Mike Cope's blog

Sunday, December 05, 2004

An amazing day of remembering and celebrating today for Highland's 75th anniversary. What a blessing to have John Allen Chalk and Lynn Anderson back--along with lots of other people who came back for the day. The church started in December 1929 when Abilene Christian College moved from its former campus (Sayles and N. 1st) to its current location. The College Church moved with it, and some people decided there needed to be a church that remained there near downtown. So two months after the stock market crash, the Highland Church was launched. The worship assembly this morning was two hours and ten minutes. Afterward I asked my sixth grader if it seemed long. He replied, "It always seems long." Perspective.


  • I was impressed at how patient my kids were being through the long (but great) service....until Addie asked rather loudly if it was going to be dark when we got out of church!

    By Blogger Kendra, at 12/05/2004 07:00:00 PM  

  • Mike,

    I had the priveledge as sharing the same row in Moody with Christopher today at the anniversary celebration. He is amainzg.
    He always is.

    I know you and Diane share that perspective!

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 12/05/2004 07:52:00 PM  

  • Mike:

    I was unable to make the Anniversary service, but heard it went really well. I am from Memphis, TN and attend the Highland St. C of C when I am home. We, too, held an anniversary "celebration" a couple years ago. I was disappointed at the behavior of the church that I grew up in. The "celebration" itself was focused on us. I don't believe in having pride in one church. Where ever Christ's name is proclaimed as Savior is my church.
    The point I am trying to make is why have such a "celebration" and spend all that money when it can go to the needy? I know the Highland ministry is definitely needy oriented, but such a celebration is a contradiction. Feedback would be appreciated.

    By Blogger mdbreeden, at 12/05/2004 11:46:00 PM  

  • mdb - I like the way you're thinking. But let me respond briefly. First, you haven't figured out yet that a Highland celebration is going to be fairly "low budget." (You've seen our auditorium. Right?) If we deprived the poor, it wasn't of much. Second, a celebration like this is important. We kept emphasizing that this wasn't a high five for all the stuff we've done. Rather, it was a celebration of God's faithfulness through our failures and successes -- a celebration that could help chart the course for the future. I think that's why celebrations are so important in the OT. Why Tabernacles? A week in a tent with your best food, your best wine, and your best friends? Couldn't that $$ go to the poor? Sure -- and they were certainly to be generous with the poor. But this celebration helped them remember that God had been faithful in the desert wanderings, and he would be faithful in the future, too. I like having someone young ask these questions, though!

    By Blogger Mike, at 12/06/2004 05:30:00 AM  

  • Mike, Congratulations to all involved for yesterday's celebration of God's work through these decades at Highland.

    As a new member, hearing about those faithful that first set the vision for Highland of outreach into the local and world-wide community, of serving the needy and weakest help me to better understand Highland and become a more fruitful, active member.

    When, I believe it was Lynn, mentioned that Highland's influence is unknowingly felt by many across the world, I realized that I was one of them and that knowledge served to link together many years of service and worship in different congregations from California, to New York, Mexico and Latin America and I am so thankful to all of you for bringing about that cohesiveness to my patchwork quilt ministry in those places.

    But probably the greatest service to me yesterday was the answer to an early morning prayer, that the anniversary celebration be about what GOD has done through Highland, and not about us. Secondly, hearing about our heritage and history helped launch the vision for Highland's future in service and worship of our God and Creator. Had I heard only of the vision, I doubt it would have held as much rich promise to me as it does in light of the consistency of vision at Highland from the beginning, 75 years ago.

    So, from a new member, blessings to all those that so prayerfully prepared yesterday's celebration of God's work at Highland, and to all who participated. And I must disagree with Christopher, the service was not long enough to suit my thirst for continued shared worship.

    A personal aside, yesterday was particulary poignant for me since my beloved dad began preaching 75 years ago this year. Some of the earlier hymns sung brought his face so clearly to me and I felt as though I could hear his beautiful baritone voice singing those hymns he loved so much. Again, blessings and thank yous to all involved in yesterday's services!!

    By Blogger Kathy, at 12/06/2004 05:37:00 AM  

  • OK, then if the focus was on God, and all that He has done, then why not serve the people. It is through serving others that we bring honor to Him. And this talk of the Tabernacle, they were gaudy and seen as hypocritical. They were adorned with jewels and the greatest cloths as some sort of offering to God. Am I the only one that sees hypocrasy?
    Why not have the "celebration" advertised at the soup kitchens and other places where less fortunate people congrigate, and then offer "your best food and best wine." That would be a celebration to honor God.

    By Blogger mdbreeden, at 12/06/2004 02:20:00 PM  

  • Mike, I was there also and God was honored and the Holy Spirit was felt and it overflowed onto all who were there. I am also new at Highland but I have my college history there with Lynn Anderson. It took me back to that time and what my time there taught me about God and relationships and worship. I loved Lynn's emotion and the communion table talk. Having that piece of furniture up front and hearing the story was central to me to what happened in the Coliseum yesterday. How many times has the Highland church gathered around the table? Sometimes when they were angry with each other, and sometimes when they felt so united and so connected, and sometimes when they were so sad and so distraught that they didn't feel like eating...and yet they gathered around that table and remembered Jesus and his blood and felt covered once again with that grace and mercy...and then they walked away from that table and into the community and continued to model Jesus. That is what we celebrated yesterday...the blood of Jesus. I loved that John Allen Chalk said that it is in our weakness that we are serving and will continue to serve. How powerful is that!!!
    I also loved so much Chris's comment...they all seem long. That cracked me up.
    grace, Julie

    By Blogger julie, at 12/06/2004 07:39:00 PM  

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    By Blogger julie, at 12/06/2004 07:39:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger julie, at 12/06/2004 07:39:00 PM  

  • mdbreeden,

    Question: Did you go serve the poor this past Sunday? Did you spend your day at the soup kitchens and other places where less fortunate people congrigate, and then offer "your best food and best wine" this past Sunday?

    Just curious.

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 12/07/2004 07:52:00 PM  

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