Rice, Hairnets, and New Friends

Rice, Hairnets, and New Friends

By Carol Brown

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, September 21, 2016

I have never worked in the food service industry, so I have never needed to wear a hairnet… until Sunday afternoon. On Sunday afternoon, I joined 150 volunteers in our church Great Room to pack meals for people in need of daily sustenance. And I wore a hairnet! All 150 of us donned fashionable hairnets, washed our hands, and worked shoulder to shoulder to pack rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables, and a vitamin mix into plastic bags, which will be sent to third world countries in desperate need of food.

It was a crazy, wild, noisy, chaotic, beautiful afternoon! After just a few minutes of instructions, these 150 hairnet-clad volunteers assigned themselves to a work station and found a rhythm of working, laughing, cheering, and singing to get the work done in an amazingly short time. In under an hour, this hodge-podge group of volunteers assembled, boxed, and sealed 12,096 meals, enough to feed one hungry child for over ten years!

It was a crazy, wild, noisy, chaotic, beautiful example of God’s people being the hands and feet of Christ to a hurting world. From our senior adults to our preschoolers, everyone’s hands and feet were useful. Some hands scooped and poured, some hands weighed and sealed, and some strong hands and arms carried the full boxes to stack in the hallway. Some feet ran from table to table as packers called for a “runner,” some feet shuffled through the crowd to gather and deliver the full bags of food, and some feet danced to the lively playlist filling the Great Room with energy and fun.

It was a crazy, wild, noisy, chaotic, beautiful picture of people from many different places and walks of life coming together to serve others. Church groups from First Baptist Forsyth, Community Baptist Church in Milledgeville, Haddock Baptist in Gray, Rocky Creek Baptist, and Vineville Baptist worked side by side with our HHBC folks to fill the Great Room with joyful noise. And a group of 15 Mercer students added their enthusiasm, energy, and strength to complete the picture of people giving time and effort to stop the cycle of poverty and hunger in our world.

It was a crazy, wild, noisy, chaotic, beautiful afternoon, and a wonderful reminder that when we give our hands and feet to God for God’s use, even unskilled volunteers, bags of rice, and hairnets can be used to share God’s love with a world in need.

Baptists Who Cooperate

Baptists Who Cooperate

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, September 15, 2016

There was a man who was stranded on a desert island for many, many years. One day, while strolling along the beach, he spotted a ship in the distance. This had never happened in all the time he was on the island, so he was very excited about the chance of being rescued.

Lord, Teach Us to Pray

Lord, Teach Us to Pray

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, September 1, 2016

In Luke 11 the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us how to pray.” The words of Jesus from Luke and from Mathew inspire what we know as, The Lord’s Prayer. You probably know the Lord’s Prayer by heart. I, too, learned that prayer when I was a child. I studied the prayer in seminary through the work of the early church fathers. But, it wasn’t until I became a father that I prayed, “Lord, teach me to teach my son how to pray.”

The Wild Life of Our Precious Youth

The Wild Life of Our Precious Youth

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, August 28, 2016

Wednesday nights in August remind us how busy we have been over the summer from Mission Macon to Passport. If you missed last night, then you missed seeing the maturity of our youth, the energy of our youth intern, and the graceful, committed leadership of our youth minister, Cass DuCharme.

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.

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.