May is Here!

Happy Friday High Places!

May is here and there's plenty of sunshine to go around. I hope your flower beds and your gardens are springing to life, pun intended!! :) 

Our scripture this week comes from Matthew 7 where Jesus is talking about the value of prayer, and the difference between inner communing with God, and the outer use of many words. Our staff is teaming up to talk about prayer this week, so if you've ever wondered about prayer, how to pray, or just wondered how other people do it -- this is GREAT week to take a look at through a few different points of view!

I've had a super-stressful week and have felt and appreciated your prayers. Feeling tired, but enthusiastic about all God is doing in and around High Places and beyond. There's so much good energy right now in our clergy association and God is speaking and working among this city's ministers in ways I have not experienced before. It's extremely encouraging and I feel blessed to live in a community where this kind of unity and fellowship among different congregations is taking form. 

News and Notes to Mark our Calendars By:

#1   The women's group won't be meeting this Sunday, but will resume and meet the rest of May. Even if you've not participated yet, it's not too late to join in!

#2   The men's group is meeting tomorrow morning at 7:30 AM. Bring a brown bag breakfast and jump into Ephesians with us. Tomorrow we will be reading chapter 5 together and discussing. 

#3   Martin still has room for more at the "First Kiss" dinner (see attached flyer). Around 20 people are so will gather on Sunday evening to talk about who and why we are as a High Places family, keeping it simple but informative. It's open to recent members and curious others! We will begin gathering at 5:00 PM @ the Grove.

#4   Kady made an announcement requesting volunteers to help with the Mountain Movers "Mystery and a Movie" night on Monday at the Grove. I know she still needs a few more helpers, so if you are willing, please let her know you can be there. There's a great deal of excitement and movement in our kid's ministries these days, so I hope you'll come check it out!

#5   A lot of folks signed up to help our end of the month craziness! Thank you!! I hope to have the sign-up sheets out again this Sunday, so give them a look and see where you might like to plug in as God leads.

*  "Revive the Nights" kicks off on Thursday, May 30th if you are looking for a fun night out with clean comedy and Christian music. Tickets are up on Eventbrite and through Facebook if you want to give that a closer look.

*   I am hosting a community wide "Walt Whitman 200th Birthday Bash" on May 31st. You can help me create more momentum around this by clicking on the FB page, and purchasing an early-bird concert ticket if you like folk / Americana. Check out the event page on our Grove Theater website if you have a second... 

Tickets are linked up there for the show, as well as Jubal's website if you want to check out their sound. They are very talented and one of the most sought-after bands in East TN and beyond! It's going to be a great night out.

*   Flatwater Tales story-telling festival is sure to be a hit again this year. After selling out the Oak Ridge playhouse last year the organizers reached out to us to host as the Grove holds a few hundred more people. We aim to clean up and put on our smiles as we host one of the biggest events in Oak Ridge.

*   After hitting a scheduling snafu with the city on the "People's Supper Picnic," I am 99% sure we have it worked out to gather on the front lawn of First Methodist Church for our time together. We'll have a little more shade there, easy access to restrooms, and First had already committed to be the rain-out venue. I will still be recruiting helpers and still working to raise what we need to bring Lennon back to Oak Ridge from California. If you can help cover some of the budget for that, I'd be deeply appreciative. And I hope you will consider coming out and seeing close-up how God is bringing our faith communities together for the purpose of building a better Oak Ridge!

There's a lot more on the calendar and a lot more happening, but I will stop there. If you would, please remember our High Places friend, Annie Cachario and family in prayer. Annie's mother was killed in a traffic accident this week on the west end of town. Annie is the director of Aid to Distressed Families and she has been a friend and encourager to me. 

Thanks so much for being awesome. 

Love you all,


High Places Easter Sunday!! He is Risen!

Good Wednesday morning to you all and happy Easter week! The weather has been outstanding this week, and although there is a chance of showers over the weekend, Easter day could potentially look good, especially as the day rolls on. It will be a great holiday to enjoy the day with friends and family, and hopefully, a church family too! 

High Places is excited to spend our 29th Easter together and we would love to share the morning with you! Our meeting begins at 10:30 AM and there will be music, a skit for the kids, an Easter message, lots of food, and an egg hunt following the service. We would love to have you join us!

High Places regulars, please remember we're having lunch after so bring something to eat and something to share. Also for those interested in helping with getting ready for Easter, a cleaning time is scheduled for Thursday at 5:30 PM. We also have Saturday reserved to help with any last minute things we want to get done. 

Easter is a time for family, that builds great memories for children. More than that however, it is the time when the Church around the world, literally billions of people, gather to celebrate the triumph of God's love over everything in this world, including His victory over death itself. Easter is a day of deep, abiding HOPE for all people. 

Would you be willing to come worship together with us on this incredible day? We hope to see you, love you very much, and are excited about all God is doing in our community and through His church at High Places. 

Happy Easter everyone!!


High Places Community Church

"I am the resurrection and the life."  ~ Jesus

Retreating This Weekend!

Good morning High Places,

Many of us are descending upon Mountain Lake Ranch today for our weekend adult retreat and we're in prayer for a fun weekend of spiritual deepening and togetherness. We've had a couple of cancellations which means there is still room for anyone who'd like to come up for one, or both nights. Of course the day-time sessions are open for anyone to attend also. 

If you signed up for the retreat and didn't get an email from me with the address or a list of things to bring, call me as soon as you can. That email should have come to you on Wednesday afternoon. If you think you might want to make a last minute trip to see us, call me and I can also send you that information. 

Easter is NEXT weekend!! Wow, this year is flying by really fast. It's an "all hands on deck" call regarding this upcoming week as we have lots to do. I'd like to do a cleaning day for both the interior and exterior of the facility, as well as get some fresh flowers planted, maybe even pressure wash the front porch... just generally scrub up a little and prepare for our guests next weekend. We'll need hosts at the door and ushers to pass out bulletins, and extra helpers in the kitchen for clean-up. Kids will be hunting eggs, so a few extra eyes and hands outside are always helpful there as well.

For food we plan to do a lunch afterward during the Easter egg hunt, so please bring a dish to share!

More than any of the logistics though, we'll need YOU and your spirit and giftedness! I hope you're already planning to attend and please bring a friend! The place is going to be packed (I can feel it coming), so the more the merrier!!! Invite away and let's celebrate the greatest day in the history of the universe together as a faith family. 

Please keep our weekend at the retreat in your prayers. Also remember Debbie Casey, whose sister Vivian passed away this weekend.

Love to you all,

MARATHON News and Notes: Bible Studies, Retreats, Easter, and MORE!

Good Friday afternoon High Places!

We have so much going on that I feel like a squirrel on a freeway, not knowing which way to run. One of these tires may get me, but I am praying not!! Here's the breakdown of some of what God's church at High Places is up to in the coming weeks... but first, a quick thank you.

Last weekend was full-on whirlwind of activity at the Grove. United Way of Anderson County had their 2nd annual fundraiser and I am happy to say we had at least a dozen High Places folks out, connected and working and volunteering and just rubbing elbows with the community. I couldn't have been happier. Some of you I didn't even have a chance to thank yet (looking your way Jean Keil) and others I haven't thanked with a big enough smile. I am excited when I look at the energy and dedication HPCC is starting to pour into our community as we continue to serve with the venue. Jason, Tim, and Matt are just killing it with our audio-visual. It's nearly a full time job. Our kitchen crew is navigating some big time messes with incredible GRACE. Our "Mountain Movers" children's crew is 2nd to NONE.  

The great soup of humanity around the Grove Theater is simmering! 

United Way was able to raise about $2000 last Friday night and that money is going to help hurting families, provide safe places for battered women, and invest in youth and children sports events. We're making a dent for the good folks and it feels GREAT. Being salt and light as Jesus asks. 

The Saturday night event wasn't quite as successful, but we were there supporting. Thank you Trina and Matt and anyone else who I may have missed for making some connections. City of Refuge really seems like they are right up our alley, providing mental health to blended families and children in the foster care system. Great causes, great effort, and praise God for POSITIONING our church to serve. He is working!

April is a bit lighter affair for our church in the community service department and provides us with some good opportunities to connect and deepen as a church family. We need more of that! Here's what April has for us as family --

TOMORROW our men's group meets again at the Grove at 7:30AM as we continue working through Ephesians. Men, if you haven't come out yet, it isn't too late to join in. I believe a church whose men are committed to scripture and the pursuit of God's love and instruction is a church that cannot fail. Tomorrow's bible study is a BYOB -- "Bring your own breakfast!" So grab a biscuit and come on down the Grove. 

SUNDAY our women's group meets again at 9:15AM. "So Long Insecurity" is the theme and I am sure that if you haven't already plugged in, room will be made for you at the table. Thank you, thank you Laurel Richmond for leading this important work. Our High Places men, I am convinced, would be lost without the weekly dedication of our ladies to growth and spiritual development. In fact, our women have led the way in this deepening process and it has been contagious. Thank you, thank you!!!!

NEXT WEEKEND -- our adult retreat begins with nearly 30 HPCC adults committed to spend the weekend together studying, fellowshipping, and sharing life together. True confesssions #1 -- I feel behind the 8-ball in planning. I'm mostly worried about our menu even though I know the food at High Places always manages to take care of itself. I am behind on planning the content, but I also know that each of you brings content with you just by your very presence. I was glancing down the list this week and realized that there will be a combined 500+ years of Christian life experience at this retreat. How could we ask for more? 

We will start the retreat with a video from a training I went to last year, that I believe will be stimulating enough to launch us into the weekend. It's that good! From there we will unpack the DNA of God's forever church He has been building through time, and we'll think about what re-imaging the Gospel for the next generation might look like. It's not too late to sign-up!

EASTER is coming in two short weeks. I'm nervous, but trusting God. There's alot left undone at this point, but in High Places fashion I feel like I can rest knowing the ways we all pull together to get the big stuff done, especially in a crunch. In fact, of all the groups I have ever worked with, I have never seen a group of people capable of accomplishing more with less time and less resources than this church. In God's world, less is more and He has proved it over and over again. We'll have an Easter egg hunt for the kiddos, lunch afterward, and an hour dedicated to the greatest event in the history of the Universe -- the ressurection of Jesus Christ. Praise!

In May, I'm feeling a little under the gun as I plan for a community-wide celebration of Walt Whitman's 200th birthday (May 31) followed immediately by our city's 2nd biggest celebration, the Flatwater Tales Story-Telling Festival. They outgrew the Playhouse and have asked the Grove to host on June 1st. We have a few months to prepare, but this event is going to be a big one and I am trusting the church to show up in force. 

Then on June 5th, we have the honor of being the drivers behind a community-wide People's Supper in conjuction with the Secret City festival. I still hope to find one more HPCC person to help serve on the planning committee and I'm deeply in prayer for the funding needed to fly Lennon and Sean back to Oak Ridge from California. It's an honor to be trusted by our city for such a big, big event. I believe we can do it, or I would never have said "Yes."

Speaking of saying "YES" this week's message is all about letting our "Yes be Yes, and our No be No." In a world that no longer values the RSVP or the idea of service and responding to needs, it is our aim at High Places to be different. Our goal is to become the change we want to see in our community, not for our sake, but for God's. That starts with commitments and being able to say "YES" or "NO" based on how God is speaking and leading.

Whew, that's a lot going on. But it's good stuff... and dare I say even... GREAT stuff. God's working and moving, I saw it today even in the school system as administrators, teachers, and staff constantly extended to me words of thanks for all this church is doing through Chad and our youth ministries. So much contagious good. So much appreciation. So much potential to change the world. 

I believe we can, and I believe God will. I believe in us and in you. Keep our church, our reach, our ministries in prayer. The road is always rocky, but the view from journey is always worth the effort. Our old motto used to be, "High Places: With a View on Life at its Best." The more things change, the more things stay the same!!

Much love,


Two concerts & and a great Sunday planned this weekend!

Happy Thursday High Places!

This weekend, we have two great opportunities to share the light in our community! First, the United Way of Anderson County has the second "Outpour" concert on Friday night. Several area bands, many of which are fairly well known, are donating their talent to this event. From 5:30 to 10:30 PM tomorrow, the Grove will be filled with great music, from folk to punk rock. About 93 cents on every dollar raised will be going directly to local non-profits like Aid to Distressed Families, Boys and Girls Clubs of Oak Ridge, and dozens of others! Tickets are $15.

I also need 2-3 individuals who can help with concessions and at least one more person to help with childcare (mostly just playing a movie in the small theater, followed by some light crafts, coloring, games). Drop me an email please if you're available and thank you!

Saturday, we are pleased to be hosting the non-profit "City of Refuge" ( ). This organization exists to help teens in trauma cope with anxiety and stress by using their God-given creative abilities. The more I learn about this organization, the more in common I feel like we have with them.

The concert is called, "An Interactive Concert for Life," and organizer Kyle Ford sent me this description last week...

Everyone needs healthy ways they can cope with stress, anger, depression, etc.  Soundtrack to a Life is an interactive concert/show experience to promote healthy creative coping skills, connecting local creatives with adolescents/families coping with traumatic life situations, while telling the story of a fictional person going through a traumatic life situation and how she uses music as a way to cope with each emotion she experiences (therefore creating a soundtrack to her life). Creative meet and greet / workshops start at 4pm on March 30, 2019 and the music show will be starting at 6pm. Childcare will be provided starting at 6p and go until 10:30pm. A minimum $10 donation is requested or $20 for the whole family.”

I hope everyone can attend one or both of these events, they seem pretty amazing! 

This Sunday, we will take a deeper look into Jesus' idea of sin verses the Law's idea of sin. Jesus gives us two case studies to go by -- murder and adultery -- and He spells out specifically why we all need something more than a rulebook to be our best selves. I hope you'll come out and join us this week!

Don't forget, Easter is just around the corner... it's not too early to begin inviting friends to celebrate the day with us at High Places. 

Much love to you all,


"Thoughts and Prayers"

Good Friday afternoon High Places,

Today we lift up the families of those killed in New Zealand by those whose anger and hate has consumed them. As hate crimes and mass killings continue to rise, fueled by fear-mongering and polarization in our media-saturated culture, it can be hard to know what to do. Some say offering "thoughts and prayers" isn't enough and there's been a movement of criticism in some circles about it. Recently, Chris Pratt (Jurassic World) caught a ton of backlash for publicly offering to pray. 

We need not concern ourselves too much with that. We do know that prayer works -- first on our own hearts -- and then in the lives of others as we become the change we hope to see in the world. Let's not let the world deceive us into believing otherwise. We can and should be praying right now. 

At the same time, if you are able, please draw comfort in knowing that here locally, many tangible connections and real life opportunities are being worked with spiritual intentionality by our community's local pastors... and in ways that extend beyond the most recent, "Not in Town" letter signed by a dozen or more of us.

Your support of High Places is one of thoughts and prayers for certain, but that support also goes much further in ways that I doubt many are aware. Our staff work to build bridges across divides and share the good news of God's love and grace in those places, and in this network of clergy we are moving into the front lines of support for victimized populations, like our Jewish and Muslim friends. 

I am mostly penning this note today just in case you are feeling like I am, despairing that perhaps our differences can't be bridged and that the ship is sinking. It isn't. In this world, we will have trouble (the guarantee Jesus gives), but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world (the hope we have in Him). I want to encourage us to by all means offer up those thoughts and prayers. And when and where we are able, let's do more than that too... let's share the love we know, and the light we've been given, in places that have grown dark.

News and Notes

Tomorrow night at 7:00 PM we are hosting a comedy show at the Grove. This one looks to be a pretty big deal although I don't know the headliner. I do know that talent coming in and out of our place has made the Tonight Show. If you're looking for a good night out and a chance to support, and a place where hopefully laughter can rule the day, look no further than our own front doors tomorrow. I am sure the organizers will appreciate the support too!

Friday, March 29 I am looking for volunteers to help with the United Way fundraiser, "The Outpour." I will need 2-3 for children's assistance and 2-3 in concessions. If you're willing to lend a hand for a great, local cause (about 90% of every dollar raised by Anderson County United Way stays local), please let me know via email or text. 

Saturday, March 20, will be an "Interactive Concert for Life" which serves to raise money and awareness for mental health issues surrounding foster care parents and children. It's sure to be an interesting show, full of talent, and all for a good cause. Once again, this organization is a local start-up specifically focused on foster parenting and mental health.

Our adult retreat to Dandridge is upcoming on Passover weekend, April 12-14, there is still some room in the lodge so if you've been on the fence about coming, please let me know as soon as you can!

I hope everyone is enjoying their spring break and this turn toward warmer, dryer air. 

~ David

March comes in like a Lion!

Happy Friday!!

They say March comes in like a lion, looking over our list of events I think I agree. Let's thank God for the way He is keeping us relevant and in service to our community! Lots happening this month, so be sure to take a moment and check out each bullet!

* TONIGHT (Friday), our High Places youth are pulling an all-nighter. Chad has a bus and Jump-Jam is ready! Please be in prayer for a fun, safe trip for our teens & by all means, if you’re feeling frisky, contact Chad for how you can help!

* TOMORROW (Saturday), our High Places men will meet for breakfast and Bible study at the Grove, 7:30 AM. Grab a biscuit or breakfast sandwich on the way and if you have time men, please read Ephesians 1 in preparation!!

* THIS SUNDAY, our women’s group will have its second meeting at 9:15. It’s not too late to join in if you missed last week! The topic is based on the book, “So Long Insecurity” by Beth Moore. 

* THIS TUESDAY (March 12), leadership meeting at the home of Mike and Josh, 7808 Representative Lane, Knoxville, 37931.  We will be moving through our Easter checklists and talking about the adult retreat which is April 12-14 in Dandridge.

* FRIDAYMarch 29 is “The Outpour” Volume II at the Grove. This multi-band concert is a fundraiser for United Way and I really need HELP managing our commitments. High Places will handle concessions as well as provide opportunities for children. We will probably show a movie in the small theater or the movie room and have a few games / crafts while their parents enjoy the show. 

* SATURDAYMarch 30 is “An Inter-Active Concert for Life” with Kyle Ford and friends. This event will raise money to support foster families and mental health. His description is below:

“Everyone needs healthy ways they can cope with stress, anger, depression, etc.  Soundtrack to a Life is an interactive concert/show experience to promote healthy creative coping skills, connecting local creatives with adolescents/families coping with traumatic life situations, while telling the story of a fictional person going through a traumatic life situation and how she uses music as a way to cope with each emotion she experiences (therefore creating a soundtrack to her life). Creative meet and greet / workshops start at 4pm on March 30, 2019 and the music show will be starting at 6pm. Childcare will be provided starting at 6p and go until 10:30pm. A minimum $10 donation is requested or $20 for the whole family.”


As you can see it’s a full month! And I didn’t even mention Secret City poetry night (tonight), a night with the “Black Pants Girls” (tomorrow), the science and comedy show we are hosting next weekend, open mic night, or the rock concerts that are all on the Grove Theater calendar this month!! You can always check our calendar on the website

God is working in an among so many of these groups and through those who are interacting with them regularly. Come join the party!

Happy Spring Break to all our students! Once we get through this weekend’s rain, it looks like great weather next week. Come on sunshine, we miss you!


Love to all,



Blessed are the pure in heart...

Good Wednesday afternoon!

This evening our youth are hosting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at the Grove at 6:00 PM. Come on down for some good eats, great fellowship, all for a great cause: our summer camp fundraiser! This is also a great time to support Chad and all the work he is doing with teenagers in this community. He and the volunteers who are there every Wednesday night are doing an amazing job! We sure hope to see you, but remember that even if you can't we have a new way to support from afar...

You can text "$20 Spaghetti" to 865.229.9448 and your donation will go straight to summer camp! How cool is that? Once you're set up, you will be able to easily text support in for our all our camp fundraisers coming between now and July 15th, the day camp begins. It's an easy way to pay for a car wash, sponsor a camper, or fund a food purchase for our week at Big Ridge.

This week our beatitude is "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." This is probably my favorite beatitude and I would like to share personally about it. I hope to see you all on Sunday! There's been a ton of illness about and we've missed folks as they've wrestled with it.

The kitchen team has asked that we remember that this Sunday is "Big Food" as it is the last Sunday of the month. This is a great opportunity to bring in something homemade for the whole church to enjoy and to help the kitchen team keep going with the amazing ministry they bring us week in and week out. Having fellowship time after our main meeting is a big part of the "glue" that helps make High Places who we are... our kitchen team does a great job and they're also looking to expand! Currently, we have two Sunday's in March that need a couple of volunteer families to bring food. See Carmen or Debbie Casey for more info!!

I also want to announce that we have two potential growth opportunities coming in March, one for men and the other for women. These small groups are definitely something to keep an eye on and we'll have more information this Sunday and next, along with sign-up sheets. 

Thank you to everyone who registered for our adult retreat coming April 12-14. We still have room for a couple more, so if you haven't signed up yet, don't wait. Our lodge is filling up fast, and that is exciting!!

Finally, this Sunday is our last Sunday at NHC. It would really be great to have a lot of High Places folks out and to have a mini-choir going on! If you haven't made it yet and you're willing to sing some of your favorite hymns, it really brightens the day for these elderly residents. Please consider coming out and singing! We meet at NHC around 9:15 and the music begins promptly at 9:30!

Thanks everyone! Love to you all!!


Blessed are the Merciful

… for they will receive mercy.

Walking a mile in someone else's shoes isn't easy, but Jesus suggests in the beatitudes that it's basically a precursor to knowing how to hunger and thirst for righteousness. It keeps us poor in spirit, humble, meek, and allows us to comfort others with the comfort we have received. From there, we're ready to do the work of the Gospel -- to show mercy to others, to be peacemakers. 

Look forward to this Sunday as Martin shares. I have always felt like mercy was a spiritual gift that Martin has in spades. Lord knows he has shown me a ton of it through the years and always when I needed it most. 

Mercy is a tough one because it is not only hard to give when we are craving justice, but it is probably even harder to receive. We often fall into two places when it comes to mercy -- either we don't see the blindspots where we have offended others (or God) and thereby don't think we need mercy, or we can sometimes feel like we aren't worthy of mercy because we're our own worst critics. 

Jesus came to show us the better way. And that oftentimes, showing ourselves mercy and accepting the mercy of God is how we are truly transformed. I hope to see everyone on Sunday. 


A late update and opportunity to serve... anyone that can help the Lyons family get some furniture and move it to their new place, please meet at the Ecumenical Storehouse at 11:00 tomorrow (Friday). Anyone with a truck and a few extra hands would be extremely helpful.

Love to you all,


Changing Our Diets!!

Happy Friday High Places!

This Sunday we’re going to build up our diet strategies together as we examine Jesus’ fourth beatitude: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will have their fill.” Perhaps the reason that emptiness grips our culture today is that we simply don’t hunger and thirst for the right thing. Maybe the reason that many people journey through this life feeling unfulfilled is because the things culture has us chasing were never designed to fill us up to being with. Perhaps the unfilled yearning inside us is a clue that we need to adjust our diets! :) 

While we are waiting on Sunday, consider some of the things Jesus didn’t say in this verse. He didn’t say “Blessed are the righteous, for they will be filled.” Jesus knows that righteousness isn’t a condition that human beings obtain so much as it is a constant pursuit, a chase we make, in partnership with the Holy Spirit who gives us glimpses of righteousness as we walk with Him.

Jesus also didn’t say, “Blessed are they who hunger for God, for they will be filled.” That would seem to make sense to us given how Jesus says later in the Sermon on the Mount: “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will added to you.” One of the primary reasons Jesus doesn’t go straight there in this beatitude is because of those in this world who seem to be hungering for more religion (and call it God) and also,  those who seem to have a lot of spiritual power (see Matthew 7:22) and yet do not know God. These are not chasing righteousness and according to Jesus they are the emptiest of all, hiding beneath the shell of religion.

At the end of the day, it is impossible to hunger for righteousness and not find God in the process, because only God is holy, set apart from all else, and only He is totally righteous. Going into hot pursuit of God and His hopes for humanity is the ONLY way to truly be “filled” in this life! I look forward to being with you all this Sunday!

Quick Announcements

--  Don’t forget to sign-up for the adult retreat, which is coming April 12-14. Rumor has it some of you have been doing some web searches for what an APEST really is and why we don’t want a church life without it! Way to get a head start!!! We will have more on this in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, please sign-up if you haven’t already!! Also, if finances are potentially an issue keeping you from being with us then please let me know. A way will be made to include you!

--  I am looking to rebuild the hosting team for 2019 and stock it with folks who really love serving new faces and building relationships with all our area artists, dancers, musicians, and more! If you are interested, please see me! And thank you, Matt, Meredith, Martin, Chad, and John S. for all your help this week… it was a busy one!!

--  Finally, don’t forget our “This Mite Be Huge” matching campaign which has really garnered a lot of excitement this year so far! In an email I received early this year announcing the match, our anonymous donors said this,

“We are grateful to be part of the High Places community and want to see this church thrive! We believe in High Places and what it brings to Oak Ridge and the larger community.   What we love is the strong push for inclusiveness, Grace, and a sense of wonder at how much good there is…. We believe in the vision and outreach of the church. What we so much appreciate about this church is its massive outreach to all, the giving and helping, Community Dinners, summer camps, and the love this church provides to a very diverse community.  Our goal is to help High Places become more self-sustaining by hopefully increasing involvement from everyone in the church.  We hope that every person will choose to join us!”

I love the vision, the faith, and the spirit of this incredible gift – and the enthusiasm it has already sparked in so many. The response so far has been truly inspiring!! Thank you everyone and let’s keep going! Martin has taught us many times, and drilled into my head repeatedly (thank you, Martin!), at High Places, we long to be a church willing to “get excited about the right things.” Getting excited about the right things means that, like the note I received, people are increasingly inspired as God touches the lives of others through the ministries at High Places. May that always be our #1 focus as a church family: sharing God’s love with everyone. I believe when it is, the rest takes care of itself. Or as Jesus said above, “all these things are added unto you.”

Praise God for all He is doing at High Places, in our community, and in our world. May we be in tune with the song He is singing forever and ever!!