Green Hill Good News Online Edition for February 2018
A Lenten Vocabulary Test
Lent – a. to loan something, like a power tool, as in; I lent my drill to my brother b. [past tense] to have leaned up against something, as in; I lent up against the barn c. provision of authority, as in; his bank account lent him much weight with the bail bondsman d. a season in the church year; the one that precedes Easter
Ash Wednesday – a. the Wednesday that my house burned down b. the Wednesday that Mom hit me with her ash tray c. the day Arthur Ashe was born; it must have been a Wednesday d. the start of the Lenten season
Fast – a. Usain Bolt, the Olympic champion runner, (and me, before Mom caught me with that ash tray) b. the speed at which my day off progresses c. the way I was talking with the police, (talking fast) before I needed the bail bondsman d. the act of “giving something up” as part of the Lenten discipline
Maundy – a. “Monday” for someone who cannot spell b. a type of tree; a Maundy spruce c. how one feels when they drink too much bourbon d. from Latin, mandatum, or mandate, as in the mandate that Jesus gave on night before He died, that we love one another [Jn 13.34]
All of the correct answers are d.! So how did you do on the test? I got 100%, despite the fact that I’ve been hit in the head with an ash tray.
The holy season of Lent, the forty days and nights that precede Easter, (not counting Sundays) begins this year on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. This is Ash Wednesday. That day is also Valentine’s Day. For me, it would be impossible to joyfully celebrate my love for Mrs. Oleksy on the solemn day that Lent begins. We usually go out for Valentine’s Day on the day before anyway. The reason for this is that there are too many couples out there on Valentine’s Day.
Lent begins with the imposition of ashes; a small cross-shaped smudge placed on one’s forehead by the minister. This ancient sign speaks of the frailty and uncertainty of human life, and marks our need for penitence. And the words! Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Hard words. Harder for me to say than they are for most to hear. But they serve to help us begin the long, prayerful journey to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
You cannot have Easter without Lent. And you cannot have Lent without Ash Wednesday. The imposition of ashes, (at the very least) will be available in my office on Ash Wednesday from 9 AM until 12 noon, and then again after the Wednesday evening pot luck. Please participate in this sacred rite of the Presbyterian Church. I did say Presbyterian, not Catholic. (See page 227 of the Book of Common Worship.)
A holy Lent, as the prayer book notes, includes self-examination and penitence, prayer, fasting, works of love, and reading and meditating on the Word of God. “Fasting” need not necessarily mean abstaining from food. It may mean, for you, fasting from certain behaviors. The holiest Lents I have ever experienced were those when I unplugged my TV on Ash Wednesday, and did not plug it in again until the movie “The Ten Commandments” came on, on Easter night. (When you fast, you create a void in your life that you can fill with Jesus.)
My hope for us all is this; a holy Lent!
GIRL SCOUT COOKIES ARE HERE!
Many of you have been asking when the Girl Scout Cookies will arrive. Well, they are here! Kendall, Makayla, and Emma will be happy to sell you a box if you just let them know which flavor(s) you want.
The girls are earning money for their Silver Award Project, which is the highest award they can earn as Cadettes. They want to make “whisper phones” to donate to the Kindergarten and special needs students here in Enterprise to help the children learn how to read. Be sure to ask the girls about the project when you see them!
SOUPER BOWL OF CARING
Nearly 30 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, February 4, 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.RECOGNITION OF OUR VETERANS
Each year in December, the national Wreaths Across America program places wreaths on the graves of Veterans all over the United States in honor and remembrance of their service to our country.
Here in the Wiregrass, the program is expanding to cover not only the major cemeteries, but many of the smaller ones as well. The American Legion and Civitan Club are trying to compile a master list of all Veterans buried in the area to make sure that every local Veteran is recognized in future ceremonies.
If you have a Veteran in your family who is buried locally, or if you know of a Veteran who is buried locally, please see Sandi in the church office. She has a clipboard for recording the names.
FOOD PANTRY REPORT
The Food Closet Committee would like to thank everyone for your support in 2017. We fed, with your help, more than 50 families and more than 150 individuals.
The referrals came from Family Services (51), DHR (4), Coffee County Health Department (5), Enterprise City School System (10), and several individuals served on an emergency basis. We also donated food to Christian Mission (particularly items for their Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners), Hands Up, and the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany.
A few days before Christmas, we delivered ten bags of food to the Enterprise City School System to be used for helping homeless families. Our mission is to serve Coffee County residents who are in need and referred by agencies, church members, or individuals.
We appreciate all that the members of Green Hill do for this community outreach program. We also appreciate Boy Scout Troop 150 for handling the food drive that provides our main source of canned and packaged foods.
The Food Closet Committee members are Rosemary Carter, Bobbie Miller, and Laurie Oleksy. If anyone is interested in volunteering with us, please contact one of these ladies.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
The Bible is filled with examples of God’s people shouting and cheering in response to His might acts of power. This summer we will invite our local children to do the same by remembering who God is, what He has done, and what He promises to do!
We don’t have the dates yet, but we have the beginnings of a plan. As a bit of a change this year, we are going to include our older children, our teens and tweens, in some leadership roles. VBS is not only for teaching young children about the Bible, it is also an opportunity for us to help mold the Christian leaders of tomorrow.
We have about six months to make this plan come together. Please begin praying now. God is going to use us to do amazing things at Green Hill this summer.
BOY SCOUT SUNDAY
On Sunday, February 11, Green Hill will celebrate Boy Scout Sunday during the morning worship service. Boy Scout Sunday is designated as the day to commemorate the founding of the Boy Scouts of America in 1910 and to recognize the contributions Scouts make to their churches and their communities. All local scouts, both boys and girls, are welcome to attend, and are encouraged to wear their uniforms. (Girl Scout Sunday will be held next month, on March 11.)
SEASON OF LENT (February 14 to March 29)
The season of Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and self-examination in preparation for the celebration of the resurrection of the Lord at Easter. It is a period of 40 days — like the flood of Genesis, Moses’ sojourn at Mount Sinai, Elijah’s journey to Mount Horeb, Jonah’s call to Ninevah to repent and Jesus’ time of testing in the wilderness. (The Sundays in Lent are not counted in this reckoning of the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter, as every Lord’s Day is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.) In the early church, Lent was a time of preparation for the celebration of baptism at the Easter Vigil. In many communities of faith it remains a time to equip and nurture candidates for baptism and confirmation and to reflect deeply on the theme of baptismal discipleship.