From the desk of Pastor Dan:
I am grateful for the generous members of Green Hill who made it possible for me to travel to the Yucatan as a member of the presbytery mission team. I so would love to name two or three in particular (there were more), but I believe they want to remain anonymous.
You will find a picture or two of me “at work” at the congregation of “Principe de Paz” in Tizimin, Yucatan. I tried to find the most “youthful-looking” and industrious shots. Ha! Thanks to Betty Cully for some excellent photo-bugging!
The little congregation in Tizimin was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude. The Mayan children couldn’t quite get over the giants that evidently live in Alabama (think especially, Jim Cully!!). The Vacation Bible School aspect of our mission touched the lives of at least 70 little ones, to say nothing of the adults that made up their primary and extended families. The Sunday evening worship was memorable. The efforts the Mayans undertook to make the giants from Alabama feel welcome, was almost more than we could take in! It was on their faces! It was in their singing! Most of all, you could gauge it in their beautiful smiles and warm greetings. I am doubling up my efforts to learn more Spanish!
By the time you read this article you will know that you missed the special Wednesday night program the Cully’s and I were privileged to put together for our mid-week crowd. You miss a lot when you don’t attend mid-week, even if I do say so myself!!
I hope you read this in time to want to come to the town hall meeting I’ve planned (Feb 29) for bringing you up to speed on a wonderful association of PCUSA evangelicals known as the Fellowship of Presbyterians. Please come! Ask questions. This is a time for you to share your concerns about Green Hill’s future.
I end this month’s remarks with a special remembrance of my good friend (and one of the best story-tellers) I have ever met. The Navy, a singular career as an insurance adjuster, having a “My Three Sons” family, and a life given over to helping others, provided rich fodder for most of those stories. I am talking about Bob (Pop Pop) Boylston, of course. In his honor and cherished memory I offer a poem that he wrote a few years ago, near the time I first arrived on the scene at Green Hill:
A Green Hill Resolution
Long, at last, the time is here
To usher in a brand new year
New resolutions we unfold
As we usher out the old
Just how many do we keep?
Seems it’s best to let them sleep
They were made with great resolve
Yet they seem to all dissolve
But keep just one, I hope you will
Attend God’s house upon the hill
Like an island in the sea
It’s a haven for you and me.
Farewell, Pop Pop, our very good friend, Farewell.
- Elder Jean Voss reported for the Wednesday Night Fellowship and Bible Study Task Force. “First Wednesdays” will be something out of the ordinary and we hope appealing to most of the church family, beginning March 7th. See special announcement in this month’s newsletter.
- Approval was given to spend up to $1400 renovating and equipping the Nursery. April Seery and her committee will be overseeing this project. Opportunity will be given to members and friends of the church to fund added equipment and features. A brief fund drive to accomplish this is in the offing. An artist’s rendition of the finished new nursery will be on display in the Fellowship Hall.
- Elders Betty Cully and Jean Voss reported on the three day conference of the new Fellowship of Presbyterians (FOP) held recently in Orlando. The Session decided to study the documents and website. After prayerful consideration and giving a month for interested members of the congregation to ask questions as well, the Session will vote whether or not to join the FOP during their March meeting. The FOP is an association of evangelical congregations and church leaders within the PCUSA who share similar (more conservative and traditional) theological beliefs, and have a robust vision for 21st century mission and outreach. Visit the website at http://www.fellowship-pres.org/.
- Pastor McMillan will hold a town hall-styled meeting during the Wednesday Night Fellowship and Bible Study time, February 29, 5:30-7pm. The purpose of the Question and Answer formatted meeting will be to inform and clarify for members of Green Hill the purpose and mission of the Fellowship of Presbyterians, and to receive feedback, pro and con. Most importantly, the Pastor wants church members to know that the Green Hill Session is not discussing a plan for leaving the PCUSA.
- The Session granted personal leave for Sunday, March 25th, so that Dan and Anita can be present in Loudon, Tennessee for a birthday bash in honor of three members of the McMillan clan: Anita, Jon, and Livvy.
PASTA & PRAISE NIGHT
Please mark Wednesday, March 7, on your calendar and plan to come to the Green Hill “Pasta & Praise” night. Dinner will be served from 5pm to 6pm and will include spaghetti, salad, garlic bread, tea, water, and dessert. At 5:45pm, praise songs will be sung. Cost is $3/person or $5/couple or family. Come enjoy a fabulous meal and enjoy the joyous praising of our Lord and Savior!
COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE BRIEFING
In 95% of all emergencies, the victim or bystander provides the first immediate assistance on the scene. If you were involved in a disaster, would you know what to do?
On Wednesday, March 21, at 6pm, a representative from CERT, the Community Emergency Response Team, will come to the church and give a presentation explaining how ordinary citizens can be trained in critical skills needed in emergency preparedness and response. Please come and learn about the CERT program. We are planning to form our own team. Kimberli has completed the training and Pastor Dan and Anita plan to complete it also. This is part of our Commission for Emergency Contact and Disaster Relief Plan for Green Hill.
GIRL SCOUT SUNDAY
On Sunday, March 11, the Green Hill congregation will be joined at morning worship by the girls and parents from Girl Scout Troop #9338. Girl Scout Sunday is a time for Girl Scouts to be recognized in their places of worship and to reflect on the importance of the words “To Serve God” in the Girl Scout Promise. This year Girl Scouting is celebrating its 100th Anniversary! Please join us on this day to welcome our visitors.
GUIDEPOSTS MILITARY APPRECIATION PROGRAM
GUIDEPOSTS, the inspirational Christian magazine, runs a Military Appreciation Program. Through it, subscribers can send a gift of a one year subscription to a member of the Armed Forces for just $10. If you would like to support this program, simply mark your contribution with the word “Guideposts” and bring it by the church office or drop it in the offering plate on Sunday.
RELAY FOR LIFE LUMINARIES
Preparations for this year’s “Relay for Life” are underway. One way for you to be involved is to purchase a luminary honoring the special people in your life who have battled cancer. A luminary at the candle lighting ceremony is a heartwarming tribute to remember loved ones. Order forms for the luminaries are available in the church office. There is a $5 minimum contribution per luminary.
Thank you for helping to fill the box (of briefs) that will be taken to the Spring Gathering at Swift Church next month. Another BIG THANK YOU to Kimberly for her contribution of $260 to the Green Hill ladies. A check was taken to the Christian Mission Women’s Shelter and it will be used for a microwave to be placed in the common area of that facility.
NOW, mark your calendars for Sunday afternoon, March 18, 2pm. Men and women are invited to the Green Hill Spring Gathering. Mr. Dan Fraley, a local businessman, will play his dulcimer and talk about how it was God’s will that he play. Hopefully he will have time to talk about his ministry to Jewish people in the area.
POTTER’S HOUSE PRISION CHAPEL PROJECT
The Friends of the Potter House board representing Easterling Correctional Facility Faith Community is soliciting assistance in expanding the existing chapel which was originally built to accommodate 100 people. The correctional facility now has over 1500 residents whose needs can obviously not be met in the current facility. Many men each night are being turned away from church service because of lack of room. If you would like to make a donation, checks should be made out to “The Friends of the Potter’s House” and mailed to: Friends of the Potter’s House, PO Box 544, Clio, Alabama 36017
GREEN HILL NURSERY RENOVATION
The Session has approved $1400 for “Phase I” renovations to the Nursery area to include two new cribs, a changing table, a small refrigerator, a Duplo play table, a car rug, tubs for toys, a whiteboard, first aid kits and painting both the walls and furniture.
However, there are still some items that the Committee in charge of renovations would like to purchase. Though these items are not necessary for the safety of the children, they would make the Nursery area even more special. Such items include a new glider rocker and several rugs designed specifically for children.
Phase II will cost approximately $1100. If you would like to make a financial contribution toward the additional renovations, you may write a check payable to the church and write on it “Nursery Renovations.” When there is enough money collected, the additional items will be purchased.
GREEN HILL GOOD NEWS DEADLINE
The deadline for submissions for the April 2012 church newsletter is Tuesday, March 20. Items can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many thanks to all of our contributors!
GREEN HILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Are you on Facebook? Green Hill is! To become a member of our group, simply search for “Green Hill Presbyterian (PCUSA)” or, if you have a smart phone, scan this QR Code to go straight to our page. You can also find information about church events on Twitter @GreenHillPC.
As many of you know, our very own Ken Reed retired last month from his job at Lowe’s. What you may not know is that Ken is a poet, and several years ago he published a book titled “The Spirit of it All,” a collection of poems about family, faith, and life experience. In honor of Ken’s retirement, here is one of his poems from that book.
Let not your heart be troubled,
For I will always be with you.
Just open up your heart,
And I’ll show you what to do.
Together we’re invincible,
And there is nothing we can’t do.
I gave you the right to choose,
So it must be done through you.
Just tell the world about me,
Any way you can.
Your poems will do nicely.
Just make them understand,
That I really do love them,
Like a Heavenly Father should,
But they’ll just have to trust me
For let them down, I never could.