LEFC Guide to Worship – 28 June 2020

LEFC Guide to Worship

Sunday, June 28, 2020
Lanse Evangelical Free Church

From the Pastor

Dear Church Family,

“We’re not there yet.” That phrase can feel discouraging or encouraging depending on the circumstances. It might indicate considerable progress, but it definitely indicates some distance left to travel. I think both are true for us as a church right now.

I’m encouraged by how our church family is doing, especially through all of trials and changes we have had to undergo these last several months. I’m also encouraged with how well the new worship gatherings have gone–how many have attended and how increasingly joyful each worship time has been.

Of course, we’re not there yet. We certainly aren’t back to “normal,” and we’re also not done making changes either.  Thank you to all who have recently filled out the Sunday Morning Ministries Survey we sent out last week. The Elders have been studying your responses and making new plans for our next steps. Please keep praying for wisdom!

If you are a newcomer, welcome to our church campus for worship! This is our fourth Sunday with new on-campus worship times and special COVID-19 health precautions in place, so we’re still getting the hang of it. We’re learning, but we’re not there yet. It’s a joy to have you here with us. Please ask a greeter for a LEFC Welcome Packet to get to know us better. We look forward to getting to know you, as well.

If this is your first Sunday back on campus, welcome home! It’s so fun to see more “first-timers” return each week. I know it’s not the same as it was, but it’s really good to be together again with you.

If you are planning to worship with us next Sunday (July 5th), please make a “reservation” for your group by calling the church office or registering online for either the 8:00am or 9:30am worship times. I’d love to do away with the reservation system, but we’re not there yet. Space has been filling up, so it’s more important than ever for us to know how many to expect.

Many of you “are not there yet” and are still unable to be with us on campus this Sunday. Please know that you are fully supported, fully loved, and not forgotten. For those worshiping at home, 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 3:12-16. In this weekend’s passage, the Apostle Paul tells his friends that he is also “not there yet,” but he continues to press on. May that be true of us, as well.

For our Worship in Unity this weekend, we return to our own EFCA Statement of Faith. Article 1 reminds us Who God is and what His purposes are for His creation. We are not there yet, but God has a purpose and plan to make all things new.

Lord-willing, this Sunday at 11am, many of us are going to connect again using Zoom for a Family Fellowship time. This week, Jordan and Sharon Toews will be joining us. The Toews are missionaries with Greater Europe Mission (GEM) and do a lot of ministry to refugees. Many of you know the Toews because Sharon is Heather’s sister. They are from Canada and minister in Germany, so we look forward to hearing more from them. I’m hoping that some of the LEFC Kids on Zoom this week might play a game of Bible Charades with us. Can you act out a Bible story for us, and we try to guess which story it is? Let’s give it a try!

We’re not there yet, but we still experience joy in the journey. 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. Curtis Quick sent me a text this week that suggested it might be time to do “Hymns by Request” once again. Great idea! I hope your family is singing some of your favorite worship songs whether either on-campus or at home. Jesus is worthy of our praise.

Home Worship Guide

1. Welcome to Worship

Read Psalm 105:1-3 as your family gathers to worship.

*Option: Families who desire a deeper experience may want to read the entirety of Psalm 105 which poetically recounts the history of God’s people from the calling of Abraham to the Exodus under Moses and the conquest under Joshua.

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

2. Worship in Singing

As a household sing Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart by Edward Plumptre (1865).

YouTube Video

**Option. Those worshiping on campus this weekend are singing hymns by request. What are your family’s favorite worship songs to sing together?

**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 Article #1 in the EFCA Statement of Faith.

“We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.”

4. Worship in Lament and Thanksgiving

In Psalm 94, the psalmist remembers a time when he had many great anxieties weighing on his soul and how the Lord brought him consolation and joy in the midst of these trials. Read Psalm 94:19 and share with your family some of the heavy things you are carrying right now and the joys the Lord is bringing to you.

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. Can anybody say it sdrawkcab? In July, we are going 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 Press On.”

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 Higher Ground by Johnson Oatman, Jr. (1898).

YouTube Video

**Option: Some families, especially those with young children who need a new Bible song to work on might sing Believe in the Lord Jesus by the Harrow Family based on Acts 16:31.

**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 28.

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 Greater Europe Missionaries Jordan and Sharon Toews.
  • Kids, let’s do Bible Charades on Zoom! Can you act out a Bible story for us, and we guess which story it is?
  • 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. Kids: Be sure to join in as we do Bible Charades on Zoom! Can you act out a Bible story for us and we guess which story it is? We will also hear from Greater Europe Missionaries Jordan and Sharon Toews. As a reminder, if Zoom ever has connectivity issues, check your email for a new link, and we will try again at 1:00pm.

LEFC Kids Bible Story Day

Calling all LEFC Kids! Join us on Saturday July 11th at 10am on the Ark Park for Bible story, crafts, and games. More information will be available next Sunday, including how to register your child’s participation.

Fellowship Tent Team

The big tent outside provides a bit of shade while giving an opportunity for safe socializing. When weather permits, we open the tent for our services. We are looking for some people to help with this on Sundays (by 9:00 am), Wednesdays (by 6pm), and other days as needed. Teams of two to four people can have it rolled up in just a few minutes. Call the church if you can help!

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

You input is needed to help the leadership board wisely plan for our growing numbers on Sunday mornings. If you have not done so already, please take a moment to respond to our “Learning as We Go” survey sent out last weekend.

Thank You

“Dear Church Family and Hospitality Team, Thank you for the graduation gift! I’ll be sure to put it to good use.” – Drew Mitchell

Office Hours This Week

The office will be closed this week as Marilynn Kristofits is on vacation. Holly Crumrine will be assisting in the office getting items ready for this week’s on-campus ministries, but there are no set hours. If you need anything you can leave a voicemail or send an email and Holly will address your needs when she is in.

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.

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:

“Praying With Proximity” by Sara Joy Proppe

“Being Transformational Means Doing Something” by Kevin Kompelien and Darrius Hubbard

“Grandparenting During the Coronavirus” by Larry McCall

“Domestic Abuse in Quarantine: How to Help” by Heather Nelson

Against Every Accusation:What to Say When Satan Whispers by Scott Hubbard

“Your Enemy” Video by Pastor Matt

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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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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