Being the church means being Christ. We too often talk about being like Christ, something similar, but in reality we are to be Christ, the one who called us, claimed us, saved in us and who dwells in us this day. Similarities are often flawed; copies are usually of much less value. Well, as I preached on August 23, I emphasized the reality of putting on Christ. That is to don the armor of Christ so that he will work through you.
So what do we need to do to be Christ?
First, don’t skimp. PUT on the whole armor daily, not just what suites you for that day.
Second, recognize that the real battle is spiritual, so let God do the fighting with you trusting in him. And how do you trust in him?
Third, put on the belt of truth, with the breastplate of righteousness, that is, stand firm in the truths of the Bible, don’t compromise, don’t excuse, don’t allow reason to sway you. BUT always remember that the Law is now fulfilled in Christ by grace. Remember God wants righteousness and justice to flow from us not sacrifices and rituals. That means we don’t judge and condemn but act in deed to bring things into wholeness.
Fourth, the boots you wear are the boots of peace. This is the foundation of who and what you are as a person of peace. All that we do is founded in the truth of God’s peace.
Fifth, wear the shield of Faith. Dr. James Fowler, a theologian and developmentalist, emphasizes that Faith is a verb. Faith is not waiting by for God to act but to act because God will empower the action. But notice that the action is defensive. As truths are being challenged you are to act, to stand for the truth of God’s word. Now I am going to say something here that many of you may take issue with. Please know these are my thoughts. If one believes that God’s word says that all life is sacred, and that life begins at conception, then this cannot be conditionalized. All abortion is sin. But remember also that the God we worship is the God of peace and forgiveness. Sin does not define us, God’s grace does. So any action we take, whether out of fear, anger, or hopelessness, does not define a person, God’s grace does.
Lastly, go forth in the knowledge that your life is in God’s hands. Put on the helmet of salvation, embrace this knowledge and know that in him no darkness or power or principality will separate you from his love and salvation.
As Paul concluded this letter, he was speaking from Prison. But the situation didn’t define him God’s grace and love did.
SESSION BRIEFS – August 2015
The monthly stated meeting of the Session of Green Hill Presbyterian Church was held at the church at 1:30 PM on 23 August 2015.
Resolution Team and Discernment Issues:
1. After discussion, it was the consensus of the Session that a vote of the congregation regarding the issue of leaving the PC (USA) denomination needs to occur. A motion was made that GHPC contact the Resolution Team to seek permission from the Committee on Ministry requesting a vote for dismissal. Motion: Cully, Second: Fougeron, unanimous.
“Green Hill Presbyterian Church contacts the Resolution Team to seek permission from the Committee on Ministry requesting a called congregational meeting to conduct a vote for dismissal from the PC (USA) to another reformed denomination.”
2. Elder Lawrence as Clerk of Session will contact Resolution Team Chairman Rev. David Jamison with this request, rather than waiting for the next meeting with the Resolution Team scheduled for 23 September.
3. Vigorous discussion followed regarding the format in which a vote would be taken. Among the options were (1) – to have two separate votes-one on whether to leave the PC (USA) or not, followed by a second vote to select a new denomination, (2) – a three-way ballot, or (3) – a single vote to dismiss to a specific denomination. It was moved by Elder Cully, and seconded that there be a preliminary vote by the congregation to select a denomination if the congregation does, in fact, vote to leave PC (USA). At the time of the formal vote, the congregation will then vote if they desire to be dismissed from PC (USA) to the selected denomination. This initial selection for the preferred denomination will occur prior to, but close to, the date that the COM conducts the formal vote on dismissal.
Building and Grounds:
• One new fire extinguisher has been placed in the back hall in the vicinity of the nursery.
• Hornet eradication is completed.
• After-school program update – The after school youth education program started last week and is doing well. Monday had 7 students, Tuesday had 11 students. April Seery was recognized for her work in developing and sustaining this program.
• A 2015 Fall calendar of Congregational Care activities was distributed.
• The Alzheimer’s Care Giver Group will be having a showing of the movie Still Alice at their meeting on 16 September at 10 AM. The event is being publicized in the community.
Pastor Nominating Committee:
• The committee met two weeks ago and is now in a hold pattern pending results of the discernment process.
• Final reading of “A Brief Statement of Vision, Mission, and Essential Beliefs”:
• A final draft of the document was presented to the Session and approved (copies available on the table in the Narthex).
• Special Election of Elder to Elder McDonald’s position: The special election will occur at the same time as the annual election.
Annual Election of Elders:
• After discussion, it was approved that the size of the session be from 5 to 8 members.
• A total of 3 trustees are needed per the Rules of Incorporation.
Report from Presbytery:
• Elder Lawrence presented his report as the GHPC Commissioner to the recent Presbytery meeting (copies available on the table in the Narthex).
Date of next Session meeting: 13 September 2015 at 1:30 P.M.
Walter J. Lawrence, M. D.
Clerk of Session
GREEN HILL CAFÉ
Green Hill Cafe is held every Sunday morning from 10:30am to 11:00am. Coffee, doughnuts, and other assorted breakfast foods are served in the Fellowship Hall in between Sunday School and the Worship Service. Green Hill Cafe is a time for Christian Fellowship with our Green Hill Family, and it is a time to welcome, and get to know, our visitors.
Are you looking for an opportunity to serve? We need Café Hosts! We need people to set up the food prior to Café and to clean up afterwards. Beverages are supplied by the church, and food expenses are reimbursed by the church. If you are interested, please contact either Ron Seery or the church office. The sign-up sheet is in the kitchen.
Happy New Year PW! We are getting off to a slow start on this PW year, but promise to try to stay on target. Your Coordinating Team (CT) will be meeting soon to plan for the coming year and we need your input. If there are things you would like to do, places you would like to see, or mission you would like supported, etc., please let us know. Ideas are welcome.
One thing that we should support in September is the Fall Gathering in Geneva on Saturday the 12th. Geneva is so close that we should have more than the three or four attendees we have had at past gatherings. The cost is $10 for breakfast, a snack, and lunch. They do ask that we bring school supplies for needy children in that city if we wish to do so.
God has richly blessed Green Hill and He will continue to do so as we journey through the next months—we need only to keep our eyes on Him and we will not fail. Grace, peace, and blessings to all. Amen.
THANK YOU FROM GIRL SCOUT TROOP #9338
Thank you to everyone for your support of the Juniors of Troop #9338. Sky, Makayla, and Kendall, have been working very hard on earning their Bronze Awards, and thanks to your help, they are nearly there!
Over the past several months, the girls have been volunteering at the Big Bend Wildlife Sanctuary, doing their part to raise awareness about the Sanctuary, and then running a Supply Drive for the Sanctuary. We were shocked at how many people came out to the Drive and at how generous everyone was! The owners/volunteers at the Sanctuary have been thrilled with the girls’ efforts. They look forward to putting the supplies we collected to good use.
The paperwork for the girls’ applications is nearly complete, and we will be sure to keep you updated on their Bronze Award status.
FOOD CLOSET NEEDS
Thank you to everyone for your continued support of our Green Hill Food Closet. The closet is in need of the following items:
• Canned Chicken
• Paper Grocery Bags
• Canned Tuna
• Tomato Soup
• Canned Fruit
• Hamburger Helper
• Saltine Crackers
• Instant Potatoes
ENTERPRISE HOMESCHOOL GEOGRAPHY CLUB
We are pleased to announce that the Enterprise Homeschool Geography Club (or “Country Club” as they like to be called) is going to begin holding their monthly meetings at Green Hill. Each month these children research a particular country and then make presentations to each other and their families. For September, the group will meet on Friday, the 18th, from Noon to 2pm, and the country of the month is Belgium.
SEE YOU AT THE POLE
On Wednesday, September 23, children all over the country are going to be meeting in front of their schools to pray. See You at the Pole is a global movement of prayer which is student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led. It revolves around students praying together on the fourth Wednesday in September, usually before school and usually at the school’s flag pole.
This year’s theme is UNITED, and it is based on Acts 4:14, “They all met together and were constantly united in prayer.” On this day, everyone is asked to pray for our students and our schools. Whether you are a student, a teacher, a parent, a grandparent, or just a person who cares, please take time to pray with us.
GREEN HILL ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT GROUP
The Alzheimer’s Support Group of Green Hill Presbyterian Church invites you to a special free showing of
Wednesday, September 16
Green Hill Presbyterian Church
735 East Lee Street
Enterprise, AL 36330
10:00am to Noon
Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring.
Green Hill’s Alzheimer’s Support Group meets once a month in the Fellowship Hall. Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month, at 10:00am. Dr. Kimberli Fougeron Ph.D., the group facilitator, has been certified by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
For more information, please contact the church office at 334-347-9530.