Psalm 8 declares, “You have set your glory above the heavens.” Praise, praise, praise—that our lives may be an expression of praise. We often say during worship, “It is right to give thanks and praise,” which is a doxology—a word that means “to speak praise.” Doxology does not deny the pain or other realities of the world, nor does it withdraw and ignore the pain, suffering and grief that await when worship ends. Just as worship names that which is worthy, it also dismisses the competing claims upon our loyalty.
Our music, too, will be full of praise: Westminster members Linda and Roger Nelson will play string music at both services along with our new harpsichord, and then at 11:00a the Cherub Choir, Carol Choir, and Sanctuary Choir will sing together.
And fon’t forget us at 9:30a for roundtable conversations! We’ll consider if violence is ever justified, and if Jesus always condemned violence.
Finally, follow on to the dining room for a special meeting after the 11:00a service to elect the newly-formed Youth Minister Search Committee (YMSC).
Bring a friend or neighbor and join us Sunday as we celebrate and give praise to the God who created and sustains us.
Repentance can be a difficult subject. There’s a Shaker song, ‘Simple Gifts,’ whose lyrics say, “To turn, turn will be our delight ‘Til by turning, turning we come ‘round right.” What does it mean to “come ‘round right”? We’ll look at Luke 13:6-9 as we consider this. The American preacher Fred Craddock says of the text, “In fact, for Luke the gospel is the offer of repentance and forgiveness of sins…”
As usual, there will be beautiful music: The Westminster Winds will perform at both services, and be joined by the Sanctuary Choir at 11:00a.
And don’t forget education at 9:30a: Dr. Jeff Tyler, professor of religion at Hope College, continues our series ‘The Church and the Reality of Violence’ in the chapel.
This Sunday we celebrate All Saints Day.
Our faith is a song—we learn it from others, add our own voices to it for a time, and teach it to others so they can sing it after us. The basis of that song of faith is a call to remember not only the saints themselves, but the basis of the faith that empowered them: Christ has defeated death.
Friends, join us at 8:30a and 11:00a as we celebrate communion, hear songs from the choirs, and remember the saints who have come before us.
Rev. David Baak
How often have you thought of or read Philemon—one of the shortest New Testament books? Labor Day gives us an occasion. Jesus’ teaching gives us a principle of reconciliation, and Philemon offers a case study.
Rev. Chandler Stokes
The instruction to “pay it forward” is about motives—about why we do what we do. This is kingdom language that teaches us not so much about the words we use, but about how we go about living the Kingdom.