March 21, 2010

Why I'm Observing Lent This Year I was only eight years old the last time I remember my parents going home from church on a Wednesday night with ash on their foreheads. The sights and smells and sounds from St. Paul's Anglican Church in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, left an early impression on me. But I ought not overplay my hand. The bulk of my childhood memories of faith come from "non-denominational", charismatic churches. There was the "full gospel" church in Malaysia that I attended from ages 8-10, and again at ages 13-17. The three years in between can be accounted for by my family's move from Malaysia to Portland, Oregon, where my parents attended a Bible college that was connected to another "non-denominational" church with Pentecostal leanings. When I was 17, I left Malaysia to return to the States to attend a university that was by all counts "charismatic". Thankfully I had theology professors who represented various streams of the Body of Christ, from Anglican to Catholic to Reformed to Pentecostal. Finally, for the last 10 years I've served on staff at a large "evangelical", "non-denominational" church that believes in the activity and gifts of the Holy Spirit. THE GLORY OF THE HISTORIC CHURCH CALENDAR Needless to say, the notion of observing the historic Church Calendar was remote at best. It seemed like something "traditional" churches did, while the allegedly cutting edge churches followed the "leading of the Holy Spirit." But I'm beginning to wonder if every church-- even the ones that claim to order their year by the Spirit's leading-- has a calendar, an annual rhythm of sorts. In most of the non-denominational churches I've been in, there is the Small Group Kickoff in the Fall, a Festival for children involving candy and costumes that mysteriously lands on October 31st each year, there is a...
The Order of Service at NewLifeSundayNight Here is our "Order of Service" at NewLifeSundayNight: Worship in Song Music is one of the oldest worship expressions, and perhaps the most complete in the way it engages and moves our whole being. The Bible is full of injunctions to sing, shout dance, and play skillfully on instruments as we make music to the Lord. It also encourages us to sing a new song. For this reason, we begin our service with Matthew Fallentine and a team of worship leaders and musicians leading us in expressing our worship in song, often newer songs that reflect what God is doing in our midst today. The Nicene Creed Officially formulated and adopted at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, the Creed expands and re-articulates beliefs that were taught by the early apostles and used in baptismal rites as early as the mid-2nd century. It is also the only creed accepted across every Christian denomination in both Western and Eastern streams. Silent Confession This is quiet space to become aware of the places in our lives and relationships where we have tried to live independently of God. It is a time to confess our sin, acknowledge our need for God, pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s work in us, and surrender every part of our life and heart to Him. Corporate Confession By using language from Psalm 51 and the Book of Common Prayer, words that are centuries old (at least!), we are travelling a well-worn path of faith, humility, and surrender to Christ. It reminds us that we are not alone in our journey, nor are we the first to embark on it. Communion and Prayer From the earliest days of Christian worship, the Eucharist—the celebration of communion—was the centerpiece of the Christian gathering. It is the moment where followers...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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