From the desk of Pastor Dan:
Question: WHAT is the Fellowship of Presbyterians and WHY has Green Hill joined?
Answer: The Fellowship of Presbyterians is an association of churches within the Presbyterian Church (USA) that remain true to traditional/biblical foundations of Christian faith, especially with respect to marriage and family. Green Hill has joined to be strengthened in its witness within the Presbytery of South Alabama, and provide encouragement for others to stand firm for gospel truth. In addition, the Fellowship of Presbyterians offers a new way of associating with other Presbyterians through mutual encouragement and being accountable to one another in Christ’s mission.
Question: What is a Mission Affinity Group? Is it separate from or a part of the Fellowship of Presbyterians (FoP)?
Answer: The FoP is made up of many smaller associations called Mission Affinity Groups (MAG). A MAG may have as few as three churches represented, or as many as five. At least one-third of the Session of these churches should participate when a MAG meets. MAGs meet together at least once a year for fellowship, worship, and times of study and mutual encouragement/accountability.
Question: Has a Mission Affinity Group been organized that includes Green Hill?
Answer: Yes; Green Hill belongs to a “Panhandle MAG” that currently includes Westminster PCUSA Church, Mobile; Euchee Valley PCUSA Church, DeFuniak Springs; and Green Hill. One and possibly two more churches will join soon.
Question: Are any of the churches in this MAG looking to leave the PCUSA?
Answer: No. The purpose of the FoP, again, is to seek “affinity” or a sense of unity with other Presbyterian Churches while remaining faithful and active members of their current Presbyteries.
Question: I thought the Fellowship of Presbyterians was a new denomination. What is ECO (Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians)?
Answer: ECO was birthed by the FoP last year because many traditional/conservative churches across the country were not satisfied with remaining in the PCUSA. The ECO provided a place for them to go: a denomination that holds firmly to essential tenets of the Reformed faith, promotes a united evangelical witness for Christ, fervently works for justice and relief for oppressed people, and is robustly inclusive of women in positions of leadership. ECO, however, although related to the FoP because of its similar core beliefs and mission, IS A SEPARATE ENTITY UNTO ITSELF.
Question: Isn’t belonging to the FoP and one of its MAGs simply a first step to belonging to ECO?
Answer: For some it may be. For Green Hill it is a way to remain uncompromised to tried and true biblical standards while remaining in a compromised denomination.
Question: Will Green Hill ever leave the PCUSA?
Answer: That is for future leaders and the members of Green Hill to determine. The current Session has committed Green Hill to a 3-year covenant with Westminster and DeFuniak Springs to learn the FoP’s new way of learning faithful discipleship and evangelical mission. The answer to this question probably lies more with the national General Assembly of the PCUSA. If the General Assembly ever changes the definition of marriage, I have to believe that Green Hill would be hard pressed to stay in the PCUSA. Currently, Green Hill is working within the PCUSA to call our denomination back to the foundations of our reformed faith.
Question: What can I do as a member of our congregation to help Green Hill through this time of change and transition?
Answer: Remain faithful in your support of your local congregation (Green Hill). The pastor and leaders of your church are “down-the-line” faithful believers. There’s no reason to do anything other than what the verse on the big wall in our Fellowship hall reads right now: “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as also you are doing” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
• Prior to business portion of the meeting, heard concerns from member Pat Johnson. Pat received warm words of encouragement from the Session.
• Approved request for use of church facilities on Saturday, March 16th by the Girl Scouts and a self-defense instructor from the Play it Safe organization.
• Approved request of church facilities on April 30th, 4-9pm, by Phi Sigma Beta.
• Tabled a request to approve support of annual Mother’s Day ad by the Wiregrass Emergency Pregnancy Service until more information can be gathered.
• Referred to the Worship committee ideas for streamlining and improving the order of worship at the beginning of Sunday service.
• Voted to commit to a three-year association with the new Mission Affinity Group (Fellowship of Presbyterians) for this area. Westminster of Mobile and Green Hill are the first two out of a potential cluster of five to make it official. The next meeting of the Mission Affinity Group is projected for this Summer
• Approved renewal of membership in the national Fellowship of Presbyterians organization.
• Received an extensive report from the Congregational Care Committee pertaining to latest plans for Wednesday Night Fellowship, Sunrise Breakfast on March 31st, and plans for a reception to honor our high school graduates. Also, a new group of Handy Helpers will be formed to help with simple matters such as providing transportation for doctor appointments.
• Received Commissioner Report about most recent Presbytery meeting. Betty Cully said this meeting of Presbytery was particularly uplifting. She reported that the Presbytery did approve a new translation of the Heidelberg Catechism that erased reference to homosexual behavior, but rejected an amendment to the constitution that would have required the concurrence of at least one other Presbytery to send an overture to General Assembly. The highlight of the Presbytery meeting was the evangelical presence and preaching of Dr. Ray Jones from the Louisville office of the PCUSA.
• Heard a report from Dr. Lawrence who attended an initial meeting of the Mission Affinity Group of the Fellowship of Presbyterians that met in Pensacola, Feb 1 7th. Mission Affinity Groups form the backbone of the Fellowship of Presbyterians, providing a network of support and a process of accountability and mutual responsibility for carrying out the evangelistic mission of the church.
• Reviewed and discussed the pastor’s goals and objectives for 2013 as presented at the January session meeting.
• The next meeting of the Session is April 14 at 2pm at the church.
PASTA & PRAISE NIGHT
Please join us on April 3 for Pasta & Praise night. It’ll be a great evening of fellowship and fun. Dinner will be served at 5:30pm. If you plan to attend, please turn in a reservation slip, which can be found in the pew rack. Cost is just $3 per individual or $5 per family. We can’t wait to see all of you there!
EMERGENCY CONTACT BOOK
Is your name in the Green Hill Emergency Contact Book? If so, is your information current? We need to keep these cards up to date in case of emergency. Please take some time to check the book and update any information as necessary. Remember, it is VERY important that we get an out-of-town contact number. If you need a card, or if you have any questions, please speak with Kimberli Fougeron.
Wesley Escalante and his family (wife, Diana, and young daughter, Julieta) from Merida, Mexico, will be our guests for Pasta & Praise on April 3rd. Wesley will give us a brief talk about life in the Yucatan and a bit of history of his family’s involvement with our Mexican mission trips there. Please join us in welcoming this sweet young family to Green Hill.
PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN NEWS
We were very busy in March, but it was a good month! Can’t thank the women enough for making all the good food for our Spring Meeting and for preparing the Hygiene Kits for disaster victims.
Nearly 30 women attended our Green Hill Spring Meeting on March 1. Ann Reynolds and her twin sister Nell gave us a wonderful concert. Everyone enjoyed hearing the mission update from Rose Bergstrazer. Her native dress was interesting and educational. At the meeting the new slate of women officers was presented by Nancy Smith.
On Saturday, March 9, we had a great day at our Presbytery Spring Gathering in Fairhope at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Gloria Webb, Nancy Smith, and Betty Bierbaum made it in time for coffee. One of the best workshops I have attended was presented by Cindy Still on “Significant Women in Jesus’ Life.” At the Gathering we turned in 24 new Hygiene Kits.
Our Women’s Coordinating Team will meet on April 1, at 10am. The next Bible Study Circle will meet on April 11, at 10am, to study Lesson #8, “Stay Alert – Stay Alive” from the General Epistles.
We will participate in the Mother’s Day Project to help protect and restore the health of women and children in Africa on May 12. The Birthday Picnic will be held on May 5, so mark your calendars. The next Belk’s Charity Day sale fundraiser will be held on April 27. Tickets will be available soon.
Thank you again and may the good Lord provide us the strength and desire to continue to abide in and work for him.
Betty Bierbaum, Moderator
PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN OFFICERS, 2013-2014
• Moderator: Gloria Webb
• Secretary: Betty Bierbaum
• Treasurer: Cris Dempsey
• Historian: Olivia MacMaster
• Moderator of Search Committee: Nancy Smith
• Moderator of Spiritual Growth: Sandra DeTora
• Special Events: the Coordinating Team
• Session Representative: Betty Cully
• Circle Chairwoman: Ida Aldrich
• PW Cluster 1 Leader: Caroline Picking (Andalusia, AL)
NEWS FROM THE WEBB FAMILY
Charles and Gloria’s Webb’s oldest daughter, Tammy, moved to rural Maine in January for a job change. She had been at the University of Georgia Health Center for over ten years, and was seeing an opportunity to treat a broader range of patients. She found it! On a recent day, her youngest patient was eight months, and her oldest eighty-eight years. She loves her new medical practice, but is ready for the snow and ice to go away. The Lincoln News, the local newspaper, published a nice article welcoming her to the area.
NEW EAGLE SCOUT
Congratulations go out to Jonathan Tyler (JT) Larr, son of Jon and Samantha Larr, on earning the rank of Eagle Scout. JT, who is a member of Troop #150, received official recognition in a ceremony at Green Hill on March 21.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America program and is only earned by about five percent of scouts. This is a tremendous accomplishment that demonstrates both leadership and a commitment to duty.
Congratulations to the Larr Family, and congratulations to Troop #150. JT is the troop’s 52nd Eagle Scout!
WE NEED HANDY HELPERS
The Congregational Care Committee is working on creating a list of Green Hill Handy Helpers, and we need you! A Handy Helper is a person who is willing to help out other members of the church with needs like cooking meals, driving to appointments, etc. We’d like to create a reference list of helpers who we can turn to as these needs may arise in the church.
During the month of April, Handy Helper cards will be placed in the pew racks in the Sanctuary. Please take some time to review the needs listed, and if you think you can help, please fill out a card and turn it in. Please note that by filling out a card you are not making any unknown commitments. This information will just let us know who we can call to ask if someone needs help.
Softball Season has begun! The Green Hill Softball Team has been practicing and is nearly ready for this season’s debut game on Monday, April 1, at 7:30pm. If you are interested in playing, there is still time to sign up for the team. Just contact Pastor Dan for more information.
If you aren’t on the team, that means you are available to come out and cheer! April’s schedule of games is shown below. All games are held at Donaldson Park near the National Guard Armory. We look forward to seeing you there!
• April 1 – 7:30pm
• April 8 – 7:30pm
• April 8 – 8:30pm
• April 15 – 6:30pm
• April 22 – 6:30pm
• April 22 – 8:30pm
• April 29 – 6:30pm
It is with a heavy heart that we must report on the passing of one of our missionaries. David Legters lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on March 22. The prayers and sympathy of the congregation are extended to David’s wife, Jean, and to the rest of the Legters family.
David and Jean began their mission work in Mexico back in 1967. Through God’s grace, they planted many churches, and even founded the San Pablo Seminary. David will be greatly missed.
GOD’S KIDS SAY THE FUNNIEST THINGS
A Sunday school teacher asked her class, “If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would I get into heaven?
“No!” the children all answered.
“If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard and kept everything neat and tidy, would I get into heaven?”
Again, the answer was “No!”
“Well, then how can I get into heaven?” she asked.
In the back of the room, a five-year-old by shouted, “You gotta be dead!”
PINEY WOODS ARTS FESTIVAL
April 6-7, 2013 9 am-5 pm (Saturday), 12-4 pm (Sunday)
The 39th annual Piney Woods Arts Festival takes place April 6 & 7, 2013, on the grounds of Enterprise State Community College (at the running track) in Enterprise. One of the oldest juried arts and crafts shows in the area, it features original art and crafts by approximately 100 artists, a children’s fun center, food and entertainment. Special events include a Civil War Living Display and the Weevil City Cruisers Car & Truck Show (Saturday only). Free admission.
For information, call 334-406-2787 or visit http://www.CoffeeCountyArtsAlliance.com.