From the desk of Pastor Dan:
“So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed… In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” (Hebrews 5: 5, 7 ESV)
Humility, brokenness, and suffering to the point of loud cries and tears exemplified the life of our Savior. Hebrews 5:8 goes on to say that Jesus learned obedience. His teacher? Life; or as the text puts it: Suffering.
Are life and suffering still gainfully employed in God’s school of obedience for us?
A thousand times the answer must be yes. I hear from students enrolled in the Academy of Heaven on Earth all the time; they tell me that Heaven’s lessons are most difficult. As a student myself, I must agree.
A prerequisite course is Faith 101: learning to live with eyes upon the pioneer of faith, Christ Jesus, Mercifully, he sits with students during life’s many examinations. In that class you learn with trembling and amazement how the lifting of spiritual eyes to Jesus actually reveals Christ as master teacher. He is a kindly mentor and encourages us by showing us his own scars under life’s cruelest testing.
It’s hard. It is really hard to learn the kind of faith that looks away from self to trust God’s unfailing Word, because initially this exercise has the awful effect of exposing our complete inability to make the grade in Heaven’s Academy. What can one do at the moment of realization that nothing more than failure is possible, no matter how valiant the fight against injustice, wickedness, and the many pains involved in life’s curriculum?
Well, grace steps in at that point. Grace that only Christ can provide. Again, Christ himself sits our exams with us. His hands, his heart, his loving arms, and his own life of obedience provide “mercy and grace and help in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:11).
“And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him…” (Hebrews 5:9)
Have you enrolled in Heaven’s Academy? Not to enroll is to live without hope; and most certainly, without grace.
So, even though it is a difficult school, let us put our trust in Jesus anyway; and join others who confidently and joyfully have joined “The Humble, the Obedient, the Saved”.
Enlisted by God’s Grace,
- Heard plans for VBS-styled Bible Club that begins Sept 19 and runs through March 20; Sunday School Rally Day is Sept 9th
- Diane McQueen and Rosemary Carter briefed about emergency need for funding Family Services for the next two months; approved donation of $1,000 from Reserve funds.
- Congregational Care presented a calendar of events through Christmas; Dr. Michael McQueen will present a special program Wednesday, Sept 5.
- Outreach Committee announced the second Sunday of September (9th) will be promoted as “bring a friend/neighbor Sunday” in addition to it being Sunday School Rally day.
- The pastor received personal leave for 2-6 October to coincide with Fall Break at EPA; 23-24 October for special Board of Pensions Workshop at Columbia Seminary in Atlanta; 20-21 and 24-25 November of Thanksgiving week. Sunday November 25th will require a pulpit supply.
- The focus for next meeting of Session will be to receive a report from the Fellowship of Presbyterians (FOP) and conduct a review of future plans for associating with the FOP. The Elders would like for church members who may be interested to attend and ask questions at the September Session meeting, September 9th, at 2pm. The Session will hear a report from the commissioners to the August Presbytery meeting at Spring Hill and welcomes questions from church members regarding current and projected plans for how Green Hill will relate to the Presbyterian Church (USA).
ALABAMA PRESBYTERIAN CURSILLO
Registration is still open for the Alabama Presbyterian Cursillo, and you are all invited! Cursillo is a three day retreat designed for Presbyterians who desire to renew their faith and develop a deeper understanding of their relationship with Christ.
This year’s event will be held at the Beckwith Retreat and Conference Center from September 20 to 23. Please contact the church office at 334-347-9530 for more information.
GREEN HILL FOOD PANTRY
The Green Hill Food Pantry is in need of the following items: small boxes of rice, ketchup, mustard, jam/jelly, canned chicken, and canned fruit. Financial donations are also appreciated as they are used to purchase fresh foods. Thank you to everyone who contributes to this mission of our church.
Choir Practice is starting back for the new season. The first practice will be held on Wednesday, September 5, at 7pm. If you are interested in joining the choir, please speak with our choir director, Midge F.
Now that school is back in session, Children’s Church is set to begin meeting again. On Sunday mornings, just prior to the pastor’s message, elementary school-aged children are dismissed from the worship service to their own Bible lesson. Children’s Church will start back on Sunday, September 9. Aimee M. and Sandra D. have agreed to continue teaching Children’s Church this year. A sign-up sheet will be placed in the classroom for those who wish to take turns filling in on the open Sundays.
SUNDAY SCHOOL RALLY DAY
It’s time for the annual kickoff of our Sunday School program. At 9:30am on Sunday, September 9, we will hold Rally Day. If you haven’t been attending Sunday School at Green Hill, now is the perfect time start. Do you have a friend you can bring along? Even better! Green Hill offers Bible-based education for all ages, from 5 years old to adult. Classes meet every Sunday at 9:30am.
A Congregational Meeting will be held on Sunday, September 9, immediately following morning worship. The purpose of this meeting is to elect three church members to the nominating committee to select the next class of Elders.
Your CT has met and the major activities for the coming year have been mapped out. Please mark the second Thursday of every month for our Bible Study. Our books are in. Hope to see you September 13th at 10:00 am in the Adult Sunday school room.
This year’s Study, Living Stones , concentrates on the God-built edifice of Christian people who are his church. The architect and builder is God. Stones and rocks are used over and over in scripture as metaphors for the faithfulness and durability of God and the firm foundation of Jesus Christ, the cornerstone. God is creating his church in the world stone by stone, person by person, year in and year out. These letters classed as the General Epistles – I & II Peter, I, II, & III John, and Jude, were written by, Peter, John, and Jude. These men were first hand witnesses of Jesus teaching and had personally watched him lay the foundation for his church. They were written to the Jewish and Gentile Christians in order that they might understand they had been chosen and called by God to be “living stones,” parts of God’s spiritual structure on earth. They were to be with the other stones as they lived and grew and learned how to act out of God’s love one day at a time. These letters still built up the body of Christ on earth as we will see that we too are ‘living stones’, chosen by God and being shaped and fit together, with others, into this eternal fellowship – this cathedral of God’s people- whose cornerstone is Jesus Christ.
GREEN HILL GOOD NEWS DEADLINE
The deadline for submissions to the October 2012 church newsletter is Tuesday, September 18. Items can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or dropped off in the church office. Many thanks to our contributors.
ATTENTION ALL KIDS IN K THROUGH 6TH GRADE
Bible Club will be starting up September 19th! Bible Club is a fun ministry to Elementary School-aged children. Drivers pick the children up at their schools and bring them to the church for a snack, playtime, a Bible lesson and a craft or activity. Parents pick them up at 5 pm. They are encouraged to bring their Bibles and work on memory verses related to their lesson. We will be learning about God’s faithfulness and provision to His chosen people Israel in the book of Exodus. Registration forms are available in the church office, so call 347-9530 to sign up or see April S. on Sunday morning.
- Help Needed: Scenery Painters – Anyone willing to paint scenery for Bible Club please call April S.
- Help Needed: Skit Actors – Anyone willing to do a bit of skit acting for Bible Club this year, please call April S. Actor needs will vary, so you will not be making an every Wednesday commitment.
BETH MOORE BIBLE STUDY:
A WOMAN’S HEART, GOD’S DWELLING PLACE
Have you ever wanted to know more about the tabernacle? Have you ever wondered why over 50 chapters in the Bible are devoted to a description of it and its related ministry? Did you know that the tabernacle is first mentioned in Exodus 25 and last mentioned in Revelation 21:3? In Hebrews 8:5 it says, “They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: ‘See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.'” Join April S. in studying the tabernacle in this 11 week long Bible Study. She will be hosting it at her house Monday evenings from 7-9 pm starting September 10th and Tuesday mornings from 11:30 am-1:30 pm starting September 11th. Please call April S. if you are interested in attending.
GREEN HILL PRAYER BAND
The Prayer Band at Green Hill is made up of church members who have answered God’s call to “pray without ceasing.” The members of the Prayer Band receive prayer requests from members and from friends of our church, and offer up prayers to the Lord on their behalf. If there is a person or a situation you would like the Prayer Band to keep in prayer, please let us know. You may contact the church office (347-9530) to have a name added to the prayer list, or if immediate prayer is needed, contact one of the Prayer Band members directly. From 9am to 6pm, call Diane M. From 6pm to 9pm, call either Carl/Betty B. or Jim/Betty C. Or, if you prefer, you may call Pastor Dan.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY AND MORE!
If you haven’t been participating in our Wednesday Night program, you’ve been missing out! Wednesdays are a time for Christian Fellowship and Education, in a more casual setting.
Things start off with a Potluck Supper at 5:30pm, followed by a short time of Prayer at 6:00pm, and then either Bible Study or a special Program at 6:15pm. Our songbirds hang around afterward for Choir Practice at 7:00pm.
- 5:30pm – Potluck Supper
- 6:00pm – Prayer Group
- 6:15pm – Program/Bible Study
- 7:00pm – Choir Practice
In addition to our regular Bible Study, from time to time we have a special program. Here is a list of the events we have scheduled from now until the end of the year.
- September 5: Guest Speaker, Dr. Michael McQueen
- October 3: Pasta & Praise (starts at 5:00pm)
- October 31: Pizza & Games
- November 7: Pasta & Praise (starts at 5:00pm)
- December 5: Decorating the Chrismon Tree
- December 12: Christmas Party
- December 19: Christmas Caroling
Keep an eye on the schedule board in the Fellowship Hall for more details. We’d love to have you join us!
Why should we be encouraged by
the story of Jonah and the whale?
Because Jonah was down in the mouth,
but came out all right.