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Blog: Highrock MetroWest

The latest news from the MetroWest congregation.


Highrock MetroWest News

| September 14, 2023

A Message from Pastor Ryan

My Sabbatical

People So Dearly Loved By God,

Many of you know that I was given the gift of an eight-week sabbatical over the summer, and I want to extend my deepest gratitude to you for the time I got to spend resting and being renewed. Pastors at Highrock are given this gift every six years and for my family, it could not have come at a more opportune time.

Thank you. 

At the beginning of the summer, I had a formative experience with a cohort of fellow counseling students that blossomed into a powerful opportunity to process some deep issues related to my family, career, and next steps for personal emotional growth. Having the added space to breathe, ponder, talk, and pray was immeasurably valuable. As a pastor I often find myself admonishing others to do the hard work of self-examination, but when the time comes for me to lean in I find dozens of reasons not to. This summer was a chance to eliminate excuses and set new intentions that are sustainable for the coming years. My greatest gift to you, as one of your pastors, is not a skill or a program but my best-transforming self. (And this is true for you, too, but that’s a sermon for another day). 

We spent much of the summer on Cape Cod visiting the beach, the ice cream parlor, and the fishing hole. Having the margin to invest in some of our summer season friendships was a treat since we see those folks infrequently, and extended time with Andrea’s family was a highlight, especially for my children. (No one makes burgers and hot dogs quite like their Papi!) 

The pinnacle of the summer was a 6,000-mile road trip to visit The Badlands, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Park. We also had a great visit with my family in Ohio. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience as a family and I believe Holly said it best when she said regarding the parks; “God did this and it’s all wonderful.” Amen, dear one. We closed the sabbatical season at the wedding of a young woman who was in the youth ministry when I was the student pastor. What a blessing to see what these young people have become and who they are aspiring to be! 

I return to you from this sabbatical with a deeper-than-ever sense of my call as a pastor of support and care even as I continue my training as a clinical counselor. I look forward to walking alongside you whether it’s in a ministry like worship team, Kidsrock, or tech team, or in the confidential conversations that are such a privilege to be a part of. The specifics of my job description are being solidified even as I write this, but regardless of the bullet points, I am always eager and honored when you include me in your lives of faith.

I am so excited to see what God has in store for you in the coming season and I’m willing to bet it’s going to be beyond what any of us expect. 

With you on the journey,

Pastor Ryan

Theology Lab: God and Money

Theology Lab returns this fall with an exciting year-long (2023-2024) discussion series on the theme of God & Money.

Historically, differences in opinion on money have caused divisions in the church. But at Highrock our mission is to be boundary-crossing communities of people characterized by curiosity and compassion. To that end, this year’s online Theology Lab discussions will address the challenging questions of a faithful relationship to wealth and the use of money, questions like: Are all Christians called to lives of simplicity? How should we go about alleviating poverty? Read more and register for Theology Lab here.

News & Announcements

Beyond Belief: The Promises of the Apostles’ Creed

What does it mean to believe something? Is it agreeing with facts and information? A gut feeling? Blind faith? This fall, we will consider how the Creed invites us beyond belief and into a dynamic, life-changing relationship with the God whose promises are worth believing, and who calls us to make promises of our own. More information here including preachers, topics, online and in-person small groups based on the sermons preached, and a sermon study guide.


Mental Health and Faith Book Club

Are you interested in learning more about how to integrate your Christian faith and your mental health? Do you want to find resources but you’re not sure where to start? Do you want to talk with others who are on this journey? Then join Pastor Ryan and his wife, Andrea, for their Mental Health and Faith Book Club. 

Come to each session having read or listened to the book for that date. Bring your take-aways and your hesitations and be ready to have a good conversation. All sessions will be via Zoom. 

September 27th 8-9:30pm 

Read: On Getting Out of Bed: The Burden and Gift of Living by Alan Noble

October 25th 8-9:30pm

Read: The Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren

November 29th 8-9:30pm

Read: Attached to God: A Practical Guide to Deeper Spiritual Experience by Krispin Mayfield

More to come in the new year!

Note: This group is not clinical therapy. Pastor Ryan can assist you in finding clinical care should the need arise. 

Contact: Pastor Ryan

Register Here

Thursday Evening Men's Gathering Topics

The September Men’s Thursday Gathering meetings will include a 20-minute presentation by Pastor George on the topics below followed by a discussion:

September 7: The Politics of Jesus. How would Jesus vote?

September 14: Organized Religion: is God in it?

September 21: Just War? A quick view of how Christians understand war.

September 28: Can you be in business and not lose your soul?

The remaining September meetings are by zoom Thursdays from 8 – 9:15 pm. Get details HERE for zoom link and more.

Momsrock Fall Programming

If you are a mom of a teen, toddler, newborn, young adult, parenting on your own, or working in the home or out in your field, we have a group of moms who would love to hang out with you!

During the first half of the fall session of Momsrock, small groups and teaching will be focused on parenting. We will utilize videos and recorded teachings that focus on parenting younger children and older teens, depending on your group’s focus. In the second half of the fall session, we will be diving into “When You Pray.” Six beloved and respected female Bible teachers will help us study some of the Bible’s recorded prayers. As a group, we will then discuss how to use what we are learning to strengthen our own discipleship and life of prayer as moms.

Find the full schedule and more information on the registration page.

Children and Youth

Kidsrock. Helping Kids Grow in their Faith. Kidsrock is for toddlers through 5th graders, their parents/guardians, and their Small Group leaders. Our mission is to shepherd children in connecting to God personally, connecting to God’s people, and connecting to God’s purposes by teaching and modeling a Christ-centered life that is empowered by the Holy Spirit. Lean more here.

Middle school. The middle school years are full of excitement and change as students transition from being “kids” to “youth.” It is a time of personal discovery, crisis, increased social and self-awareness, and a journey of discovering how to relate to God and others. The Middle School Community welcomes all students in 6th – 8th grade, their parents/guardians, and their Small Group leaders to walk through this pivotal time together. Learn more here.

High school. Highrock’s High School Youth Group comprises rising 9th graders through 12th graders (adolescents about 14 years old through 17 years old). The high school years can be both formative and turbulent. It is our desire that—in the midst of all the challenges and changes—students continue to grow in their personal and communal relationships with God, the church, and one another. Learn more here.

Youth Internships   Highrock MetroWest volunteer youth internships for 2023-24. The program involves both service to the church and 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 .

Voices of Reentry: Documentary Screening

Highrock Beyond Bars is hosting a screening of the documentary Voices of Re-Entry. The 40-minute screening is followed by a conversation with Kim Yeasir, CEO of Thrive Communities and a formerly incarcerated member of our community. This is an opportunity to be introduced to Highrock Beyond Bars and some of the issues around mass incarceration. Learn more here.

Ways to Go Deeper!

More Ways to Go Deeper!

New Groups! We have newly formed Highrock MetroWest small groups. Contact Pastor Taylor for more information.

Daily (M -Th) Devotional Group for Anyone with Pastor Ryan Marshall.

Highrock MetroWest Thursday Men’s Group

Find Daily Devos, Highrock sermons, Highrock Online, and more on your favorite platform! Search for “Highrock Church.” Examples: Spotify, YouTube.

HRMW Feedback Form

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

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