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Thought for the Week:

“Lent is a time for reconsidering our feelings, for letting our eyes be opened to injustice,
 to open our hearts to those suffering.”


In worship this week:
March 24, 2019
Lent III

Pastor:  Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith

Pianist:  Ana Paula Simões

Liturgist: Dave Adams

Ushers: Dave and Peggy Adams

Hospitality: Jack and Betty Bagent
Flowers this Sunday are presented
to the glory of God.
Focus on HPC:     

A very good question came up at the Congregational Meeting this past Sunday. “How do we function as a church once the Pastor leaves?” Thanks to the Presbyterian love for order and process, that is a fairly easy question to answer. We rely on our Session to make decisions and implement plans of action. Elders Connie Buck and Louise Dye will oversee matters concerning Christian Education and Congregational Care. Elder Barb Pfeifer will oversee matters concerning Evangelism and Mission. Elder Mike Groves will oversee matters concerning Finance and Personnel. Elder Mike Leonard will oversee matters concerning Property. Elder Dudley Payton will oversee matters concerning Worship.

As was also discussed on Sunday, this does not mean that these elders are charged with doing all that is required to run the church day to day. Instead they will look to you, the Congregation of this church, to add to the strength of their committees and ministries. Highland Presbyterian Church has a wonderful history of membership participation in the life and ministry of the church. For this we are truly blessed and the elders on Session are truly thankful. For contact information for elders on Session, please pick up a 2019 Session Committee Assignment flyer on the table in the narthex.
This week in PCUSA Mission:            
Embracing Change is the Presbyterian Way

Every time my wife wants me to try a different recipe that she has prepared, I start finding a reason to say no. I want to ask her, “What is in the recipe? Why do we have to try something different?” These thoughts run through my mind before I eat the new dish.

Sometimes Presbyterians, whose rally cry is “reformed and always reforming,” meaning “always embracing the new thing God is doing,” get stuck in old practices. We enjoy worshiping and fellowshipping together on Sundays. But for some reason, we usually sit in the same seat each week. How about sitting next to another one of God’s children whom we do not know or a new member or visitor? And, is it upsetting when there’s a change from the usual order of service? I’m not saying that the old way of doing things is necessarily wrong or unproductive, but life changes. We need to be open to those changes. We also need to know how to move toward change.

In December 2016, I completed my term as chair of council for New Castle Presbytery in Newark, Delaware, after serving terms as moderator and vice moderator. During that time, I was on committees that started a process of discernment, research, study, discussion and implementation of change in the presbytery’s structure.

It wasn’t easy. The process started a little over seven years ago at a presbytery retreat for its leaders. This meeting preceded the formation of two groups that were called “Balcony I” and “Balcony II” — because, like the view from a balcony, we, too, would be viewing the presbytery “stage” in front of us. By the end of 2016, the presbytery approved the recommendations that changed its leadership and budgeting structures. For example, some traditional leadership positions and responsibilities were eliminated or redefined, and new ones — such as missional and connectional presbyters — were created. A unified budget was established for our finances. The major takeaway from this process was that even though most people agreed that change was needed, the process had to be transparent and everyone had to have an opportunity to participate and be heard. 
Immediate Church Family*:
Betty Bagent; Inez Geoghegan; Mike Groves; Betty Lancaster; Mary Perry; Deanna Lewis Sklar; Brad Smith.

Extended Church Family*:
Barbara Behrmann (Carol's mother) ; 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); Aleta Pickholtz; Barbara Smith (Brad Smith's mother); Larry Wilcoxson(friend of the Leonards).
  * New names added to the prayer list this week are in italics.

March 24 - 30:  none

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

This week at HPC:
Rev. Janie will be traveling March 25-27

Monday, March 25:
12:00 p.m. AA
Tuesday, March 26
9:30 a.m. WW Quilters
10:30 a.m. Tuesday Morning Study Class
12:00 p.m. AA
7:30 p.m. AA

Wednesday, March 27:  
12:00 p.m. AA
7:00 p.m. Ladies’ AA

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

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

Saturday, March 30:
Yard Crew – Mike Leonard & Brandon Lithgoe

Sunday, March 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
  • Bingyu Peng will have a Solo Recital on Friday, March 22 (today), 7:30 p.m., LSU School of Music.

  • Lenten Devotionals, Awakening to God’s Beauty, are available for pick up on the Narthex table. It’s really never too late to benefit from a Lenten devotional.
  • The Tuesday Morning Study Class continues its Lenten Study, The Path to the Cross, Tuesday, March 27. The class meets on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. in the Adult Sunday School Classroom. All are welcome.

  • Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, April 14, 2019. A Maundy Thursday Service and meal will be held Thursday, April 18. Easter/Resurrection of the Lord will be celebrated on Sunday, April 21.

Session News

The Session of Highland Presbyterian Church met for its regular stated March meeting on Sunday, March 10, 2019. The following business was conducted:

  • In an effort to cut expenses, Session approved the purchase of a Brother MFC J6935dw copier (approximately $320) to replace the currently leased office copier.

  • In an effort to cut expenses, Session approved discontinuing the church’s subscriptions to “The Presbyterian Outlook” ($59.00 per year) and “The Christian Century” ($65.00 per year).

The Congregation of Highland Presbyterian Church met for its annual meeting on Sunday, March 17 during the Third Sunday Lunch. 

  • The following motion was approved: On behalf of our pastor, the Session of Highland Presbyterian Church moves that we request the Presbytery of South Louisiana dissolve the pastoral relationship between Highland Presbyterian Church and the Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith effective May 31, 2019.

Prior to the motion a brief summary of what had transpired over the past eight months in relation to the action of Rev. McElwee-Smith seeking and accepting a new call at The First Presbyterian Church, Hollidaysburg, PA was given. Following the motion a time of questions and answers concerning the impact this transition will have on the life of Highland Presbyterian Church was facilitated.

Reports of Interest
from March 10 Session Meeting

Christian Education:
  • The Tuesday Study class, co-led by Louise Dye and Connie Buck, is currently doing a five-week Lenten Study using the Ray Vander Laan DVD study, The Path to the Cross.

  • Following the Lenten Study, the Tuesday Study class will resume, A Theology of Luke and Acts, by Darrell L. Bock.

Congregational Care:
  • Hospitality following worship each Sunday continued to be provided by various volunteers. 

  • Members unable to attend services are sent the Sunday bulletin and announcements on Monday following the worship service they miss. Members unusually absent from church were checked on by phone.

  • The February Third Sunday Lunch had a Mardi Gras theme and included a written Annual Report to the Congregation.

  • The March Third Sunday Lunch will have a St. Patrick’s Day theme and include the Annual Meeting of the Congregation.

  • Highland welcomed several visitors during the months of January and February. The average attendance for January was 32 and for February 31.
  •  A letter of invitation will be sent to The Church of the Way as it prepares to close.

  • For the month of January, expenses of $7,899.54 exceeded income of $6,570.20 by ($1,329.34).
  • For the month of February, expenses of $14,471.31 (includes quarterly property insurance payment $3,626.58 and attorney fees $3,596.00) exceeded income of $7,978.64 by ($6,492.67). 

  • The Souper Bowl of Caring was sponsored by the youth on February 3. The contest between Commercials, Rams and Patriots was won hands down by Commercials. A large number of bags of food were collected and delivered to the St. John’s Shepherd’s Market.
  • The One Great Hour of Sharing Offering will be received on Easter Sunday, April 21. Minutes for Mission about the offering will be presented on April 14 and 21.
  • Members are encouraged to remember the PC (USA) Giving Catalog which is on the small table in the Fellowship area.

  • January 27 - Sermon “Do Not Have “
  • February 3 - Sermon “Transfixed.” Bingyu Peng, our pianist, was absent and requested time off through Mar. 22. The congregation sang the hymns excellently a cappella.
  • February 10 - Sermon “Now.“ Ana Paula Simões will serve as substitute pianist until Bingyu’s return
  • February 24 - Sermon “Further.”
  • February 27 - Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith was absent due to travel. Rev. Judy Roeling served as Pulpit Supply and gave the sermon “What Will It Take To Make You Happy?“
  • March 3 - “ Transfiguration of the Lord “ Sunday. Sermon “Not Knowing. “
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 •