Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Studies in Colossians

Sunday Mornings

Hillcrest Baptist Church
3838 Steck Ave.
Austin, TX 78758

(You must be connected to the internet to see this picture.) "Two Services: Filling In Blanks"
by Tom Goodman
January 11, 2006

In his book The Psychology of Rumor, Gordon Allport wrote of a rumor involving a Chinese man.  He was a teacher in an American university who took some vacation time to travel through Maine in the summer of 1945.  He carried a guidebook, which said that a marvelous view of the surrounding countryside could be seen from a particular hilltop.  So, he began asking locals for directions.

Now, in 1945, most people in rural Maine had a relative in the war and few knew any Asian persons.  Maybe that’s why the rumor quickly spread that a Japanese spy had gone up the hill to take pictures of the region.  In his book, Allport explained the all-too-human process of rumor-making that turned an Asian man into a Japanese man, a guidebook into a camera, and sightseeing into spying.

As a pastor, I’ve had my share of squashing rumors.  When I was serving in the Cayman Islands, for example, we had a church school of about 300 kids.  One day I got a call from someone asking if it was true we were making the kids learn and sing the American national anthem.  Um, well, considering that Cayman is British, I have no idea where she heard such a strange notion.

Now that we’ve announced plans to go to two services on April 16, people are going to fill in blanks faster than I can communicate.  So, take a little caution about things you hear in the church hallways—and take a lot of caution before passing on what you hear.  I’ll give you as much information about the schedule as quickly as I can give it.

First things first, though.  Let’s pray.  Diane and I are committing two nights a week for seven weeks to pray with every Hillcrest member and interested attender.  These nights will be about one thing: Prayer.  Information about our new schedule comes later.  Letters for the first three nights of the Pastor’s Prayer Meetings have gone out, and we’re already getting folks confirming their intention to join us.  Watch for your letter, then contact my assistant, Jami Dismukes, to confirm that the date works for you.  It will reduce our work load in the office if you reply to the letter once you receive it.

Diane and I are committing fourteen nights to pray with all of you; we hope you’ll commit one night to join us!


Important Notes:

Discipleship Fair:  This Sunday, January 15, at 6:00 p.m. in the gym.  Talk with teachers, sign up for courses, and purchase workbooks (if needed).  For more information, see Herb’s article in the Beacon this week.
Upward Basketball:  This is David and Jennifer Tobey’s fifth, and last, season leading our Upward Basketball league.  David has accepted a position leading recreation ministry at Crestview.  BJ has a great article about this in the Beacon this week..
Pastor’s Chat:  I begin my three-week meeting with John Smith’s class in the Adult 4 Department this Sunday.  All 50-something adults are encouraged to be a part of this Chat, even if you normally don’t attend John’s class.  We’ll talk together about our church’s vision.
Quarterly Business Meeting:  Next Wednesday, January 18, 6:30 p.m.
Can Hunger:  Wow!  Great response to our “Can Hunger” effort this past Sunday!  You can get more information and sign up online.
Discover Hillcrest:  Spread the word about our next Discover Hillcrest class.  It will be held Sunday, January 22, right after the morning service.  LUNCH IS PROVIDED!  The class is for those who want to become members, and for those who just want to learn more about Hillcrest.  While I teach the adult class, BJ teaches "Discover Hillcrest Kids" for children ages 8-12, and Jim teaches "Discover Hillcrest Youth" for students in grades 6-12.  Childcare is provided for children under the age of 8.  Pre-registration is encouraged but not required.  You can register by contacting my assistant, Jami, at
Beyond the Gates of Splendor:  Mark your calendars for Wednesday, January 25.  At 6:30 p.m. we will show the 45-minute documentary, “Beyond the Gates of Splendor.”  This film tells the story of five missionaries killed by Acua Indians and the eventual conversion of the tribe.  We’re showing this to promote the full-length film about the same story, End of the Spear, in theaters this month.  For more information, go to

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