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Preparing for Worship (08/22/10)

We're trying to give you a  heads up on what will be happening during the worship service on Sunday so that you can better prepare your minds and hearts, and thus get more out of worship.

This week we'll conclude our series Summer Psalms by looking at Psalm 150:1-6.  Psalms 146-150 are generally classified as "hallelujah psalms."  And it's easy to see why - in six short verses there are 13 calls to "praise the Lord" in Psalm 150.  To prepare for worship, read Psalm 150 and ask yourself the following questions: 1.) What reasons does the Psalmist give for praising God?  2.) Who is supposed to praise God? 3.) Where are we supposed to praise God?  And, 4.) How are we supposed to praise God?  Additionally, you may want to check out jazz legend Duke Ellington's rendition of Psalm 150 (video below).  "Praise God and Dance" was the finale to Ellington's Second Sacred Concert.

Marc Champagne (Assistant Pastor at North Cincinnati Community Church) will be joining us this week to perform the baptism for Lucy Caroline Reitano (Paige's and my daughter).  Baptism is one of two Sacraments we observe at New City (the other being the Lord's Supper).  Baptism is a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, a picture of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ, and also a picture of the community that God is forming.  You'll see two kinds of baptisms at New City.  Adults who place their faith in Christ come to baptism as an expression of their faith and as a sign of their entrance and participation in the covenant community.  Children of believing adults are also eligible for baptism.  For a child, baptism conveys the grace of being included in God's covenant community and acts as an engagement to be the Lord's.  In neither case does baptism save a person.  We are saved by grace through faith.  Adult baptism reflects back to the work of Christ in bringing one to faith, and infant baptism looks forward to a day when a child can embrace the gospel by faith.  If you'd like to read more about baptism, check out this article by Richard Pratt.  If you haven't been baptized and would like to be, please contact me (joshua.reitano@gmail.com).


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