Preparing For Worship – June 23

from Mark Hoffman

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
   Serve the Lord with gladness!
   Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
   It is he who made us, and we are his;
   we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
   and his courts with praise!
   Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
   his steadfast love endures forever,
   and his faithfulness to all generations.

These words from Psalm 100 call us to come together this week to sing joyful praise to our God!  Not only is this our Family Fellowship Sunday, but it’s also the final “70’s” Sunday in our Faith Through the Decades series. Beginning with the song Build Your Kingdom Here, we will then continue in worship with songs from that decade. He Has Made Me Glad leads us into our reading of Psalm 100 together, followed by Father I Adore You and I Love You Lord.

During our regular Giving time, we will be collecting for our Benevolent Fund, which we use to help those within our fellowship and in our community who are currently in need.  Following our “Family Fellowship Celebrations” and a special Kids’ Time.

Pastor Andrew continues our “Faith Through the Decades” teaching series, this week focusing on Psalm 78 with a message entitled “History Lessons”.  Our response in worship will be Glorify Thy Name.

Come for the worship, stay for the picnic!  I look forward to seeing you on Sunday…

Mark



Preparing for Worship – June 17

 

from Mark Hoffman

In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel.

His abode has been established in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion. 

As we hear these opening words from Psalm 76, we are reminded of how God’s people looked at God in their worship.  While they stood in awe of God’s greatness, they also declared that they knew Him, because He had chosen a dwelling place among them. For us today, this is especially true. We gather to worship the same great and holy God, who has made Himself known to us through Jesus Christ, and dwells among us in the presence of His Spirit.

This week, we enter into worship declaring the greatness of our God as we sing The Lion And The Lamb.  After we take a few moments to welcome one another (Romans 15:5-7) we will continue to seek the presence and power of Christ as we sing Open Up The Heavens.  The song Open Our Eyes continues to express this desire to seek the Lord in our worship, and also moves us into this week’s 70’s testimony from.

Following our regular time of Giving, Pastor Andrew continues our “Faith Through the Decades” series focusing on Psalm 76 with a message entitled “A Song of War”.

The picture of the Lord that is painted in Psalm 76 is one of a God who both judges and saves; a God who is to be feared and a God who chooses to dwell among His people, to be known by them. In response to this truth of God, our closing expression of worship is to sing and proclaim How Great Is Our God.

I look forward to worshiping our great God together with you on Sunday!

Mark



Preparing for Worship – June 9

 

from Mark Hoffman

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, 

who alone does wondrous things.

Blessed be his glorious name forever;

   may the whole earth be filled with his glory!

Amen and Amen!

 These are the words that close Psalm 72, and we lift them up together as words of praise to our glorious God who alone does wondrous things!  We continue to “bless the Lord” as we sing Blessed Be Your Name and Holy Is the Lord. The song I Love You Lord expresses our love and devotion to God and also moves us into this week’s 70’s testimony from Susan Herold.

This summer will be the 5th year of Inspiration Studio! This original and gospel-focused art & music camp is growing each summer and having an impact on kids in our church and in our community. This week we will spotlight Inspiration Studio and the many things to be excited about as well as the many needs to be filled in order to make the camp a success. Please be praying about how you can help!

Following our regular time of Giving, Pastor Andrew begins the “Faith Through the Decades” series focusing on Psalm 73 with a message entitled “Near to God”.

We close by singing to our Everlasting God; drawing near to Him and making Him our refuge that we may go out into the week ahead and tell of all His works. (Psalm 73:28).

This week’s worship leader is Jim Herold. Take time this weekend to prepare your heart for the kind of worship and fellowship that glorifies God and builds up His church!

— Mark



Preparing for Worship – June 2

 

from Mark Hoffman

It’s summer at MCF! Not only are we changing our Sunday worship service time (9:30am throughout the summer) but we are also kicking off what we hope will be a fresh and meaningful worship and teaching series that we are calling “Faith Through the Decades.”  Each month will have a “decade” theme, and all of June will be the 70’s! Pastor Andrew will be preaching from the Psalms throughout the month of June and all of the Psalms will be from “the 70’s” starting this week with Psalm 71. As the month progresses, we will also have a chance to sing a few of the more meaningful and memorable worship songs from that time and hear faith stories from people within our fellowship related to that decade.

As we begin our time of worship this week, we are reminded again of Colossians 3, which calls us to set our minds on heavenly things above, where the Lord Jesus Christ reigns and is our all in all.  Our singing will reflect this desire to seek Christ as we sing How Great Thou Art and Christ Is Enough.  Glorify Thy Name expresses our love and devotion to God and also moves us into this week’s 70’s testimony from Ben and Kim Prasad.
Following our regular time of

Giving, Pastor Andrew begins the “Faith Through the Decades” series focusing on Psalm 71 with a message entitled “Generation to Generation”.

At MCF, we observe communion on the first Sunday of the month. This is a time when all believers in Jesus Christ are invited to express our faith together as we remember the Savior’s body and blood given for us on the cross. 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 Jesus.

We close in response by praising our faithful God (Psalm 71:22) as we sing You Never Let Go.

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday at 9:30am for worship!

Mark



Preparing for Worship – May 26

from Mark Hoffman

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Here in Colossians 4:2-6, Paul begins to wrap up his letter to the church with these instructions.  We can see a somewhat “directional” focus emerge from these words of Paul: Upward focus toward God; Inward focus toward the church; Outward focus toward a world in need of Jesus. And all of this is grounded in prayer.

This week’s worship service is what we call a “Prayer Sunday”.  This is a time when we create extended space in our worship gathering for prayer in a variety of ways.  For this Prayer Sunday, we will be guided by the Upward-Inward-Outward direction implied by Paul in Colossians 4.  We will have opportunity to “pray upward” by offering praise and thanksgiving to God.  We will “pray inward” for our fellowship as we lift up one another’s written prayer requests to the Lord. We will “pray outward” as we ask the Lord for opportunities to live out our mission of helping people to know, love and become like Jesus Christ.

Woven through our time of prayer are songs that will help point us in the same directions as our prayers:  Good Good Father, This Is Amazing Grace, Amazing Grace, The Wonderful Cross, Take My Life and Let It Be, and I Will Follow.

Since it’s the last Sunday of the month, this Prayer Sunday is also our Family Fellowship Sunday when all ages intentionally worship together. (Nursery and Toddler ministry is still available.) Our worship time will reflect this emphasis on fellowship, including “Family Fellowship Celebrations” and a special Kids’ Time. During our regular Giving time, we will be collecting for our Benevolent Fund, which we use to help those within our fellowship and in our community who are currently in need.

This Prayer Sunday, let’s worship and “continue steadfastly in prayer…..” Together.

Mark



Preparing for Worship – May 19

from Mark Hoffman

This week we gather as a fellowship on what we are calling “Disability Awareness Sunday.” This is an opportunity for us to highlight our Caring Friends ministry, to intentionally worship together with all of our Caring Friends and to celebrate all that God is doing in the lives of people with disabilities in our church and our community.

We begin by praising the Lord together as we sing 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) and Great Are You Lord.  We are also pleased to welcome the Misericordia Choir as they will continue to lead us in worship.  Following a Caring Friends update from Sharon Rickerson, all children ages 5 yrs through 6th grade are invited to attend Children’s Church for a time of kid-friendly worship and Bible teaching.

We will worship the Lord through our regular time of Giving, and then through media, live testimony and a short devotional message from Pastor Andrew, we will explore 5 stages of attitude and engagement with people with disabilities, and how the Scripture informs our attitudes and actions.

We close our time of worship together proclaiming our shared faith in the Lord as we sing This I Believe.

See you on Sunday!

Mark



Preparing for Worship – May 12

from Mark Hoffman

Throughout the Psalms, which is the prayer and worship book of the Bible, God’s people are repeatedly instructed to express worship to the name of the Lord. We are to sing praises to His name, exult in His name, trust in His name, ascribe glory to His name, give thanks to His name, fear His name, call upon His name, seek His name, bless His name.  In the Bible, a name had much significance attached to it.  A person’s name was inextricably linked with the person himself.  The name reflects the reality of his reputation, his rank and his category. The name represents his authority, his power, and his character.  A name was considered in every way to represent the real person, and this is especially true of the Lord.

So, we come this week to lift up in worship the name of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.  We praise Him for His greatness and his authority, and we glorify Him for His character and His saving power.  Psalm 135:1-3 calls us to this, and we respond to this call as we sing All Hail the Power of Jesus Name, Hallelujah To My King and What a Beautiful Name.

Pastor Andrew will continue his Resurrection Reality series from Colossians 3:16-4:1.

As we close our time of worship, we sing The Name of Jesus, being sent out to live our lives so that “whatever we do, whether in word or deed, we would do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

See you on Sunday!

Mark



Preparing for Worship – May 5

 

from Mark Hoffman

As we gather this week, Psalm 100 calls us to worship this way:

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!

Serve the Lord with gladness!

Come into his presence with singing!

What a wonderful invitation from God to us!  His desire is for us to come into His very presence with joy and gladness, singing in response to His steadfast love and faithfulness.  So this week, we come together once again as a fellowship to accept this gracious invitation from God to worship Him.  We begin by reading Psalm 100  together, and expressing our desire to meet the Lord in worship as we sing Open Up the Heavens. The beautiful hymn Be Thou My Vision continues this expressed desire that we would seek the Lord above all else, and You Are Holy (Prince of Peace) perfectly captures the spirit of worship described in Psalm 100. The “doxology” found in Jude 24-25 will wrap up this portion of our worship together.

Pastor Andrew continues his Resurrection Reality series from Colossians 3:12-15.

At MCF, we observe communion on the first Sunday of the month.  This is a time when all believers in Jesus Christ are invited to express our faith together as we remember the Savior’s body and blood given for us on the cross. 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 Jesus.

As we sing Man of Sorrows, we close by lifting praise and honor to Jesus Christ, the One who took the cross on our behalf and rose again that we might have new life in Him.

See you on Sunday!

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Apr 28

 

from Mark Hoffman

“If then you have been raised with Christ…”

The resurrection of Jesus Christ has huge implications for us.  The resurrected life of Christ paves the way for resurrection life in Christ.  Our sins died with Him on the cross and we are raised to new life in Him.  Living in this “resurrection reality” means that everything now is different – it is new and it is from God; our lives are transformed.

We begin our worship together praising the Lord for the truth of the resurrection as we sing Christ Is Risen.  Praying together from Colossians 3:1-4, we acknowledge that the resurrection changes everything, and that we desire to live out the new life that God has given to us in Christ. Our response together in song will be Christ Is Enough and Build Your Kingdom Here.

During our regular Giving time, we will be collecting for our Benevolent Fund, which we use to help those within our fellowship and in our community who are currently in need. Please give generously as you are led by the Lord.

It’s also the last Sunday of the month, which means it is our Family Fellowship Sunday when all ages intentionally worship together. (Nursery and Toddler ministry is still available.) This also means we have a special Kids’ Time during the service, followed by Pastor Andrew’s message as he continues to look at Resurrection Reality from Colossians 3:5-11.

This passage challenges us to live out our new life in Christ; He is all, and He is all we need. So we conclude our worship singing Christ Is Enough, renewing our dedication to follow Christ this week as we live the new and abundant life that we have in Him.

Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them.”  Let’s come together and encounter the living Christ, who is our life and our all in all. See you on Sunday…

Mark


Preparing for Worship – Apr 21

 

from Mark Hoffman

This week as we gather as a fellowship, we hear and respond to this call to worship from Psalm 105:1-4…

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!

Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!

Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

Here, in just a handful of verses from the Psalms, we have a description of rich and meaningful worship. There is thanksgiving, prayer, testimony, singing, rejoicing, seeking the Lord’s presence… and we want to engage in all of these in our worship as well!

So, we begin by reading Psalm 105:1-4 and seeking the presence and power of the living Christ as we sing How Marvelous and Open Up The Heavens.

Then, we have an opportunity to “make known his deeds among the peoples” through a time of Testimonies. On Easter Sunday, Pastor Andrew explained numerous evidences in support of the resurrection of Jesus. Some of the most compelling evidences are the personal experiences, those real life encounters people have with the living Christ. What is your own personal experience with Jesus? How has Jesus changed your life? Where have you seen Christ at work in your life recently? Please come prepared to glorify God with your own testimony to the power of Jesus in your life. Our response is to rejoice in the power of Christ as we sing What a Beautiful Name.

Pastor Andrew begins a preaching series in the book of Colossians called Resurrection Reality.  His message this week, “Raised With Christ”, will focus on Colossians 3:1-4.

We close by again singing Open Up The Heavens, as we leave to start the week ready to “seek the things that are above, where Christ is…”

I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday!

Mark