From the Pastor's Desk: Rev. Kevin Henderson
Welcome to the Website of the Sunrise Beach Federated Church! As pastor I would like to extend a warm invitation to you to come and worship God with us in this beautiful location in the Texas hill country. Among our members and guests on Sunday mornings are full-time residents of Sunrise Beach and the surrounding communities, “week-enders” who generally have a primary residence in other cities, and those who may be vacationing or otherwise enjoying the Highland Lakes area of the hill country.
Our worship style could be considered a more traditional worship in the Reformed Tradition. We celebrate Holy Communion on the first Sunday of each month, and generally invite a guest preacher on the fifth Sunday in a given month. Against that background we are informal in our attire and in our participation in worship. In short, we are a loving and fun-loving bunch. Our service (9:30-10:30 a.m.) is punctuated by prayer, joy, a sense of hope, and a love of singing praises to God! We share with one another our joys and sorrows and our prayer concerns for our members, families of members, and friends. We have an aptly named “show choir” that consists of whomever shows up and wants to join the choir on a particular Sunday. We share a diversity of theological thought, and I love questions! We cherish that we come together in love and worship Holy God despite any differences of opinions on a whole host of issues. Having been a part of the life of Sunrise Beach Federated Church for nearly 4 years, I can honestly say that our sign out front “Everyone is Welcome” is genuinely heartfelt by the congregation.
Our name includes the word “federated” as part of our heritage and the founding of our church by three ministers of differing denominations that are now knowns as the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Methodist Church, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ. We are not a “non-denominational” church in the sense that we dislike denominational affiliation. Rather, we celebrate that our congregation is made up of many different denominations and no denominations. Having members from across the spectrum of denominational heritages and a policy that no one needs to disassociate with previous denominational membership enriches us. Our diversity is important to our identity and how we dialogue about and participate in our ministry of service to Jesus Christ our Lord.
We attempt to continue to live out the vision of our “three founding pastors” to establish a Christian witness here in the Texas hill country that is based on, first of all, faith in Jesus Christ as resurrected Lord, nurtured by an abiding love, and energized by the common hope that God is at work in us and through us to bring about God’s own redemptive ends in this world. We have a close association with Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and our pastor emeritus, John Alsup was a member of the faculty at APTS throughout most of his tenure as our pastor. We have welcomed more than 75 student ministers from the seminary, most of whom have gone on to serve churches of many different denominations. We love to hear from them on occasion and the many ways in which they continue to do ministry. I came to Sunrise Beach as a student minister in 2014, continuing to serve with John Alsup following graduation and becoming ordained by the church in 2018 and now serving as Interim Pastor.
In addition to our Sunday worship, we engage in community outreach through contributions and personal service. We support many benevolent causes and disaster relief. Pastoral counseling is available by appointment in person or by phone. We have a long history of servings pastors to one another through our prayers, presence, and ministry to each other in times of need. We also love to fellowship with one another. We enjoy fellowship following each worship serve, including excellent refreshments and conversation our fellowship hall. We hold monthly Potluck suppers, a Saturday men’s breakfast and women’s breakfast, weekly Bible studies at various times throughout the year, a third Sunday Christian Education event during fellowship, and special occasions - like a Blessing of the Animals – and other activities you will enjoy.
I am happy to talk with anyone about the church, my vision of our ministry, or any other topic. Please join us. Everyone is welcome!
Sermons (audio files) from last two months can be found at Monthly Sermons