11.16.14 Worship Confessional

kingdomofgodseries-e1344704455581Jesus is making this world, his world.

That was the reminder that Dave Bindewald, our Director of Spiritual Formation shared with us yesterday as our series on “The Kingdom of God continued. In Luke 17:20-21, we read:

Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” (NKJV)

While this may sound like the kingdom is an exclusively personally reality, the truth is that Jesus demonstrated that the kingdom had drawn near by exerting his authority over demons (Mark 1:21-28), disease (Mark 1:40-45) and even death (Mark 5:35-42). And because Jesus is the one who brings the kingdom near, we must never forget that:

  1. The Kingdom Is Not Dependent Upon Me
  2. Ultimately, Nothing Can Separate Us from the Kingdom

One note about our gathering yesterday: while on occasion we have issues with the air conditioning being too cold, yesterday we had no heat in our worship space (and it was about 30 degrees outside). First world problems. Our community worshiped with coats on, we cut one song to tighten up the time but all in all, God was glorified!

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Your Love Never Fails (Chris McClarney and Anthony Skinner)
  • Mighty to Dave (Hillsong)
  • Kingdom Come (Elevation Worship – deleted due to cold)
  • Psalm 103
  • 10,000 Reasons (Matt Redman)
  • Unison Prayer of Thanksgiving
  • WE Video
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (The Kingdom of God)
  • My Father’s World (Jadon Lavik)

You can learn what other communities of faith experienced in worship this weekend at The Worship Community.

Stay connected…

11.09.14 Worship Confessional

slide-62Today, Dave Bindewald,  our director of Spiritual Formation, continued our series on “The Kingdom of God” by exploring the words of Jesus found in Mark 10:

“People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” (Mark 10:13-16)

Jesus uses many different images when teaching about the kingdom and one of the most memorable is that of a child. Children exhibit a sense of dependence and trust that reflects the kind of relationship God seeks to have with God’s people, young and old alike.

What do you think are the marks of a child-like faith?

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • O This God (Matt Redman)
  • The Rock Won’t Move (Vertical Worship)
  • Kingdom Come (Elevation Church)
  • Video: I’ll Need You (Sermon Spice)
  • Like a Child (Jars of Clay)
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (Like a Child)
  • Jesus Love Me (Chris Tomlin)

You can learn what other communities of  faith experienced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.

Stay connected…

11.02.14 Worship Confessional

Slide1What was the central message of Jesus?

How to get to heaven when you die? Monday? Power? Sexuality? How to live a moral life? A blessed life? A prosperous life?

Of all the topics Jesus could have addressed as he began his public ministry, I find it significant that the first thing that Jesus spoke of was the kingdom of God. In Mark 1, we find these words:

“After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:14-15)

What did Jesus mean when he used this phrase, “the kingdom of God?” Does…

Kingdom = Heaven
Kingdom = Church
Kingdom = Salvation
Kingdom = Justice

What do you think Jesus meant when he spoke of the kingdom of God?

I love how my friend Darren Grove describes the kingdom:

The kingdom of God is the present and progressive reign of Christ, working with and through us, with incredible power, to defeat sin, brokenness, and corruption, and to bring truth, beauty, goodness, justice, and abundance (shalom), to every area of culture, through our everyday work, to the world.

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Praise the Invisible (Daniel Bashta)
  • Psalm 145
  • Hosanna (Paul Baloche)
  • Because of Your Love (Paul Baloche)
  • Psalm 145
  • Jesus Love Me (Chris Tomlin)
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (The Kingdom of God)
  • Kingdom Come (Elevation Worship)
  • The Lord’s Prayer

You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.

Stay connected..

10.26.14 Worship Confessional

morelessDon’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. (James 1:16-18)

This morning we concluded our series, “More and Less” by exploring a sacramental life. While varying expressions of the church have differed on how many sacraments there actually are, I would argue that we need more rather than less – sometimes more is better!

Barbara Brown Taylor, in her book, An Altar in the World writes:

“People encounter God under shady oak trees, on riverbanks, at the tops of mountains, and in long stretches of barren wilderness. God shows up in whirlwinds, starry skies, burning bushes, and perfect strangers. When people want to know more about God, the son of God tells them to pay attention to the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, to women kneading bread and workers lining up for their pay. Whoever wrote this stuff believed that people could learn as much about the ways of God from paying attention to the world as they could from paying attention to scripture. What is true is what happens, even if what happens is not always right. People can learn as much about the ways of God from business deals gone bad or sparrows falling to the ground as they can from reciting the books of the Bible in order. They can learn as much from a love affair or a wildflower as they can from knowing the Ten Commandments by heart.”

How can we begin to live a sacramental life – not only in the sanctuary on Sunday, but throughout our everyday, ordinary lives? Here are three practices you might want to begin to explore:

  1. Be Present
  2. Pay Attention
  3. Pronounce Blessing

Here is our complete worship flow:

You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.

Stay connected…

10.19.14 Worship Confessional

moreless Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:3-6)

This morning we continued our series, More and Less by exploring the sacrament of baptism. While the Apostle Paul wrote to the early church that there is “one Lord, one faith and one baptism,” the sad reality is that throughout church history, rather than unifying the Body of Christ, the sacrament of baptism might instead be called, “the waters that divide.”

Allow me to make mention of two elements of our worship gathering. The first is a new song from Chris Tomlin, Rebuen Morgan and Ben Glover called “Jesus Loves Me.” This is a potent and highly personal song of affirmation and you can learn more about the backstory of the song and enjoy an acoustic performance at New Song Cafe.

The second element was a brief liturgy designed to help our community remember their baptisms and be thankful. In crafting this liturgy, I drew from a number of sources and our goal was to help our community experience afresh in a tangible way, the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

What do the words, “remember your baptism and be thankful” stir within you?

Here is the liturgy:

Remembering Our Baptism
Leader: We are taught that in baptism we are welcomed into the family and household of God, raised to new life in Christ and nurtured in the Holy Spirit.  In response to the call of Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit, many of you have given yourself to God through profession of faith and baptism. We share in the story of God’s mighty acts of salvation, and we receive new birth through water and the Spirit. These are the gifts of God, offered freely to all. Let us renew the covenant declared at our baptism, acknowledging what God is doing in, through, and for us, and affirming our commitment to Christ’s holy Church.

All: Holy God, we thank you for the gift of water. Over it your Spirit hovered at the creation of the world. Through it you led the children of Israel out of bondage and into the Promised Land. In the fullness of time you sent Jesus, who was nurtured in the water of Mary’s womb. And in it, Jesus was baptized and recognized as your beloved child.

Leader: We thank you for the water of Baptism. In it we are buried, sharing in Christ’s death. By it we share also in Christ’s resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the power of the Holy Spirit as your sons and daughters. Now bless this water, we pray, by the power of your Holy Spirit. May it remind us that we have been cleansed from sin and born again into new life, that we may remain faithful until we are united with you in the life to come. Amen.

I invite you join in the renewal of your baptismal vows.

Do you in the presence of God and this community of faith desire to renew the promises, which you made or were made for you at your baptism? (I do).

Do you renounce evil and seek to walk in the life of faith as a person who trusts in God alone for life, strength and salvation? (I do).

Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Savior of the world; and do you declare him Lord of your life? (I do).

Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ? (I will, with God’s help).

Will you see and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself? (I will, with God’s help).

All: We come out of many traditions. We have confessed many understandings of baptism: sacrament, symbol, sign. Some of us were baptized before we remembe r.Others only later when we said, “I believe.” Whether immersed, poured upon or sprinkled, it is your action, gracious God, which defines our baptism. Having put off the old nature, we have been clothed with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female. For we all are one in Christ Jesus – your sons and daughters through faith, heirs to the promise. Old things have passed away. Behold, you make all things new.

Leader: This rite is an ancient way to recall for us of the gracious act of God by which we enter into Christ, are raised to walk in newness of life, and become a part of God’s family.  During this song, you are invited to come to one of the stations at each side of the church to touch the water, remember your baptism and be thankful.

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Our Great God (Fernado Ortega)
  • Psalm 62
  • Salvation IS Here (Hillsong)
  • You Alone Can Rescue (Matt Redman)
  • Unison Prayer of Thanksgiving
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (More and Less: Baptism)
  • Remembering our Baptism
  • Jesus Loves Me (Chris Tomlin)
  • Benediction

You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.

Stay connected…