LEFC Guide to Worship – June 14, 2020

LEFC Guide to Worship

Sunday, June 14, 2020
Lanse Evangelical Free Church

From the Pastor

Dear Church Family,

“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24).

As Christians, we have so many reasons to rejoice. First and foremost, we are loved by God and saved through faith in Jesus Christ. There is no greater thing than knowing Him!

I am rejoicing that some of us got to worship in person on campus last Sunday. It was terrific to see some of you that I haven’t laid eyes on for the last three months. And from what I hear, we have an even bigger group showing up this week!

If this is your first Sunday back on campus, welcome home. I hope you are able to rejoice in the Lord during either the new 8:00am or 9:30am worship gatherings. It’s not yet quite the same as it was before; regardless it’s really good to be together once again. We’re learning as we go and planning to make adjustments as we see which things are helpful and which things are not, so please give us any feedback that you think would be helpful. And if you’re ready, please reserve your spot for next week, too (June 21st). I know it’s a hassle, but it’s the best way right now to make sure we have a place ready for everyone who wants to come.

We can also rejoice that on-campus Prayer Meeting is going to resume this Wednesday night at 7pm. I know that we’ve all been praying for the last three months, but it will be good to gather in person and lift up our requests together to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). If you’re going to join us, in addition to your Bible, please bring a protective face covering (mask) and a willingness to wear it. If the weather is nice enough, we’ll pray outdoors.

Please keep praying for wisdom for our leaders as we plan for future ministry. The next big item we are tackling is in-person ministry to children. The LEFC Kids are very important to our whole church family, and we want to continue to make disciples of the next generation. Look for more details soon!

For those worshiping at home this weekend, we have prepared another ten-step guide for your family to use and will be posting another recorded video message from the book of Philippians. We have reached the third chapter of Philippians, but Paul has not swerved from the theme of rejoicing. I’m glad because that’s exactly what my heart needs these days!

For the Worship in Unity portion this weekend, we are utilizing the New City Catechism a modern day resource of short questions and answers about vital Christian doctrine. The NCC was specifically made for young families in this digital age and is available through web and mobile apps with a plethora of coordinated resources to help families grow in their faith. We are referencing question #33 whose answer is another great reason to rejoice!

Everyone is invited to participate in the Church Family Fellowship Meeting on Zoom Sunday at 11:00am. This week we will be joined by our missionaries, Phil and Ruthann Alessi. We have partnered in ministry with the Alessi’s for the last 15 years, and it will be great to catch up with them. Phil has written a resource called “Overcoming Fear” that is being used all over the world right now during the COVID-19 crisis, and I look forward to hearing more about it Sunday morning. We’re also going to ask the LEFC Kids on Zoom to share with us a Bible verse they have memorized. I’m hoping to hear at least one of them say Philippians 4:4-5! I hope you can join us.

The hardest thing about our church family right now is that we’re not all together at the same time and same place. That’s the way the Lord has us right now, so it’s okay, but it’s not easy. One key thing that we can do to make it better is stay in touch with those we do not see. Marilynn has revised the 2020 Church Directory again with all of the updates we’ve received over the last few months.You can start making calls, sending texts, or writing cards right away! Hopefully, more and more of us will see each other soon as the weeks roll by.

It’s a joy to be your pastor. Whether at home or on campus this weekend, let’s make sure that every single one of us in this precious church family worships the Lord Jesus Christ.

In His Grip,

– Pastor Matt

P.S. I hope you and your family are singing. There are 150 songs in the middle of your Bible for a reason! Some are sad songs (we need those too), but many are joyful ones. Be glad and rejoice in this day.

Home Worship Guide

1. Welcome to Worship

Read Psalm 118:19-24 with glad rejoicing as your family gathers to worship.

**Option: Parents might want to tell their children more about Psalm 118. It is a thanksgiving psalm that was shouted by the crowds on Palm Sunday and was quoted by the Lord Jesus at His trial. When the psalmist gives thanks for the day that the LORD has made, he doesn’t just mean every day (though that’s true as well). The psalmist is specifically talking about the marvelous salvation of the Lord’s people both in the Old Testament and in the coming of Christ.

**Option: Your family might want to read more of Psalm 118. Consider reading verses 14-29 or even the whole thing. Families with young children may want to have the kids shout, “His love endures forever!” as a parent reads each verse of Psalm 118.

Have someone pray and ask God to bless your time of worship at home.

2. Worship in Singing

As a household sing “This Is the Day” by Les Garrett (1967).

**Option. Families with older adults might also or instead enjoy singing “To God Be the Glory” by Fanny Crosby (1875).

**Option. Families with younger children might want to repeat the song that has our Hide the Word verse in it: “Rejoice in the Lord Always.” Parents might plan to do this short song for several weeks because repetition helps us to learn something well. Don’t forget that it is also a canon your family can sing “in the round.”

3. Worship in Unity

As a household, recite together Question #33 of the New City Catechism:

Q. Should those who have faith in Christ seek their salvation through their own works, or anywhere else?

A. No, they should not, as everything necessary to salvation is found in Christ. To seek salvation through good works is a denial that Christ is the only Redeemer and Savior.

4. Worship in Lament and Thanksgiving

Cody leads the students in our youth class every Sunday morning to share a “high” and “low” from their previous week. This practice reminds them to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep and that the Lord cares about both the wonderful and the awful things that happen to us.

What are your family’s “highs” and “lows” for the last seven days?

**Option: As some of our church family worship on campus while others remain at home, we both rejoice and lament. As a family, give thanks for those who are ready to return and pray for all of the families who still need to stay home.

5. Worship in Bible Memory

Recite our current “Hide the Word” memory verses, Philippians 4:4-5.

 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”  – Philippians 4:4-5

**Option: Look ahead at verse 6. Is your family ready to add it in?

6. Worship in Prayer

Take prayer requests and pray for each other.

Read the prayer guide together and pray for the rest of the church family and the requests listed.

7. Worship in the Word

Watch or read Pastor Matt’s message: “Rejoice in the Lord!”

Facebook Video

YouTube Video

Read on Pastor Matt’s Blog

[The message will be available online by Sunday morning.]

Some families may want to watch/read the message on their own and then have a Bible study and discussion together during this time.

8. Worship in Singing

Sing “Blessed Assurance” by Fanny Crosby (1873).

**Option: Some families, especially those with young children who really enjoy repetition, may want to continue to sing “Jesus, Strong and Kind” by CityAlight (2019) each week.

9. Worship All Week

Have someone pray a prayer of commissioning for your family as you end this time of gathered worship and face a week of new opportunities and new challenges to serve the Lord, the church, and the world in His Name.

 10. Participate in LEFC Family Fellowship Meeting on Zoom – 11am on Sunday June 14.

Many of us are meeting through video-conference online this Sunday at 11:00am:

  • See one another’s faces and hear each other’s voices.
  • Listen to announcements of church family news.
  • Interact with our missionaries, Phil and Ruthann Alessi.
  • Kids, can you share with us a Bible verse that you have memorized?
  • Pray for one another live and online.

If you have any questions about how to do this, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Church Family News

Zoom This Week

Join us at 11:00am as we meet for Church Family Fellowship on Zoom. Phil & Ruthann Alessi will be joining us to share more about their work in the disciple making movement. As a reminder, if Zoom ever has connectivity issues, check your email for a new link, and we will try again at 1:00pm.

On-Campus Worship Gatherings

Be sure to let us know if you will be joining us next week. We will once again have two gatherings at 8:00 & 9:30. Call the office to reserve your family section. We will send out links for online registration on Sunday afternoon. We look forward to seeing many of you again next week.

On-Campus Prayer Meeting to Resume Wednesday

Lord-willing, this coming Wednesday (June 17th), we will begin holding an on-campus prayer meeting at 7pm. We do not believe that we will need to have people make reservations for Prayer Meeting at this time. We are asking everyone to bring and to be willing to wear a protective face covering (mask). Depending on the needs of all of the participants, the leader may make wearing them optional, but all should come ready to use one throughout. Whenever the weather permits, we will hold the Prayer Meeting outdoors. Please let me know if you have any questions about what precautions are going to be taken or expected.

Letters of Encouragement

Nate Kerlin has joined the Army and is now in boot camp. If you are interested in sending him a letter of encouragement, there are printed mailing labels in the foyer.

Challenge 2020

This year’s Challenge Conference theme is “Restless: Longing and Belonging” and has been transformed into a free livestream event.  Now is your chance to get a taste of what Challenge has to offer. Mark your calendars for July 15, 2020 for an interactive evening with speakers Vašek Andrš, Stephen Love, Kempton Turner, and Justin Wevers. Seventh Hour will lead worship and some other surprises are also planned. Registration is now open for this event.

Help for Haiti

VOHM has helped many families with basic nutrition needs. A designated giving fund remains open to assist VOHM to help meet the basic need for nutrition in their church families and community. If you would like to give to this through the church, please mark your gift “Haiti” or you can donate online here.

 Need Prayer?

Our church and our pastor love to pray for you. If you have a need for prayer, you can email us at [email protected]. All emails being sent to this address will be seen by Pastor Matt. Please indicate if this is a private request (for Pastor Matt and the Elder Board) or public request for the prayer chain.

Helping One Another

We have developed an online form to identify those from our church family and community who may need some assistance and those who are willing to help others during this pandemic. If you need help, know of someone who needs help, or can help, please contact the church office.

 Our Daily Bread

Our Daily Bread for June, July, and August is now available. They are located between the double doors and can be picked up whenever it is convenient for you.

 Safe Pastoral Visits

Pastor Matt would love to see many of you in person to pray with you, share concerns, ideas, or just have a conversation. If you are open to a porch visit, driveway visit, or a visit in another setting that would allow for safe and appropriate distances, please get in touch with him to schedule a time. You can reach him at the church (345.6500), call on his mobile phone, send him an email ([email protected]), or connect with him on social media.

 Continuing to Give

Thank you for continuing to support our ministries and missionaries. Ways to give:

  • Mail your offering check to us at PO BOX 114, Lanse, PA 16849.
  • Cash or Check in person. Drop off your offering at the church during office hours (9:30-2:30 Tuesday – Friday) in the offering plate right inside the door.
  • Online Payments – P2P (CNB), PayPal, and Venmo are all e-giving options. Our account address is our email: [email protected] Contact Marilynn if you need any help navigating this way of giving.

Prayer Items

Contact the Office to be sent these items.

More Links to Helpful Resources:

The New City Catechism Online Resources

“EFCA United in Prayer” Virtual Prayer Event (Recorded from Wednesday Night)

“The Unmuted Gospel” by Cedrick Brown

“George Floyd and Me” by Shai Linne

“The Monotony of the Wilderness: Are You Just Marking Time?” by Mike Emlet

Lanse Free Church

255 Cotohisc Road
Lanse, PA 16849
Phone: 814.345.6500

Worship Services:
Masks required.
Contact the church office so we know you will be joining us.

Prayer Meeting: Wednesday, 7:00pm
Bring a Mask.

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In the mean time, you can call either Marilynn or Pastor Matt on their cell phones, message us here, or email us at the church.

Hopefully this gets resolved quickly!
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Dear Church Family,

I’ve been frustrated recently by how confined I feel due to the coronavirus and all of the health precautions and restrictions that are being called for right now.

It’s really hard to do effective church ministry in these conditions!

I mean, we can meet, but asking everybody to sit at 6' spacing?
To wear masks or face shields?
To make reservations before coming to church?
And then not seeing everyone because we are spread out over so many different worship times?

I get it, and we’re doing it, but sometimes it feels really confining. I feel like we’re in a tight spot with not a lot of room for maneuvering.

And it takes 3 times the work right now for 1/3 of the results. We make the best of it, but it’s kind of frustrating and sometimes exhausting.
We’re kind of in a “tight spot.”

And I don’t know about you, but my tendency when I get in a tight spot is to grumble and complain.

This morning, I was texting with Joel Michaels, and I was complaining about how these conditions make it hard to do effective church ministry. There are all of these roadblocks to getting folks connected to each other, to corporate worship, to good teaching, to effective service.

Roadblocks everywhere, and Joel and I agreed that we need to get our eyes off of ourselves and even those roadblocks and onto the Lord.

Because what does God like to do when we are in a tight spot?

Tonight at Prayer Meeting, we’re going to look together at Exodus 14 when the nation of Israel was in a tight spot. They had just been freed from bondage to Pharoah, but they had not yet made it fully out of Egypt. And the Lord led them to a spot between the approaching Egyptian army in the desert on one side and the deep Red Sea on the other side.

Talk about a tight spot! Not a lot of room for maneuvering.

You know what happened, right?

There was some grumbling and some complaining. That’s what happened!

And then there was some rebuking. Moses said (Exodus 14:13), “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.'” (vv.13-14)

And you probably know what happened next, right?

Moses raised his staff, and then...a miracle happened.

If you don’t know what happened, maybe read Exodus 14 today or come tonight to prayer meeting.

If the weather holds, we’ll have it under the tent and masks will be optional.

If it’s bad weather, we’ll be inside, and masks will be required.

By the way, tomorrow is the deadline to sign your kids up for Kids Bible Story Hour that’s happening at the Ark Park this Saturday. Parents, if you haven’t already, get online and tell us that your kids are coming to that safe, fun, and spiritually nourishing event this Saturday at 10am.

Beginning this Sunday, we are going to have 3 worship times on campus. 8:00am, 9:30am, and 11:00am, and we need to know who is coming to each one. Are you an 8:00 o’clock person? Are you a 9:30? Are you an 11:00?

I’m excited to see the reservations pour in and who all is coming to each service. There’s a bunch of folks who are coming back for the first time this month, and I can hardly wait to see you all!

I’m excited and relieved that we will have a place for everybody. So now it’s time to get everybody in their place! Make your reservation by phone or online by 3:30 on Saturday. Bring your mask or face shield on Sunday. And come join us for worship!

And because I won’t have to run off to the Zoom meeting, I’ll be able to visit with folks under the tent after and between all of the worship times on Sundays. I’m looking forward to having more fellowship time with many of you!

We are still going to have a Family Fellowship Meeting on Zoom (because that’s still the best place for some of us), but the time is moving to 6:30pm on Sunday evenings. This Sunday, July 12th, will be the first Sunday at the new time, 6:30pm. Our first special guest for that will be Greg Shuenke of Vision of Hope Ministries in Haiti. Greg was one of Henoc Lucien’s best friends and helps to lead the stateside part of the ministry. Greg is going to tell us a little bit of how the Lucien family and the churches, orphanage, and school that Henoc helped to start are faring now that he is with the Lord. We will find out more about how we can pray and stay involved in the ongoing work of VOHM. Connection details are in your church email. I hope you can join us.

Are you feeling like you’re in a tight spot right now?

That might be right where the Lord wants you to be.

And He’s asking you and me to get our eyes off of ourselves and our confinements and onto Him.

I’m starting to pray that God does amazing wonders among us during these difficult days.

Wouldn’t that be awesome?!

Let’s get our eyes on the Lord and watch Him work.

See you Sunday!

-Pastor Matt
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