A message from Make Way Partners
The Tlingit Native Americans, indigenous to Alaska, practice a giving tradition known as “potlatch” in their native tongue. Potlatch means “to give,” and it is where our word “pot luck,” as in pot-luck dinners, comes from.
Tlingits believe – and practice – that to give is the greatest honor in life. Therefore, they work really hard to out-give each other, acquiring more honor as they grow poorer. A potlatch is an event of giving in which the host – usually the chief or other prominent leader – literally gives away every single possession he has, including his clothes.
It all starts with the host announcing he is throwing a potlatch, and he invites a set number of people to attend. Everyone who is invited will definitely come; however, the host has no idea of how many people to expect because every person who is invited is allowed to bring along as many people as they want, sometimes dozens.
When everyone shows up, the host is responsible to feed, house, clothe and entertain the guests for as long as the guests decide to stay. The host does not decide when the potlatch is over, the guests do. Sometimes the potlatch lasts a few days, sometimes a few months!
At the end of the potlatch, the host must give a gift to every person who attended. And, he must give away everything he owns, including even personal items and family heirlooms. He can retain nothing.
Once the potlatch is finished, the chief is the poorest person in his tribe and the most honored. Everyone in the community then takes responsibility to care for this most honorable man. He is utterly dependent upon the gifts and kindness of his tribe. The chief is now not only the most honorable man of his people, he is also the most humble.
If we will but look, we will find Christ emerging in and through all cultures, and this tradition is one of the most beautiful reflections of Christ that I can possibly imagine. Christ, The Chief of all heaven and earth, pouring himself out, making himself nothing. Oh! What honor is due him!
This year, as we gather at our tables of plenty and pot-luck, let us consider just how honorable we desire to be.
Giving thanks on the journey,
Kimberly L. Smith
President, Make Way Partners
SESSION BRIEFS – November Meeting
Session approved a recommendation to Presbytery written by Elder Jim L. requesting the initiation of a period of personal and corporate prayer, discernment, and repentance regarding polity decisions at the 221st General Assembly (PCUSA) until February’s Presbytery meeting.
Town Hall II had 45 in attendance. Elders Art F. and Kimberli F. facilitated: The Research Team provided material for a handout on denominational (PCUSA, ECO, EPC) comparisons, and Elder Denise A. orally presented this information in a Power Point format. Questions generated will be answered at Town Hall III on November 19th.
Elders are to personally contact those who they sponsor who have not attended Town Halls to apprise them of Green Hill’s current efforts. Handouts of Town Hall I and II will be given to these members.
November 16 – Congregational Meeting for Election of Elders. Clerk of Session, Betty C. will moderate. Rev. David Jamison will train Elders prior to installment and ordination
December 14 – Ordination and Installation of Elders – Rev. David Jamison
Church Roster: Anita M. was moved to “Friends of the Church” category, leaving a total of 87 active members.
Elder L. announced that the Boy Scouts will hold the annual Food Drive at Walmart on two successive week-ends in November. Their popcorn sale has gone well.
PRAYER LIST NAMES
Please note that on the first Sunday in January, the church office will start off the New Year with a new prayer list. We are going to remove everyone and start fresh. If you know of someone who should remain on the list, or of someone who needs to be added to the list, please contact the church office. Thank you.
Thank you to Rev. David Jamison, Rev. Ken Locke, Rev. Louie Reynolds, and Rev. Shuford White, for being our Guest Ministers during the month of November. We look forward to seeing them again when they are able to join us.
DECEMBER CHOIR NOTES
The Chancel Choir will meet to practice on the 3rd, 10th, and 17th.
November gave us many things for which we are thankful. Of whom you are one. Our Thanksgiving Dinner is always a special family time for all of us. It is great to have the President of the children’s home with us this year. We miss our Carla though. If you have not already made your Women’s Thank Offering gift please do so. The dead line is first of December.
Thank you for your donations to the Belk’s Charity Sale. We have received $75.00 from the ticket sales that will be used for our mission projects. A heart felt thank you goes to Gloria Webb, Nancy Smith and Jean Mikuta for working that morning at Belk’s.
Our Christmas Party has been changed to Tuesday December 2nd at 6:00 pm due to a conflict with the Boy Scouts for the Fellowship Hall. Please bring a goody and a “white elephant” gift to exchange.
We are sponsoring a Coffee County senior through the SARCOA’s Santa for Seniors program again this year. WE are so excited about making a wonderful Christmas for a grandmother and her 13 year old grandson this year. She lost her husband last year and has multiple health problems, including heart, high blood pressure and diabetes. She lost her home and truck and is in dire need. Posted are some suggestions for needed gifts. If you can help please sign the list and take an ornament from the PW Christmas tree to signal that you are taking care of that item. Please have all gifts to church no later than Tuesday December 2nd. Again please note our Christmas Party date change to Tuesday December 2nd at 6:00 pm.
We are also looking forward to the Church Wednesday night Christmas party. We will have a merry time celebrating Jesus birthday party a little early on December 10th.
Our Bible Study on the 4th Chapter of 2 Corinthians entitled Spiritual Pollution and its Solution will be on December 11th at 11:00 this month. Remember to keep your inner man renewed daily. See you there.
In His service with you.
Betty B., Moderator
Information for the January Green Hill Good Newsletter needs to be submitted to the church office by Tuesday, December 16. You can contact the office by email or by phone, or you can drop your news off in the basket on the door. Many thanks to those who contribute!
PASTOR’S DISCRETIONARY FUND
The balance in the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund is getting dangerously low. This is the fund we use to help those in need in our area. At this time of year, we mostly help those who are in danger of having their utilities shut off. Can you imagine spending Christmas with no water and no heat? If you feel called to give, please use one of the yellow envelopes from the pew racks.
SPECIAL EVENTS IN DECEMBER
Mark your calendar now for these special Wednesday events!
3rd – Fellowship Supper/Greening of the Church (Chrismon Tree)
10th – Fellowship Supper/Birthday Party for Jesus
17th – Fellowship Supper/Christmas Caroling (at the church)
24th – Christmas Eve Candle Light Service
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
The Green Hill Youth had a great time packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child this year. Thank you to everyone (too many to name!) who made donations to the project. We had so many toys that we had to pack boxes on two separate days! Special thanks go to April Seery who made all of the arrangements.
A total of 37 boxes were packed, that’s 10 more than last year! Each of the boxes was prayed over, and as we send them off to be shipped to children in other countries, it is our heart-felt prayer that each child who receives a box will be open to the Gospel of Christ.
THE SEASON OF ADVENT
On the first Sunday of Advent, we light the candle of Hope. This candle is also referred to as the Prophecy Candle. It reminds us that Jesus’ coming was prophesied hundreds of years before He was born. The candle’s purple color represents Christ’s royalty as King of Kings.
On the second Sunday of Advent we light the candle of Peace. This candle is also referred to as the Bethlehem Candle. It reminds us that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. It too is purple, reminding us that it was a King who was born in a manger.
On the third Sunday of Advent, we light the candle of Joy. This candle is also referred to as the Shepherd’s Candle. We are reminded that God sent the angels to proclaim His arrival to common man and that He still uses ordinary people today to spread the good news of Christ. The candle is pink or rose to represent God’s faithfulness.
On the fourth Sunday of Advent, we light the candle of Love. This candle is also referred to as the Angel’s Candle. As we light this flame, we are reminded of the heavenly hosts that proclaimed Christ’s arrival. This candle is also purple, reminding us that it was a King’s birth the angels were announcing.
On Christmas Eve, we light the Christ Candle. We remember the birth of our Lord and Savior, which was foretold by the prophets, happened in Bethlehem, was revealed to the shepherds, and proclaimed by the angels. All month long we have been waiting and preparing. On this night we celebrate!