In His Presence at New Covenant Church

October 7th, 2013 by

I told someone again this week how thankful I am to be part of this church.  I really love Sunday mornings and all the ways we can experience the Lord’s presence. Here are three: there is scripture, there is the sacrament, and there is the Spirit.It’s the three streams of our Anglican tradition.

Scripture

Fr. Christopher said Sunday in his sermon that when we bring live, living issues to the Word of God we can expect transformation.  It is good to come to the Word for information, for knowledge, and the promise is that it’s never a waste of time, never void of value, but when we come with our living issues we can expect to encounter the living Word and be changed in his presence.  That’s why we take preaching so seriously.  We seek to have something to say; not just to have to say something. 

Sacrament banner In HIs Presence

A pastor from a non-denominational church once said to me that what he liked about our Anglican way was that not everything hinged on the message.  In other words, he saw the liturgy and the sacraments as having value that didn’t depend on an individuals performance on a given day.  We say we believe in the “Doctrine of the Real Presence.”  God is present in the sacrament even on our bad hair days.  Isn’t that good to know?  My friend might have mentioned our love of mysterium tremendum as well.

Spirit

Of course any and all experiences of God come via his Holy Spirit. One place where the charismatic expression is available in our Sunday morning is in the times of worship and praise.  We take time to lift up our hearts and one reason for the repetition in the lyrics is to allow it to move from our head to our hearts.  Another thing we have been doing is allowing us to include our own notes to the Lord, sing our own song to him.  Like when you send a greeting card and you put in your own note, share your heart.  Hallmark is good, but not all that personal.  And scripture tells us that God inhabits the praises of his people, his presence again.

So in addition to the fall program and seeking his presence in mission, ministry, worship, the word, prayer and the Holy Spirit we have Sunday mornings!  So many ways God is present, it knocks my socks off.  Apparently, that actually happened according to the scriptures.  I am sure some of us relate more to one way or stream more than the others, and that is fine, so long as we make room for others who prefer the other streams or ways.  I am a person who finds God most often in journaling, solitude and contemplative prayer – and yet I can’t describe how much I love our praise sets on Sunday morning.  And while I love to prepare my sermons and seek a word from our Lord, I have never walked away empty from any sermon at our parish.  And, the sacrament and the mystery it holds – well, it’s a lifesaver week after week.

Thanks to you all for being part of New Covenant and making it such an incredible place to worship in his presence.

Carl+

 “In His Presence” Fall small group study videos and discussion questions

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August 1st, 2013 by

Friday Epistle

July 5, 2013

 

Dear Member of New Covenant,

The Missional Church

Being missional is not about what churches do, but what churches empower people to do in their every day lives. The Great Commission is so much more than spreading the Gospel in words; it is about embodying the Gospel message-it’s hope for transformational renewal-in everything we do. This is what it means to be missional. Witness is no longer an activity we do now and again, but witness is who we are. The world will encounter God’s love in Christ because they encounter you, and you are equipped by God’s Holy Spirit and with His Word to demonstrate the transformational truth, the relevance, the healing power of the Gospel.

What type of transformation do you think is necessary in our church to live missionally in a post-christian context, in our world?

What type of transformation do you think is necessary in your life to live missionally in your work place, neighborhoods, beaches, schools and communities?

The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.         John 1:4

Let’s go and do the same.

Sheryl

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