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Thought for the Week:

“Blessed is the season which engages
the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”

Hamilton Wright Mabie

In worship this week:
December 16
Advent III - Lessons and Carols

Pastor: Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith

Pianist: Bingyu Peng

Usher: Anne McKnight

Communion Servers: Mike and Connie Leonard
Adorning the sanctuary are given

In Memory of …

Gordon Baugh by Doris Baugh
Eddis & Sally Buck by Bob & Connie Buck
Bill & Alita Gaines by Bob & Connie Buck
Dr. & Mrs. W. F. Arey, Mrs. Bettye Gallagher  by John & Louise Dye
Jim & Nora Ragsdale by Mike & Tillie Groves
Jo & Garland Groves by Mike & Tillie Groves
Jimmie Martin by Mary Martin
Ed McKnight by Anne McKnight
William “Bill” Perry by Mary Perry
Our parents, grandparents and beloved husband,Donnie Kellebrew, by Bill & Barbara Pfeifer & Debbie Kellebrew
Bonner & Jane Stewart by Todd Stewart
Barbara & Jane Payton by Dudley Payton
Claude W. McElwee, Jr., Robert F. Nast, Sr., & Jane Ebling McElwee [-Nast] by Janie & Brad Smith

In Honor of …

Taylor, Caitlin & Haleigh Thompson by
           Mike & Connie Leonard
Joseph A. & Barbara Bradford Smith
           by Brad & Janie Smith

In Gratitude for …

Caitlin & Taylor Thompson by Lucien & Arthur Smith
The Youth Group by Lucien & Arthur Smith
The Highland Family by Janie, Brad,
          Lucien & Arthur Smith

Focus on HPC:     
 Once in Royal David’s City

Once in royal David’s city, stood a lowly cattle shed,
 where a mother laid her baby in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild, Jesus Christ, her little child .

One of the great traditions associated with the service of Lessons and Carols is that it begins with this gentle hymn. In fact, the voice of a child is meant to sing the first verse as the choirs process in. There is something remarkably profound about the retelling of the Christmas story beginning with the voice of a child. It draws us back to Isaiah’s words,  and a little child shall lead them.  The story was about a child – and it is children who often lead us back into seeing it anew.

We know the story. We tell it every year. It has become so comfortable that many of us have lost touch with its true nature. The story is not gentle at all. It is shocking. The entire circumstances surrounding the Christ-child’s birth display from the very beginning how counter-cultural God really is. God lifts up the lowly and downtrodden and topples the mighty from their thrones. The story is of the world being turned upside down – all because of a child.

From Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith’s blog: 

This week in PCUSA Mission:            
We All Have Something We Need -
And Something to Give

A church doesn’t have to be wealthy to be a giving church. That was the message that the Rev. Dave Carver shared as part of a panel on transformative partnership at the 223rd General Assembly (2018) in St. Louis. Carver is pastor of a Pittsburgh congregation, Crafton Heights First United Presbyterian Church. He shared how a three-way partnership in faith among the Pittsburgh Presbytery, the Synod of Blantyre in Malawi and the South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church is transforming the lives of those involved.

Here’s an excerpt of his remarks: “I was sitting with a Malawian colleague, a pastor who has a sincere heart for the Lord, for his people and for the communities in which he’s been planted. And this beautiful man was in tears. I asked him to speak about those tears, and he said, ‘Dave, the gospel came to Malawi in 1876 — well over a hundred years ago. And it has grown. And it has shaped me and my culture. But listen to this, Dave: My whole life, I’ve been taught that my church is filled with poor Africans who could only be recipients of mission. I’ve ‘learned’ that we don’t have anything to offer anyone, and in fact that anything good that happens is because some nice, white Westerner has been willing to bring it to us. But now, I have learned that my church — the African church — can be a giving church. We are a mission-sending church. Our brothers and sisters need something that we have — not what you have, Dave, but what we have. We can help. I am so happy. This feels so good.’” Carver went on to say, “Partnership has taught me, again and again and again, that we all have something to give. And we all have something we need. And it works better when we share these things in relationships of trust and encouragement.”
Immediate Church Family*:
Betty Bagent; Inez Geoghegan; Betty Lancaster; Preston Lancaster; the family of Jim Martin; Mary Perry; Deanna Lewis Sklar; Brad Smith; Doris M. (Skippy) Thompson .

Extended Church Family*:
Brandon Behrmann (Carol’s nephew); Austin Casey (Jack and Betty Bagent’s grandson); Steve Dull (husband of Lynn Nichols Dull); Dan Durway (former Pastor of Highland); Eva Fuller (Inez Geoghegan’s niece); Julius Fuller (Inez Geoghe-gan’s brother); Randy Geoghegan (Inez’s son); Harrison (Rob Stewart’s Mother); Claudia Hill (Connie Leonard’s sister); Phillip Lanier (friend of Rosemary John); the Miller twins (friends of Brad Smith); Aleta Pickholtz; Earl Rabe (friend of Rick Gurtner); Phillip Walker (nephew of the Pfeifers); Larry Wilcoxson (friend of the Leonards); Barbara Zeagler (friend of the Dyes.)

  * New names added to the prayer list this week are in italics.

December 16 - 22: none

December - none
Detail of the Prague Astronomical Clock in thePrague Old Town

This week at HPC:
Monday, December 17:
12:00 p.m. AA
Tuesday, December 18:
10:30 a.m. Tuesday Morning Study
12:00 p.m. AA
7:30 p.m. AA

Wednesday, December 19:  
12:00 p.m. AA
7:00 p.m. Ladies’ AA

Thursday, December 20: 
12:00 p.m. AA
8:00 p.m. Men’s AA

Friday, December 21:
12:00 p.m. AA

Saturday, December 22:
Yard Crew – Mike Leonard & Brandon Lithgoe

Sunday, December 23: Advent IV
9:30 a.m. Worship - Communion
7:00 p.m. AA
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Upcoming Opportunities at HPC
  • Christmas Brunch, Today! Following worship we will celebrate the joy of the season with a Christmas Brunch in the Great Hall. All are invited to attend.

  • The Tuesday Morning Study group continues its Advent study, “The Purpose of Christmas,” at 10:30 a.m. in the Adult Sunday School classroom.  For more information contact Louise Dye or Connie Buck.

  • December 23 – Advent IV, 9:30 a.m., will be a relaxed, family-friendly service for those surrounded by the chaos of the season. The woodwind group, “Acoustic Oxygen,” will be participating. The Christmas Joy Offering will be received.

  • Monday, Dec. 24 – Candlelight Christmas Eve Service, 5:30 p.m. Highland’s traditional Christmas Eve Service celebrates the birth of the foretold Savior, Jesus Christ.
About HPC
Highland Presbyterian Church is a vibrant tree in God's grace-filled orchard. Deeply rooted in God's life-giving presence here on earth, this tree extends its branches to support one another in faith and reach into the world around it to produce fruit. Whether you are seeking God's presence through questions or service, discussion or fellowship, there is a home for you at Highland.
Connecting with Our Pastor
Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith

office hours for Rev. Janie are Mon. 10:30 am – 1:00 pm
and Thursday 10:00 am - 1:30 pm

cell (call or text): 314.283.7596
office: 766-5775 (please leave a message)

Highland Presbyterian Church (USA)
10024 Highland Road • Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • 225.766.5775 •