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Thought for the Week:

“Advent increases our hope,
a hope which does not disappoint. 
The Lord never lets us down.”

Jorge Mario Bergoglio

In worship this week:
December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve

9:30 a.m.

Pastor: Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith

Guest Pianist: Dongwook Cheon

Youth Liturgist: Haleigh Thompson

Ushers: Mike and Connie Leonard

5:30 p.m.

Pastor: Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith

Guest Pianist: Dongwook Cheon

Guest Clarinetist: Wilbert Gilley

Liturgist: Dave Adams

Youth Liturgist: Taylor Thompson

Ushers: Mike and Tillie Groves

Communion Servers: Mike and Connie Leonard
The Poinsettias in the Sanctuary are given in Memory of, in Honor of, or in Gratitude for
those listed below.

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
Focus on HPC:       
No Wind at the Window

The fourth Sunday of Advent is the traditional place-ment of the Magnificat within the scriptures selected by the lectionary. For this reason, in addition to our Advent theme, during our Advent IV worship we will sing a hymn written more recently, No Wind at the Window .  It speaks of the event when Mary is invited to bear God’s own self into the world, which much of the Christian world calls the Annunciation. Using modern language, the words intone the wonder of this miraculous event as well as many of the aspects we often overlook.

Every time we recite the Apostles’ Creed, we state that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Ghost. Yet we rarely consider what that would mean for a teenage or pre-teen unmarried woman in the first century. The tradi-tional customs of betrothal and marriage are in fact set aside as the child is conceived. What is especially note-worthy is that Mary is asked, not forced, to take on this special task, for she will have to face the reality that this pregnancy will mean for her. Nevertheless, her re-sounding answer still rings through the ages. As the final verse of our hymn says, “No payment was pro-mised, no promises made; no wedding was dated, no blueprint displayed. Yet Mary, consenting to what none could guess, replied with conviction, ‘Tell God I say, Yes.’”

This week in PCUSA Mission:                
New Ways of Experiencing Faith
Jim Rimmer, Pastor

Several years ago, we faced a mystery in our home. When my older children were 3 and 4 years old, all of our children’s books were getting ruined. The pages were wrinkled, folded and ripping. The books could not fit on the shelves because the damaged pages made each book take up twice as much shelf space as it should have. We were forced to throw the kids’ favorite books in the garbage because they were unreadable. I saw it as a crisis of responsibility. How could our chil-dren be so careless with their possessions?

Then one day I stopped and watched my son flip through a book, and I instantly understood the problem. My kids were swiping book pages. They were putting their index finger on the page to the right and sliding the page across as if it were a Smartphone or tablet computer. This was damaging the pages because they were being bent and pulled in ways they were never meant to be used.

As fast as the world is changing, the church seems to remain the same. Many of our Sunday services seem like a time loop from the 1960s. Forward-thinking Presbyterian churches seem to be from the 1990s. If the 1960s ever return, many of our churches are primed for growth. But, if anything, society is racing faster and faster away from the 1960s. To my kids, the ’60s may as well be the Dark Ages.
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 24 - 30:  Jim Martin (27)

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

This week at HPC:
Monday, December 25: Christmas
(office closed)  
12:00 p.m. AA

Tuesday, December 26:     
(office closed)
12:00 p.m. AA    
7:30 p.m. AA

Wednesday, December 27:
12:00 p.m. AA
(no HPC choir practice)
7:00 p.m. Ladies’ AA

Thursday, December 28:
12:00 p.m. AA
8:00 p.m. Men’s AA

Friday, December 29:
12:00 p.m. AA

Saturday, December 30:
Yard Crew – John Dye & Mike Groves

Sunday, December 31:
9:30 a.m. Worship
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
  • End of the year Financial Check-up. If you would like to check on your church giving for 2017, go to and click on the “Related Links” tab. This will take you to the “Realm” link where you can sign in to see your financial statement for 2017. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Dave Adams.

  • Holiday office closure. Highland’s office will be closed Monday, December 25 and Tuesday, December 26 for the Christmas holidays.

  • Please check the bulletin board in the Fellowship area for opportunities to serve as ushers, liturgist, hospitality providers or communion servers. Help is much needed and greatly appreciated.

  • Lagniappe Ladies will meet Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. More information and a sign-up sheet is available on the bulletin board.

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

this week office hours for Rev. Janie are Thurs. 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
by appointment Wed. – 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 •