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Thought for the Week:

“As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

Marianne Williamson

In worship this week:
January 6

Pastor: Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith

Pianist: Ana Paula Simões

Liturgist: Connie Buck

Ushers: Dave and Peggy Adams

Hospitality: Dave and Peggy Adams

Communion Servers: John and Louise Dye
The flowers this Sunday are presented
to the Glory of God.
Focus on HPC:     
Chalking the Door
By Rachel M. Srubas |  Presbyterians Today, December 4, 2017

After months of preparation and mountains of paperwork, Cassi invited a friend and me to her now child-ready home. It was the sixth of January, the Epiphany of the Lord, also known as the Feast of Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day. I brought two items: a candle and a stick of chalk. We lit the candle to signify the light of Christ that once shone brilliantly in the heavens, leading the Magi, wise star-watchers from the east, to follow its beams all the way to Bethlehem. There, the Gospel of Matthew tells us, they found the young Savior with his mother.

Now, why the chalk? A centuries-old Epiphany tradition more common in Europe than in the United States is known as “chalking the door.” On Epiphany, the day following the Twelfth Day of Christmas, guests gather at a home to invoke the Magi’s and Christ’s own blessing upon it.

Although Matthew never mentions the Magi’s names, tradition has it that they were called Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. The initials CMB also abbreviate a Latin house blessing,  Christus mansionem benedicat , meaning “May Christ bless this dwelling.” Chalking the door on the Feast of Epiphany involves writing — with chalk — these three letters, interspersed with crosses and flanked by the numbers of the present year, on the lintel of a house’s front door.

This week in PCUSA Mission:            
Small Churches Can Thrive
Rev. Sue Washburn

I’d been on the job for about three months when it came time for the joint planning meeting with the session and deacons. It was my first call to a small congregation in a medium-sized building. I was old enough to remember what church was like back in the ’70s, when vacation Bible school was a community event and Christmas and Easter meant extra chairs around the perimeter of the sanctuary. The church to which I’d been called didn’t even fill up on the big holidays.

So, I went into that first leadership meeting with my new “Reverend” title and armed with information and statistics. As a second-career pastor I knew my way around the communication business. I also knew that churches were supposed to grow to be successful — and gosh darn it, we were going to do just that.

I went into that meeting with all my fear and anxiety about serving a dying church. The leadership meeting started right on time and I proceeded to rush through all my great ideas. I talked about new communication strategies, adaptive change, appealing to Millennials, mission and vision statements and probably about a hundred other things that I thought were vital at the time. Many of the leaders sat quietly. What was going on? I wondered. Why were they not excited to try all of the new things? How could they be so blasé about what their low numbers were showing? Did they want to dwindle away?

It was then that I realized that the given narrative for leaders with small congregations is simple: Grow it or close it. Today, I know that this is a false dichotomy. There is a third option. Small churches can thrive. Thriving small churches don’t get written up as success stories. Their pastors aren’t invited to speak at church conferences. In fact, there aren’t many resources geared just to them. Yet these small congregations continue to meet with Jesus and welcome others to join them. They remain grateful, as God remains faithful.
Immediate Church Family*:
Betty Bagent; Inez Geoghegan; Betty Lancaster; the family of Jim Martin; 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 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 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 added to the prayer list this week are in italics.

January 6 - 12:  Arden Kleinpeter (8)

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

This week at HPC:
Monday, January 7:
12:00 p.m. AA
Tuesday, January 8:
9:30 a.m. WW Quilters
10:30 Tuesday Morning Study
12:00 p.m. AA
7:30 p.m. AA

Wednesday, January 9:  
12:00 p.m. AA
7:00 p.m. Ladies’ AA

Thursday, January 10: 
12:00 p.m. AA
8:00 p.m. Men’s AA

Friday, January 11:
12:00 p.m. AA

Saturday, January 12:
Yard Crew – Jack Bagent & Bill Pfeifer

Sunday, January 13:
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
  • The Tuesday Morning Study Class will begin a new DVD study, Prayer, by Phillip Yancey on Tuesday, January 8, 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.

  • The Rev. Michael Elmore will serve as Pulpit Supply next Sunday, Jan. 13. His Sermon title is “God With US” from Isaiah 7:10 – 14.

  • January Third Sunday Lunch, Jan. 20, will be Soup and Salad. The sign-up sheet for contributions is available on the bulletin board in the fellowship area.

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

There are no office hours for Rev. Janie this week.

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 •