Monday, December 22, 2008

Angel Choir...

Good morning Team,

LUKE 2:8-14

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great CHOIR of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and SINGING, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Of all the wonders of Christmas, I think this is my favorite. I love a good choir! Thank you Owego Naz Worship Choir for leading us yesterday to proclaim, "Joy to the World! The Lord has come!" Each of you has helped our congregation to worship our Lord this Christmas season.

The angel choir... from now on as I imagine this wonder at Christmas time, I will see Anna Contas as a part of that multitude...singing joyfully, in perfect pitch, with a huge smile. Her untimely death saddens me. I will miss Anna's wonderful spirit.

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Owego Nazarene Church, Owego, NY
“Christmas Wonder”

“Sing We Now” Owego Nazarene Worship Choir

Opening Welcome and Prayer

Congregational Song and Advent Wreath Lighting
“The First Noel” (C) vs. 1,2, reading, vs.4

The Wonder of His Parents
Scripture Reading – Luke 2:1-7
Special Song: “Labor of Love” Scott and Denise Mathewson
Mini-Message: Polly Carman
Congregational Song “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” vs.1,2(D) vs.3(E)

The Wonder of the Shepherds
Scripture Reading – Luke 2:8-20
Special Song: “The Shepherds” Jordan Schreiner
Mini-Message: Liam Miller
Congregational Song “Angels We Have Heard on High”(E)(Third Day)

Children’s Moments with Pastor and Cheryl King

The Wonder of the Magi
Scripture Reading – Matthew 2:1-12
Special Song: The King Family
Mini-Message: Angela Fey
Congregational Song “O Come All Ye Faithful” (G) (Third Day)

The Wonder of Wonders
Scripture Reading – John 1:1-2, 10-14 Tim French

Special Song: “A Manger Is His Throne”
Owego Nazarene Worship Choir and Trio
Madison Hornick, Caroline Olsen, Nicole Cavataio

Mini-Message: Pastor Dennis King

Moments of Worship by Candlelight
Congregational Song “Silent Night” (A) vs. 1, 2, 4

We Leave Rejoicing in Our Savior’s Birth
“Joy to the World” (D) vs. 1, 4

I think you will agree that it will be a very special time and I hope each of you who are able to attend will be blessed, richly.

Monday, December 15, 2008

O Come Let Us Adore Him...

Good morning Team,
I guess I was real excited yesterday! I have been a worship leader for almost 30 years now and I cannot recall a time when I was more excited about "Joy to the World" than I was after the Owego Naz Worship Choir gave it all up for the Lord this past Sunday morning. You allowed the Holy Spirit to take control and blessed me and the congregation and prepared the way for all that happened after was awesome! Thank you for all your hard work and time. We will be doing "Joy to the World" in both services this Sunday! Rehearsal this Wednesday at 6:15 will be our final regular rehearsal of the year.

I'm so looking forward to Christmas Eve as well. This will be my first Christmas Eve service at Owego Naz and I know how special it has become. This year looks like it will be no different. One special addition for this service will be the Owego Naz All Church Choir and I hope you will invite some of your friends to join us.


Email me anyone whom I should contact about being a part of this special group.

Here is a video we will be using this Sunday to help us worship the Lord. It is special because it is so simple...just like the Christmas message!


Friday, December 12, 2008


Hi Team,

How perfect! We had a fantastic dress rehearsal on Wednesday night. The winter storm came and gave us a beautiful snow covered earth Thursday night when we were off. I rescheduled our dress rehearsal from Thursday night to Wednesday night several weeks ago...perfect! Tonight, we will have a beautiful setting for our musical with plenty of time to have the snow cleared from the roads and parking lots...perfect!

"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Luke 2:11-12 (NIV)...PERFECT! A Savior...Jesus Christ...born for me and you...perfect!

Musical Notes for tonight:

1. Meet in the choir loft at 6PM

2. Leave cookies on the counter in the foyer

3. Wear black and white

4. Park farthest away so our visitors have the prime spots

5. Woohoo!



Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Good morning Team,
It's really early this morning and I'm thinking about how fortunate I am this Christmas. I have a wonderful wife who loves me completely. I have beautiful daughters who are happily living productive lives in big cities. I have my physical needs met with a wonderful and fulfilling job. I have friends who encourage me and give me joy. I have music that surrounds me with the presence of God. I have partners in ministry who value what I do and walk with me in the victories and the defeats. I have a Savior who is Emmanuel..with me always (Hebrews 13:5)

But not everyone has those things this Christmas. Loneliness is a tragic reality for many of the people you see out and about. Some of them have been abandoned by their parents or their spouses or their children or their friends. They have lost their jobs and are worried about the future. They have no hope.

No wasn't much different 2000 years ago when God looked down on His people and said, "It's time!" Emmanuel...God with us.
And he didn't stop giving when he sent Jesus to show us what He was all about. Today, He needs us, His people, to help Him. We are His hands and feet to help the lonely ones that He loves just as much as He loves you and me.

Here's a question...what can I do that will make a difference in the life of someone this Christmas? Lets share some ideas. I'm interested in your comments...

Here's something that will brighten your Christmas...


P.S. See you tonight at 6:15pm for dress rehearsal. Woohoo!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's Monday!

Good morning Team,
"Joy to the world, the Lord has come!"

I love this time of year. Music plays such an important role at Christmastime and you hear carols and Christmas songs everywhere. The name of Jesus can be heard in places that it would never be allowed at other times of the year.

And I'm excited to see the joy in the faces of our worship team. The Owego Naz Worship Choir brings joy to my spirit as I watch you sing songs from our Christmas musical...





Anna Carman was awesome yesterday and will lead the Owego Naz Children's Choir wonderfully in the musical! Did you notice our newest 2 members of the Owego Naz Worship Band? Kyle Schreiner on the guitar and Mike Ebbers on keyboard were great examples of the joy of the Lord! Thanks guys for being a part of our team!

As we walk together through this busy week...let the "Joy to the World" overwhelm you and make it a special week. Woohoo! I love this time of year!!



Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Christmas Pageant

One of our team members sent me this. I'm sure many of you who are parents can relate:

My husband and I had been happily married (most of the time) for five years but hadn't been blessed with a baby. I decided to do some serious praying and promised God that if he would give us a child, I would be a perfect mother, love it with all my heart and raise it with His word as my guide.God answered my prayers and blessed us with a son.
The next year God blessed us with another son.
The following year, He blessed us with yet another son.
The year after that we were blessed with a daughter.
My husband thought we'd been blessed right into poverty.We now had four children, and the oldest was only four years old.I learned never to ask God for anything unless I meant it. As a minister once told me, "If you pray for rain, make sure you carry an umbrella."
I began reading a few verses of the Bible to the children each day as they lay in their cribs. I was off to a good start. God had entrusted me with four children andI didn't want to disappoint Him. I tried to be patient the day the children smashed two dozen eggs on the kitchen floor searching for baby chicks.I tried to be understanding... when they started a hotel for homeless frogs in the spare bedroom, although it took me nearly two hours to catch all twenty-three frogs. When my daughter poured ketchup all over herself and rolled up in a blanket to see how it felt to be a hot dog, I tried to see the humor rather than the mess.
In spite of changing over twenty-five thousand diapers, never eating a hot meal and never sleeping for more than thirty minutes at a time, I still thank God daily for my children. While I couldn't keep my promise to be a perfect mother -I didn't even come close...I did keep my promise to raise them in the Word of God. I knew I was missing the mark just a little when I told my daughter we were going to church to worship God, and she wanted to bringa bar of soap along to "wash up" Jesus, too. Something was lost in the translation when I explained thatGod gave us everlasting life, and my son thought it was generous of God to give us his "last wife."

My proudest moment came during the children's Christmas pageant.My daughter was playing Mary, two of my sons were shepherds and my youngest son was a wise man. This was their moment to shine.My five-year-old shepherd had practiced his line,"We found the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes." But he was nervous and said, "The baby was wrapped in wrinkled clothes." My four-year-old "Mary" said, "That's not 'wrinkled clothes,' silly. That's dirty, rotten clothes." A wrestling match broke out between Mary and the shepherd and was stopped by an angel, who bent her halo and lost her left wing. I slouched a little lower in my seat when Mary dropped the doll representingBaby Jesus, and it bounced down the aisle crying, "Mama-mama." Mary grabbed the doll, wrapped it back up and held it tightly as the wise men arrived.My other son stepped forward wearing a bathrobe and a paper crown, knelt at the manger and announced, "We are the three wise men, and we are bringing giftsof gold, common sense and fur."The congregation dissolved into laughter, and the pageant got a standing ovation. "I've never enjoyed a Christmas program as much as this one,"laughed the pastor, wiping tears from his eyes. "For the rest of my life,I'll never hear the Christmas story without thinking of gold, common sense and fur.""My children are my pride and my joy and my greatest blessing," I said as I dug through my purse for an aspirin.



Monday, December 1, 2008

It's Monday!

Good morning Team,

I'm sitting in my easy chair this morning drinking my coffee and looking at the Christmas tree. My thoughts are wrapped around the "wonder" of God that Pastor Dennis shared with us yesterday. The miracle that is Christmas is what I desire in my heart all the time and our goal as worship leaders is to help the congregation grasp that as well. Yesterday you did just that and I am so excited about what the remainder of this Christmas season has to offer.

The next two weeks will be awesome as we finalize our Christmas musical. 3 more important rehearsals that you need to make every effort to attend. See the post below this for the schedule.
Have you invited a friend for Friday night? This will be a great opportunity to share the Christmas story and message to your unchurched friends.

From Luke 2...

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Monday!

Good morning Team,
So what did you think when you walked into the sanctuary yesterday? The reality of persecuted Christians in other parts of the world is sobering and gives us much to be thankful for as we go into Thanksgiving.

I was moved by the Owego Naz Worship Choir's rendition of "Praise You In this Storm" and Jordan Schreiner's solo was magnificent. Thank you team, for helping lead the people in worship. Don't forget that we do not have rehearsal this Wednesday and this Sunday is our Sunday off.

I am working on our Advent services and very excited about what's ahead. Our musical presentation

"On This Very Night"
Friday, Dec. 12 @ 7PM

is a great opportunity to invite your unchurched friends, neighbo
rs and co-workers. They may even want to come back on
Sunday, Dec.
14 @ 11AM
for an encore!
Here's the rehearsal schedule:

Wednesday, Dec. 3 at 6:15PM
Monday, Dec. 8 at 6:30PM
Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 6:15PM
(dress rehearsal)

I love this time of year...busy, but rewarding!
Coleen and I will be in Washington, DC celebrating Thanksgiving with our daughter Candice. Our prayer is that your heart is overwhelmed with the love of Christ and His grace during this special season!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Good morning Team,

"Honor your father and mother..."

"The Lord declared, Those who honor me, I will honor"

"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves."

When we honor the Lord, we show our respect for who He is. When we honor our parents, we show our respect for who they are and the role they play in our develpement. When we honor each other, we show respect as an attitude of our heart.

A friend forwarded me a link to a video that has been around for awhile, but it's always good to honor those who serve in our armed forces and especially those in harms way. It will be worth 5 minutes of your time to honor these brave souls:

Thank you, Lord, for the sacrifice of these brave men and women and for the sacrifice of their families as they serve.



Monday, November 17, 2008

It's Monday!

Good morning Team,

Don't you just love a good surprise? Saturday night I got a text from Neil Eash that said his work schedule got changed and he could play with the band on Sunday. I rejoice when God brings us together in worship and His team gets to lead the people. It was truly joyful yesterday as the team lead the first service to worship and then my heart jumped for joy as the Owego Naz Worship Choir started us off the second service with "Alive, Forever, Amen" and the congregation joined in to celebrate our risen Lord. Hallelujah! The band drove us with "I Will Boast" and "Everlasting God." Pastor Andy's teaching was awesome, especially for his first time! God was present and our worship was honest and pure. Praise God!

This Wednesday we will be rehearsing "Praise You In This Storm" and more Christmas music. It's hard to imagine that we are less than 4 weeks away from our Christmas musical and only 2 weeks away from the start of Advent. Woohoo! It's going to be a wonderful Christmas season.

Do you have a story? Of course you do. Some of our stories are dramatic and some are rather plain, but each of us has a story of how God touched us. I thought I'd close today with a video that touched my heart. Check it out:




Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's Wednesday!

Good morning Team!

As you can see, this is my first attempt at blogging and I'm curious at what you think. This will be fun.

Tonight the Owego Naz Worship Choir will rehearse at 6:15 and we will be nailing down "Praise You In this Storm." I want to spend some more time working on our Christmas music and specifically "Christmastime" in the musical. Anna Carman is going to be working with our children on their part starting next week...Thanks Anna!

We will also spend some time on a couple of new worship songs...well, new to us. "You Are God Alone" is a fantastic worship song about the awesomness of our God and "I Want Jesus to Walk With Me" is an old Negro spiritual with a "blues" feel. It will be a wonderful time of worship tonight!

Well, I'm going to post this and see how it works. I'm open to suggestions from any of you bogger pros.