Weekly Eblast
Hodges Boulevard
Presbyterian Church
December 4, 2018
Sunday, December 9, 2018
2nd Sunday in Advent

9:00 a.m. Contemporary Worship
10:00 a.m. Education Hour
11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship

Malachi 3:1-4

Luke 1:68-79

"Preparing the Way for Generations to Come"

We are now fully into the Advent season and it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! Our church family is busily planning away for the season ahead, which kicked off with the Advent Event this past Saturday night where a good time was had by all! There was a LOT of chili, a lot of friends and family, and a lot of activities ranging from decorating Christmons to hanging the greens in the sanctuary. A lot of hands made light work! We concluded with a reading of the Christmas story to children … who all pretty much knew it by heart! It was, indeed, a joyous occasion and we all parted with our own personal Jesse Trees. I’ve never served a church that kicked off Advent in such a celebratory manner, and it was a beautiful reminder of what we anticipate happening in just a few weeks and the real reason for the season. Believe me when I say you don’t want to miss any of it! There is a schedule of the upcoming services elsewhere in this Eblast – please make note of dates and times. And, consider inviting a friend! You know we are a welcoming church and they would be warmly received.

During a season of such joyous anticipation, I encourage you to be on the lookout for those who may not be feeling so elated. We do have those folks in our congregation, and I bet you know other neighbors, friends, or co-workers who may be in this group. In the last year they have grieved the loss of a loved one, or have suffered from medical issues, or endured unpleasant surgeries or treatments, job loss, or financial setbacks. It’s really difficult for those folks to “get in the spirit,” so I might suggest that you be especially sensitive to them – BE for them the light of Christ we speak of so often. Be the one who brightens their day with an unexpected card or phone call, or even a visit if it’s appropriate. It’s so easy for us to look right past those who mourn, so let’s open our eyes wide. We proclaim Christ as the light of the world, as disciples of Christ, let’s share that light the best way we can, where we can, when we can. We usually have no idea the difference it makes for someone, but again, believe me, it does in a mighty way.

There are others, many others, also in need of the light and promises of Christ. If you’ve turned on or read the news lately, you are all too aware of who they are: tons of people who lost their homes in the California wildfires; homes and lives devastated by the earthquakes in Alaska; children separated from their families and held in detention centers; victims of gun violence and sexual assault; and, we all know the list is heartbreakingly long. We may not personally know those who are suffering, but it doesn’t mean we can’t use the power of prayer to make a difference in their lives. God hears and answers prayer. All prayer. This we believe. So, go ahead – pray, pray, pray , pray , PRAY !! Of course, we can also make a difference using our checkbooks, as well, and there is actually one place in particular I would like to recommend: PDA – Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. They are boots-on-the-ground in every single example I have named, plus many, many more. I was emailing with a Presbytery Executive friend in the Northeast over the Thanksgiving holidays and learned that an old historic church in her presbytery had caught fire and burned to the ground. They could hardly wait for PDA to show up … and they were on their way. Before spending a bunch of money on Christmas presents that we all know are over-the-top, useless, or unwanted, please consider making a donation to PDA in the name of your loved one. They would probably be proud to know of such a tremendously meaningful gift.

Now that I have written a missive, I’ll close so that I’ll have something to write about next week!

In the meantime, keep these words that were brought to Mary and Joseph by the shepherds, and ponder them in your heart:

Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy
for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is the Messiah, the Lord.

In service to you and our blessed Savior, Jesus,
December 9
10:15 a.m.
A congregational meeting has been called on Sunday, December 9, for the purpose of electing officers for the Class of 2021. The meeting will take place in the sanctuary at 10:15 a.m. Below are introductions to our nominees.
Deacon Nominees for Class of 2021
Nichole Bigay is a mother of two, Kody (9) and Dallie (4). She is married to Dave Bigay, a Navy helicopter pilot. Nichole and Dave first found HBPC in 2006 when they were newly married and shortly after became members. Nichole longed to find a Presbyterian church that felt like the family church that she grew up in. HBPC was that church for this newly married couple. The Bigay family moved to Virginia in 2010 but were thrilled to return back to Jacksonville and to HBPC in November of 2012. They longed for the church family that they had missed. During this Navy tour, Nichole and Dave became more active in the life of HBPC and Nichole served as a Deacon before the family was transferred once again, this time to Tampa, FL. When the time had come to move once again, Nichole and Dave prayed fervently to move back to Jacksonville, an area they loved and a church family they had missed. Prayers were answered and this past June, the Bigay family moved back to Jacksonville. Since then Nichole has been active in teaching Sunday School, attending Women’s Bible Study, and is active on the Children’s Education Ministry Committee and is on the HBPC preschool board. She looks forward to once again becoming a Deacon and serving the congregation. 
Jessica Morgan has been a member of HBPC since 2010. Jessica and Melvin, her husband of nearly 15 years, found Hodges to be a warm and welcoming place to raise their children in Christ (Lily, 10 and Henry, 8) after they both attended preschool here. Jessica was raised in the Catholic church and her and Melvin were wed in the Cathedral-Basilica in St. Augustine.
For 17 years, Jessica was the Event Coordinator at Glen Kernan Golf & Country Club. This month, she is starting a new and very exciting chapter of her life as the Director of Special Events as her children’s school, Seaside Charter School, - the only public Waldorf school in the southeastern United States. Jessica is also the Communications Director for the Jacksonville Moms Blog and enjoys appearing in local TV segments about children and families. A native Jacksonvillian, Jessica loves the beach, all things kid-related, trying new restaurants and being first mate on her hubby’s new boat.
Lynn McVaney – I’ve been married to Dave for almost 26 years, mom to Ben (16) and stepmom to Hannah (29).  My husband and I are very blessed also to be grandparents to Autumn (10) and Adam (4). We moved from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Jacksonville in 2003. I have been a stay at home mom to Ben for 16 years volunteering at Providence School where he attended, then substitute teaching when he reached Middle School. I now work from home preparing taxes for a local CPA.
I feel wonderfully blessed to have been a member of HBPC & the Traditions Choir since 2014. I love cooking, sewing and taking care of my family. 
Peter Hopwood moved to Jacksonville in 2010 from Richmond, Virginia. He is originally from Connecticut. He works as a management consultant for Nutritious Lifestyles, a healthcare company based in Orlando. Peter is married and he is a volunteer at BEAM in Jacksonville Beach. In his spare time he enjoys golfing, non-fiction reading, traveling, music and spectator sports.           
Dale Simmons is a native of Jacksonville, Florida and completed four years of college at Florida A&M University with a major in Political Science. He went on to obtain a Master’s in Business Administration. Dale has spent most of his career in the Mortgage Industry with a focus on Default Servicing. His career also includes interventions related to alcoholism and substance abuse.
Dale served as a faithful member of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church for over 10 years where he was a member of the District Board, the Ushering Ministry, and various other Ministries. He loves the Lord and enjoys being in the company of the saints.
Deacon Nominee for 2020
Matthew Thomas -I am a husband, father, entrepreneur, and, above all, child of our One True King! The Lord has blessed me with the ability to engage in businesses that I love and own. During the past ten years, I have been an Executive and Entrepreneurial Coach, and for the past six years I have also owned a glass and mirror company on Amelia Island. I have been truly blessed with an amazing wife, Ashley, and two amazing daughters, Adalena (10) and Arabella (5)! Prior to moving to Hodges Blvd. Presbyterian Church two years ago, I served as an Elder, treasurer, and Board Director over budgeting and children’s ministry at my prior church. I believe strongly, as followers of Christ, it is our duty to cloth ourselves in the love and compassion of Jesus Christ and serve each day! We are called to serve and not be served, to go into the world and share the love we have been shown by our savior. This is why I feel so honored to serve in any and all capacities at Hodges Blvd. Presbyterian Church!
Youth Elder Nominee
Ben McVaney -I’ve lived in Jacksonville since 2003 when I moved from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where I was born. I’m 16 years old and a junior attending Florida Virtual School. I have a sister, Hannah who lives in Tucson, AZ with her husband Colin, daughter Autumn (10) and son Adam (4).
My parents are Dave and Lynn and we have been attending HBPC since 2013 when I went through confirmation and joined the church. I have enjoyed being a part of the youth group and have made some wonderful life long friends. I work at Renna’s Pizza as a dishwasher and in my free time enjoy going to the beach and listening to records.

What do people do who don’t have a community of faith which reaches out in love, prayer and through beautiful cards when a fellow member suffers.   Thank you so much for all your hugs!  Many have asked me what plans there are for a service for my father.  There will be two Celebration of Life Services held for him.  The first is this Saturday, December 12 at 3:00 p.m.  It will be at the Mayflower Retirement Community in Winter Park, FL ( https://themayflower.com/ ).   The second celebration will be Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at Broad Street United Methodist Church in Clinton, SC.   In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the choir/music program of your choice or to the Charles T. Gaines Music Scholarship Fund at Presbyterian College.  (Online giving is at presby.edu/giving/ways-to-give or by check to Advancement Office, Presbyterian College, 503 South Broad St., Clinton, SC 29325).   The obituary for my father, Charles T. Gaines, can be found at

Shining Brightly
Upcoming Worship Schedule

Sunday, December 16
10:00 a.m. Worship Service
Christmas Cantata

Sunday, December 23
10:00 a.m. Worship Service

Monday, December 24
6:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Service

Sunday, December 30
10:00 a.m. Worship Service
Lessons & Carols


Tuesday, December 4
3:30 p.m. HR Ministry Team

Wednesday, December 5
7:00 a.m. Bibles & Bagels
9:15 a.m. Women's Bible Study
4:30 p.m. And the Story Continues
5:30 p.m. BEACH Nite Dinner
6:30 p.m. Program
6:30 p.m. Traditions Choir
6:30 p.m. Youth

Thursday, December 6
7:00 p.m. Youth Reno Team
7:00 p.m. Property

Friday, December 7
9:00 a.m. Bus to Symphony

Saturday, December 8
11:00 a.m. Presbyterian Women Christmas Gathering

Sunday, December 9
9:00 a.m. Contemporary Worship
10:00 a.m. Education Hour
11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship
6:00 p.m. Youth

Monday, December 10
6:30 p.m. Scouts

Tuesday, December 11
11:30 am Staff Meeting

Remember In Prayer....

Kimberley Aden, Judy Bedillion (Debbie Braden’s mom), Bob and Pam Benson, Charlotte Berglund, Gale and Elaine Boylan, Glenn Conner, Larry & Gerry Cook (friends of Judy Klein), Jose Gonzalez , Carl Heldwein, Bob Hiller, Carolyn and Tom Hopper, Dave Keim, Nancy (Linda Martin’s friend), Katie Meredith, Jack Moore, Josh Moore, Kathy (Larry/Glenyce Payne’s daughter), Merrylin Opendo, Nolan Perret, Betty Phillips, Bill Salisbury (Tammie Wright’s father), Roger (Judy Schuler’s brother), Robin Soergel, Catherine and Bill Trask

(Names added this week are in bold.)

Maryellen Beiletti,
Wezi Blunt, Chris Gesdorf, Ryan Gulick, Alice Harper, Tod McVey, Bruce Neu

12/9 Holiday Home Gathering @Harkness’ - please RSVP on GroupMe - more details to come
If you would like to help out and provide a meal for the youth on a Sunday evening please click the link below.

Contact Kimberly Ross at 904-631-7727 with any questions or to be added to the GroupMe list.

Reservations must be received by 3:00 p.m. Monday, December 10, 2018

Click here to sign-up using our church website:
Or call the church office at 904-223-6922 or email

Wednesday, December 12

Dinner 5:30-6:15 p.m.
Program 6:30-7:30 p.m.

$5 adult/youth, $3 children, $15 family

Menu: Fried Chicken, Rice Pilaf, Green Beans, Cut Corn, Yeast Rolls, and Dessert

Adult Program:  The Four Steps of Lectio Divina - Lectio Divina is an ancient form of prayer that has stood the test of time; it is as popular today as ever among Christians. Lectio Divina provides an effective structure for the study of Scripture and a path to applying that study in our lives. Join guest presenter Margaret MacNaughton on Wednesday, December 12 for an opportunity to learn and practice the Lectio Divina method.

Children’s Program:  ”Living the Faith Brick By Brick”

Dinner this week will be catered by the Golden Corral on Southside Boulevard. They have a large variety of items on their menu and we look forward to a great dinner.

Margaret MacNaughton
Paths to God are as varied as the personalities of those who seek Him.
Margaret MacNaughton is a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Practitioner who works with groups to explore those paths. The exploration starts by recognizing that each seeker is a unique individual. By investigating the innate personality preferences recognized by Myers-Briggs, group participants discover how individuals view the world, and God, in different ways. From this base, conversations grow from topics such as Type & Spirituality and Temperament & Prayer.  Participants come away with ideas for ways to deepen their relationships with our Lord, and a respect for those who may prefer to take a different path.
Salvation Army
Angel Tree
Deadline December 9
Angel Tree gifts are due this coming Sunday.

Contact Carolyn Wohlwend with questions:
Year End Contributions

In handling end of year contributions, the general rule is that a contribution is effective when delivered. This means that a check deposited in the church offering in January of 2019 cannot be deducted in 2018, even if it is backdated in 2018. One exception—checks that are mailed and postmarked in 2018 are deductible even though not received until 2019.

All women are invited
to the
Presbyterian Women Christmas Gathering
Saturday, December 8, 2018
11:30 a.m.

Luncheon and Ornament Exchange
Betty's Buddies
December 13, 2018
11:30 a.m.

Season's 52
5096 Big Island Dr
Jacksonville, FL 32246

We will meet at the church at 10:45 a.m. and carpool to the restaurant.

Contact Lynn Holmes at
904-524-2134 or
Mary Blanchard at
Deadline for Poinsettia orders is December 10. Plants may be picked up afer the 6:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Service. Contact Ann Rossman: 904-743-0365
Sunday, December 16
"Joy In This Place"

Join us for a special musical gift recounting the birth of Jesus. All our musicians and volunteers are joining together to celebrate God’s love for us.

Year-end Gift Giving
During this season of thanksgiving and gift giving it is not unusual for us to take note of the bounty we’ve been blessed with throughout the current year. Then, we may look at one or more of the worthwhile charities we support for special year-end financial giving. It is a blessing and a joy to be able to make these gifts. 
Have you also considered your church as a recipient of a special year-end gift as well? Gifts above and beyond your regular giving could be used to further God’s work done here at Hodges. There are quite a few options to choose from. 
A gift to your church’s Endowment fund is a gift for the future. It is intended as a perpetual fund that helps fund future projects, programs or missions we may not even conceive of today. The Endowment fund is intended for gifts that keep on giving. 
Perhaps you would prefer to make a special designated offering toward one of our existing mission or program areas or a specific project. Designated gifts are welcome to better fund an area having a special interest or appeal to you; to help build the youth program, to support one of our outreach programs, or to support a project such as the costly repairs that are needed to make the sanctuary water-tight again. 
Your generous, special gifts to the Church would be a blessing and put to very good use.

George Ross
And the Story Continues Class...
will be meeting on December 5 and 12 at 3:30 p.m.
Offering envelopes are now available for pick-up in the church office. If you did not order envelopes and would like to have them contact Chuck Harper: charper@hbpcusa.org.
The Pre-School will be enrolling for the 2019-2020 school year! Please contact Hope Henry at 904-254-7304 before January 11, 2019 if you would like to enroll. Active Church Members, Parents and Grandparents] of Hodges Boulevard Presbyterian Church received Preschool priority enrollment.   
phone: 904-223-6922 email: hodges@hbpcusa.org
website: hbpcusa.org