Green Hill Good News

Green Hill Good News, March 2018, Online Edition

Green Hill Youth, hard at work on a new Welcome Board for the church

Godly Change

I hardly recognize the world we live in anymore.  It’s changed so much.  A lot of it for the worse.  There was a time when schools were safe places for children.  Churches too.  Newspapers were full of news.  And politics, although always a cesspool, has never been a deeper, darker cesspool than it is now.  Has technology made life better, or just more sinful?

This all came to a head this morning when I heard that they are thinking about changing the sacred game again.  (I don’t use that word lightly.)  They are considering allowing any three batters, any three, even if they batted in the eighth inning, to lead off the ninth, if their team is losing.  This follows all of the other stupid changes that have been made to the sacred game over the years.  Designated hitter.  Inter-league play.  The non-pitch intentional walk.  To name just some of the carnage.

My analogy may seem trite, in comparison to killings in schools and churches.  But I think not.  Baseball is an American game; and I see it as a barometer for what has been going on in this country, at least since little Timmy could walk to school by himself, and then enjoy, (or not) a six hour school day that was both safe and peaceful.  And then, walk home by himself.

So little of what we know today is what it was then.  Change comes about, often, for no good reason.  Or for purely HUMAN reasons.  Like profit.  (True of baseball.)  And pleasure.  I suspect that many a shooter, before he undertook his rampage, either on a church or on a school, derived a lot of pleasure from video games like World of Warcraft and Mortal Combat.  An awful lot of profit has resulted from the sale of those games, and from the sale of tickets to movies that glorify gun violence.  We live what we see.  Especially children.   But much of what we see IS NOT the way that we should live.

This is why we need Lent.  Lots of it.  Not just for the 40 days that precede Easter.  All year round.  Because Lent reminds us of our NEED to change.  It reminds us, as well, of how change should be GODLY.  Much of life in America involves no God.  This is tragic, because the more that we know God, the better off we are.

Here are some Lenten opportunities that are meant to help us know God and His ways better.  And in those discoveries, we just might be led to Godly change, in our lives and in the life of this church.

There are 5 Sundays remaining in Lent.  Bible study takes place every Sunday beginning at 9.30 AM.  Worship, as usual, begins at 11.00 AM.  Palm Sunday is March 25th.  Maundy Thursday is March 29th.  Worship that night begins at 6 PM.  Good Friday is March 30th.  A brief Good Friday service will begin at 12 Noon.  On Sunday, April 1st we will celebrate the Resurrection!

Additionally, the Wednesday evening potluck during Lent will include a devotional based on the Passion of our Lord and Savior According to Mark.  Potluck at 5.30, devotional at 6.15.

Have a Holy Lent.  And a Happy Easter!

-Pastor Tim

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DAYLIGHT SAVINGS, MARCH 11

Don’t forget that Sunday, March 11, is the start of Daylight Savings. So, be sure to set your clocks AHEAD one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night. We want to see you at the right time!

 

GIRL SCOUT SUNDAY, MARCH 11

On Sunday, March 11, we will celebrate Girl Scout Sunday during the morning worship service. Girl Scout Sunday is designated as the day to commemorate the founding of the Girl Scouts of the USA in 1912 and to recognize the contributions Scouts make to their churches and their communities. All local scouts, both girls and boys, are welcome to attend, and are encouraged to wear their uniforms.  Cake will be served in the Fellowship Hall following the service.

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YOUTH BIBLE STUDY @ GREEN HILL

 

What’s Going On At Green Hill Monday Afternoons?

If you’ve ever stopped by church on Monday afternoons and were surprised to see a lot of cars and kids, you might wonder what’s going on…..

From around 2010, Green Hill has been having Inductive Bible Studies for kids after school.  It started with a class on Mondays of a few kids that wanted to go deeper in learning about what was in their Bible.  They wanted to study Revelation.

The Inductive Bible study method is great for kids because it makes them really think when they read the text and mark key words.  We call this step the Observation step.  In this step, after we have read the passage and marked the text, we ask the Who/What/When/Where/Why and How questions (5 W’s and an H) and make lists, timelines, draw pictures of what was described, and find clues to the context of the passage.  The purpose of the Observation step is to answer the question, “What does it say?”   The next step is the Interpretation step.  In this step, we look for things to help us figure out, “What does it mean?”  Since Scripture is the best interpreter of Scripture, we check there first.  We look up cross-references to the passage or we look up cross-references to better understand the meaning of the key words that we’ve been marking.  Our Discover4Yourself Study books give us great information on cultural, geographical and historical context to complete the picture. All of this work helps us to know for ourselves what God’s word says and what it means.  When we know what God’s word says and means, it’s time to apply it to our lives – this step is called the Application step. 

That one class has grown to four classes – three classes on Mondays and one on Tuesdays.  Monday is our biggest day with a total of 16 kids ranging in age from a 1st grader to an 8th grader in 8 families and 7-8 adults helping in various capacities.  So there you have it:  Inductive Bible Study is going on at Green Hill on Mondays from 3-5pm.

 

There is a new kind of Bible Study for kids on Tuesdays after-school. 

The Tuesday kids’ after-school Bible Study class that was studying John 17-21 finished on January 30th.  This was the third year that they had studied the gospel of John together. The kids were at the level that they could do Bible study on their own, so when they asked if they could do another study before the school year was out, we decided to do something different. Instead of doing everything together in class, they will come to class having done a week’s worth of lessons at home. 

The study we are doing is Lord, Teach Me To Pray For Kids.  They will have a lesson to do seven days a week for the next four weeks.  Each participant will also have a prayer partner to encourage them on the journey.  It is a fantastic study and I am so excited to learn alongside them and to see what God will teach us.  Our meetings together will start with fellowship and snacks, followed by review of the work, sharing specific action they took to apply what they learned that week, and answering any questions they had about what was covered. 

Kelly North and Jennifer Kelley will be helping in this great adventure as leaders for the girls’ and boys’ discussion groups respectively. 

Please pray for us and know that all are welcome to join us for the group’s graduation ceremony at 4:30p.m. Tuesday, March 6, 2018.

 

PRESBYTERIAN HOME FOR CHILDREN

Celebrating 150 Years of Discipleship!

My name is Linda Madsen and I am a member of First Presbyterian Church of Andalusia, Alabama.  Late last summer, I had the honor of being asked to join the Board of Trustees of the Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega, Alabama beginning in 2018.  On Monday, February 5, I drove to Talladega to attend the orientation session for new trustees.  As part of our orientation, we had a tour of the campus of the Presbyterian Home for Children and the Ascension Leadership Academy, which is located at First Presbyterian Church of Talladega. 

That evening, I also had the privilege of attending the installation service of Doug Marshall, the new President and CEO of the Presbyterian Home for Children (PHfC).  The very meaningful and joyful installation service took place at First Presbyterian Church of Talladega.

I spent that night in Talladega and attended my first PHfC Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, February 6.  At that meeting I met a lot of good women and men, from all walks of life, from all over the great state of Alabama.  We all came together that day with the unified goal of serving Christ by serving others in need.

This is a very special year for the Presbyterian Home for Children because it will be celebrating its 150th anniversary!  That’s right.  In 1868, the home first opened its doors to orphaned children in Alabama after the United States Civil War, at its original location in Tuskegee, Alabama. 

In 1892, as times changed and the need for the orphanage expanded, the home moved to its current, more central location in Talladega, Alabama.  PHfC has continued to adapt and expand its services to the changing needs of homeless children in Alabama throughout the last century.  

Since 1983, PHfC has operated as an agency within the physical boundaries of the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley and has its connection with the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. through the three presbyteries within Alabama, including South Alabama Presbytery and North Alabama Presbytery. 

Skip to 2018. I am currently the Presbyterian Home for Children Trustee that lives the closet to your church.  As this year progresses, I will continue to tell you in more detail about the exciting and wonderful ways the Presbyterian Home for Children is currently serving the homeless, including children and their female caregivers, at-risk teens, young adults, the disabled, and struggling families not just in Talladega, but in other locations around Alabama.  I will also tell you about the different ways you may get involved in supporting the mission of the PHfC.

If you would like to visit the Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega, the home is offering some free group tours.  On Tuesday, March 20, a tour bus will leave from Dothan.  It will drive you to the home, provide you with lunch and a tour, and return you to Dothan later that same day.  There will also be other group tours leaving from Tuscaloosa on Tuesday, February 20 and Spanish Fort on Tuesday, March 13. To reserve a space or find out more about the group tours, you may contact Jacque Cordle at (256) 362-2114 X 1204.

To learn even more about the Presbyterian Home for Children, visit the website at http://www.phfc.org. 

Thank you for your continued support of the Presbyterian Home for Children.

Linda Madsen

Board of Trustees

Presbyterian Home for Children

Lindam143@hotmail.com

 

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.

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VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL:  June 25 to June 29

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!

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 four 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.  If you feel called to serve in VBS this year, please contact Scott Smith.

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CHURCH WORK DAY

It’s that time of year again: time to clean up the church grounds for Spring. Please join us on Saturday, March 24, at 8am. Bring your favorite yard tool. Coffee will be hot and ready. We’ll try to get everything done by Noon.  If the weather is bad on the 24th, our backup work day is the 31st.

Categories: Green Hill, Green Hill Good News

Green Hill Good News, February 2018

Green Hill Good News Online Edition for February 2018

Girl Scout Cookie are here! See Makayla, Emma, or Kendall to get your box today!

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]

Answers

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!

Pastor Tim

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

 

Categories: Green Hill, Green Hill Good News

Green Hill Good News Online Edition, January 2018

Church Members, don’t forget to pick up your printed copy

and/or check your email for the complete newsletter.

Makayla & Grayson placed a wreath on the grave of their great-grandfather

during the Wreaths Across America celebration at Meadowlawn Cemetery.


Epiphany

Gr. epiphaneia “manifestation”

The Feast of the Epiphany takes place on January 6th, and is (correctly) recognized by the church on a Sunday between January 2nd and January 8th.  Some refer to this feast as “Three Kings Day”, because the Savior was made “manifest” to the three kings, (or magi, or astrologers) upon their arrival at the stable.  (They were not there for His birth.)

I once heard a simple definition for “epiphany”, and that is this.  “What was made known.”  With this simple definition in mind, (with God’s help) I intend to make 10 things known during the sermon on December 31st, the day that we in this church will recognize the Feast of the Epiphany. 

You may have noticed that December 31st IS NOT January 6th, nor is it the Sunday BETWEEN January 2nd and January 8th.  It is, however, the only Sunday available for us to recognize Epiphany, given the fact that January 7th is the Sunday that we recognize The Baptism of the Lord.  (I’ve already got plans for that day as well.) 

In defense of myself, the Book of Common Worship does allow for Epiphany to be recognized on the Sunday BEFORE January 6th, that is; December 31st. [p.191]

So, having said all that, what will be revealed on December 31st?  Coincidently, it’s the day that we elect elders at a congregational meeting immediately following worship.  We’ll see what God has in mind in that regard, what God will reveal in that regard, but that will be after the worship service.  So, you may wonder what’s coming?  You’ll have to come and see.

Sunday, December 31st, Epiphany Sunday at Green Hill Presbyterian Church – 11 AM.  Please come and see what will be made known.

And – Happy New Year!    

-Tim


ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING

The annual Congregational Meeting for 2017 will be held on Sunday, December 31, immediately following the morning worship service.  All Green Hill members are asked to attend.  The purpose of this meeting is to elect two Elders to the Session.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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.

SOUPER BOWL OF CARING

The Super Bowl is just over a month away (February 4), which means the Souper Bowl of Caring is also just around the corner. On this day we will collect food and financial contributions to our Green Hill Food Pantry. Stay tuned for more details, and keep an eye out for Joel’s big Soup Pot!

NEWSLETTER DEADLINE

Information for the February Green Hill Good Newsletter needs to be submitted to the church office by Monday, January 22. 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!

TOYS FOR TOTS

The Toys for Tots distribution in Enterprise looks like it will be a great success again this year.  Family Services is going to take over the Green Hill Fellowship Hall for two days in December, filling it with a truck load of toys that have been delivered by the Marines.  Each family has been specially assigned a bag of toys, based on the number and ages of their children.  Green Hill is very proud to be a part of this annual event.

Categories: Green Hill, Green Hill Good News

Green Hill Good News, December 2017

Green Hill Good News Online Edition for December 2017

Ed Miller and Joel Mikuta, cutting the cake on Veterans’ Appreciation Sunday


Numb3rs

Have you ever noticed that numbers have an awful lot to do with Christmas?  There was a star.  Not any star, but one in particular.  The one that three kings followed from afar.  Two parents were involved in Jesus’ birth; Mary and Joseph.  A sum of money had to be exchanged between Joseph and the innkeeper.  We never heard how much, but nobody stays for free, even in a stable.

And as the years have flown by, numbers have become even more prominent when we think about Christmas.  Every December when I was a child, a daily cartoon appeared on the front page of the New Britain Herald.  The cartoon counted down the number of shopping days until Christmas.  Of course, in those days Sunday was not considered a shopping day, so that countdown only reflected weekdays and Saturdays.  Today as I write, there are 33 shopping days till Christmas 2017.  This reflects how the world has changed, since many shop on the Lord’s Day, the first day of the week, as they prepare to exchange a number of gifts in celebration of the birth of our Lord.

The number of gifts seemed important as a child.  For many, the number is still important.  Because, (as I’ve been told) the greater the number, the better the Christmas.  (My brother, eight years older than I, always gave me the best gifts.  One year an erector set, one year a chemistry set.)

What’s the most expensive gift you have ever given?  How much, in dollar$?  What’s the most expensive gift you’ve ever received?  How much, in dollar$?

And through the years, I have always been struck by the number of people who come to church on Christmas Eve.  I was an associate at a large church in Pasadena, California after I graduated seminary.  We got about 300 every Sunday, but I cannot remember how many came for Christmas Eve.  (It was so long ago.)

My first church as a pastor was in Stamford, Connecticut.  Two services on Christmas Eve.  We got about 30 at 7 PM.  Much fewer, (15-17) at 11 PM, most of whom had been there at 7.  Valentine, Nebraska – 300 every year, and many were not Presbyterians.  Many were people I knew from town.  Many had no church.  But after I saw the town insurance man, (a Methodist) attend a couple of years in a row, I asked him why he didn’t go to the Methodists for Christmas Eve.  He told me that their service was at 6, ours at 7.  This allowed for one extra hour of Christmas shopping.  200 every year in Texas, and more than half were out of town family members.

You know what?  None of the numbers matter.  Except one.  As in Holy One.  Because He is what Christmas is all about.  God’s only-begotten Son, the Savior, Christ our Lord.  The birth of God the Son, Immanuel, God made man.  Our one priceless gift.

You too might notice the world’s preoccupation with numb3rs this time of year.  But remember that there is only one number that counts.  Because it’s the Holy One‘s birthday.  He’ll be here on His birthday.  I hope you will be as well.  He teaches: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there.”  [Matt. 18.20]

So, see you on December 24th!  11 AM – Sunday Worship.  6 PM – Christmas Eve.

(and) Merry Christmas!

-Pastor Tim

 

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.

SPECIAL WEDNESDAY EVENINGS IN DECEMBER

December 6 – Decorating the Chrismon Tree

December 13 – Christmas Caroling in the Fellowship Hall

December 20 – Birthday Party for Jesus

December 27 – No Evening Program

GREENING OF THE CHURCH

On Wednesday, November 29, everyone who is able to make it is invited to participate in the annual “Greening of the Church,” also known as the “Hanging of the Greens.”  Immediately following the Men’s Bible Study, we will pull the boxes out of the attic and decorate the church.  This will include putting up the tree in the Sanctuary, setting up the Advent candles, hanging the wreaths, and more.

Please join us in this annual tradition of preparing the church building for the Advent and Christmas Season.

HOMESCHOOL THEATER PERFORMANCE

The homeschool theater class is going to put on a show! On Monday, December 4, at 6pm, the Fellowship Hall will be transformed into a stage, complete with backdrops and costumes. The students of the theater classes will perform a play demonstrating what they have learned this past semester. The show is for the parents, but church members have been warmly invited to attend.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN CHRISTMAS PARTY

The annual Presbyterian Women Christmas Party will be held on Friday, December 8, at 5pm, in the Fellowship Hall.  All of the women in the church are invited, even if you don’t usually attend PW events.

PW SANTA FOR SENIORS THROUGH SARCOA

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 senior living with her disabled adult son and small dog. Posted in the Fellowship Hall are some suggestions for needed gifts. If you can help please sign the list on the PW Christmas tree to signal that you are taking care of that item. Please have all (unwrapped) gifts to church no later than the PW Christmas Party on Friday, December 8.

WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA

Join us on National Wreaths Across America Day, Saturday, December 16.  Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as over 1,200 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad.

In Enterprise, the local Wreaths Across America ceremony will be held at Meadowlawn Cemetery at 11:30am.  Last year our Green Hill Girl Scouts participated in the opening ceremony and all of the Green Hill children look forward to being able to lay wreaths again this year.

NEWSLETTER DEADLINE

Information for the January Green Hill Good Newsletter needs to be submitted to the church office by Monday, December 18. 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!

CHRISTMAS POINSETTIAS

If you are going place a poinsettia in the Sanctuary for Christmas, Monday, December 18, is the last day to let the church office know. Please fill out one of the red slips from the pew racks and drop it in the offering plate or in the basket on the office door. The names of everyone being honored/remembered will be printed in the Christmas Eve bulletin.

TOYS FOR TOTS

Green Hill will once again serve as a distribution point for the Toys for Tots program.  Each year Family Services takes over our Fellowship Hall for two days by filling it with bags and bags of toys.  Families who have registered for the program will come to Green Hill to pick up the toys for their children.  This year the toys will be distributed on Friday, December 22.

CHRISTMAS EVE

We will have our annual Christmas Eve Candlelight Service on Sunday night. Following the service, everyone is invited to the Fellowship Hall where we will enjoy hot cider and Christmas snacks. If you have a favorite holiday treat or candy, please bring it to share.

CHRISTMAS JOY OFFERING

The purple Christmas Joy Offering envelopes are in the pew racks for anyone who feels called to make a contribution to this fund. Donations will be used to support retired ministers and their families and for racial and ethnic religious programs at colleges.

CONGREGATIONAL MEETING DECEMBER 31

The annual Congregational Meeting for 2017 will be held on Sunday, December 31, immediately following the morning worship service.  All Green Hill members are asked to attend.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL – “Victory” by the Go Fish Guys

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!

ADVENT SEASON

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!

Categories: Green Hill, Green Hill Good News

Green Hill Good News, November 2017

Green Hill Good News Online Edition for November 2017

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.  Isaiah 40:8


Is That All There Is?

When I was in fourth grade my class went on a field trip to Plymouth Rock. At that age, 150 miles in a school bus seemed like going to the moon. When we finally got there, we were directed to a large marble pavilion, like the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Only the one in Plymouth had no floor. You look over a marble railing and about 20 feet below the railing sits a rock about the size of the desk in my office. It has the year “1620” carved into it; so I figured it must be the real thing, but still; I had thought that Plymouth Rock was going to be impressively huge, not something about the size of a very small, very compact car. So little Timmy goes up to a guy in uniform who looks like he’s got something to do with the rock, a ranger of some sort, and little Timmy asks the ranger: Is that all there is? Ranger looks puzzled, so little Timmy adds: The rock. I thought it would be much bigger. Didn’t the Pilgrims step on that thing when they got off the boat? Ranger explains: It used to be much bigger, but people kept chipping off pieces of the rock as souvenirs. When it got to be as small as it is now, that’s when we put it down in that hole, so nobody could get to it.

Now more than 50 years later, little Timmy is still pretty disillusioned about Plymouth Rock. And little Timmy’s brother David still calls him “Timmy.” But as disillusioned as I am about where it all began, I am not in any way disillusioned about Thanksgiving. The best of all holidays. The one that they invented not far from that rock. The one that we will enthusiastically celebrate in our home in New Brockton in about one month.

Laurie and David’s brother (that’s actually me), will be cooking together, eating together, drinking various wines that go with various elements of our meal (especially the turkey element), and not watching football. The football games used to be a part of our tradition, but we don’t watch a game where men kneel when the national anthem is played, instead of standing in thanksgiving for all that it means to be an American. Over the course of the day we speak with all of the children (including the granddaughters), by Skype. And after Laurie cleans it all up, and after turkey sandwiches for dinner, we usually go to bed early. This for us is Thanksgiving.

But we, as well, know the real reason for Thanksgiving. The giving of thanks. And not just one day a year, but every day. Thanks to God for all our blessings. And this year, thanks to all of you as well. To all y’all who brought us here from Texas, especially the PNC. And to those of you who sent cards while we were still in Texas. Because of you, we felt welcome long before we got here. And thanks to all of you who gave gifts. Like all of the food and supplies for our new house. And to the couple who gave the large bottle of chardonnay. And the Visa gift card. (You know who you are!) And the tomatoes. And the salsa. And the gift certificates to the Mexican restaurant. And the meals out, and the meals in your homes. And to you who have been my teachers, especially Scott.

To all of you who are the Green Hill Presbyterian Church. Many, many thanks! And Happy Thanksgiving!

–Tim

CONGREGATIONAL MEETING, NOVEMBER 5

There will be a congregational meeting immediately following worship on November the 5th for the purpose of electing two (2) members to serve on the Congregational Nominating Committee for 2018.

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS ENDS

Don’t forget to change your clocks before you go to bed on November 4. On Sunday morning, November 5, Daylight Savings Time ends, and we all get back that extra hour we gave up in the spring. We look forward to seeing you at church on Sunday morning, at the correct time.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN LUNCH, NOVEMBER 3

All of the ladies of Green Hill, and any friends you would like to bring along, are invited to attend a lunch at Green Hill on Friday, November 3. We will enjoy sandwiches and fellowship and share what has been going on in our lives since we were last able to get together. We will also discuss some pending business from the Coordinating Team. We hope you will be able to join us!

STUFF THE BUS FOOD DRIVE, NOVEMBER 4

The Boy Scouts from Troop #150 will hold their annual food drive on Saturday, November 4. They will be out in front of the Walmart in Enterprise, Alabama, with the Green Hill Church bus. The plan is to stuff the bus full of food that can be used to feed those in need in Coffee County. All food donated will go to the Green Hill Food Pantry. The Pantry is currently running low on all supplies, so everything donated will be appreciated and put to good use. Thank you to everyone for your continued support!

STEWARDSHIP SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19

The church’s annual Stewardship Sunday is fast approaching. At this time, we ask each member, each family, and all our regular worshipers, to prayerfully examine their resources and to pledge a portion to God’s work. Soon everyone will receive a pledge card in the mail. On Stewardship Sunday, November 19, a special collection of the pledge cards will be held during the morning service. The cards may also be returned by mail to the church office. These pledges help the church plan our budget for the coming year.

ENTERPRISE VETERANS DAY PARADE

Veterans Day falls on Saturday, November 11, but the city of Enterprise is recognizing this special day a little early. Children will be out of school on Friday, and the annual Veterans Day Parade will be held on Main Street on Thursday, November 9, beginning at 5:00pm.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN THANK OFFERING

The Thank Offering has long been a tradition of Presbyterian Women. It has provided and continues to provide much-needed financial assistance to numerous worthwhile programs not included in ongoing General Assembly mission support. Each year, domestic and international projects are carefully and prayerfully selected by the Creative Ministries Offering Committee to help meet a crucial need. Forty percent (40%) of this offering is used to support hospitals and community health programs that place priority in helping the most-needy members of God’s community. The remaining sixty percent (60%) is used for new creative ideas for mission, un-designated in advance. The generosity of Presbyterian women and their families and congregations as demonstrated through their Thank Offering gifts help chosen recipients find real solutions for projects related to health, education, economic development, and needs of women and children.  Green Hill members wishing to contribute to this annual Thank Offering may use one of the special envelopes located in the pew racks.

BELK CHARITY DAY SALE

Tickets are now available for the next Belk Charity Day Sale! The sale will be held at the Dothan location on November 4, from 6am to 10am. To attend, you must purchase a $5 ticket from one of the members of the Presbyterian Women at Green Hill. This very special ticket will not only get you admission to the sale, but it also acts as a coupon to get you $5 off of your first purchase. That’s in addition to getting the already marked discounts of 20% to 70% off! And, that ticket just keeps on working because the money for all of the tickets sold at Green Hill goes to support the mission budget of the Presbyterian Women of Green Hill.

NEWSLETTER DEADLINE

Information for the December Green Hill Good Newsletter needs to be submitted to the church office by Monday, November 20. 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!

Categories: Green Hill, Green Hill Good News

Green Hill Good News Online Edition for August 2017

WinShape 2017

[This is an essay from an unpublished book of essays entitled Real Church. The author is the aging pastor himself.]

Uphill

I decided on the title for this essay long before I ever put one word on paper. The name “Uphill” came to mind long ago. It well defines the journey of one aging Christian pastor; from the days of his earliest memory, to this very day. For some strange reason, for him, the journey has been all uphill. But maybe the reason is not so strange at all. Maybe God’s the reason. Maybe this is God’s way; that the journey be a hard one, because when we get to the end of the line … it’s heaven.

Long ago, this Christian pastor had a preaching professor who liked to remind her class of the phrase, The road to hell is paved with good intentions. She’d stress, that’s the easy road. That’s the one – that’s paved. The aging minister has come to conclude that the other road, the one less traveled, the one to heaven, that’s a rough one, unpaved; the hard road. Jesus spoke of this road when He said this: Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. [Matt. 7. 13-14]

Uphill. Let me provide an example. The aging minister received an invitation not long ago to return to a former church. To be an honored guest in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the building of that church. The celebration was to take place the following Sunday. Just five days from the day that the invitation arrived. The invitation was dated a week prior. This left him wondering, why invite me at all if you’re going to invite me too late to come? (I need way more than five days notice to take a Sunday off. And airfares are enormous when you buy your ticket five days before your flight.) And how will it look if I’m not there, after somebody, probably not the person who mailed the invitation, but somebody else, thought enough of me to invite me? Uphill.

So he sits and he wonders. But he doesn’t wonder very hard. Because as hard as the road may be, as strenuous as the climb uphill may be, he doesn’t travel alone. Because He’s always there. Him! He’s been there from the start. He lived His life uphill. And He understands, and He loves the aging one, and He helps him. Every step of the way. The few and the far-between that are easy. And all the rest as well. Those that are uphill.

And he thinks about the journey to Alabama. That took 60 years … uphill. But every step was worth it, if only because of Who walks beside him. (And always remember this: He walks with you too!)

CONGREGATIONAL CARE MEETING

A Congregational Care meeting will be held on Sunday, August 6, at 1:30pm. Anyone who is interested in serving on this committee is welcome to attend. If you have any questions, please contact Diana Lawrence.

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION COMMITTEE

August’s Christian Education meeting has been moved to August 4 at 9:00am.

AFTER SCHOOL BIBLE STUDY VOLUNTEERS

We need you! The After School Bible Studies will be starting back September 5th. If you loved working with kids during Vacation Bible School, you might want to help in this ministry. We meet Mondays and Tuesdays during the regular Enterprise School Year. We have three wonderful teachers, but we need helpers in each room and someone to prepare snacks. In August, I need help with putting together the classroom props. If you can’t make a whole school year commitment, think about signing up to substitute as a helper or a snack provider or come help me put everything together. If you are interested, please contact April Seery.

AFTER SCHOOL BIBLE STUDY CLASSES

Our After School Bible Studies will be starting up soon! This year we will be offering three classes on Mondays:

• Jonah: a class for beginners to kid’s Inductive Bible Study; for 1st – 4th graders
• Revelation Part 2 (Revelation 8-22): a continuation class for 5th – 8th graders who have finished Revelation Part 1 (Revelation 1-7)
• Genesis Part 2 (Genesis 3-11): a class for 3rd-6th graders who have done inductive Bible Study before.
On Tuesdays, we will finish up the Gospel of John (John 17-21). Unfortunately, only those who have finished John 1-10 and John 11-16 can come to this class.

If you have any questions, please call April Seery at 393-3813. We look forward to teaching God’s Word again this year!

CHURCH CALENDAR

Do you have a meeting happening at the church? Don’t forget to let the church office know! We like to keep the main calendar as up-to-date as possible, and we like to know what events are coming up so we can make announcements in the bulletin and/or the newsletter. Thank you for keeping the office informed.

AFTER SCHOOL BIBLE STUDY PARENT MEETING/REGISTRATION

• When: August 22, 2017 at 7p.m.
• Where: Fellowship Hall
• Who: Parents who want to sign up their kids for the After School Bible Studies.
• Why: Attendance at this meeting is required to register your child/children.
• What: Important information will be provided and parents signing up will be expected to commit to having their child regularly attend class, save for illness or emergency situations.
• How: Class supplies will be ordered based upon the registrations taken this evening.

GREAT AMERICAN ECLIPSE

On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States will see nature’s most wondrous spectacle — a total eclipse of the Sun. It is a scene of unimaginable beauty; the Moon completely blocks the Sun, daytime becomes a deep twilight, and the Sun’s corona shimmers in the darkened sky. Everyone in the continental U.S. will see at least a partial eclipse. In fact, if you have clear skies on eclipse day, the Moon will cover at least 48 percent of the Sun’s surface.

WINSHAPE WAS A HUGE SUCCESS!

Thank you to everyone who supported WinShape Camp last month, either through time volunteered, financial assistance, or especially with prayer. Over 500 children are participating in camp this year! This year’s theme was “All” and the main Bible verse was Matthew 22:37, “…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” We are so pleased that WinShape was able to return to Enterprise, to continue having an impact on the youth of our city. We look forward to them coming back next year (July 16-20, 2018)!

FINISHED?

“The sermon is done?” asked the latecomer of the pastor at the church door.

“The sermon has been preached,” said the minister. “It remains to be done.”

After the pastor has preached, the work of the church begins. Our minds have been instructed, our souls have been nurtured and our emotions have been stirred.

When we pass beyond the four walls of the church building, we face a different environment; we breathe a different air. We can then no longer be passive. We are called to act. And we should act in accordance with our knowledge of God’s will.

GUATEMALA MISSION TRIP REPORT

     Wednesday, August 16th
     Pot Luck Meal 5:30pm
     Presentation 6:15pm
     Fellowship Hall

Categories: Green Hill, Green Hill Good News

Green Hill Good News June/July 2017

Green Hill Good News Online Edition for June/July 2017

Are you ready for this year’s Vacation Bible School?!

Meadow (Laurie named her)

Meadow came into our lives in 2005. We got her from a breeder with questionable business ethics in Cairo, New York. Annie, Meadow’s older sister came from the same breeder, and between the time that we got Annie and the time that we got Meadow, I had forgotten that Betty the Breeder only dealt in cash. Betty the Breeder explained this, saying that although she lived in Cairo, her bank was in Washington, DC. (I recall wondering if Betty knew that the IRS was in Washington, DC as well).

Laurie says that I chose Meadow. I think it was Laurie who picked her. More likely, Meadow picked us. Regardless, she was not the pick of the litter. For a Golden Retriever, she was a little funny looking, and her ears were too small. We drove the 150 miles from Cairo, New York to Stamford, CT, and Meadow became an important part of our family. At the time, our family still had one human son at home and two other Goldens; Annie, Meadow’s sister, and Maeve (May-ve) their cousin.

Meadow was always her own dog. She didn’t come when you called her. She didn’t behave in any way like a Golden Retriever. But we loved her very much, and we knew that she needed us.

She was dog number three. Annie was in the middle, but Annie was in charge of the dogs, and all three were in charge of the rest of the family. Meadow never had a toy for more than a few seconds if Annie was around. Annie was a sweet, wonderful Golden; obedient, loyal and loving. But only towards us. Never towards her sister. She was never aggressive towards Meadow, but like I said, Meadow never had a toy for more than a few seconds as long as Annie was around.

Maeve died at the age of twelve in Valentine, NE. Annie died at the age of twelve in Huntsville, TX. Earlier this month Meadow died, (at the age of twelve) in Enterprise. After Annie’s death, Meadow really blossomed. Suddenly, she was an only dog, and all of the toys were hers and hers alone. And Mom and Dad NEVER paid any attention to any other dog but her. Meadow liked to greet kids at the door on Halloween while wearing her witch hat. After Annie died, suddenly Meadow would come when you called her, but only if you were holding a piece of sandwich meat. She loved to lick the inside of coffee cups in the morning as soon as they were empty. She loved toodle-oo’s. (The inside of a roll of toilet paper. The kind of thing that makes a horn that plays only two notes – toodle – oo!) And she loved us, in a un-conventional way for a Golden. But she loved us, and we loved her.

The former baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti once wrote that the end of baseball season breaks your heart every year. Being a fan of the sacred game myself, I would agree. But having seen four Goldens go to heaven in my lifetime I can say this: Nothing breaks your heart like the loss of a dog.

I’m sure that when Meadow got to heaven, (that’s a big reason it’s heaven – dogs) I’m sure that as soon as Meadow got there, she picked up a ball, and Annie took it away from her.

We have a sign on our refrigerator that says an awful lot about how we feel about dogs. It reads:

BE THE KIND OF PERSON YOUR DOG THINKS YOU ARE.

Tim

WINSHAPE CAMP, JULY 17 TO 21

WinShape is looking for volunteers to help make this year’s camp happen. Even if you aren’t feeling adventurous, you can still help. People are needed to do everything from washing clothes and making lunches to taking registrations and passing out snacks. If you are interested in volunteering at Winshape, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Sonja Helms, 334-406-2649. Or, for more information, contact Sandra DeTora at 334-347-9530.

NEWSLETTER SUBMISSION DEADLINE

The deadline for submissions to the August Green Hill Good News is Monday, July 24. You can contact the office by email or by phone, or you can drop your news off in the basket on the door. Each month the church office does its best to get the newsletter printed and distributed by the last Sunday of the month. Early submissions are appreciated.

PLEASE SAVE YOUR MILK JUGS

Please don’t throw away your empty gallon milk jugs! The Vacation Bible School children will use them this year as part of building the Full Armor of God. Your milk jugs will be turned into Helmets of Salvation. Milk jugs can be given to April Seery or dropped off at the church office. Thank you.

CHURCH DIRECTORY

The 2017 church directory has been printed and is ready to be picked up on the table in the narthex. However, as is usual for a project like this, the church office became aware of a few errors after the directory had been printed. Murphy’s Law is alive and well!  Please see your church bulletin for directory corrections/additions.

THANK YOU VBS VOLUNTEERS!

Thank you to all of our Vacation Bible School volunteers who have signed up to help with this year’s adventure! We could not make this week happen without you. From planning and setting up, to actually running the program and then tearing down, each one of you is appreciated for your efforts. We know we are going to have a wonderful time this year and we can’t wait to see how God works through us!

UPCOMING PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN EVENTS

• July 19-21, AL/MS Conference, Huntsville, AL
• August 18, Presbytery Meeting, Bay Minette, AL
• September 30, Fall Gathering, Bay Minette, AL
• January 20, COLT Conference, Spanish Fort, AL

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN SURVEY

Green Hill Ladies, keep an eye out for an upcoming survey. The Coordinating Team of the Presbyterian Women here at Green Hill wants to know how to serve you better. We’d like to know what activities you might like to do and when you would like to meet. This survey will be a huge help in planning our activities for the upcoming year. Thank you for your input!

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

In a world that is always searching for the “next big thing”, some things will never change and can never be improved upon. God, His Promises, His Word, and the Gospel are unchangeable, which is why Green Hill and the Go Fish Guys invite you to KICK IT OLD SCHOOL!

Who: Children, Completed 1st – 6th Grade
What: Vacation Bible School
When: June 19 to June 23 * 9:00am to Noon
Where: Green Hill Presbyterian Church

Registration forms can be picked up at the church or can be downloaded off of the church website.

Categories: Green Hill, Green Hill Good News

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