Sermon for December 6, 2020

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 • Isaiah 40:1-11 • 2 Peter 3:8-15a • Mark 1:1-8 This week’s theme is Comfort in God’s faithfulness. The call to worship Psalm recounts God’s faithfulness and encourages us to be comforted by God’s words of peace. The readings in Isaiah and 2 Peter both speak words of comfort to people in very uncomfortable situations on the grounds of God’s faithfulness to his promises. The Gospel reading in Mark quotes Isaiah 40 to announce the good news of God’s faithful promises being fulfilled in Jesus Christ. A Word of Comfort Isaiah 40:1-11 (NRSV) There’s a humorous story of a teenager who comes home and tells his dad: “Dad, I have some good news and some bad news about your car. The good news is—the... Read the article

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GCI Church Hack: Types of Mentors

As all GCI churches are making efforts toward better church health, one key focus across all avenues is the development of new leaders. Through mentoring relationships, ministry leaders are developed and the lives of both mentor and mentee are enriched. Check out this month’s Church Hack about the mentoring relationship. Read the article

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GCI Church Hack: Avenue Job Descriptions

The impact of the pandemic has touched every area of our lives, including the life of the church. Because of Jesus’ call to love our neighbors well, we have found innovative ways to safely worship together and developed new policies to keep one another safe. This means that there are new ways to serve within our ministry teams. A GCI best practice is to have job descriptions for every ministry worker for clear expectations and training. Click on the link to explore the new roles that might be a good fit for your congregation. Read the article

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PowerPoint Pointers

If you are using PowerPoint for your worship service, here are a number of tips to make things run smoothly. By Tim Sitterley, U.S. Regional Director, West In the not-too-distant past, movies were delivered to theaters on large rolls of film. The skill of the projectionist was to sync the film so that when one reel ran out on one projector, the next reel was already playing on the next projector. If they did their job, well the audience seated below was never aware of the reel change. Several years ago, I was in a theater watching the major motion picture Midway. It was the height of one of the battle scenes. Planes were flying in and out of the screen. Bombs were exploding. Everyone was on the edge of their seats. And the screen... Read the article

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Exalt, Encounter and Respond in Worship

Worship leaders have the blessing/responsibility to lead us in joining the heavenly hosts in worship. Here are three things to keep in mind. By Dr. Kathleen Horwood, Business Manager for GCI Canada and Pastor for Saskatoon. From Genesis to Revelation, we see that God’s people have been worshippers. We worship God for his faithfulness, his protection, his provision, his love. We worship because he is Father, Son and Spirit. Worship has never been confined to gatherings in the temple or church gathering. Rather, it can—and should—occur from the rising of the sun to the setting. Our Sunday gatherings, however, provide a time when God’s people can gather to worship him in concert with “our psalms, hymns, spiritual songs”... Read the article

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“I Saw, I Heard, I Felt Jesus Today”

A healthy church worship service is centered around Jesus. He is the center of our gathering, preaching, sharing communion, and dismissal. By Bill Hall, National Director, Canada I recently started to read A Lay Preacher’s Guide: How to Craft a Faithful Sermon, by Karoline Lewis. (She is the associate professor of biblical preaching at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota.) In the introduction to her book Lewis makes the following statement about what a faithful sermon should accomplish: Preaching assumes and then invites an actual encounter with God. How it creates an experience of God is the focus of this book. But first, the preacher has to believe that the Greeks were right when they pleaded, “Sir, we wish to see... Read the article

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The Omega and the Alpha

November marks the end of one worship year with Christ the King Sunday, and the beginning of another worship year with Advent. The title of this article is a play on words. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end—and this month gives us the opportunity to celebrate with the end and work back to a celebration of the beginning. The worship calendar gives us constant reminders that all our worship centers on Jesus. We can’t make him the center of the center—he already is. The GCI worship calendar keeps us focused on him. So let’s start with the end. Christ the King Sunday  Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom... Read the article

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Gospel Reverb – Bonus: the first Sunday of Advent – Mighty to Save with Ted Johnston

Listen in as host, Anthony Mullins and guest, Ted Johnston, unpack the lectionary passages for the first Sunday of Advent, November 29, 2020: Isaiah 64:1-9                         “The Master Potter” Psalm 80:1-7; 17-19            “Mighty to Save” 1 Corinthians 1:3-9              “Blameless” Mark 13:24-37                      “Stay Awake!” If you get a chance to rate and review the show, that helps a lot. And invite your fellow preachers and Bible lovers to join us! Read the article

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Gospel Reverb – Labor of Love w/ Dishon Mills

Labor of Love with Dishon Mills Listen in as host, Anthony Mullins and guest, Dishon Mills, unpack these lectionary passages: November 1              1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 “Labor of Love” November 8             1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 “Don’t Plead Ignorance” November 15            1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 “Is the Lord a Thief?” November 22            Matthew 25:31-46 “Least of These” If you get a chance to rate and review the show, that helps a lot. And invite your fellow preachers and Bible lovers to join us! Read the article

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Crafting A Worship Service w/ Michelle Fleming

In this episode, host Anthony Mullins interviews Michelle Fleming who serves as the GCI Media Director. Together they discuss the importance of crafting an inspirational Sunday Worship service. “Well, when we are coming together in worship. We are coming to share the good news of Jesus. The gospel is good news! Even if we are personally having a hard time, we are coming together because of the hope we have in him. And so, coming together is transformative! … singing the same truth next to brothers and sisters, even if I’m not believing it. Hearing other people say those words, with conviction, helps me borrow hope and have conviction too.” Michelle Fleming, GCI Media Director Main Points: What does it mean to craft a worship... Read the article

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