LEFC Guide to Worship at Home – 13 December 2020

LEFC Guide to Worship

Sunday, December 13, 2020
Lanse Evangelical Free Church

From the Pastor

Dear Church Family,

The best part of waiting is anticipation of the good stuff that’s coming at the end of the waiting. We get joy from wondering what exactly is in that wrapped gift under the tree. We look forward to the day when COVID-19 is eradicated. We dream of the Sunday we all gather together once more at the same time and the same place. Anticipation of blessing makes it worth the wait.

I’m trying hard this Advent season to keep my focus on the blessings that the Lord Jesus will bring to all of creation when He returns. It’s too easy to focus on “sins and sorrow” and “thorns” that “infest the ground.” But our King is coming soon to make His blessings flow as “far as the curse is found.” What joy! Those blessings are worth the wait.

While we wait, here are some other upcoming events to anticipate:

Our annual Church Family Meeting is Sunday afternoon at 2:00 on Zoom. As your pastor, I’m very pleased with the budget, officers, and constitutional amendment that we get to present this year. They are the fruit of a lot of time and effort invested by our church leaders during these difficult and unusual days. Many churches are struggling with finances and volunteers and experiencing conflict right now during the pandemic. I’m so grateful that we have a unified budget, a full slate of officers, and a focus on keeping the main thing the main thing as we head into another year together.

On Sunday evenings in December, we are hearing from and praying for the medical professionals in our church family. This week, we are talking to 3 nurses serving in two very different hospitals with very different jobs, all affected by COVID-19. I know that the health care workers appreciate our desire to support them in prayer, so please consider joining us on Zoom at 6:30 for our Family Fellowship Meeting.

Christmas is right around the corner. And even though we will not be gathering together in person as a church family, we can all still celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. He is worthy!

What time are you going to gather your household this weekend to worship Jesus?

In His Grip,

– Pastor Matt

P.S. What songs, in addition to “Joy to the World,” do you know that anticipate the coming blessings of the Kingdom of God? Sing them!

Home Worship Guide

1. Welcome to Worship

Read Psalm 132 with hopefulness as your family gathers to worship.

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

**Option. Families with children at home could prepare them by asking, “What is Psalm 132 about?” “What do you think Pastor Matt will say about Psalm 132 today?” “What did Psalm 132 make you think or feel when we read it?” “What does Psalm 132 teach us about God?” “What does Psalm 132 teach us about ourselves?” “What does Psalm 132 teach us about Jesus?”

2.Worship in Singing

As a household sing “O Come, All Ye Faithful” by John Francis Wade (1743) and Frederick Oakeley (translated into English in 1841).

YouTube Video

**Option. Here are some additional songs your family might use worship: “The First Noel,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “Here I Am To Worship,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” and “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us.”

3. Worship in Unity

As a household, recite together the Nicene Creed (381):

WE BELIEVE in one God,
the Father, the Almighty
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

WE BELIEVE in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

WE BELIEVE in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of Life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.

WE BELIEVE in one holy whole and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

{Note: Pastor Matt has translated the Greek word “katholikayn” as “whole” to avoid confusion because the creed isn’t referring to a particular denomination but to the universal Body of Christ of which every genuine Christian is a part. Also note that when we say that “we acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins,” we mean that it stands for and illustrates that forgiveness. Water baptism is an outward picture of an inward and spiritual reality (Titus 3:3-7).}

**Option. This would be an appropriate time to light Advent Candle #3 and read “Watch the Blessings Flow!” in the 2020 LEFC Advent Readings. Watch the Crumrine Family light Advent Candle #3 (video available Sunday at 7:15am).

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.”

**Option: Spend time working more on the order of adjectives of verse 8: “True, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable.” Say it 5 times or until you can do it from memory.

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, “Remember David.”

Facebook Video

YouTube Video

Read Message Manuscript

[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 “Good Christian Men, Rejoice” an ancient Christian hymn translated from the Latin by John Mason Neale in 1853.

YouTube Video

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.

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 medical professionals from our own church family who work in various roles in health care. Learn how COVID-19 has affected their work and how we can prayerfully support them during this difficult time.
  • LEFC Zoom Kids, we want to see your art! Can you draw a picture of Psalm 132? What did the Ark of the Covenant look like? How about the priests? What do you think King David looked like? Parents may want to re-read Psalm 130 before getting online and discussing with your kids how it might relate to our lives today.
  • 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

Preparing for the 2020 Annual Business Meeting

Today is our 2020 Annual Meeting at 2:00pm on Zoom. Active members received packets for the meeting last week either at church or in the mail. After the meeting fill out and return your written ballot with your votes for the officers, budget, and constitutional amendment. Thank you!

Thank You for Your Kindness

“Dear Church Family, Thank you for the beautiful flowers, your prayers and expressions of sympathy for us as we grieve the loss of Dave’s mom. They are much appreciated. Dave & Dottie Glass”

Advent Readings

The theme this year of our Advent Readings is “Let Earth Receive Her King!” centering on Psalm 98. We are 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!

Carols on Christmas Eve

Just because we are not meeting in person does not mean that Christmas is cancelled. Let’s be creative as we think through our personal plans for this year.  Maybe a few families can coordinate and go caroling at the homes of some of our older folks in the church? Pull out your directory, drive over to someone’s front yard, ring the doorbell, and sing “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “Joy to the World.” That would be very safe and might mean the world to someone who needs the encouragement this Christmas season.

Christmas Eve Offering

Each year we set aside an offering for Christmas Eve to help those in our church family who may be going through a difficult time. This year’s offering will be added to the Deaconess Relief fund to be used to help people from our community and church who have been economically impacted through this pandemic. Mark your gift Deaconess Fund and send it into the church office.

Thank You

Anita Allen, Amy Jo Belko, Cindy Green, Marilynn Kristofits, and Misty Michaels would like to thank the church family for the generous Christmas gifts.

Need Prayer?

Our church and our pastor love to pray for you. If you have a need for prayer, you can email us at prayer@lansefree.org. 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.

Sunday School at Home

The Explore the Bible winter personal study guides start this week and are available for pick up at the church. We have five copies in large print available too. Our Daily Bread for this quarter is also available for pick up. Call the church if you would like these resources mailed to you.

Adopt A Student – Heart for Haiti

We would like to help the kids from our 2019 Family Bible Week project find yearly sponsors for College Susan Schuenke this year. $375 will keep one of our six remaining kids in school for the current academic year. You can choose to support a student with a one-time gift here at church, or monthly payments directly to VOHM.

Mitchell Christmas Gift

Every year we open a fund for our Pastor’s Christmas Gift. If you would like to give a gift of appreciation for the Pastor’s Christmas Gift, please mark your check or envelope “Pastor Christmas.” Offerings will be collected now through December 20th.

Amazon Smile

Do you shop with Amazon? Amazon Smile offers you a way to have a percentage of your sales be donated to a participating nonprofit organization. Simply go to smile/amazon.com and select your charity. Here is a list of participating organizations our church partners with: Evangelical Free Church of America, Evangelical Free Church of Lanse PA, Pregnancy Resource Clinic, Miracle Mountain Ranch Missions, Cru/Campus Crusade for Christ, and Vision of Hope Ministries Inc.

Pavilion Fund

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.

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 – PayPal and Venmo are our current e-giving options. Our account address is our email: churchoffice@lansefree.org. Note: We are unable to utilize CNB’s new e-banking platform at this time.

Prayer Items

Contact the church office for this week’s prayer requests from the bulletin.

Lanse Free Church

255 Cotohisc Road
Lanse, PA 16849
Phone: 814.345.6500

Worship Service: Sunday, 10:00am

Prayer Meeting: Wednesday, 7:00pm