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Thought for the Week:

“Unless we make Christmas
an occasion to share our blessings,
all the snow in Alaska
won’t make it white.”

Bing Crosby
In worship this week:
December 31, 2017

Pastor: Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith

Guest Pianist: Dongwook Cheon

Liturgist: Carol Behrmann

Youth Liturgist: Caitlin Thompson

Ushers: Bill and Barb Pfeifer

Hospitality: Bill and Barb Pfeifer

Flowers this Sunday are presented
to the Glory of God.

Focus on HPC:       
Joy to the World

Our Hymn of Praise for Christmas I, Joy to the World, is a beloved setting of Psalm 98. In fact, the passage is speaking of God’s choice to make a home among God’s people and all the wonders that God has accomplished. The original writer of the hymn, Isaac Watts, never actually intended the lyrics entirely for use at Christmastide. This led the compilers of our new hymnal to add a second arrangement of these lyrics so that we might hear the context of the original passage with new ears.

Thirty years after its origin, a different composer set it to music. He was best known for a work called The Messiah that had a particularly famous chorus at its end. But since George Frederick Handel arranged it to fit his tune, it has been used as an essential Christmas piece by Christians the world over.

As Christ is God’s ultimate revelation of God’s self, the final triumphant verse seems particularly fit-ting whether speaking of the God of Israel or Christ come down: “He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of his righteousness and wonders of his love ...” 

Merry Christmas! 

This week in PCUSA Mission:                
Call to Action for
the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The humanitarian conditions in the conflict-ridden Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been rapidly deteriorating. The hunger crisis there has deepened, and an estimated 3.2 million people are without reliable access to enough nutritious food. Almost 1.4 million people have been displaced within the Kasai region or have fled to neighboring Angola to escape the fighting, resulting in a traumatized, vulnerable population.

In its most recent report on the situation in the DRC, the World Food Program stated, “Most inter-nally displaced families have now missed two con-secutive planting seasons. Many of the most vul-nerable now eat little more than a meal a day — typically just cassava root and leaves — that is lacking in protein, vitamins and minerals. Survival measures adopted by the displaced include begging, prostitution and the eating of seeds that should be planted.”

The United Nations launched a special humani-tarian appeal for the Kasai region this past year, but it remains less than 50 percent funded. United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humani-tarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien recently said, “The humanitarian community has been working with significantly insufficient financial resources to deliver at the scale required. This is not just insufficient — it is unacceptable for the global community to leave this very real suffering of the Congolese people unaddressed — just because of a shortage of money.”

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); Dan Durway (former Pastor of Highland); 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.

January 1 - 6: none

January: none
Detail of the Prague Astronomical Clock in thePrague Old Town

This week at HPC:
Monday, January 1: New Year's Day holiday
(office closed)
12:00 p.m. AA

Tuesday, January 2:
10:15 a.m. Bible Study
12:00 p.m. AA 
6:00 p.m. Lagniappe Ladies   
7:30 p.m. AA

Wednesday, January 3:
12:00 p.m. AA
(no HPC choir practice)
7:00 p.m. Ladies’ AA

Thursday, January 4:
12:00 p.m. AA
8:00 p.m. Men’s AA

Friday, January 5:
12:00 p.m. AA

Saturday, January 6:
Yard Crew – Mike Leonard & Brandon Lithgoe

Sunday, January 7: 
9:30 a.m. Worship/Communion/Installation of
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
  • Tuesday Bible Study - will meet at 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday, January 2, 2017. The class will be viewing two lectures on the apostle Paul.

  •  Lagniappe Ladies – will meet at the church Tuesday, January 2nd at 6 p.m. to welcome the new year with good food and fellowship. Connie Buck is bringing beef stroganoff. Please sign up to round out the menu. If you have an idea of a project the group would enjoy doing, please bring your suggestions.

  • New Year – new opportunities to participate. Participation in the life of Highland Presbyterian Church is a blessing all year round, but especially at this time of year we are looking for people to sign-up as ushers, litur-gists, hospitality providers, flower providers and communion servers for the coming months. Please consider a small commitment of time to provide service to Highland. The bless-ings are great for you and everyone else.

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 Thurs. 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
by appointment Tues. – 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 •