For Sunday April 20, 2014
Year A, Easter Sunday
Easter Sunday with Easter Special Offering Stewardship Moment
Easter Sunday :: White :: Acts 10:34-43 :: Psalm 118: 1-2, 14-24 :: Colossians 3:1-4 :: John 20:1-18
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 118
L: O give thanks to the LORD, for the LORD is good
P: God’s steadfast love endures forever.
L: The LORD is our strength, and our might,
P: The LORD has become our salvation.
L: The stone which the builders rejected,
P: Has become the chief cornerstone.
L: The is the day that the LORD has made;
P: Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Christ is Risen! Christ is risen indeed! We come O God celebrating the triumph of the day. We come to remember and celebrate Christ’s victory over death, completing His sacrifice for all sin and our redemption. We come with songs of praise and celebration, for the tomb is empty and our hearts are filled with joy. Enjoin our worship, O God, to praise and glorify your name above all names.
Living water is flowing and is sparking mission and ministry around the world. Thanks to the Easter Offering, which provides support to the new church movement of Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation, living water is helping to plant new congregations and nurture ministry leaders such as Antonio Jones, new church planter and pastor of the New Direction Christian Church campus in Holly Springs, Miss.
Jones was one of the core team members from Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church that supported Stacey Spencer, new church planter and pastor of New Direction Christian Church, Memphis, Tenn. “When we launched New Direction, I played bass guitar and served as a musician at the church until I answered my call to become a youth pastor of New Direction in 2006,” says Jones. During this time, he also served as outreach specialist, where he continued to help youth.
Spencer gave Jones a new assignment in 2012. He was to plant a New Direction campus in Holly Springs, Miss. about 49 miles southeast of Memphis, and become the campus pastor. “As we are planting New Direction in Holly Springs, I’m trying to apply some of the invaluable leadership skills that Pastor Spencer taught me,” says Jones.
In this new role as church planter and campus pastor, Jones is responsible for gaining knowledge about the community, launching the church, creating opportunities for campus fellowship, facilitating service, mid-week Bible study, pastoral care and all activities that occur on this campus.
A two-month planning period began in mid-August 2012 and by October 2012, Jones had his first Bible study in the Holly Springs community at Annie’s Restaurant. “We had a wonderful experience engaging the people in the community,” says Jones. “Annie Moffitt, the owner of the restaurant, was very hospitable, making our experience welcoming.” New Direction Holly Springs’ first service was held on January 5, 2014. The church is in a refurbished department store building, located at 231 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.
Jones’ aim is not to make Holly Springs a typical satellite church. “I’m carrying Pastor Spencer’s vision, while offering a unique worship experience to our Holly Springs campus. I will facilitate the service, we will offer live music, praise, Communion, and call to Discipleship,” says Jones. Spencer’s sermons are streamed live from the main campus (Memphis.) Once a month Jones will deliver a message live and in person. It will be an authentic worship experience.
“Antonio has demonstrated tremendous leadership and dedication in serving the Lord and winning souls,” says Spencer.
“I’m so thankful for this opportunity to minister at the New Direction Holly Springs campus,” says Jones.
When we bring our gifts to support the Easter Special offering, we make soul winning ministries like New Direction Holly Springs possible.
O God of Grace and Glory, we bring our gifts before you and ask your blessing. Use these gifts to strengthen your church and spread your message, we pray. Bless and multiply them, with those of our sister congregations all across North America, that our church might spread your word from our doorsteps to the ends of the earth.
Today the Last Supper makes more sense. Today we see the power of Jesus’ sacrifice, confirmed in His victory over death. If Jesus had only declared himself a sacrifice, and had simply died; if there had been no Easter morning, and no empty tomb; none of it would make sense. We celebrate around this table to remember the sacrifice which led to the victory over death. Today, at this table we remember and celebrate the ultimate victory. Come, eat, drink, and remember what Christ has done for YOU.
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