Friday, April 30, 2010

Sermon texts for May 2010

May 2 God speaks to us in worship, part 4: God Assures Us of Pardon (Psalm 130)
May 9 God speaks to us in worship, part 5: God Nourishes Us through Word and Sacrament (Psalm 23)
May 16 God speaks to us in worship, part 6: God Sends Us into the World (Psalm 20)
May 23 Genesis 6:1-8 -- Good grief (Pentecost Sunday) (Theme: Grief over sin)
May 30 Genesis 6:8-22 -- But Noah... (Theme: Righteous obedience)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sermon texts for April 2010 (updated)

April 4 God speaks to us in worship, part 1: God Calls Us to Worship (Psalm 100)
April 11 Philippians 1:27-2:11 -- The Makings of a Worthy Life (Guest Preacher Doug Kothe)
April 18 God speaks to us in worship, part 2: God Displays His Glory (Psalm 24)
April 25 God speaks to us in worship, part 3: God Reveals Our Sin to Us (Psalm 32)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Rest in peace, iMonk.

I'll miss you, Michael; thanks for the brief fellowship that we had. See you in glory!

Rest in peace also:
Omie Bruce, Maie Bedford, "Chick" O'Guin, and the several others who have died recently in Hickory Withe and the surrounding area. Easter is all that much more meaningful by their losses.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Books for March 2010

Here are the books I finished in March (plus a couple of Patrick O'Brian titles I finished in February but didn't make the list):
  • HMS Surprise by Patrick O'Brian (re-read): as I mentioned in February's list, these are some of my favorite books, and I'm reading through them again. This particular title is one of my favorites in the series. (10)
  • The Mauritius Command by Patrick O'Brian (re-read) (10)
  • Desolation Island by Patrick O'Brian (re-read) (10)
  • The Fortune of War by Patrick O'Brian (re-read) (10)
  • The Surgeon's Mate by Patrick O'Brian (re-read) (10)
  • Born Standing Up by Steve Martin: I've always liked Steve Martin's comedy and acting, and lately have been increasingly impressed with his versatility as an actor, screenwriter, art collector, playwright, novelist, musician, producer, and memoirist. This memoir/autobiography was a fun and quick read, and left me wanting more at the end. I guess I'll have to pick up another of his autobiographical works in the future. (8)
  • Beekeeping for Dummies by Howland Blackiston: I've always been curious about beekeeping, and was surprised and grateful for this random gift from some cousins (thanks, Rob and Tamsey!!). Very interesting, and well-done, this one gave me a very good overview of the the work/resources involved in beekeeping and many of the concerns, dangers (so to speak), and benefits. Plus, now I have a title from the "animal husbandry" category... always diversifying my library. (8)
  • The Ionian Mission by Patrick O'Brian (re-read) (10)
  • The Lord's Service by Jeffrey Meyers: one of several books that I'm giving attention to, since this year's Ministry Focus is worship; Jeff's book gives a thorough and helpful discussion on the biblical and theological foundations for so much of the way we worship, both in the church in general and at HWPC. There's a lot of good meat here, and it's a valuable book; however, it's both thick and at times dense in content, and maybe wouldn't be the kind of thing I would give to just any church member. (8+)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Worship 6: What is Maundy Thursday?

Today, as many of you (hopefully all who attend Hickory Withe Presbyterian Church!) is "Maundy Thursday"-- about which, some might ask, "What is that?"

"Maundy" Thursday gets its name from the latin phrase
mandatum novum, which means "new command." On Maundy Thursday, we commemorate the day of Holy Week when Jesus gave his disciples "a new command"-- that we love one another (John 13:34). On that day, a number of significant events took place:
  • The disciples gathered with Jesus in the upper room for the "last supper" (which would become the first "Lord's Supper)
  • Jesus washed the disciples' feet, giving them a model of serving one another
  • Christ told them that one of them would betray Him (and Judas left them)
  • The remaining 11 disciples left the upper room with Jesus, during which time He taught them in what is called the "farewell discourse"
  • Jesus and the disciples went to the garden at Gethsemane, where He prayed for the events to come in the next day, and for the church
  • Judas led the Jewish leaders to Jesus and betrayed Him into their hands
  • After a brief scuffle and discussion, all of the disciples fled while Jesus was taken to his mock-trial
All of these events are vital in both the events of Holy Week and the work of the cross, and in the formation of our understanding of our own discipleship. Because of this, Christians have historically gathered on Maundy Thursday for worship and fellowship.

Maunday Thursday services vary from congregation to congregation; some have long-standing traditions about how this commemorative service may be celebrated. Some congregations include a foot-washing service to serve one another in a humble way. Some will have an extended service of prayer for the church, incorporating elements of Christ's prayer for the church (in John 17) as a model. Some will have a simple worship service. Many will include a celebration of the Lord's Supper into one of the above observations.

Maundy Thursday is a great time for the church to worship and celebrate together. Is your congregation having a Maundy Thursday service? If not, is there a nearby congregation that you could visit for this event?

Hickory Withe Presbyterian Church will gather with two sister congregations-- Christ Presbyterian Church of Oakland, and St. Andrews Presbyterian Church of Cordova-- to celebrate and worship together for Maundy Thursday. Our service is tonight at 7pm, at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Cordova.