LEFC Guide to Worship at Home – 25 October 2020
LEFC Guide to Worship
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Lanse Evangelical Free Church
From the Pastor
Dear Church Family,
I miss you all! It was great to get away last weekend. Our retreat didn’t go exactly as we planned (we ended up taking a sort of “stay-cation” with day-trips), but Heather and I really enjoyed our time off and got some much needed rest. Thank you for sending us.
But now, as we follow our church health safety policy, we are going to miss you all for another week. This year sure has been filled with surprises and many of them hard to swallow. Thankfully, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). We have somewhere (and someOne) safe to run to when things get scary and hard. This weekend, let’s focus on our fortress.
Even though we won’t be gathering in person on campus, we can still have fellowship. I encourage you to give a call or make a safe visit on Sunday to someone in our church family that you’ve been missing. Maybe pick somebody to contact that normally participates in a different worship time than you do most other Sundays. Don’t forget what a great tool the 2020 Church Directory is (contact the office if you need the link and password). And, if you can, plan to join us for the Family Fellowship Meeting on Zoom Sunday at 6:30pm. We’re going to be hearing from educators in our church family and praying for our schools.
Here’s a first look at our very unique 2020 Church Family Photo taken by aerial drone. A big thank-you to Dalton Kristofits for flying, filming, and editing! We have a few more aerial pictures and even some drone video from Celebration Sunday that we will be sharing online soon.
That picture makes me miss you all even more. I can’t hardly wait for us to get back together in person on November 1st. Until then, let’s gather our families together and worship the Lord Jesus Christ!
In His Grip,
– Pastor Matt
P.S. Singing is powerful. I first became familiar with Psalm 46 through the song, “There Is a River” in 1991. Because I listened to it a lot and sang along, I can still remember all of the lyrics. I hope your family is taking time to sing glorious truth together. It will stick with you all a long time and minister to your heart.
Home Worship Guide
1. Welcome to Worship
Read Psalm 46 as your family gathers to worship.
**Option. Families with children at home could prepare them by asking, “What is Psalm 46 about?” “What do you think Pastor Matt will say about Psalm 46 today?” “What did Psalm 46 make you think or feel when we read it?” “What does Psalm 46 teach us about God?” “What does Psalm 46 teach us about ourselves?” “What does Psalm 46 teach us about Jesus?”
Have someone pray and ask God to bless your time of worship at home.
2.Worship in Singing
This is Reformation Sunday when we celebrate the recovery of the gospel of grace in the 16th century.
As a household, sing “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” by Martin Luther (1529).
**Option. More about “A Mighty Fortress.” Families with older children might want to take time to discuss what the words to this song mean and/or the story behind this creative interpretation of Psalm 46.
**Option. What other songs can your family think of that refer to God as our fortress or a refuge? You might also sing, “Shout to the Lord” (1993), “Blessed Be The Name of the Lord” (1988), or “Strong Tower” (2004). How many more can you come up with?
**Option. Families with younger children might want to revisit the song that has our Hide the Word verse in it: “Rejoice in the Lord Always.”
3. Worship in Unity
On this Reformation Sunday, recite together Article 5 of the EFCA Statement of Faith on the Work of Christ:
“We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation.”
4. Worship in Lament and Thanksgiving
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15).
Share with your family those things you are thankful for and those things you are lamenting this week.
5. Worship in Bible Memory
Recite our current “Hide the Word” memory verses, Philippians 4:4-8.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
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: “Our Fortress.”
[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 “Be Still My Soul” by Katharina von Schlegel (1855).
**Option: Families with small children may want to sing, “Jesus, Strong and Kind” (CityAlight, 2019).
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 – 6:30pm on Sunday October 11th.
Many of us are meeting through video-conference online this Sunday at 6:30pm:
- See one another’s faces and hear each other’s voices.
- Listen to announcements of church family news.
- Interact with educators from our church family as we check back in on them after a second month of school. Find out how the Lord is answering our prayers and pray some more for students, aids, administrators, and teachers in primary, secondary, and higher education.
- LEFC Zoom Kids, can you show us a fort in your house? Build a blanket fort and give us a tour or show us a LEGO or Playmobil fort in your home. Pastor Matt has another object lesson to share with us this week that involves fortresses.
- 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
Resuming On-Campus Worship November 1st
We will resume in-person on-campus worship gatherings next Sunday morning at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 with both inside and outside seating. (If the weather is favorable, the 11:00 gathering will be held completely outdoors.) The building has been thoroughly cleaned and will have been unused. More information about what precautions we are taking on a weekly basis are available here. Don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour the night before to come at the right time!
Reaching Church Staff
The church office will be closed until November 2nd. Marilynn is working from home. You can reach her by leaving a message on the church phone (814.345.6500) or via email. Pastor Matt is available, as usual, by email, social media, and through calls or texts on his mobile phone.
Daylight Savings Time
Next week we ‘fall back’ out of daylight savings time. Be sure to set your clocks back one hour on Saturday night (October 31st) so you arrive at the proper time for one of our three worship gatherings on November 1st.
Church Family Budget Meeting
The annual budget meeting will be held Tuesday, November 10th at 6:00pm. Leaders of ministry and committees who use church funds are asked to send along their ministry’s needs and any budget recommendations to the elder overseeing their area of ministry. Contact Bob Gisewhite if you have any questions.
Operation Christmas Child
Our church will once again participate in Operation Christmas Child, sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse. If you feel led to pack a shoebox for a child, take one of the boxes in the foyer and fill it up. The shoeboxes need to be returned to the church by Wednesday, November 11th or Sunday, November 15th. Please bring any extra items that don’t fit in your shoeboxes as often we need an item or two to fill out other boxes. Each box will cost $9 to ship. If you are interested in sponsoring one or more of the shoeboxes we hope to send, mark your donation “Shoeboxes.” Not joining us on campus yet? Visit OCC’s website and build a shoebox online.
Our Children’s Church ministry will resume next Sunday at the 9:30 worship service. All children (ages 3 – 3rd grade) are invited to join us as we share a Bible story and short activity together. Parents: When indicated in the service, please bring your kids back to the foyer. Drop them off at the end of the hall with a volunteer. We will bring them back out the hallway to the foyer to meet you at the conclusion of our program time. All ministry workers have their clearances.
West Branch Ministerium Thanksgiving Service
What are you thankful for? This is the last week for you to be involved in this serviced. Contact Marilynn if you are willing to share your answers to this question on video to be used in the West Branch Ministerium’s Thanksgiving service. Some ideas for expressing this are to write a poem, prayer, or short praises or thanks to God that can be used in the opening segment of the service, record a message of thanks on video (1 minute max), draw or paint a picture, record a song with your family, or be creative and come up with your own ideas. Marilynn will submit all items by the end of the month. These will be combined with others from the ministerium and be used to create a virtual worship service to premiere on Sunday, November 22nd at 7:00pm.
Sunday Morning Greeter Sign-Up
Do you like to say hi to people? Can you smile behind your mask? The next three months for greeter sign-up are now available in the foyer. Be sure to contact the church office this week if you are willing to greet for a service (or more!) in November, December, and January.
Pastor Appreciation Month
October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Remember to thank Pastor Matt & Heather for their hard work, sacrificial dedication, and multiple blessings they have provided to us by serving our Lord here at LEFC.
A designated giving fund for a picnic pavilion here at church remains open. You can donate to this by marking your gift “pavilion” and placing it in the offering.
On-Campus Prayer Meeting
As a reminder, there is no on-campus Prayer Meeting this week. We will send out Prayer Meeting at Home guides to anyone who requests them. Lord willing, we will resume meeting in person on Wednesday, November 4th.
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.
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. This option will be available again on November 2nd.
- 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.
Contact the church office for this week’s prayer requests from the bulletin.