Malmo News

Why Do We Sing in Church?

Tomorrow morning we will gather at Malmo again, as we have been doing faithfully for 125 years or so, to worship together through fellowship, prayer, scripture reading…and singing.

Singing has been a part of Christian worship since the first Christians gathered. In fact, some parts of the Bible are widely believed to be taken from early Christian songs of worship. For example, Philippians 2:6-11 is often referred to as the “Christ Hymn”:

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. (NIV)

These stanzas contain not only generic praise to God, but they tell a story—the salvation story, in fact: God becomes human, dies on the cross, is raised from the dead and made Lord and Messiah.

But why do we do this? Why do we sing together in church, especially when some people don’t like singing or think they don’t have a good voice?

I can think of several reasons, and none of them have anything to do with being able to sing or carry a tune: singing brings glory to God; it helps us remember the gospel story; it is modelled and encouraged (even commanded!) in scripture; it brings believers together and encourages them (have you ever been at a concert or worship event where thousands of people sing along together? There are few things more unifying and beautiful).

(There are more reasons, I’m sure. In fact, here are a couple of further explanations for Christians singing that I have come across that you might find helpful: “The Three Rs: Why Christians Sing” and “Seven Biblical Reasons Why Singing Matters.”)

So as we gather tomorrow and in the weeks to come, consider: can I choose to participate in worship, including the singing, even if I (think I) don’t sing very well, even if I don’t fully understand why we do it?

Author and pastor Eugene Peterson wrote, “Worship is an act that develops feelings for God, not a feeling for God that is expressed in an act of worship.” Often we talk about worship, and especially the singing part of worship, as an expression of our feelings for God. That may be true, but there are some people who do not express their feelings for God in that way, and there are some days when my feelings for God are not great.

In a much more important way, whatever our feelings may be on a given day, our singing praise, our singing the gospel, plays a significant role in transforming us bit by bit over time, through low seasons and high seasons, as individuals and a community, into the people of God…if only we will open ourselves up—both our mouths and our hearts!

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Weekly News-November 17

“My heart has heard you say,
“Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord I am coming.”
Psalm 27:8

Over the past couple of months I’ve been reading David Benner’s trilogy, “The Spiritual Journey”.  There are so many things that I’ve been learning through these books that it would take me days to describe it to you!  But the core of what I’ve been really challenged with is, what it really means to truly surrender to God.  I used to think that surrender was an act of the will – something that I needed to ‘determine’ to do.  But God’s been showing me that it’s not in my own determination that I can accomplish this – in fact it’s impossible to do in my own strength. True surrender can only come as a response, as I spend time with God and experience His ‘Perfect Love’.  As I experience His Love, surrender turns from ‘an act of the will’ to a desire motivated by love – and that just amazes and humbles and awes me.  Everything about our Christian faith is about God’s love.  Everything.  It’s not a rule book or a list of expectations.  It’s a love story about how much God loves me – and how much He loves you.  When we experience that kind of Perfect Love deep down in our soul, even things like ‘surrender’ are possible and make life even sweeter.


Join us tomorrow (Saturday) at 10:00am, as Pastor Marc is presenting the seminar, “Living in a Digital World”.  Are you concerned about how much attention you give your cell phone?  Are you concerned about the time your kids spend in front of screens?  Are you aware that all of these things affect our overall health?  We’ll be discussing these dangers and how to move forward in healthy ways.  This seminar is appropriate for ALL ages, including students Grades 7 & up.  Childcare is available.

On Sunday we’ll be gathering for Sunday School at 9:45am and our Worship Service at 11:00am.

Hope to see you and your family this weekend!

Delora

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Weekly News – November 10

So…what’s happening this Sunday during our 11:00am Worship Service?  (I’m SO glad you asked!! 😉  There’s A LOT happening this Sunday!  First, it’s our ‘Covenant Bay Bible Camp Giving Sunday’.  The Camp’s director, Jon Drebert will be with us, sharing about the work that’s happening – even through the winter months – at Covenant Bay.  (If you’d like to financially support the ongoing work at Camp, please make your cheques out to Covenant Bay Bible Camp.)

It’s also ‘Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Sunday’.  So if you’ve filled a shoebox, please bring it to church THIS Sunday.  We’ll be saying a prayer over them as we ship them to their next destination.

We’re also continuing to collect non-perishable food items for our Food Pantry.  We have recently heard that here is also a great need for warm winter clothing – sweaters, jackets, boots, mitts, etc.  So if you have any of those items laying around at home not being used, would you consider donating them?  We’ll pass them on to those in need.

And don’t forget about Sunday School – classes start at 9:45am.

Have a super weekend and I’ll see you all on Sunday!

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November 3 Weekly News

Have you dug out from the snowfall yet?  Better yet, have you WARMED UP in these cold temperatures??  I haven’t. I’ve got my little space heater on in the church office today. The snow sure is pretty but I’m not adjusting to the temperatures very quickly.  Oh well.  By January I’ll think that this is just a beautiful warm day!  😉

This Sunday morning in our 11:00am Worship Service,  we’ll be gathering together at the Lord’s Table to celebrate Holy Communion.  What a privilege we have to do this each month!  We’re also highlighting our ‘Food Pantry’ during the month of November.  Can you help us by bringing non-perishable food items to church?  We’ll be passing those items on to folks who are in need of food.

And don’t forget to turn your clocks BACK on Saturday Night!  (This means you get an extra hour of sleep.  Whoohoo!! 🙂

Have a super weekend Folks!

Delora

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Weekly News – Oct. 27

I was noticing last Sunday at church and again on Tuesday at our congregational meeting, that many of you seem tired.  And not just tired, but weary.  It’s been a very long season for many of us – not only the farmers but so many others too, dealing with some really hard things in life.  So what can I say to encourage you today?  I was going through an old journal just recently, and I found this prayer written by Ted Loder.  I hope it encourages you – or at least helps you take a deep breath today…

“O God,
gather me now to be with you as you are with me.
Soothe my tiredness;
quiet my fretfulness;
curb my aimlessness;
relieve my compulsiveness;
let me be easy for a moment.
O Lord,
release me from the fears and guilts which grip me so tightly;
from the expectations and opinions which I so tightly grip;
that I may be open to receiving what you give,
to risk something genuinely new,
to learning something refreshingly different.
O God,
gather me to be with you, as you are with me.”
~Ted Loder


We’ve got a busy weekend here at Malmo.  TONIGHT at 7pm, the Malmo Youth are hosting the annual Community Barn Dance at the Schultz Barn.  Tickets are $8/person or $35/family.  There will be a baked potato bar, square dancing, an area for kids to play and of course lots of space to visit with your neighbours.  So come on out for a fun evening!

On Saturday morning from 10:00am to Noon, the C.E. Board is hosting the seminar, “Growing Healthy Children”.  Come join us as we welcome Dawne Adkins from Red Deer.  She is a specialist with children’s grief and stress.  We will explore what stress is, why it’s not always bad and how we can handle it.  This session is appropriate for Grade 4 and up along with parents.  But it’s not just for children – it’s for adults of all ages too!

And then on Sunday, we’ll be gathering together for Sunday School at 9:45am and our Worship service at 11:00am.  

I hope you have a great weekend!

Take care,
Delora

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Weekly News – Oct. 20

Good morning Folks!

This Sunday is our “N.O.W. Giving Sunday“.  Blayne will be sharing a bit about what’s been going on at Neighbour Outreach in Wetaskiwin.  If you’d like to financially support the work there, please make your cheques payable to NOW, and we’ll pass those on for you.

Also a reminder that next Tuesday, October 24th, is our Fall Congregational meeting at 7pm.  This meeting is open to EVERYONE – members and friends of Malmo.  We need your thoughts and your input, so we really hope that you can come join us for a really great evening of stories and sharing as we look to God for ‘what’s next’ at Malmo.

See you on Sunday – 9:45am for Sunday School and 11:00am for the worship service.

Have a great weekend!

Delora

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Weekend News – October 13

Happy Friday Folks!

It’s a quieter weekend – which is always nice after celebrating a holiday like Thanksgiving last weekend.  (And I do hope you had a great Thanksgiving with lots of Alberta turkey!  🙂

This Sunday we’re back to our normal pace of Sunday School at 9:45am and our Worship Service at 11:00am.  Bring your family and we look forward to gathering with you this Sunday.

Have a great weekend!
Delora

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Thanksgiving Weekend News

Happy Thanksgiving Folks!

I’m not sure where you’re at these days – what your weeks have been like or what sort of pressures you’ve been facing – or even what your attitude is like as Thanksgiving approaches.  If I’m being honest, it doesn’t feel like it should be Thanksgiving yet.  It’s been a trying few weeks – for a number of different reasons (not just harvest) – trials that have challenged me and my attitude to the core.  Selfishly, I want Thanksgiving to come when things are done and settled and my life is ‘simple’ again.  Even as I write that I realize how comical that sounds – life is never going to be simple.  Jesus warns us that we WILL have trials and sorrows and that there IS going to be some really hard stuff that we have to go through.  So, what do I do?  Well, I pray.  I humbly go to the Father with my hands wide open and say “God, I can’t do this alone.  My attitude is poor and I need Your eyes to see the joy that is around me. Please help me.”  And He does.  He helps me to see the good that is always there and to know that His Presence is forever with me.  Though my circumstances haven’t changed, my attitude changes – and that is God doing the work in my heart.

I found these verses in Psalm 126:2 & 3.  They’re not the ‘usual’ thanksgiving verses, but I was really drawn to them and wanted to share them with you:

“We were filled with laughter,
and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said,
“What amazing things the LORD has done for them.”
Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us!
What joy!”


This Sunday we’ll be gathering at Malmo for a special Thanksgiving Sunday Worship Service at 11am.  And we have Sunday School classes for all ages, beginning at 9:45am.

I wish you all a truly wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving weekend!

Delora

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Weekend News – September 29

Hello Folks,

This morning at Malmo, we remembered the life of a dear lady and friend, Alice P.  We heard of her sacrificial life of service – how she gave of her time and her energy to family members and friends alike.  How she loved Jesus and looked forward to the day when she would stand tall and gaze upon her Saviour face-to-face.  It was a wonderful morning of sharing stories and celebrating a life that was well-lived.

This Sunday is the beginning of a new month, so we’ll be gathering together at the Lord’s table to celebrate Holy Communion.  Bring your family and join us at 9:45am for Sunday School and 11:00am for the Worship service.

Enjoy your weekend and we’ll see you on Sunday!

Delora

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Weekly News-Sept. 22

Happy Friday Folks!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our ‘In Seat Survey’ last Sunday.  We received 66 surveys and are so grateful for your input!  For those of you who were unable to complete the survey last Sunday – you have one more opportunity to do it this Sunday.  We have copies on the Malmo Info Table and would love to have your input as well. (Completed surveys can be put in Delora’s mailbox in the foyer.)

It’s been a bit of a “look back” this week for me, as I found a copy of Malmo’s 100th Anniversary book.  It was fun to read the stories and see the family photos from 19 years ago!  If you’d like to see the book, we’ve put it online, along with our other two anniversary books.  Click here if you’d like to take a look.

Bring your family and come join us on Sunday at 9:45am for Sunday School (we have classes for ALL ages!), and for our 11:00am Worship Service.

Have a great weekend!
Delora

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