Preparing for Worship – Dec 15

from Mark Hoffman

Joy to the world

The Lord is come!

This third Sunday of Advent, we gather to worship with JOY.  We worship because the Lord Jesus Christ has indeed come into the world bringing the joy that comes with grace, forgiveness and reconciliation.

We begin this week singing Angels We Have Heard On High and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Jo Suiter will light this week’s Advent candle representing JOY, and we will respond singing O Come All Ye Faithful, which calls us to come “joyful and triumphant” to worship and adore our Savior.

Pastor Justin MacKinnon will pray for and dismiss our children to Meadows’ Kids Children’s Church (all kids ages 4yrs through 4th grade are invited) as well as preview for us the upcoming course offerings for our Know-Love-Become Hour in the new year.  As we prepare to worship through our regular time of Giving, Kevin Kloker will come to give us an update on “First Wave” gifts and year-end giving.

We are pleased again to have our own Lucas Hagen preach the Word this week, continuing our Advent teaching series God’s Promise from Isaiah 9:1-7 with a message entitled “Everlasting Father.”

Closing our time of  gathered worship, we once again respond with joy as we sing Joy to the World.

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Dec 8

from Mark Hoffman

Son of God,

Love’s pure light…

This week is the second Sunday of Advent and our theme is LOVE.  We see the love of God on display in Jesus Christ — the Wonderful Counselor and Mighty God who took on flesh, being born as a humble baby in a stable, and bringing hope and salvation into a world of sin and despair.

We begin our worship this week singing more songs of the season: Angels From the Realms of Glory and Away in a Manger.  We will light the second Advent candle representing LOVE and respond together, singing Silent Night and a new song, He Shall Reign Forevermore.

After we pray for and dismiss children to Meadows’ Kids Children’s Church (all kids ages 4yrs through 4th grade are invited), we continue in worship through our regular time of Giving. Pastor Andrew then continues his Advent teaching series God’s Promise, once again focusing on the identity of Jesus found in Isaiah 9:1-7 with a message entitled “Mighty God.”

He Shall Reign Forevermore is our closing response of worship to this Mighty God:

Here within a manger lies the One

Who made the starry skies

This baby born for sacrifice

Christ the Messiah

Into our hopes into our fears

The Savior of the world appears

The promise of eternal years

Christ the Messiah

And He shall reign forevermore

Forevermore

I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday…

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Dec 1

from Mark Hoffman

This week marks the beginning of the Advent season!  Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas and marks the beginning of the traditional liturgical church calendar. This is a time of anticipation as we look forward to celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ on Christmas.  As believers in Him, this anticipation is mingled with the knowledge that He did come as promised in Scripture long ago; and He came into the world bringing the hope of salvation and forgiveness through faith in Him.

This week we enter into the anticipation and hope of Advent as we sing Come Thou Long Expected Jesus and It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.  After we light our first Advent candle this week (representing HOPE), our response is the song of hope and expectation, O Come Emmanuel.

Pastor Andrew then begins our Advent teaching series God’s Promise with a message from Isaiah 9:1-7 entitled “Wonderful Counselor.”

The first Sunday of every month at MCF we remember Jesus through the taking of Communion. At MCF, we invite all believers in Jesus Christ to participate in this expression of our faith together. Please hold the bread and the cup when they are passed so that we may take them together as an expression of the fellowship that we share in Him. Our response is to declare the Hope we have in Jesus as we sing In Christ Alone.

I look forward to seeing you on this first Sunday of Advent!

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Nov 24

from Mark Hoffman

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
   to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
   and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
   to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
   at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

Psalm 92:1-4

Happy Thanksgiving! Celebrating Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to reflect on all of God’s blessings and to respond with gratitude to Him each year.  As good as it is to set aside this one day a year, the weekly rhythm of our gathered worship is no different, for God calls us to come together regularly to remember Him and thank Him for who He is and all He has done for us. This week we enter into worship in this frame of mind, beginning with Psalm 92, a song which expresses the very words of the thanksgiving Psalm for which it is named. We will greet one another in our Fellowship Greeting time, and then continue praising God for his faithfulness as we sing 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) and Great Is Thy Faithfulness.

We will pray over our children as we dismiss them to our “Meadows’ Kids” children’s church program (all kids 4yrs through 4th grade are invited!) and, after our regular time of Giving, Pastor Andrew will explain how we as a church will be focusing our attention on Christ this Advent season. Advent devotional materials will be available to all, so make sure to pick up a copy!

Pastor Andrew’s message, “Minutes, Moments and Milestones” will center on family discipleship as seen in Deuteronomy 6. Our closing response, Love the Lord, echoes the call to God’s people to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

See you on Sunday!

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Nov 16

from Mark Hoffman

Let our praise be Your welcome
Let our songs be a sign
We are here for You
We are here for You
 
As we come together for worship this week, we come into the presence of our great and awesome God to acknowledge that we are His people and we are here for Him! We come before Him with praise on our lips singing Here for You, All Creatures of Our God and King and Hosanna.

This week is a special Family Fellowship Sunday as we gather to celebrate all that God is doing in our church through our Catch the Wave vision initiative and capital campaign. This week’s regular time of Giving will be the final opportunity for us to turn in our Catch the Wave pledge cards. After Family Fellowship Celebrations and a special Kids’ Time (children will remain in the service this week), Pastor Andrew will wrap up his Catch the Wave series with a message from 2 Corinthians 9:12-15 entitled “Catching God’s Wave – Celebration.”

We close our service with praise and celebration as we sing How Great Is Our God and Let the Praises Ring.  Stick around for the Surf’s Up Celebration following the service!

See you on Sunday!

Mark


Preparing for Worship – Nov 10

from Mark Hoffman

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised…
We have thought on your steadfast love, O God,
   in the midst of your temple.
As your name, O God,
   so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.  
Psalm 48:1,9-10

 
Our God is great and He deserves great praise! As we come together to praise Him this week — singing How Great Thou Art, Your Love Awakens Me and At the Cross (Your Love Ran Red)— we do so as a response of worship to the greatness of our God and for the steadfast love that He has shown to us in Jesus Christ.  The Lord has knit us together as a Fellowship so that we can love, encourage, care for and build one another up. As we do these things (and more!) we bring glory and honor to Christ and show His love to a world in desperate need of it.  This is what “fellowship” is all about. So this week, we want to honor and thank our Veterans in observance of Veterans Day.  We will pray over our children as we dismiss them to Meadows’ Kids Children’s Church (all kids 4yrs through 4th grade are invited!)  And we will also pray for God’s blessing as we send off Thanksgiving baskets to be distributed to needy families in our community.  After our regular time of Giving, Pastor Andrew will continue his Catch the Wave series of messages with a sermon from 2 Corinthians 9:8-11 entitled “God’s Wave – Faithfulness.”
 
Our closing response is one of faith and dedication as we sing Build My Life.

I look forward to gathering as a fellowship to worship the Lord together…

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Nov 3

from Mark Hoffman

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,

to sing praises to your name, O Most High;

to declare your steadfast love in the morning…

Psalm 92

This is why we gather in worship… to thank and praise the Lord for the incredible love and grace that He has shown to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Such worship, says the Psalmist, is good.  It’s good because it’s just the right thing to do; God deserves our thanks and praise!  It’s also good because such worship literally is good for us as we come into the Lord’s presence to encounter him through his Spirit and his Word and to be built up in our faith.

This week, we approach God in this same attitude of worship as we sing Come Thou Fount Come Thou King.  The song O Come To The Altar prepares and invites us to come to the Communion table. At MCF, we invite all believers in Jesus Christ to join in this act of remembrance and faith. Following this remembrance of the body and blood of Jesus, we respond together to declare that He is no longer dead, but that Christ Is Risen.

We will pray for and dismiss all children ages 4yrs through 4th grade to Meadows’ Kids Children’s Church followed by our regular time of Giving. Pastor Andrew then continues in his Catch the Wave series of messages with a sermon from 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 entitled “Catching God’s Wave – Cheerfulness.” Our closing response together will be to sing in worship to our Good Good Father.

Remember, worship is a good thing! I look forward to seeing you on Sunday…

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Oct 27

from Mark Hoffman

You have said, “Seek my face.”

My heart says to you,

   “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” — Psalm 27:8

This small verse of Scripture is an amazing picture of worship.  The Lord calls out to us, inviting us to seek after Him, and the heart of the true worshiper responds with a willingness to seek after the Lord, trusting in faith that He will be found.

This week, we read these words from Psalm 27 and respond in the same way, coming into the presence of the Lord and seeking Him together in worship as we sing Open Up the Heavens and Be Thou My Vision. As we encounter the Lord together, we are built up in faith as a fellowship of people called to seek Him. The song This I Believe gives us an expression of the faith we have through Christ as we are “rooted and built up in it” together (Colossians 2:6-7).

Since it is the last Sunday of the month, it is a Family Fellowship Sunday! This is our special time each month when all ages intentionally worship together. (Nursery and Toddler ministry is still available.) During our regular Giving time, we will also be collecting for our Benevolent Fund, which we use to help those who are currently in need, both within our fellowship and in our community. (Please remember to designate your gift when giving electronically or use the special Benevolent envelope when you drop your gift in the offering plate.) Family Fellowship Sunday also gives us an opportunity to share in Family Fellowship Celebrations as well as a special Kids’ Time.

Pastor Andrew continues in his Catch the Wave series this week with a message from 2 Corinthians 9:1-5 entitled “Catching God’s Wave – Willingness.”

We close our time of worship with an expression of our willingness to join God in all that He is doing as we sing Build Your Kingdom Here.

See you on Sunday!

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Oct 20

from Mark Hoffman

I am the Lord your God,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
the Lord of hosts is his name.
And I have put my words in your mouth
   and covered you in the shadow of my hand,
establishing the heavens
   and laying the foundations of the earth,
   and saying to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”
These verses from
Isaiah 51:15-16 paint a picture for us of a mighty and sovereign God. This is the Lord our God who claims us as his people, protects us with his power, and gives us his words to speak.  At MCF, we have chosen this passage of Scripture to represent what we are calling “Catch the Wave” — our vision for riding the waves of kingdom multiplication that God is stirring up among us.
 
This week we begin our time of worship by entering the presence of the Lord together to worship him for all that we see described in these verses – his power, his protection, his provision, his grace, and so much more.  We will sing Great Are You Lord, You Are Holy (Prince of Peace) and You Gave Your Life Awayas our shared expression of worship to him.
 
Here at Meadows, we love and value kids!  That is why we treasure the opportunity to include them in our worship gathering as well as to provide a separate time of kid-friendly worship and Bible teaching for them during the service. We will pray for and dismiss all children ages 4yrs through 4th grade to Meadows’ Kids children’s church followed by our regular time of Giving. Pastor Andrew then continues in his Catch the Wave series of messages with a sermon from 2 Corinthians 8:16-24 entitled “Catching God’s Wave – Action.”  Our response in song will be to offer to God all that we are and all that we have as we sing Take My Life and Let It Be.

This week’s worship leaders are Auggie and Cherrie Ulep.

See you on Sunday!  –Mark



Preparing for Worship – Oct 13

from Mark Hoffman

Last week, Pastor Andrew challenged us to consider the working of God’s grace in our lives. We saw from Scripture that it is God’s desire to transform us by His grace from the inside out — first by shaping our hearts, and then by causing that inner transformation of grace to overflow into how we live, love, and give.

This gracious transformation through Jesus Christ leads to thanksgiving and joy… and it is also profoundly humbling. For as we “give ourselves to the Lord” (2 Cor. 8:5) we recognize how much we fall short and how desperately we depend on Christ’s work in us to shape us to be the people He wants us to be — people who will reflect His glory, goodness, and grace to a darkened world in need of a Savior.

This week in our worship, Scripture from Romans 3:23-24 and 6:23 will remind us of our total dependence on Christ.  Our response as a fellowship will be to come to Christ in song, expressing our need for Him and committing ourselves to Him as we sing Come Ye Sinners, Lord I Need You and Christ Is Enough.

In addition, we are pleased to have missionaries Mark & Carol Kohl joining us for an update.  

Pastor Andrew then continues in his Catch the Wave series of messages with a sermon from 2 Corinthians 8:8-15 entitled “Catching God’s Wave – Perspective.”  It is with a sense of deep desire and renewed readiness to “do the work of grace” that we respond by singing Living For Your Glory.As always, I look forward to gathering as a Fellowship in worship on Sunday!

Mark