A Beautiful Thing

A Beautiful Thing

by Carol Brown

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, February 9, 2017

It was a beautiful thing to see more than 80 women of all ages, faiths, and walks of life gathered in our Great Room last Monday, sharing a meal and conversation around the tables. The women found their way to HHBC from Milledgeville, Eatonton, Warner Robins, Monticello, and all neighborhoods of Macon to attend the monthly lunch meeting of the Women’s Interfaith Alliance of Central Georgia.

All Hands-on-Deck

All Hands-on-Deck

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, February 16, 2017

Ever since I was a little kid standing behind by Uncle Joel as he captained his boat, I’ve always wanted one myself. It doesn’t really matter what kind of boat, either. Each time I’ve gone skiing or deep-sea fishing or simply tooling around the lake on a pontoon boat, I feel kind of peace that’s hard to describe. For me, there’s just something about being out on the open water that evokes a deep sense of both peace and adventure all at the same time.

Throughout Christian history boats have been symbols for the church, signifying a vessel of salvation. It makes sense when you think about it. Jesus called fisherman to be fishers of men and the community they create is like a new vessel of sorts. The metaphor of a church as a boat has even shaped the way we speak about sanctuaries. In cathedrals, the main portion of the sanctuary is called the nave. Nave is a Latin word for ship. This image is so popular that in many churches you’ll find the symbol of a boat with the cross as its masthead carved in stone or etched stained glass.

I’ve been reading a little reflection by Joan S. Gray that further explores this thought of the church as a seafaring vessel. If the church is like a vessel, then Gray wonders just what kind of vessel should the church be?

For Gray, too many churches imagine their inner life through the image of a rowboat. Rowboat churches do what they can with the resources they have: money, wisdom, energy, people, and facilities. They depend on the power of the people in the boat to determine direction and exert the effort on the oars to propel the boat through the water.

Rowboat churches are built around doing more and working harder and leveraging the power programs like the oars of a small rowboat.

Gray wonders if an image of the church should be that a rowboat or is it more appropriate to think of the church as a sailboat?

Gray reflects through the image of a congregation as a sailboat with a sail spread wide, allowing the wind of the spirit to move the church where God wants it to go. It is God-powered. Not everything depends on the power of those inside the boat. Instead, those inside the boat set the conditions to capture the wind that is already blowing. While the church is not literally a sailboat, we can choose to operate in ways that allow the Holy Spirit - the wind of God - to become the source of our direction and power.

That is what our Vision 2020 discernment process is all about. In this season, we need all hands on deck as we crew Highland Hills for the future. I hope you will join us at our next congregational meeting on March 12th as we continue this important work together.

Dreams to Remember

Dreams to Remember

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, February 2, 2017

As soon as, Carol Brown, our Director of Preschool Ministries, read from the children’s book, God’s Dream, I knew I wanted Logan to not only hear it, but to know it by heart. Desmond Tutu’s work in reconciliation and theology of faith “in community” have inspired this children’s book. Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a South African cleric and activist who rose to worldwide acclaim as an opponent of apartheid. It is a good read for all ages, as is Tutu’s larger work, God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time, on which the little book is based.

Open the Door

Open the Door

by Ruth DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, January 26, 2017

Listen! I stand at the door knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. (Revelation 3:20)

Vision 20/20 Meeting

Vision 20/20 Meeting

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, January 19, 2017

Vision 2020 is upon us.

Our first meeting is Sunday where we will look back into our history to gain insights into our strengths as a congregation.

Embarking on Epiphany

Embarking on Epiphany

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, January 12, 2017

Wondering in the way of Jesus is what Epiphany is all about. In the course of the Christian year, we find ourselves in the season after Epiphany. The season of Epiphany is about, not just the pilgrimage of the wise men who brought gifts to the child Christ, but the pilgrimage of every person called to live in the way of Christ. Following Jesus will take you on a journey.

 Punch and Cookies, Bread and Wine

Punch and Cookies, Bread and Wine

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, January 5, 2017

On Sunday we celebrate Epiphany Sunday. Epiphany begins with the retelling of the story of the three wise men from another country and culture who realize that they have something to offer the Christ child. Their journey has become a model for all who seek to know Jesus and offer their gifts in loving service.

Jesus!

Jesus!

By Cass DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, December 15 2016

Did the title of my article catch you? I hope so. We see this name a lot this time of year. For the past three months, the Sanctuary Choir, Gerald, and I have been working on our Christmas music that we’ll present this Sunday morning. The title of the cantata, written by Mary McDonald and Rose Aspinall, is - you guessed it - Jesus! The Advent of the Messiah.