LEFC Guide to Worship – 5 July 2020

LEFC Guide to Worship

Sunday, July 5
Lanse Evangelical Free Church

From the Pastor

Dear Church Family,

“We are so blessed
By the gifts from Your hand
I just can’t understand
Why You’ve loved us so much”

Our dear friend Blair Murray loved that Gaither song and often picked it out for us to sing on the Sunday closest to Independence Day. As our country celebrates its 244th birthday this weekend, we can look back with thanksgiving on the many blessings that have come to us from God’s gracious hand. Let’s remember to count them!

We are so blessed as a church. Our congregation is healthy and unified. We are experiencing God’s grace and love. Even though these are hard days and sometimes seem like they are getting harder, our church family has been resilient, patient, gracious, and loving. It is a joy to be your pastor!

We continue to make changes in our ministry to respond to the challenges of the day:

1. Starting this weekend, we are now asking everyone age 2 and older to wear a protective face covering (mask or shield) when we are indoors together at ANY of our on-campus worship gatherings. We are doing this to submit to the order of the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health and to do our part in slowing the spread of COVID-19. I know that is frustrating to many of you, and I’m disappointed, as well. But we are still blessed that we can continue to meet together, and I hope to make the most of it!

2. Starting next weekend, we are going to offer a third new worship time at 11:00am. We intend for this worship service to be very similar to the 9:30am service for those with fewer health concerns. Eventually, we hope to add a Children’s Church during part of the 11:00am worship time. Reservations for all 3 services will begin on Sunday afternoon (by phone or online). I’m relieved and excited to have room for everyone once again.

3. Also starting next weekend, our Family Fellowship Meeting on Zoom is going to move to 6:30pm. There was a strong consensus that this would be the best new time for the group. I’m glad that I’ll still be able to be directly involved in leading this vital ministry especially intended for those staying safe at home. Our first guest will be Greg Shuenke of Vision of Hope Ministries in Haiti. Greg was one of Henoc’s best friends, and he 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.

If you are a newcomer, welcome to our church campus for worship! We are so blessed to have you here. Please ask a greeter for a LEFC Welcome Packet to learn more about us. We look forward to getting to know you, as well.

If this is your first Sunday back on campus, welcome home! We are so blessed to have you back.

If you’re been back for a few weeks, thanks for continuing to participate! I know that the new mask requirements are frustrating to comply with, and I appreciate everyone who wears one with a good attitude anyway. We are so blessed to have you here this morning.

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. By now it will be no surprise that Paul mentions, “joy” once again! He knows how blessed we are and how blessed we some day will be (3:17-4:1).

For the Worship in Unity portion this week, we are returning to the Lausanne Covenant (1974) that we were introduced to in May. The Lausanne Covenant is a statement of Christian belief drawn up for a global conference on evangelism and world missions initially spearheaded by Billy Graham and John Stott. I thought their statement on freedom and persecution was especially appropriate for this holiday weekend. We pray that the religious freedoms we have experienced here in the USA would be enjoyed by people all over the world.

Our Family Fellowship Meeting on Zoom is scheduled again for at 11am this Sunday (the time doesn’t change until next week). This time around our church’s friends Kim and Jan Cone will be joining us from their home in Indiana. We have partnered in ministry with the Cones since 1986! We are also going to see if the LEFC Kids on Zoom will be willing to play another round of Bible Charades with us. I hope you can join us.

We are so blessed! 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. Isaac Watts is one of my favorite hymn-writers. This week, I learned about his “biggest hit” which I had never heard of: “Come We that Love the Lord.” I hope it makes a comeback, and I hope that your family is singing about how blessed we are to know and love Jesus because He loved us first (1 John 4:19).

Home Worship Guide

1. Welcome to Worship

Read Psalm 33 with joy as your family gathers to worship.

**Option: Families with younger children might want to simply read verses 1-3.

**Option: Families with older children may want to learn more about Psalm 33, a joyful hymn of praise to God. Remember that when the psalmist says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance” he is referring to the Old Covenant nation of Israel (v.12). How many different times does the psalmist mention joy or rejoicing? What are the reasons for rejoicing that the psalmist sings about in Psalm 33?

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

2. Worship in Singing

As a household sing “Count Your Blessings” by Johnson Oatman (1897).

**Option. Saturday was Independence Day in the United States. Some families may also want to sing “America the Beautiful” by Katharine Lee Bates (1893) which recounts some of the blessings our nation has enjoyed in its history and includes the plea for the Lord’s unmerited favor, “God shed His grace on Thee.”

**Option. Those worshiping on campus are also singing, “We Are So Blessed” by Bill and Gloria Gaither (1982) to give thanks to the Lord for His many gifts to our country.

**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 13* of the Lausanne Covenant on “Freedom and Persecution.”

“It is the God-appointed duty of every government to secure conditions of peace, justice and liberty in which the Church may obey God, serve the Lord Jesus Christ, and preach the gospel without interference.

We therefore pray for the leaders of nations and call upon them to guarantee freedom of thought and conscience, and freedom to practice and propagate religion in accordance with the will of God.

We also express our deep concern for all who have been unjustly imprisoned, and especially for those who are suffering for their testimony to the Lord Jesus. We promise to pray and work for their freedom.

At the same time we refuse to be intimidated by their fate. God helping us, we too will seek to stand against injustice and to remain faithful to the gospel, whatever the cost. We do not forget the warnings of Jesus that persecution is inevitable.”

[*Pastor Matt lightly edited Article 13 for use in corporate worship.]

4. Worship in Lament and Thanksgiving

Have each family member share something for which they are praising the Lord and something that is currently making them sad. The Lord invites us to pour out both praise and lament to Him.

**Option. Our nation is both blessed and broken. Some families might want to make a list of things to thank God for in our country and a list of problems we are currently facing and then bring both lists to the Lord in prayer.

**Option. Have someone pray a prayer of lament that we are not all partaking of the Lord’s Supper together again today.

5. Worship in Bible Memory

Recite our current “Hide the Word” memory verses, Philippians 4:4-6:

“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.”

**Option: This is the first Sunday that we have added in verse 6. Have one of the youngest members of the family say verse 4, then an older one say verse 5, then read verse 6 all together out loud.

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: “My Joy and Crown.”

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 “O Worship the King” by Robert Grant (1833).

**Option: Those worshiping on campus this Sunday will also be singing, “This Is Amazing Grace,” “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand,” and “Sing Alleluia.”

**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 play Bible Charades again! 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: Let’s play Bible Charades again! Can you act out a Bible story for us and we guess which story it is? We will also hear from our long-term ministry partners Kim and Jan Cone. As a reminder, if Zoom ever has connectivity issues, check your email for a new link, and we will try again at 1:00pm.

On-Campus Worship Gatherings

Thank you for joining us today! Be sure to let us know if you will be joining us next week. Starting next week, we will have three gatherings, at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00. Call the office to reserve your family seating section. We will send out links for online registration on Sunday at noon.

LEFC Kids Bible Story Day

Calling all LEFC Kids! Join us next Saturday, July 11th at 10am on the Ark Park. Our children’s ministries team has an hour of fun, safe, and spiritually nourishing activities planned for children ages preschool to 6th grade. You can register online here. Please register in advance to allow us to be fully prepared.

Children’s Ministries Planning Meeting

There will be a planning meeting this Wednesday, the 8th, for those involved with upcoming children’s ministries this week. Please remember to wear your mask!

Clean Team

Our Clean Team could use extra hands to help clean the church between our three morning services. If you are willing and able to help, please see Cindy Green.

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.

On-Campus Prayer Meeting

Join us Wednesdays for on-campus prayer meetings at 7pm. We are asking everyone to bring and wear a protective face covering (mask). 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 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.

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 take a moment to fill out this online form.

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 (pastormatt@lansefree.org), 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: churchoffice@lansefree.org. 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:

4 Reasons to Wear a Mask, Even if You Hate It by Brett McCracken

The Fear of the Lord for Today by Ed Welch

The Mission Field I Never Expected by Rachel Wilson

I Want a Magic Button, But God Offers Something Better by Katie (Thompson) Faris

Compelling Reasons to Trust a 2,000-Year-Old Book by Michael McAfee

Lanse Free Church

255 Cotohisc Road
Lanse, PA 16849
Phone: 814.345.6500

Worship Service: Sunday, 10:00am

Prayer Meeting: Wednesday, 7:00pm