Thursday, June 8, 2017

Whiteboard: Music Appreciation Sunday

This Sunday we will be celebrating the blessing and gift of music!

It is Music Appreciation Sunday, and we are blessed to have so much to celebrate here at First Christian Church Scottsdale!

Our Director of Music Ministries Sandi DeFeo leads us in wonderful worship each and every Sunday. Her passion for sharing the faith and her gifts for helping us lift up our praises to the Lord is a true gift.

Our Musicians are simply one of the best in the Valley – Tavit Tashjian, Al Beasley, and Max Beckman lay the foundation for every sung word our sanctuary and also provide amazing, faith-filled soundtracks during the Offertory and Communion. And our Guest Musicians (frequently featuring David Reed) add something special to every service they are a part of.

The Praise Team Vocalists (Charlie Atkinson, Brad Bond, Josh Reed,
Sandi DeFeo, Julie Erickson, Beth Porter, and Nancy Sauder) help get our worship service started in the right spirit every single Sunday and lead us in congregational singing and offer extraordinary special music as well!

The Chancel Choir contains too many names to list and does such an exquisite job offering us Choral Anthems on Sunday and this past year even worked their way into a few programs in the Fellowship Hall during special events. Their hard work and faithful practice is a blessing to the church.

And that is without even mentioning the congregational singing! It is such a blessing to be a part of a church that loves to sing as much as ours does! It not only brings our worship to life, it gives others permission to sing out to the Lord to their heart’s content as well. When we sing out together it makes it easier for others to join in and sing out with us.

So this Sunday come join us for worship as we celebrate the Lord with our praises and give thanks for the blessings of music. I’ll see you (and hope to hear you!) there.


Psalm 8 Divine Majesty and Human Dignity

O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?

Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
and crowned them with glory and honour.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Caring for Community and Creation

Check out this great new video from our friends at Green Chalice!

Faith in Action: Caring for Community and Creation from ecoAmerica on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Whiteboard: The Day of Pentecost

This Sunday is Pentecost!

It marks the passage of 50 days since our Easter Sunday Celebration. It marks the beginning of a new season in the worship life of the church. And it marks our celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit!

Oh, and it give us an excuse to wear red!

On Pentecost Sunday the colors of everything in the sanctuary change – we have red paraments, I’ll wear my red stole, we have red banners on the walls and (hopefully) pews full of church members decked out in red. We change the colors to commemorate the change in the season in the worship life of the church, and to welcome “the inspiring flame” of the Holy Spirit once again.

In preparation for our Pentecost Sunday worship service I keep coming back to the following prayer from “Chalice Worship”:

God of wind, word, and fire,
We bless your name this day for sending the light and strength of your Holy Spirit.
We give you thanks for all the gifts, great and small,
   that you have poured out upon your children.
Kindling Spirit, build well the fire in our hearts this day.
   Fan us to flame that all will see the Christ-presence of love blazing in our midst.
   Burn the witness on our tongues: Christ’s Spirit moves among us.
Jesus Christ, our risen Lord has set his church on fire with strength and boldness and power.
Kindling Spirit, build well the fire in our hearts this day
   to clean our hearts,
   to hallow our gifts,
   and to make perfect the offering of ourselves to you.

I’ll see you on Sunday for Pentecost celebration. Don’t forget to wear red!

Acts 2:1-21 The Coming of the Holy Spirit

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
“In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
And I will show portents in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”