Preparing for Worship – Feb 14

from Mark Hoffman

Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,

singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart. Ephesians 5:18-19
 
 
This week in our worship, we begin by proclaiming the gospel to one another in song with Nailed to the Cross. Then, continuing in response to Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 5:18-19, we will sing Hymn of the Holy Spirit and His Mercy Is More.
 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) and a few brief announcements, we are excited to have one of our Elders, Bill Buchanan, continue our Built Together sermon series with a message from Ephesians 5:18-33. Responding to the Word of God and to the example we have in Jesus Christ, we will sing You Gave Your Life Away. Closing out our time together we will worship through Giving and in prayer, and will be sent out with a Benediction.
 
You can prepare for gathered worship by familiarizing yourself with the Scripture and songs above. Be in prayer for Bill, for the worship team, and for all who will be leading this week in worship. Pray that we all would be willing to live out God’s Word as the church gathered on Sunday and as the church scattered the other six days of the week!
 
Also, you can begin preparing for worship during the Easter season by picking up a devotional guide at the Welcome Center. “The Cross” is a devotional guide that can be used as a 10-day devotional leading up to Easter OR as an 8-week Lent plan starting the week of Feb 23rd. It’s suitable for personal study or in groups, and features various devotional writers as they focus on the message of Christ’s cross and resurrection. You can check out a preview here
 
I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday…

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Feb 7

from Mark Hoffman

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  Ephesians 5:1-2 

 

We open our time of worship this week with a call to Rejoice. It is because of the love and salvation that is in our Lord Jesus Christ that we gather in worship and respond with a rejoicing that begins in our hearts and overflows in song. (Psalm 13:5-6) As we hear the words of Ephesians 5:1-2 further pointing us to the love and salvation that is found in Jesus, our response together is How Marvelous and One Thing Remains.

 

Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) and a few brief announcements, Pastor Andrew continues our Built Together sermon series with a message from Ephesians 5:1-17. Our response to this passage of Scripture is to proclaim together in song that Christ Is Mine Forevermore. Concluding our time of worship is a time of Giving, prayer, and a Benediction.
 

As you prepare your heart and mind for gathered worship this week, prayerfully take in the meaning of the Scriptures above and familiarize yourself with the message of the songs we’ll sing together. Come ready to rejoice in all that Christ has done, and to receive and respond to all that the Lord has to say to us through his Word. 

 

I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday…

 

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Jan. 31

from Mark Hoffman

We begin this week by entering into worshipful conversation with the living God, setting a prayer to music as we sing Come Thou Fount Come Thou King. Then we will hear from the Lord through his Word as we read today’s sermon text from Ephesians 4:25-32. The fact that we have “put away falsehood” implies that we have, in its place, taken hold of the truth of Jesus. So it is the truth of the gospel, then, and the life found in him that becomes the basis for all that we do. We will proclaim and celebrate the truth of the gospel in song with And Can It Be and Grace Greater Than Our Sin
 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) a 7&8 retreat recap, and a few brief announcements, Pastor Andrew will continue our Built Together sermon series with message from Ephesians 4:25-32. The truth of God’s Word will lead us to respond through the taking of communion, and in song with Jesus Paid It All. Concluding our time of worship is a time of Giving, prayer, and a Benediction.
 

Find a time and place this weekend to prepare for gathered worship. Slowly take in the truth of Ephesians 4:25-32. Familiarize yourself with the message of the songs we’ll sing together. Prayerfully prepare your heart to remember the Lord in communion. Let’s all come ready to meet with the living God in worship and to bring him glory in all that we do!

See you on Sunday…

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Jan 24

from Mark Hoffman

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and all that is within me,

bless his holy name!

Psalm 103:1
 
As we gather this week, we’ll begin by praising the Lord, singing This Is Amazing Grace. Then, as we proclaim the message of Psalm 103 together, we’ll begin to see more reasons why we are called to bless the Lord in our worship. The Lord forgives us. He is loving and compassionate towards us. He heals us, he redeems us, and he satisfies us with good. Basking in the truth of who God is and all that he does for us, we respond together in song with 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) and Lord I Need You.  
 
 
After we invite our kids up front for a special Kids’ Time (toddlers will be dismissed at this time and all other kids will remain in the service) and following a few brief announcements, Mark Hoffman will be preaching this week as we continue our Built Together sermon series with a message from Ephesians 4:17-24. Our response to God’s Word together is Who You Say I Am. And finally, following a time of Giving and prayer, we are excited to close our service with Baptisms! (And don’t forget to stay for lunch and our business meeting, too.)
 
 
Please pray for our time together on Sunday. Pray that the Lord would strengthen and enable all those leading and serving during the service as well as our business meeting. Prepare your own heart and mind for worship by finding time to prayerfully reflect on the Scripture and songs above. Pray that Christ would be exalted and glorified in all that we do.
 

See you on Sunday!

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Jan 17

from Mark Hoffman

 

…we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body,
joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly,
makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Ephesians 4:15-16
 
We gather this week as the Body of Christ to honor and worship Him! We will begin in song with Here For You and His Mercy Is More. Then, as these verses in Ephesians bring to mind our purpose as Christ’s body, we will respond with a Fellowship Greeting time and in a song of praise, Living Hope.
 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) and a few brief announcements, Pastor Andrew will continue our Built Together sermon series with a message from Ephesians 4:1-16. Our response to the truth of Scripture is to sing Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me. Closing out our time together we will worship through Giving and in prayer, and will be sent out with a Benediction.
 

Take some time to reflect on the Scripture and songs above. Let’s all prepare to gather in worship this week as the body of Christ, being built up in love, and “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:3) 

See you on Sunday!

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Jan 10

from Mark Hoffman

We worship a great God who has done great things! As we gather in worship this week, we will lift our voices in praise to our great God as we sing Great Things and How Great Thou Art. Then Ephesians 3:20-21 reminds us further of the greatness and power of our God and prompts our response with What a Beautiful Name.
 

Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) and a few brief announcements, we’ll return to our Built Together sermon series as Pastor Andrew brings us a message which helps us to review and reconnect to Ephesians 3:20-21 after our break during Advent and Christmas. Our response in song to these verses of Scripture will be All Glory Be to Christ. We will close our service with a time of Giving, prayer, and a Benediction.
 

Please use the links above to prepare your heart and mind for worship this week. Be in prayer for our leaders, for our church, and for our time together. May we bring glory to God in all that we do!

See you on Sunday…

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Dec 20

from Mark Hoffman

Joy has dawned upon the world

Promised from creation

God’s salvation now unfurled

Hope for ev’ry nation

 

This final Sunday of Advent is here! On this day, we gather to worship the Lord with the joy that comes to us at Christmas! We will begin in song with Joy Has Dawned and Angels We Have Heard On High. Then we will discover how our Advent themes have brought us from Longing and Anticipation to Hope and finally Joy as we reflect on Isaiah 9:2-3,6-7. (Special thanks once again to Julie Smith for writing our Advent devotions this year!) Our response in song, Wonderful Counselor, flows directly out of this passage of Scripture.

 

After our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) and a few brief announcements, Pastor Andrew will continue our Advent sermon series, The Mystery of Christmas. Together we will respond by giving glory to the newborn King in song with Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Concluding our service will be a time of Giving, prayer, and a Benediction.

 

Then, please plan to join us in worship on Christmas Eve at 7pm. This will be a simple, hour-long candlelight service of worship and is the culmination of our Advent focus on the Mystery of Christmas. We will sing christmas songs, read the Christmas story from Scripture, and hear a short devotional from Pastor Andrew as we celebrate God’s revealed plan of salvation signaled by the birth of our Savior and King, Jesus Christ.

 

Then on Sunday, December 29th, it’s Meadows Family Christmas! This is a fun and casual service that has become a recent tradition here at Meadows. First we get to mingle and eat breakfast goodies while we hear our student musicians perform Christmas music. Then we will gather in the sanctuary to sing traditional Christmas songs, hear Andrew’s final reflections on the Christmas season, exchange gifts, and take a family picture. It’s tons of fun and a great way for us as a fellowship to wrap up our Christmas season together.

 

I look forward to worshiping with you all… Merry Christmas!

 

Mark

 


Preparing for Worship – Dec 13

for Mark Hoffman

O Israel, hope in the Lord!

    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,

    and with him is plentiful redemption.  Psalm 130:7

 

We gather in worship this 3rd week of Advent as people of hope! As those who have experienced the steadfast love and plentiful redemption of God through Jesus Christ, we know that our hope is not the “wishful thinking” kind of hope that the world knows. No, our hope is a sure and unshakable certainty in who God is and what he has done for us in Christ. So this week, we’ll begin in song by combining a Christmas song of joy with a worship song of hope: Joy To The World/Our God Saves. Then we will light the third Advent candle and reflect on how longing and anticipation turn to hope as expressed in Psalm 130, followed by the song O Little Town Of Bethlehem.

After our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) and a few brief announcements, Pastor Andrew will continue our Advent sermon series, The Mystery of Christmas. Our sung response is Come Behold The Wondrous Mystery. Concluding our service will be a time of Giving, prayer, and a Benediction.
 

It can be hard at this time of year to find some quiet moments… but try to find just a few this weekend so that you can reflect on “hope.” What is it, really? And what does the hope of Jesus Christ mean for you? Use the Scripture and songs above to prepare for gathered worship together… as people of hope.

See you on Sunday,

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Dec 6

from Mark Hoffman

We are already a week into December, can you believe it? I sincerely hope that your Christmas season has gotten off to a good start, and that you’ve been able to still find Jesus amidst the hustle and bustle that comes along with this time of year. A great way to keep ourselves grounded in the true meaning of Christmas is to gather for worship each Sunday. Here’s what we will be doing this week…

Come and worship,

Come and worship,

Worship Christ, the newborn King!

This familiar refrain calls us together for this second week of Advent to worship our King, Jesus Christ. We will open our service in song with Angels From The Realms Of Glory and As With Gladness Men Of Old. As we light the second candle on the Advent wreath, we will consider the theme of Anticipation found in Isaiah 25:1,6-9 and respond together with It Came Upon the Midnight Clear.

Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) and a few brief announcements, Pastor Andrew will continue our Advent sermon series, The Mystery of Christmas. In response to the revealed “mystery” of Jesus Christ, we sing the song of anticipation, Come Thou Long Expected Jesus. Concluding our service will be a time of Giving, prayer, and a Benediction.

I recently read these thoughts on the Christmas season from author and pastor Max Lucado:

It’s the season to be jolly because, more than at any other time, we think of him. More than in any other season, his name is on our lips.

And the result?

For a few precious hours, he is beheld. Christ the Lord. Those who pass the year without seeing him, suddenly see him. People who have been accustomed to using his name in vain, pause to use it in praise. Eyes, now free of the blinders of self, marvel at his majesty.

All of a sudden he’s everywhere…

Soon life will be normal again. December’s generosity will become January’s payments and the magic will begin to fade. But for the moment, the magic is still in the air…

Let’s embrace the “magic” of the Christmas season. Let’s be awestruck that God became human, that Jesus came for us. Let’s prepare to gather for worship this Sunday and marvel at the wonderful Mystery of Christmas.  

See you on Sunday,

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Nov 29

from Mark Hoffman

 

This week marks the first Sunday of the Advent season! As we gather this week, the Christmas hymn O Come All Ye Faithful calls us to come together and to adore Jesus Christ in worship. Continuing this call is the contemporary hymn Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery. As we light the first candle on the Advent wreath, we will explore the theme of Longing in Isaiah 42:1-9. O Come Emmanuel will be our sung response, expressing our longing as God’s people for our promised Savior.

 

Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) and a few brief announcements, Pastor Andrew will begin this year’s Advent series, The Mystery of Christmas. After exploring the reasons why we should investigate the “mystery” of Jesus, we will remember Him in Communion, and respond together in song once again with Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery. Concluding our service will be a time of Giving, prayer, and a Benediction
 

The Christmas season often gets so full and so busy, it can become very easy to lose our focus on Jesus. Try to find a few moments this weekend to focus on Christ and consider the wondrous mystery of the Christmas season. Prayerfully read the Scriptures above and take in the message of the songs. Engage the true message of Christmas with fresh awe and appreciation, and let’s long for more of Jesus this Christmas season.

 

Lasty, a special thanks to Julie Smith who wrote all of the devotions for our Advent candle lighting this year. Thanks, Julie!

 

I look forward to worshiping with you all on Sunday…

Mark