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Thought for the Week:

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”

Willie Nelson

In worship this week:
November 19, 2017

Pastor: Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith

Music Director: Aubrey Nelson

Pianist: Bingyu Peng

Liturgist: Jack Bagent

Youth Liturgist: Caitlin Thompson

Ushers: Mike and Connie Leonard
Decorations this Sunday are presented
in gratitude for God's bounty
by Highland's Orchard and
Bill and Barb Pfeifer.
Focus on HPC:       
Stewardship – Thank you!

We want to thank everyone in the Highland Presbyter-ian family for making our Stewardship Sunday so Suc-cessful! Nearly all of the individuals and families in the church pledged their time, talents, and treasure to further Christ’s ministry at HPC next year. Our mone-tary pledges are already totaling more than $2,000 higher than last year. Among other things, this indi-cates that our family of faith is blessed and we know it.

God’s bright future is waiting as we move into next year. We hope that everyone in the church will partici-pate in re-dedicating themselves for the coming year. If you have not yet turned in your pledge card, we will receive it, with thanks, as soon as you are able to do so. Thank you for your participation in God’s work and being a part of our family. WE ARE Highland Presby-terian Church!

This week in PCUSA Mission:                
New Worshiping Community
Launches in Rural Virginia
Lucketts, Virginia, is not a place that has diners or coffee shops. The one restaurant in this small town in the food and wine country of rural Southwest Virginia is closed on Mondays.

That gave Gary Mears, leader of a new worshiping com-munity launched by National Capital Presbytery, an idea. “During the summer, we started Food Truck Mon-days,” said Mears, who is lead missionary for The Porch at Faith Chapel. “We hired a food truck to come out and park in the parking lot of the old church, which closed two years ago.” People began to come for food, or because they wanted to meet the “new guy.”  They stayed because they didn’t know each other. “They’d find themselves sitting across the table from their neighbor, and you’d hear conversations,” Mears said, “like, ‘Oh, you live down the street from me; it’s a shame we haven’t met.’  Food Truck Mondays were a pure hospitality ministry.”

As Mears developed relationships around the table, The Porch started Bible Study Thursdays. A group of about 10 people sit around the living room or on the front porch at the manse across from the closed church. “So often we say to each other, ‘Hey, I have questions, I have questions,’” Mears said. “They’re not currently church people, but they did grow up in the church.” But usually, according to Mears, something happened that pushed them away or, in their experience, got stale, but they want it back. He finds there is a yearning for a return in the hearts of those in the Bible study.
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 Brels-ford (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); Eva Fuller (Inez Geoghegan’s niece); the Miller twin in NICU in Nashville (friends of Brad Smith); Aleta Pickholtz; Earl Rabe (friend of Rick Gurtner); family of Pat Ragsdale (brother of Tillie Groves); family of Sammy Salvato (friends of the Leonards); 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.

November 19 - 25: none

November 21 – Jack and Betty Bagent
Detail of the Prague Astronomical Clock in thePrague Old Town

This week at HPC:
Monday, November 20: 
12:00 p.m. AA

Tuesday, November 21:     
10:15 a.m. Bible Study
12:00 p.m. AA    
7:30 p.m. AA

Wednesday, November 22:
(office closed - Thanksgiving holiday)
12:00 p.m. AA
(no HPC choir practice)
7:00 p.m. Ladies’ AA

Thursday, November 23: Thanksgiving
(office closed - Thanksgiving holiday)
12:00 p.m. AA
8:00 p.m. Men’s AA

Friday, November 24:
12:00 p.m. AA

Saturday, November 25:
Yard Crew – Mike Leonard & Brandon Lithgoe

Sunday, November 26: 
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
  • TODAY - Thanksgiving Lunch/Raffle Drawing. Join us to give thanks for the blessings we have and share those bles-sings with others.   Following lunch, we will have the raffle drawing for the two quilts donated by the Giving Quilt ladies. 

  • Tuesday Bible Study will meet at 10:15 next Tuesday (Nov. 21). In order to complete the study before Lent, the Tuesday Bible Study will do two lessons this coming week. Please note the time change.

  • Opportunities abound to share your time and talents! Highland is in need of a few good liturgists, ushers and hospitality providers. Please check the sign-up sheets for your perfect opportunity to share.

  • Devotional Advent Calendars will be available for pick-up next Sunday, Novem-ber 26. The first Sunday of Advent is December 3 (right around the corner.)

  • Rev. Steve Wallace will be our Guest Preacher next Sunday (Nov. 26). His Sermon is titled “A Prayer for the Holidays” from Ephesians 1:15-23.

  • Called Congregational Meeting – Sunday, Dec. 3 for the purpose of reviewing Rev. McElwee-Smith’s 2018 Terms of Call.

Session News

The Session of Highland Presbyterian Church met for its regular stated meeting on Sunday, November 12, 2017. The following business was conducted:

  •  Session approved the installation of Ruling Elder-elect Barb Pfeifer during Worship on Sunday, January 7, 2018.  She and returning Elder Louise Dye will be the Session Class of 2020.

  • Session approved the formation of an Ad Hoc Property Committee comprised of: Clerk of Session Louise Dye, Property Chair Mike Leonard, Session representative Bob Buck and ex-officio member Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith, for the purpose of addressing several property issues which have come up in recent weeks. (For more information see the Property Committee report.)

  • Session approved calling a Special Meeting of the Congregation, Sunday, December 3, 2017 for the purpose of presenting the 2018 Terms of Call for Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith.

  • Session approved allocating $103.42 from Local Mission – HPC Garden for reimburse-ment for fall garden supplies purchased.

  • Session approved allocating $118.00 from Pentecost Offering - HPC for a contribution to the Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services, Baton Rouge office, to support their mission.

Reports of interest

Presbytery Meeting, Oct. 20-21:
  • The Feliciana Retreat Center will be kept open by establishing it as a separate 501(c)3 organization and creating an ecumenical oversight committee to determine its program-ming and finances.

Finance and Personnel:
  • Session received the Financial Report for October. Expenses of $11,399.20 exceeded income of $8,714.00 by ($2,685.20). 
  • Treasurer Dave Adams presented a written preliminary spending plan budget for 2018. Total expenses are budgeted to be $138,076.00. Several questions were raised and will be examined before the final 2018 Budget is presented for approval at the December Stated Session Meeting.
  • Annual Performance Review for Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith was performed on November 7, 2017. Reviewers were Elder Michael Groves (Personnel Chair), Elder David Adams (Personnel Committee member), and Elder Louise Dye (Clerk of Session). The Committee was in agreement that Rev. McElwee-Smith’s strong points were worship, youth programs, fellowship, pastoral care and administration. Community visibility is difficult for a small church like Highland and is not only a responsibility of the minister, but also the congregation. Though Rev. McElwee-Smith has been successfully working with other leaders to overhaul our social media and Internet presence, our outreach ministry is something in which the entire congregation will need to participate during the upcoming year.
  •  A Volunteer Day will be held at the Feliciana Retreat Center December 1-2.
  • The Youth participated in planting the fall garden. They will continue their involvement with the garden through harvesting and distribution to the St. John’s UMC Shepherd’s Market.
  • The Thompson girls, Rev. McElwee-Smith, and Lucien and Arthur Smith participated in the Baton Rouge Community Hunger Walk on November 5.
  • A raffle of two quilts donated by the Giving Quilt group is underway. The drawing will be held on November 19 following Third Sunday Lunch. The proceeds from the raffle will be evenly divided between Heifer International and St. John’s UMC Shepherd’s Market.

  • The Ad Hoc Sign Committee reported that after much exploration of options, they recommended that Highland pursue a proposal from the Greater Baton Rouge Signs to provide a 4’x8’ double sided, lighted sign along with a pole cover. The estimated cost of such sign is $5,600.
  • A letter was received from AT&T expressing a desire to purchase a small parcel of Highland’s land near Highland Rd. to install an equipment box.
  • An email was received from Brad Way, Keller Williams Realty, requesting contact information in order that Kevin Nguyen, local developer for the property adjacent to Highland, be able to contact Highland to discuss his property development plans.

  • Sunday, October 29 the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation was celebrated. 
  • Sunday, November 5 was celebrated as All Saints Sunday and included a brass quartet. 
  • Information about Advent will be distributed to the Congregation through “Invite Cards” and mid-week email blasts.

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

Rev. Janie will be on vacation November 20 - 27
For immediate needs please call: Clerk of Session Louise Dye (767-3091)
or Congregational Care Chair Connie Buck (769-2756)
Rev. Janie's 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 •