In December, the phrase we are lifting up from our Mission Statement is “We give, we receive, we serve.” What better words to reflect on during the season of Advent as we turn our hearts once again to celebrate the mystery of the Incarnation – God’s great gift of coming to live among us as one of us in Jesus Christ. This season reminds us that first of all, we receive. As I John 4:19 says, “We love because God first loved us.” God’s love for us is the root, the ground, the source of our loving. Because we have received, we are able and inspired to give.
I have been on the receiving end of an amazing outpouring of support and prayers since my father’s death on October 26. Fred and I are so grateful for all the cards and notes we have received. Turns out, cards (and emails!) matter! They may seem like small things, but each one represents a shared thought, a moment of care, words of support, a prayer. Many people have reminded me that my life is a part of my father’s legacy, and I am proud to embrace that. I chose as the text for my father’s service words from the Song of Solomon: “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it … for love is as strong as death” (8: 7 and 6). That was what my father said when my mother died in 2007. He believed that deeply, and it kept him both strong and content even with the growing limitations of his life. Of the many gifts that my father has given me over the years, the legacy of his faith is the best.
I am not the only one who has been blessed to receive the gifts of this congregation. We have had a number of deaths in the congregation this fall, and I am deeply grateful for the incredible ministry of so many of you who have come alongside family members during their grief. Our Deacons and others have provided wonderful hospitality at funeral receptions; many of you have signed up for meal trains and taken food to people at home; our Chancel Choir, Frank Heller and Jan Ward have supported family members with music that lifted heavy hearts. And our church staff gives generously of their time to support all of these efforts.
This year, as we celebrate the great gift of God’s love for us and for the world in Jesus Christ, may we take time to receive that love even as we then turn to others to give and serve.
Cynthia M. Campbell, Pastor
Highland Presbyterian Church’s Mission Statement
Highland Presbyterian Church is a community of believers inspired by the love of Jesus Christ and biblical teachings. We believe we are called to guide our children, support our neighbors, comfort the troubled, soothe the suffering and bless the dying.
We give, we receive, we serve,
we teach, we question, we learn,
we sing, we laugh, we pray.
We strive to use our time and talents to serve God, one another, and the world, sharing hope from the heart of the Highlands.