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



Preparing for Worship – Nov 20

from Mark Hoffman

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, 

to sing praises to your name, O Most High…

Psalm 92:1

What the Scriptures say is true… It is indeed good to give thanks to the Lord. Not only is it good because it’s the right thing to do (God deserves our thanks, after all) but it is also good for us because it refocuses our attention on Him. He himself is our ultimate joy and satisfaction! We begin by singing Blessed Be Your Name, acknowledging that our thanksgiving and praise isn’t contingent on our circumstances, but that we are to bless the Lord at all times. (Psalm 34:1) We will then proclaim words of thanksgiving together from the Psalms and lift our voices in thanksgiving and praise with Great Is Thy Faithfulness and Good Good Father

After we invite our kids up front for a special Kids’ Time, we are pleased to welcome our special guests Eric and Janet Johnson to hear from them and to show appreciation for their years of service on the mission field. After a few brief announcements, Pastor Andrew will continue our Built Together sermon series with a time of prayer interwoven with teaching from Ephesians 3:14-19. Our shared prayer in song will be Hymn of the Holy Spirit. Concluding our service will be a time of Giving, prayer, and a Benediction

Giving thanks is something we as Christians ought to be very good at! Let’s prepare for gathered worship this week by reflecting prayerfully on the Scriptures and songs above. Then we can all come together on Sunday ready to praise and thank the Lord.

See you on Sunday…

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Nov 15

from Mark Hoffman

This is the day that the Lord has made;

    let us rejoice and be glad in it! 

Psalm 118:24 

This week, we begin our worship together with rejoicing as we sing Today Is the Day. This week is also another ministry highlight week — it’s our Caring Friends Sunday! This is a time for us as a church to gather with our Caring Friends ministry, not only to hear updates about the ministry and to get a taste of what Caring Friends is all about, but above all to worship our God together as his beloved children. Our Caring Friends will share God’s Word with a reading from Ephesians 3:7-13, and we will respond together in song with Who You Say I Am. Then, Caring Friends coordinator Sharon Rickerson will come and present us with a closer look at this vital ministry of MCF to adults with intellectual disabilities. 

 
 
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 series with a message from Ephesians 3:11-21. Our response is to proclaim together God You’re So Good. Concluding our service will be a time of Giving, prayer, and a Benediction
 
 

Prepare for worship this week by prayerfully reflecting on the Scripture and songs above. Pray for our Caring Friends ministry as well as for our time together on Sunday, that we would glorify God by helping people to know, love and become like Jesus Christ in all that we do. 

 

See you on Sunday…

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Nov 8

 

Come let us worship our King

Come let us bow at His feet

He has done great things!

 

We enter into worship this week by lifting up these words together. With a call to worship reminiscent of the Psalms, the song Great Things gathers us as God’s people, reminds us of the great things he has done, and provides us with a shared response of worship. It is just this sort of remembering and responding that is central to what it means to be “the church.” The apostle Paul expands our understanding of the church even further, reminding us that we are “members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” (Ephesians 3:6) This truth will lead us to respond with a Fellowship Greeting time, and in song together with Nailed To The Cross and Come Thou Fount Come Thou King
 
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 series with a message from Ephesians 3:1-10. As we sing Death Was Arrested we declare the message of the gospel as partakers of its promise in Christ Jesus! Concluding our service will be a time of Giving, prayer, and a Benediction
 
 
The church isn’t a building, or a bunch of events or programs or activities. The church isn’t a brand or a business. The church is people. People who have been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and set apart to glorify him in all that they do. This is the church. This is who we are. Please pray that God would continue to build us up as his church this Sunday, and beyond.
 


I look forward to worshiping with you…

Mark





Preparing for Worship – Nov 1

from Mark Hoffman

“Therefore remember…” Ephesians 2:11

 

Gathering for worship is a time for remembering and responding. We come to be reminded of who God is and all that he has done for us in Jesus Christ, and then to respond in praise and worship of him. We’ll open with the song This Is Amazing Grace, which will then lead us to Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians to “therefore remember” the message of the gospel of Jesus. The Solid Rock and Rock of Ages You Will Stand will continue our response together in song.
 

 

Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will preach the next sermon in our Ephesians series, Built Together, with a message from Ephesians 2:11-22. Following the message, Communion will be another means for us to remember how we are brought near to God by the blood of Christ shed on the cross. Our final response in song will be Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me. Concluding our service will be a time of Giving, a few brief announcements, and a Benediction
 

You can prepare for worship this week by finding some moments to prayerfully reflect on the Scripture and songs above. Pray for all those leading and serving this Sunday, and be praying that all we do as a fellowship would continue to build us together in Christ.

 

See you on Sunday,

 

Mark