July 19, 2020 - Home Worship Service

July 19th Mailed Worship Service

 

Welcome & Announcements:

Good morning church! Due to the recent restrictions of no more than 25 for an inside gathering, we are going back to ZOOM worship at 9am.

 

Here is the information: Sunday, July 19, 9:00 am.  Your leaders are planning to worship with ZOOM through July and August:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85441468430?pwd=aEJmcnJ3SGdkbWphMnlRV3JwQ3dXQT09

These numbers are different from previous numbers:  Meeting ID: 854 4146 8430        Password: 279040

One tap mobile:  +19294362866,,85441468430#,,,,0#,,279040# US (New York)

For audio only using a landline or non-smart phone:  +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)

 

 

Worship:

I invite you to light a candle to welcome the Light of the World in your presence and prepare your heart for worship this day:

 

 

Call to Worship (taken from Psalm 137)

 

L:        When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.

P:        Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy.

            Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”

L:        The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.

            Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses in the Negeb.
                May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.

P:        Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing,
            shall come home with shouts of joy carrying their sheaves.

 

 

Opening Song: Amazing Grace by Donna Farver

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer-parks-snyder/amazing-grace/s-QzKuJlkgSZJ

 

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind but now I see

 

Was Grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace, my fears relieved
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed

 

Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far
And Grace will lead us home

 

 

Opening Prayer:

God of community, we thank You for Your church. We thank You that, in spite of our imperfections, we can still come together in prayer and praise. We pray that we might be Your courageous, strong people working for unity and peace, caring for those who are hungry and homeless, bringing Your love to those who long for new life. We pray through Christ, who is our sure foundation. Amen.

 

 

Children’s Time: 

It's our children's time and I want to start with a question I ask you each and every week: Who are you? Children Respond: Special Gifts of God! PJ: That's right, you are special gifts of God each and every day and I'm so lucky to spend time with you!

            Last week I shared with you the Sign Language motions to He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. This week we will learn Bind Us Together. Because when we combine ourselves, we become stronger. It’s like if you take a piece of rope and try to break it, it may. But if you braid that rope with other pieces, it is more difficult to break. And in this song the braids we have is God’s love through each other, and that makes us, the Church stronger.

            Here is a video with the motions.

https://youtu.be/vOdPMph1zmU

            Let us pray: Thank You God, that You bring us together, and make us stronger with Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

Prayer & Lord’s Prayer:

Lord, we are not good at waiting for anything. We want to know what to do right now, right here. We want the plan all laid out for us so that we can project the end results. We have some real control issues to overcome, Lord. Take our spirits and release the need for control for them. Help us place our total trust in Your abiding love and presence. Give us patience and persistence in our ministries and mission. As we bring to You the names of dear ones whose lives are in need of Your healing mercy and comfort, remind us that we also stand in need of those same mercies. Give us courage to accept Your love and strength to witness to Your love in all that we do. We ask this in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray saying…Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen. 

 

 

Invitation to the Offering:

In thanksgiving for the amazing grace God offers us daily, let us give back a portion of what we have received to be used to share that grace with others.

 

Special Music:  Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) by Andira & Jessica Dodge

https://soundcloud.com/word-rummager/amazing-grace-my-chains-are

 

Offering Prayer:

Bless, O God, the money in this offering plate that it may touch the lives of many and bless as well the money that remains in our pockets that our choices may be careful, faithful, and wise. As we pay for gasoline or groceries or gifts may we remember Your grace that sustains us in all times. Amen.

 

 

Scripture Lesson: 

1 Thessalonians 3: 11-13

11 Now may our God and Father Himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. 13And may He so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.

 

 

Sermon: What’s Next: God’s Dream of the Story of Rebuilding the Lightstreet Extended Parish

 

For the past month I have shared with you the stories of Ezra and last week, the story of Nehemiah, two men called by God to help rebuild the life and faith of the Hebrews after the Babylonian exile. I thought it was appropriate to study as I believe God has a dream to rebuild us, rebuild us as the Lightstreet Extended Parish that includes Rohrsburg and Orangeville United Methodist Churches.

And so today I want to wrap up that series, sharing with you why I believe God’s dream is just that, for us to be part of an extended ministry and I believe that dream starts with a wish.

Have you ever noticed how often we use the word “wish’? I wish it was cooler. I wish it would rain.

Wish is heard often in songs: “When you Wish Upon a Star” by Jimmy the Cricket or “My Wish” by the Rascal Flatts, or “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.  And of course, a big part of our birthday celebrations is to put a candle in a cake and tell the birthday person to make a wish and blow the candle out. Do recall a time you did that, made a specific wish with a birthday candle and you got what you wished for? When I turned 8, I remember wishing for pet cat. I didn’t get him right away, but I did get him a few months later, and I thought my wish came true!

When we read the Epistles of Paul in the New Testament, we should pay attention to his wish prayers. You may not be familiar with that phrase, wish prayer, but they are prayers, requests made to God, of what one wishes for. You and I do that with our prayers. “I wish that sickness would go away”. “I wish a speedy recovery”. “I wish for comfort and strength”. Well Paul does that too, especially in the letters he sends to churches he helped to establish. In those letters are reports of what he has heard about the church, and words of prayer that convey what he wishes for the church. For instance, he wishes the church of Galatia to not make Jews out of Gentiles because all are one in Christ Jesus. Paul does not want the rich members of Corinth eating supper before other people arrive, that is those who had to work. And he does not want them fighting over their favorite pastor. For the church of Rome, Paul wishes for the Roman church to have spiritual victory over evil.

And Paul wants God to provide an abundance of needs to the church of Philippi for their generosity. Regarding the church of Thessalonica, Paul writes this: 1 Thessalonians 3: 11-13 11 Now may our God and Father Himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. 13And may He so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. Paul’s wish prayer is that their circle of love will widen and encompass people being overlooked, and he wishes they will continue in their pursuit of loving God and loving others, as themselves.

As I am now in my 11th year of having the privilege to serve as your pastor, I believe God has a new wish for our church, and the other United Methodist Churches in the area. The wish is to widen the circle of love, to encompass more people in our areas of Rohrsburg, Orangeville, and Lightstreet. And in order to do that, to fulfill God’s wish for us to make the Heavenly Kingdom known, we need to learn to cooperate with each other.

Yes, I know, according to the news, it’s not a word we hear or an action we witness much, but cooperation is fundamental to our faith. Where would the Hebrews be if the Persians were not willing to cooperate with them so they could reestablish Jerusalem? And where would they be if they didn’t learn to cooperate with each other in order to rebuild the Jerusalem wall in 52 days and their Temple to God?

Cooperation is fundamental to the Christian life; it is also fundamental to our emotional well-being.

 

Have you ever heard of emotional intelligence? Not intellectual intelligence- aka IQ, I am talking about our emotional quotient, aka EQ. You may know a person who is smart, possibly a professor of science or math, but emotionally or socially, maybe not the brightest. My favorite example is my friend’s father who is now a retired doctor, and he was the best in his field in the area. One day his wife asked him to go buy some eggs from the store. The doctor asked, how many? 3 or 4? He wasn’t aware they were sold by the dozen. To have a high IQ is not enough to achieve success in life. We need a healthy EQ to manage the day to day stuff and interactions with other.

Emotional Intelligence is what the Apostle Paul writes about regarding the spiritual gift of discernment. And there are 4 key elements in emotional intelligence:

  1. Being aware of self and your own feelings
  2. Being able to read the feelings of others (empathy)
  3. Having the gift to motivate others (inspire)
  4. Bring people together (cooperation)

Cooperation is a necessity to the gift of discernment; it is necessary to have a healthy EQ. And it’s

what God calls us to, wishes for us, so that we may widen the circle of His graceful kingdom.

I want you to know the communal cooperation God has already led for these churches. Did you know that Rohrsburg has a backpack ministry that they fill backpacks with food and health care items and pass out to the homeless in Philadelphia? And for those of you who help with the John Buck Memorial Food Bank, well it wouldn’t be if it weren’t for the Orangeville United Methodist Church. And now, you and I, have the opportunity to do even more ministry, as we choose to work cooperatively with these churches.

            Recently I read an article titled “Cooperative Ministry” written by a Clay Smith and he made it clear that cooperative ministry is not closing small, struggling churches. It is not merging weak congregations with other congregations. And it is not imposing a structure from the outside on a group of congregations. What cooperative ministry is, it enhances and builds up the identity and strength of local churches. Cooperative ministry affirms the value of all congregations, both large and small. Cooperative ministry helps churches move beyond maintenance to strong ministries of witness and outreach in their communities. Cooperative ministry is when resources are shared, the pastors are the community organizers, and there is a merger of ministry programs without abandoning church identities. To widen the circle of God’s kingdom means we must learn to cooperate. That is God’s wish for us, as churches and as a cooperative ministry effort.

The other week I officiated a wedding, and lately for the weddings I oversee, I have been sharing the old tradition of the wedding knot. Are you familiar with that? In Ecclesiastes 4:12 we read, "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." The tradition states, that referencing that Scripture, a blessed marriage takes three, the bride and groom, and God. Thus, there are three strands of rope on a ring. And so, you invite the bride and groom to braid the strands together. But as I was officiating the service, I considered how this symbol could be used for us in cooperative ministry. Each strand represents each of our churches. And each of those churches was founded on God’s love for us in Jesus Christ, ordained by the Holy Spirit to be in this world, but not of this world. Therefore, each strand represents God’s divine love in this world, as each church does. And what happens when we take each strand and braid them? They get stronger. Their cooperation gives them strength.

I don’t know what the next year of ministry will bring all of us, but I do know that according to our Scripture lesson, God wishes to broaden the kingdom through us, members of the church. And the least we can do is bind together and see where the Spirit leads us.

Let us pray:

Eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all life, Author of salvation, Giver of all grace; Bless and sanctify our churches and the cooperative ministry you wish for all. Enable us to grow in love and peace with You and with one another all our days, through Jesus Christ, Amen

 

 

Song of Response: Bind us Together

 

Bind us together, Lord, bind us together with cords that cannot be broken.
Bind us together, Lord, bind us together, bind us together in love.


There is only God
There is only one King
There is only one body
This is why we sing

 

Bind us together, Lord, bind us together with cords that cannot be broken.
Bind us together, Lord, bind us together, bind us together in love.

 

 

Closing Song: by LUMC Praise Band

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer-parks-snyder/this-is-amazing-grace/s-dAL941pZUwB

 

This is Amazing Grace

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness

Whose love is mighty and so much stronger

The King of Glory, the King above all kings

 

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder

And leaves us breathless in awe and wonder

The King of Glory, the King above all kings

 

Chorus: This is amazing grace; this is unfailing love.

That You would take my place; that You would bear my cross

You lay down Your life that I would be set free

Oh, Jesus, I sing for all that You've done for me

 

Who brings our chaos back into order

Who makes the orphan a son and daughter

The King of Glory, the King of Glory

 

Who rules the nations with truth and justice

Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance

The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Chorus:

 

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain

Worthy is the King who conquered the grave (repeat 3 times)

Worthy, worthy, worthy

 

Chorus:

 

 

Benediction: Now may the God of hope comfort you, give you voice, and guide you home. May the spirit of God provide memory, feasting, and vision. May Christ heal you, restore you, and bless you today and in the days to come, Amen.

 

 

 

 
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