OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHILDREN
W.A.T.CH. (WeAreTheCHurch) helps young people learn the language, meaning, and order of worship in the Presbyterian Church. Young people are dismissed from the adult service after the Passing of the Peace to meet together for continuing worship.
CHILDREN'S MINISTRY: "PROJECT 'GO MAKE DISCIPLES!'"
Our children continue their study of the Gospel of Matthew under the theme: "PROJECT 'GO MAKE DISCIPLES.'" They are learning the Gospel of Matthew so they can take its life-giving message to the Planet Xenon in a few weeks. Each week an official from the planet Xenon sends messages to our kids with questions about the meaning of the stories of Matthew's Gospel. And our kids translate the question and then study Matthew in order to answer their alien friends. By learning what it means for the aliens, they learn what it means for their own faith. Classes will meet from 11:20-12:30 (location TBA).
OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADULTS
DISCIPLESHIP IN THE SCHOOL OF MATTHEW. On Wednesday evenings beginning January 4 adults will have an opportunity to engage important passages of Matthew's Gospel as a means to renew discipleship according to Matthew's vision. Classes will meet on Wed. evenings, 7:00-8:30 in Calvin Lounge.
ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL
THE PASSION OF DISCIPLESHIP (Sunday Morning, Mar. 12, 19, 26, 11:30-12:20, Calvin Lounge)
During the Lenten season we offer a study of Matthew's Passion narrative (Matt. 26-28) called "The Passion of Discipleship." This title bears a double meaning. On the one hand, Matthew's Gospel was composed as a manual of discipleship for his congregation living at a time in which the opponents of the Gospel of Jesus Christ were seeking to silence the message and the community that bore it. This in turn meant that the discipled community had to hold passionately to the Gospel's call on their lives if they were to know the Christ who formed them through his teaching. Thus, discipleship for Matthew involves both suffering and a passionate intensity. The same is true today!
(Wed. Mar. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Apr. 5 (6:00-8:15):
Adorn the Doctrine of God: Reformed Faithfulness and the
Music of the Covenant Community
Description: Our theme this year is taken from Titus 2:10b, “Adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.” The media for reflection on this theme is Scripture and Church hymnody. Regarding the latter, in this 500th year of the Reformation, we remember Luther’s words about church music: “I am not ashamed to confess publicly that next to theology there is no art which is equal of music, for she alone, after theology, can do what otherwise only theology can accomplish, namely, quiet and cheer up the soul of man, … For this reason the prophets cultivated no art so much as music in that they attached their theology not to geometry, nor to arithmetic, nor to astronomy, but to music, speaking the truth through psalms and hymns.” During Lent this year we will use the Reformed order of worship to engage Scriptural texts and famous hymns of the Church designed to set our hearts in motion, attuned to the heart of God’s great love for us and the world. Meals will be served at 6:00. Worship and learning times begin at 7:00 and end about 8:15. Child care is available upon request.
Ash Wednesday (March 1): “Adorning the Doctrine of God through the Call to Worship.” Presbyterians have always recognized that the primary Audience of worship is God. The call to worship is always followed by a hymn of praise directed to God, such as Reginald Heber’s “Holy, Holy, Holy” (1861) or Carl Gustav Boberg’s How Great Thou Art (1885) Communion will be served and ashes imposed.
Second Wednesday of Lent (March 8): “Adorning the Doctrine of God through the Prayer of Confession.” When Christians enter the presence of God and offer up their praise, they become acutely aware of their desperate need of God’s grace and forgiveness. Great hymns like When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (Isaac Watts, 1707) and And Can It Be (Charles Wesley) communicate the spirit of repentance and confession in profound ways.
Third Wednesday of Lent (March 15): “Adorning the Doctrine of God through the Assurance of Pardon.” Confession of sin is always followed by an assurance of pardon. Hymns like It Is Well with My Soul (Horacio Spafford, 1873), Amazing Grace (John Newton, 1779), Blessed Assurance (Fannie Crosby, 1873) and There is a Balm in Gilead (Negro Spiritual) have articulated for the faithful this life-renewing assurance of God’s continual forgiveness and healing power.
Fourth Wednesday of Lent (March 22): “Adorning the Doctrine of God through the Prayer of Illumination.” Having been forgiven and restored, the people of God are realigned to hear the Word of God. Central to this concern is the prayer of illumination. Great hymns like Be Thou My Vision (Dallan Forgaill, 6th Century) have opened up the hearts of many congregations to receive the Word of God afresh and anew.
Fifth Wednesday of Lent (Mar. 29): “Adorning the Doctrine of God through the Preached Word.” Presbyterians have always seen the sermon as an authoritative form of the Word of God to the people of God. Such sermons always interact with Scripture, the written Word, to reveal the Living Word, Jesus Christ. Thus, hymns like How Firm a Foundation (R. Keene, 1787) and O Word of God Incarnate (William Walsham, 1867) celebrate the life-giving Word, Jesus Christ, communicated through Scripture and sermon.
Sixth Wednesday of Lent (Apr. 5): “Adorning the Doctrine of God by the Response to the Word.” Sixth Wed (Apr. 5): Having been restored and enlightened and instructed, God calls the community to missionary service as a response to the Word. Multicultural hymns like Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore (Tu has venido a la orilla) (Cesareo Gabarain, 1979) and more familiar hymns like Take My Life (Frances Ridley-Havergal, 1874) speak to the call of Christians to take the Gospel to the world in response to the Gospel.