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.

Practicing Resurrection During Holy Week

Practicing Resurrection During Holy Week

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter April 12, 2019

On Palm Sunday we will all gather in front of the sanctuary with palms in our palms and proclaim "Hosanna." We will pray at Evensong on Wednesday and mourn on Good Friday at the Tenebrae service. At sunrise, on Easter morning the Church proclaims, “He is Risen; He is risen, indeed!” Not every one of these proclamations will be easy to proffer at the moment. Aside from these proclamations, we will also offer heartfelt confessions that reveal the ways we revel and revile these words with our actions that prove otherwise.

Lenten Muse

Lenten Muse

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter April 6, 2019

Contrasts abound during the Lenten season: light and dark, virtue and vice, sacred and profane, and not the least being the beauty and brokenness found in every individual.

Grateful for Cherry Blossoms and Organ Music

Grateful for Cherry Blossoms and Organ Music

by Cass DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter March 28, 2019

As we approach the middle of Lent, with its somber dark tones, we are ironically bombarded by the colors and beauty of spring.

This week, I have been grateful for the beauty of the cherry blossom trees and the sights of the Cherry Blossom Festival. I live near Fickling Farm on Rivoli Dr. and I get to drive by their beautiful cherry blossom trees every day. I have enjoyed watching the trees bloom into their beautiful white and pink. I’ve also enjoyed seeing everyone dress in pink as we welcome the festival and the season of spring.

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.