwards.

ELSA - New nationwide report reveals that Self-Help Groups can help support people battling addictive behaviors. Self-Help Groups often are used in conjunction with specialty treatment and to support individuals seeking help or sustaining their recovery. Power Church, located at 600 N. Broadway St. in Elsa invite you to their Self-Help group meetings every Sunday evening at 7 p.m. This is free of charge.

HARLINGEN - The South Texas Chorale, under the direction of Dianne Brumley, will present its annual spring Masterworks Concert this Sunday at 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church. The Chorale, which is highly regarded across the Southwest, will present "Masterworks For the Easter Season," featuring "The Seven Last Words of Christ." Tickets are $15 (student $5 with ID) and are available at the Harlingen Municipal Box Office (956) 216-5990) from Chorale members and at the door. For information and tickets in the Laguna Madre area, call (956) 943-1208.

MCALLEN - St. Paul Lutheran Church & School invites you to our Spring Benefit Auction tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the Activities Center. All school alumni are especially welcomed. The Honorable J. D. Salinas will be the Auctioneer for the Live Auction with Silent and White Board Auctions offered as well. Special raffle items will be featured that evening. A menu of finger foods will be served with plenty of fun for everyone at the admission cost of $10. Child care and a pizza party will be available to children 6 years old and younger at no charge. If you would like to donate an item, contact Gail Cyphers, Auction Coordinator, at (956) 630-6645. Sponsorships are welcomed. Tickets may be purchased by contacting Dr. Kathy Lang, Principal, or the Church Office at (956) 682-2345. Visit us as www.stpaulmcallen.com or stop by our school at 300 W. Pecan Blvd. at 2nd St.

MCALLEN - "Reality" is the topic for this Sunday's 10:30 a.m. service at McAllen's Christian Science Church and Sunday School. The Golden Text or theme citation is from James 1:17, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Church Founder Mary Baker Eddy also writes, "All reality is in God and His creation, harmonious and eternal. That which He creates is good, and He makes all that is made." This "Reality" theme will also be explored in our Sunday School and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening Testimonial Meetings held at the Church, 911 N. Main St. At this same location Church Reading Room hours are Tuesday 5 to 8 p.m. and Thursday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Also First Friday Art Walk 6 to 8 p.m. All are welcome. Please call (956) 686-4241 during Reading Room hours for more information. The Sunday service provides a Spanish translation.

MERCEDES - Immanuel Lutheran Church located at the corner of 3rd and Washington will be having a Window Rededicating Service this Sunday, starting with a Coffee Hour in the Church Fellowship Hall, afterwards a 10 a.m. Service will held and immediately following this service a catered dinner will be served at the Church Fellowship Hall. The Immanuel Lutheran Church congregation has raised money to repair and restore the stained glass windows that adorn the sanctuary in honor of the upcoming centennial celebration. A firm located in Fredericksburg, Texas, that specializes in the work of stained glass has been working to restore the windows, by cleaning the panes inside and out, plus some have been transported to their studio for repair. All who attended Immanuel Lutheran School and Church and the community are invited to this event. For more information, call Bob Eilers at (956) 565-2181 or the Immanuel Church Office at (956) 565-1518.

MISSION- Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered program for anyone struggling with a hurt, habit or hang-up meets every Friday at 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church, located at 1302 Doherty. For more information, call Debbie Cruz at (956) 890-6198 or First Baptist Church at (956) 585-1442.

PHARR - Destiny Through Christ Church is celebrating the grand opening of their new location this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The church is located at 1201 W. Polk Ave. between Jackson Rd. and Expy. 83. The DTC Worship Band will lead a dynamic worship experience and Pastor Rudy Beltran will be sharing an inspiring message on "Having A Vision for Life". Destiny Through Christ Church also welcomes Joan Murray of Joan Murray Ministries located in Houston. Joan Murray recently appeared on the worldwide Daystar Television Network and her new book "Called and Chosen for Destiny" went on sale nationwide last month. Everyone is invited and welcome. For more information, visit www.DestinyThroughChrist.com.

SAN JUAN - As the Rev. Dr. Ruth and Dr. Bill Gnagey close out their service in this Winter Texan season at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hidalgo County at the 10:30 a.m. service, they will have begun the second 50 years of service by this congregation. And in their leaving with the question of, "How Old Are You?" the congregation will continue to represent the liberal faith that seeks responsible and compatible relationships with all religions, cultures, races, genders and sexual preferences in the community. Child care and religious education is provided for the children. At 9:30 a.m. the Adult Forum will continue its consideration of their theological and spiritual maturity in comparison with their psychological and social maturity.

WESLACO - We are preparing for our 2009-2010 school registration. Open enrollment will begin April 6 at First Christian Academy, located at 521 S. Illinois. If information is needed, call (956) 968-9030. We believe our school is one of the best private schools in the mid valley, and we want to extend the invitation to all who are interested.

UNITY OF THE VALLEY:

At the 10:30 a.m. Worship Celebration Service this Sunday, March 29, Unity of the Valley's Spiritual Leader, Licensed Unity Teacher Michael J. Scales, will present the Sunday Lesson, titled "How to Transform Your Life."

Have you ever noticed that we live in a restless society? Sometimes it seems that a tiny percentage of the people in the industrialized world are truly happy, contented, and at peace with themselves and the world. There appears to be an underlying drive, perhaps even a compulsion, to find something, some elusive treasure that, when found, will bring lasting happiness. We see people striving for money, fame, power and status everywhere we turn, and they are spurred on their quest by the culturally-conditioned belief that, when they achieve these things, they will be satisfied and happy. More often than not, however, people arrive at the destination of their search only to find that the prize fails to deliver the fulfillment they thought it would. One wonders if this is simply an inevitable aspect of the human condition - to seek happiness only to have it elude us.

What people in fact appear to be seeking is something that will transform their lives from their current, unsatisfying state into a state or a form that is satisfying and joyful. The great spiritual traditions of the world address this issue of human fulfillment as their primary object of concern. There is that in the human spirit that is, indeed, seeking something - something very specific. Spiritual teachers have always held that this thing we are seeking is within our grasp and that it can bring us lasting satisfaction, peace and fulfillment. Why is it, then, that it seems to be so difficult to attain? The universal answer to this question is that we are looking for this source of positive transformation in the wrong place. We are looking for it in the three-dimensional world outside us instead of boundless, spiritual realm within us.

Unity teaches that the reason humanity is so restless is that we are seeking fulfillment in the world around us, trying to bring things into our lives from the outside to fill an inner sense of emptiness. This emptiness, however, can't be fulfilled from without; it can only be fulfilled from within. This is great news because it means that the prize for which we are searching exists within us as the individualization of God's presence at the center of our being. Having lost our conscious awareness of this presence and our oneness with it, we are seeking to regain our living experience of oneness with God.

Perhaps this is what St. Paul was referencing when he wrote: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect" (Romans 12:2). It is the attempt to conform to the outer world that leads us away from our innate state of harmony with God, and Paul is quite possibly referring to a return to this state when he advises to "renew" our minds. Renewal, after all, is a process of returning something to its original, natural and unaltered state.

In light of these insights, it becomes clear that the prize for which we are seeking lies in establishing a living relationship with God, and that is the only way to lasting fulfillment. This is how we can transform our lives for the better. Noted Unity author H. Emilie Cady, expresses this truth beautifully: "Hitherto we have turned our hearts and efforts toward the external for fulfillment of our desires and for satisfaction, and we have been grievously disappointed. The hunger of everyone for satisfaction is only the dry of the homesick child for its Father-Mother god. It is only the Spirit's desire in us to come forth into our consciousness as more and more perfection, until we shall have become fully conscious of our oneness with All-Perfection. Man never has been and never can be satisfied with anything less" (Lessons in Truth, p. 23).

In his lesson, Scales will cover the steps that the individual can take to enliven the experience of God's presence in his or her mind and heart and allow it to do its transformative work in his or her world of affairs.

The following activities are available at Unity of the Valley on a weekly basis: Thursdays - "A Course in Miracles." The class begins at 7 p.m.

If you enjoy the writings of Stephen Covey, Eckhart Tolle, Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, the Dalai Lama, A Course in Miracles and the Daily Word, you'll enjoy a Unity Church Service. The "Daily Word" devotional magazine is published by Unity, and read by millions worldwide each day. Unity Village headquarters may be accessed on the Internet at www.unityworldhq.org, where you can also read today's Daily Word. Phone the church office at (956) 787-4411 for more information about church activities, classes and study groups. You may visit the church Web site at www.unityofthevalley.net. Unity of the Valley welcomes worshippers from all religious backgrounds and meets at 301 E. Polk in Pharr.

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