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Church Music

Village Church Family,

 

I'm sure you've noticed that within recent months we have sung more hymns than usual and I want to take a second to explain why.  My hope is that when you hear our reasons you'll not only appreciate the level of intentionally we have in choosing the songs, but you'll also feel the love we have for you through doing better music. 

 

Our focus at the beginning (now over four years ago) was to sing songs that were saturated with gospel-centered lyrics. And when I refer to the gospel I mean "that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Gospel-centeredness means that we focus on this series of events along with all the glorious doctrines that flow from it: justification, adoption, union with Christ, sanctification, glorification, etc.  

 

However, we have strayed from that focus over the past year. 

 

Instead of intentionally choosing songs that give us a vehicle of response to this gospel, we found ourselves drifting more towards popular trends that gave us a fantastic feeling but, in the end, left us wondering what we were actually saying about God and ourselves. Recently we began asking questions like:

 

Does this song talk more about God or me? 

Who is the focus?

Does it remind us of the gospel?

What are we saying in this song?

Does it stir genuine worship and enhance our gathering?

 

Now I want to be careful in how I describe modern worship music because I will be the first to applaud the vast creativity that God continues to give today's worship leaders who pen songs that are incredibly true and gospel-rich.  Yet my attitude in song selection had became passive instead of proactive. We began saying "well although the lyrics aren't gospel-rich, at least they're not heretical (false)." And this isn't a God-honoring method for worship song selection. Why? Because true Biblical worship should be based on truths of who God is and how we are to respond to Him; our response flows from gazing at God's character. 

 

Recently, at a Together For the Gospel conference in Louisville we felt the Holy Spirit show us our lack of focus.  But to be clear, this correction was a loving thing that God did for us. He desires us to sing songs that glorify Him and give us a vehicle of response to His glorious gospel. How do we know this? Consider these verses:

 

"(Address) one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."  Ephesians 5:19-20

 

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Colossians 3:16

 

So in light of this we have resolved to use the following criteria to choose our weekly songs:

 

1. Clear and true descriptions of the gospel and it's implications. 

This means we will choose songs that, although may seem more wordy at times, will clearly state Biblical truths of who God is, what Christ has done, and who we are in light of these. The sub-topics abound because we can never run out of ways to apply them. 

 

2. Clear and appropriate responses life situations with a gospel-lens. 

This means we will choose songs that deal with our very human experiences, and use them to propel us toward a Gospel-informed heart posture, because Gospel always has a lens for every situation we go through. The book of Psalms is full of this! Also take for example Horatio Spafford's lyrics in It Is Well - "whatever my lot Thou has taught me to say it is well, it is well with my soul".  Here he is reminding us that hardship helps us feel our frailty and reminds us that our greatest affliction (sin) was absorbed by Christ on His bloody cross. Therefore we can "rejoice always" (Phil 4:4). 

 

All that said, we humbly recognize that this won't be a perfect process, and sometimes our worship songs won't be timely and appropriate for each season of your life. But I ask you to pray for us to lead you well in the worship music selection so that we can better serve you, and thereby give God the glory He deserves. 

 

I invite you to subscribe to our following Spotify playlists:

Weekly Songs

The Archives

Potential Songs (that you request) 

 

Much love, 

Matt

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Announcements - Week of April 17th

VILLAGE CHURCH ANNOUNCEMENTS

Week of April 17th, 2016

 

VBS

As hard as it is to believe it is that time of year again to begin preparing for annual Vacation Bible School program.  This year VBS will be held from June 20th – 24th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. here at the church.  On Saturday, June 25th we will throw a huge Community Festival for all the kids who came to VBS, their families and our entire neighborhood.  VBS is one of our biggest outreaches to the neighborhood each year, so we are always in need of lots of help.  Please be praying about how you can help serve throughout that week.  We will need teachers, helpers, kitchen crew, arts and crafts leaders, game leaders and more.  This is truly an event that takes the whole church pitching in.  If you are able to help with VBS this year please talk to Megan Ruder and let her know where you’re able to serve.  Our theme this year is “Deep Sea Discovery: God Is With Me Wherever I Go.”  Please start praying now for the week of VBS and all the kids that will get to hear the power of the Gospel.

     

Entwistle Going Away Party

On Saturday, May 28th we will be throwing a going away party for the Entwistle family.  The Entwistle’s have a significant part of our church since the beginning and, while we knew this day was coming, we will be very sad to see them go.  Before they head south to Jacksonville, though, we want to send them off in style with a great celebration.  Many more details to come, but for now just reserve the evening of May 28th on your calendars so that you can come party with us. 

 

The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference

From June 16-18, 2016 The Gospel Coalition will be holding their third National Women’s Conference in Indianapolis, IN.  This is a conference specifically designed for women to gather together around The Word of God sharing study, fellowship and encouragement.  The theme of their conference next year is “Resurrection Life In A World of Suffering,” as the main sessions will be studying the book of 1 Peter.  Great teachers like John Piper, Tim Keller, Nancy Guthrie, Jen Wilkin, Kathy Keller & D.A. Carson will be speaking.  We would love to send a group of women from the church to this conference as we think it would be a great opportunity for you to spend a few days together learning and studying God’s Word together and experiencing great fellowship with one another.  There are currently five women from the church who are attending and we would love to have several more join them.  There is a sign-up sheet on the Connect Table if you’re interested.  If you are interested in going or have any questions please talk to Zack.    

 

Village Music

Music is a significant part of our worship gathering each week and we want you to be as involved and familiar as possible with our music.  To that end we have created three public playlists on Spotify to help you familiarize yourself with our weekly music as well as provide your own input on what we sing.  If you go to our blog you can click on each of these three playlists and subscribe.  The first playlist is our “Village This Week” playlist and it will list the songs we are singing in our next weekly gathering.  The second playlist is our “Village Archives” playlist and it has all the songs we’ve ever sung at The Village.  The third playlist is our “Village Potentials” playlist and is a playlist designed for you to add songs you’d like us to sing at The Village.  We hope that you’ll subscribe to all three playlists and help invest in the music ministry of The Village Church. 

 

Community Yard Sale

On Saturday, May 7th Merion Village is holding a neighborhood-wide yard sale and we have reserved the church lawn as a space for folks to set-up their own goods to sell as well as a space for the church to be very visible while lots of folks will be out and about in our neighborhood.  If you are interested in setting up a table (or two) of things to sell please talk to Megan Ruder and let her know how much space you’d like for the sale.  We are hoping all of you will come out, either to get rid of old stuff you don’t want or to connect with folks from our neighborhood.  The Community Yard Sale runs from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 7th. 

 

KABOOM!

May 14th will be our next Village Kids’ KABOOM!  This will be another great time of our kids coming together to learn about Jesus through a Bible lesson, small groups, craft, games, music and more.  KABOOM! is for kids age 3 through the 5th grade.  There will also be a lunch for everyone who comes.  KABOOM! is a great opportunity for the kids of our church to build community and grow in their own understanding of Jesus.  KABOOM! also exists as an outreach to kids in our neighborhood, so if you know of any kids who would like to come please invite them.  KABOOM! is free for everyone and we will offer transportation to and from KABOOM! as well.  There will be a sign-up soon of supplies and volunteers that we’ll need for the January KABOOM!. If you have any questions please talk to Michael, Jamie, Ian, Karey or Shawn.     

 

Prayer @ 9

On April 30th we will have our next Prayer @ 9 gathering.  Prayer @ 9 is a time for us to come together as a church family before the throne of our great God.  We believe that God not only commands us to pray, but that He tells us that our prayers are a powerful means of grace.  We invite to come and prayer with us for one another, our church, our city and those things going on around the globe as we come together to thank and petition our God together as a church family.  Prayer @ 9 always meets at 9:00 a.m. at the church on an every-other-week rotation. 

 

Amazon Smile

We know that many of you shop on Amazon, so we’d like to let you know about an easy way to raise some money for the church.  We have recently setup an Amazon Smile account, which means that if you select The Village Church as your charity of choice on Amazon then each time you make a purchase through Amazon they will donate .5% of your total purchase price back to our church.  If you go to www.smile.amazon.com you can select our church as the charity you would like to support.  Once you have done this you just shop on Amazon, as you normally would, just now through the www.smile.amazon.com page.  This donation applies to almost anything that you would ever buy through Amazon, so this is a great way to get amazing deals through Amazon and support our church at the same time.  

 

IMPORTANT DATES

April 18th - Village Academy: Christian Doctrine, 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. @ the church

April 25th – THIRST! for women @ 8:00 p.m. @ Cheryl Entwistle’s home

April 30th – Prayer @ 9: Prayer gathering @ the church, 9:00 a.m.

May 7th - Community Yard Sale, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

May 13th - Village Guys’ Night Out, details to come

May 14th - Village Kids KABOOM!, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

May 28th - Entwistle Going Away Party, details to come

June 20th - 25th - Vacation Bible School, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

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Announcements - Week of April 10th

VILLAGE CHURCH ANNOUNCEMENTS

Week of April 10th, 2016

 

Covenant Member Meeting

This Saturday, April 16th we will have our next Covenant Member Meeting here at the church.  The meeting is for all covenant members and all covenant members are encouraged to attend.  Our meeting will start at 9:00 a.m. here at the church and we will be done before lunch.  We will be sharing with you some updates about where we are as a church and we will be looking for input and ideas from you about how The Village can be more the church that God would have us be.  If you are a member, please plan to attend, but if you’re not a member and interested in what membership looks like here at The Village please talk to one of the Elders.  Childcare will be provided and we will plan to go out to lunch afterwards. 

 

VBS

As hard as it is to believe it is that time of year again to begin preparing for annual Vacation Bible School program.  This year VBS will be held from June 20th – 24th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. here at the church.  On Saturday, June 25th we will throw a huge Community Festival for all the kids who came to VBS, their families and our entire neighborhood.  VBS is one of our biggest outreaches to the neighborhood each year, so we are always in need of lots of help.  Please be praying about how you can help serve throughout that week.  We will need teachers, helpers, kitchen crew, arts and crafts leaders, game leaders and more.  This is truly an event that takes the whole church pitching in.  If you are able to help with VBS this year please talk to Megan Ruder and let her know where you’re able to serve.  Our theme this year is “Deep Sea Discovery: God Is With Me Wherever I Go.”  Please start praying now for the week of VBS and all the kids that will get to hear the power of the Gospel.

     

The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference

From June 16-18, 2016 The Gospel Coalition will be holding their third National Women’s Conference in Indianapolis, IN.  This is a conference specifically designed for women to gather together around The Word of God sharing study, fellowship and encouragement.  The theme of their conference next year is “Resurrection Life In A World of Suffering,” as the main sessions will be studying the book of 1 Peter.  Great teachers like John Piper, Tim Keller, Nancy Guthrie, Jen Wilkin, Kathy Keller & D.A. Carson will be speaking.  We would love to send a group of women from the church to this conference as we think it would be a great opportunity for you to spend a few days together learning and studying God’s Word together and experiencing great fellowship with one another.  There are currently five women from the church who are attending and we would love to have several more join them.  There is a sign-up sheet on the Connect Table if you’re interested.  If you are interested in going or have any questions please talk to Zack.    

 

Village Music

Music is a significant part of our worship gathering each week and we want you to be as involved and familiar as possible with our music.  To that end we have created three public playlists on Spotify to help you familiarize yourself with our weekly music as well as provide your own input on what we sing.  If you go to our blog you can click on each of these three playlists and subscribe.  The first playlist is our “Village This Week” playlist and it will list the songs we are singing in our next weekly gathering.  The second playlist is our “Village Archives” playlist and it has all the songs we’ve ever sung at The Village.  The third playlist is our “Village Potentials” playlist and is a playlist designed for you to add songs you’d like us to sing at The Village.  We hope that you’ll subscribe to all three playlists and help invest in the music ministry of The Village Church. 

 

Community Yard Sale

On Saturday, May 7th Merion Village is holding a neighborhood-wide yard sale and we have reserved the church lawn as a space for folks to set-up their own goods to sell as well as a space for the church to be very visible while lots of folks will be out and about in our neighborhood.  If you are interested in setting up a table (or two) of things to sell please talk to Megan Ruder and let her know how much space you’d like for the sale.  We are hoping all of you will come out, either to get rid of old stuff you don’t want or to connect with folks from our neighborhood.  The Community Yard Sale runs from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 7th. 

 

KABOOM!

May 14th will be our next Village Kids’ KABOOM!  This will be another great time of our kids coming together to learn about Jesus through a Bible lesson, small groups, craft, games, music and more.  KABOOM! is for kids age 3 through the 5th grade.  There will also be a lunch for everyone who comes.  KABOOM! is a great opportunity for the kids of our church to build community and grow in their own understanding of Jesus.  KABOOM! also exists as an outreach to kids in our neighborhood, so if you know of any kids who would like to come please invite them.  KABOOM! is free for everyone and we will offer transportation to and from KABOOM! as well.  There will be a sign-up soon of supplies and volunteers that we’ll need for the January KABOOM!. If you have any questions please talk to Michael, Jamie, Ian, Karey or Shawn.   

 

Prayer @ 9

On April 30th we will have our next Prayer @ 9 gathering.  Prayer @ 9 is a time for us to come together as a church family before the throne of our great God.  We believe that God not only commands us to pray, but that He tells us that our prayers are a powerful means of grace.  We invite to come and prayer with us for one another, our church, our city and those things going on around the globe as we come together to thank and petition our God together as a church family.  Prayer @ 9 always meets at 9:00 a.m. at the church on an every-other-week rotation. 

 

Amazon Smile

We know that many of you shop on Amazon, so we’d like to let you know about an easy way to raise some money for the church.  We have recently setup an Amazon Smile account, which means that if you select The Village Church as your charity of choice on Amazon then each time you make a purchase through Amazon they will donate .5% of your total purchase price back to our church.  If you go to www.smile.amazon.com you can select our church as the charity you would like to support.  Once you have done this you just shop on Amazon, as you normally would, just now through the www.smile.amazon.com page.  This donation applies to almost anything that you would ever buy through Amazon, so this is a great way to get amazing deals through Amazon and support our church at the same time.  

 

IMPORTANT DATES

April 11th – THIRST! for women @ 8:00 p.m. @ Cheryl Entwistle’s home

April 15th - Village Guys’ Night Out, details to come

April 16th - Covenant Member Meeting, 9:00 a.m.

April 18th - Village Academy: Christian Doctrine, 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. @ the church

April 30th – Prayer @ 9: Prayer gathering @ the church, 9:00 a.m.

May 7th - Community Yard Sale, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

May 14th - Village Kids KABOOM!, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

June 20th - 25th - Vacation Bible School, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

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Announcements - Week of April 3rd

VILLAGE CHURCH ANNOUNCEMENTS

Week of April 3rd, 2016

 

Covenant Member Meeting

On Saturday, April 16th we will have our next Covenant Member Meeting here at the church.  The meeting is for all covenant members and all covenant members are encouraged to attend.  Our meeting will start at 9:00 a.m. here at the church and we will be done before lunch.  We will be sharing with you some updates about where we are as a church and we will be looking for input and ideas from you about how The Village can be more the church that God would have us be.  If you are a member, please plan to attend, but if you’re not a member and interested in what membership looks like here at The Village please talk to one of the Elders.  Childcare will be provided and we will plan to go out to lunch afterwards. 

 

VBS

As hard as it is to believe it is that time of year again to begin preparing for annual Vacation Bible School program.  This year VBS will be held from June 20th – 24th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. here at the church.  On Saturday, June 25th we will throw a huge Community Festival for all the kids who came to VBS, their families and our entire neighborhood.  VBS is one of our biggest outreaches to the neighborhood each year, so we are always in need of lots of help.  Please be praying about how you can help serve throughout that week.  We will need teachers, helpers, kitchen crew, arts and crafts leaders, game leaders and more.  This is truly an event that takes the whole church pitching in.  If you are able to help with VBS this year please talk to Megan Ruder and let her know where you’re able to serve.  Our theme this year is “Deep Sea Discovery: God Is With Me Wherever I Go.”  Please start praying now for the week of VBS and all the kids that will get to hear the power of the Gospel.

     

The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference

From June 16-18, 2016 The Gospel Coalition will be holding their third National Women’s Conference in Indianapolis, IN.  This is a conference specifically designed for women to gather together around The Word of God sharing study, fellowship and encouragement.  The theme of their conference next year is “Resurrection Life In A World of Suffering,” as the main sessions will be studying the book of 1 Peter.  Great teachers like John Piper, Tim Keller, Nancy Guthrie, Jen Wilkin, Kathy Keller & D.A. Carson will be speaking.  We would love to send a group of women from the church to this conference as we think it would be a great opportunity for you to spend a few days together learning and studying God’s Word together and experiencing great fellowship with one another.  There are currently five women from the church who are attending and we would love to have several more join them.  There is a sign-up sheet on the Connect Table if you’re interested.  If you are interested in going or have any questions please talk to Zack.    

 

Village Music

Music is a significant part of our worship gathering each week and we want you to be as involved and familiar as possible with our music.  To that end we have created three public playlists on Spotify to help you familiarize yourself with our weekly music as well as provide your own input on what we sing.  If you go to our blog you can click on each of these three playlists and subscribe.  The first playlist is our “Village This Week” playlist and it will list the songs we are singing in our next weekly gathering.  The second playlist is our “Village Archives” playlist and it has all the songs we’ve ever sung at The Village.  The third playlist is our “Village Potentials” playlist and is a playlist designed for you to add songs you’d like us to sing at The Village.  We hope that you’ll subscribe to all three playlists and help invest in the music ministry of The Village Church. 

 

Community Yard Sale

On Saturday, May 7th Merion Village is holding a neighborhood-wide yard sale and we have reserved the church lawn as a space for folks to set-up their own goods to sell as well as a space for the church to be very visible while lots of folks will be out and about in our neighborhood.  If you are interested in setting up a table (or two) of things to sell please talk to Megan Ruder and let her know how much space you’d like for the sale.  We are hoping all of you will come out, either to get rid of old stuff you don’t want or to connect with folks from our neighborhood.  The Community Yard Sale runs from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 7th. 

 

KABOOM!

April 9th will be our next Village Kids’ KABOOM!  This will be another great time of our kids coming together to learn about Jesus through a Bible lesson, small groups, craft, games, music and more.  KABOOM! is for kids age 3 through the 5th grade.  There will also be a lunch for everyone who comes.  KABOOM! is a great opportunity for the kids of our church to build community and grow in their own understanding of Jesus.  KABOOM! also exists as an outreach to kids in our neighborhood, so if you know of any kids who would like to come please invite them.  KABOOM! is free for everyone and we will offer transportation to and from KABOOM! as well.  There will be a sign-up soon of supplies and volunteers that we’ll need for the January KABOOM!. If you have any questions please talk to Michael, Jamie, Ian, Karey or Shawn.   

 

Prayer @ 9

On April 30th we will have our next Prayer @ 9 gathering.  Prayer @ 9 is a time for us to come together as a church family before the throne of our great God.  We believe that God not only commands us to pray, but that He tells us that our prayers are a powerful means of grace.  We invite to come and prayer with us for one another, our church, our city and those things going on around the globe as we come together to thank and petition our God together as a church family.  Prayer @ 9 always meets at 9:00 a.m. at the church on an every-other-week rotation. 

 

Amazon Smile

We know that many of you shop on Amazon, so we’d like to let you know about an easy way to raise some money for the church.  We have recently setup an Amazon Smile account, which means that if you select The Village Church as your charity of choice on Amazon then each time you make a purchase through Amazon they will donate .5% of your total purchase price back to our church.  If you go to www.smile.amazon.com you can select our church as the charity you would like to support.  Once you have done this you just shop on Amazon, as you normally would, just now through the www.smile.amazon.com page.  This donation applies to almost anything that you would ever buy through Amazon, so this is a great way to get amazing deals through Amazon and support our church at the same time.  

 

IMPORTANT DATES

April 4th - Village Academy: Christian Doctrine, 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. @ the church

April 9th - Village Kids KABOOM!, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

April 11th – THIRST! for women @ 8:00 p.m. @ Cheryl Entwistle’s home

April 15th - Village Guys’ Night Out, details to come

April 16th - Covenant Member Meeting, 9:00 a.m.

April 30th – Prayer @ 9: Prayer gathering @ the church, 9:00 a.m.

May 7th - Community Yard Sale, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

June 20th - 25th - Vacation Bible School, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

 

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Traveling Through Holy Week

    I was convicted this morning about my lack of grasp on all of the contents of Holy Week. As I sat back and thought about why, my first thought was to blame my church, where I am paid staff and have a voice in weekly planning meetings. To blame them for not producing Holy Week programs or pamphlets that center me on Christ’s Journey to the cross. But that thought didn't last long before I was humbled by the Spirit redirecting my blame filled eyes to the Bible that sat right in front of me. I was reminded that I have been given all that I need for a righteous life and in this case, intentional living.

     As I opened my Bible it took longer than I would like to admit for me to find the beginning of the Holy Week narrative, but when I found it I was met with the picture of a humble King. As I read about Jesus entering Jerusalem, I was reminded that even though the people were shouting Hosanna, there was no planned parade thrown for this man entering on “the foal of a beast of burden.”  Jesus, the Holy One, did not enter the holy city as royalty would have with pomp and circumstance, but rather he entered as an exalted servant. He entered as one whose humility was easier to see than His majesty

    Once Jesus got into Jerusalem this all began to change. I watched as Jesus, the humbled servant, transformed into a man on a mission. It seems almost as if Jesus was rushing to confront all the evil that He saw; first in the temple, then in the Jewish leaders. His actions in the temple and the parables that he tells to the Jewish leaders feels as if they are all done to purify that which has become filthy. This is what began Holy Week.

    As I sat back trying to readjust the faulty grip that led to this search, I began to internalize all that I had read in Matthew 21 and questions began to flood my mind. What type of purification is the Lord doing in my life? What sins have set up shop in my heart, the very temple of the Lord? How or when have I approached God seeking to justify myself, like the Jewish leaders, believing that my good deeds have made me right before God? 

    Brothers and sisters, my prayer is that you do not wait for Good Friday to begin to celebrate the purifying work of Christ. Join Him now in the narrative; see all that He is doing as he prepares the way to the cross. Pray that by the Spirit your eyes are made open to the truths of the scriptures, that you may truly and anew proclaim that Good Friday is Good.

Grace and Peace

Michael Carlisle

    

    

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