What We Believe
Highlands Statement of Welcome
As a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) we honor its Constitutional invitation to all who seek affiliation: “A congregation shall welcome all persons who trust in God’s grace in Jesus Christ and desire to become part of the fellowship and ministry of his Church. No person shall be denied membership for any reason not related to profession of faith.”
Highlands Presbyterian Church (HPC) recognizes and welcomes all people regardless of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, cultural history, gender, political affiliation, economic condition, age, appearance, disability, and sexual orientation. HPC celebrates the differences in each of us and our unique contribution to the work of this congregation.
We invite all who wish to find a church home to discover it at Highlands Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Ohio.
-Adopted by the Session September 22, 2021
What We Believe
We believe the Bible is the story about God’s love reaching out to all people.
We believe grace is the unmerited favor, given by God as a free gift.
Leadership is shared at Highlands, with elders and deacons discerning God’s will.
The sacraments of Communion and Baptism are celebrated at Highlands.
During the Fall of 2023, Elder Bill Nordquist shared his thoughts about this community of faith. The following are his observations.
When I look at our small congregation, just 68 people, and all we do throughout the year; for each other, for our local community and all around the world, I’m so impressed. You can literally see the blessings run through us and passed on to others, pretty much every week of the year.
We’re blessed to have a strong Missions committee that organizes and inspires us, and all of you contributing and supporting mission efforts every month of the year, passing on our blessings with helpful material goods, and with consideration and prayers.
I know you’re aware of most of these things, but consider that in the past year we’ve collected and distributed:
Countless Food items
Coats, hats, gloves, socks
Aluminum can fund raising collections
Medicine and vitamin collections
And we’ve had many other activities, collections, and offerings around the year that support local community needs and Christian causes all over the world.
These combined efforts are helping to make visible the Kingdom of God on earth. All through this little congregation of just 68 souls, sharing our blessings.
DEACONS & CONGREGATIONAL CARE
I am so happy and impressed again when I see the care and concern we show each other when someone needs a helping hand or care due to illness, grief or other issues, and the time our Deacons and friends put in to reach out and care about us.
We are blessed to be a small congregation.
We know each other, and we care.
We are blessed to have friends here. People we like to spend time with the rest of the week.
SOCIAL & FELLOWSHIP EVENTS
We have a variety of monthly social and fellowship events, like:
Ladies night out
Mens “Business” Group
And our recently revived Second-Sunday coffee hours, which will coincide with a member art exhibition opening this month featuring member’s artwork.
We have annual events, like:
Church picnics for both VBS and our fall kickoff
Trunk or Treat
Mardi Gras Shrove Tuesday pancake dinner
Three Lenten Soup Suppers
Easter Sunday Egg Hunt
And this winter a family game night – more info on that soon.
Friendship and fellowship is a blessing, and it works both ways.
We are blessed to have people who take on leadership and management roles in Session, as Deacons, and other committee chairs, and who do so with care, diligence and imagination. They provide a platform on which our blessings can build and grow.
We are blessed to have members with maintenance and construction skills that are needed to take care of this poorly designed and quirky building.
We are blessed to have members that watch over the careful management of our monthly and annual finances, and members that help keep our online and print communications timely.
We are blessed to have members who work to keep our weekly worship services well organized, special, and meaningful throughout the seasons.
We are blessed to have members who continuously work on our mission efforts throughout the year, as I outlined earlier.
We are blessed to have an elder who works to keep the Session in proper order, and in good standing with the Presbytery.
We are also blessed to have volunteers that encourage learning opportunities outside of worship, like:
The new women’s bible study
Our Sunday adult education programs
Our adaptable youth education program, and vacation bible school
We are truly blessed to be in an environment where opportunities for faith and learning are continuously available, and to have members who volunteer to share their abilities and blessings with us.
I feel we are blessed when I see the work, care, and devotion that Keith and Rachel show for our congregation. And the willing and joyful participation of Caleb, Danielle and Charlotte.
We are truly blessed that the Lord saw fit in His Providence to call them here, and that they pass on their blessings to us.
So every Sunday in Columbus during football season, there has to be a Buckeyes mention from the pulpit, right? So I’ll fulfill that obligation today.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but Buckeyes running back TreVeyon Henderson has a verse written on his face paint. I was happy to see that. He’s unafraid to put his faith on his face, and to speak about it on national television. It’s Second Corinthians 5:7, which says: “For we live by faith, not by sight.” It reminded me that our goal is to live less in this world and more in the Kingdom of God. In the church not made with hands.
Yet, as we are gathered here today, we do need a place to meet. And we know that even St. Paul asked for collections for the church in Jerusalem.
We prefer a dry roof overhead.
We have running water.
We like it when the heat and lights work.
We have our little kitchen to prepare food for our gatherings,
And an office with equipment to keep records and perform all the business and communications functions of the church.
We have a cleaning service, lawn mowing, and snow removal.
The building enables all of us to worship together, to learn together, to gather and befriend each other, to break bread, to organize our mission collections, and to keep track of, and execute the numerous administrative tasks of the church.
And we also have a small but very dedicated, highly productive, part-time staff in:
This small staff amplifies many of our blessings in worship, education and administration. Their blessings are necessary to our church, and radiate throughout the congregation and our work.
I’ve only been a member here for a few years, but I feel like we’re firing on all cylinders right now. All 68 of them. Like the little engine that could. The results, magnified blessings, are obvious, and for just 68 people, I feel like the results are magnificent.
On a personal note, I’ve been a Christian all my life, and a member at some of the larger churches in Columbus. But I can say with honesty that my understanding of scripture and my relationship with our Heavenly Father, with Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and has grown a lot more here in the past few years.
That’s happened through Keith’s preaching and guidance, and also being among all of you, and seeing what you do, and how you live by sharing your faith and blessings. I am blessed to be here, and I feel my charge as a recipient of those blessings, to all of you, and to the world beyond our doors.
It’s clear the Lord is working with us and through us.
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