From the desk of Pastor Dan:
Out of the entire book of songs/prayers known as the Psalms there is one that stands out by how the composer began: with a benediction!
The first verse of the 67th psalm goes like this, “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us…” (English Standard Version)
Why would the ancient songwriter of Israel begin with an out of place statement of God’s favor?
Verse two provides the answer I believe. Immediately before getting to that second verse there is a surprising note to the musician and singers to pause, to take a breath. Why a rest so soon? The song has only begun. But there it is, a notation known as “selah”.
What follows the “selah,” in the middle of a sentence (most translations do not put a period to the first sentence of this psalm until the end of verse two), must be of utmost importance. Might this “selah” call for a pregnant pause, similar to the famous one at the end of Handel’s Messiah?
Verse two gives a climaxing crescendo at the beginning of this hymn; How strange, but how wonderfully instructive to God’s favored people. Are you ready for it? Hear the drums and cymbals and trumpets and all stringed instruments coming to an amazing conclusion at the beginning of a song?
“THAT YOUR WAY MAY BE KNOWN ON EARTH,
YOUR SAVING POWER AMONG ALL NATIONS!!!”
That’s our mission too, Green Hill! We’ve been blessed with God’s favor, we’ve experienced a “selah” under the Holy Spirit’s directing baton, now we must enthusiastically join Heaven’s cascading and eternal crescendo of praise to God by GOING INTO ALL OUR WORLD TO PROCLAIM GOD’S GOOD NEWS, SHOWING GOD’S SAVING POWER IN JESUS THE MESSIAH…
And behold, He is with us always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20)
Loving Heaven’s Symphony,
• Approved the 2013 budget as amended (primarily to reflect new 1/2% increase in cost of the pastor’s medical insurance).
• The treasurer reported that the final 2012 budget reflected a small net gain of $224.54, reflecting an income for the year of $159,925.56 and expenditures of $159,701.02.
• Pastor Dan reported that membership held steady at 90 members. Green Hill welcomed 8 new members and reinstated 1 previous member. We lost 1 member through transfer, 3 through withdrawal, and 5 by death.
• The Pastor gave a “state of the church” report and his goals for 2013. Most of the goals related to outreach activities and enrichment of worship hour.
• Elder Joel Mikuta was elected Treasurer for 2013. His assistants are Betty Cully and Gloria Webb.
• Elder Betty Cully was elected as Clerk of Session for 2013.
• Scout Sunday is February 17th and is a special Sunday of outreach for the entire church to our Scout families.
• Elders Betty and Jim Cully were elected as Commissioners to the February meeting of Presbytery.
• Committee Assignments were accepted: Administration & Stewardship, Charles Webb; Christian Education, Todd Ayer; Congregational Care, Betty Cully; Missions, Kimberli Fougeron; Worship, Joel Mikuta, Jim Lawrence; Buildings & Grounds, Art Forehand; Outreach, Carol Whittington; Disaster Emergency Response, Kimberli Fougeron.
• Task Force groups proposed by the pastor but yet to be assigned and organized: Manual of Operations, and Vision Team (long-term planning)
• Approved the pastor’s request for personal leave: one day (Jan 24), and six days (Mar 23-28); and 4 days of study leave (Jan 29-Feb 1)
• The Pastor brought an update report regarding the Fellowship of Presbyterians (FoP) Conference in Orlando (Jan 30-Feb1) and the initial meeting of the panhandle mission affinity group of the FoP, Feb 17
GREEN HILL GOOD NEWS DEADLINE
The deadline for submissions to the February 2013 church newsletter is Tuesday, February 19. Items can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or dropped off in the church office. Many thanks to our contributors.
PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN NEWS
What a great participation we had in January for our Bible Lesson on Holy Living. We were all challenged to abide or hangout with Jesus if we want to be more like him. Our February Lesson is Sin – Beware of Varmints in the Cracks. We have changed our meeting date from February 14th to the 21st because of Valentine’s Day. Please note the date change on your calendar.
Come one, come all to our Green Hill General membership meeting on Saturday, March 2, 2013, right here in our fellowship hall at 11:00 a.m. Please bring a Salad and a friend to share. There will also be a short business meeting to elect our 2013-14 leaders. Nancy Smith is searching for next year officers so please come forward and give your current leaders a much deserved rest. Prayerfully consider taking a PW leadership position for one year. Please let Nancy know soon.
Another treat is in store for us on Thursday March 9th at the 27th Annual Spring Gathering at Trinity PC in Fairhope, AL. There are always great workshops and a Gift Shop with homemade goodies. Watch our PW board for further information.
We have received a Challenge and An Invitation from PW Missions again this year. There will be a trip to the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, MD April 3-8th to help collect Hygiene Kits or Baby Kits. There have been many disasters this year so the supply has been depleted. They need help in supplying the new kits. The details of the kits are posted on the PW board. We will take our kits to Spring Gathering for Judy Persons to transport on up to New Windsor, MD.
Looking forward to our time together again this month. May God continue to bless and care for us. With you in His service.
FOOD PANTRY & PASTOR’S FUND SUMMARY
In 2012, the Green Hill Food Pantry provided bags of food to 53 families (167 individuals), and the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund gave nearly $2000 to 47 families. In all of these cases, the families were truly in need, and through our help, they were able to make ends meet.
A big thank you needs to go out to the ladies who run our food pantry. It is no small job to sort all of those food donations, go out and buy fresh food, to organize bags for the families, and more. Because of them, the pantry continues to be a meaningful ministry of Green Hill.
And, another thank you goes out to Astra Barkley, Judy Cowley, and the rest of the crew at Coffee County Family Services. We rely on them to sort through the requests for help and to determine where our assistance is needed the most. They continue to do an amazing job, and we are grateful.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS COMMISSION
Are you part of Green Hill’s Disaster Preparedness Commission? Would you like to be? When it comes to preparing for disasters, sooner is better than later, and the Green Hill Commission wants to make sure that all of our church members are ready. Whether it’s having food stored, having an evacuation plan, or just having a disaster buddy, there is always more we can do.
The Commission’s next meeting is on Saturday, February 2, at 8:30am. All are welcome to attend.
SOUPER BOWL OF CARING
More than 20 years ago, the Souper Bowl of Caring began with a simple prayer from a single youth group: “Lord, as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us to be mindful of those without even a bowl of soup to eat.” On Super Bowl Sunday Green Hill will take up our annual collection for the Souper Bowl of Caring. Financial donations and donations of non-perishable food will be collected in the Fellowship Hall. Everything donated will go to support our Green Hill Food Pantry.
SUPER BOWL PARTY
Green Hill is hosting a Super Bowl party! This event is open to the members of Green Hill, members of the Scout Troops, members of the Softball Team, and their family and friends. This is a great time to invite your neighbors and friends to Green Hill.
Bring your tailgating chairs and favorite tailgate food. Snacks and drinks will be available throughout the game. If you plan to come, please fill out a reservation slip (from the pew rack) or contact the church office so we know how many people to expect.
WEDNESDAY MOVIE NIGHT
On Wednesday, February 6, we will set aside our regular Bible Study for a special movie night. Following the pot luck supper at 5:30pm, we will watch the movie Courageous. Please join us for a fun night!
On Sunday, February 10, at 8:30am, all of the ladies in the church are welcome to attend a Sweet Heart Breakfast hosted by the men of the church. Each year the men set up such a wonderful meal that is the perfect lead-in to Valentine’s Day later in the week. Please join us for breakfast.
ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT GROUP
Please join Green Hill Presbyterian Church for our newly formed monthly Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Group. Our very first meeting will be on Wednesday, February 20, at 10am. We will continue to meet on the third Wednesday of each month.
Many of us are caring for individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. Our meetings will consist of education, guest speakers, sharing, and prayer. Let’s share caregiving approaches we’ve tried and discuss what works, what doesn’t, and how you can care for yourself during this challenge time. We want all caregivers to understand the disease and to know that they are not alone.
If you have any questions, please contact either the church office or the group facilitator, Dr. Kimberli Fougeron Ph.D. Dr. Fougeron has been certified by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
On Sunday, February 17, the Green Hill congregation will be joined at morning worship by the boys and the parents from Boy Scout Troop #150. Scout Sunday marks the founding of scouting in the United States. On this day, the troop will lead parts of the worship service, and special recognition will be given to the Eagle Scouts. Please join us to welcome our scouting families.
CCAA SHOW ON THE 28
The Coffee County Arts Alliance is pleased to present TAP – the Show on February 28, 2013, at the Elba High School. The show will begin at 7:00pm. Thanks to our Boy Scouts, the Green Hill church bus is going to be making the trip up to the show for those who would rather ride than drive. To reserve your space on the bus, please put your name on the sign-up sheet in the kitchen.