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Thought for the Week:

“Peace is not something you wish for;
 it’s something you make, something you do, something you are, and something
you give away.”

John Lennon

 In worship this week:
December 9
Advent II

Pastor: Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith

Pianist: Bingyu Peng

Liturgist: Emma Stewart

Ushers: Bill and Barb Pfeifer

Hospitality: Bill and Barb Pfeifer

Communion Servers: Sherry Hutchinson and
Mary Martin
The flowers this Sunday
are presented to the glory of God.

Focus on HPC:     

Poinsettia plants are native to Central America, especially an area of southern Mexico known as “Taxco del Alarcon” where they flower during the winter. The Aztecs had many uses for them including using the flowers (actually special types of leaves known as bracts rather than being flowers) to make purple dye for clothes and cosmetics, and the milky white sap was made into a medicine to treat fevers. Today the poinsettia is widely known because of Joel Roberts Poinsett. He was the first Ambassador from the USA to Mexico in 1825. Poinsett had some greenhouses on his plantations in South Carolina, and while visiting the Taxco area in 1828, he became very interested in the plants. He sent some of the plants back to South Carolina, where he began growing the plants and sending them to friends and botanical gardens.

At the first Philadelphia Flower Show in 1829, Robert Buist saw the flower and began selling them as cut flowers under their botanical name, “Euphorbia pulcherrima” (most beautiful Euphorbia). It is thought that they became known by the name “Poinsettia,” a much easier name, in the mid 1830’s when people found out who brought them to America from Mexico. By the early 1900’s they were being sold as whole plants for landscaping and pot plants. The Ecke family from Southern California were one of the first nurseries to sell them as whole plants and are still the main producer of the plants in the US.

The Mexicans have a legend about how Poinsettias and Christmas go together involving a miracle which led them to be called “Flores de Noche Buena,” or “Flowers of the Holy Night.” In other cultures the shape of the poinsettia flower and leaves are thought to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem. For most cultures the red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ and the green leaves eternal life.

This week in PCUSA Mission:            
Human Rights Day – December 10
  Sue Rheem, Presbyterian Ministry at the U.N.

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”    That’s how the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins. The declaration was drafted in response to the calamities and barbarous acts experiences by people all over the world during World War II. This year marks the 70th anniversary of this historic document in moral consciousness that has been a beacon of hope and purpose throughout the world. The United States was instrumental in this effort, and Eleanor Roosevelt was the driving force in the drafting the document that would become the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has a historic commitment to human rights. Our faith in Jesus Christ calls us to stand for the rights of all people in accordance with God’s wish for humanity. We affirm the value of human dignity that all human beings are created equally in the “image and likeness of God.”

As people of God, we are called to stand together and work together for the dignity of all people. While it may seem daunting to think about human rights on a global scale, Eleanor Roosevelt tells us that universal human rights begin in small places, close to home, in our neighborhoods, workplaces and schools. “Such are the places where every man, woman and child seek equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”
Immediate Church Family*:
Betty Bagent; Inez Geoghegan; Betty Lancaster; Preston Lancaster; the family of Jim Martin; Mary Perry; Deanna Lewis Sklar; Brad Smith.

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 Pick-holtz; 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 9 - 15: Mei Stewart (10),
Jack Bagent (11)

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

This week at HPC:
Monday, December 10:
12:00 p.m. AA
Tuesday, December 11:
9:30 a.m. WW Quilters
10:30 a.m. Tuesday Morning Study
12:00 p.m. AA
7:30 p.m. AA

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

Thursday, December 13: 
12:00 p.m. AA
8:00 p.m. Men’s AA

Friday, December 14:
12:00 p.m. AA

Saturday, December 15:
Yard Crew – Mike Leonard & Brandon Lithgoe

Sunday, December 9: Advent III
9:30 a.m. Worship - Lessons and Carols/
11:00 a.m. Christmas Brunch
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
  • Poinsettias  If you would like to purchase a poinsettia in honor of, memory of, or thanks for someone during this advent season, please fill out an order form and return it no later than Friday, Dec. 14. 

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

  • Gifts of Literacy books will be delivered Thursday, Dec. 13. All are welcome to come help with the delivery and see the smiling faces. Contact Connie Buck if you would like to help.

  • Christmas Brunch, Sunday, December 16 Following worship Dec. 16, we will celebrate the joy of the season with a Christmas Brunch. A sign-up sheet is posted on the bulletin board for you to indicate what you will bring.
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 •