Consecration Sunday

Throughout the month of September our church has prayed, fasted, and thought deeply about what it would mean for us to invest ourselves in God’s work here on earth. We’ve considered investing our time into relationships, investing our gifts into service teams, and this weekend we’ll explore investing our money into our church.

But Kingdom Month is nearing its culmination in Consecration Sunday.

photo courtesy of

We have a full lineup of events scheduled throughout the weekend, beginning with the Church Picnic tomorrow at 12.30pm at the 79th Street Boat Basin. For a map to the Boat Basin Café, just click on the picture to the right. If you didn’t reserve your spot for the picnic, I’m sorry to say there’s no more room.

Then Sunday morning begins with Sunday school for all ages at 9.45am. You can check in your children in the Chapel, then head over to the Archives Room where we will continue studying a proposed church covenant that I will present for a vote at our Annual Meeting in January.

At 11am we will gather in the sanctuary to worship our great and glorious God through song, testimony, prayer, and the Word. Steven Mann has prepared a fantastic selection of songs and hymns for us to sing, and the message will be from Mark 10.17–31.

Just before the service ends, we will take some time to fill out the Kingdom Month Consecration Card that we’ve been praying over all month. That’s when you can share how God is directing you to invest yourself in His work here at First. How you fill out this card is crucial to helping our lay leaders—deacons, trustees, and service team leaders—plan for the coming year. Thank you in advance for your prayerful response.

design by Jon Eger of the Ottoman Creative Group

After the worship service, we will head to the Chapel for the Consecration Sunday Luncheon provided by Francesca’s La Vela Cucina Italiana, one of our neighborhood favorites. Like the picnic this is an RSVP event, but unlike the picnic there might be room for you. If that describes you, we’ll give you further instructions during the worship service.

Once lunch is over, we will head directly into a congregational meeting during which you’ll hear reports, not only from the last three months, but specifically from how God led us through Kingdom Month.

Quite a culmination it will be!

Hope to see you there!

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Hallowed Be Your Name

image courtesy of timeofgrace

Today’s passage begins with what might appear to be a pretty dark statement: “the end of all things is near.” It may evoke images of a rumpled street preacher with a sandwich board hung from his neck announcing coming destruction on all who pass by.

But to read the verse that way is to inject it with an unmitigated darkness it simply does not possess. In fact, it points to a future much brighter, much more full of hope—indeed, a future that reshapes how we live now.

Title: Hallowed Be Your Name

Text: 1 Peter 4.7–11


  • glory
  • hallowed
  • serve


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Light of the World—TLC version

artwork by Jon Eger of Ottoman Creative Group

Some of you know that I wrote a song earlier this year to go along with our church’s theme for 2016, “Light of the World.” We’ve sung it a number of times as a congregation, and I think it’s catching on.

But we haven’t sung it like this before.

In July I was honored to speak at the Teen Leadership Conference hosted by Clarks Summit University (formerly Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, PA). The worship director, David Harris, and I have been friends for a few years, so I sent him “Light of the World” to see what his band might come up with.

What they did was amazing. I absolutely love it, so I recorded it on my phone the last time we sang it that week. Wish the quality were better, but you’ll get the idea. If I manage to get a better recording, I’ll post it.

My thanks to the band (David Harris, Kyle Sparks, John Mark Amos, Megan Miller, Katherine Grosvenor, Matt Snyder, and Luke Peterson) and to the audio-visual team (Jack Coleman, Ryan Buchanan, and Jesse Dreyer) for their work.

And of course to D-wight for the invitation to speak. It’s always a delight.

You can listen to their version of “Light of the World” here. And if you’re interested in singing it in your church, you can download the lead sheet here.

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Our Father in Heaven

image courtesy of taking the epistle

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to take a look at one of the best-known passages in the New Testament, a text we call the Lord’s prayer. Lord willing, each Sunday I’ll take one phrase at a time and pick a passage that helps us understand what it means & what difference it makes in our lives.

Something of the wonder of that opening phrase—”Our Father in heaven”—is lost on us. Why would I say that? What is awe-inspiring about the way you and I can address God? And what difference does it make that he is our Father in heaven?

Title: Our Father in Heaven

Text: Hebrews 3


  • wonder
  • sharing
  • family


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PrayerWatch begins tonight

Our church begins a twenty-four hour prayer fast later today, an event we call PrayerWatch. The fast begins at dinnertime tonight, and lasts through breakfast and lunch tomorrow. We’re asking everyone to give up those meal times in exchange for extra time spent in prayer, assuming you are physically capable of doing so.

PrayerWatch culminates tomorrow night with a prayer meeting at 6pm in the Archives Room at the church. Then we will break the fast together with a free dinner in the Chapel at 7pm.

Please feel free to drop in whenever you are able to come. Don’t let working late keep you from whatever prayer and fellowship you otherwise would be able to enjoy.

This month’s PrayerWatch brings our Kingdom Month initiative before the throne of grace. To help focus your times of prayer, please use this guide that offers Scripture to pray through and some specific requests to make.

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