LEFC Guide to Worship at Home – 3 January 2021
LEFC Guide to Worship
Sunday, January 3, 2021
Lanse Evangelical Free Church
From the Pastor
Dear Church Family,
I don’t know what 2021 has in store for us. I’m generally optimistic by nature, but I’m learning to be realistic, too. If this last year taught us anything, it should have taught us to be cautious in making too many predictions and to not hold on too firmly to our own plans (James 4:13-15)!
It is less important to ask, “What will happen to us in 2021?” and more important to ask, “What kind of people will we be in 2021?” Not “What challenges will we meet?” but “How will we meet those challenges?” Not, “What good things are in store?” but “How will we receive those good things?”
And even more importantly we should ask, “What kind of God will we love, trust, worship, and follow in 2021?” Thankfully, we may be facing a new year, but we are trusting in the same God. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 does say!).
What time are you going to gather your household this weekend to worship Him?
In His Grip,
– Pastor Matt
P.S. Have you heard the new song, “You’re Not Absent” from Christian singer/songwriter Melanie Penn? Not only does it fit perfectly with our focus this weekend on Psalm 139, it reminds us of timeless truth of God’s active presence. That’s truth worth singing!
Home Worship Guide
1. Welcome to Worship
Read Psalm 139 with awe and wonder 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 139 about?” “What do you think Pastor Matt will say about Psalm 139 today?” “What did Psalm 139 make you think or feel when we read it?” “What does Psalm 139 teach us about God?” “What does Psalm 139 teach us about ourselves?” “What does Psalm 139 teach us about Jesus?”
2.Worship in Singing
As a household sing “Redeemed” by Fanny Crosby (1882).
**Option. Here are some additional songs your family might use worship: “One Day,” “All My Ways Are Known to You,” “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us,” “All Glory Be To Christ,” “Lead On, O King Eternal,” and “O God, Our Help In Ages Past” by Isaac Watts.
3. Worship in Unity
Answer together the first question of the Heidelberg Catechism (1563):
Q. What is our only comfort in life and death?
A. That we are not our own
but belong with body and soul
both in life and in death
to our faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all our sins
with his precious blood,
and has set us free
from all the power of the devil.
He also preserves us in such a way
that without the will of our heavenly Father
not a hair can fall from our heads;
indeed, all things must work together
for our salvation.
Therefore, by his Holy Spirit
he also assures us
of eternal life
and makes us heartily willing and ready
from now on to live for him.
[Pastor Matt has 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.]
**Option: Listen to the new song by Keith and Kristyn Getty based upon this catechism question: “Christ Our Hope in Life and Death.”
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.
**Option: Look back over 2020 and sum up your greatest losses to lament and your greatest gains to celebrate.
**Option: Share some of your hopes, dreams, plans, and goals for 2021 with your family.
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: Brainstorm as a family what passages of Scripture you might want to memorize together in 2021.
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.
**Option: Pray for Church Leaders. The elected officers for 2021 are listed below. Take some time to pray for the Lord’s wisdom and guidance for them as they do their ministry in the coming months.
7. Worship in the Word
Watch or read Pastor Matt’s message, “Search Me.”
[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 “Cleanse Me” by J. Edwin Orr (1936).
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 Greg Strand from the EFCA National Office. Greg will be talking about reading the Bible and trends in theology in 2021 and sharing plans for the upcoming EFCA Theology Conference on the Psalms.
- LEFC Zoom Kids, we want to see your art! Can you make something that tells the story of Psalm 139? There are many fascinating images in Psalm 139 including vivid contrasts (light/darkness, sea/sky, coming/going). As you listen to Pastor Matt teach about Psalm 139 in this week’s video message, can you draw, paint, or sculpt the song to show the rest of us on Zoom?
- 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
Read Your Bible in 2021
The Gospel Coalition is partnering with Crossway again this year to encourage individuals and churches to feast on God’s Word in 2021. Their Bible reading plan was included in the care package you received just before Christmas. There is also a daily newsletter, an audio podcast reading of Don Carson’s For the Love of God to help answer tough questions within the daily scripture readings. Let’s seek Him anew by reading His Word in 2021.
Attention all ministry leaders: It is time to turn in your review of 2020 and vision for 2021 for your area of ministry. Prepared reports should be turned in to Marilynn Kristofits by Wednesday, January 20th. Thank you for serving our church in 2020!
If you need a tax receipt for your giving in 2020 and have not gotten one previously, please let Anita Allen know so that she can prepare one for you.
Dear church family, thank you so much for the generous Christmas gift! It is a true joy to be your pastor. – Pastor Matt & Heather
Red Cross Blood Drive
On Tuesday, January 12th, our church will host the Morrisdale Community Blood Drive from 1:30-6:30pm. We are looking for 2-3 people willing to work this drive either to prescreen or register donors or in the canteen. We will happily accept leftover Christmas to use in our drive. Please package donations in individual bags before dropping off. Questions? Call Marilynn Kristofits.
Our church and our pastor love to pray for you. If you have a need for prayer, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.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 Sunday School at home continues this week. Pick up your copy of Luke 1-9 and spend this quarter reading along at home. We have five copies in large print available too. 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.
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 in the offering plate right inside the office door.
- Online Payments – PayPal and Venmo are our current e-giving options. Our account address is our email: email@example.com.
Contact the church office for this week’s prayer requests from the bulletin.
Lanse Free Church
255 Cotohisc Road
Lanse, PA 16849
Worship Service: Sunday, 10:00am
Prayer Meeting: Wednesday, 7:00pm