Highrock MetroWest News!

May 19, 2022

Photo by Sasun Bughdaryan on Unsplash

When God Yells at You!

by Pastor George Cladis

Dear MetroWest Highrockers,

During the summer of one of my years in seminary, I served as a full-time student chaplain in a Clinical Pastoral Education program at a major hospital in New Jersey across the Hudson from Manhattan. Our supervisor and trainer was both a clinical psychologist and ordained minister. The program was designed to teach future church leaders, and those who would go into clinical work, the skills of working pastorally with people in severe crises. Each morning, we made our visits to hospital rooms and, in the afternoon, debriefed as a group with our supervisor. Associated with the program were training sessions and courses in pastoral care and chaplaincy.

The morning visits were brutal for me, having grown up fairly sheltered in the San Francisco Bay Area. I found myself suddenly amid patients and families involved in very difficult crises: shootings, rapes, serious diseases, head-on auto collisions – they sent us to the worst cases.

One day, I went to the room of a young woman. I read her chart before entering (yes, we were allowed to, and were considered part of the hospital’s “healing team”) and learned she had overdosed on heroin. I sat by her bed and listened to the saddest story I had ever heard. Her young years had been marked by dreadful circumstances – I was weeping inside and a bit outside, too. I used all the pastoral and active listening skills I had learned so far – very much a novice! As I listened to her, I thought: no wonder you are a junkie? Who wouldn’t be after all you’ve been through? And I likely exuded that though I didn’t say those words out loud.

Then, the doctor came in. He stood at the foot of her bed, reading her chart, noting her prior overdoses and history of addiction. He looked up at her and said loudly, GET OFF THE HEROIN! GET OFF IT NOW! GET OFF IT OR YOU ARE DEAD! DO YOU WANT TO LIVE? GET OFF THE DOPE! And he walked out.

That afternoon I told this story in debrief time. My student peers sat with their mouths wide open, as astonished as I was. Our supervisor paused, and then said, “I’m sorry, George. But at that moment, the doctor was the chaplain and not you.” Ouch, that stung!! The supervisor went on to explain, with some awareness of this patient, that the doctor tried to shock her into realizing she needed to act NOW to end the addiction that was only adding gasoline to her already fiery life. And he said that social services was, and had been, working with her on helping her out of her circumstances – but she needed to make the next move.

Sometimes, God appears to us like that doctor – the Lord has heard all our excuses and diversions and presents us plain and clearly with the TRUTH: keep doing this and you’ll die (physically or spiritually)! Sometimes, that’s the only way the Lord gets our attention. I know on more than one occasion, God, like that doctor, found a way to yell at me to get my attention.

And it worked!

But it is always in love, and to bring me back to Joy – thank God for that! Amen.


Worship Preview

by Jason Cross, Worship Director, JasonC@highrock.org

Worship Songs for Sunday:
Holy Spirit Come (original)
Great Are You Lord
We Love You Lord

Song Focus: Holy Spirit Come

"However, as it is written: 'What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived'--the things God has prepared for those who love him"— 1 Corinthians 2:9

I and a friend of mine wrote this song a couple of years back thinking about the mystery and paradox that surrounds life in the Spirit. We often feel powerless in our circumstances, yet when we yield what little power we have to the Spirit, it’s then when we have the greatest power of all. Having the Spirit at the center of our decisions and relationships is a huge part of our participation with Jesus through the Kingdom of “making all things new”.  Growing up in church, I so often heard the scripture above quoted in the context of “heaven”, but as I got older and studied more, I realized that the context that is being described is actually life as lived in the Spirit. When we ask the Holy Spirit to “come”, we are recognizing, that while the Spirit is omnipresent, he does not force himself on us, but seeks to lead and guide those who eagerly await him.  


Family Ministry

by Grace Taber, Kidsrock Director, GraceT@highrock.org

Hello families!
Are you ready to make waves?
Calling all elementary-aged kids (those entering kindergarten through those who just finished 5th grade) for an exciting week of Make Waves. We'll get to learn that what we do today not only changes our lives but makes a ripple effect to change the world! Join us July 18th-22nd from 6:00-8:15 pm at our church building (754 Greendale Ave, in Needham). Registration is now open until May 22nd. Click here to register your child/children. We hope to see you there! 


Women of Highrock MetroWest



Ways to Be Involved!



By Pastor George Cladis, GeorgeC@highrock.org

Please send your prayer requests to our Prayer Team Leader Foluke Ajayi at mofoluwake09@gmail.com. The prayer team meets Wednesday evenings to pray for the needs of the church. Please pray for the Taiwanese Fellowship that meets at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, CA -- the site of a shooting last Sunday killing one and injuring five critically. Prayers for peace in Ukraine. 


JUNE 5, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM. HRMW High School Benefit Concert for Ukraine

You are invited to a Youth Benefit Concert organized by high students to support the children of Ukraine.  All proceeds of the concert will be donated to Project Hope, which is providing urgently needed medical supplies, care, and refurbishing hospitals in Ukraine. 

Please see below for the details and invite your friends and neighbors.

Bake Sale for Ukraine
If you like to bake and would like to help with fundraising, please sign up to donate baked goods to be sold at the concert: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/409084AA8A62DA3FC1-ukraine

For questions about the bake sale, please contact priya.manasseh@gmail.com; For questions about the concert or assisting, please contact jennykim7@gmail.com.


JUNE 12, 10 AM. Milestone Sunday/Confirmation Sunday AND Volunteer Appreciation Sunday! (Whew!)

A joyous Sunday worship service of welcoming our confirmation youth into the full membership of the church, baptizing new members, and celebrating what God is doing with our children and youth! We also will honor our volunteers that worked with your children and youth to this point, and ALL the church volunteers who serve in our ministry. A catered SoulFood to follow the service.


OCT. 2 -- Edible Theology: A Hand-on Food Event with a Deep Meaning by Kendall Vanderslice. 

This will be a lot of fun and richly meaningful and educative! Save the date!


Resources for Growing Deeper!

For Parents, Youth and Families

Kidsrock Nursery to Grade 5 - meets every Sunday at 10 am during the worship hour. Please make sure to drop off and pick up your child following service. The app we use for check-in is here -- please download it. Our Kidsrock staff can help you use it. 

Youth: Read about Middle School and High School youth programs.

The Highrock Family Ministry Team released excellent new resources for parents of tweens, teens, and young adults. The resources are entitled Fresh Ideas for Better Connections related to our current theme Growing With. Check them out here!

High School Internships

Highrock MetroWest volunteer high school internships for the Summer, and Fall of 2022. The program involves both service to the church and also leadership development training resulting in a public ceremony in church and the presentation of a Certificate in Leadership Development for a Non-Profit. For more information on the HRMW program, contact Pastor George at GeorgeC@highrock.org

Study and Small Groups at Highrock

HighrockOnline has a broad range of learning opportunities. Check them out here

Scroll down to the bottom of this page for more devotional and study links.

We have newly formed Highrock MetroWest small groups. Contact Pastor George for more information: GeorgeC@Highrock.org

SoulCare and Pastoral Care

For those wanting to go deeper in spiritual practices and contemplative prayer, we encourage you to look into the work of our guides and the work of the SoulCare ministry


Daily Devotional with John Mury, Dave Swaim, and Highrock Staff

A 15-minute devotional is released daily at 5 am. 

"God in Five Minutes!" 

A five-minute weekly podcast based on the last sermon preached.

It's Greek to Me! 

Biblical exegesis in a five-minute read by Pastor George (Note: this link takes the reader to GeorgeCladis.com.)

HRMW Feedback Form

Let your church know how to improve worship and ministry to draw people into a deeper life with Jesus.