Green Hill Good News

Green Hill Good News June/July 2014

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From the desk of Pastor Dan:

Historians agree that Abraham Lincoln was clearly a man seeking God. Following the death of his son, his search intensified. He grew in conviction that he and our nation needs a day set aside for prayer and fasting. President Lincoln thus proclaimed:

“It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, and to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in Holy Scripture, and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord….

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which has preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
“Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.” [March 30, 1863]

“It behooves us,” Abraham Lincoln said some 150 years ago. I wonder what he would say today? What should we as a nation be saying about our nonchalant attitude toward the things of God.

Our nation is solidly secular; no longer Christian. We are living in a post-Christian world. Indeed, we have pockets of strong Christian witness in our land, but the politically correct leadership of our educational institutions, business enterprises, court system, and political institutions have, as Lincoln observed so long ago, become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.”

Even the church finds itself plagued by ministers who no longer believe in the authority of the scriptures. God’s commandments are ignored or compromised. Just as lost as our secular leadership, they waiver on what the biblical text says, they compromise traditional values based upon long-held Judeo-Christian teachings. Our church leaders are leading from behind, not wanting to displease the secular authorities.

Is there no one to lead us to humble ourselves before the One we daily offend, to confess our national sins, to pray for forgiveness?

June 14th is flag day. Maybe the pledge should be changed after all: “I pledge allegiance to God under whom our flag used to wave….”

Distressed about what shall become of our nation,

Pastor Dan

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN

This year’s Presbyterian Women Alabama/Mississippi Conference will be held July 16 to July 18 at Spanish Fort Presbyterian, in Daphne, Alabama. If you’ve never been to an AL/MS Conference, you are in for a real treat! Please see Gloria, Betty, or Nancy for more information.

Ladies, the PW also has a couple of special events planned for over the summer, one in June and one in July. Once the details have been worked out, more information will be posted on the announcement board and in upcoming bulletins.

ALZHEIMER’S CAREGIVERS SUPPORT MEETING

Please join Green Hill Presbyterian Church for our monthly Alzheimer’s Support Group. On the third Wednesday of Each Month @ 10am

Many of us are caring for individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. Our meetings will consist of education, guest speakers, sharing, and prayer. Let’s share caregiving approaches we’ve tried and discuss what works, what doesn’t, and how you can care for yourself during this challenging time. We want all caregivers to understand the disease and to know that they are not alone.

Dr. Kimberli Fougeron Ph.D., the group facilitator, has also been certified by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. For more information, please contact the church office at 334-347-9530.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

When it comes to our salvation, God did everything, which means that He gets all of the glory! Remarkably, the Bible speaks of crowns that will be given to those who shine for Jesus here on earth. One day we will have the honor of casting these crowns at the feet of our King!

This year’s Vacation Bible School will be held from June 23 to June 27, 9:00am to Noon. All children from 5 years old to 6th grade are invited. Registration forms are available at the church, on the website, or you can just call 334-347-9530. Adult volunteers are also needed. If interested, please contact April Seery.

PRAYER IN THE SANCTUARY

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

All through the summer, the Sanctuary at Green Hill will be open for our members to come in and pray. From 9am to 10am, Monday through Thursday, the doors will be open, and a candle will be lit. Everyone is welcome to come and speak with God in this special space, where He can be your only focus.

Categories: Green Hill, Green Hill Good News

Green Hill Good News, May 2014

(online edition)

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From the desk of Pastor Dan:

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant….” (Philippians 2: 4-7a, ESV)
This is how the gospel is to be understood, sifted and strained through the life of a servant:

A missionary went to a town in Mesopotamia to labor among the Syrians, Muslims, and others there. Thirteen long years he toiled among them before he had a single convert.

“Your words sound well,” they told him, “but we cannot understand them. Why should you come to us with these words? Why are you not content to leave us as we are?”

Then came cholera. Those who could, fled, leaving the sick to die uncared for. The missionary stayed. He went into home after home and cared for the stricken ones, ‘till at last, utterly spent with weariness, he succumbed to the disease. Those whom he had saved bore his body outside the city wall and tenderly buried it.

Long afterward, another missionary came to that city. He expected to find the work of his predecessor forgotten, but nine miles out from the city the people met him with great joy.

They took him to a grave outside the city and showed him a grave. “This is the grave of the man who died for us,” they told him. They understood now the words of the missionary, which he had spoken, and they built a fine, large, stone church and dedicated it to his memory and to the service of the God whom he served.

Green Hill, the secret to reaching others for Jesus’ sake, is found when we forget about what we want or prefer for ourselves, and look instead to the interests and needs of others. May our servant-minded Lord empower us to persevere past perceived failures and disappointments. Is it possible that our present mission to Enterprise and Ft. Rucker is to lay down our lives in preparation for a day yet future when faithful service to Christ bears finally bears the fruit we long to see today?

To God alone be the glory. Please, Lord, help us not to bury, but to give away the talent(s) you have given us. May we not be ashamed at your appearing!

Trusting the One who has given us the mind and enduring spirit of Christ,

Pastor Dan

SESSION BRIEFS

• Elder Cully recounted valuable training for Clerks of Session given by Rev Samford Turner at recent training workshop; Minutes for the year 2013 were certified by Presbytery during the seminar.
• Pastor McMillan led the Session through a second reading and editing exercise of the proposed Manual of Operations for the Session. Elder Lawrence will incorporate edits and make available to the congregation this latest draft. Copies are to be placed on the table in the Narthex for easy access by all church members and feedback is requested. Responses can be directed to the Clerk of Session and returned to the church office before the June Session meeting.
• Approved an overnighter at the church. Sandi DeTora and Diana Lawrence are sponsors.
• Joel Mikuta gave the treasurer’s report for the first quarter. Pledges and expenses reflect the 2014 budget projections. Church members and Committees were commended for their faithful stewardship for the first part of the year.
• Agreed to hear a fund-raising proposal for the Presbyterian Children’s Home from Charles and Ruth Oliver at the June Session meeting.
• Called on the Annual Nominating Committee to nominate an elder to complete Elder David Aylesworth’s two-year term.
• Approved continuing to have the church sanctuary open in the mornings for members to come in and pray. This will be done Monday through Thursday, 9am to 10am, but not on Fridays.

FAMILY SERVICES RUMMAGE SALE

Come to the old National Guard Armory in New Brockton (across the street from Frogz Restaurant) to participate in the Second Annual Family Services Rummage Sale. Thursday presale 6-9, Friday and Saturday 9-4. Everything half price after 1 on Saturday. Family Services has survived for two years since the loss of all State funding and this fundraiser will provide them with “match” funding to apply for more grants. Last year’s sale was a great fund raiser and provided great bargains for many shoppers.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALEX!

Congratulations to Alex McDonough on being accepted to the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science (high school) down in Mobile, Alabama. Our church family has watched Alex over the years as she has grown from an amazing little girl into an incredible young woman. It seems too soon to say goodbye, but we know that this is an opportunity that can’t be missed, and we know that she is going to be doing wonderful things over the next four years.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN

First, a big thank you to all of the Coordinating Team for your hard, selfless (and often thankless) work. It has been a good year and we have been richly blessed. There are a few upcoming events that need to be mentioned.

1. Green Hill has been invited by Belks Department Store in Dothan to participate in their Charity Day Sale. The sale will be held on Saturday, May 3, from 6-10am. Entrance requires a ticket which costs $5. That $5 ticket turns into a $5 coupon that can be used on your first purchase. If you are interested and wish to help, please see Gloria or Betty Bierbaum for all details.
2. The annual PW Birthday Lunch will be held in the Fellowship Hall following the morning worship service on Sunday, May 4. Ham and Birthday Cake will be provided by the church. We need you to bring either a salad, a vegetable, a bread, or a casserole. If you plan to attend, please let the church office know. Reservation slips are available in the church pews. The Birthday Offering this year will benefit the Blue Corn Mothers Alliance. More info on this is contained on the POW Bulletin Board. Please plan to attend and support this worthwhile cause.
“The more we give, the more we get. For only what we give away, enriches us from day to day.” A Quote from Helen Steiner Rice.

Love to all, Gloria

ALZHEIMER’S CAREGIVERS SUPPORT MEETING

The next Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support meeting will be held on May 21. These monthly meetings are open to anyone who is dealing with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia in their family. We will get together, share our stories, and work on learning more about how to deal with these diseases.

END OF THE YEAR COOK OUT

On Wednesday, May 28, our regular fellowship supper and Bible Study are going to be replaced with an End of the Year Cook Out! Hotdogs, hamburgers, chips, soda, dessert, and more! Our Softball Team players will be our honored guests. Please, invite your friends. This will be a great night to show them what our church family is all about.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

When it comes to our salvation, God did everything, which means that He gets all of the glory! Remarkably, the Bible speaks of crowns that will be given to those who shine for Jesus here on earth. One day we will have the honor of casting these crowns at the feet of our King!

This year’s Vacation Bible School will be held from June 23 to June 27, 9:00am to Noon. All children from 5 years old to 6th grade are invited. Registration forms are available at the church, on the website, or you can just call 334-347-9530. Adult volunteers are also needed. If interested, please contact April Seery.

MEN’S BREAKFAST ON MOTHER’S DAY

This month’s Men’s Breakfast will be held on Sunday, May 11, which is also Mother’s Day! Everyone is invited to join the men for a special breakfast honoring our mothers. Food will be served in the Fellowship Hall at 8:30am.

PRAYER IN THE SANCTUARY

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

During the month of May, and continuing through the Summer, the Sanctuary at Green Hill will be open for our members to come in and pray. From 9am to 10am, Monday through Thursday, the doors will be open, and a candle will be lit. Everyone is welcome to come and speak with God is this special space.

Categories: Green Hill, Green Hill Good News

Green Hill Good News, April 2014

(online edition)

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Jordan & Daphne show off their Bible Study Completion certificates.

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From the desk of Pastor Dan:

Jesus, as he reflected upon his own death and the possibility of life abundant and free, said this: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone but if it dies it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24). The Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians clearly stated that the corruptible will put on incorruption; and mortality (vulnerable to extinction) does indeed have a pathway to immortal. (Chapter 15)

Dying and death are inevitable. The Fountain of youth has yet to be found. How exciting it must be in some laboratory somewhere as scientists tinker with the human genetic code. Hope springs eternal that nature’s encrypted code of longer life might soon be discovered.

Nevertheless, it remains true: Death is inevitable, even more so than taxes.

The Preacher of Ecclesiastes protested at this inevitability: “vanity, vanity, all is vanity.”

Some religions hold out the hope that the spirit or soul continues on in some reincarnated form. Reappearing in another form or at another time may appear to be more hopeful, I suppose, than simply saying, “ibity, ibity, ibity, that’s all folks.”

I don’t know. Reincarnation means you have to go through the dying process all over again…and again…and again. No, thank you.

Jesus proclaimed not only a life after death, but a life that would be NEW (youthful? Vital? Abundant? Full of energy and possibilities?) and IMMUNE to the dying process.

Jesus proved it. He arose from the dead; attested by hundreds, with twelve specially charged to declare God’s victory over death (to say nothing about sin!!)

The Apostle Paul said Jesus was the first fruit of a great harvest of life from the dead (Corinthians 15). Jesus lives (The Gospels). Those who have already died in faith…in Christ…are alive with Him and they will be raised first on the day the trump sounds and Christ raises His people to life, never to die again (1 Thessalonians chapter 4.)

Are you a believer? You can choose to believe many different explanations for the purpose of the life we now live, and the possibility of life after we die. Why not choose to believe what Christ offers those who decide to trust Him, to make this life count for Him…making Jesus your Lord and Master…right now?

Consider yourself dead except for who you are becoming in Christ. Determine to live for Christ. You, my friend, shall be alive, forever more.

Dying to live! Pastor Dan

SESSION BRIEFS

• Reviewed, on first reading, a proposed manual of operations for the Session and Congregation
• Transferred $200 from the Mission Committee’s miscellaneous fund, effectively amending the yearly budget line item for Christian Mission to read $1200.
• VBS has been scheduled for the week of June 23 – 27. April Seery will be the Director.
• Sunrise service this year will be at Lee Street Baptist April 20 at 6:30am.
• Among topics of discussion: Session vacancies and structure, concern for General Assembly deliberations this June, needs of our Sunday School and programs for youth
• Approved leave for the Pastor to coincide with Spring Break, March 25-28
• The next stated meeting of the Session is Sunday, April 27, at 2pm.

FAMILY SERVICES RUMMAGE SALE

Family Services is excited to announce that they are holding their 2nd annual Gigantic Rummage Sale on May 1, 2, and 3 at the old National Guard Armory in New Brockton. Last year’s sale was a great fund raiser and provided great bargains for many shoppers! Family Services is now picking up donations, so call (334) 393-8538 if you have furniture or other good used items that you want to have picked up. You will be provided with a tax certificate for anything that you donate. Many people who donated last year found that their tax advantage was greater than what they would have made by having a garage sale (but without the time and trouble).

LENTEN PRAYERS

We are calling all of our members to participate in 40 Days of Prayer for Lent. The Sanctuary will be open from 9am to 10am, Monday to Friday, for anyone who would like to come and pray at the church. Or, you may choose to pray at home, in a time that suits your schedule. Either way, we hope that everyone will set aside time to reflect on Jesus in this solemn time leading up to the joy of Easter on April 20.

ALZHEIMER’S CAREGIVERS SUPPORT MEETING

The next Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support meeting will be held on April 16. These monthly meetings are open to anyone who is dealing with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia in their family. We will get together, share our stories, and work on learning more about how to deal with these diseases.

CHRIST IN THE PASSOVER

Igor Barbanel of Jews for Jesus will speak at Green Hill Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, April 2, at 6:15pm. Pastor Dan McMillan invites all to attend. Jews for Jesus uses creative methods and contemporary issues to present the message that Jesus is the Messiah to Jewish people around the world.

Although Barbanel was raised in an atheist family in Odessa, Ukraine, he realized that his existence was no accident and wanted to learn more about his Creator. He came to faith in Jesus through the Jews for Jesus ministry in 1995. He came on their staff in 1997 and now serves as the deputy director for their five branches in Russia and the Ukraine. He and his wife, Galina, have two daughters, Olga and Susan.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

When it comes to our salvation, God did everything, which means that He gets all of the glory! Remarkably, the Bible speaks of crowns that will be given to those who shine for Jesus here on earth. One day we will have the honor of casting these crowns at the feet of our King!

This year’s Vacation Bible School will be held from June 23 to June 27, 9:00am to Noon. All children from 5 years old to 6th grade are invited. Registration forms are available at the church, on the website, or you can just call 334-347-9530. Adult volunteers are also needed. If interested, please contact April Seery.

MAUNDY THURSDAY SERVICE

The Maundy Thursday worship service will be held at 6pm on April the 17th. On this day we will commemorate the Last Supper Jesus had with the Apostles. This solemn service will include Communion.

EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE

This year’s Easter Sunrise Service will be held across the road with our neighbors at Lee Street Baptist Church. The service is scheduled to begin at 6:30am. A light breakfast will be served following the service.

GREETINGS FROM MAINE

Last month Green Hill received the following message from Diane Hugo, the Pastor of Mid-Coast Presbyterian Church up in Maine.

Hi! I’ve begun a sermon series on the 6 Great Ends of the Church and found your gorgeous stained glass windows via yahoo image search. May I please use the image for our website if I give credit to where it came from? …Thanks so much!! We are few but we are proud Presbyterians in Maine 🙂 Blessings upon your ministry, Diane

Of course we said Yes! It’s amazing who we reach with our website! You never know who is going to be reading about our church and our ministry!

ANGELS ON EARTH

The angels in heaven
Don’t get the blues;
They don’t have to bother
With clothing and shoes.
They use their wings
When they move around,
And their feet don’t ever
Touch the ground.
But here on earth
It’s a different story;
We have many around
And they don’t seek glory.
You don’t see their wings
When they move around;
They use their feet,
They walk on the ground.
It’s so very easy
To tell them apart;
Just look for that person
With the oversized heart.

–Martin Brignac, Sr.
We are blessed with so many angels in our Green Hill Family.

Categories: Green Hill, Green Hill Good News

Green Hill Good News, March 2014

(online edition)

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FROM THE DESK OF PASTOR DAN

Long ago, a young boy named Patrick lived in the British Isles. In his mid-teens, Patrick was captured and taken as a slave to Ireland. He lived there for several years herding sheep. He was a religious boy and he prayed that he would someday return to his homeland.

Legend has it that one night while he was praying, a voice told him to escape and hike two hundred miles to a ship that would be waiting for him. Patrick got to the ship, and sailed back to Europe. At home, Patrick felt that he was called by God to perform an important mission. He believed it was his duty to go back to Ireland and convert the Celtic people to Christianity.

Patrick arrived in Ireland and became a missionary, traveling from village to village and talking about his faith. Once, several members of a tribe approached Patrick and told him that they found it difficult to understand and believe in the Holy Trinity. Patrick thought a moment, then stooped down and picked one of the shamrocks growing wild around Ireland. “Here are three leaves,” he said, “yet it is one plant. Imagine the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit as each of these leaves. Here they are, yet they are one plant.” The tribesmen understood. From that time on, the shamrock has been a revered symbol of Ireland.

It would be a stretch for most of us to call March 17th a religious holiday, so in honor of the “Irish” in us all, one more story:

Spanish singer Julio Iglesias was on television with British TV host Anne Diamond when he used the word mañana. Diamond asked him to explain what it meant. He said that the term means “maybe the job will be done tomorrow, maybe the next day, maybe the day after that. Perhaps next week, next month, next year. Who cares?” The host turned to Irishman Shay Brennan who was also on the show and asked him if there was an equivalent term in Irish. “No. In Ireland we don ‘t have a word to describe that degree of urgency” replied Brennan.

Loving the Irish in all of us!

Pastor Dan 

CARTOON

SESSION BRIEFS

• Received the church’s statistical report prepared for the Presbytery. It showed we lost two members and gained seven.

• Heard Elder Lawrence’s Commissioner’s Report. Presbytery was challenged to participate in the denomination’s “1001 new worshiping communities in ten years” campaign. New ministers for Spring Hill and Evergreen in Dothan were welcomed.

• Elder Art Forehand said building and grounds would like to have the Spring Work Day on Saturday morning, March 22nd with April 12th as a weather back-up.

• Worship Committee recommended 4th Sunday Vesper service be suspended for a time and that a 40 days of prayer during Lent be offered every week day morning in the sanctuary from 9-10am beginning March 6th, the day after Ash Wednesday.

• Reviewed the Elder Sponsor List and discussed notification procedures during emergencies

• Christian Education Committee continues to look for a teacher of the Junior and Senior High Youth.

• The pastor reported that the Ministers Association will conduct another crosswalk on Good Friday

ALZHEIMER’S CAREGIVERS SUPPORT MEETING

The annual Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support meeting will be held on March 19. These monthly meetings are open to anyone who is dealing with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia in their family. We will get together, share our stories, and work on learning more about how to deal with these diseases.

PIZZA & GAMES

On Wednesday, March 12, from 5:30 to 7pm, we will set aside our regular Bible Study for a special Pizza & Game night. Bring your favorite games to play and to share. All ages are invited to this exciting event. Please fill out a reservation slip (found in the pew rack) or contact the church office so we know how much pizza to order. Cost is just $3 per adult, $1 per child, and Free for those six and under. Remember, this is a great time to invite your neighbors and friends to Green Hill Presbyterian Church.

CURSILLO

Registration is still open for the Alabama Presbyterian Cursillo (APC), and you are all invited! Cursillo, which means “short course,” is a three day retreat designed for Presbyterians who desire to renew their faith and develop a deeper understanding of their relationship with Christ. There are talks, opportunities to worship, fellowship, singing, and group discussions. Cursillo is a tool to assist participants in spiritual renewal and is directed at committed Christians who earnestly desire to grow in Christ. This year’s spring event will be held April 3 to April 6, 2014. To learn more, please see Carl or Betty Bierbaum.

GIRL SCOUT SUNDAY

On Sunday, March 9, the Green Hill congregation will be joined at morning worship by the girls and the parents from Girl Scout Troops #9296 and #9338. Girl Scout Sunday is designated as the day to commemorate the founding of the Girl Scouts of America in 1912 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. Following the service cake and punch will be served in the Fellowship Hall. Please join us to welcome our scouting families.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN NEWS

On March 22, 2014 at 9:00 am our Annual Spring Gathering will be held at First Presbyterian, Foley, Alabama. This will be a very exciting day of fellowship, Bible Study and activities for all ladies. We hope you can attend. You will be sorry if you miss it! There is information on the PW board in the Fellowship Hall. If you plan to attend, we need to know no later than Wednesday, March the 12th. Thank you.

WE NEED ONE ANOTHER

We need one another when we mourn and would be comforted.

We need one another when we are in trouble and afraid.

We need one another when we are in despair, in temptation, and need to be recalled to our best selves again.

We need one another when we would accomplish some great purpose, and cannot do it alone.

We need one another in the hour of success, when we look for someone to share our thoughts.

We need one another in the hour of defeat, when with encouragement we might endure, and need again.

We need one another when we come to die, and would have gentle hands prepare us for the journey.

All our lives we are in need of others, and others are in need of us.

-Author Unknown.

40 DAYS OF PRAYER FOR LENT

The 40 days of Lent that lead to Easter are the most sacred and spiritually powerful in the Christian calendar. From Ash Wednesday, through Good Friday, and on to Easter, Lent is a time when Christians are invited to examine their faith, and deepen the commitment to live the Christian life.

During this season of Lent, you are invited to join us in 40 days of prayer. Starting on Ash Wednesday, March 5, and running through Easter Sunday, April 20, we ask that all of the members of our congregation take some time each day to pray. You may make this part of your regular quiet time, or set aside another part of your day for these special prayers.

If you would like to pray along with other members of our congregation, please join us in the church Sanctuary. On Ash Wednesday, we will begin with a special evening prayer time during the Wednesday Bible Study.

For the remaining days of Lent, we will meet from 9am to 10am, Monday to Friday. To start we will light a candle and have an opening prayer. During the hour, you are welcome to come and leave at any time. Printouts of suggested prayers will be available.

It is our hope that this observance of Lent will give our members the opportunity to truly connect with God as we prepare to recognize the death and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Please join us for prayer!

Categories: Green Hill, Green Hill Good News

Green Hill Good News, February 2014

Green Hill Good News February 2014

(online edition)

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From the desk of Pastor Dan:

February 17th is President’s day this year. We might be tempted to offer a ho-hum and go about our business without much thought. We’ve had some great presidents, and others, not so great. We do need to be thankful for those who have courageously led our nation to stand fast to the guiding principles of our founders, no matter what the cost.

However, the heroic lives of those who serve on the front lines of freedom should receive the most acclaim, don’t you think? Maybe that’s why we ho-hum President’s Day. We intuitively realize who the real heroes are.

Our greatest presidents were humble men who thanked God for faithful and loving parents, teachers, police officers, farmers…and the thousands of civic leaders, business men and women, and the “little guys who live out liberty’s cause on the front lines every day.”

Instead of February 17th this year, I give you February 12th, a day no American can afford to forget. It was 41 years ago when C-141’s began to bring home some 600 American prisoners of war held by North Vietnam. The first flight of 40 U.S. prisoners of war left Hanoi in a C-141A named the “Hanoi Taxi.” Aboard this aircraft were men who had lived in rat infested cells, endured bone crushing torture, and ate food consisting of animal hooves, chicken heads, rotten fish, and meat covered with hair.

The longest held POW was an Army Ranger named Capt. Floyd J. “Jim” Thompson, commander of a Special Forces detachment. Capt. Thompson spent nearly nine years in captivity. Navy Capt. Jeremiah A. Denton was the senior officer of the 40 POWs who left Hanoi on Feb. 12, 1973. Once airborne, Denton calmly asked a flight attendant for a piece of paper. He thought for a moment and then scribbled the memorable words that he would utter as he and his comrades stepped off the airplane into the arms of freedom at Clark AB in the Philippines.

Capt. Denton said, “We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our Commander in Chief and to our nation for this day. God bless America.”

King David announced thousands of years ago to God’s people Israel, “My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge.” (Psalm 62:7)

In like manner, let us all be reminded that whatever we do for Christ, even though largely unnoticed or even unappreciated, if endured for our Commander in Chief, Jesus, it will bring eternal honor and glory to the One who has graciously called us into His service. To God be all glory, for He, and He alone, is worthy to receive our thanks and praise.

Pastor Dan

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SESSION BRIEFS

• Elected Joel Mikuta as Treasurer, and Gloria Webb and Betty Cully as Assistant Treasurers
• Elected Betty Cully as Clerk of Session, and Art Forehand as Assistant Clerk of Session
• Agreed to Committee chair positions for 2014 as follows: Worship, David Aylesworth; Outreach and Mission, Kimberli Fougeron; Congregational Care, Betty Cully; Christian Education, Jim Lawrence; Administration and Stewardship, Charles Webb
• Discussed at length answers for the Ten-Question Narrative required by the Fellowship of Presbyterians Mission Affinity Group. Our group consists of Green Hill, Westminster and Overlook in Mobile, and Euchee Valley in DeFuniak Springs, FL. These four churches will plan a gathering soon to discuss and hold one another responsible based upon the Narrative questions. A copy of the questions and answers from Green Hill is available in the church office.
• Elected Elder Jim Lawrence as Commissioner to the February meeting of Presbytery (7&8) at Westminster Church in Mobile; Betty Cully was elected as Alternate Commissioner
• Reimbursed the Pastor for auto expense in December. The pastor had exceeded the budgeted annual amount through November.

SIGN UP FOR THE SOFTBALL TEAM

The Enterprise Parks & Recreation Department is getting ready to hold team registration for their Spring Softball League, so it’s time to get our Green Hill Team together! If you were on last year’s team, we’d love to have you join us again. If you didn’t play last year, now is your opportunity to get started! The team is open to both men and women, and no previous softball experience is required.

A sign-up sheet has been posted on the board in the kitchen serving area. For more information, please see Pastor Dan. And, remember, if you’re not on the team, that means you’re available to come and cheer us on! Softball nights are all about Fun, Fellowship, and Family. We can’t wait to see you there!

ALZHEIMER’S CAREGIVERS SUPPORT MEETING

The annual Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support meeting will be held on February 19. These monthly meetings are open to anyone who is dealing with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia in their family. We will get together, share our stories, and work on learning more about how to deal with these diseases.

PASTA & PRAISE

Pasta & Praise will be held on Wednesday, February 12, at 5:30pm. To kick things off we will enjoy a pasta dinner, including spaghetti, salad, garlic bread, tea, water, and dessert. Then we will fire up the piano to sing songs of praise to our Lord. The cost for dinner is just $3 for adults, $1 for children, and Free for kids under 6 years old. If you plan to attend, please let the church office know. Reservation slips will be available in the pew racks.

FOOD PANTRY & PASTOR’S FUND SUMMARY

The Food Closet Committee would like to thank everyone for your support in 2013. We fed, with your help, 46 families and 153 individuals. Most of the referrals came from Family Services (21), and the First United Methodist Church (17). There were also requests from Wal-Mart (2), DHR (2), HRDC (2) and the Episcopal Church. We also donated food to the Christian Mission, particularly items for their Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Our mission is to serve Coffee County residents who are in need and referred by agencies or church members. We appreciate all that the members of Green Hill do for this community outreach program. The Food Closet Committee members are Rosemary Carter, Betty Cully, Carol Lynch, Bobbie Miller, and Helen Sapp. If anyone is interested in volunteering with us, please contact one of these ladies.

Currently the Food Closet is in need of Peanut Butter, Jam/Jelly (small jars), Mustard, Mayo, Catsup (small).

In 2013, the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund was used to assist 68 area households (197 individuals). Working with Coffee County Family Services and other area charities, we were able to pay up to the “Final $50” on each bill to help these families keep their utilities turned on. Many of the requests came with the freezing temperatures in the final month of the year. In total, the fund distributed $2526.49, money that had been donated by our church members. Thank you so much for continuing to support this very worthy mission of the church!

THE JEWISHNESS OF JESUS

On Wednesday, February 26, we will be joined by a very special guest speaker, Murray Tilles. Mr. Tilles is the director of “Light of Messiah Ministries.” He was born and raised in a traditional Conservative Jewish home and then he found Jesus, who he accepted as his Lord and Savior. On Wednesday, he will speak to us about “The Jewishness of Jesus.” Some of you may remember hearing Mr. Tilles speak at the church before. Hopefully he will bring his shofar and let us hear it!

CURSILLO

Registration has begun for the Alabama Presbyterian Cursillo (APC), and you are all invited! Cursillo, which means “short course,” is a three day retreat designed for Presbyterians who desire to renew their faith and develop a deeper understanding of their relationship with Christ. There are talks, opportunities to worship, fellowship, singing, and group discussions. Cursillo is a tool to assist participants in spiritual renewal and is directed at committed Christians who earnestly desire to grow in Christ. This year’s spring event will be held April 3 to April 6, 2014. To learn more, please see Carl or Betty Bierbaum.

BOY SCOUT SUNDAY

On Sunday, February 9, the Green Hill congregation will be joined at morning worship by the boys and the parents from Boy Scout Troop #150. Scout Sunday marks the founding of scouting in the United States. On this day, the troop will lead parts of the worship service, and special recognition will be given to the Eagle Scouts. Please join us to welcome our scouting families.

SOUPER BOWL OF CARING

More than 20 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 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.

MEN’S SWEETHEART BREAKFAST

On Sunday, February 16, at 8:30am, all of the ladies in the church are welcome to attend a Sweet Heart Breakfast hosted by the men of the church. Each year the men set up such a wonderful meal that is the perfect follow-up to Valentine’s Day. Please join us for breakfast.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN NEWS

The Presbyterian Women of Green Hill are looking for books! We need books for children to be used by Family Services when they go on home visitations. Books for very young children (board books) are preferred, but all books are appreciated. Donations may be dropped off in the box in the Fellowship Hall. Thank you very much for your support of this project!

Categories: Green Hill, Green Hill Good News

Green Hill Good News January 2014

(online edition)

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From the desk of Pastor Dan:

THE MANHATTAN DECLARATION, I believe, is one of the most important statements of evangelical Christians in the twenty-first century. I know our church newsletter and website will not reach the masses, but there are some of you who may not have signed this covenant of resistance to the currently imploding (morally speaking) and quickly crumbling western society in which we live. You can find the website for the Declaration by clicking: http://www.manhattandeclaration.org

SANCTITY OF LIFE – When you sign the Declaration you join thousands of other Evangelicals who will stand for life. From the website: A culture of death inevitably cheapens life in all its stages and conditions by promoting the belief that lives that are imperfect, immature or inconvenient are discard-able.

“Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child.” – MOTHER TERESA, NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST, 1994

DIGNITY OF MARRIAGE SIGNATORIES to the Declaration are also adamant in their defense of God-ordained marriage of a man and woman as the cornerstone for building healthy families: Again, from the website: The Union of one man and one woman. Marriage is the first institution of human society – indeed it is the institution on which all other human institutions have their foundation.

“When the family collapses, it is the children that are usually damaged. When it happens on a massive scale, the community itself is crippled.” – LYNDON B. JOHNSON

FREEDOM OF RELIGION The third leg of the Declaration’s “Here I stand” platform is the protection of Religious Faith and Expression in the public square. From the website: No one should be compelled to embrace any religion against his will, nor should persons of faith be forbidden to worship God according to the dictates of conscience or to express freely and publicly their deeply held religious convictions.

“Religious freedom, an essential requirement of the dignity of every person, is a cornerstone of the structure of human rights, and for this reason, an irreplaceable factor in the good of individuals and of the whole of society as well as of the personal fulfillment of each individual.” -POPE JOHN PAUL II

I SIGNED THE DECLARATION EARLY ON…SOME THREE YEARS AGO. The leaders of this movement continue to speak out against the darkness of death, the ruin of the nuclear family, and the surrender of religious liberty to those who despise the faith of our forefathers and foremothers.

WHAT SAY YOU? Take this seriously. The Declaration is a call to civil disobedience in the face of the current cultural and societal attack upon traditional values.

STANDING FIRM AND FAITHFUL,

Pastor Dan

SESSION BRIEFS

• Examined and sustained the examination for ordination of Elder-elect David Aylesworth. Conducted David’s service of ordination and installation during the Morning worship service, December 8th. David Aylesworth fills a two year vacancy from the Class of 2015.
• Approved the Budget for 2014. It includes a 1.5% raise for the staff. A copy of the budget may be found on a table in the narthex.
• Bid farewell to four faithful Elders: Todd Ayer who resigned from the class of 2014 after service two very active years; Art Forehand, Joel Mikuta, and Carol Whittington rotated off after serving three years in the Class of 2013.
• Called for a Meeting of the Congregation for December 15th to act on the nomination of Art Forehand by the Annual Nominating Committee to fill the one-year Elder vacancy in the Class of 2014. The installation of Art Forehand, pending his election, will take place following the Sunday morning worship service.
• Discussed committee assignments for the new Session.
• Appointed Dr. Walter Lawrence to be Chartering Organization Representative for the Boy Scouts of America and the church troop and pack 150.
• Reviewed the method of greeting new visitors at worship.
• Discussed the appropriateness of an appearance of Santa Claus at the conclusion of a Wednesday Evening Fellowship Meal and Program.

PRAYER LIST NAMES

Please note that the church office is starting off the New Year with a new prayer list. Everyone who was on the 2013 list has been removed and we are adding names back as we receive requests. 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.

ALZHEIMER’S CAREGIVERS SUPPORT MEETING

The next Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 15th. Many of us are caring for individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. Our meetings consist of education, guest speakers, sharing, and prayer. Let’s share caregiving approaches we’ve tried and discuss what works, what doesn’t, and how you can care for yourself during this challenging time. We want all caregivers to understand the disease and to know that they are not alone.

GREEN HILL CAFÉ VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Looking for an opportunity to serve? The Sunday morning Cafe Ministry needs you. Yes, it is a Ministry. This has developed into a wonderful time to gather and fellowship and has become so much a regular part of our Sunday morning we need help to keep it going. However, Outreach needs a firm commitment of your time and talent.

The Fougerons will take the first Sunday of the Month with the McMillan’s as an alternate. Jim McDonough will take the second (the same Sunday as men’s breakfast). That leaves the third and four with an occasional fifth Sunday to fill. We need at least six more couples or teams to commit to a Sunday or as an alternate to cover if someone cannot serve their Sunday. There will be supplies furnished and reimbursement of expenses.

The Session would like to thank the Ayers, the Whittington’s and Jim McDonough for being the foundation for the Cafe this last year. I know other have volunteered and thank you too. (Contact Kimberli or Pastor Dan)

TACO FIESTA!

On Wednesday, January 15, our regular Fellowship Supper will be set aside for a special Taco Fiesta! Please come and join us for an evening of fun. The cost for dinner is just $3 for Adults, $1 for Children, Free for kids 6 and under. If you plan to attend, please fill out a reservation slip, or contact the church office.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN NEWS

The SARCOA Santa for Seniors project was a huge success. Our needy recipient received all of her requested items as well as many extras, thanks to you. The annual Christmas party was held on December 12. It was small in numbers of Green Hill ladies, but large in fellowship, food, and fun. Those who missed it, missed a good time – and, we missed you.

Thank you to everyone who has made a donation in exchange for a Legacy Christmas CD. We are supporting two very worthy causes with this project: Living Waters for the Word, and the Presbyterian Women Birthday Offering. There are a few CDs left. We would love to sell out. They make fantastic last minute gifts! See a member of the PW or the church office staff if you are interested.

Have a wonderful, safe holiday and a blessed 2014.

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Categories: Green Hill, Green Hill Good News

Green Hill Good News, December 2013

(online edition)

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From the desk of Pastor Dan:

I love hearing Pat Johnson’s “Grayson-isms” and “Makayla-isms”. These are short stories that happen as part of growing up at Grandma Pat’s house. They are wonderful, humorous, and especially insightful about how God wants to surprise us with joy (to use the title of a book by C.S. Lewis).

Little people have a way of revealing God’s presence. Anita and I are blessed to be around two such mediums: Livy and Asher.

Recently, Livy has been using a phrase that has reminded me about how amazingly wonderful the Lord is near to us. At some point this past week I was urging Livy to pick up some of her little toys, and of course she wasn’t finished playing with them, so she said, “Grandpa, that’s not nice to Jesus!”

Hmmm. From her perspective I was curtailing her fun and happiness. So that’s not nice to Jesus. Anita and others have been telling her, when she’s been fussy or naughty, that “it doesn’t please Jesus” when she acts like that; especially. Not sharing! So, we have a new Livy-ism to add to the list: “that’s not nice to Jesus”.

What if we considered our attitudes and desires based upon how Jesus might feel?

Actually, the new Livy-ism at the McMillan house is really straight out of the Bible. Colossians 3:17 says “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of (on behalf of) the Lord Jesus…” and likewise 3:23, “whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord….”

Whatever we do or think or say, we are to be mindful that the first one we should want to please is Jesus; not ourselves, not even our friends, or family members. Does it please Jesus; yes or no?

It pleased our heavenly Father to send Jesus to us two thousand years ago, born of Mary, to become son of a carpenter, and to grow up living to please his heavenly Father, and only Him.

Thank you Grayson and Makayla and Asher and Livy, and all of God’s children, for reminding us that life is really quite simple and joyful and filled with wonderful examples for how we are to trust and please our loving heavenly Father.

Giving and receiving gifts at Christmas always starts with a heart-check. May our giving be to please Jesus; and when we receive, let us please him with humble hearts filled with thanksgiving to Him from whom all blessings flow.

Pastor Dan

SESSION BRIEFS

• Accepted Task Force recommendation to renew the charter with the Boy Scouts of America and continue the Scouting programs of troop and pack 150.
• Called for a Congregational Meeting following worship on November 24 for the purpose of electing new elders and trustees.
• Approved a letter be sent to the Board of the Fellowship of Presbyterians requesting help in finding a concurring presbytery for Green Hill’s earlier overture that protested infanticide at abortion clinics, as well as to implore the Board Chairman to send a letter and issue a public statement to the Office of the General Assembly (PCUSA) warning of unimaginable harm to the denomination should a current push by the Covenant Network to change the definition of marriage succeed at the Assembly in Detroit next Summer.
• Agreed to change December’s Healing Service from the fifth to the fourth Sunday to accommodate the Pastor’s personal leave schedule.
• Approved the Pastor’s Thanksgiving holiday to be November 26 -29th and his Christmas break to run from December 26 – 31.
• Congratulated Charles Webb on being honored with the Spirit of Coffee County Award by the Coffee County Farm and City Association.
• Accepted the request of the Toys for Tots program to use the fellowship hall (and adjoining halls) to distribute toys to the needy through Family Services, Tuesday and Wednesday, December 17 and 18.

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.

ITEMS MISSING FROM THE KITCHEN

Following the Thanksgiving Dinner last week, the kitchen crew noticed that a few items were missing. If you happened to accidentally acquire an extra serving spoon or silverware when you took your plates home, please return them to the church. You will make the kitchen crew very happy. Thank you.

CONGRATULATIONS DR. LAWRENCE

Congratulations to Dr. Lawrence on the opening of his brand new medical office here in Enterprise! We wish Jim and Diana all of the best as they embark on this new adventure.

ALZHEIMERS CAREGIVERS SUPPORT MEETING

The Enterprise Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Group will meet on Wednesday, December 18, at 10:00am. We will meet for about an hour at the church and then head over to Po Folks for a little holiday celebration. Holidays can be both joyful and stressful. Come and have a little fun with us as we take in the Christmas Joy. We have reserved a table for our party. Anyone who wishes to eat lunch may order separately with the waitress. We look forward to seeing you there.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN NEWS

It’s a busy time of year for the Presbyterian Women! We just wrapped up both the annual Thank Offering and the offering for the Presbyterian Children’s Home. Thanks to your generosity, $540.00 was raised for the Thank Offering and $1503.00 for the Home. God is great, and you all are amazing. Thank you!

This year’s Presbyterian Women Christmas Party will be held on Thursday, December 12, at 6:00pm. Please bring a goody and a fun (inexpensive) gift to exchange that evening. ALL of the women in the church are invited, even if you don’t usually attend PW events.

We still have copies of the Legacy Christmas CD available. These CDs make great Christmas gifts, and they support a very worthy cause. The CDs are available for a $15 suggested donation. All money received will be divided between the PW Birthday Offering and to Living Waters for the World.

Operation Christmas Child was a HUGE success this year. The PW covered the shipping of the 14 boxes that were prepared by Wednesday night Youth Group. Donations came in from all over and each of the boxes was packed to the top, mostly with toys!

The PW Christmas Tree is up on the announcements board. Just like we did last year, the PW is sponsoring a senior through SARCOA’s Santa for Seniors program. Our senior has a list of items she would like to receive for Christmas. Most of them are necessities. If you would like to contribute to this project, please pull an ornament off of the tree to signal that you are taking care of that item. Please have all gifts into the church no later than Thursday, December 5. Thank you!

WEBBS RECOGNIZED FOR YEARS OF SERVICE

From the November 12 Enterprise Ledger: “Col. (ret.) Charles Webb received the Spirit of Coffee County Award from the Coffee County Farm City Committee. Webb served in the U.S. Army for more than 30 years and was the first director of the Coffee County Emergency Management Agency. In 1996, Webb undertook the task of creating the Coffee County Emergency Communications Board and the task of remapping the county and establishing the E-911 program. Since 2003, he has since continued his role as the unpaid chair of the CCEMB. He and wife, Gloria, are both active [in] the community, both in their dance club and at the Greenhill Presbyterian Church.”

Charles adds, “Gloria was my ‘right hand person,’ she made major contributions to both Emergency Management and E911, and continues to do so. She has served on the Board of Commissioners of E911 for 17 years.”

Congratulations to both Charles and Gloria!

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!

Categories: Green Hill, Green Hill Good News

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