The 2017 Advent Season at Highland Baptist Church

Our Theme This Year: The Simple Way of Christmas


Advent Daily Devotional Email – ongoing throughout Advent

This year’s Advent daily devotionals will come to you where you are – in the form of an email! Images and words, lovingly crafted by Highland’s members and ministers, will center you in the mystery of the season of hope, peace, joy, and love. Supplemental materials to engage families with children, as well as direct your minds to justice needs using the symbols of the season will also be included. All on Highland’s newsletter email list will automatically receive these daily emails. If you are not on the newsletter list, you can subscribe on our home page.

Alternative Gift Card Giving – ongoing throughout Advent

Please take advantage of this wonderful Christmas gift opportunity. This is Highland’s 11th year to offer this ministry, and organizations around town look forward to partnering with us now. This year, Highland’s mission community offers the following cards:

  • Rosie and her children are a family housed in sanctuary through St. William’s Catholic Church, since her husband was detained by ICE. A $15 Alternative Christmas Card will contribute to funds to provide groceries for the family groceries.
  • Americana Community Center: Bridging the gap from surviving to thriving for Louisville’s refugee population through a variety of endeavors. $10 cards will provide seeds and tools to the youth garden club, $20 will sponsor a child’s after school program for one week, and $35 will provide a scholarship to an individual who needs help with a bill, a student applying to college, or one who needs assistance with medication.
  • Books and Breakfast Louisville: A monthly space held to discuss social issues affecting the community in a unique way. It encourages and promotes reading among black children and adults. $10 cards will buy a young adult novel or child’s board book. $20 will purchase non-fiction and socio-political books for adults.

Please shop generously and often (!!!) at the Alternative Christmas Card display in the commons beginning this Sunday and continuing throughout Advent.

Hanging of the Green Service and Reception – HOG 2012 #1Sunday, December 3, 6:00 p.m.

Please join us on Sunday, December 3, at 6:00 p.m., for a joyous service as we adorn our sanctuary and prepare our hearts for the Advent season. Music of the season will lead us in the lighting of candles, hanging of greenery, presenting the star-like poinsettia flowers, and adorning our evergreen tree with Chrismons.

It is our custom to bring toys, canned or boxed food items, books, or monetary offerings to the service. The food will go in Christmas baskets that we provide to Highlands Community Ministries (HCM) for neighbors in our zip code. We also need cash donations to purchase gift cards for the perishable items in the HCM baskets.

The toys and books will be sold at an 80% discount to shoppers at our annual Christmas Store. Those invited to the store are friends we met through our former Shelby Park ministry. Please contact a minister if you need an invitation.

Childcare will be provided for infants, toddlers, and twos. The Hanging of the Green Service is appropriate for older preschool children (3’s, 4’s and Pre-K), and we encourage you to have your child attend the service with you. If possible, RSVP for childcare by Wednesday, November 29, to Renee Purtlebaugh.

A delicious reception follows the service in Fellowship Hall.

Sorting Soiree – Monday, December 4, 6:00 p.m.

Sorting Soiree 2During the season of Advent, we have an annual tradition of collecting non-perishable foods and toys for those in need during the Hanging of the Green service. We’ll gather the following day, Monday, December 4, to sort those foods and pack it into baskets, as well as separate and prepare toys for the annual Christmas Store where people shop for gifts at a greatly reduced cost. We’ll have pizza in Fellowship Hall at 5:30 p.m. for those who need to eat prior to the event, and we will begin sorting at 6:00 p.m. To make a reservation for pizza, contact Renee Purtlebaugh. Make plans now to join us!


Peace Sunday – Sunday, December 10, 8:30, 9:30, and 11:00 a.m.

One expression of Highland’s growing passion for God’s justice happens on Peace Sunday, the second Sunday of Advent, December 10, where we mark the pain and hope of God by placing white crosses on Highland’s front lawn in memory of Louisville residents killed in an act of violence. Approximately 90 crosses will create a sad memorial on our lawn during this holiday season. At the same time, the crosses signify our hope that God calls the church to work actively against violence in its many forms.

The names of victims will be read in all three morning services and worshippers will be invited to carry a cross to the lawn and hammer it into the ground.

Highland Baptist began this tradition in 1997 in Rev. Joe Phelps’ first year as pastor to draw attention to a rash of murders in the metropolitan Louisville area. “We grieve with those families for whom this is not a season of joy, and hold out the life of Jesus as a model for putting away violence,” Phelps said. “We also pray for all who work to make our community safe and just. It is a testament to the hope that God is not done.” For more information on the Crosses on the Lawn, contact Joe Phelps.

Children’s Choirs Advent Service – Sunday, December 10, 6:00 p.m.

Please join us on Sunday evening, December 10, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary for a beautiful evening of music presented by Highland’s Children’s Choirs and the Children’s Handbell Choir. Childcare is provided for infants, toddlers, and twos.

For more information about the worship service, contact Kathy Collier.

The Christmas Shop at Highland – Saturday, December 16, 9:00 a.m.

Highland’s Community MissionsSP Christmas Shop Ministry Group is excited to once again serve our community through The Christmas Shop at Highland! For the past four years, this shop has served as a wonderful way to build relationships through shopping for Christmas presents with families we have met through a variety of local ministries.

Each year, you generously donate new books and toys, which constitutes the merchandise in our Christmas Shop. Parents shop from a variety of items and buy their gifts at an 80% discount. Each year, the shop is staffed with a small group of volunteers, so the shoppers can have a true Christmas shopping experience. They select gifts themselves with their individual children in mind.

The shop offers gifts for children from birth to age 18. Here are some favorites to get your shopping started: action figures, Matchbox cars, sports equipment, dolls of all skin hues, makeup and nail polish kits, shaving kit, craft kits, electronics, bedding, YA fiction (Harry Potter,Hunger Games, and The Percy Jackson Series), picture books, and children’s novels that represent a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and anything featuring a popular character (last year, paw patrol items were a huge hit!). Star Wars is also a must. For ideas, check out the Amazon Wish List.

We will collect donations during worship at the Hanging of the Green Service on December 3. Please consider using your home or work place as a collection point for toys, and then bring them with you to the service.

If you would like to donate but are unable to attend the Hanging of the Green service, you can place donations in the bins outside of the choir room during the week of December 3. Please join us in giving from our abundance to be the light of Christ in our community this holiday season!

Highlands Community Ministries Christmas Basket Delivery – Saturday, December 16, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

HCM boxes 2014Every year, our congregation gives abundantly to those in need in our neighborhood through Highlands Community Ministries (HCM). All the canned good and money collected at the Hanging of the Green service will go towards food baskets for our neighbors. Bible study classes will provide gifts for 12 families through HCM. Would you or your family be willing to deliver food and gifts to our neighbors in need? Beginning Sunday, November 26, you can sign up in the Commons. Basket delivery will be Saturday, December 16, 2:30-4:30 p.m. (NOTE: This is a different time than usual, to accommodate the HBC Christmas Shop which is that morning. All baskets will be ready for pick-up at 2:00 p.m.). For more information, contact Carol Harston or Steve Helm.

Music of the Advent and Christmas Season – Sunday, December 17, 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.Advent Lessons and Carols

Highland’s Sanctuary Choir and Orchestral Ensemble will present Vivaldi’s Gloria in the 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. services. The 8:30 service will not be held this Sunday. For more information, contact Kathy Collier.


Christmas Banquet – Sunday, December 17, 6:00 p.m.

Christmas Banquet 2012Christmas is a time to pause our mundane rhythms and gather together in gratitude for our church family and celebration of the good news of God’s birth among us. One of Highland’s celebratory traditions is the special meal shared and holiday entertainment enjoyed at our annual Christmas Banquet. It is a church-wide effort as the meal is prepared for, served, and hosted by people within the congregation. After our meal, we travel to the sanctuary where we enjoy hearing University of Louisville Cardinal Singers in the sanctuary. Children (grade K-2) gather in the Children’s area for their own fun evening of pizza, activities, and holiday fun. Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers gather for their own time together in the nursery. The annual Christmas banquet is scheduled for Sunday, December 17, 6:00 p.m., in Fellowship Hall.

Preparing a Place: Host a Table

One of the most special parts of our Christmas Banquet is the personal hospitality offered by our hosts and hostess. Would you be willing to help host a table? We will need 25 people to agree to bring dishes, glasses, silverware, and a centerpiece for a table of eight. Hosts and hostesses can invite friends and family to join them at their table, or guests will be assigned. Our hosts and hostesses transform our Fellowship Hall into a beautiful and warm place for all to enjoy the joy of the season. To volunteer, please contact Carol Harston

Making Room: Reserve Your Seat

We want to ensure that everyone has a seat at the banquet, so we require reservations and payment in advance. You may sign up in the Commons between services on Sunday, December 3, and December 10, and during supper in Fellowship Hall on Wednesday, December 6. Cost of the meal is $8 per adult, $3 for children grades K-2, and a cap of $25 for families. Please include in your reservation any children in grades K-2 who would like to participate upstairs in children’s ministry or any infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who will be in the nursery. For questions, please contact Carol Harston.

Hope that you can be a part of this long-standing Highland holiday tradition!

Christmas Eve Morning Service – Sunday, December 24, 9:30 a.m.

Please join us for one service at 9:30 on Christmas Eve morning. Bible study classes will be held for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Elementary children (K-5), youth, and adults will attend worship. There will be no 8:30 nor 11:00 a.m. worship services.

Christmas Eve Service and Service of Lessons and Carols – Sunday, December 24, 4:00 and 6:00 p.m.Christmas Eve Candles

Christmas Eve Service – 4:00 p.m. We gather to sing carols of Christmas and hear the reading of the Christmas story as we wonder at the coming of the Christ Child. Childcare will be provided for infants, toddlers, and twos.

Lessons and Carols – 6:00 p.m. The centuries-old English tradition of Lessons and Carols tells the Christmas story through scripture, carols, and the music by the Sanctuary Choir. A candlelight ending on this holy night sends you on your way to mark the birth of Jesus, the Christ. Childcare will be provided for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

For more information about Christmas Eve worship, contact Kathy Collier.

New Year’s EveSunday, December 31, 9:30 a.m.

Please join us for one service on New Year Eve’s morning. There will be no Bible study nor Worship Care so we can all be together in worship. There will be no 8:30 or 11:00 a.m. worship services.