Sunday, February 28, 2016

How we meet

Our church assembly (I don't so much like the words 'meeting' or 'service') today was wonderful. Here's why:

We prayed for a mission family. We often do this, but today was different.

First a sketch of their work and circumstances, then we were all invited in a 1 minute period of silence to each pray silently for them. The president then did a summary open prayer.

That was good.

The sermon was given by one of our 'at home right now' other missionaries.

She spoke to the temptation passage in Luke's gospel. During this she referred to the OT passages that Yeshua recited to rebut Satan.

She had us all read them together, out loud. The participation was really nice.

For the first time in a long time the assembly felt good, I felt part of a body of the faithful.

Friday, February 19, 2016

How our services run

At the previously mentioned home group meeting, we talked about our service practice; I thought it was too perfunctory, although coming from a 'high' Anglican past, almost anything would be!
Still, our pattern of:
  • "Hi"
  • song
  • announcements
  • children leave
  • offering
  • song
  • prayer
  • Bible reading
  • sermon
  • song
  • benediction
not work for me.
  1. Call to prayer: Bible verse
  2. Song - contemporary
  3. Opening prayer (brief)
  4. Lord's prayer or Apostles creed, modified to skip 'descended into hell'
  5. Hymn - classic/historic
  6. Psalm, read, possible responsively, during which the offering
  7. Bible reading 1
  8. Pastoral prayer (could be two shorter prayers: one for missions, one local)
  9. Bible reading 2 (or communion)
  10. Sermon
  11. Song or Hymn
  12. Benediction: Bible passage
12 points is good: like the 12 apostles and tribes of Israel.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What Christians do

Over January our sermon series was on Christian practices; the coverage was:
  • Prayer
  • Giving
  • Simplicity
  • Word
  • Rest
At our home group, the first for the year, we talked about these. I thought that 'rest' was a good one, but didn't quite see the place of 'simplicity'.
I thought we could also add a couple:
  • Gathering, and
  • Singing
Both are taught in the New Testament, but the last one particularly, we hardly ever talk about.

Monday, February 8, 2016


Yesterday at church, because we have a large Chinese originated contingent, the guy at the front mentioned that it was the 'year of the monkey'. It must have been true because it was even on the PowerPoint projection!

If this keeps going we'll not use the seasons of the church calendar, but Western astrological houses...maybe he didn't know that animal years are Chinese astrology.