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.

The Encourager Church Thank You Breakfast was an event to celebrate and thank churches that support and encourage CBF field personnel. Our church serves as an Encourager Church for several field personnel including Missy Ward in Uganda, Trey Lyon in Atlanta, Carson and Laura Foushee in Japan, and Shane and Dianne McNary in Slovakia.

By taking Renee’s place at the breakfast, I had the joy of sitting around a table with Missy Ward, Trey and Jen Lyon and their two children, Gabe and Taylor, and several other Encourager Church representatives. Our breakfast conversation was lively and filled with news about the good work that these field personnel are doing in their communities.

As we finished the last of our bacon and eggs, we turned our attention to the front of the banquet room where Carson and Laura Foushee shared with the group about their ministry in Japan. The Foushees, who are completing their third year as CBF field personnel, were visiting the U.S. for the first time since leaving for Japan. They had much good news to share about the relationships that they have established and the bridges that they have built with the people in their communities in Japan. I was very proud to call them “our field personnel” and to know that our church has helped to make their ministries in Japan possible. Carson and Laura will be back in the U.S. for an extended stay in September and they are making plans to visit Highland Hills to give us a personal report on their work.

This breakfast event was meant to be a time to say thank you to churches for encouraging our field personnel but I felt greatly encouraged by those whom we were supposed to be encouraging. The field personnel that we support, and all of the other CBF field personnel serving all around the globe, are an amazing group of ministers, dedicated to walking alongside the people in their communities and bringing the love of God into all that they do. Their enthusiasm was infectious and I left that breakfast with a heart filled with gratitude for the work of “our field personnel” and for a church that is generous and committed to supporting these important ministries.

 Planning and Preparing for VBS

Planning and Preparing for VBS

By Carol Brown

published in Family Matters eNewsletter June 23, 2016

This is it… prime planning season for VBS!

We selected the curriculum and recruited the teachers months ago but these three weeks before Vacation Bible School are the height of planning season. Each day is filled with a long to-do list of preparations that must be checked off before July 11 arrives. We’re painting a surf shack, making class signs, rehearsing skits, and gathering flip flops, pool noodles, skim boards, and beach umbrellas to transform our church into a cool surfer’s beach. As we count down the days to the beginning of this year’s Surf Shack VBS, we will wonder often if we have enough time to get it all done. And sometimes we might even wonder if all of the time and effort and planning and preparation are worth it.

Confessions of a Baptist Pastor

Confessions of a Baptist Pastor

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter June 16, 2016

Like many of you, I learned about the details of the massacre in Orlando after worship last Sunday. Omar Mateen murdered forty nine people and injured fifty three more in a nightclub called Pulse. The details on his actions are still forthcoming, but a few things seem clear; he was a man motivated by hatred, specifically hatred of homosexuals. Immediately, I spoke the words of prayers for the victims and family members of this horrific crime. I confess that my words felt small on that day.

Where Have You Seen the Church?

Where Have You Seen the Church?

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter June 9, 2016

For a few weeks now, I have been thinking and writing about how the mission of the church moves us to leave the building and go out into the community. 

This week I went on a safari, of sorts, to see the sights and the sounds of the church at work and worship in the world.

Mission Partners

Mission Partners

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter June 2, 2016

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship named Highland Hills as one of the top one hundred giving churches across our fellowship in 2015. Your generosity for Missions makes an impact in our state and around the world.

Where is the Church?

Where is the Church?

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, May 26, 2016

Every week or so, I have a conversation that goes something like this:

Person: “So, what do you do?”

Me: “I am a pastor at Highland Hills.”

Person: “Where is your church?”

Me: “It is in the North Highland and Shirley Hills neighborhoods. I know… we are the hardest church to find in Macon, but Highland Hills is worth the drive.”

Macon Plans

Macon Plans

By Cass DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, May 19, 2016

As many of you know, I’m a planner. Just ask the youth and Sanctuary Choir. Even as I write this article, I’m making my final plans for this summer’s worship services, youth trips, and other activities for the church and my family.

God's Emojis of Love

God's Emojis of Love

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, May 12, 2016

I have always wanted to be fluent in more than one language. Sadly, Spanish 101 happened a long time ago, so besides ordering a bowl of soup at El Som you won’t find me conversing "en Espanol." The only other languages I know are dead languages and not many people want to talk about parsing the Greek or plucking a Hebrew verbal form.