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.

 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.