Posts Tagged Twin Oaks Presbyterian
It was a pretty full weekend for me and my family. My fingers are hurting from so much playing. That’s a good feeling.
Friday night, I was able to finally participate in “The Boomers”, a rotating line-up of musicians under the leadership of the incomparable, Hal Bush. I have to take my hat off to Hal for what was the most impressive birthday party that I’ve ever attended. Hal’s wife Hiroko was turning 50, and Hal went all out to show how much he loved her. Playing with the Boomers gave me a chance to work on my “wedding band” chops. We played some Beatles and other assorted “oldies”. I played my first ever Chuck Barry-esque solo on “I Saw Her Standing There”. A lot of our church community was there as well as a lot of Hal and Hiroko’s other friends and family. It was great to spend time just having a party and enjoying the spirit of celebration and community. Thank you, Hal. (It was also great to not be in charge!)
Saturday and Sunday included our usual rehearsals, but we had a special guests on Sunday. The Visions Gospel Choir from Washington University was at New City Fellowship and they shared a few songs. It was awesome to see this large choir of young people who are excited about singing praise to the King. My favorite moment of the morning was singing “Better Than Life” and hearing the choir over to my right blasting out in harmony.
Sunday night, we headed out once again to Twin Oaks Presbyterian to participate in the Sanctity of Human Life service. Lori Pagano, Tracy Bell and Parker Loveless joined me from NCF and Ryan McMillen from Chesterfield Presbyterian was there on the keys. Dale Zarlenga directed the choir and hooked us up with an excellent drummer and bass player from Twin Oaks (Nate and Brian). It was another great opportunity to connect with the PCA community in St Louis in deeper ways.
This weekend, I’ll be participating in the Sanctity of Human Life Service at Twin Oaks Presbyterian Church on Sunday at 6pm. Dr. Cortez Cooper will be speaking. Doug Merkey has organized the service. Doug is the president of Churches for Life. The abortion battle in our country has become such a politically charged thing that I was hesitant to get my hands dirty in the mess that surrounds it. However, I am convinced that life begins at conception and that murdering innocent life is always oppression and injustice. God’s kingdom is about freedom from oppression and freedom from injustice, so I can’t stand back and withdraw from the issue. More mercy!
When I was a kid, I participated in a “pro-life” rally. I remember being on the side of the road holding a sign. I came away from that experience with a pretty bitter taste in my mouth for political rallies. Since that time, I think that the right-wing political agenda for pro-life issues has been a bit of a let down. I’ve been disillusioned to the idea that an evangelical political coalition can elect a president/congressman/governor who will do any good for this issue. Unfortunately, I think that my feelings and experiences are probably shared by many of my generation on this topic.
In planning the service, I had some good talks with Doug about the need for the church to reengage with the fight. Doug’s perspective seems to be that the sanctity of life is not a “fad” issue that the church can cast off like a “what would Jesus do?” bracelet. But, the political systems of this world are not a replacement for the church, and the work of the kingdom of God is much bigger and yet more intimate than any supreme court decision would ever be. Doug’s charge to the church is to reenter the fray.
Dale Zarlenga recommended this excellent Keith Getty/Stuart Townend tune for the service which captures a lot of what I’m trying to say. The metaphore of the church as a army preparing for battle is there. However, the battle is not about the strength of our wisdom or power, but about the upside-down wisdom and power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here’s the lyrics:
O church arise and put your armour on
Hear the call of Christ our Captain
For now the weak can say that they are strong
In the strength that God has given
With shield of faith and belt of truth
We’ll stand against the devil’s lies
An army bold whose battle cry is Love
Reaching out to those in darkness
Our call to war to love the captive soul
But to rage against the captor
And with the sword that makes the wounded whole
We will fight with faith and valour
When faced with trials on every side
We know the outcome is secure
And Christ will have the prize for which He died
An inheritance of nations
Come see the cross where love and mercy meet
As the Son of God is stricken
Then see His foes lie crushed beneath His feet
For the Conqueror has risen
And as the stone is rolled away
And Christ emerges from the grave
This victory march continues till the day
Every eye and heart shall see Him
So Spirit come put strength in every stride
Give grace for every hurdle
That we may run with faith to win the prize
Of a servant good and faithful
As saints of old still line the way
Retelling triumphs of His grace
We hear their calls and hunger for the day
When with Christ we stand in glory
Members of the New City Fellowship Music Team are once again going to participate in our presbytery’s Reformation Day Service. This year’s joint service is going to be hosted by Twin Oaks Presbyterian Church which is about a million miles from here. You should be there, too.
We’re going to lead the congregation in Jesus My Great High Priest, Nitamwimbia Bwana, and Come Over Here. I am excited about another opportunity to share my song as well as another chance to share our church’s unique multicultural perspective to our PCA brethren. Sometimes these events can feel a little awkward, and at times even paternalistic. But I am thankful that they would include NCF, and I am confident that reconciliation, forgiveness, and unity are part of the Spirit’s work in these events. Besides, the Kingdom of God is bigger than our church and the power of the Spirit can work even through broken circumstances and relationships. He is our peace. Amen? So, bring the whole family out to Twin Oaks this weekend and get a little dose of Presbyterian hospitality. Besides, what would Martin Luther do?