Ascend: A community worship gathering on the mountain
by Sherrie Norris
"God called Moses to meet him on the mountain and Isaiah prophesied that the mountains would break forth in song before the coming of Jesus," said Marshall Daniels, worship leader at the Harvest House in Boone. "Jesus himself went the to high places to pray and used mountains in his teaching."
More than 2,000 years have passed, "but the spirit of God still dwells inside of his people," Daniels said.
What would happen if we would gather again on the mountain to adore God?
According to Daniels, we're about to find out.
"The call is being raised for the redeemed of God to once again ascend the hill to worship him," he said.
For this reason, the Harvest House Church is hosting a fall worship series called "Ascend: A Community Worship Gathering on the Mountain."
"With hopes in our hearts, we are raising this call for sons and daughters of God -- for whom all creation is longing -- to ascend the mountain to proclaim his impassioned love," Daniels said. "It's not for the glory of any man or woman, not for the praise of any religious program, but for the bride of Christ to lift up worship with one voice to her Maker."
Ascend is a series of worship gatherings planned in coming weeks at the Harvest House Performing Arts Venue in Boone, where church members meet, and will feature well-known worship leaders, songwriters, musicians and guest speakers.
"Our goal is to create a context where multiple communities can gather together to worship in the High Country," Daniels said. "We believe that this vision will become reality in three ways -- by knowing, by loving and by going."
In order to become lovers of Jesus who share his heart and change this mountain, Daniels said, "We must first know him, what he is like, and what he has revealed to us about the father's heart. Jesus said that his disciples will be known by how they love one another. We cannot be truly effective for him, until we learn to walk in love: love for Jesus, love for each other, and love for our community."
"Jesus told us to go into all the world and make disciples," Daniels said. "We want to become seeds that Jesus can send into our community and the world to bear fruit for his glory. It all starts with worship."
About the worship leaders
Jonathan and Melissa Helser are worship leaders and songwriters who say their hearts "bleed to see a generation get wrecked by the love of God."
They said songs they sing come from the journeys they have taken. Parents of two, the couple lives in Sophia and co-lead a multigenerational ministry, called A Place for the Heart, with Jonathan's parents, Ken and Linda Helser. The band playing with the couple is more than just a group of musicians, Jonathan said.
"They are giving their lives as full time staff of this ministry," he said. "We do much more than just travel and play gigs, we are leading schools, internships and doing kingdom family community year-round."
Jason Upton is a singer and songwriter, described as having "the heart of a pastor."
Whether leading in worship through singing or speaking, Upton's songs and his messages are said to reflect a life fully lived in relationship with God, family and friends.
Upton has several recordings available through his Key of David Ministries. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife, Rachel and their children Samuel, Emma, Lucy and Oliver.
Stephen Roach is a multi-talented musician, poet, songwriter and author who has written and recorded four CDs of his own and has also contributed those of numerous recording artists, including Ricky Skaggs, Leonard Jones, Jonathan David Helser, Sean Feucht and many others.
Roach also travels internationally and teaches on creativity and the pursuit of God. He has a self-published collection of poems called "The Beckoning" and a children's book, "Satchel Willoughby & The Realm of Lost Things."
Roach and his wife, Sarah, live in Greensboro with children, Evangelyn Belle and Isaac Brighton.
Songs of Water, a seven-piece ensemble is said to have a "distinct and evocative sound that carries roots from the most ancient of cultures, delicately blending instrumentation from across the globe in a uniquely American context."
A group spokesman describes the "uncommon use of the hammered dulcimer" as "melodically leading many of the group's instrumental pieces, followed by the resonance of various acoustic instruments and a brooding foundation of heavy percussion. Layers of orchestral strings and sparse vocals create a cinematic appeal to the otherwise raw expression of musical composition."
Marshall Daniels, Harvest House Church's own multitalented worship leader, will be lending his services to the event and worshiping alongside the guest artists at each event.
Daniels, who will be releasing his new worship album "Live As Free" at the Ascend Series, is excited to be a part of what he anticipates as "a great mountain-top awakening." His wife, Britty, joins him in various aspects of the Harvest House ministry.
Doors open at 6 p.m., with worship beginning at 7 p.m. Admission to each event is $10; children 5 and younger are free; daycare is provided.
Additional donations will be accepted and appreciated to help cover the cost, as are sponsorships, which are currently available.
About Harvest House
For more than 30 years, the church was known as Living Water Christian Fellowship.
In 2009, the building where it was housed, next door to Boone Bowling Center, underwent major renovations, resulting in a state-of- the- art performing arts venue now called Harvest House.
As a nonprofit organization, it was opened to the community for special events, the profits of which support the church's mission organization known as Harvest Equippers.
Since 1994, Harvest Equippers has taken hundreds of students from Appalachian State University to 17 nations, including Nicaragua, Tanzania, Uganda, Poland, Ukraine and Romania.
The church also hosts alternative service trips during spring break, as well as local initiatives, such as providing food and groceries for 100 to 200 people every Sunday after services.
In addition to Harvest House Church, the venue also houses a dance studio, an art studio and a creative-arts preschool.
For more information, visit http://www.harvesthousechurchboone.com or contact Marshall Daniels, venue manager, at (828) 263-4171; Tim Roberts, Ascend event manager, at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (828) 773-4845; or Darrell Roberts, pastor of Harvest House Church, at (email@example.com)