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Free From Additives (preparing for MGPC 10/11/19)

Song: Saved My Soul
Welcome:
Call to Worship
Song: My Lighthouse
Prayer Of Confession
Song: How Firm A Foundation
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 45
Song: Now To The King Of Heaven
Bible Reading: Luke 18: 1-17 – Parables of the Persistent Widow and of the Pharisee & the Tax Collector, and His blessing of infants.
Bible Memorisation: Colossians 3: 23-24
Song: Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
Bible Reading: Colossians 2: 16-23
Sermon: Free From Additives
The Lord’s Supper (gf bread)
Announcements:
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: Build Your Kingdom Here


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On The Different Response Of The Church To The Challenges Of Nominalism And Secularism (via Rory Shiner at The Gospel Coalition Australia)

A thoughtful piece by Rory Shiner about the differences between nominalism and secularism and how the worshipping church responds differently to each.
The observation that nominalism (people who identify as Christian without meaningfully following Jesus, while following a form of traditional church observance) and secularism (people who don’t identify as Christian or followers of Jesus, while having no knowledge of the Gospel or the actions of the church) are quite different and require nuanced expressions of church life and behaviour to help people understand the Gospel and where they are in relation to Jesus +gasp+ is helpful in thinking about church corporate practice.

Part of Shiner’s article:

The post-war generation was fighting a crucial battle. They saw the threat nominalism posed to the gospel.
But today, it would not occur to the average younger Christian that reciting the Lord’s Prayer might be inauthentic, precisely because no one they know outside the church knows the Lord’s Prayer at all. Going to church in a building that looks like a church doesn’t illicit a PTSD response in the under-40s. They find it at least neutral, maybe even attractive. They are not shadow boxing with nominalism. In fact, they’ve often never met a person who is nominal. By the time you’ve bothered to say you’re a Christian in this culture, chances are you are serious about being on Team Jesus.
Currently, the great threat to the gospel is not nominalism, but secularism.
The fact that the wider culture is in some ways interested in Christian practices is fascinating. It’s a vote against the listlessness, the disorder, the aimlessness, and the sheer loneliness of secularism.
In 1950s Australia, Christianity gave our culture a rhythm of work and rest. We had a universally observed Sunday, an expectation of shared family meals, and a deep sense of connection with the local neighbourhood or parish. Now we live in a world of 24-hour shopping. Sunday looks suspiciously like Every Other Day. Secular life is disordered life. You can be watching cat videos at 2pm on a Monday in your office, and replying work emails from the bath at 10pm on a Saturday.
Productivity literature is now full of advice that sounds suspiciously Sabbatarian. Young urbanities choose walkable neighbourhoods. They want to know their locality, buy from the same shop, know the name of the grocer, and so on. My grandma would find it all strangely familiar.
Or consider the rise of atheist churches in London. Young, secular Londoners gathering in churches to sing bad John Lennon songs and share fellowship. They have turned on its head our assumption that people like Jesus, they just don’t like the church. It would seem the other way around. They like church, they just don’t like Jesus.

Read the whole post at Gospel Coalition Australia.


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Walking With Jesus (preparing for MGPC 3/11/19)

Song: No Other Name
Welcome:
Call to Worship
Song: My Heart Is Filled With Thankfulness
Prayer Of Confession
Song: For All The Saints
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 44
Song: Now To Him Who Loved Us
Bible Reading: Luke 17: 1-37 – As Jesus continues His journey to Jerusalem, He teaches lessons on temptation, forgiveness, faith, service, gratitude, and the coming of the kingdom of God teachings.
Bible Memorisation: Colossians 3:23-24
Song: All Who Would Valiant Be
Bible Reading: Colossians 2: 6-15
Sermon: Walking With Jesus
Announcements:
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: Before The Throne Of God Above


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Strong And Unified (preparing for MGPC 27/10/19)

Song: No Other Name
Welcome:
Call to Worship
Song: How Great Is Our God
Prayer Of Confession
Song: And Can It Be
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 43
Song: May The Grace Of Christ Our Saviour
Bible Reading: Luke 16: 1-31 – The Parables of the Unjust Steward, the Rich Man & Lazarus, and related teachings.
Bible Memorisation: Colossians 1:16
Song: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Bible Reading: Colossians 1:24-2:5
Sermon: Strong And Unified
Announcements:
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: Man Of Sorrows


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Your Song Is About Its Testimony, Not Its Tone

Christian gathering has many facets, all of which are essential.
One of those essential facets is song.
Christian singing is not about demonstrating how your voice sounds, it is about demonstrating what your heart believes – and how that belief is shared with others.
Sometimes you’ll hear people say they don’t sing because they can’t sing.
But if Jesus is Lord of your heart you do have a song, and others need to hear it.

From Nick Aufenkamp at Desiring God.

Singing is vital to the edification of the church. And it’s not enough that just a few people sing — Paul is telling you to sing for the benefit of your brothers and sisters. But how does your voice benefit your church — especially if your singing voice sounds like a dog’s howl?
The power of your participation in congregational singing is not in the quality of your tone but in your voice’s testimony to God’s faithfulness. Your participation in singing signifies to all those around you that you love Jesus and trust his gospel.

source


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Laundering Frantic Distraction From Christians (via Stephen McAlpine)

Stephen McAlpine writes about church as a place of focusses attention, not impatient demand.
If Christians are to be salt and light, a non-anxious presence in an increasingly anxious culture then our gatherings would be well served to be measured and consistent.
This includes the impulse for non-stop music playing under every activity and word, or a passing parade of faces coming and going from the platform.
From McAlpine’s post:

Jesus lived the life of focussed attention. The world around him (“Everyone is looking for you Jesus!” says Peter) would drag him into frantic distraction. But, by the power of the Spirit, Jesus knew that his greatest asset was the focussed attention that would take him all the way to the cross in Jerusalem.
I don’t get the impression that people in our churches know how to do focussed attention all that much. I don’t get the impression that their work lives, social lives, social media lives, and family lives are built upon focussed attention. I don’t get the impression they are given much option anywhere in the world. Or at least nothing in the world invites them away from frantic distraction towards focussed attention.
So maybe that’s our job as church leaders. Maybe it’s the role of the church to launder the frantic distraction out of our people, in order to better equip them for life in a frantic and distracted world. In order to help them to be that non-anxious presence at work; that listening neighbour who has time on their hands; that person who they meet who needs help.

Read the whole article here.


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Time Of Tribulation (preparing for MGPC 8/9/19)

Song: The Love Of the Father
Welcome:
Call to Worship
Song: Rescuer
Prayer Of Confession
Song: I Hear The Saviour Say
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 36
Song: Worship, Honour, Glory, Blessing
Bible Reading: Luke 11: 1-28 – Jesus teaches His disciples to pray and insists that a house divided cannot stand.
Bible Memorisation: Mark 13:11
Song: Come, O Fount Of Every Blessing
Bible Reading: Mark 13: 14-27
Sermon: Time Of Tribulation
The Lord’s Supper (gf bread)
Announcements:
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: No Other Name