LEFC Guide to Worship – June 21, 2020

LEFC Guide to Worship

Sunday, June 21, 2020
Lanse Evangelical Free Church

From the Pastor

Dear Church Family,

“Pardon our dust.” Whenever you see that sentence on a sign, you know that there is a work-in-progress that is making things better but is still kind of messy and calls for patience. I feel that way about things at Lanse Free Church right now as we re-tool our ministry to fit the needs of these unusual times. Thank you for your patience, prayers, and help!

One big way to help right now is to share your perspective and give our leaders feedback on your family’s experiences, opinions, and needs. Please answer the questions on the new Sunday Ministry Survey we sent out on Friday. There are questions in there for everyone! We especially need help with scheduling. It seems clear to me that we will soon need to add another worship time as our 9:30am service is already reaching capacity. Please let us know what other times might work well for your family and continue to pray for us as we plan.

If you are a newcomer on your first ever Sunday with us, welcome, and please pardon our dust! This is our third Sunday with new on-campus worship times and health precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We’re still learning as we go what works best, but it’s a joy to have people worshiping in person, and we’re glad you’ve joined us today. Please ask a greeter for a LEFC Welcome Packet to get to know us better. We look forward to getting to know you, too.

If this is your first Sunday back on campus, welcome home, and pardon our dust! I hope you found it relatively easy to make a “reservation” for your group and get to really enjoy being back together with your brothers and sisters in Christ. So that we don’t run out of space, we are asking everyone to reserve a seating section each week, so if you are planning to return again on June 28th, please let the church office know either through a phone call or online and specify in which gathering you are planning to participate.

Many of you are not yet ready or able to return and don’t even get to “pardon our dust.” Please know that you are loved and not forgotten, and that I fully support your family’s decisions as you make them in faith. Our good friend and former LEFC member Katie (Thompson) Faris wrote an excellent article for The Gospel Coalition this week entitled, “What You Should Know About My Empty Chair in Church” which tells a little bit about her family’s story and gives biblical wisdom for people deciding when it is right for them to return to “church at church.” I thought it was really helpful.

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. The ongoing theme of our church’s worship right now is rejoicing. As followers of Jesus Christ, we have so many reasons to rejoice, and we are reminding ourselves of that through our songs, readings, memory verses, prayers, and sermons. Even though there may be “dust” that needs to be pardoned, our joy in Jesus shines through!

For “Worship in Unity” this week, we return to the Heidelberg Catechism (1563) which we used on Palm Sunday and Mother’s Day. In question #104, the Heidelberg framers noticed that the fifth commandment from Exodus 20 is repeated in Ephesians 6 as having ongoing relevance to our lives, and they also applied it to all God-ordained authorities, not just to parents. It seems appropriate to remind ourselves of this truth not just because of Fathers’ Day, but also during these difficult days when we have been asked to submit to fallible earthly authorities–in ways that are sometimes uncomfortable and even unpleasant–in the interest of public health and safety. I have again worded the translation into the first-person plural so that we declare it together as a community of faith with the communion of the saints.

Lord-willing, this Sunday at 11am, many of us are going to connect again using Zoom for a Family Fellowship time. In honor of Father’s Day, I’d like to ask every participant to share something in particular that they learned from their father: a life-lesson, a spiritual truth, a helpful practice, a great example. Share with us what “Father” means to you. We’ll also be asking all of the LEFC Kids on Zoom what they are doing to make Dad’s Day special. I hope you can join us!

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. The very first hymn in our hymnal is “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” with music by Ludwig van Beethoven. I hope your family is “ever singing” as you march onward “victors in the midst of strife” because in Jesus “joyful music leads us sunward in the triumph song of life.”

Home Worship Guide

1. Welcome to Worship

Read Psalm 113 with wonder and joy as your family gathers to worship.

**Option: Families with young children may want to have the kids shout, “Hallelujah!” as a parent reads each verse of Psalm 113. “Hallelujah” is Hebrew for “Praise the LORD!”

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

2. Worship in Singing

As a household sing “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” by Henry Van Dyke (1907).

YouTube Video

**Option. This Sunday is Fathers’ Day. If your household has a father in it, ask him what his favorite worship song is and sing it, too.

**Option. Those worshiping on campus this weekend will also be singing, “Jesus Loves Me” by Anna Warner (1859) and “Faith of Our Fathers” by Frederick Faber (1849).

**Option. Families with younger children might want to continue to repeat the song that has our Hide the Word verse in it: “Rejoice in the Lord Always.”

3. Worship in Unity

Recite together Question #104 of the Heidelberg Catechism:

Q: What does God require in the fifth commandment?

 A: That we show all honor, love and faithfulness to our fathers and mothers, and to all in authority over us; submit ourselves with due obedience to all their good instruction and correction; and also bear patiently with their infirmities: since it is God’s will to govern us by their hand.

4. Worship in Lament and Thanksgiving

Have each family member share something for which they are praising the Lord and something that is currently making them sad. The Lord invites us to pour out both praise and lament to Him.

**Option. Have each family member share something about your father for which they are thankful.

**Option. Have someone pray a prayer of lament that we are not all celebrating our fathers together in person this Sunday in one on-campus worship gathering as we did before.

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.” 

**Option: Have each family member say our memory verse with their eyes closed. Are they ready to add in verse 6?

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: “I Want To Know Christ”

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 “I’d Rather Have Jesus” by Rhea F. Miller (1922)

YouTube Video

**Option: Those worshiping on campus this Sunday will also be singing, “Knowing You” by Graham Kendrick (1993) which corresponds closely to Pastor Matt’s message.

YouTube Video

**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 21.

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 as we honor our fathers today. As a reminder, if Zoom ever has connectivity issues, check your email for a new link, and we will try again at 1:00pm.

 Tent Team

Our local scout troop has set up the tent outside to help us more safely hold meetings and visit. We are looking for some people to help with opening it up Sundays (7:30am), Wednesdays (by 6pm), and other days as needed. Two or four people can have it rolled up in just a few minutes. Joel Michaels has a sign-up sheet today. If you are willing to meet this need, talk with him today or call the office to sign up.

 Greeting Team

Are you calm under pressure and willing to wear a mask? Would you be willing to help greet people as they arrive for either of our on-campus services? We are looking for a few people willing to help greet and seat people on Sunday Mornings. Talk with Joel Michaels today about meeting this need.

 Survey: Learning as We Go

Be sure to check your email for the important survey we sent out earlier this weekend. You input is needed to help our leaders wisely plan for the changing needs of our whole church family.

On-Campus Worship Gatherings

Thank you for joining us today! 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 at noon.

 On-Campus Prayer Meeting

Join us Wednesdays for on-campus prayer meetings at 7:00pm. 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. Questions about what is expected? Call the office.

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:

“What You Should Know About My Empty Chair in Church” by Katie (Thompson) Faris

“10 Reasons to Come Back to Church after COVID-19” by: David Gundersen

“5 Reasons to Read the Heidelberg Catechism” by Kevin DeYoung

“Using the Heidelberg Catechism with Your Family” by Erik Raymond

“Celebrating Our 70th Anniversary: The “Marriage” of two Evangelical Free Church bodies” by Dr. Tom Cairns

“10 Unforgettable Lessons on Fatherhood” by Ray Ortlund   

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.
8:00am 
9:30am
11:00am

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

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If you were granted the opportunity to gain wisdom in one area of life, what would it be and why? God offers wisdom by which to live life and glorify Him. He has revealed Himself in nature (Ps. 19:1), in His written Word (2 Tim. 3:16-17), and in Jesus (Heb. 1:1-4). In our study this week, we learn how God promises to provide wisdom to those who search for Him. Be sure to follow along at home with Session 6 - Pursuing Wisdom. ... See MoreSee Less

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Hi everyone,

We seem to be having some issues with our phone line. Some numbers are getting an "out of service" message. Know that they church's phone is definitely IN services. It seems that some exchanges are going through while others are not. Zito is working on the issue and trying to fix it as soon as possible.

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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