LEFC Guide To Worship At Home – 22 November 2020
LEFC Guide to Worship
Sunday, November 22, 2020
Lanse Evangelical Free Church
From the Pastor
Dear Church Family,
“The LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100:1).
I’m so glad that our God is steadfast, trustworthy, and unchanging. On this fourth Sunday of November, I am especially thankful:
- for a public holiday set aside simply to express our gratefulness to God
- for God’s gift of a completed budget and a full slate of nominations for church officers for 2021
- for a flexible congregation that continues to respond to the challenges of ministry during a global pandemic with joy, peace, faith, hope, and love
- for a faithful God Who created, saved, and sustains us by His grace and for His glory!
Increasing Cases of COVID-19 in Our Community
Positive cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in our area, and our congregation is not immune. Some of our own church family have recently had to isolate and to quarantine because of the virus. To our knowledge, we have not had any active cases on our campus since October 18, but the risk of transmission has definitely increased to the greatest level we have seen so far. This is a time to be cautious and vigilant and to consider one another. Thank you for following the precautions we have set out over the last several months. Don’t stop now!
Because of the rising case count, some of you are planning to pause your in-person participation in worship on campus during this season. As your pastor, I want to emphasize that I fully support your prayerful decisions. We will continue to provide resources for worship at home and fellowship online. Stay connected!
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has recently updated their order on protective face coverings. I encourage you to read it to understand what guidance they are setting forth for our public health and safety. In it, they explain that plastic face shields are not as safe and effective as masks but are still an option when wearing a mask is not feasible. Because of this, I will only wearing a plastic shield when preaching on the platform so people can read my lips and understand what I’m saying through my facial expressions, but I will be wearing a mask whenever I’m not leading up front. If you have any questions about these matters, please do not hesitate to ask.
These are difficult days, but our Lord Jesus Christ is faithful. Whether at home or on campus, let’s make sure that every single one of us in this church family worships Him!
In His Grip,
– Pastor Matt
P.S. Repetition is a powerful force. Beatrice Johnson gave us a beautiful plaque that Heather hung in our hallway at home. I see it every time I go to bed, and it continually reminds my heart that the LORD’s love endures forever. It reads:
“Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided,
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”
Home Worship Guide
1. Welcome to Worship
Read Psalm 100 with thanksgiving as your family gathers to worship.
Have someone pray and ask God to bless your time of worship at home.
2.Worship in Singing
As a household sing “We Gather Together,” a traditional Netherlands Folk hymn, translated into English by Theodore Baker. YouTube Video
**Option. Those worshiping on campus are also singing, “We Are So Blessed,” “Count Your Blessings,” “All My Ways Are Known To You,” “Who You Say I Am,” and “Jesus, Strong and Kind.” You could add or substitute those songs for your household, as well.
3. Worship in Unity
Recite together Psalm 136 antiphonally. Have one family member read the first part of every line and the rest of the family recite together, “His love endures forever!”
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.
to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.
who made the great lights–His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.
to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt His love endures forever.
and brought Israel out from among them His love endures forever.
with a mighty hand and outstretched arm; His love endures forever.
to him who divided the Red Sea asunder His love endures forever.
and brought Israel through the midst of it, His love endures forever.
but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea; His love endures forever.
to him who led his people through the desert, His love endures forever.
who struck down great kings, His love endures forever.
and killed mighty kings–His love endures forever.
Sihon king of the Amorites His love endures forever.
and Og king of Bashan–His love endures forever.
and gave their land as an inheritance, His love endures forever.
an inheritance to his servant Israel; His love endures forever.
to the One who remembered us in our low estate His love endures forever.
and freed us from our enemies, His love endures forever.
and who gives food to every creature. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.
New International Version © 1984
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: “His Love Endures Forever.”
[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 “Great is Thy Faithfulness” by Thomas Chisholm (1923).
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 the West Branch Community Thanksgiving Service Sunday at 7:15pm.
Join Christians from throughout our community in viewing a Thanksgiving worship service led by ministers from the West Branch Area Ministerium.
**Option. Your family might want to leave a comment on the video expressing what you are thankful for this year.
Church Family News
Preparing for the 2020 Annual Business Meeting
The 2020 Annual Meeting is scheduled for Sunday December 13th at 2:00pm on Zoom. The proposed budget and slate of nominations for officers for 2021 are posted in the foyer and also available for download [Budget / Officers]. Active members will receive more information, connection details, and a written ballot the week before the Annual Meeting. If anyone wants to make an additional nomination (with the nominee’s prior consent), please contact Chairman Bob Gisewhite by December 1st to have it included.
Treasures for Children
Join the deaconesses as they partner with the Salvation Army to brighten the lives of needy children within the West Branch community. We only have seven tags left for you to sign out. They are located on the table under the map in the foyer. Unwrapped gifts should be returned to the church by Sunday, December 6th. Thank you!
All children (ages 3 – 3rd grade) are invited to join us for Children’s Church at our 9:30 worship service. 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.
Lanse Free Blessings Tree
Help us fill our Blessings Tree in the foyer! Write down one of God’s blessings in your life on a leaf cutout from the basket in the foyer. Then be encouraged as our Blessings Tree fills up this month.
West Branch Ministerium Thanksgiving Service
Join Christians from throughout our community in viewing a Thanksgiving worship service led by ministers from the West Branch Area Ministerium. The service will premiere at 7:15pm at the Holy Shepherd Parish YouTube channel.
Family Fellowship on Zoom
As a reminder, there will not be a Family Fellowship meeting on Zoom tonight. Consider joining the premiere of the West Branch Ministerium’s Thanksgiving service instead at 7:15pm.
On-Campus Prayer Meeting
Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no on-campus prayer meeting this week. Join us December 2nd at 7:00pm in the Fellowship Hall for a brief Bible study, praising God through song, and praying with other believers. Reminder: Because we are inside, masks or shields are required of all who attend. We will continue to send the Prayer Meeting at Home guide to anyone who requests it. Contact the church office to get this weekly email.
Sunday Morning Greeter Sign-Up
Do you like to say hi to people? Can you smile behind your mask? Be sure to stop on your way out today and sign up to greet for a few services in December and January.
Pardon Our Dust – Ladies’ Restroom Project
Our Facilities Team has begun the demolition of our ladies’ restroom. They will be working on gutting the room and preparing it for a much-needed update. Thanks to these dedicated guys who work so diligently to make improvements and keep our building updated and functional. The project is scheduled to be completed some time in December. Ladies: The family restroom is open and available for use.
Thanks for joining us today! Newcomer cards are on the Welcome Tables in the foyer. If you have not received one yet, please ask one of our greeters where they are. We appreciate you joining us and would like to know more about you. Please take some time to fill it out then drop it in the offering plate when you leave. Thanks!
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. 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.
Special Plans for Advent & Christmas 2020
Candles and Carols Outdoors on Christmas Eve
Our candlelighting service is moving outdoors! Join us at 6:00pm in the west parking lot for a special time of worship and fellowship on December 24th. More details will be available soon.
Offer Your Talent on Sundays During Advent
In the four weeks leading up to Christmas, we are looking for people to provide special music, reading, or drama presentation that reflect the true Reason for the Season. Because of our new worship schedule, there are 12 Sunday morning services planned for the Advent season (8:00, 9:30, and 11:00). Talk with Pastor Matt today about scheduling a time to share your talent with the church family.
Advent Readings Begin Next Sunday
The theme this year of our Advent Readings is “Let Earth Receive Her King!” centering on Psalm 98. We will be posting videos of families in the congregation doing the Advent Readings online and encourage each family in the church to do a wreath at home as well!
Deck the Halls
With the holiday season quickly approaching, we are asking family units to volunteer to ready the church for the Christmas. We are looking for a family or two willing to commit to help with decorating our building. Would your family like to decorate the foyer or hang the wreaths? Directions will be provided, and someone will be available to answer any questions you may have during the process. Questions? Contact Marilynn Kristofits.
Contact the church office for this week’s prayer requests from the bulletin.