On the Table Was No Joke

On the Table Was No Joke

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter October 11, 2018

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A pastor, a rabbi, an Imam, a teacher, an inmate, an educator, a publisher, a CEO and a college student walk into a house of worship.That isn't the beginning of joke, but a report from this week's "On the Table" event. Highland Hills opened our Great Room to have a conversations that matters. Tables all around Macon gathered fellow citizens to a common table.

Breakfast began at private table at Kingdom Life, a congregation on Shurlington not far from Highland Hills. Rev. Dominique Johnson invited fellow clergy, along with educators, entrepreneurs, corrections officers and club promoters to speak openly about challenges faced by at risk youth. Suddenly abstract issues like poverty, mental health, and essential services were embodies with the faces and names real people and real communities. Tear and ideas began creep into our dialogue.

Congregation Sha'arey Israel opened their doors for lunch and served the best pizza in Macon. (Ingleside Village) Imam Fofana and I sat with a table of women from three of our synagogues in Macon. We confessed how little we really know of the each others real life and wondered what it would be like to teach our kids about the cultures and faith traditions of our middle Georgia community.

Dinner, of course, was at Highland Hills. The Great Room was filled with a good mix of youth and adults from our congregation along with new friends and ministry partners from our community. Twelve tables chose a challenge in our community to address. Many of them admitted to the distance and divisions that we have in Macon. We brainstormed and prayed and mostly were honest about how hard it is to forge solutions.

Jesus knew that amazing things happen around the table. For me, the best solution to the root of our social issues was found in the gathering itself. The table might be the first best strategy to unite our community.

Remember to complete the survey from the event. Click the link here.

Hey Neighbor! Pull up a Chair

Hey Neighbor! Pull up a Chair

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter October 11, 2018

On Wednesday, October 17, our church family will participate in a community-wide gathering of friends and strangers around the tables in our Great Room. No, it won't be like our typical family night supper: you won't be at your typical table, you won't be sitting with your typical friends, you might have to introduce yourself to strangers. It will be different. Yet, at the same time, our "On the Table" partnership event will be all too typical of the kind of table fellowship Jesus offered to all people.

Hey Neighbor!

Hey Neighbor!

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter October 5, 2018

What do you think when you hear a knock at the door or the ring of a door bell? Well, it depends. If you are expecting friends or family to arrive, then you might exclaim with delight, “Oh! So glad you’re here!” Unexpected guests seem to evoke excitement or apprehension or a quick dash to tidy up the formal living room.

Do You Want to Live Longer? Sing in a Choir!

Do You Want to Live Longer? Sing in a Choir!

By Cass DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter September 27, 2018

Did you know that singing is good for your health? Studies have shown for years that singing, especially in a choral group, is great for your health. The actual act of singing helps your breathing, your posture, your blood pressure, your heart, and your brain.

Two Macon Pastors Discuss Race, Privilege And Community Engagement

Two Macon Pastors Discuss Race, Privilege And Community Engagement

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter September 20, 2018

In an episode of "Meet the Press" in April 1960, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said he thought it was one of the most "shameful tragedies of our nation that 11 o'clock on Sunday morning is one of the most segregated hours in Christian America." Nearly 60 years later, a pair of church leaders in Macon observed that not much had changed. The New Georgia Encyclopedia states Macon is home to more churches than any other city in the American South.

Birthday Surprises

Birthday Surprises

published in Family Matters eNewsletter September 13, 2018

Highland Hills,

Thank you for the birthday wishes and sweet notes on my big day. Special thanks to our youth group for delivering a message from Grandmother Hall, whom we call, “Big Mama.” It was a good day, indeed, though she is now convinced I need to learn my ABCs once more.

Know that I am ever thankful to pastor a church like Highland Hills.

~ Jake

Callings

Callings

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter September 7, 2018

It is with deep sadness that we accept Carol Brown’s resignation. For over Twenty-three years Carol has offered unparalleled care to our preschoolers and their families. How rare a gift it is to have a Preschool Minister with such a faithful tenure!

Walking the Road Together

Walking the Road Together

By Carol Brown

published in Family Matters eNewsletter August 30, 2018

(Carol read the following letter to the HHBC church family at the conclusion of the worship service on Sunday, August 26.)

As people of faith, we are each called by God to serve in a certain place and for a given time. I am so humbled that God has called me to serve in this wonderful place of ministry for the last 23 years but now the time has come for me to make a transition to a new calling and a new adventure. I am announcing my resignation as Director of Preschool Ministries and will complete my time of ministry here on September 30. My future plans for freelance and contract work include overseeing the publication of CBF missions curriculum for children, and working with churches and non-profits in the areas of communication, web media, and publications.