DID YOU KNOW ... ?
January 2019 Newsletter
December began with joyful days of anticipation of holiday celebrations, special music, colorful lights, and celebrations of Jesus Christ's birthday throughout our nation. We pray that you all had a very Merry Christmas and are looking forward to a prosperous New Year ... We are thankful for the much anticipated rain that fell on the west coast recently. Unfortunately, for those living in the burn-scarred areas of California, the rain brought flooding and mudslides, impeding the cleanup and restoration for victims of the 'Camp Fire' in Paradise. Please pray for those families who survived and for those who lost loved ones. There are glimmers of hope when you witness all those who have stepped up to help them. Even one of our locals, Natasha Schlibis, organized "Operation Merry & Bright" in an effort to raise funds and 'adopt' a family who lost everything in the fire ... Our local Central California Chamber of Commerce presented their annual "Christmas Boutique" at the Pinehurst Chamber building, with lots of holiday shoppers enjoying the many varieties of homemade items, great raffle prizes, treats and even lunch. Hilltop Chapel had a table at the 2-day event, with a chance to connect with the residents of the local communities ... Helping Hands ladies met for their Christmas potluck lunch and meeting at the home of Donna Stieber, and enjoyed a joyful afternoon of fellowship ... The Official Board of Hilltop Chapel was treated to a delicious Christmas Dinner at Twin Valleys on the 6th, and our leaders are grateful and honored to serve the church ... The men met for their monthly Men's Breakfast & Fellowship in the Social Hall, and shared stories of their Christmas and New Year's plans ... Because of so much illness in our area and the threat of rain, the Christmas carolers had to cancel their plans to provide melodic sounds of Christmas to our neighbors. Maybe next Christmas will be a better year for caroling ... This year's Christmas Worship Service, Party & Ornament Exchange was well attended and enjoyed by all who came to worship and praise our Lord Jesus Christ, and discover a new prayer partner for the year. Some really tasty treats were provided, and Isidro Bruno led a special "Gifts for Jesus" event during the party, with many folks sharing their talents and gifts with their brothers and sisters in Christ, with lovely piano melodies, singing, stories, poems and dancing. What a wonderful way to give thanks to the Lord ... The Wednesday Evening Bible Study on "Evangelism" is wrapping up, but another great topic is coming ... The ladies of Helping Hands gathered at the church to assemble Christmas Cookie Trays for some faithful local residents who can use some holiday cheer. They were beautifully decorated trays with treats baked with love. So many smiles as the trays were delivered, a simple act of kindness that reflects God's love for us ... The month (and year) closes with our annual New Year's Eve Candlelight Service on the 31st, a wonderful way to praise the Lord, end the year, and start the New Year out right. Remember, it takes just one candle to spark the memory of the night the Light of Heaven came to change our lives with love ... For all you crafty ladies out there, mark your calendars for Saturday, Janauary 5th, and bring your craft/sewing/scrapbooks/etc. to our Social Hall and be prepared for an all-day event, with meals, raffle prizes and lots of fun -- a Crafting Day Fundraiser to raise funds to send our youth to camp at the Hartland Christian Camp. See you all there!
DID YOU KNOW ... ?
December 2018 Newsletter
The teens and youth from our Teen Mountain Ministry gathered for a yard sale early in November, with funds raised going toward their expenses for the year. Their hard work that day and the generosity of our church and community allowed them to raise $847.00 which helped them fund their trip to Magic Mountain. A heartfelt thanks to the Barr family for again allowing the young folks to set up in such a great location for their sale, and many thanks to the Brunos and their family for their leadership and guidance ... Again this year, Hilltop Chapel provided our church as a designated polling site, for Pinehurst & Miramonte, for the Midterm Election. It's been said there was a good steady turnout ... Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord - Psalm 33:12 ... Marsha Wilcher was our gracious host for the Helping Hands Meeting & Potluck, followed by a short meeting, and then followed by the Operation Christmas Child Packing Party -- a rousing success! ... Veteran's Day was recognized and honored during our November 11th Sunday Morning Service, with the singing of patriotic songs and the recognition of the many Veterans in our congregation. On this, the 100th Anniversary of Veteran's Day Commemoration, we thanked, and continue to thank, all those past and present who serve or have served their country. To those who dared to commit, serve and give their all by taking the oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, we thank you ... The men of the church gathered for their monthly Men's Breakfast and Fellowship, and were treated to a delicious hot breakfast prepared by Pastor Rod. If you are a local guy that enjoys good hot meals and great fellowship, mark your calendars for December 15th and come to Hilltop Chapel for a treat ... The Operation Christmas Child campaign this year was very successful, with a total of 110 gift boxes being delivered to the valley Relay Center. We outdid ourselves. So many generous and faithful people participated this year, enjoying shopping and packing boxes, and understanding how important the small gift of hope and joy is to so many needy children, their families, and their communities around the world. Everyone deserves a huge THANK YOU for supporting this worthwhile ministry and helping Samaitan's Purse spread the Gospel to so many people ... Thanksgiving Dinner at Hilltop Chapel with turkey, ham, and all the trimmings was very well attended this year on November 18th. So many delicious dishes were provided by many very good cooks, and many thanks to Rick & Lee McComb and their helpers for planning and organizing this much anticipated annual event. The Hilltop Singers also provided special music during that Sunday Morning Service, very much appreciated by all those in attendance ... On the 25th, we were blessed with very special guests. Todd and Wendy Netland shared with us some very enjoyable music. Todd is formerly a member of Celebrant Singers and is a gifted pianist and worship leader. They are both excellent pianists and Wendy has an opera-trained voice, so we were in for a special treat. Their mission is their music ministry, spreading the Gospel everywhere they travel. We were blessed with their presence in Miramonte ... The much needed and beautiful rain is finally here, in buckets in some places, but we are grateful for every drop. Thank you all for your prayers ...
We hope you all have a very blessed Christmas and spend some quality time with your family and friends ... Remember to take some time each day to let those who matter most know how important they are in your life ... Christmas is not in the presents -- but in His presence ... The joy of Christmas is Jesus and the joy that you give to others is the joy that comes back to you ...
DID YOU KNOW ... ?
November 2018 Newsletter
October began with some very welcome rain showers. But now the skies remain clear and the local terrain dry, unlike the southeast still digging out from floods. We are blessed to live up here, but please continue to pray for much needed rain ... On the 7th, our church hosted a Kickoff & Countdown for our Operation Christmas Child gift box project, sponsored by Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse, with boxes, literature and videos. Collection week is November 12-19, and everyone is invited to our Packing Party at the church on Tuesday, November 13th at 2 pm. Bring any extra small items you may have left over from your gift shoeboxes, and we will be finishing more boxes. They will be delivered to the Relay Center the next day on the 14th, so please have all those filled shoeboxes to the church by then. There are many excited and lucky children waiting for the hope and love they represent around the world ... Our church recently collected a very nice love offering for Brother Tony Heredia's "Brown Bag" Christmas Gift program in Mexico. Tony works through Christians in Action, one of the missions our church helps support, and passionately works to bring the good news of the Gospel to remote people in Latin America, especially those in Oaxaca, Mexico. Praise the Lord! ... On October 21st, a year's worth of preparation, and a morning of men's (and women's) breakfast, fellowship, and workday culminated in our annual Harvest Dinner & Auction. Many auction items had been lovingly prepared and made by hand just for this event, as well as many other interesting and unusual items offered for auction. The Social Hall was very nicely decorated for the event, and delicious dinners were prepared by Rick & Lee McComb and their helpers, with luscious desserts lovingly prepared and provided by our church family. Everyone enjoyed the event, and it helped bring many of our community residents out to join us, including some of the staff at two of the missions our church helps support in the valley. Because of everyone's generosity, we were able to raise approximately $1,000.00 for each of the four missions as their special Christmas gift this year. That's amazing for our little country church. Thank you Lord, and many thanks to all who participated in this worthy endeavor. We were truly blessed ... That same day, our guest speaker, Sarah Dawson, the new Executive Director of Evangel Home in January of 2019, came to share with us her experiences and her view of the future at Evangel Home, and various programs available for the more than 200-300 women and children they serve in Fresno annually. She discussed the therapy and schooling they provide for the children and the job preparedness they provide for the women, while serving 3 meals a day to approximately 25 people, 7 days a week. Currently, they are in need of Chapel leaders and Christmas donations of turkeys ... The current Evangel Home's Executive Director, Gerre Brenneman, was celebrated by all who love her at an Open House in her honor on the 27th, and was presented with a proclamation by Assemblyman Jim Patterson for her 30 years of faithful service to those in need in the Fresno area ... Much love was shown Pastor Rod & Lesley during Pastor Appreciation Month with cards, gifts, dinners, and other acts of kindness. We hope our pastor knows how very much we appreciate him as our good shepherd ... Hilltop Chapel had the opportunity to participate in Trunk or Treat at Dunlap School this month, handing out candy to happy little children, and was awarded a prize for the 'best non-spooky decorated car' thanks to Darlene Kenaston and her helpers ... Please DO VOTE on November 6th as your heart directs you. Your vote counts and it's important ... BLESS YOU ALL! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
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