October 24, 2004

Willard Metzger - “Authentic Worship”

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Willard Metzger (pastor at Drayton, ON and Chair of the MC Canada Witness [missions]) spoke on "Authentic Worship is a life of joyful sacrifice and willing surrender." Willard wondered whether our contemporary focus on 'self' tires us for authentic worship. With unending enthusiasm, he waxed eloquent about a worship team which sang people to new heights, moving them so that they wept, shook with emotion, and were moved to a new awareness of God. As we sweated, wondering if this was Willard’s recommendation for worship teams at PGIMF, Willard revealed that this ideal worship team consisted of just two unamplified singers, Paul and Silas (Acts 16), that their exuberant songs of praise were offered in spite of their being in a Roman prison, even when their immediate future looking utterly bleak. That worship story reminds us that regardless of our most joyful or most hopeless situations, we are called to worship, authentically, acknowledging that God is all-powerful, that we still sing to the best of our ability that God remains our God and that Jesus is our Lord and Saviour, more than ever. Willard admitted being deeply concerned about the state of missions in the Mennonite Church Canada, but feels that even while missionaries are being decommissioned because of drastically dwindling financial support, while treasured church institutions are threatened with extinction, and while Christ's church is deeply divided on many issues, we must still worship with all our strength, heart, soul and mind. Just as the 16th-c. martyrs sang while filling prisons, and just as their families and friends sang songs of worship while loved ones walked to death before their very eyes (we sang "Faith of the martyrs"), we too are called to worship. "Feeling good" is not a good measure of whether our worship is authentic, nor does any single style of worship or singing have a monopoly on authentic worship. When we worship, we need to be authentic to ourselves and to our God. Willard ended with the prayer, "May God be glorified in the singing of our songs." [JEK]


Passage: Acts 16:25-34
Communion: No
Ecumenical or Event:
Potluck Lunch: No
Congregational Meeting: No


Speaker: Willard Metzger
Worship Leader: Evan Kreider
Song Leader: J Evan Kreider
Pianist: Ruth Enns
Usher: Peter Neudorf
Zoom Coordinator:
Children's Feature Leader:


Bring Flowers:
Coffee Helper:
Sound Helper:


Child Care Volunteer: Jaclyn Smith

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