The Key to Great Worship
by Lee Wagenknecht
All of us desire a great worship experience. When I think of great worship, I tend to think of something that typically happens in a place constructed or prepared for it, such as church, a camp, or a special venue. However, the Scriptures teach that great worship happened wherever God's people encountered Him. This included beautiful temples as well as dank prisons. I also tend to think of worship happening at times set aside for it, such as Sunday morning. The Bible shows worship occurred both at those times set aside for it as well as those that were very unexpected. It happened in times of triumph, defeat, danger, and even death. It included all types of people, all times of day, and during all kinds of activities. However, these great worship experiences all shared in common that God was present, the worshippers recognized it, and they responded to His presence from their hearts.
Today, those of us who know Jesus Christ as our Savior have God's presence in the Person of the Holy Spirit residing in us. (I Cor 3:16) Will we recognize His abiding presence and respond with the life of worship He desires for us? (Rom 12:1) Great worship does not depend upon our circumstances, location, preferences, or even other worshippers, but upon our attitude toward God--that is, our commitment to worship Him in spirit and in truth as a way of life (John 4:20-24). This is the key to great worship in all times, all places, and all circumstances.
Let the Decorating Begin!
TONIGHT'S the night! Join us at 6:30pm as we pull out the Christmas decorations and add a little "seasoning" to the sanctuary! Everyone is welcome to help--the more, the merrier!
Angel Tree Outreach
Maplewood is participating in the Angel Tree program this year, which ministers to children of incarcerated parents. If you or your Grow Group would like to bless one of these children with gifts this Christmas, pick a name from the tree in the Connect Center this Sunday. See Laura Wauchope if you have questions.
"Right Now Media" Resource
In case you didn't know, all Maplewood Church families can have free access to an extensive library of faith-based videos and Bible studies through "Right Now Media". If you were not aware of this valuable resource, email the church office and we will send you the link to get connected. You're sure to find something for everyone in the family!
The Light Has Come!
Teresa Turner and her team of helpers have been working hard with our Maplewood kids on the Christmas production of "The Light Has Come", coming up Sunday, December 12, at 10am in the Maplewood Gym! Don't miss this special event, filled with lots of sweet little faces, angelic voices, and the wonderful message of Jesus!
Stocking Up the Christmas Store
It's almost time for the much-anticipated AWANA Christmas store, which gives our clubbers the opportunity to purchase Christmas gifts for family and friends with the shares they've earned. This year's store will take place during AWANA Club on Sunday, December 19, but our shelves could use a little replenishing! If you can help, we will begin accepting monetary donations and gift items this coming Sunday, December 5. Items can be dropped off in the collection basket in the Connect Center or the AWANA storage room. Please use a designated offering envelope for monetary donations. Some suggested items for the store include the following: balls of all kinds, girls' hair accessories, Legos, snow sleds, dolls & Barbies, purses & backpacks, nail polish & makeup kits, dog toys, Matchbox cars, flashlights, baking supplies, cute notebooks, squishy pillows, fun socks, kids' Bibles or devotionals, craft supplies, fishing lures, tools & tool kits, gardening supplies, nice pens or markers, costume jewelry, dress-up items, car cup holder coasters, insulated cups, and car air fresheners. Please mark "AWANA store" on all donated items, and thank you in advance for your help!
Come, Let Us Adore Him!
Make plans to join us this Christmas Eve at 6pm as we celebrate the birth of our Savior at our family-friendly candlelight service. Remember, this is a time of year when hearts are more open to the gospel, so be sure to invite friends and acquaintances who may not know the life-changing message behind the Baby in the manger. Invitations are available in the back of the Worship Center; pick up a few and pass them along!
A New Study for the New Year
The Tuesday Ladies' Bible Study will be starting The God of the Covenant, by Jen Wilkin, on January 4 at 9am in the Fellowship Hall. Here is a brief summary: "Beginning with Genesis 12, we will walk alongside the fathers of our faith – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph – to discern Jesus in the stories of His people. Over 10 sessions, we will discover how God orchestrates everything for His glory and the good of His people, and see how the God of creation and covenant is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Books are $16. Childcare and coffee are provided! For additional information and/or to reserve a book, contact Pam Young at 660-473-8145.
Thank You, Pat & Sherry!
We want to make one more shout out to Pat Johnson and Sherry Sumner for their hard work and dedication to our Operation Christmas Child ministry here at Maplewood Church, especially since Pat is now "retiring" from her position! Thank you, ladies, and thanks again to EVERYONE who helped us reach a total of 801 boxes this year. (Rumor has it that the goal for next year just might be 1000 boxes!) Below are some Facebook pictures from packing night and delivery day.
Two special ladies with big hearts
Shoebox packing in full force
ACS students helped us load boxes for delivery to New Hope Church!
Save the Date: Upcoming Youth Lock-In
Mark your calendars! Pastor Ty is planning a lock-in for grades 7-12 on January 2, 2022, in the gym! The event will begin at 9pm on January 2 and finish at 7am on the 3rd. Start resting up, kids!