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Thought for the Week:

“Kindness is not a bad religion,
no matter what name you use for God.”

Barbara Brown Taylor

In worship this week:
February 3, 2019

Pastor: Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith

Pianist: Bingyu Peng

Liturgist: Carol Behrmann

Ushers: Mike and Tillie Groves

Hospitality: Sherry Hutchinson

Communion Server: Carol Behrmann
“Love is like a candle;
it leads you in times of darkness,
 and brightens your way into the future.”

The flowers this Sunday are presented
by Carol Behrmann.

Focus on HPC:     
Meetings of the Congregation

The Presbyterian Church (USA) is unique in that it functions within a set of written guidelines called The Book of Order.  This book, one-half of our Constitution, sets forth the importance of transacting business at a meeting of the whole Congregation for certain matters such as: electing ruling elders, calling a pastor, changing existing pastoral relationships and buying or selling real property. Meetings of the Congregation shall be called by the Session, by the Presbytery, or by the Session when requested in writing by one fourth of the active members on the roll of the Congregation. The business to be transacted at special (called) meetings shall be limited to items specifically listed in the call for the meeting. Congregations shall provide by rule the quorum necessary to conduct business. For Highland that number is set at 1/3 of all active members. This year Highland has 54 active members, making our quorum 18.

This Sunday we will gather following worship to decide a matter concerning the property of Highland Presbyterian Church. If 18 or more people are present, we can cast a vote (majority rules) to help decide the direction that we as a body of people will take. Such a simple and balanced system has served us well and will continue into the future. Thank you for being such an important part.

This week in PCUSA Mission:            
Synod of Blantyre Partners with Congregation in New Orleans
to Help Families in Malawi

How do you preach stewardship to a congregation that’s about to leave the church? In a nutshell, that’s what the writer of Hebrews is trying to do. Hebrews is a long way from the initial excitement, enthusiasm, and the explosive birth and growth of the church recorded in the first chapters of Acts.

By the time the Letter to the Hebrews was written, Christians had gone through enough persecutions and hardships that they were ready to throw in the towel and leave the church. The writer of Hebrews entreats the faith community to stay, and teaches that Jesus is the one messiah through whom they are redeemed. The writer uses every biblical, pedagogical, rhetorical, homiletical and admonitory resources available to persuade, plead and challenge the community to hold onto the faith and live out the new life promised in Christ.

A good example of this can be seen in Hebrews 10:23–25:  Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

In a series of first-person imperatives, the writer beseeches the congregation to love and encourage one another as expressions of holding onto the promises of Christ. But this is no sentimental feel good love message. The writer uses the word “provoke” to describe how the community ought to move toward love and good deeds. The word in Greek is  paroxusmos,  from which we get the word paroxysm. It means to stimulate, provoke, irritate, jab; words not normally associated with love and good deeds. Moving toward love and good deeds is so important for a community of faith that Christians must risk offending each other in the hope of engendering these essential qualities.
Immediate Church Family*:
Betty Bagent; Inez Geoghegan; Betty Lancaster; 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
Geoghegan’s brother); Randy Geoghegan (Inez’s son); Carol 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; Family of Joy Walker (niece 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.

February 3 - 9 : none

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

This week at HPC:
Monday, February 4:
12:00 p.m. AA
Tuesday, February 5:
10:30 a.m. Tuesday Morning Study
12:00 p.m. AA
6:00 p.m. Lagniappe Ladies
7:30 p.m. AA

Wednesday, February 6:  
12:00 p.m. AA
7:00 p.m. Ladies’ AA

Thursday, February 7: 
12:00 p.m. AA
8:00 p.m. Men’s AA

Friday, February 8:
12:00 p.m. AA

Saturday, February 9:
Yard Crew – John Dye & Mike Groves

Sunday, February 10:
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
  • Souper Bowl of Caring  The teams have been decided, so it’s time to put your non-perishable food items into the tubs in the fellowship area. Who will our winner be?
  • Called Congregational meeting – today following worship for the purpose of receiving and acting on a report from the Ad Hoc Property Committee.
  • The Tuesday Morning Study Class continues its DVD study, Prayer, by Phillip Yancey on Tuesday, February 5, 10:30 a.m., in the Adult Sunday School classroom. Come learn about Prayer, the intersection where we meet God. For more information contact Louise Dye or Connie Buck.    

  • Lagniappe Ladies will meet for dinner at Carrabba’s Italian Grill (7275 Corporate Blvd.), Tuesday, February 5, at 6:00 p.m. A sign-up sheet is available for those interested in attending. For more information contact Carol Behrmann.

  • The Sermon next Sunday (Feb. 10) will be “Now” from Psalm 138 and Isaiah 6:1-8.

Session News

The Session of Highland Presbyterian Church met for its regular stated January meeting on Saturday, January 26, 2019. The following business was conducted:

  • Session approved the Facility Use Request from The Giving Quilt for use of the Great Hall on February 20, 2019 from 7:00 - 11:00 am.
  • Session elected Louise Dye to serve as Clerk of Session for 2019.
  • Session elected Dave Adams to serve as Treasurer for 2019.
  • Session approved the 2019 Timeline for Business of the Church including the 2019 Communion Schedule.
  • Session elected Ruling Elders Mike Groves and Dudley Payton to serve as Session members to the 2019 Nominating Committee.
  • Session approved the 2018 Statistical Report.
  • Session approved a course of vocational discernment offered by the Midwest Ministry Consulting Service, February 11 – 13, 2019 in Austin, TX as Continuing Education for Rev. McElwee-Smith.
  • Session approved calling a Congregational Meeting for Sunday, February 3, 2019 following worship for the purpose of receiving and acting upon a report from the Ad Hoc Property Committee concerning the proposed Servitude Agreement between Highland Presbyterian Church and America Homeland.

Reports of Interest

Rev. Janie is in the process of accepting a new call to First Presbyterian Church of Hollidaysburg, PA. Below is a tentative time-line for transition:
  • February 11-13 – Continuing Education, Austin, TX
  • Travel February 15-17 – Preach at First Presbyterian of Hollidaysburg Sunday, 2/17
  • Travel February 26 – March 1 – House hunting
  • Sunday, March 17 (Third Sunday Lunch) Annual Meeting of the Congregation discussion concerning the future of Highland Presbyterian Church
  • Travel March 25-27 – Meeting with Presbytery in PA.
  • April 22-27 – Family Vacation
  • April 28 – Baccalaureate Service for Graduating Seniors
  • May 5 – Last Sunday in Pulpit.
  • May 8 – Last day in the office.

Ad Hoc Property Committee:
The Ad Hoc Property Committee presented a report outlining activity concerning a Servitude Agreement received from America’s Homeland. After careful consideration the committee recommends rejecting the agreement because 1) lack of clarity of Highland’s inclusion in the HOA to be established, specifically in regard to the management and maintenance of the Sewer Treatment Plant proposed to be located on Highland’s property; 2) no clear drainage plan which includes Highland; and 3) cost to pursue the matter further.

Christian Education:
  • The Tuesday Study class, co-led by Louise Dye and Connie Buck, is currently doing a six-week Phillip Yancy DVD study on prayer (January 8 – February 12).
  • The Tuesday Study class will do a five-week Lenten Study, The Path to the Cross, a Ray Vander Laan DVD.
  • Beginning April 30, the Tuesday Study class will do a seventeen-week study, A Theology of Luke and Acts, by Darrell L. Bock.

  • The average attendance for 2018 was 25 members, 35 total (represents members, non-members, staff, and visitors), and 7 visitors per quarter.
  • Evangelism Committee recommended to Session that advertising published in Yellow Pages and in Baton Rouge Advocate be discontinued. Session approved recommendation at December 2018 Session meeting.
  • The company that had the sign installed was contacted regarding the issue with the letters not staying in place. At this point, no corrective action has been suggested.

  • For the month of December, income of $13,987.20 exceeded expenses of $12,021.16 by $1,966.04. For the year of 2018 expenses of $145,596.68 exceeded income of $104,508.62 by ($41,088.06).

  • Books for the Gift of Literacy project were delivered to First Grade students at Magnolia Woods Elementary.
  • The Christmas Joy Offering was taken on December 23. A total of $505.00 was received. In 2018 a total of $2,366.00 was received for the four special offerings and the Heifer offering.  The congregation is thanked for its generosity.
  • The Souper Bowl of Caring will again be sponsored by the youth on February 3, 2019.

  • Jan. 6 – Epiphany Sermon “Light Has Come.”
  • Jan. 13 – Baptism of the Lord. Rev. McElwee-Smith was away, and Rev. Dr. Michael Elmore preached to us. The sermon was “God with US.”
  • Jan. 20 – Rev. McElwee-Smith was stranded by the weather and could not get back, so we rearranged the service with Connie Buck introducing, reading the liturgy and closing, Todd Stewart doing a reading and Dudley Payton reading the Scripture and Sermon “Christ’s Body.”
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

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 •