Highland Church of Christ Weekly Bulletin
WEEK OF SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2020
Order of Worship
- To access the livestream go to youtube.com/highlandabilene. You can also visit our Facebook page.
- Online Bible classes are available each Sunday morning. For today’s class offerings, check the Highland website, www.highlandchurch.org, for a link to access classes.
- This Wednesday
- Freedom Fellowship will meet for worship at 6:30pm and share a meal outside or grab one to go. Masks encouraged, and social distancing will be practiced.
- Grace Fellowship will meet for worship at 6pm, and grab and go meals will be available after the service ends. Masks encouraged, and social distancing will be practiced.
- His Kids Ministry - Join us at the Prayer Wall on live at 6:30 p.m. on Highland’s Facebook page. It’s not just for kids, and we’d be honored to write your prayer on the wall.
LIVING WITH FAITHFUL FLEXIBILITY
We’re excited to gather today!
From the beginning of COVID-19, we’ve made decisions based on caring for the most vulnerable among us and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. These principles remain our guiding force as we learn to thrive while living in a pandemic.
For the past six months, we’ve been practicing faithful flexibility as a church, and that phrase continues to shape how we gather as God’s people. For some of us, it’s time to meet in person. For others, it’s wiser to meet online watching the livestream each week. We trust God, we trust you, and we will extend grace to one another during this time of regathering.
At this time, weekly Bible classes will continue online. While we miss meeting in person with our class communities, we’re continually learning that God’s Spirit is greater than the distance between us.
Highland at the Park
Right now, some of us are more comfortable meeting outside, so we’ve added an outdoor worship service at 9 am in the Festival Gardens at Nelson Park. We will practice social distancing, and masks will be required. We’ll sing, share communion, and hear a short sermon. Bring your lawn chairs, picnic blankets and umbrellas.
Restroom facilities are limited. In case of rain, we will not meet at the park. Watch your email for updates if we are experiencing inclement weather.
The EmBodied Project
We’re excited about the EmBodied Project and invite you to join us in building an antiracist culture at Highland and in our community. As we pursue God’s heart for racial reconciliation together, we believe we must begin by hearing stories from people of color who are friends and neighbors.
Some people in our church experience daily oppression because of the color of their skin. Their stories are powerful reminders that through baptism we share the same body - the body of Christ. What one member experiences affects us all.
In today’s interview, Jasmine McCabe-Gossett shares what it is like to live and worship in a predominantly white community focusing on how people of color feel when their experiences are not accepted or trusted. He invites us into the work of racial reconciliation. It’s not easy, but it is rooted in the heart of the gospel and the way of Jesus.
Each EmBodied story is meant to be shared in smaller settings for shared learning, such as Restore Highland Groups and Bible classes, and we’ll provide discussion questions to help guide the conversation.We expect important work to come out of this project, for each of us individually, as well as congregationally.
Check your September 20 Avenue email for the link to today’s video or go to www.highlandchurch.org/embodied. Out of respect for our storytellers, each video will be password protected, and we ask that you not share the link or password with anyone outside of Highland.
It’s not always easy to be vulnerable, and each of the storytellers are courageously and willingly inviting us to experience part of their faith journey and the power of their Baptism story.
Adult Class Offerings
EmBodied Baptism Webinar - Led by Richard Beck
August 23-September 20
This class series ends today as a video class format that can be viewed at your convenience. The focus of this class is on how our baptism unites us, as one body, to all the bodies of our brothers and sisters. Richard’s guiding text will be 1 Corinthians 12.
Adult Faith & ACU Summit
Highland Adult Faith Ministry invites you to join in the 114th annual ACU Summit, Sept 20-23. It’s all online this year, and the theme is “Blessed are the Peacemakers: Bridging the Divides.” Click here for pathway offerings and class schedules.
What if your greatest weakness was actually your greatest strength?
Weak is the New Strong by Todd Lollar
You’re invited to a come and go reception honoring author and former Highland member, Todd Lollar, on Monday, September 21, 6:30-8pm at Refuge Ranch, 3933 FM 89, Tuscola, TX. It’s located 2 miles past Perini Ranch. Todd’s physical weaknesses resulting from cerebral palsy have always been apparent. But through God’s movement in these struggles, he has found peace, joy and strength. Weak is the New Strong is an invitation to discover God’s view on weakness and how your greatest weakness can be transformed through God’s strength.
Gender in Church Leadership Discernment Process Update from the Elders
Last fall, we began our congregational discernment process on gender in church leadership. Although COVID-19 altered some of our plans, our elders have remained focused and committed to discerning the will of God for Highland at this particular time. Listening has been an important part of this journey as they heard from the church, wise teachers, and each other. They have spent many hours in prayer, fasting, study and conversation.
As we approach the end of the process, we pray for the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of God to guide our words, thoughts and actions. Here’s an update from Shane and a representation of the voices they heard during the spring listening sessions.
Week of September 20 -Self-Control - 2 Timothy 1:7
The Spirit God gave us does not make us afraid. His Spirit is a source of power and love and self-control
May God’s will be done in this matter.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE AND HIGHLAND CARES MINISTRY
The weeks of social and physical distancing have made life challenging for many of us. Our elders and ministers know there are many physical, emotional and spiritual needs among our members, and the Highland Cares Ministry offers numerous options if you need help or want to volunteer to help. Go to www.highlandchurch.org/connect for more information. Our Share the Joy fund is also available to assist Highland families in financial need. For questions about Share the Joy funds, contact Dickie Porche,
Highland Counseling Center -
The Highland Counseling Center is available for individual, couple and family therapy through a HIPAA approved, confidential online platform. During this time of social distancing, loss, limited resources and decreasing energy outlets, you may find yourself needing extra help. We are still here to serve you. Please visit our website, http://highlandchurch.org/counseling, to learn more about our services, check out our online resource list and to meet our counselors. Call 325-201-3030 with questions and help setting up an appointment.
At Highland, we believe in generously sharing God’s love and peace.
The Highland Food Pantry is an important part of our ministry in the Abilene community by providing food for our neighbors during this uncertain time. COVID-19 has changed how the pantry operates, and curbside service has been the method we’ve used during the past 23 weeks.
If you are interested in serving as a volunteer at the Pantry, new work shifts are available. Click on the link below to sign up for a time.
RESTORE THE WORLD
Restore the World Partners
For information and updates about our Restore the World partners and initiatives, check out the Highland website. Please join us in praying for these vital ministries in Brazil, Myanmar, Thailand and Lebanon.
Your generous giving throughout the uncertainties of COVID-19 has been an encouragement and blessing to our church and to our ministry partners in Abilene and throughout the world. Thank you for your faithfulness.
SEPTEMBER 13 CONTRIBUTION - $31,554.56
WEEKLY GOAL - $45,500.00
37 WEEK AVERAGE - $40,948.72