Tuesday, June 1, 2010

National Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 23-29, 2010

The 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially starts on June 1, 2010 and all MEDVAMC employees, volunteers, Veterans, and family members are encouraged to keep current with weather conditions. It is important to prepare your family for unexpected disasters and emergencies.

Talk with your supervisor now to find out if you are required to report to duty during an emergency situation. If you are required to report for duty, make plans to keep your family, pets, home, and property safe. The MEDVAMC is a shelter of last resort for families and pets.

Visit http://www.houston.va.gov/emergency/index.asp or www.hurricanes.gov/prepare for emergency preparedness tips, useful Web sites and telephone numbers, emergency preparedness guides, suggestions for a disaster supplies kit, and more.

Harris County has established storm evacuation zones for the Houston-Galveston area using zip codes. To find out if you live in an evacuation zone, visit http://www.hcoem.org/HCMap.aspx?P=Evacuation.

For VA updates and the latest VA emergency response information, call the MEDVAMC Emergency Information Hotline at (713) 794-8989 or 1-800-553-2278, ext. 8989.

If you would like to have MEDVAMC updates delivered to your private e-mail address during emergency situations, please send the address to bobbi.gruner@va.gov. If you previously signed up for these updates, you must resubmit your email address.

Hurricane Awareness Tips

When Local Officials Call For An Evacuation:
When there is a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, fill your gas tank and keep it full. Start monitoring radio and TV broadcasts -- and listen to instructions from local officials. Hurricanes may take several days to arrive. Make evacuation plans before the storm. Get your emergency supply kit ready to go -- with food, water, batteries, and other supplies. When local officials call for a mandatory evacuation, follow instructions.

Emergency Supply Kit:
Emergencies and disasters can happen any time. Keep emergency supplies on hand in your home, office, and car - especially during hurricane season. You will need non-perishable food, water, and batteries. You will also need cash, credit cards, copies of medical prescriptions, and insurance information. Do not forget medications, special health care needs, and products for yourself, babies, or the elderly. When local officials call for a mandatory evacuation, top off your gas tank before you get on the road.

On The Road in an Evacuation:
Hurricanes are extremely dangerous. Make evacuation plans in advance. Keep highway maps in your car and learn evacuation routes before the storm. When local officials call for a mandatory evacuation - highways will be crowded. Watch for Texas department of transportation highway signs - and listen to your car radio. Remember, make travel plans in advance, monitor TV and radio -- and expect your trip to take longer than usual.

Family Communications in Emergencies:
When disaster strikes, your family needs a place to call and a place to meet. Plan ahead to keep in touch. Choose a location in your town to meet if your neighborhood is blocked off. When local telephones do not work, you may still be able to call out-of-state. Choose a friend or relative out of state -- and teach your kids the phone number. Remember, plan for emergencies with your family. Choose a place to call and a place to meet.

Leave Early With Fragile Family Members:
Hurricanes are dangerous and unpredictable. Make special plans for babies - the elderly - and medically fragile family members. It will take much longer to travel during a mandatory evacuation. Make sure your emergency kit includes supplies and equipment for special health care needs - and supplies for babies and the elderly. Make travel easier for family members with special needs. Leave before the official evacuation begins.

Leave Early If You Have Special Health Care Needs:
When a hurricane threatens, be prepared. It will take much longer to travel during a mandatory evacuation. If you have got special health care needs - and you can travel on your own – it is a good idea to leave ahead of the crowd. Make your evacuation plans in advance. Bring special medical supplies along with your emergency kit. Learn your routes ahead of time. Avoid crowded highways. Leave early - before a mandatory evacuation begins.

Traveling With Extra Vehicles? Leave Early:
When a hurricane threatens, be smart. Do not make traffic worse. If you have extra vehicles, get them out early - before a mandatory evacuation. If you wait until the mandatory evacuation - take only one vehicle. Remember, if you want to travel with a boat, a camper, an extra car, or truck – do not crowd the highways. Get these extra vehicles out of the evacuation zone before local officials order a mandatory evacuation.

Hurricane Watch and Hurricane Warning:
Hurricanes are dangerous and unpredictable. They can get much stronger - and change directions -- in a matter of hours. A hurricane watch means a hurricane is about 36 hours away. A hurricane warning means a hurricane will hit your area in 24 hours. When a storm is anywhere in the Gulf of Mexico, be prepared to evacuate. Make your evacuation plans now -- before a storm. And get your emergency supplies together now -- before a storm.

Life-Threatening Emergency:
If you have a life-threatening emergency, immediately call 911. Do not wait until the storm is upon you, the police and rescue teams will not be able to assist you at that time. Prepare your personal or family evacuation plan now.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Please join us wherever your schedule permits

Grace and peace to all. Blessings to all Mothers, Aunts, and special Moms on this upcoming Mother’s Day weekend. Here are a few updates and invitations that I want to share with each of you. Please check them out and join us wherever your schedule permits. The happenings are: Just want to invite all to worship together and hear a great message from Dr. Willie Henry on Mother’s Day Sunday, May 9th at Spring Woods UMC; located at 1711 FM 1960, Houston, TX 77273. He will bring the Word at both 9:30 and 11:00 am services. Come and share the morning!

  1. Pastor King is inviting you to take a road trip to hear her preach on Pentecoat Sunday, May 23rd at Bethlehem UMC; located at 715 8th Street, Hempstead, TX 77445. Worship begins at 11:00 am on Pentecost Sunday and we hope you will be with us that glorious Sunday.
  2. Come together to celebrate all graduates on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at St. Mary’s UMC – 6731 Scott Street, Houston, TX 77021. Please make plans to join us at 9:45 am to pray and process together into worship, which begins at 10:15 am. Invite your friends and family to join us and I will be preaching for this service. Also, Sunday is the Wiley College Celebration at St. Mary’s UMC. Let’s come together for all our graduates on that Sunday.
  3. There will be great worship celebrations this year at the Texas Annual Conference, which will be held at The Woodlands UMC – 2200 Lake Woodlands Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77380 on Sunday, May 30th through Wednesday, June 2nd. On Monday, May 31st there will be a Gospel Celebration that you don’t want to miss. Mark your calendar and be in the sanctuary for the pre-worship starting at 6:45 pm. There will be many blessed opportunities to worship that evening and you don’t want to miss any of them!
  4. Starting June 1, 2010, I will be appointed to serve at First United Methodist Church in College Station, Texas as Senior Pastor. The church is located at 1125 Wellborn Rd., College Station, TX 77840. Keep us in your prayers as we prepare to pack, move, and transition to a new community to make disciples for Jesus Christ. Look for more details in the days to come.
  5. Save the date of Sunday, June 27, 2010 to join us for the Church Anniversary Worship Experience at First UMC- College Station. More details are forthcoming!

Thanks for being a part of growing a faith community from the ground up. We worked together through an awesome faith experience that was second to none. Each of you is special to Donel and I in so many ways. We pray all have found or will find in the near future a place to call home as you serve the Lord. Love the Lord and let the Lord love you back…remember “Meet God @ Anytime” is still real!

Live Blessed @ All times,
Pastor Jacqui and Donel King

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Virtual Community, Real Relationships

By Pastor Jacqui King
God is doing a new thing! That is the proclamation from the prophet Isaiah. In the world of technology, new things are happening every day. New technology offers the church new tools with which to share the gospel message and to invite people to experience new life.

Imagine receiving a text message that saves you from mak­ing an unnecessary trip. That's time-saving communication. How about a text message reminding you to pray at 12:00 noon each day? That is soul-saving communication. It is just a little re­minder that you may appreciate receiving from your small group leader. This is just one example of how technology is enabling the church to reach new people in new ways.

What if a new small group study was being designed to in­vite people to grow spiritually together? The standard ways for developing this group might include establishing location, time, selecting materials, and training leadership teams to help facilitate the groups. In the digital age, however, social networks and real­time online discussion can offer additional ways for the group to gather for study and fellowship.

Online tools like a Facebook group or a portal on your church website can supplement face-to-face gatherings by letting discus­sion continue after the class or group meeting has ended and by communicating administrative announcements to the entire group in one place. The web can also provide an alternative to face-to-face meetings altogether, using websites like Skype (www. skype.com) and Talkshoe (http://www.talkshoe.com/).

The Nu Faith Community, a new church plant I was called to lead in the Texas Annual Conference, began with Bible studies that met both online and in person. The face-to-face group of twelve persons met at my home at 6:30 p.m. and then the online group met at 8:30 p.m., through a "community call" on Talkshoe. Although the Bible study material was the same, the Internet broadened the audience, enabling people to join in without leav­ing their homes. Families were invited to study the Bible togeth­er live every Thursday evening, getting people more acquainted with others in the new church community and with the biblical stories behind the preaching passages for the upcoming Sunday message.Some churches have gone beyond social and study gather­ings online by giving worship an online alternative as well. Sim­ple ways to do this are by offering podcasts (audio recordings) or streaming video of past worship services. Some churches post just the sermon, while others include the entire worship experi­ence. These options provide a way for people to get a feel for your church before visiting, or for people unable to attend on the weekend to have an opportunity to worship

A more recent innovation is to create a virtual worship expe­rience with as many components of the live experience as pos­sible. These so-called "online campuses" offer video of their live worship service at a particular time, and those watching the ser­vice online at the same time can chat with one another before and after the service, offering some of the same fellowship and discussion one might have surrounding a live service. Some also provide opportunities to submit prayer requests or contribute to the offering.

As central to people's lives today as the Internet is, it is only natural for churches to use the many tools and opportunities the web provides in order to reach people where they are. When we began Nu Faith, we started with a strong web presence at http://www.nufaith.org/ that provided information about face-to-face gatherings and also various ways to ask questions, but the site was also consistently updated with dynamic data about events in the Houston area that would draw people to our website via general Internet searches. Our slogans, "Come as You Are" and "Meet God @ Anytime," set up the expectation of acceptance and availability that our new faith community would provide both in person and on the web.

Technology was a tool for us to connect and introduce new people to faith experiences, but it also offered economic benefits for our developing congregation. As the necessity to connect met with increasing gas prices and an all-around rough economy, we brainstormed more ways to connect weekly online, as opposed to establishing additional face-to-face meetings. We created an electronic newsletter called eNews, and set up a phone tree call­ing service and text messaging to communicate with new families. Such innovations are easy to implement with a new congregation that doesn't have expectations about how things "should be" or "always have been," but all churches can still use new technolo­gies to help longtime members rethink outreach and connection in a new era.Although face-to-face communications are important in building trust, evangelism today involves making inten­tional connections virtually that may lead to future face-to-face connections. Reaching a new generation for Jesus Christ requires using technology. Many people today who are resistant to attending a worship service in person will participate in social networks and other online media. Ask­ing what means of technology is needed to touch the hearts of the unchurched and others who do not feel comfortable within existing congregations is central to making a new place for new people in the twenty-first century.

Published in the
February/March/April 2010
Vol. 34, No. 2© 2010•
by The United Methodist Publishing House•
ISSN 0146-9924201 Eighth Avenue South
P. O. Box 801
Nashville, TN 37202

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Internet Prayer for Haiti

Keep the prayer going....
Lord, I just want to say THANK YOU,
because this morning I woke up and knew where my children were.

Because this morning my home was still standing,
Because this morning I am not crying
because my husband, my child, my brother or sister needs to be buried out from underneath a pile of concrete,
because this morning I was able to drink a glass of water,
because this morning I was able to turn on the light,
because this morning I was able to take a shower,
because this morning I was not planning a funeral,
but most of all I thank you this morning because I still have life and a voice to cry out for the people of Haiti.

Lord I cry out to you, the one that makes the impossible, possible, the one that turns darkness into light, I cry out that you give those mothers strength, that you give them peace that surpasses all understanding,
that you may open the streets so
that help can come, that you may provide doctors, nurses, food, water, and all that they need in a blink of an eye.

For all those that have lost family members, give them peace,
give them hope,
give them courage to continue to go on!

Protect the children and shield them with your power. I pray all this in the name of Jesus!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

20 Tips for a Positive New Year

1. Take a 10-30 minute “Thank you” walk every day. While you walk practice gratitude. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. Buy a TIVO, tape your late night shows and get more sleep—it’s the ultimate energizer.

4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement: My purpose is to___________ today.

5. Live with the 3 E's. Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy.
6. Read more books than you did in 2007.

7. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, tai chi, qigong and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.

8. Do the “one thing” you have always wanted to do.

9. Dream more while you are awake.

10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less foods that are manufactured in plants.

11. Mentor someone and be mentored by someone.

12. Engage in daily random acts of kindness.

13. Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing positive energy into your life.

14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.

18. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:
I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished____________.

19. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

20. Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy it.
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