BRIGHT STARS OF BETHLEHEM BRINGS THE
“ROOM FOR HOPE FESTIVAL” TO HOUSTON
FOR SEPTEMBER EDITIONS
August 8, 2017
A vibrant celebration of peace is coming to Houston in October, as Bright Stars of Bethlehem presents the 7th Annual Room for Hope Festival.
The festival offers several opportunities to experience the traditional music, dance and food of the Holy Land, as well as hearing from world-renowned peacemaker, Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb.
Festival performance at Kinsmen Lutheran Church
The first festival performance will take place Wednesday, October 11, at Kinsmen Lutheran Church in northwest Houston.
Dance and theater performers, ages 15 to 25, from Diyar Academy for Children and Youth in Bethlehem will perform traditional Debka dances, with live music from the George Lammam Ensemble. These young performers will electrify you with a celebration of Palestinian culture and history through traditional Arab folk dance, which is used by the school to promote creativity, imagination, and freedom of expression.
As part of the celebration, world-renowned peacemaker Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb will also speak words of hope and encouragement, and give updates from Bethlehem and the region.
The performance will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 11, at Kinsmen Lutheran Church, 12100 Champion Forest Drive in Houston, 77066. An informal dinner of Texas barbecue will be served from 5:45 to 6:45. There is no charge for the event, but a free will offering will be taken.
International Panel Forum on Peace
Next on the festival lineup is an International Panel Forum from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, October 13, at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, 6100 Main Street in Houston, 77005.
The Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb will join other highly respected leaders to discuss the intersection of religion and politics, and the role of Palestinian Christians in peace-making today.
The panel discussion is free of charge and open to the public.
Fine Arts Festival
lFinally, the Room for Hope Festival culminates in a high-energy, inspiring celebration of the arts from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, October 13 at First Presbyterian Church of Houston.
The Fine Arts Festival will include performances by the Diyar Academy Dance Troupe and George Lammam Ensemble, as well as films created by students at Dar al-Kalima University in Bethlehem and a culinary feast featuring the best of Palestine. The Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb will also speak at the event.
Tickets to the Fine Arts Festival are $15 and may be purchased at www.brightstarsbethlehem.org/room-for-hope-festival. The event will take place at First Presbyterian Church of Houston, 5300 Main Street, Houston, TX 77004.
About Bright Stars of Bethlehem
Bright Stars of Bethlehem is a U.S. charitable organization that supports outreach programs to serve the people of Palestine and build hope for a brighter future. The mission of Bright Stars of Bethlehem is to develop partnerships that grow hope, nurture creativity and transform lives through programs that include a creative school for children, an arts and culture focused university, and services for older adults throughout the Holy Land and beyond.
For more information, please visit brightstarsbethlehem.org.
LEARNING TO LISTEN WITH THE EAR OF YOUR HEART
FOR JULY OR AUGUST EDITIONS – June 20, 2017
There’s a very special ministry at Kinsmen Lutheran Church. It’s one that operates quietly, often behind the scenes. Yet it’s making a lasting impact throughout our community.
“Kinsmen meets the needs of our community in many ways,” said the Rev. Beth Warpmaeker, senior pastor of Kinsmen Lutheran Church. “One of those ways is by responding to the growing number of assisted living facilities that are being built. We have a passion for serving the residents of those communities, and would love for others to join us in reaching out to them.”
As a designated center for Community of Hope International, Kinsmen trains lay people to serve in pastoral care at hospitals, assisted living centers, or anywhere they feel called. Over the course of 14 weeks, the training guides participants through the tenants of Benedictine Spirituality—which center around balance, humility, and hospitality—as well as teaching practical lessons on how to minister to others.
“Listening is a gift,” said Lynnae Schatz, Director of Congregational Life for Kinsmen and director of their Community of Hope center. “So the whole purpose of Community of Hope is to listen with the ear of your heart. Our lay chaplains take the opportunity, one on one, to listen to those who have a need—whether they are grieving, facing a health concern, or even celebrating a joy such as the birth of a baby.”
The next Community of Hope training will begin Tuesday, August 22 and continue through November 28 (no class the week of Thanksgiving). Training is open to the community, and the course fee is just $50. An application form is due two weeks prior to the start of class and may be obtained by contacting Lynnae at 281.444.3127, ext. 43 or email@example.com.
After completing their training, lay chaplains choose for themselves where they wish to serve. Kinsmen currently has 24 lay chaplains who serve in hospitals, cancer ministries, assisted living centers and more. Along with their service, the lay chaplains gather each month to build relationships with each other, debrief, and continue learning in what’s known as the Circle of Care.
Lynnae recalls one lay chaplain who was a little nervous the first time she arrived to lead worship at a memory care facility. But over the course of the morning she saw the impact that the gift of her time was making. She saw a son sitting with his elderly mother, and the woman was not very engaged until the music began. As his mother started to sing, the son’s eyes filled with tears. The lay chaplain also received sincere thanks from one of the staff members, who was working Saturdays and Sundays at the facility and unable to attend services at her own congregation. The staff member was deeply grateful for the opportunity to worship together.
“My anxiety faded away in the process of sharing God,” the lay chaplain later wrote. “I felt I had gained the most.”
Simple acts of being present and humbly serving others is what Community of Hope is all about. And if the thought of that makes your heart beat fast, Lynnae encourages you to attend the training to learn more.
“This program inspires people to share the gifts they have been so freely given, so that others can experience God’s grace,” says Lynnae. “It truly is a ministry of the heart.”
REGISTRATION UNDERWAY FOR CAMP HOPE AT KINSMEN LUTHERAN CHURCH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 25, 2017
Registration is currently underway for Camp Hope at Kinsmen Lutheran Church. Designed for students entering kindergarten through 7th grade, Camp Hope takes place at the church in July and is led entirely by high school and college students, many of whom grew up attending Camp Hope themselves.
Kinsmen Lutheran Church invites area children to become an “Agent of Hope” this summer at Camp Hope.
Held at the church for three weeks in July, Camp Hope is more than VBS and more than a summer day camp. It’s a place where Bible stories come alive, faith becomes real and mentoring relationships are formed—all through the leadership of passionate teens and young adults.
“Camp Hope is unique because it is led entirely by high school and college students, many of whom grew up attending Camp Hope themselves,” said the Rev. Mark England, Pastor to Youth, Family and Groups at Kinsmen. “The students bring energy and passion to their leadership, which results in a highly engaging experience for kids.”
Camp Hope will be held for three weeks in July (July 10-14, 17-21, and 24-28) and is designed for children entering kindergarten through seventh grade. Families can choose to register their child for one, two, or all three weeks. Hours of the camp are 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with before and after care available from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
This year’s theme for Camp Hope is “Agents of Hope.” Each day will center around a story from the Bible, with every activity—games, crafts, worship, drama, small group time and even snacks—pointing back to the story of the day.
“My son enjoys everything about Camp Hope,” said Stephanie Howard, whose 9-year-old has been attending Camp Hope for the past three summers. “A lot of it is the leaders. You can tell they want to be there, and they all seem to have such passion for it.”
All activities take place at Kinsmen Lutheran Church, with the exception of service projects throughout the community for older campers. The church is located at 12100 Champion Forest Drive in Houston, 77066.
To register for Camp Hope or for more information, please visit www.kinsmenlutheran.org/camp or call Sara Ray, Director of Children’s Ministry and Outreach, at (281) 444-3127, ext. 17.
FINANCIAL PEACE FOR TEENS HOSTED BY KINSMEN LUTHERAN CHURCH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 9, 2017
Kinsmen Lutheran Church invites area high school students to a special Financial Peace course designed just for teens.
The three-week seminar will be held Wednesday evenings, April 19, 25 and May 3, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and offers practical wisdom for handling money well. All classes will take place at the church, 12100 Champion Forest Drive in Houston, 77066.
Each evening will include video teaching by Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruze, as well as group discussion. Students will learn things such as:
- How to be wise and generous with money
- How to budget and manage a checking account
- How to distinguish needs from wants
- How to save for emergencies, purchases, and even retirement
- How charitable giving can make an impact on the world
“As a youth pastor, I often hear young adults say they wish they had learned good money habits at an earlier age,” said Mark England, Pastor of Youth, Family and Groups at Kinsmen. “Rather than letting bad experiences be a teacher, we want to equip teens to develop sound financial habits so they can learn to budget, save for what’s important to them, and give to causes that can change the world today.”
Cost for the course is just $10, which includes a student workbook. All high school students are welcome and encouraged to attend. To register or learn more click here.
KINSMEN LUTHERAN CHURCH TO HOST
CRAWFISH BOIL FESTIVAL
IN CELEBRATION OF 45TH ANNIVERSARY
FOR RELEASE – April 2017
In celebration of their 45th Anniversary, Kinsmen Lutheran Church will host a Crawfish Boil and Festival for the entire community.
The event will take place Saturday, April 22 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and features a street party atmosphere with inflatables, children’s activities, country/Cajun/zydeco music by The Stringbenders, and much more.
“This community has been woven into the heart of Kinsmen from the beginning, which is why it seemed so appropriate to invite the whole community to our ‘birthday’ party,” said Rev. Beth Warpmaeker, senior pastor of Kinsmen Lutheran Church. “Our roots here go deep, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Tickets to the Crawfish Boil are $15 per person ($5 for children under 12), and include your choice of crawfish, hamburgers or hot dogs, as well as admission to all activities. Tickets may be reserved online at www.KinsmenLutheran.org or by visiting the church office. Guests can also learn about Kinsmen’s on-site summer camp for children, Camp Hope, and receive a discount on registration.
The anniversary celebration continues Sunday, April 23, at the 8:15, 9:30 and 11 a.m. worship services. Plans for the day include a burning of the mortgage to free up more money for mission and ministry, vision casting for the future, and special guests including the congregation’s founding pastor, Rev. John Wayne Harpel. A luncheon at 12:30 p.m. will feature the opening of a time capsule. Luncheon tickets are $10 per person ($5 for children) and may be reserved at www.KinsmenLutheran.org.
CELEBRATE EASTER AT KINSMEN LUTHERAN CHURCH
FOR RELEASE – April 2017
The community is warmly invited to attend Holy Week services at Kinsmen Lutheran Church, as well as a spectacular Eggstravaganza that’s fun for the whole family.
The week begins on Palm Sunday, April 9, with services at 8:15, 9:30 and 11 a.m. Everyone will receive a palm branch for the Procession of Palms, commemorating Jesus’ entry into the city of Jerusalem. Handmade quilts will also be on display in the sanctuary, before being donated to Lutheran World Relief.
Maundy Thursday service will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 13, followed by Good Friday services at noon and 7 p.m. Good Friday will be a time of prayer, adoration and confession as participants “Journey to the Cross” in a service of light and darkness.
Then on Saturday, April 15, bring the whole family for Eggstravaganza! This fun-filled event for all ages will take place on the Kinsmen grounds from 2 to 4 p.m. and features an egg hunt, inflatables, petting zoo, face painting, snacks and more. The event is free and the community is warmly invited to attend.
Finally, celebrate Easter at Kinsmen! Four services will be offered on Easter Sunday, April 16, including a Sunrise Service at 6:15 a.m., contemporary service at 9:30 a.m., and joyful festivals with brass at 8 and 11 a.m. Breakfast will also be served from 7 to 11 a.m.
“The events of Holy Week and Easter are central to our faith, as we celebrate the depth of God’s love for all people,” said Rev. Beth Warpmaeker, senior pastor of Kinsmen Lutheran Church. “It would be our joy to have you join us as we journey through this pivotal week together.”
KINSMEN LUTHERAN CHURCH OFFERS “THE ME I WANT TO BE”
AND FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 20, 2016
If your New Year includes resolutions about a few things you’d like to change in your life, Kinsmen Lutheran Church stands ready to help. A new sermon series, The Me I Want to Be, will begin Sunday, January 8, and Dave Ramsey’s course, Financial Peace University begins January 17.
The Me I Want to Be sermon series, based on the book by author and pastor John Ortberg, will examine the gap between where we are now, and who we could become with God’s help. It will weigh real-world barriers against promises found in the Bible, and will encourage you to develop purpose statements to identify where God is calling you and your household to grow and change.
“We believe God has a vision for our lives. God has given each one of us gifts and experiences to be used to bless and heal our world,” said Rev. Beth Warpmaeker, senior pastor of Kinsmen Lutheran Church. “So we invite you to allow God’s Spirit to guide your resolutions this year, and to join us on a journey toward an abundant and joy-filled life with Jesus.”
The Me I Want to Be sermon series will be taught by Rev. Warpmaeker and Rev. Mark England, pastor of Youth & Family Ministry at the church. Services are held at 5:30 p.m. Saturdays, and at 8:15, 9:30 and 11 a.m. on Sundays. The church is located at 12100 Champion Forest Drive in Houston, 77066, and all are welcome.
If finances are one of the challenges you face, Kinsmen will offer Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University beginning January 17. Through video teaching, class discussions and interactive small group activities, the course presents biblical, practical steps to get rid of debt, build savings, manage your money, and much more. This is the second year that Kinsmen has offered the course.
“Before this class, I never felt ‘in control’ of my finances,” said one participant who attended Financial Peace University at Kinsmen last year. “Now I have a plan, and confidence that I will make good decisions.”
Financial Peace University is open to the community and will be held on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. beginning January 17 and continuing through March 14. The cost is $80 per household, and partial scholarships may be available. To register or for more information, please visit www.kinsmenlutheran.org/events.
Kinsmen Lutheran Church is a congregation that strives to be rooted in faith and relevant to life. For more information, please visit www.KinsmenLutheran.org or call (281) 444-3126.
Caption: To help get your new year off to a great start, Kinsmen Lutheran Church invites the community to a new weekend series, The Me I Want to Be, taught by Pastor Beth Warpmaeker and Pastor Mark England. Kinsmen will also offer Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University beginning January 17.
KINSMEN LUTHERAN CHURCH TO HOST PRESENTATION FOR TEENS
ON HEALTHY DATING RELATIONSHIPS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 14, 2016
Kinsmen Lutheran Church invites local teens and their parents to a special presentation on the keys to a healthy dating relationship, as well as warning signs that a relationship is becoming abusive.
Presented by Chelsie Sargent, a licensed professional counselor, the workshop will equip teens and their parents to recognize the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships, educate them on the early warning signs of dating violence, and offer concrete advice on what to do if you find yourself in an abusive dating relationship. The presentation will also equip teens on how to speak up if they witness abusive behavior in the dating relationships of their peers.
The workshop will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, January 25, at Kinsmen Lutheran Church, 12100 Champion Forest Drive in Houston, 77066. Admission is free, but registration is requested at www.kinsmenlutheran.org. All are welcome.
Chelsie Sargent is an independent licensed professional counselor who has spoken at schools, conferences, churches and universities all over Texas on the issues of dating violence, sexting and technology safety. She is a member of the American Counseling Association and holds a bachelor’s degree from Abilene Christian University, as well as a Masters of Education degree in counseling and human development from Hardin Simmons University.
Kinsmen Lutheran Church is a congregation that strives to be rooted in faith and relevant to life. For more information, please visit www.KinsmenLutheran.org or call (281) 444-3126.
Caption: Kinsmen Lutheran Church invites teens and their parents to a special presentation on January 25 by Chelsie Sargent, licensed professional counselor. Chelsie will speak about healthy dating relationships, as well as warning signs that a relationship is becoming abusive.
PREPARE YOUR HEART FOR CHRISTMAS AT KINSMEN LUTHERAN CHURCH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 28, 2016
Kinsmen Lutheran Church will host events throughout the month of December designed to help prepare your heart and mind for Christmas. All events are free and the community is warmly invited to attend.
The month begins with a Fair Trade and Alternative Gift Fair on December 3 and 4. The third annual fair will feature many items from “The Cave” Gift Shop located in Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem. Other items will include olive wood carvings from the Holy Land, fair trade coffee, tea and chocolates, and alternative gifts in the form of donations to Reach Unlimited, World Hunger, and Central African Republic. The event takes place at the church from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, December 4. Admission is free.
Then on Sunday evening, December 4, enjoy a free holiday concert at 6 p.m. “A World of Carols,” part of the Abendmusik concert series, is sure to put you in the holiday spirit as Kinsmen’s music ministry presents Christmas readings and music from around the world. The concert will feature all of the church’s musicians—big and small, singing, ringing and more—for a celebration the whole family will enjoy.
Midweek worship services will be held during Advent on Wednesdays, November 30, December 7 and 14. As a special treat, the December 14 service will be led by children from throughout the ministries of Kinsmen. Services begin at 7 p.m. and include music and a meditation to prepare your heart to celebrate the birth of Christ.
“As Christians, Christmas is a highlight of the year because we celebrate God’s greatest gift of all time—Jesus,” said Rev. Beth Warpmaeker, senior pastor of Kinsmen Lutheran Church. “Yet we know this can be a busy, even stressful season for many people. So we invite you to come and be reminded—or discover for the first time—the peace, joy, hope and love that God so generously offers to everyone.”
Advent services conclude on Wednesday, December 21, with a special Longest Night worship service. This is a service for those who are grieving in some way, or for other reasons do not feel joy this season. The service begins at 7 p.m. and includes Holy Communion.
Finally, as the big day arrives, celebrate Christmas at Kinsmen! Services will be held on both Christmas Eve, December 24, and Christmas Day, December 25.
Christmas Eve candlelight services include a family service at 4 p.m., contemporary worship at 6 p.m., and traditional worship with a choir and brass instruments at 8 and 10 p.m. Holy Communion will be offered at each service.
On Christmas Day, gather your family and loved ones to celebrate with a joyful worship service at 10 a.m. on Sunday, December 25.
“This is such a special time of year, and we don’t want anyone to miss out on the significance of it,” said Rev. Warpmaeker. “I hope that many will visit Kinsmen for the first time, and allow God to use our congregation to be a blessing in their lives.”
Kinsmen Lutheran Church, located at 12100 Champion Forest Drive in Houston, 77066, is a congregation that strives to be rooted in faith and relevant to life. For more information, please visit www.KinsmenLutheran.org or call (281) 444-3126.