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Easter In Colour (preparing for MGPC 21/4/19)

Song: Christ Is Risen
Welcome:
Call to Worship
Song: Death Was Arrested
Prayer Of Confession
Song: Jesus Christ Is Risen Today
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 15
Song: Praise God From Whom All Blessing Flows
Bible Reading: Luke 1: 26-38 – The birth of Jesus foretold and Mary’s response of trust.
Bible Memorisation: Romans 5: 8
Song: Yours Is The Glory
Bible Reading: Mark 16: 1-8
Sermon: Easter In Colour
Announcements:
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: One True God


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Pressing On (preparing for MGPC 7/4/19)

Song: My Heart Is Filled With Thankfulness
Welcome:
Call to Worship
Song: In Christ Alone
Prayer Of Confession
Song: The King Of Love My Shepherd Is
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 14
Song: Now To Him Who Loved Us
Bible Reading: Zechariah 14: 1-21 – Zechariah announces the coming “day of the LORD,” a day of battle, of judgment and salvation, of light and living water, and of the gathering of the Gentiles to worship the King, the LORD of hosts.
Bible Memorisation: Romans 5: 8
Song: God Whose Almighty Word
Bible Reading: Philippians 3: 4-14
Sermon: Pressing On
Announcements:
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: Saviour Of The World


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Church With The Lights On (via Murray Campbell)

Murray Campbell provides an encouraging report about a gathering of people from different churches in Melbourne.
As part of that he writes of his appreciation for speaker Mark Dever asking that the lights in the auditorium be turned up.
The practice has crept into Christian gatherings with increasing frequency and serves to decrease the corporate and participatory nature of worship and emphasise a personal and observational based experience.
From Campbell:

The venue hosts (to whom we are greatly thankful for their generosity and hospitality), were setting up the auditorium’s lighting and sound when Mark requested that the lights be turned up. Why? Christian ministry isn’t a show with the spotlight shining on the preacher and where he can’t see the faces of the congregation/audience. Christian ministry, including the public teaching of God’s word, is not an exercise of spiritual manipulation or creating chasms between the ‘expert’ preacher and the congregation. Mark wanted to see and engage with the people present. For example, during question time, he would ask for peoples’ names and the church they belong too.
Observing this short interaction just prior to the event beginning reminded me of this salient point; ministry isn’t performance. It isn’t about the preacher or whoever is standing on the stage. Sometimes we complicate ministry by adding unnecessary elements which can create unhelpful theological and pastoral barriers. In public teaching or certainly for Sunday church, are we relying upon or utilising special effects in order to create the moment or to elucidate a response from the congregation? Does our architecture, our stage managing, and our use of multimedia support our ecclesiology and our trust in the power of the Gospel and the sufficiency of Scripture, or are we undermining these things? The topic of church music came up during question time: Does our music encourage the saints to sing, to encourage each other and to glorify God, or are they passive bystanders watching, admiring or criticising the band? Does the band function as an edifying accompaniment or as the main act? The point is so simple and yet we sometimes miss it. I am less seeking to answer these questions here, but to raise them for others to wrestle with them in their own context.

source


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Never Ending Prayer (preparing for MGPC 31/3/19)

Song: One True God
Welcome:
Call to Worship
Song: Jerusalem
Prayer Of Confession
Song: Alas, And Did My Saviour Bleed
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 13
Song: May The Grace Of Christ Our Saviour
Bible Reading: Zechariah 13: 1-9 – Zechariah announces the opening of a cleansing fountain to ride the land of false prophets and idolatry. God Himself will “strike” His own shepherd and save a remnant of His people, a prophesy fulfilled in the Good Shepherd, Jesus the Messiah (verse 7ff; Matthew 26:31-35; Mark 14:27; Luke 2:31-34; cf. John 10:11).
Bible Memorisation: 1 Corinthians 10:13b
Song: What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 29: 10-20
Sermon: Never Ending Prayer
Announcements:
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: Death Was Arrested


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Community Created Through The Word (via Sinclair Ferguson)

The Bible is central to Christian worship, not simply as the source for information to be taught and the basis for our shared belief, but because it is the way God grows Christians as the body of Christ.
From Sinclair Ferguson.

I’m not a great fan of the expression “means of grace,” but I think we shouldn’t miss out from this the pattern of, for example, Ephesians 4 with its emphasis on the ministry of the word in what it actually produces in the life of the church—where it produces a community in which each part is doing its work properly and upbuilds itself in love.
We’re not just a teaching institution. The word of God creates a new kind of community. And so the preaching of the word without the creation of that new kind of community ordinarily does not make the same evangelistic impact on the world around. But the creation of that community helps people to see that the word that is preached has illustrations in the life of this new community that are beyond contradiction.
Often one finds that people who think little of the gospel find that they cannot contradict the reality they experience when they come among God’s people. And it’s that reality that begins to work in their hearts to open their ears to listen to what the word is actually saying.
When we speak about the means of grace and the importance of the preaching of the word, we’re not saying that all we need is more ministers, or even all we need is more preaching, but what is produced by that.

source.


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Deliver Us (preparing for MGPC 24/3/19)

Song: From The Day
Welcome:
Call to Worship
Song: In Tenderness
Prayer Of Confession
Song: How Sweet The Name
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 12
Song: Unto God Be Praise And Honour
Bible Reading: Zechariah 12: 1-14 – From Chapter 12 to the end of Zechariah’s prophesy the focus is the judgment of the nations and the salvation of Jerusalem. That salvation ultimately is not merely deliverance from earthly enemies, but spiritual salvation through the work of the Holy Spirit and the Messiah “whom they have pierced”(12:10; John19:37).
Bible Memorisation: 1 Corinthians 10:13b
Song: Worship The Lord
Bible Reading: James 1: 2-18
Sermon: Deliver Us
Announcements:
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: Build Your Kingdom Here


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Forgive Us Our Debts (preparing for MGPC 17/3/19)

Song: Saviour Of The World
Welcome:
Call to Worship
Song: How Great Is Our God
Prayer Of Confession
Song: We Plough The Fields And Scatter
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 11
Song: Unto God Be Praise And Honour
Bible Reading: Zechariah 11: 1-17 – Zechariah is appointed to be shepherd of God’s rebellious and doomed people, and like Christ, is rejected for the price of a slave (30 pieces of silver; cf. Exodus 21:32; Jeremiah 19:1-13; Matthew 26:14-16, 27:1-10).
Bible Memorisation: 1 Corinthians 10:13b
Song: Let All Things Now Living
Bible Reading: Matthew 18: 21-35
Sermon: Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors
Announcements:
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: Saved My Soul