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Thought for the Week:

“The opposite of love is not hate;
it’s indifference.”

Elie Wiesel

 In worship this week:
September 16, 2018
Youth Sunday

Pastor: Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith

Pianist: Bingyu Peng

Liturgists: Youth Group

Ushers: Mike and Connie Leonard

Hospitality: Mike and Connie Leonard
Flowers this Sunday
are presented to the glory of God
and in gratitude to
our families and church family
by the Youth Group of Highland.

Focus on HPC:     

Baton Rouge Hunger Walk

This afternoon our Youth are participating in the Greater Baton Rouge Hunger Walk, an event sponsored by the Interfaith Federation of Greater Baton Rouge to raise funds for the Holy Grill (a feeding program of the Interfaith Federation) and the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank while increasing local hunger awareness. The walk begins at 2:30 pm and continues for two miles from its starting point, the Catholic Life Center, 1800 S. Acadian Thruway.

How can you help?  Our walkers are all soliciting sponsors. You can personally give them a donation, or you can leave a check (made out to Highland Presbyterian Church, memo “Hunger Walk”) in the offering plate this Sunday. If you would like to learn more about hunger in our area, hunger awareness activities will begin at 1:30 pm in the parking lot of the Catholic Life Center. See Rev. Janie if you would like to participate – “It’s never too late to participate!”

This week in PCUSA Mission:            
Theological Education/Seminaries Sunday
Rev. Dr. Lee Hinson-Hasty, Presbyterian Foundation

The Rev. Emily Zeig Lindsey, a colleague, Pennsylvania pastor and friend, summed up the importance of theological education beautifully in a video that the Theological Education Fund shared in late 2017. “There are people waiting in our pews and in our communities, hungry to learn and be fed, and waiting for a leader to come alongside them and help with that journey,” Emily said. “Seminary prepares you to do exactly that, in many ways, and teaches you to be receptive to the lessons you will learn during ministry.”

Today, we celebrate the guidance of these saints and the future pastors of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on  Theological Education/Seminaries Sunday . Thanks be to God for the seminarians who have boldly answered the call of God!

Emily is a pastor today because someone encouraged her to go to seminary. What can each person sitting in a church pew do today to support future ministers? You can take a look around your congregation for people who may have gifts for ministry. Which youth in your church offers prayers willingly and with a joyful heart? Who is the young adult who uses a mountaintop moment with God, in service, in worship or at a youth conference experience as an opportunity to spread good news to others? Who is a go-to leader in your congregation whom you might help discern a call to seminary and ministry full time? This is your task today, and it is something each person can do.
When I talk to people throughout the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I hear that many are deeply concerned about where the next pastors in the church are now. Some 80 percent of the ministers in the pulpit today are eligible to retire   in the next decade, which is startling but not insurmountable, with God’s help in the body of Christ, the church. 
Immediate Church Family*:
Betty Bagent; Doris Baugh; Inez Geoghegan; Betty Lancaster; Preston Lancaster; Mary Perry; Bill Pfeifer; Deanna Lewis Sklar; Brad Smith.

Extended Church Family*:
Brandon Behrmann (Carol’s nephew); Austin Casey (Jack and Betty Bagent’s grandson); Woody and Susie Chew (friends of Deanna); 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); Carol Harrison (Rob Stewart’s Mother); Claudia Hill (Connie Leonard’s sister); Phillip Lanier (friend of Rosemary John); Aleta Pickholtz; Earl Rabe (friend of Rick Gurtner); Philip 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.

September 16 - 22:  Neville Mbarika (17), Peggy Adams (19)

September 21:  Robert and Amy Stewart
Detail of the Prague Astronomical Clock in thePrague Old Town

This week at HPC:
Monday, September 17:
12:00 p.m. AA
Tuesday, September 18:
10:30 a.m. Tuesday Morning Class
12:00 p.m. AA
7:30 p.m. AA

Wednesday, September 19:  
12:00 p.m. AA
5:30 p.m. HPC Choir practice
7:00 p.m. Ladies’ AA

Thursday, September 20:       
12:00 p.m. AA
8:00 p.m. Men’s AA

Friday, September 21:
12:00 p.m. AA

Saturday, September 22:
Yard Crew – Mike Leonard & Brandon Lithgoe

Sunday, September 23: 
35th Anniversary Celebraton
9:30 a.m. Worship/Communion
11:00 a.m. Reception - Great Hall
4:00 p.m. "Gather Us In" Concert
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 is Youth Sunday! We will celebrate all the exciting things that the Youth have been doing this year with a Youth-led worship service.
  • 35th Anniversary Celebration, Sunday, Sept. 23. Join us in celebrating this joyous occasion. At 9:30 am we will have a Celebratory Worship Service followed by a reception in the Great Hall. At 4:00 pm we will come together for “Gather Us In,” a concert of music and scripture. For more information or if you need a ride contact Connie Buck or Louise Dye.

  • Lagniappe Ladies will meet for dinner Tuesday, October 2 at Casa Maria, 7955 Bluebonnet. For more information contact Carol Behrmann.
Session News
The Session of Highland Presbyterian Church met for its August regular stated meeting on Sunday, August 12 and its September regular stated meeting on Sunday, September 9, 2018. The following business was conducted:

  • Session Approved the Facility Use Request of the Baton Rouge Caledonian Pipes and Drum for practices on August 25, September 8, September 29 and October 13, 2018.
  • Session approved the sale of a specially designed tee-shirt for the 35Th Anniversary Celebration. Shirts will cost $12 and orders will be taken over the coming weeks.

  • Session approved entering into an agreement with Walgreens Pharmacy to provide flu shots for the Congregation on Sunday, October 21, 2018 following worship.
  • Session approved including Communion as part of the worship service on Sunday, September 23 (35th Anniversary Celebration), December 9, 16, and 23 (Advent), 2018.
  • Session approved allocating $500 from Other Benevolences to disburse $250 to Together Baton Rouge and $250 to Interfaith Federation of Greater Baton Rouge for 2018 donations.
  • Session approved calling a Special Meeting of the Congregation to be held October 7, 2018 following worship for the purpose of electing two Elders to the Class of 2021 and three members from the Congregation to serve on the 2019 Nominating Committee.
  • Session approved allocating Highland Presbyterian Church’s portion of the Peace and Global Witness Offering (25%) to the Interfaith Federation of Greater Baton Rouge.

Reports of Interest
(August and September combined)

  • The Youth trip to Montreat, NC was a success for the six youth and the two adult advisers, Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith and Robert Stewart. Youth are preparing to share their experiences on Sunday, September 16 which has been designated as “Youth Sunday.”
  • The Youth will participate in the Interfaith Federation of Greater Baton Rouge’s Hunger Walk on Sunday, September 16, 2018. Sponsorships are being sought.
  • Assistance for visitation of all church members was requested by Rev. Janie. Elders were assigned church members to contact and schedule a visitation. Rev. Janie will attend all meetings which are designed to foster deeper connections, ensure every member on our rolls know that we care, and ask some questions and talk about where Highland is at this time.
  • Due to Rev. Janie’s husband Brad’s medical procedures, changes to her vacation schedule included 2 days of vacation and 3 days of Medical Leave for the stint procedure during the week of August 27 – September 2, 2018.
  • Rev Janie will be on vacation October 15-17 and Continuing Education October 18 – 21, 2018.

Christian Education:
  • The Tuesday Morning Study Class is doing a DVD study series titled Great Figures of the New Testament taught by Professor Amy-Jill Levine. Connie Buck, Louise Dye and Mary Martin are assisting with the study.

Congregational Care:
  • Hospitality following worship each Sunday continues to be provided by various volunteers.
  • Third Sunday Lunch for July was not held because of the number of church members who would be away on July 16.
  • August Third Sunday Lunch was a “Hamburger Bash.”
  • September Third Sunday Lunch will not be held, but a reception is planned following worship on September 23 when the 35th Anniversary of Highland is celebrated.
  • Plans for the 35th Anniversary Celebration include a celebratory morning worship at 9:30 am and an afternoon program of scriptures and music at 4:00 pm. Aubrey Nelson is creating a musical piece for the afternoon event. Invitations to both events will be sent to the Congregation, each church in the Presbytery, former members and ministers.

  • Attendance at Sunday worship for the second quarter of 2018 averaged 36 persons.  

  • For the month of April, income of $14,228.60 exceeded expenses of $11,798.25 by $2,430.35.
  • For the month of May, expenses of $12,588.10 exceeded income of $11,203.43 by $1,384.67.
  • For the month of June, expenses of $16,481.13 (including $7,263.00 for Sanctuary ac repair) exceeded income of $6,978.76 by $9,502.37. 
  • For the month of July, expenses of $10,003.94 exceeded income of $6,254.70 by $3,749.24
  • For the month of August, expenses of $14,131.09 exceeded income of $7,153.40 by $6,977.69.

  • The Pentecost Offering received on May 20, 2018 totaled $395. $237 was disbursed to the Presbyterian Mission Agency and $158 was disbursed to Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services.
  • A letter was received from Bryce Wiebe, Director of Special Offerings and Appeals, thanking Highland for its participation in the Pentecost Offering every year since its inception 20 years ago.
  •  The Peace and Global Witness Offering will be received on October 7, 2018. Minute for Mission will be conducted on September 30 and October 7.
  • The Third Sunday Lunch in November (Nov. 18) will be for the benefit of Heifer International. Additional “fun-raising” activities will be included.

  • Session accepted with regret the resignation of Aubrey Nelson as Music Director. Aubrey has accepted a job as Youth Music Director at St. George Catholic Church.
  • Office Administrator Jennifer Hirstius has resigned due to her acceptance of a full-time position elsewhere. The Personnel Committee will consult with her about continuing bookkeeping duties for Highland on a contract/hourly basis.

  • Mary Martin and Connie Buck arranged a service of scripture readings and hymns for June 24 when pulpit supply was not available during Rev. Janie’s absence.
  • In July while Rev. Janie was with the Youth Group in Montreat, Elder Bob Downing presented the sermon on July 8 and Rev. Michael Elmore preached on July 15.
  • A change was made to the Order of Worship moving the “Passing of the Peace” to the end of the service. Its previous location created a disruption in the solemnity of that part of the service.
  • August 26 was Music Director Aubrey Nelson’s last day. A reception was held for her following the worship service.
  • Rev. Robin McCullough-Bade served as Pulpit Supply September 2, 2018.

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 Thurs. 10:00 am – 1:30 pm
by appointment Mon. – Thurs. 9:00 am – 4:30 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 •