The Clothesline

The Clothesline

By Cass DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, August 18, 2016

When I was a little boy growing up in Florida, we had a clothesline in our backyard. We lived right next door to my grandmother, and Granny always did our laundry while Mom and Dad were at work. I remember coming home from school and watching Granny either hang or unhang all of our laundry from that clothesline.  By the way, if you’ve never slept on sheets that have been dried on a clothesline, you’ve missed a treat. Often times I would help Granny take the clothes off the line, fold them and put them in the laundry basket. Granny would always ask me about my day and give me advice on whatever I needed her help with. We had some great conversations at the clothesline that I will treasure forever.

My kids have no idea what it’s like to hang clothes on a clothesline, after all, we have a clothes dryer in our laundry room. Who would want to take clothes outside to hang on a line where they could get dirty or wet when it rains? Some housing developments in our own town have banned clotheslines because they don’t look good and the neighbors don’t want to see each other’s “laundry”.

Last month, I had the privilege of traveling with our youth group to Passport Averett in Danville, Virginia. The group that I was assigned to drive for went to a low-income housing project in Danville, where we played with the children in the complex, cleaned up trash and debris, and yes, hung new clotheslines in the backyards of many of the units. For you see, in this complex, every apartment had a clothesline behind it for the residents to dry their clothes. I worked with three boys from other churches hanging new, green plastic-covered, clotheslines all over the complex. While we were hanging the clothesline, I noticed people, mostly ladies, gathered around their clotheslines, hanging their clothes, talking, laughing and even singing. One lady came out of her apartment
and thanked us for taking the time to hang the new line, to not only make it easier to hang her clothes but to make her yard look prettier.

Next Wednesday night, August 24, the youth and I will share stories and present a “slide show” from our trip to Passport Averett. I hope you’ll be there to hear all about it and see it for yourself. I want to thank Rachel Greco, Bill Bowden and Taylor Chestnutt for helping to drive, lead and chaperone this trip. The youth and I are forever in their debt for all they did. I would also like to thank all of you who supported us through our fundraisers, monetary gifts to the youth, and especially with your prayers.

I miss the clothesline in our back yard but I’m glad the people of Danville still have them. Maybe Ruth will let me put one up. I’d love to feel those sheets dried on the line one more time.

Lessons from the Road

Lessons from the Road

By Carol Brown

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, August 11, 2016

I recently took a long, adventure-filled road trip with my grown-up sons. Burgess and I drove from Macon to New York City to settle him into an apartment in preparation for graduate school at the end of August. Hudson met us in NYC and drove with me through Washington, DC, to pick up his college belongings, and on to Macon, where he’ll spend a few weeks of post-graduation relaxing.

A Learning Community

A Learning Community

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, August 4, 2016

On Monday, Logan began 4K at a “real school,” as he calls it. It was a parenting milestone filled with the usual mix of joy and tears. Erin walked him into his classroom on the first day and he joyfully entered a new season of education. In that school, he will learn capacities that form a foundation for the rest of his life. It was such a fraught and full parenting moment.

A New Vision for HHBC

A New Vision for HHBC

Published in Family Matters

July 2016

During our annual business meeting last November, I called for a process that would engage our congregation in a season of discernment. Throughout the spring, the deacon body and I have worked to develop, authorize, and fund this process. I am excited to share with you that in the fall we will begin Vision 20/20, a season of spiritual discernment and visioning together with the Center for Healthy Churches and their executive director, Bill Wilson.

Why Does that Chicken Sandwich Taste so Good?

Why Does that Chicken Sandwich Taste so Good?

By Ruth DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter July 21, 2016

Last month at our Highland Hills Children’s Camp, the counselors and I sat around the lunch table eating our chicken sandwiches, and we wondered out loud why these sandwiches tasted so good. Chicken sandwiches are a regular menu item at Children’s Camp. Campers who have attended this camp over the past twenty years will tell you how delicious these sandwiches are. My children still talk about them, and I have tried to purchase the same Tyson chicken patties and make them at home. They never taste the same way that they do at camp.

Over the years, I have tried to figure it out. Is it the magic touch of Laura Ann Tatum, Teresa Pierce, Wimberley Rader, or Mandy Curlee that makes those sandwiches taste so delicious? Or is it that we have played so hard, and we have worked up a major appetite? Maybe it is just that someone else, besides me, is preparing the food. The other reason could be the company of the other adult counselors as we eat together and laugh about the children’s antics of that day. What is it that makes those chicken sandwiches taste so good?

I thought about those sandwiches the last time that we took communion as a congregation. I wondered the same thing about the Lord’s Supper. What makes it taste so satisfying? Is it that someone else has prepared this meal for us? Is it the company of our brothers and sisters who gather with us around Christ’s table? What is it that makes this bread and drink taste so good?

The word eucharist is another word for communion. The word eucharist means thanksgiving. The table of the Lord is a sacred table, and the moment that we receive the bread and cup is holy. Christ has prepared this meal, blessed this meal, and served it up for us. At this table there is gratefulness, fellowship, and blessing. It is a reminder to us to keep coming to the table, to taste and to see that the Lord is good.

Loving God with Our Minds

Loving God with Our Minds

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter July 14, 2016

The Surf Shack has been open for business at Highland Hills this week. Our 2016 VBS theme celebrates God’s good creation. Along with all the teachers and crafters and snack providers at VBS, we also have a resident scientist, a role performed by Davy Priester. Bible study and experiments have marked the kids’ experiences this year. Here at Highland Hills, we believe that there is a great consonance between faith and science. Exploring our world is a way to fully love God with our minds. More often than not, it seems we focus on loving God with all of our hearts to the neglect of loving God with our minds. How is it then that we love God with our minds?

Spiritual Discernment and Visioning

Spiritual Discernment and Visioning

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter July 7, 2016

During HHBC's annual business meeting last November, I called for a process that would engage our congregation in a season of discernment. Throughout the spring, the deacon body and I have worked to develop, authorize, and fund this process. In the fall, we will begin  Vision 20/20, a season of spiritual discernment and visioning with the Center for Healthy Churches and their executive director, Bill Wilson. Vision 20/20 will involve our entire congregation. This process will include a series of on-site meetings with our whole congregation over a period of four to six months. These conversations will explore our identity and mission through "appreciative inquiry," an approach that focuses on our unique strengths and opportunities.

Encouraged by Those We Encourage

Encouraged by Those We Encourage

By Carol Brown

published in Family Matters eNewsletter June 30, 2016

Last week at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s General Assembly in Greensboro, North Carolina, I had a very encouraging experience. Renee Bennett, who was unable to attend the assembly at the last minute, asked me to represent Highland Hills at the Encourager Church Thank You Breakfast on Friday morning. Now, I’m not much of a morning person so I was tempted to say, “thanks, but no thanks,” but I love Renee and I love missions so I accepted.