From the desk of Pastor Dan:
(Warning: Information disclosed below will force a life and death choice.)
A nation that no longer recognizes and defends its sovereign boundaries is no longer a nation.
A church that no longer recognizes and defends moral boundaries is no longer a church.
We are living in catastrophic times. It may not seem like it. Folks still go to work, fight traffic jams, take vacations, work hard to keep the house and lawn looking great, gather for family meals, go to sporting events….
It all seems normal where we live. But the world has changed disastrously right under our noses.
Proof? The nation will not defend its borders. It is being overwhelmed with children refugees and criminal elements from Central America and the Middle East.
Our national leaders’ response? Calls for compassionate care of the children, billions proposed to beef up an overloaded system of adjudication, requests to house the children in detention centers at military installations, extra funds for border patrol agents to baby-sit our new guests.
Some of our leaders propose securing the borders. But how? All of our leaders equivocate about closing the borders through use of arms and surveillance measures. Those who propose harsh measures for rounding up our illegal guests and transporting them home are called names like “racists” and “hate-mongers”
No, we no longer are citizens of a sovereign nation. State militias and private citizens are volunteering to close the borders themselves. They are trying to enforce federal law that national leaders refuse to enforce. They are accused of being lawless, taking the law into their own hands.
And what about a church without defined and defended boundaries?
I haven’t the space to explain. Two examples will suffice. First, an overture from Green Hill and approved by our Presbytery was voted on at General Assembly last month. Our proposal to the church at large was to simply study for two years the plight of unwanted children, both the born and unborn. It was a call to the church to open its collective eyes. It went down in flames, overwhelmingly defeated in committee and in the Assembly plenary session.
Our denomination won’t spend the time and effort to evaluate sacred boundaries of life created in the image of God. Think about that!
How can an individual believer in Christ, much less an entire congregation like Green Hill, contribute one penny to an enterprise that wilfully remains blind to camps of death where children are considered to be blobs of tissue or somehow less than human? If we remain silent we should be forced one day to apologize to the silent Germans of the 1930’s and 40’s.
Our denomination will not defend biblical holiness, but neither will it defend its own order and constitutional law. The worship directory in the current Book of Order clearly spells out that marriage is between a man and a woman. Blindly and foolishly the General Assembly voted to clarify the forever understanding of marriage and its own constitution by creating a new moral right of ministers to marry persons of the same gender in states that allow it.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) is no longer a church. It cannot abide by its own Constitution, much less God’s covenant law regarding human relationships. Churches like Green Hill have been cast aside. Our mission partners in foreign lands are aghast at a once great missionary-minded and bible-believing denomination.
What are we to do now that the boundaries have been removed?
Let us be like Joshua who declared the truth of God to ancient Israel. He not only declared the truth, but He took a firm non-negotiable stand when he said “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Exodus 24:15)
The time has come to declare the boundaries; but not only to declare them; we must take a stand as a church to defend them no matter what the cost.
A Spiritual Descendant of Joshua,
• Sustained Denise A.’s Ordination Exam (areas of theology, church polity, and personal faith) and gave unanimous consent to her ordination as an Elder in the Class of 2015. She was ordained and installed during the June 29th worship service.
• Received Pastor Dan’s request that his tenure at Green Hill run through August 31st and that a meeting of the congregation be called to approve dissolution of the pastoral relationship so that he may seek retirement from the Presbyterian Church (USA); the congregation so acted in a meeting of the congregation on June 29th. Pastor Dan and Anita plan to retire in East Tennessee near Dayton, TN where Anita’s father lives.
• Requested Elder L. to be the Session’s liaison spokesperson with Presbytery and prospective candidates in a search for an interim minister.
• Worship Committee Chairperson Elder L. and Joel M. will work together to fill the Sunday pulpit (beginning Sept 7) until the Session finds an interim pastor
• At a called meeting of the Congregation, June 29th, the members of Green Hill elected a pastor nominating committee; they are: Ron S., Betty B., Helen S., Jim C., and Denise A.. The PNC mission is to find the next pastor for Green Hill. This task is likely to take a year or more. Earnest prayers are solicited for the PNC.
• The Session asked Executive Presbyter Samford Turner to meet with the Elders and interested members of Green Hill on Wednesday, July 23rd, 6:30pm, to ask him questions about implications for Green Hill following actions of the June General Assembly in Detroit.
• Treasurer Joel M. reported a balanced income/expense spreadsheet through the first half of the year. The latest report is available on the table in the narthex.
• Requested a meeting with the Presbytery’s Teaching Elder Commissioner to General Assembly, Dr. David Mauldin. The Session is hoping for a good turnout from our members at a 5:30pm Wednesday meeting at Green Hill August 13th. A meal catered by Po’ Folks will be provided by the Church; the Nursery will be available. Commissioner Mauldin will share his experience as an Advocate for the Green Hill overture, as well as his further observations of the Assembly actions in general. Time will be set aside for questions and answers and providing immediate feedback to the Session.
• A farewell dinner for Pastor Dan and Anita is planned for Wednesday, August 27th, at 5:30pm, in the Fellowship Hall.
• Elder L. gave a chartered organization representative report on Scouting. Essentially, both cub scouting and boy scouting have had an excellent year. Shaun M. is the new Cub Master who will take over from Tom B.. Cub Scouting at Green Hill expects to continue its growth in both numbers and vitality. Boy Scout Troop 150 continues to be a premier program led by highly qualified adult and youth leadership. Green Hill also provides its facilities for the Girl Scouts of America.
• Approved after four readings the Operational Manual for the Session. Special appreciation given to Elder L. for shepherding the meticulous editing task; and thanks to each elder and other members of the congregation for their input over the past six months.
• Elected Elder L. as Commissioner and Denise A. as Alternate to the Presbytery meeting at Evergreen in Dothan, August 22/23
Betty B., Nancy S., and Gloria W. attended the 2014 AL/MS Conference held at the Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church on 16 and 17 July. We joined approximately 100 other Presbyterian Women from Al and MS, where we renewed friendships, made new friends, and attended Bible studies and workshops. Some of the workshops covered Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, how to get set up for Bible Study, ideas for mission endeavors, clever cross making, problems/solutions to growing older, etc. We also were reminded that the problems facing Presbyterian Churches today are similar to those faced by the churches in Paul’s Day. BUT, we know that there is no problem too large for our Savior to solve.
ALZHEIMER’S CAREGIVERS SUPPORT MEETING
The August Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 20, at 10:00am. This monthly meeting provides much needed support to those in our area who are dealing with Alzheimer’s and other related dementias. If you need help, or if you know of anyone who does, please consider coming to this meeting. For more information, please contact the church office at 334-347-9530.
WEDNESDAY BABYSITTER NEEDED
Green Hill needs to hire a babysitter for Wednesday night Fellowship Suppers, September through May. Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:05 p.m. Pay: $20. If you are interested, contact the office with your name, address, and cell phone number. We will need references and prefer applicants to be age 16 or older.
We have two very special Wednesday evening programs coming up in August. We hope everyone will be able to attend!
• Kick-off Fellowship Dinner on Wednesday night, August 13th, at 5:30 p.m., we’ll have guest speaker, Rev. David Mauldin from Mobile informing us of his perspective on General Assembly’s actions. Our meal will be catered by Po Folks. If you plan to attend, please let the church office know, so we know how much food to order. Reservation slips can be found in the pew racks and may be placed in the offering plate on Sunday.
On the night of the event, there will be a basket for donations to help defray expenses. Correction: No donations will be taken, Green Hill is paying all. Member’s only.
• The McMillan’s Retirement and Farewell Celebration will be held on August 27th, at 5:30pm. The details are still being worked out but the plan is for a super pot-luck supper, a real Green Hill Feast! Keep an eye on future church bulletins for more information.