Hippopotamus Under My Tree

Hippopotamus Under My Tree

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By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletterDecember 7, 2017

I have come to love the traditions of Highland Hills during this season. Our church knows how to care for each other every day of the year, all the more so, during this season of Advent and Christmas. I am not sure that I am in the spirit of the season until I hear our youth and children sing hymns and carols after Family Night supper.

I’ve come to expect a heart-warming, smile-making, closing number designed to lift our hearts and send us out with a smile. This year my expectations were exceeded as the choirs closed the concert with “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.” It wasn’t the familiarity of the song, but the presence of a near life-size purple hippopotamus that really got me. Jackson Williams disappeared from the performance, only to reappear moments later with the big beautiful beast. “Hulga,” as I have affectionately named her, seemed to dance above the choir to the beat of the song while wearing a Santa hat. I needed that bit of sacred silliness to get ready for the season.

I need moments like the Live Nativity. Every year we gather in the amphitheater to hear the story of the Christ-child. Our very own church members accept roles and wear costumes. They become a new way of seeing shepherds or wisemen or angels. Each year, I am moved by the heart of our congregation in moments like this. This year we will see and hear the story of Christmas in a new context. I hope you will join me at the Live Nativity to remember the story of Christmas through the lives of people who’ve spent some time at the Hobo Hotel.

Next Wednesday we will gather for the Family Night Christmas party. Our Great room will be annexed by Whoville. I hope our greeters know to welcome all, even the Grinch, with care. All of our members are invited to dress appropriately, as a “who” or a “grinch.”

In this season the sacred, the silly, and the solemn combine. All of this leads us to worship on Christmas Eve… I can’t wait to light a candle and mark the end of Advent and the beginning of Christmas with you.

The Work of Christmas

The Work of Christmas

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, December 1, 2017

For those of you already busy with your Christmas lists, may this word from Howard Thurman bring comfort and challenge. 

A Thankful Heart

A Thankful Heart

by Cass DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, November 16, 2017

Twenty-five years ago, God provided a path that brought us together. Sometimes it seems like only yesterday that the Minister of Music Search Committee came to Buies Creek, NC and began the process that would bring us to Macon, GA and Highland Hills Baptist Church. However, when I look in the mirror and see the gray hairs and wrinkles I realize that a lot of time has gone by, but the years have been good and fruitful as we have ministered and worshipped together.

S.D.G

S.D.G

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, November 10, 2017

These three letters are found at the end of many musical compositions. What do they mean? At first glance, you might think they are the initials of the composer. You would be right, and wrong, both.

Hairnets and Hope

Hairnets and Hope

by Rev. Erin Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, November 2, 2017

[Enjoy this reflection from our 2016 Stop Hunger Now: Rise Against Hunger Event. Register for our 2017 event below.]

My friends and I made over 12,000 meals last Sunday afternoon.

If that number sounds staggering, it did to me, too. We hosted a meal-packing event with an organization called Stop Hunger Now. In less than two hours, we worked together to pour, package, seal and box thousands of meals. The meals will go to areas of the world where hunger and starvation are a crisis. We know that the number of people in this world who are hungry is staggering.

I Won't Back Down

I Won't Back Down

By Ruth DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter,October 20, 2017

Fall Saturdays at my house will find my family watching the Florida Gators play football. That’s what happens when you are married to a Florida boy who groomed his son to do the Gator chomp at the tender age of two.

Go Team!

Go Team!

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter,October 20, 2017

Last night our family night regulars gathered around the lawn holding signs and banners and shouting encouraging words to the riders in our Bike-a-Thon. Tamara Patterson and Renee Bennett each wore the names of their “rider” across their shirts. Conner Davis bolted off the starting line with a bunch of children and youth close behind him. Each time a rider rounded another lap, our church family shouted their name, waved their arms and yelled encouragement. Will Meeks rode as the youngest competitor in the long route, challenging his fellow participants to ride harder. Girard Jones mounted a bicycle built for two placing first for the “Young-at- Heart” and “Not-so-Evil Knievel” awards. His record was immediately smashed by Jim Bruner who broke the land speed record on the church grounds on a borrowed, vintage Schwinn.

Pastor Named Emerging Leader by NewTown Macon

Pastor Named Emerging Leader by NewTown Macon

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, October 13, 2017

Pastor Jake Hall was awarded an “Emerging Leader” award from NewTown Macon during the Parters in Progress awards ceremony. This annual event acknowledges people, groups and businesses who are leaders in the community.