Moving to the Front Yard

Moving to the Front Yard

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, May 19, 2017

Most people I know suffer from the same affliction… busyness. Our schedules are packed and our calendars unable to contain all of the things that we want to experience for our families. I look around my neighborhood and wish for more time to connect with the people around me. I was struck by the simplicity of one person’s answer to the need for more space for connections.

Kristin Schell was desperate for more intentional ways to connect with the people in her life. One afternoon, she put a bright turquoise picnic table in her front yard hoping to create a simple place to gather without the pressures of entertaining. It worked!

These eye-catching tables have become a symbol of hospitality, a safe place to sit down and connect over a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea. A new concept of hospitality unfolded in her neighborhood, and before long The Turquoise Table led to a movement of Front Yard People—ordinary people who long to create community right where they live. What an amazing idea? What kind of opportunities emerge when we move from our backyard to our front yard?

What began in Kristin Schell’s frontyard has spread across the country. Today, there are Turquoise Tables all across America from California to Maine. In nearly all fifty states and in six countries and increasingly in more than a few churches.

Turquoise might not match our decor, but the space created at those tables might be the answer to our need for a new kind of communal space. How does the story of the Turquoise table inspire you? I want to know. Send me a message @thatjakehall about how you might create a new kind of space for neighborliness and community.

Let’s invite a few people to the table. ~ Jake

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Devil Chasing around the Mountain

Devil Chasing around the Mountain

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, May 11, 2017

Thank you, for the many condolences I have received this week after the death of my uncle. Our family appreciates your kindness and the calls from our staff ministers and the texts by our family deacon. I have felt the compassion and care of Highland Hills, and for that I am grateful.

Shepherd to Lost Sheep

Shepherd to Lost Sheep

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, May 4, 2017

Growing up, my favorite TV show was "The Dukes of Hazzard." I remember watching it with my Grandaddy. We loved "Uncle Jesse," the wise patriarch of Hazzard County, whose virtues always saved the day from "Boss Hog's" machinations. Uncle Jesse would pick up a CB radio and call out to his nephews, "Shepherd to Lost Sheep?" He guided them with the right word at the right time. Even now, I can hear Waylon Jennings voicing the theme song of the show, and maybe you can, too.

Baptist News Global to Highlight Ministry of Highland Hills

Baptist News Global to Highlight Ministry of Highland Hills

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, April 27, 2017

Baptist News Global is a reader-supported, independent news organization providing original and curated news, opinion, and analysis about matters of faith. BNG covers the people, events, and ideas that are shaping American culture and Baptist life. They do so from a perspective that is Baptist in heritage and ecumenical in spirit.

More Than Easter Eggs

More Than Easter Eggs

By Ruth DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, April 20, 2017

On the Saturday before Easter, our Highland Hills children hunt for Easter Eggs. Yes, this occurs on the day tradition calls Black Saturday or Dark Saturday in remembrance of a Savior who lay dead in a dark stone tomb. While we want to teach our children the truths about Christ’s death and resurrection, we also remember that young lives aren’t quite ready to carry such a heavy burden.

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, April 13, 2017

Today is Maundy Thursday. In the celebration of Holy Week, Maundy Thursday remembers the last supper with Jesus and his disciples. There, sitting around the table, were those closest to Jesus, yet over the next twenty-four hours they would each betray or desert him.

Celebrating a Quarter of a Century

Celebrating a Quarter of a Century

by Carol Brown

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, March 30, 2017

A lot happens in a quarter of a century! In 25 years, babies grow into adults, churches move through several stages of growth, and organizations mature into stable, well-formed entities. 25 years ago, Steve and I were newcomers to Macon and our first child, Burgess, was just three months old. A lot changes in 25 years! Burgess, and his brother Hudson, are both independent young adults, living in New York and ready to take on the world. Steve has celebrated 25 years at Mercer University, I have served at Highland Hills for almost 23 years, and (amazingly enough) Steve and I have not aged at all! A lot of living happens in 25 years. What will the next 25 years look like?

Five Things You Need to Know About Worship on Sunday

Five Things You Need to Know About Worship on Sunday

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, March 24, 2017

Highland Hills is honored to host the opening worship for the Cherry Blossom Festival. The many moments of community and celebration provided by the Cherry Blossom Festival remind us of what can happen we when celebrate new growth and beauty in our city. We will welcome our civic leaders, mayor, the Cherry Blossom Board, the Macon-Bibb Youth Commission, and both national and international dignitaries of the pageant court. May the moments of our worship together guide us to recognize the promise of spring and seek the vitality of true community.