Help Spread the gospel in New England!

Brothers and Sisters,

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New England has a special place in my heart.  Yes, I know some of you give me grief for being a Patriots fan, but I come by it honestly.  Dana and I spent five years on assignment from the Lord in Maine, and it will always hold a special place in our hearts.  New England is very different from Bible Belt Georgia, as it’s one of the least churched regions in the country.  Long ago, men like George Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards were used by God to bring about incredible gospel growth and revival there, but those glory days are long gone.  My heart’s desire is to see a new revival in New England.  And the good news is that God has not been silent.  He is active, planting new churches, saving souls, and raising up evangelists and missionaries (both indigenous and from away) to proclaim His Name.

Kevin Sanders is one such missionary, and Harbins Church supports he and his wife Lauren on a monthly basis as they labor for the gospel in Massachusetts.  Kevin will be joining us at Harbins this weekend.  During the Sunday School hour, from 9:30-10:30 he’ll  share more about his ministry.  During the main service Kevin will be our guest preacher.  Here’s a little more from Kevin directly about the ministry and a couple of snapshots of what the Lord is doing:

imagesSeven Mile Road is a new Church Plant just 9 miles from Downtown Boston along the Charles River. The name “Seven Mile Road” comes from Luke 24 where Jesus opens the scriptures to reveal the truth of the gospel to disciples as he walks with them along the seven-mile long road to Emmaus. The name depicts our desire: to walk with people and show them the truth of Jesus. 

We’ve been gathering for public worship since September 2017 and have seen God work in incredible ways. In an area were only 2% of people know the saving love of Christ, we have been able to plant a gospel-preaching church that is making disciples who make disciples. On our one year anniversary in September, we were able to baptize two new sisters in Christ!

We met one of these ladies at our Life Explored evangelistic study. The purpose of this six-week study was to gather with non-Christians and ask “What’s the greatest gift God could give you?” Using modern-day parables and God’s Word, Life Explored shows that the greatest gift God can give us is himself through Jesus Christ. God answered your prayers for fruitfulness! 

She came to one of the classes as a self-described agnostic. She was open and honest about her struggles and questions about God, Christianity, and the Bible. She was also humble and hungry for the truth. As we walked through the content of Life Explored, she began to realize that the God of scripture is real and that his Gospel is true. God used this class and the power of his word to draw Karen to himself in repentance and faith. 

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Itinerant preacher George Whitfield who preached to thousands in Boston in 1740 said, “If I am in prison, to hear that Boston people are alive to Christ will make me arise at midnight to sing praises to God!” At Seven Mile Road, we share Whitfield’s longing to see the people of Waltham and Greater Boston alive to Christ. And we’re praising God that he is doing it!

Ways to Pray

  • Pray as we formalize our membership process
  • Pray for our brand new Gospel Community in South Waltham
  • Pray for us as we disciple new believers
  • Pray for us as we seek new partnerships for our church plant

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Here’s another way you can help.  Please prayerfully consider giving above and beyond your regular offering this Sunday to support the Sanders’ ministry.  They cannot do what they do without support from outside churches and individual believers who want to partner with them in this gospel ministry.  If God so moves you to give, just write a check separate from your regular offering and write “Sanders” on it so we know that those funds are designated for them.

I am so happy that Harbins can partner with Kevin and Lauren to further the work of the gospel in New England.  See you for worship this weekend!

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Demer

Help us find our next deacons!

Friends,

Jesus said, ” The greatest among you shall be your servant. (Matthew 23:11)

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If that’s true, then surely the deacons of our church are among the greatest in our midst.The very name, “deacon”, carries the idea of selfless service.  While I’ve always been extremely grateful for our deacons, now that I am without a team of fellow elders to serve with me, I am all the more appreciative of having these other leaders provide me with their wisdom and support as they assist me in leading the church.

With that said, I believe the time has come to add to our deacon ranks. This year Alix, while serving so well, has had to rotate off the deacon team for a season due to health concerns. In December, Todd, who has served us with excellence, will be rotating off. (We ask our deacons to take a break for at least a year after three years of service for refreshment and rest.) Therefore, I and our deacons are seeking your help as we pray about expanding the team. In addition to Todd, your current deacons are Mark, Jason, Cary, and Jonathan. Be sure to thank them for their service.

Our deacons play a crucial role in strengthening and furthering the ministry of our church. As you are involved in the day-to-day life in the church, you are in a great position to help us know who you’ve noticed as someone who may particularly be effective in such a service role.

Nomination slips are available in the back of the sanctuary, or for your convenience, you can also email your nominations to me at demerwebb@gmail.com I’d like your nominations by November 11th.

In addition, can you please pray for our deacon search?  Pray that God would guide us to find the right people to serve in this important role.  We can do nothing without His help.

Knowing what a deacon is and does, and what the qualifications for such a role are, will be very helpful to you as you prayerfully consider whom you might nominate. Therefore, please refresh yourself on the basics of deacon ministry by reading Acts 6:1-7 which I believe details the origins of deacon ministry in the early church. Read also 1 Tim 3:8-13, which describes the characteristics and qualifications of a deacon.

Next,  read this brief article from 9marks ministries: The Biblical Qualifications and Responsibilities of Deacons.

Lastly, here is an excerpt from another great article from 9marks I’ve found to be helpful….

Deacons: Shock-Absorbers and Servants

WHAT IS A DEACON?

According to the New Testament, a deacon is two things: a shock-absorber and a servant.

Deacons are shock-absorbers: the seven men chosen by the church in Jerusalem to care for widows, who seem to be precursors to deacons, were chosen to preserve unity at a time when botched administration was creating fissures in the church (see Acts 6:1-7).

And deacons are servants: their very name means servant, and their precursors in Acts 6 were chosen to handle the practical needs of the church. That way, the apostles could devote themselves to leading the church through prayer and the ministry of the Word.

DEACONS AS SHOCK-ABSORBERS

God has always intended to display his glory to the nations, in part, through the unity of Jews and Gentiles within the church (Eph 3:10), and yet it was exactly at this juncture that disunity was erupting in the early Jerusalem church.

The Greek-speaking Jews began to complain “against” the Hebrew-speaking Jews concerning the distribution of food. The church therefore chose seven men to distribute food equitably, yes, but, more than that, to restore unity where there was division. Unity-building was their primary goal; good administration was the means.

It’s notable that, when laying out qualifications for deacons in 1 Timothy 3, Paul focuses on issues of character rather than administrative skills. Accordingly, our churches should select deacons primarily for their track record of peacemaking, and only secondarily for administrative expertise. 

DEACONS AS SERVANTS

The elders are called to “direct the affairs of the church” (1 Timothy 5:17), and deacons are called to support that direction. In our churches, then, elders should make directional decisions while deacons facilitate congregational involvement to make that vision a reality.

Elders lead ministry, deacons facilitate ministry, the congregation does ministry. That, I believe, is the New Testament model, and that biblical clarity in deacons’ role and function is invaluable for promoting peace and unity in our congregations.

I hope the above information can help you as you consider what individuals would be a great fit for the role of Deacon at HCBC.  Thank you in advance for your involvement in this process.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Demer

 

Hannah’s Vow, Spurgeon & Self-Denial

It is a great privilege to walk with my church through the book of 1 Samuel on Wednesday evenings.  Last night we spent some time considering Hannah, whom we meet in chapter 1.  This godly woman was barren, unable to conceive a child.  In the midst of her great longing to be a mother, she prays one of the most shocking prayers in the Bible:

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She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” (1 Samuel 1:10–11)

It is shocking, because the thing that she desperately wants is the thing she offers to give away.  She vows that her son will be under a lifelong Nazarite vow and that this son will grow up not with her, but in God’s sanctuary/temple in Shiloh.  As a Nazarite, her son would be set apart not for her exclusive enjoyment and pleasure, but for special service to God and His priorities and pleasure.  Hannah’s desire for a child, strong as it is, has become eclipsed by her desire for God’s greater glory and purposes.  Charles Spurgeon notes that:

“Hannah had learned self-denial. This is clear, since the very prayer by which she hoped to escape out of her great grief was a self-denying one. She desired a son, so that her reproach might be removed; but if her eyes might be blessed with such a sight she would cheerfully resign her darling to be the Lord’s as long as he lived. Mothers wish to keep their children around them. It is natural that they should wish to see them often. But Hannah, when most eager for a son, asking, for only one, and that one as the special gift of God, yet does not seek him for herself, but for her God…

Her heart does not long to see her boy at home, his father’s daily pride, and her own hourly solace, but to see him serving as a Levite in the house of the Lord. By this she proved that she had learned self-denial. Brothers and sisters, this is one of our hardest lessons: to learn to give up what we most prize at the command of God, and to do so cheerfully. This is real self-denial, when we ourselves make the proposition, and offer the sacrifice freely, as she did. To desire a blessing so that we may have the opportunity of parting with it, this is self-conquest: have we reached it? Oh you of a sorrowful spirit, if you have learned to crucify the flesh, if you have learned to subdue the body, if you have learned to cast all your desires and wills at his feet, you have gained what a thousand times repays you for all the losses and crosses you have suffered.”

Hannah is truly an inspiration in this sense.  True life is not found in holding on tightly to the things we treasure, but in being willing to release any other treasure in order that we can better lay hold of God, His glory, and His purposes above all else, because He is our true and highest treasure.  Oh may the Lord help me to live in this way!

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Demer

Fall studies at HCBC!

Folks returning from vacation, shorter days, school getting back into full gear, it can only mean one thing: summer is winding down and fall is on the horizon!  And with fall means more discipleship opportunities for the entire family at Harbins Church.  Here’s our fall lineup:

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Women’s study: The Joy of Discovery: How To Study the Bible (Saturdays Sept 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th) 9am-12pm.  Free Childcare!

This study is for all ladies 13 and up!

These workshops are designed to encourage ladies to learn how to study the Bible for themselves. This time together will motivate you to be even more diligent to present yourselves “approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)

Workshops taught by: Barbara Enter and Gina Weinmann.  Barbara has a M.A. in Biblical Counseling from The Master’s University, is a certified counselor with The Association of Biblical Counselors, and is a trained Precept Bible teacher.  Gina is a certified counselor with The Association of Biblical Counselors and trained Precept Bible teacher.

For more information contact Dana at danacwebb@gmail.com

Let us know you’re coming!  Sign Up Here!

Sunday School for Kids: Treasuring Christ.  Pre k- 12 years old.  (Classes downstairs, starting Sept 9th, 9:30-10:30am)

The Treasuring Christ Curriculum is a comprehensive, unified curriculum where all of imagesthe children will be learning the same Scriptures at an age appropriate level.  The curriculum’s vision is to spread the fame of God by equipping godly generations to treasure Christ through a Gospel-centered curriculum for the church, the home, and the nations, as children and students learn the narrative of the gospel as it unfolds from Genesis to Revelation.

Last semester we left off studying the temptation of Jesus.  This fall we’ll continue our journey through the Gospel of Matthew.  In addition, we will once again provide for parents via email the “Connecting Church and Home” resource.   This is a great tool to help parents bridge the gap between what their children will learn the coming Sunday at church and how they can instruct their children to begin learning & living out those truths at home right now. CCH will provide discussion ideas, prayer points, and more.

Thanks in advance to our teachers:

Ages 2-4  Marsha Siso assisted by Rebecca Little

Ages 5-7 Marietta Pritchett.

imagesAges 8-12 Teacher TBD

Teen Study: Your Word is Truth.  A Study for Youth on Seeing All of Life Through the Truth of Scripture (Starting Sunday, Sept 9th, in the Fellowship Hall downstairs, 9:30-10:30am)

The goal of this study is that, through the work of the Holy Spirit, the authoritative Truth of the Bible might be understood and embraced so students may see and interpret all of life through the Truth of Scripture.

Our hope is that students would not be conformed to the thinking of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of their minds, that by testing they might discern what is good and acceptable (Romans 12:2).  As the students grow in their own love and delight of the truth, we want to encourage and equip them to stand firm in an increasingly hostile culture, boldly and humbly proclaiming the triumphant Truth of the gospel.

Thank you so much to Cary Rosbury and Matt Pritchett taking the lead in this class!

Adult Study: The Lord’s Prayer Study/Pre Service Prayer (Starting Sunday, Sept 9th, 9:30-10:30am)

When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, little did they know that they would be givenimages a model for prayer that would be used for generations.  Prayer is central to our fellowship with God, and our prayer life is directly affected by what we believe about God.  In this series, Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. shows that the pattern of prayer Jesus provides is few in words, yet massive in meaning.  His prayer reflects true theology and proper doxology-a perfect guide for our own lives.

After we spend some time learning about prayer, we will put what we learn into practice by spending time in corporate prayer, worshipping and adoring our great God, confessing our sins, giving thanks, and lifting up our upcoming worship service, our church, our mission, and our world.

I am extremely excited about this time that will help our church to really focus on the priority and urgency of prayer, and I look forward to seeing what God will do through this time together!  As usual, kids of all ages are welcome to our adult Sunday studies.

Note: Technically the study will start on the 16th, but our class will gather on the 9th as Matt and Emily Tyler, our missionaries in China, will be joining us.  Matt will be sharing in detail about their ministry in Shanghai and we will also have a time of corporate prayer for their ministry and mission.  

Let us know you’re coming!  Sign Up Here!

Kingdom Come: A Study In 1 Samuel (Starting Wednesday, Sept 12th, 7-8:30pm at the church)

It was a time of darkness, despair, and moral chaos.  A time where everyone did what imageswas right in their own eyes.  A time where the enemies of God’s people sensed weakness and were ready to strike.  What was needed was a King to come.  One who would unify the peoples, protect them from evil, and shepherd them into peace and safety.

But who was that King?  And what kind of ruler did the people really need?

Join me in an exploration of one of my favorite books of the Bible, 1 Samuel.  We’ll talk about prophets and kings, valiant warriors and vicious villains, high drama and epic battles.  On top of that, we’ll discover how the times, challenges, and issues of life haven’t really changed much from then to now.  What you and I need in the dark times of our day is exactly what they needed, a mighty Shepherd-King who will walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death, and deliver us from evil.  Bring your Bibles and be prepared for a great conversation through this incredible section of God’s Word.  (Kids are welcome!)

Let us know you’re coming!  Sign Up Here!

Better: A Study Of Hebrews (Ladies Only!) Launching Tuesday, October 2nd,             10 -11:30am at the church.  Free Childcare!

Jesus is better than the angels, Moses, and all the high priests and sacrifices that came imagesbefore.  In Jesus are bound up better promises, a better covenant, and a better tabernacle.  As you study the book of Hebrews you will be immersed in the superiority of Jesus and how such realities will bring powerful change to your life.

“The Bible study you are about to begin may be different than studies you have done in the past.  It will not cover a specific topic from all angles.  It will not have poetry or stories that leave you laughing, crying, or inspired.  It will not focus on answering the question “What does the Bible say about me?”  It will not aid you in self-discovery, at least not as its primary intent.  What it will do is teach you an important passage of the Bible in a way that will stay with you for years to come.  It will challenge you to move beyond loving God with just your heart to loving Him with your mind.

Women are good at loving God with their hearts.  We are good at engaging our emotions in our pursuit of God.  But the God who commands us to love with the totality of our heart, soul, and strength also commands us to love Him with all of our minds…I know you will bring your emotions to your study of God’s word, and that is good and right.  But it is your mind that I want to engage.  God intends for you to be a good student, renewing your mind and thus transforming your heart.” – Jen Wilkin

Let us know you’re coming!  Sign Up Here!

It is my prayer that these upcoming opportunities will provide you and your family great avenues for spiritual growth, learning, fellowship, mutual encouragement, and prayer.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Demer

Harbins, Help Gospel Growth in China This Sunday!

Brothers and Sisters,

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The year 1792 marked the formation of the Baptist Missionary Society.  One of the men in this society was William Carey.  Carey felt called by God to leave everything behind to spread the gospel in India.  He compared the venture into India to a few men who were to penetrate a deep, unexplored mine, without a guide.  It was in that moment where Carey turned to his brothers in Christ and said to them, “Well, I will go down, if you will hold the rope.” One of the men present at this meeting, John Ryland, said, “But before he [Carey] went down…he, as it seemed to me, took an oath from each of us, at the mouth of the pit, to this effect-that ‘while we lived, we should never let go of the rope.’”
Carey knew that not all were meant to be full time missionaries in India.  He also knew, however, that there were those who would stay behind and “hold the rope” for him. They would support Carey from afar through their prayers and their financial support, enabling him to devote himself 100% to the work of ministry in India.  Indeed, because of faithful “rope holders”, Carey persevered in ministry in India for 40 years, translating the Bible into 6 languages and portions of it into 29 additional languages.
At Harbins our vision is to be a church where the generations converge to enjoy God and change the world through making, maturing, and mobilizing disciples of Jesus Christ. We do this through our own personal ministry of evangelism and disciple-making, and we also do it by “holding the rope” for others engaged in gospel ministry in places we may never set foot.
imagesMatt and Emily Tyler are Harbins Church supported missionaries spreading the gospel in one of the largest cities in the world, Shanghai, China. Matt is an associate pastor at an international church involved in campus evangelism ministry, church planting and the sending out of missionaries.  It is teeming with folks from all over the globe who have NEVER heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, and God is doing some exciting things through Matt’s ministry there.  For example, one young Chinese man named Guan Hua came to their church service and asked if there was someone who could read the Bible with him.  Guan Hua is not a Christian.  Matt and Emily have also had lunch with and befriended a lady named Eve who isn’t a Christian but now seems close to believing.  In addition, Matt has been reading the Bible with a Hungarian man named Janos.  This man has recently professed faith in Christ!
More information about the Tylers’ ministry will be shared Sunday, and I am hoping in September they will be able to make a personal visit to Harbins and share some more, but these are just a few examples of the wonderful things the Lord is doing through Matt and Emily’s missionary efforts.  But here’s the important thing to realize: They cannot engage in this ministry unless others “hold the rope.”  Presently there are only 5 churches (including Harbins) supporting the Tylers on a regular basis.  And with that support they have never been at 100% of their monthly needs.  With a growing family and cost of living increases in Shanghai, the Tylers really need additional support.  Later this year our Finance Team will begin to put together our budget for the coming year.  I have asked them to prayerfully consider if we can increase our quarterly support.  That will largely depend on the strength of the regular giving of our membership.
But regardless of whether or not we’ll be able to increase our regular support, I am imagesasking you this weekend to prayerfully consider putting extra in the offering this Sunday for Matt and Emily’s ministry.  Basically I’m asking you to “hold that rope” a little tighter through participating in a love offering for the spread of the gospel in China.
If you are interested in helping, then, in addition to your regular offering, you can write a separate check, make it out to Harbins, and put “Missions”  down in the note section to ensure the funds get to them.  Cash should be put in an offering envelope with the giver’s name and marked for Matt and Emily on the outside.
Whether we can all give financially or not, another way to “hold the rope” is through our prayers.  Please be praying for Matt and Emily and their ministry this weekend, and prepare for a time of corporate prayer this Sunday where we will lift them and the Church in China up before the Lord!
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Demer

Worship is Warfare! (So this Sunday come to our Pre-Service Prayer Meeting)

Friends,

The apostle Paul wrote that we battle not against against flesh and blood but against imagesdark, wicked, invisible forces in the heavenly places. (Eph 6:12) Indeed, Peter tells us that Satan, the great Enemy of our souls, is wandering like a lion, seeking those to devour. (1 Pe 5:8)

But the Devil is not just targeting you personally. Peter and Paul wrote those warnings not for disconnected individuals, but for the Church. Satan is not merely targeting you personally, he is targeting us collectively. He doesn’t just hate you. He hates Harbins. And he especially hates anything that will facilitate the church’s growth in love, unity, holiness, and community witness.

Ever since I returned to Harbins Church a few years ago, I’ve been interested in holding a pre-service prayer time. Worship is warfare. It is the battle cry of the people of God. And because worship glorifies God, builds up the Church, and serves as a witness to the lost, it is the last thing that the Satanic powers want us to do.

Being struggling sinners, it’s not just Satan and his demons that seek to undermine our worship, but our own flesh pulls us in another direction. As the old hymn goes, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.” Our self-centered sinfulness wants to make Sunday (and every day) all about us.

With such things arrayed against us, how in the world can we have a time of successful, God-centered, edifying corporate worship? On critical but oft-neglected means is prayer.

imagesIn Ephesians 6, after describing the spiritual weapons and armor we are to use in our battle, Paul ends with a weapon many of us ignore. He urges us to be praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication  for all the saints… (Ephesians 6:1)

Charles Spurgeon was pastor of the London Metropolitan Tabernacle and the hand of imagesGod was upon him and his church mightily and through his ministry the Lord ignited revival.  Thousands came to Christ through his preaching.  There were times where worship services drew as many as 10,000 people. Spurgeon was known to take visitors to his church to a basement prayer-room where people were seen on their knees interceding. Here, Spurgeon declared, is the powerhouse of the church.

imagesSteam was the major power source in Spurgeon’s Day, and he compared the prayer room to a boiler room and said, “If the engine room is out of action, then the whole mill will grind to a halt.  We cannot expect blessing if we do not ask.”

Spurgeon recognized that the prayers of God’s people were essential in fueling his preaching and his church.

During the summer months, with no Sunday School or other programs before the main service, this is a great time to gather to seek God’s help and blessing for our service. We’ll meet in the counseling room in the basement. It will be a time to get our hearts right before the Lord, to pray that God will help us to worship Him in spirit and truth, to pray for every element of the service (singing, preaching, fellowship, etc.)  We will also pray for our congregation. We will pray that we will abound in love, unity, charity, and kindness for one another.  We will pray that believers will be blessed, encouraged, and impacted by the service, and that our passion for Jesus will be further ignited and will spill over and impact our families, our relationships, and our community.  We will pray for our own wayward hearts, and we will pray for people who will come to our service that do not know the Lord.  We will pray for these things and more.

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So join us this Sunday this summer at 10am in the counseling room downstairs. If we’ve already started when you get here that’s fine.  If you have to step out before we wrap it up, no problem.  If you want to pray out loud, great.  If you want to pray silently, fantastic. Men, women, and children of all ages are welcome to come.  If you’ve got a noisy baby or jittery toddler, come anyway!

I’ve wanted to do something like this for awhile and I want to thank my brother Chike for his encouragement for us to move forward. I’m not sure what will happen in the fall once Sunday School relaunches, but for now, let’s meet together in this way and see what God does.

imagesJesus reminds us that He is the vine, we are the branches, and apart from Him we can do nothing. (John 15:5) We need Jesus’ help for our corporate worship to be everything He wants it to be.  We need God’s help for our church to be powerful, effective, and a vehicle that God will use to impact lives in our fellowship and in our community.  If we want to see further growth and powerful spiritual revival in our midst, why not simply ask?

Spurgeon himself said,

“Brethren, we shall never see much change for the better in our churches in general till the prayer meeting occupies a higher place in the esteem of Christians.”

More importantly, Jesus said,

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to imagesyou. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!  (Matthew 7:7-11)

See you Sunday.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Demer

 

Holy Week At Harbins 2018

holy_weekTwo years ago, due to an increasing burden the HCBC pastors had over the lack of attention and focus on the Easter season (especially compared to Christmas) we launched a new tradition.   To help enhance your Easter worship, we deemed it right and good to formally observe Holy Week and encourage all of our members to do the same.

As significant as Christmas is, it is not an end unto itself.  The reason Jesus was born in Bethlehem was to bleed on Golgotha.  He was laid in a manger for the purpose of having His body laid in a tomb.  He descended to earth as a lowly Man so that He could later rise triumphantly from the grave.  The whole purpose of Christmas is Easter.

For this reason, Pastor Jeff and I are eager to continue our Holy Week tradition by providing additional opportunities for corporate worship, as well as encouraging HCBC families to have times of personal and/or family worship in their homes which revolves specifically around the events we remember during Holy Week.

Holy week is March 25th-April 1st.  Below is the HCBC Holy Week schedule, followed by some resources you can use personally or with your family during Holy Week.  (Please note that due to the additional worship services we are adding during Holy Week, we will not be having our regular community groups during that time.)

blue grapes cornerSunday Morning, March 25th, – Palm Sunday.  Sunday School at 9:30.  Corporate Worship at 10:45.  We all want to have a fruitful life, and the reason Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday was to die on Good Friday so that He might bear much fruit through you! On Palm Sunday we’ll continue our sermon series, “Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ” by considering Jesus’ metaphor of the Vine and the Branches in John 15.  Following the service stick around for our fellowship meal and games!

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Thursday night, March 29th – Maundy Thursday Service  w/Communion, 7pm-8pm.

The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin word where we get our English word “command” or “mandate” from.  Jesus gave a special mandate the evening before He was crucified, that we would love one another as Jesus loves us. (John 13:33-34).  In addition to a time of worship through singing, Pastor  Demer will deliver a brief sermon followed by the Lord’s Supper.

imagesFriday night, March 30th – Good Friday Service, 7pm-8pm. 

John 3:16 is perhaps the most popular verse in the Bible.  Certainly it captures the essence of what Good Friday is all about.  In addition to a time of worship through song, Pastor Demer will share a gospel-centered message anchored in this beloved verse.

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Resurrection Sunday, April 1st – Easter Service, Sunday School at 9:30am, Corporate Worship at 10:45am- Join us as we celebrate Jesus Christ’s triumph over the grave and the powers of darkness!  Following the service come out to Harbins Park for a picnic.  Bring lunch for your family and meet us at the pavilion closest to the playground (just up the little hill).  This is located at the 2nd entrance to Harbins Park and it’s the same place that we met last year.

And finally, here are some great Holy Week resources for you and your family from Desiring God Ministries.

Love to the Uttermost, Devotional Readings for Holy Week by John PiperThis free devotional begins on Palm Sunday, ends on Easter Sunday, and aims to focus our attention on Jesus as he displays his love to the uttermost (John 13:1). These meditations on the self-giving love of Christ are all excerpted from the preaching and writing ministry of John Piper.

Five Helps for Your Holy Week- This link features five of Desiring God’s best articles related to the Easter season.  Topics include a “Theology of Resurrection”, “Was Jesus Really Crucified?”, and 8 reasons why the Resurrection of Jesus is an historically reliable fact.

Your Sorrow Will Turn To Joy, Morning and Evening Meditations for Holy Week– For this free devotional, Desiring God has assembled a team of eleven pastors and scholars to walk us through Holy Week as we walk together with our Lord. This collection of short meditations includes readings for each morning and evening from Palm Sunday to the triumph of Easter.

A Theater Called Holy Week – Tony Reinke prepares us for Holy Week in his brief article highlighting John 12:27-33

Make Holy Week Holy to the Lord – The week between Palm Sunday and Easter is not intrinsically holy, except that all time is holy, since it belongs to God. But we can make it holy by setting it apart for sacred focus.  This link gives you the Scriptures from the 4 gospels that record Jesus’ final hours.  Consider using these Scriptures to supplement your daily time in the Scriptures this week.

It is my prayer that HCBC’s Holy Week focus will be a blessing as it helps you and your family turn your eyes all the more to the sufferings and triumph of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Demer