Preparing for Worship – Sept 13

from Mark Hoffman

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,

let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,

and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus,

the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him

endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 

Hebrews 12:1-2

We begin our worship this week with a prayer set to music, Be Thou My Vision. As we sing together, we pray that the Lord would become everything to us, that He would fill our vision with the greatness of who he is and all that he has done for us. Hebrews 12 helps us to continue this theme in our worship, as we cast aside all else and look to Jesus, singing ‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus and Yet Not I But Through Christ in Me.

 
 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) we are excited to have special guest Cisco Cotto wrap up our Joining Christ On His Mission series with a message entitled “Fruitfulness In Christ’s Mission.” His focus will be in John 15 and Galatians 5. In response to the Word, we will sing Build My Life as a prayer of dedication and commitment to the Lord. Concluding our worship will be a time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.
 

Please find a few moments to pray and prepare for gathered worship this week. Pray for Pastor Andrew and our Elders who are all on retreat together this weekend. Pray for Cisco Cotto as he prepares to preach the Word to us. Prayerfully reflect on the Scriptures above and on the message of the songs we will sing together. May our worship bring glory to the Lord and build up his church!

 
See you on Sunday! Mark


Preparing for Worship – Sept 6

from Mark Hoffman

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! –Psalm 118:24
 
Each day gives us a new opportunity to rejoice in the goodness and faithfulness of our God! We gather once again to do just that as we receive this call to worship from Psalm 118 and respond in song with Today Is the Day.  As we heard Christ’s call last week to COME, ABIDE, FOLLOW and GO, we recognize that Christ doesn’t call us because we are perfect. In fact, the same disciples whom Jesus initially commissioned were in that very moment struggling with doubt and hardness of heart! (see Matt 28:17 and Mark 16:14-15) And if we’re honest, we can acknowledge that we are no different. But Christ’s call to us is a call of grace. His call is gracious not only to save doubting and hard-hearted people just like us, but also to commission us, in spite of all our imperfections, to be his representatives and to proclaim his gospel message to the world! We will rejoice in this grace toward us as we sing Grace Alone and Grace On Top of Grace.
 
 
Children’s Church is back! Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will continue to focus on our role in joining Christ’s mission with a message from 2 Corinthians 8:1-15. We will conclude with a response of God You’re So Good, a time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.  
 
 
Set aside some time to prepare for gathered worship this Sunday. Humbly confess your own doubts and hard-heartedness to the Lord, and then receive the grace on top of grace that is in your Savior Jesus Christ! Reflect on the Scripture and songs above and pray that God would bring you to church on Sunday ready to receive from him and to rejoice in him. And don’t forget — plan to stick around after the service for one of our new Know-Love-Become courses!
 
 
See you on Sunday… Mark


Preparing for Worship – Aug 30

from Mark Hoffman

Praise the Lord, His mercy is more!

Stronger than darkness, new every morn

Our sins they are many, His mercy is more!

We gather once again this week in response to God’s invitation to worship. The Lord continually calls his people into his presence to receive from and respond to him in worship. We will hear and respond to this call with the song Jesus I Come. As 1 Timothy 1:12-17 reminds us of God’s great mercy to us in Christ, we will echo this truth as we sing His Mercy Is More. And it is the abundant mercy of God in Christ that then leads us to the Communion table. (At MCF, we invite all believers in Christ to take of the bread and cup. Please hold the elements when they are passed so that we may take them together.) After taking of the elements representing Christ’s body and blood, we will proclaim in song Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me.

 
All our kids will again remain in the service for one last Sunday while our Children’s Church volunteers finish up a much deserved break. (Nursery and Toddler ministry is still available.) Pastor Andrew’s message this week will focus on Joining Christ’s Mission as he compares the five “Commission” passages of the New Testament. We will respond together with Mighty To Save and conclude with a time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.
 

Please create some space in your busy weekend to reflect on the Scriptures and songs above. Prepare your heart and mind to respond in worship to the great mercy of God in Christ, and to respond to the commissioning call of Christ in the New Testament.  See you on Sunday! Mark



Preparing for Worship – Aug 23

from Mark Hoffman

Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”  John 20:26 

This week, the song Great Things invites us to come before Jesus and to worship him together as our risen and victorious Lord and Savior. Just as the living Christ stood among his disciples declaring peace to them, Jesus stands among us as well, pronouncing his peace over us through the gospel of his death and resurrection. In the flow of long-standing Christian tradition, we share with one another the peace of Christ through our Fellowship Greeting time. Then, the songs Death Was Arrested and Glorious Day continue our celebration of the gospel of Jesus.
 
After we invite our kids up front for a special Kids’ Time with Pastor Andrew, we are excited to welcome one of our Elders, Tim Copeland, as he wraps up our Know-Believe-Live sermon series with a message from John 21. We will respond in praise to the Lord as we sing Living Hope. Concluding our service will be a time of Giving, a child dedication, a few brief announcements, and a Benediction. 
 

Please find some quiet moments this week to prayerfully reflect on the Scripture and songs above in preparation for gathered worship. Please pray for Tim and for the worship team. Also be praying that our study of the Gospel of John would bear fruit in our church as we move into the fall ministry calendar.  See you on Sunday! Mark



Preparing for Worship – Aug 16

from Mark Hoffman

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples,

which are not written in this book; but these are written

so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,

and that by believing you may have life in his name.  {John 20:30-31}
 
 
  As we come together for worship this week, we’ll begin by proclaiming the gospel truth that our sin was Nailed To The Cross, and that by faith in Jesus Christ we have forgiveness and life forevermore. Drawing near to the end of our exploration of John’s Gospel, we’ll get to hear the story of the resurrection once again and return to the great purpose statement found in John 20:30-31. Of the many signs done by Jesus, there is none more significant than the resurrection! We will sing in praise to declare that Christ Is Risen and that he has conquered sin and death Once And For All.
 
For the month of August, we’ll be giving our Children’s Church volunteers a much deserved break, so all our kids will again remain in the service this week. (Nursery and Toddler ministry is still available.) Pastor Andrew’s message in our Know-Believe-Live series is rooted in John 20 this week, and our sung response is to sing in faith, This I Believe. Concluding our time of gathered worship will be a time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.
 

In terms of the traditional church calendar, we are far removed from Easter. But the glorious truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ reaches far beyond just a day on the calendar. When we come to faith in Christ, we are spiritually regenerated – in other words, we are “born again.” This is a wonderful reality, but physically we still remain in our fallen, fleshly state. Here, then, is the victory of the resurrection! Because Jesus has risen, we live in the confident hope that in him, we will also one day be resurrected. On that great day, we will finally be regenerated both spiritually and physically – having been made fully and completely new by the God who saved us. Allow the message of the Scripture and songs above to fill your heart and mind this week, and come prepared to celebrate “Easter in August” on Sunday!   See you then, friends… Mark



Preparing for Worship – Aug 2

from Mark Hoffman

Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, 

“Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 

Jesus said to them, “I am he.” When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” 

they drew back and fell to the ground. John 18:4-6

This week we begin our worship together in song, praising Jesus Christ as both The Lion and the Lamb. He is a powerful King and at the same time a humble servant who came to give his life for us. In response to who Christ is and all that He has done for us, we continue in song with Jesus and Jesus Firm Foundation.
 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will preach the next message in our Know-Believe-Live series from John 18. Our worship continues as we come to the Communion table. At MCF, we invite all believers in Christ to take of the bread and cup. Please hold the elements when they are passed so that we may take them together. We will follow this up with a song of faith, Cornerstone, and then conclude our worship with a time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.
 

Will you prepare your heart and mind for gathered worship this week? Read John 18 and listen to this week’s songs. Pray for Rob Valentine as he will be leading worship this week and for Pastor Andrew as he will be preaching the Word. Come ready to gather in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, eager to receive from Him and to respond in worship.  Mark



Preparing for Worship – July 26

from Mark Hoffman

We welcome You with praise

We welcome You with praise

Almighty God of love

Be welcome in this place
 
 
Jesus Christ loved us so much that He came for us! He took on flesh, went to the cross, and rose again for us. We owe everything to him! So it is because of the sacrificial love of Christ for us that we are moved to gather in worship and to sing to him, “We are Here For You!” In John 17, Jesus Christ further displays his heart for us in his prayer for us. We will hear Christ’s words and respond in song with God You’re So Good and Grace On Top of Grace.
 
 
After we invite our kids up front for a special Kids’ Time, Pastor Andrew will continue our Know-Believe-Live sermon series with a message from John 17. Again responding in worship to the prayer of Christ we will sing What A Beautiful Name. We will conclude our time of worship with Giving, a few brief announcements, and a Benediction  
 
 
Take some time this weekend to reflect on Christ’s prayer in John 17, then come ready to respond together in worship of the Lord. Also plan to stay for the picnic after the service!
 
See you on Sunday, Mark


Preparing for Worship – July 12

from Mark Hoffman

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life…

You did not choose me, but I chose you 

and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit…”
 
 
The words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of John will continue to guide our worship as we gather this week. Beginning with the song The Way, we proclaim our faith in Jesus Christ for who he says that he is – the way, the truth, and the life. Then, hearing Christ reveal to us who we are – followers and friends of him, chosen to bear lasting fruit for his glory – we receive and respond to his truth, singing Who You Say I Am. Continuing in worship, we will share the love and fellowship we have in Christ during our Fellowship Greeting, and lift our voices in faith and commitment to Christ as we sing Christ Is Enough.
 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will continue our Know-Believe-Live series with a message from John 15. As Jesus continues to point us toward being fully devoted disciples of him, we respond with the song Build My Life. Concluding our worship this week will be a time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.  
 
 
Continue to reflect on the teachings of Jesus to his disciples in the Gospel of John. Christ’s words to his disciples then are just as relevant to us today. Come on Sunday ready to join as followers and friends of Jesus to bring glory to him in our worship!
 
 
See you on Sunday, Mark


Preparing for Worship – July 5

from Mark Hoffman

“You will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you….”

“Believe in God; believe also in me…”. 

“Because I live, you also will live….”

Know… Believe… Live… These themes that have guided our journey through the Gospel of John emerge clearly as we hear these words of Christ in John 14. As Jesus continues speaking to his disciples in the upper room, he invites them to truly know him, to believe in his promises, and to live in faith. Our songs this week respond to this invitation of Jesus as we sing Good Good Father, ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus, and What a Beautiful Name.   Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will continue our Know-Believe-Live series with a message from John 14. We respond to the words of Christ and remember his sacrifice on the cross as we come to the Communion table. At MCF, we invite all believers in Christ to take of the bread and cup. Please hold the elements when they are passed so that we may take them together. We will praise Jesus in song as our Living Hope, and then conclude our worship with a time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.   Take time this weekend to reflect on the words of Christ in John chapter 14. Prepare your heart, mind, and soul to come and worship the Lord together on Sunday. See you then! Mark



Preparing for Worship- June 28

Amazing love! How can it be That Thou my God shouldst die for me?   The amazing love of Jesus Christ draws us together and compels us to worship him! This week, the great hymn And Can It Be opens our service as an expression of awe and gratitude at the love of Christ toward us. John 13:1 underscores this as we see Jesus gathering his disciples and “loving them to the end.” This ragtag group of followers, whom Jesus knew would soon scatter from him and deny him, he persisted in loving them all the way to the cross. And such is his love for us! Responding to the truth of Christ’s abiding love, we join our voices to sing The Wonder of Your Love and One Thing Remains.   After we invite our kids up front for a special Kids’ Time, Pastor Andrew will continue our Know-Believe-Live sermon series with a message from John 13. As we encounter this first scene of Jesus gathering his disciples in the “upper room,” we respond together with a song that calls us as followers of Christ to be known By Our Love. We will then conclude our time of worship with Giving, a few brief announcements, and a Benediction. The message of the gospel never gets old! Let’s soak in the truth of Christ’s love represented in John 13 and reflected in the message of the songs above. May it be our desire to “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge” (Eph 3:19) as we prepare our hearts and minds for gathered worship this week.   See you on Sunday!   Mark