Hello friends –

Last week we began the Season of Creation and our worship focused on forests and their critical role in God’s creation. I shared statistics in the sermon about forest fires and how the consequences of human behaviors have led to more severe fires. This week the fires out west are raging and we are seeing truly unbelievable images and hearing heartbreaking stories of lives and livelihoods lost. The forests, homes and business, animals and insects and plants are all burning and the land that remains is scorched – all life gone. Our first response to this latest round of fires is prayer, but I hope we can also find actions we can take to help those who have been affected and make choices in our daily lives that protect and conserve creation. It will take decades if not more for the earth to heal, if it even can, and what we do will impact the recovery of both people and planet.

This week we continue the Season of Creation with Land Sunday. The text for the week is Psalm 139:7-10. We give thanks that God’s presence covers the earth – from the heights of the sky to the depths of the earth – even to the scorched ground and the ash-filled winds. What does it mean that God’s spirit is present in the land and soil? 
Worship continues to be online only. The service will be live-streamed here: https://youtu.be/_vH8p2O2IbMOnce the live-stream is finished you will be able to watch the service any time. If you are having problems finding the service on the YouTube channel or need any assistance accessing online worship, please let the church office know and someone will contact you to help.

YOUTUBE PRO TIP: If you subscribe to the HPCC YouTube channel the worship service will be available immediately after the live-stream finishes, otherwise it can take a while for it appear. You will need to create a YouTube account in order to subscribe. Also, if you found the worship service meaningful, please comment, give it a “THUMBS UP” and/or share it with others.
A few important announcements:
  • On Sept. 10th the Official Board voted to keep worship online only until the positive case count for Polk County has dropped for 14 consecutive days. They will revisit the issue again next month.
  • The colder temps the last week were a reminder that we need to prepare for fall and winter. During these difficult times, the expense of buying a warm coat may be more than some can afford. Please consider donating a warm coat to the Clothes Closet (children or adult). Although the Clothes Closet is not currently open, we will make sure people who contact the church and need a coat are helped.
  • During the pandemic the Disciples (p.k.a Deaconesses) have continued to reach out with calls and cards to our home-bound and those in nursing facilities. As soon as it is safe to do so they will resume in person visits and sharing communion. If this is a ministry that you would like to be part of, please contact Jeanne Williamson.  
  • The DMARC mobile food pantry will be at the church again Thursday, Sept. 24th from noon to 2 p.m. Please stop by if you need food – be sure and bring an ID.
  • Did your property sustain damage when the derecho hit central Iowa August 10th? If so and you live in Polk County, you are eligible for FEMA assistance. See below for information on how to apply and click on the image to get started.
As always, I am praying for all of you and your well-being. Please reach out to me if you have questions or concerns or just want to catch up.
Shalom,
Heather
515-681-9369
heather.hpcc@gmail.com
Shalom is a Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity,
welfare and tranquility. 
These things I pray for you.  
FYI
  • We need sanitizing wipes to keep the building clean and safe. Contact the church office to make arrangements to drop off any you are able to donate.
Reminders…
  • All worship services until further notice will be online only and can be found on the church YouTube channel.
  • Special events, youth group, Clothes Closet and Welcome Table are cancelled until further notice.  
  • The church elders are calling folks to check and see how everyone is doing. When an elder calls you, be sure and let them know if there is anything you need. If you have not heard from an elder, send an email to joan.hpcc@gmail.com and make sure we have your current contact information.
  • The HPCC prayer list and critical prayer concerns are being shared via email. If you would like to receive these emails or have a concern to share, please contact Pastor Heather or Joan via email.
  • No one is in the building on a regular basis, so please use email to contact the church staff. 
  • Although we are not currently able to use the church facility as a group, the expenses to operate the facility and maintain staff continue. If you are able to support the church through your giving, contributions can be sent to the church office or through the Givelify app on your smartphone or tablet. You can also establish an automatic bill pay through your bank so your offering comes to the church every week even when you cannot.
Highland Park Christian Church
515.244.3182
joan.hpcc@gmail.com