Order of Worship for Sunday, January 26, 2014

Posted January 24th, 2014

Gathering Music    Hymn Sing

“O Worship the King” (verses 1 & 3) #66

“This Little Light of Mine” (all verses) #401

“Lo, a Gleam from Younger Heaven” (verses 1 & 3) #591

Sharing Time

. . . a time of greeting and sharing those things which inform who we are as a community of faith and how God is moving among us. You are invited to welcome visitors, share joys, prayer requests, and announcements.

Guest and visitors, please fill out one of the “Welcome” Cards found in the pew Bibles and place it in the offering plate.

Focusing Music    “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” – arr. Brian Joyce

*Call to Worship

One:  God is our Light – whom shall we fear?

All:  God is the stronghold of our life – of whom shall we be afraid?

One:  Let us shout with joy, sing and make melody to God.

All:  Let us seek God’s face. Let us seek to live in God’s house – all the days of our lives.

*Opening Song    “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”    #37

Invitation to Give

Offering Music

“O Holy Spirit Making Whole/Christ We Do All Adore Thee”  – Dyke,Dubois/arr. Masterson

Offering Prayer and Blessing

Special Music    Hymn Medley    Mary Fruth Family

Pearl and Phil Miller, Eunice and Roger Gillaspie, Lois and Bill Grove,

Galen and Judy Fruth, David and Bonnie Fruth

Children’s Story

Childcare provided – Infant thru K-garten – Education Building

Prayer Song    “My Life Flows On”    #580

Prayers of the Community

Message in Music    “This Sanctuary of My Soul”    – Eleanor Daley

Scripture Reading    Isaiah 9: 1-4 (p.638)

Message    “Light – is a verb”    Kathryn Whitacre

*Sending Song    “You Are Salt for the Earth”    #226

*Sending Words

Sending Music  “How Firm a Foundation”    – arr. Brian Joyce

                                         (Please be seated for the Sending Music)

Safe Zone Training — Saturday, February 8, 2014

Posted January 22nd, 2014

The McPherson Church of the Brethren is hosting a Safe Zone Training for any interested parties. Clergy, church members, youth, students, interested community agencies and members are encouraged to attend, at no cost. Becki Bowman, faculty member at McPherson College, member of the Church of the Brethren, and a trainer in Safe Zone Training, will be leading this event.  Attendees can expect to learn about and explore ways in which she/he can be a supporter of and welcoming to the LGBTQ community. At the end of the training, you will be provided an opportunity to declare a space that you represent as a Safe Zone and will be offered a Safe Zone placard to display in that space.

When:  Saturday, February 8, at 10 a.m. to 12 noon

Where:  Church Social Room, McPherson Church of the Brethren

200 N. Carrie Street, McPherson, KS  67460

Alexander Mack Men’s Fellowship — February 13, 2014

Posted January 22nd, 2014

We will meet for dinner at 6 p.m. on Thursday, February 13, in the Church Social Room. Following the meal, Jon Flory Schrock will show pictures and tell about living in Sudan with his missionary parents, Roger and Carolyn Schrock, from 1980-84. The Schrocks were in the Sudan to start a primary health care program for the Sudan Council of Churches.  Jon Flory Schrock will tell about life in the village and country where they lived. This area is now a part of South Sudan – the newest country in the world and often mentioned in the news. To reserve your place, contact Pete Brubaker (brubakes@gmail.com) or Art Snell (241-2427) by Sunday, February 9.

Musings from Ministry Team Members

Posted January 20th, 2014

Food for thought in this time of overwhelming technology.

– Kathryn Whitacre


by Landon Whitsitt

At some level, the notion of a “Wikipedia church” or “Wikicclesia” makes a lot of sense, even if we have never thought of it before. Wikipedia: The encyclopedia that anyone can edit, Wikicclesia: The church that anyone can edit. It kind of brings a smile to your face doesn’t it? More important, it touches on a reality facing the church today: Wikipedia is a part of our everyday lives.

Wikipedia has become as synonymous with encyclopedia as Google has with search. The “wiki” phenomenon has caught fire, spawning many cousin sites, each dedicated to cataloging their own (often) niche corner of the world. (My personal favorite is Wookieepedia, the Star Wars Wiki).

Given this reality, how do we as the church expect to be the least bit appealing to people who increasingly go throughout their day knowing that they can “wiki it.” Anyone anywhere can log on to the Internet and edit the world’s largest encyclopedia. They can contribute to the “sum of all human knowledge,” as Wikipedia describes it. They can offer their gifts of knowledge to the world and to generations to come. Yet we expect them to walk into our churches and simply take what’s handed to them and do it the way we say they should? I don’t think so.

Read a blog post, an article, or any number of books on emerging, emergent, or emergence Christianity, and you are likely to find some reference to Wikipedia in the text. It is increasingly becoming a popular metaphor for the way many would like to see the church structure itself operate, but not a lot of time has been spent on the particulars of Wikipedia or why the project works as well as it does.

Even though there is not a firm one-to-one correlation between Wikipedia and an open source church, [a] brief history of Wikipedia provides us with our first point of comparison. If you are anything like me, you were part of a church experience during your youth that was fun and interesting, one where you thought you learned a lot and were valued for who you were. Your creativity was called upon, and you were encouraged to collaborate with others to a large degree. The thought seems to be that the church should do whatever it can to get [people] interested in the faith, to make sure they understand that it is relevant to their life.

In [many denominations, the] national youth gathering is known to have some of the most creative, powerful worship that most staid [members] have ever experienced. Yet there is a disconnect when our youth return to their congregations where little to no creativity is involved and efficiency is the order of the day. Our youth are discouraged from participating in worship because, in many cases, the service is simply a weekly puzzle. The pastor and musicians certainly put thought into the service elements, but the youth can’t seem to get a good answer when they question why they can’t sing a hymn in a different spot or why there can’t be more, or fewer, hymns.

Institutions are generally aware that their current way of doing business is not tenable in the long run and are astute enough to know they must commit to some drastically different practices if they want to survive. But decades of habit are not easily changed.

Who [is] in control? This will be the issue that drives a wedge between established churches and their creative offspring. Those who resonate deeply with the established institutional form of Christianity will not really know what to do with more creative expressions. The very existence of alternative worship or educational experiences, in some cases, will be an affront to the very thing that established churches think they are about.

Isn’t the point of church to be a place where the Divine Truth is guarded and passed down from generation to generation? This cannot be accomplished by opening the doors and allowing anyone to contribute. Yes, we want contribution and participation, but there must be a measure of indoctrination first. You have to know how we do it before we will trust you to do it.

Yet, what if you come to the church with an open source view of the world? What if your entire life was one in which you experienced a collaboration of gifts, skills, and knowledge? What if, almost every day, you experienced the coming together of seemingly disparate voices and ideas that resulted in beautiful and tremendously effective and meaningful events and solutions? What if this was your world, and you then walked through the door of almost any church, where it quickly became apparent that your job was to sit down and shut up—that your job was to listen and be spoon-fed what you needed to think and believe? To ask the obvious question again: Why is it that I can edit the world’s largest encyclopedia, but I can’t edit church?

If we want to appeal to the “open source generation” (is there such a thing?), we can’t be wedded to our current understanding of church structure. Our bureaucratic committee system will betray our true intentions, and that will repel those whom we hope to attract. I’m sorry, but it’s true.

Excerpts from Open Source Church: Making Room for the Wisdom of All by Landon Whitsitt, copyright © 2011 by the Alban Institute.

Joys of the Congregation

Posted January 17th, 2014

Congratulations to Mary Fruth, who will be celebrating her 100th birthday on Saturday, January 25. Mary’s family is inviting you to celebrate with her at a reception, which will be held on Sunday, January 26, immediately following the worship service, in the Church Good Shepherd Foyer. The family includes Pearl and Phil Miller, Eunice and Roger Gillaspie, Lois and Bill Grove, Galen and Judy Fruth, and David and Bonnie Fruth.