What Happens When Change and Cliches Collide

What Happens When Change and Cliches Collide

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 7/10/14

Cliches, why do we use them? They save time, I guess. They capture common wisdom in a catchy way. They name something that is generally true or perhaps they are a simply a stock response…a knee-jerk reaction, of sorts. Consider a few of well worn cliched responses to change.

Things just aren’t the way they used to be. No, things aren’t the way they used to be. Things are the way they are, now. Usually this is offered as a lament for the good old days. The open secret is this: when things were the way they used to be, someone was then saying things aren’t the way they use to be.
 
We have never done it that way before. This stock response comes up during times of change. I think more than anything it names our preference for the familiar, the known. But what happens during times of real social and cultural change, when these responses just don’t cut it anymore? What does it mean for the larger church to adapt to social and cultural changes? Our July book study examines the ways that the larger church has adapted and remained faithful over two-thousand years.
 
Our book, The Great Emergence, by Phyllis Tickle explores church history and reflects on our present cultural landscape. You are right. Things aren’t the way they used to be. Some things that used to work in the Church don’t work anymore. People are different. Even the church has to recognize life amidst social and cultural change.
 
Join us on Monday at 10am in the Great Room or 7pm at home of Jimmy and Tina Wootan to discuss this work.
 
See you there.  I will bring all my cliches, euphemisms, and well worn figures of speech.

Stuck in Your Head, Fixed in Your Heart

Stuck in Your Head, Fixed in Your Heart

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 7/10/14

It would not be summer without Vacation Bible School. I have enjoyed my first Vacation Bible School at Highland Hills. Songs, lessons, and crafts filled this week with activity. I have been watching as our children learn about the Good News through this year’s theme, Workshop of Wonders. I have been keeping an eye on our volunteers as they use their gifts for God in creative service.

The Best Church Sign

The Best Church Sign

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 7/3/14

It may not surprise you that we ministers geek out on church talk. We cannot help it. This is not a hobby. This is not just what we do for a living. This is what we do. I think that is why I find the life of any congregation fascinating whether it be mission statements or oddball church signs.

Summer Bucket List

Summer Bucket List

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters, July 2014

Posted on the wall in our friend’s home is a hand-made poster with the title “Summer Bucket List.”  The parents, with their two kids, brainstormed a list of all the fun things they wished to do during the summer. Easy things like “make homemade ice cream” and “chill out by the pool” were listed with “climb Stone Mountain” and “build an ultimate slip-n-slide.” No room for boredom there. These summer plans will no doubt offer wonderful memories and shape this family for seasons to come. The appeal of summer that may prompt some of this brainstorming is the idea that summer affords opportunity: time for family, rest, and reconnecting.

Children's Camp Was Amazing!

Children's Camp Was Amazing!

by Ruth DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 6/26/14

Last week, fifteen of our third through sixth grade children attended our annual HHBC Children’s Camp at Lake Sinclair Village. The children and their counselors enjoyed three days of Bible study, recreation, crafts, and worship. The theme for this year’s camp was The Amazing Race, and we all learned the importance of following God while we are in the race of life.

Through the Eyes of a Preschooler

Through the Eyes of a Preschooler

by Carol Brown

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 6/19/14

If you told me that you had never been afraid of the dark, then I would think you might be lying. Working with preschoolers allows me the pure joy of seeing life through their eyes every now and then. Last Friday, we took a group of excited, energetic preschoolers on a field trip to Dauset Trails. Dauset Trails is one of my favorite places for a summer field trip… it always seems to be 10 degrees cooler at Dauset Trails! As we strolled along the shady walkways, marveled at the bears, cougars, and bald eagles, and enjoyed lunch under the trees, I loved seeing it all through the eyes of a preschooler.

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Things That Go Bump in the Night

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 6/12/14

If you told me that you had never been afraid of the dark, then I would think you might be lying. Most of us can’t see very well in the dark. The simple fear of being alone and bumping into something should make even the bravest among us fearful that you might walk into a wall or lose your way in night. Worse even than the fear of being alone in the dark is the fear that you are not alone, that there are unknown things out there in the dark lurking and waiting for you. Our fear of the dark moves from the rational, to the irrational, and even to the spiritual.

Urban Ministry 101

Urban Ministry 101

by Carol Brown

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 6/5/14

In the good company of my fellow mission team members, I have been participating in Urban Ministry 101 this week. At Park Avenue Baptist Church, right on the edge of Grant Park in downtown Atlanta, we have learned about the difficult issues of homelessness, taken a driving tour of downtown Atlanta's poverty resources, and asked ourselves the difficult question, "Who is my neighbor?" Our discussions have been thought-provoking and emotional at times, but we have not contented ourselves with only discussing the issues.