Anchor City New Year’s Eve Worship Gathering
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
you call forth songs of joy…
You crown the year with your bounty,
and your carts overflow with abundance.
— Psalm 65:8,11 —
As we gather in worship today, we’re so thankful for the ways in which God has shown His love, grace, and faithfulness in and through each of you. Having our Sunday worship gathering fall on the 31st, as one year ends and another begins, is appropriate for our church family — as Third Culture people, we’re always learning to live in and navigate the spaces in-between: “where morning dawns, where evening fades.”
Let’s turn our hearts toward God in songs of joy as we give thanks for the past year and look forward to the future.
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me
Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside
You hold the reins on the sun and the moon
Like horses driven by kings
You cover the mountains, the valleys below
With the breadth of Your mighty wings
All treasures of wisdom and things to be known
Are hidden inside Your hand
And in this fortunate turn of events
You ask me to be Your friend
You ask me to be Your friend
You are my first
You are my last
You are my future and my past
The constellations are swimming inside
The breadth of Your desire
Where could I run, where could I hide
From Your heart’s jealous fire
You are the beginning and the end…
Today’s worship gathering will also involve walking around the beach area and worshiping God through several interactive experiences. Take your time and meditate on each Scripture passage.
Please start at the “baptismal waters” station and then feel free to go in any order you’d like. When you’re done, please come back to the main gathering area and we will wrap up together and enjoy fellowship & refreshments.
Below, find a brief description of each station:
- Location: By the water
- Read: Romans 6:2-4 (NIV), “We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.“
- Consider: All water can remind us of our baptism, a sign of the covenant (promise) between God and us through Jesus Christ. In baptism, God claims us as beloved children and members of Christ’s body, the church, cleansing us of our sin and restoring and healing our whole lives. Baptism reminds us that through the Holy Spirit we are empowered to live transformed lives of healing and reconciliation.
- Act: Take some water into your hands or let it wash over your feet. Take some time to remember your baptism, thank God for it, and commit your year to living it out.
- Note: If you haven’t been formally baptized yet, that’s okay! Waters can still remind all of us of new life in Christ, so this is for all of us.
- Location: At the edge of the water
- Read: 1 Corinthians 1:30 (The Message), “Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ.”
- Act: Take a couple of moments to reflect on some of your sins, hurts, or struggles from the past year. The Methodists call this “the bane of the past year.” Write one or two of them in the sand (close to the water). Watch as the waves wash them away, allowing God to give you a clean slate for the new year.
- Location: The sand (look for the orange cones)
- Read: Ephesians 2:10 (NLT), “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
- Act: What does God want to build in you and through you this coming year? As you help to build a collective sand castle/masterpiece, pray that God would give you dreams and vision for 2018 and the time, gifts, and resources to see them through.
- Location: All around the area
- Read: Matthew 13:31-32 (NIV), “Jesus told them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
- Consider: What are the places that go unnoticed in your life? Who are the people who go unnoticed in your life? What does it mean to you that God notices and knows you, and that God notices and knows the small things?
- Act: Take a photo of something small that catches your attention. As you do, say a prayer that God would cause the mustard seeds in your life to grow. If you’re on Instagram or Facebook, we invite you to post it with the hashtag #AnchorCityNewYear #mustardseed
- Location: The main grassy gathering area
- Read: 1 Chronicles 29:13-14 (NIV), “Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.”
- Act: How can your life be an offering to God in the new year? Write it on a slip of paper and put it in the offering basket. Pray the printed prayer at this station and make it your own.
- Note: If you have your regular Sunday offering and/or Advent Conspiracy offering, you can put it in at this time as well.