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Seven Ways to Avoid the Summer Slump

Seven Ways to Avoid the Summer Slump

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by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter May 16, 2019

We have a few more days to go on the school calendar until families begin their seasons of vacation and teachers take a break from the classroom, but you don’t need a calendar or a thermometer to tell that summer has already arrived. I can see that dazed summer glaze on so many faces. Students are ready for a break. Families are ready for a vacation. Just at most folks are gearing up for a summer break the church is readying for a season that is heavy with activity and light on attendance.

Every church I have ever served experiences some kind of the summer slump. As soon as school is out families will hit the road, head to the beach, or spend lots of weekends at the lake until school kicks off again in late August. I don’t believe we should bemoan or begrudge change in summer patterns; seeking out a different sabbath rhythm is the right thing to do.

Families need time to get away and what better time of the year than when school is out of session. You won’t hear me complaining about that. Rest and recreation are important parts of the rhythm of a healthy year physically and spiritually.

While summer may bring a different schedule and different patterns of engagement, the church takes on a new rhythm as well. Adopting a different kind of engagement with the church during summer might bring the kind of spiritual rejuvenation that you have been without during the rest of the year. Summer should not bring with it a spiritual drought for you or your family. Weekly rhythms of worship, reflection, prayer, and service keep you spiritually healthy every week. Find creative ways to engage your spiritual life even in this summer season.

  1. Join a summer reading group. Every year we pick a few popular books to consume. These spiritually nourishing titles are better for you than any beach reading you may peruse this year. You might just find a new author to appreciate like Peter Enns, Richard Rohr, Rachel Held Evans, or Rob Bell.

  2. Attend one of our additional worship offering. If you are missing too many Sundays and want to connect in a new way, try attending Taizé or Tavernsong. Come and find the blessings of intentional silence or extravagant feast with friends both new and old.

  3. Stream a Sunday Service During June and July. This summer we will be testing out our streaming capabilities for Worship. If you are looking for something to listen to while walking or running on the beach or hiking in Highlands, then check the church website starting in June.

  4. Plan on attending one of our Wednesdays in June where the church has left the building. Invite new friends and families to these fantastic summer gathering. Summer invites so many opportunities for fellowship. Join us at Amerson Park, Pinstrikes or even at your favorite greasy spoon. Each Wednesday in June brings with it a new opportunity for fellowship.

  5. Schedule your tithes and offerings. Help the church to avoid falling behind by fall, through scheduling your tithes or offering through online bill pay or by speaking with our Admin, Stephanie.

  6. Join us at King’s Park through a new partnership with Rebuilding Macon from June 24-28.

  7. Attend the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly in Birmingham on June 17-21.

With the deluge of opportunities this summer, how can there ever be a summer slump?

Almost Summer

Almost Summer

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter May 9, 2019

Graduations mark our calendars in the coming weeks. School is about to be out. The bell is about to ring. Caps and gowns will fly in the air. We will need a different syllabus to chart summer's course. For a lot of folks, time in summer takes in a new quality.

Vocational Evolution

Vocational Evolution

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter May 3, 2019

Frederich Buechner has always informed the way I look at calling and vocation. He once wrote that vocation is that 'place where the world’s deep hunger and your deep gladness meet.' Over the past few months, we have worked to find that intersection for Ruth, and for Highland Hills, a place where the present needs of the church align with the present gifts of the minister.

Drop by Drop

Drop by Drop

by Ruth DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter April 25, 2019

Unlike my husband, I don't have one of those memories that easily retains numbers and dates. I don't do math well in my head, and if you tell me your phone number I will need to write it down, or it is lost on me. When I meet someone for the first time I have to associate their name with something in order to recall it later. That is just the way that my mind is wired. I need repetition and association to remember.

Meditating on the Cross

Meditating on the Cross

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter April 19, 2019

George Bennard wrote, “The Old Rugged Cross” around 1912. Bennard preached throughout the Midwest as traveling evangelist. One evening he left the service upset because of the behavior of the crowd. During that revival service, some youth interrupted Bennard during the sermon. Their behavior to the good news, as Bennard proclaimed it, led to his reflection upon the meaning of the cross.

Sinning like A Christian

Sinning like A Christian

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter March 21, 2019

Our Lenten muse for the past few weeks has been Will Willimon’s “Sinning Like A Christian.” Willimon examines the 7 Deadly Sins of pride, envy, anger, sloth, greed, gluttony, and lust. Our conversation around the Family Night tables has been both comic and meaningful.

Trees and Trust

Trees and Trust

by Ruth DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter February 14, 2019

I spent many days of my childhood climbing trees. At the home where I grew up in Newnan, Georgia, there were three maple trees that crossed our front lawn. One particular maple tree was accessible to my young hands and legs. I could grab hold of its lowest branch and swing my legs up to hug the limb and then lift myself up into the tree. I would climb a little higher into the tree to a branch that was thick and strong. It could support my whole body, and I could lean against it almost like a chair just right for sitting and pondering. From the tree, I could view nests that the birds had made, and occasionally find a caterpillar’s cocoon. It was a place to explore and view life.

Jubilate! Concert This Sunday Night at Highland Hills

Jubilate! Concert This Sunday Night at Highland Hills

by Cass DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter January 17, 2018

As I’m sure you all have heard by now, this weekend the Jubilate Festival Singers will celebrate the 26th Annual Jubilate youth choir retreat and concert. Since 1994, when Jubilate began, the Highland Hills Youth Choir has attended every Jubilate retreat and summer tour and this year is no exception. The 100 voice Jubilate Festival Singers will feature youth choirs from FBC Avondale Estates, FBCX Macon and Highland Hills in Georgia; FBC Aiken and Boulevard Baptist, Anderson in South Carolina; and Broadway Baptist, Louisville in Kentucky.