Wednesday, November 07, 2007

What a Winter

The holiday season is just around the corner and with it comes the initial months of the season we call “winter.” Until moving to PA I have always lived in a “snow belt” area. Where we lived in Northern Indiana we would average some 90 inches of snow a year. I love snow. If we are going to have cold wintry days we might as well have snow. That’s what I say. But even without snow, there are many wonderful things for us as a church to look forward to here at Grace. Below is just a sampling of what to expect this winter:

November: During the month of November we will be studying Psalm 139 in a series we are calling, “How Great Is Our God!” During this series we will focus on four attributes of God…the fact that He is all-knowing; everywhere present at the same time; all-powerful and holy. These services will include some very special elements such as an original drama on November 4 called “The Omniscient Waiter”; honoring our veterans on Veterans Day, November 11; a beautiful interpretive dance on November 18 and more than a dozen children being dedicated on November 25.

December: We will spend the 5 Sundays in December studying the topic of angels in a series we are calling, “A.I.M. – Angelic Instant Messaging!” The first two Sundays we will give a very general overview of the doctrine of angels. On December 16 and 23 we will focus specifically on the role of angels in the Christmas story. On the final Sunday of the year, December 30, we will see 12 ways that angels were involved in the earthly life of Jesus Christ. These services will include a wide variety of music along with special dramas which will feature a powerful dialogue between Lucifer (Satan, who himself is a fallen angel) and Michael (the archangel of God). Then on Christmas Eve we will have two identical hour long worship services (5:30 and 7:00) designed with the whole family in mind (there will be no nursery or childcare on Christmas Eve). As part of our worship on the final Sunday of the year, we will be taking time to observe the bread and the cup together as a church as we look to God’s blessings in the New Year.

January: The New Year will kick-off a brand new 8-week series through the book of Malachi which we are calling, “McWorship: Authentic Worship in a Fast Food Culture!” We will be using a McDonald’s theme the whole series as we look at 8 key words that must be part of our worship…Love; Service; Discipline; Marriage; Messiah; Money; Faithfulness; and Hope. Our Worship Design Team will be meeting next week to plan the first four services in this series. During the week of January 17 we will also be participating in the Reveal Spiritual Growth Survey. The findings from this research will help us to better understand the spiritual health of our congregation as a whole, as well as how our church is helping them grow spiritually. We will gain insight on the practices and activities that are most catalytic for spiritual growth in our congregation. We will also learn our church’s best opportunities for greater impact through the post-survey statistical analysis that includes comparison to a wide range of other surveyed churches.

Snow or no snow…it’s going to be a great winter here at Grace!

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