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Thought for the Week:

“O ye heights of heaven, adore him.
 Angel hosts, his praises sing.
Powers, dominions, bow before him,
and extol our God and King.
Let no tongue on earth be silent; every voice in concert ring, evermore and evermore.”
Aurelius Clemens Prudentius              

In worship this week:
December 17, 2017

Lessons and Carols

Pastor: Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith

Music Director: Aubrey Nelson

Pianist: Bingyu Peng

Guest Musicians: Christopher Lowry, viola; Adalus Low
Manzini, cello; Mathew Ward, violin; Xingyu Yang,

Ushers: Anne McKnight and Mary Martin
The Poinsettias in the Sanctuary are given in Memory of, in Honor of, or in Gratitude for
those listed below.

Focus on HPC:       
Lessons and Carols

The first Service of Nine Lessons and Carols was held on Christmas Eve in 1880 at the cathedral in Truro, England. However, it was not until 1918 that the more famous service at King’s College, Cambridge, was first held. The traditional form is still performed there to this day with the music sung by both the choir and the congregation in response to the telling of the Christmas story through scripture, beginning in Genesis and moving through the Gospel of John.

Our service for Advent III has been adapted from this model, keeping the time-honored classic opening and closing hymns of “Once in Royal David’s City” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” respectively. The key element of the “Bidding Prayer” and many of the original passages will also be used. In addition, other biblical passages have been drawn in to give the narrative a fuller per-spective. Lastly we are grateful to the choir for their diligent work and our guest instrumentalists for making this Service of Lessons and Carols joyful and poignant.

Let the final verse of our opening hymn be our prayer as we continue in this season of prepar-ation: “And our eyes at last shall see him, through his own redeeming love; for that child so dear and gentle is our Lord in heaven above; and he leads his children on to the place where he is gone.

adorning the sanctuary are given:

In Memory of

Eddis and Sally Buck by Bob & Connie Buck
Bill and Alita Gaines by Bob & Connie Buck
Bonner Stewart by Inez Geoghegan
Pat Ragsdale by Mike & Tillie Groves
Our parents by Mike & Tillie Groves
Jimmie Leonard and Helen Carpenter
                  by Mike & Connie Leonard
Jane Ebling McElwee [-Nast], Claude W. McElwee, Jr.,
and Robert Frederic Nast
            by Janie McElwee-Smith & Brad Smith
Edwin McKnight by Anne McKnight
Barbara and Jane Payton by Dudley Payton
Bill Perry by Mary Perry

In Honor of …

Connie Leonard by Inez Geoghegan
The Congregation of Highland by Inez Geoghegan
Family by Rosemary & Chacko John
Chris Elmore by Anne McKnight
Our children by Bill & Barb Pfeifer
Barbara Bradford Smith & Joseph A. Smith, Jr.
                  by Brad Smith & Janie McElwee-Smith

In Gratitude for …

Connie Buck by Inez Geoghegan
Our amazing daddy by Lucien & Arthur Smith
HPC Youth Group by Lucien & Arthur Smith

This week in PCUSA Mission:                
11-year-old is a Savvy Veteran in
Advocating for the Homeless and Hungry

A short walk to dinner in the nation’s capital became a life-changing experience for 8-year-old Meghan DeLuca. The New Jersey native was walking with her family in Washington, D.C., and came across several homeless people, including a few who were sleeping in boxes. Instead of ignoring them or closing her eyes to their anguish, young Meghan made a compassionate choice to do something about it. A few years later, with the help of her congregation at First Presbyterian Church of Belmar , she’s raised nearly $8,000 to help homeless individuals and families get back on their feet.

With the help of her mom, Meghan found her calling at Cardboard Box City, a one-night, annual event held near her home that raises money for the Family Promise shelter. In Cardboard Box City, participants build their own shelters out of cardboard on a Friday night, partake in a soup line dinner, and listen to music; the event also includes testimonials from formerly homeless people who convey their experi-ences. Participants then retire to their newly crafted cardboard “homes” for the evening. But to take part, you need to raise money.

In that first year, Meghan raised around $1,000 for Family Promise. In 2016, she upped that amount to approximately $4,000 with the help of donations from her congregation and Monmouth Presbytery, which donated the entire $1,000 offering from a September meeting.

Immediate Church Family*:
Betty Bagent; Carol Behrmann; Doris Baugh; Inez Geoghegan; Betty Lancaster; Mary Perry; Deanna Lewis Sklar; Brad Smith; Caitlin Thompson.

Extended Church Family* :
Brandon Behrmann (Carol’s nephew); Ron Brelsford (Rosemary John’s brother-in-law); Lettie Capers (friend of the Leonards); Austin Casey (Jack and Betty Bagent’s grandson); Wayne Cline (Sherry Hutchinson’s brother); Cecil and Judy Eubanks (former members); Eva Fuller (Inez Geoghegan’s niece); the Miller twins (friends of Brad Smith); Aleta Pickholtz; Earl Rabe (friend of Rick Gurtner); Joy Walker (niece of the Pfeifers); Larry Wilcoxson (friend of the Leonards); Barbara Zeagler (friend of the Dyes).

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

December 17 - 23:  none

December - none

Detail of the Prague Astronomical Clock in thePrague Old Town

This week at HPC:
Monday, December 18: 
12:00 p.m. AA

Tuesday, December 19:     
10:30 a.m. Bible Study
12:00 p.m. AA    
7:30 p.m. AA

Wednesday, December 20:
12:00 p.m. AA
(no HPC choir practice)
7:00 p.m. Ladies’ AA

Thursday, December 21:
12:00 p.m. AA
8:00 p.m. Men’s AA

Friday, December 22:
12:00 p.m. AA

Saturday, December 23:
Yard Crew – Jack Bagent & Bill Pfeifer

Sunday, December 24: 4th Sunday of Advent/
Christmas Eve  
9:30 a.m . Worship - Family-friendly Carol Sing
5:30 p.m. Worship - Christmas Eve Candlelight
and Communion
7:00 p.m. AA
coming soon brand new product release next up promotion and announce road sign or announcement billboard
Upcoming Opportunities at HPC
  • TODAY – Christmas Brunch. This year we will celebrate the season with a Third Sunday Christmas Brunch in the Great Hall. Please plan to stay following worship.

  • TODAY - Christmas Joy Offering. The Christmas Joy Offering is shared equally by the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and Presbyterian-affiliated racial ethnic schools and colleges. Please con-sider this offering in your Christmas Giving plans.

  • Congratulations are in order! Mandy Gurtner, daughter of Rick and Debbie Gurtner, graduates from LSU with her degree in Nutrition. Caitlin and Taylor Thompson have both been selected to serve on the PSL Youth Council. We are so proud of you all!

  • Christmas Eve - Sunday, December 24. This year is unusual in that Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday. We will have two Worship Services that day. At our regular 9:30 a.m. service we will celebrate the 4th Sunday of Advent with a family-friendly carol sing. At 5:30 p.m. we will have our traditional Christmas Eve Candlelight and Communion service. Please invite family and friends to share in these wonderful holiday services.

Session News

The Session of Highland Presbyterian Church met for its regular stated meeting on Sunday, Decem-ber 10, 2017. The following business was conducted:

  • Session approved the 2018 Budget. Estimated expenses of $143,646.00 are expected to exceed estimated income of $111,328.00 by ($32,318.00.)  Options to decrease expenses and increase income will be explored during the coming year.

  • Session approved changing Highland’s website provider from E-zekiel to Square Space to assist in the website redesign.

Reports of interest

Ad Hoc Sign Committee Report

  • Purchase and installation of a new sign is proceeding well. When the final proposal is received, the initial payment will be sub-mitted and sign production and instal-lation will be scheduled.

Ad Hoc Property Committee Report

  • AT&T - On Wednesday, November 15, the Ad-Hoc Property Committee met with Mike Brown, a representative of AT&T, to discuss options for locating an AT&T junction box on Highland Property. AT&T would purchase the property (approx-imately 7’ x 7’) for a proposed price of $3,000.00. After discussion it was agreed that Highland would consider selling a section of property located behind (away from Highland Rd.) the large utility pole located at the front, right section of the property. (Session tentatively ap-proved, awaiting an expected proposal for land purchase from AT&T, a Special Meeting of the Congregation for January 7, 2018 for the purpose of considering such proposal.) 

  • Highland Cove - On Thursday, Novem-ber 30, the Ad-Hoc Property Committee met with Kevin Nguyen, owner and developer of the adjoining property, and representatives from Quality Engineering, designers for the devel-opment, to discuss plans for the develop-ment of property adjoining High-land on the right side (toward Bluebonnet.) The committee was informed that the property development, to be known as Highland Cove, would contain 14 home sites (lot size of app. 90’ x 128’) with homes valued over one-million dollars, would be surrounded by an 8’ tall concrete panel (embossed and painted to look like stone or brick) wall, and would be gated with one entrance and exit onto Highland Rd. Issues concerning drainage, a pro-posed sewage treatment plant, and impact on Highland’s property were discussed.


  • The raffle drawing for two quilts donated by the Giving Quilt was held on November 19 following Third Sunday Lunch. The first place winning ticket was sold by Mike Groves and the second place winning ticket was sold by Janie McElwee-Smith. Raffle ticket sales (145 tickets) totaled $725.00. The proceeds will be evenly divided between Heifer International and St. John’s UMC Shepherd’s Market.

  • Members of the Youth Group harvested citrus fruit on Sunday, December 3. Fruit harvested was donated to the members of AA meeting at Highland and St. John’s UMC Shepherd’s Market.

  • Gifts of Literacy books for First Graders at Magnolia Woods Elementary have been collected and will be given to the students on Tuesday, December 12.

  • The Christmas Joy offering will be received on Sunday, December 17.


  • Budget planning and Stewardship outreach have been completed.

  • Worship Elements such as new paraments, devotional materials, and an Advent-cen-tered weekly blog have been organized and produced.

  • Mission opportunities for the season have included Youth participation in the citrus orchard, a Youth mission project involving Highland’s shut-ins, Gifts of Literacy, and the Christmas Joy Offering.

  • Rev. Janie will be on vacation January 8 – 13, 2018.

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 – 1:30 pm
and Thurs. 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
by appointment Mon. – Thurs. 9:00 am – 4:30 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 •