When Can We Get Back to Normal?

 For the Week beginning July 12th, 2020:  "CHANGE!"


  • An EXCITING video service just for children (and kids at heart) is found at the end of this service. Just scroll down!  (Thanks, LifeChurch!)  


The Prelude:  We Prepare Ourselves to Worship God


 We Gather Together
  • If you have family worshipping with you, give everyone a hug. 
  • If you are alone, take a moment and imagine the arms of the Loving Lord wrapped around you.  Send thoughts of love to those most important to you. 
  • Then, find a spot at your chosen place of worship.  Light your candle(s). 
  • Be silent for a moment, asking God to open your hearts to every good gift that God has for you today.


We Open with Prayer

(If possible, please pray out loud):

O Lord, help us to truly worship and praise you today.  Remind us that we did not choose Christ, but Christ chose us.  Teach us that we are not here because we are good, but only because of your grace.  Convince us that our goal for worship is not to feel better, but to become truly inspired--to be "in-spirited" by the Holy Spirit.  Help us by your power to worship you today with heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to always love our neighbor as ourselves.

In the name of the loving Christ we pray,


We Sing a Song of Praise: "Great Is They Faithfulness"  (UMH #140)
(Performed by Austin Stone Worship; Words: Thomas O. Chisholm, additional verses by John Piper Music: William M. Runyan (c) 1923, ren. 1951 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188 www.hopepublishing.com. (ASCAP); Youtube License by Capitol CMG )

Please sing or long or just listen to this beautiful hymn, with some alternate verses. 

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be

Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

I could not love Thee, so blind and unfeeling;
Covenant promises fell not to me.
Then without warning, desire, or deserving,
I found my Treasure, my pleasure, in Thee.

I have no merit to woo or delight Thee,
I have no wisdom or pow’rs to employ;
Yet in thy mercy, how pleasing thou find’st me,
This is Thy pleasure: that Thou art my joy.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

We Call Each Other to Worship (based on John 21:15-19)

(If possible, read out loud.  If you are not alone, take turns reading the lines)

Leader:  Little children, do you love Jesus?
People:   Yes, he knows that we do.
Leader:  Then feed the hungry ones.

Leader:  Little children, I ask you again, do you love Jesus?
People:  Yes, he knows that we do.
Leader:  Then take care of your neighbor.

Leader:  Little children, do you truly love Jesus?
People:  Jesus knows all things.  He knows that we love him.
Leader:  Then follow Jesus where he leads you, and do not turn back.

We Pass the Peace of God to Others

If you are with others in your home, give each other a hug, and pray for those who will not have any human touch today.

If you are alone, ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your mind at least one person who needs a call or email or card.  Commit to following through on this as soon as this worship service ends.  (If you have others in your household, they can do this, too).

 We Read the Bible:  John 20:1-3 (4-21) (NSRV)
New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.

(If possible, read all scriptures out loud)

After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples.  Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

++This is the word of God for the children of God:  Thanks be to God!


We  Sing a Song of Devotion: "Everything's Changing" Performed by Plastic Hotel, (c) 2019

Please play the music video and use the verses (following the video picture) to sing along or just reflect.

"Everything's Changing"

[Verse 1]
Here we are now
It's hard to imagine
How we made it out
Through the ashes

Everything's changing
I built these walls and then you broke 'em all down
It's hard to explain it
But you saved me somehow

[Verse 2]
I can feel it now
The storm is passing
Don't let it weigh you down
What comes after

Everything's changing
I built these walls and then you broke 'em all down
It's hard to explain it
But you saved me somehow

Everything's changing
Everything's changing
Everything's changing

We Testify to God's Grace:    "Turbulence"   
(Adrienne Rayfield, South Carolina; The Upper Room, April 16, 2020)

The [disciples] were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” - Matthew 8:27 (NIV)

When I was 10 years old, I went on my first plane ride and fell asleep during the flight. To my surprise the landing was a bit rocky. I awoke in a panic and grabbed my father’s arm, feeling sure that we were going to die. He took my hand and said, “It’s okay. We made it.” I breathed a sigh of relief, marveled at my first view of the city, and anticipated the adventure ahead.

When I remember my experience, I wonder if that is how the disciples felt in today’s reading. The seas were rough, and Jesus was asleep. When they woke Jesus, he stilled their fears — much like my father did for me in that plane — and then calmed the storm. The disciples were in awe at what Jesus had done.

At times we may feel like everything around us is in disarray. We may be confused, disappointed, or discouraged. Even when we feel like we are on the brink of perishing, we can find comfort when we remember that Jesus is with us and will see us through the storm. When life feels turbulent, we do not need to fear. We can call on Jesus, who can calm whatever seems unsteady.

(Do you have a testimonial you'd like to share here during future services?  Send your story to thomas@hopefortulsa.com)


We Hear the Sermon from Pastor Thomas
"When Can We Get Back to Normal?"


We Reflect in Silence

Take several minutes to consider today’s scripture and message.  Here are some questions to help: 

  • Have you ever taken a trip to where you grew up?  Many people say that they remember everything being bigger and more impressive when they were kids.  Why do you think this happens?
  • Pastor Thomas said in this week's sermon, "If we have Jesus, we have everything we need."  But Jesus said that God knows that's as humans we also need food and clothing and shelter.  Does Jesus meet these needs, too?
  • Have you ever felt God was calling you to do something important?  What did you do about it, and what happened? 
  • How much of a problem do you have with worry?  What about comparing yourself to others?  What one step could you take today to really believe that God calls you by name, has forgiven you of your past, and wants you to work with him in feeding his sheep?
We Pray to the Lord

(The Lord's Prayer is from Matthew ch. 6, Darby Translation [DARBY])

(If possible, please pray out loud)

 God, today I (we) pray . . .

    • for the people of Hope United Methodist Church, and especially ...
      • See Barbara’s email prayer list for congregational requests.  To receive the email list, please reach out to healing@hopefortulsa.com
      • Richard, Virgie and Mark Bachelder, for health, mercy, and grace, and for their relocation this next week to Arizona
      • Suzanne Pfeifer and Rita Robison, for recovery from hospitalizations.
      • We pray for our members and friends who are in nursing homes and rehab centers.
    • for those who suffer and those in trouble, and especially...
    • for the concerns of this local community, and especially...
    • for the world, its peoples, and its civic leaders, and for the earth that you have given to our care.
    • for the battle we are facing with COVID-19, and especially those who are suffering and those who are responding, and for ...                  
    • for the Church universal—its leaders, its members, and its mission. We especially pray for Bishop Nunn, for our retiring District Superintendent Cindy Havlik, and for our new Superintendent, Connie Gibson.  We also pray for those churches that are now opening up and ask that those who gather would be wise and caring for each other.  We ask that you would protect all your congregations from harm and disease, and give us a mighty dose of your Spirit.  We pray for these and for other Christian leaders, including...
    • in communion with the saints, remembering all those who have gone on before us, and now form part of the Great Hall of Faith which encourages those of us who remain on earth.  Today we especially remember . . .
    • For my (our) needs today, which include...

Help us remember, Lord, that you are merciful and good, and quick to act in times of need.  We thank you for all of your many blessings that you graciously give to us and to the world you love.

Therefore, as your children on earth, we pray the prayer that our Brother Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father who art in the heavens, let thy name be sanctified,

let thy kingdom come, let thy will be done as in heaven so upon the earth;

give us to-day our needed bread,

and forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors,

and lead us not into temptation, but save us from evil.

For thine are the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever.


We Give Gifts to the Lord

Even during COVID-19, the work of Hope United Methodist Church continues!  Please take a moment to remember all the many blessings God has given you, and then go to www.hopefortulsa.com/give to make an online donation.  It's simple to sign up--just have your checkbook, debit card, or credit card ready to provide the requested information.  You just have to do this one time.  You can continue to use this online portal in the weeks ahead to bless your church and your Lord. 

If you'd like to mail a check instead, please make it out to "Hope UMC" and send it to:  Hope UMC, 12424 E. 31st St., Tulsa, OK  74146.  All donations are tax-deductible.  And thank you in advance!


We Say What We Believe:  An Affirmation adapted from Bruce Prewer

(If possible, read this out loud):

In spite of an uncertain and ever-changing world, we believe.

We believe in the living God, the joy of the universe,
who is the life and purpose of all things seen and unseen,
who from the dust of earth calls up living beings to be children of eternity,
who through countless ages has always brought us freedom
and will always bring us victory out of defeat and life out of decay.

We believe in Jesus the Christ, God’s true Son,
who is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh,
who took upon himself the healing of the human race,
who, carrying his cross, bore our sins to Golgotha,
who was betrayed, crucified, and buried in a borrowed tomb,
who on the third day was found to be gloriously alive,
meeting with those who trust him and serve him to the end of the world.

We believe in the Holy Spirit of God,
within and among all who follow Christ and his way,
who brings hope out of despair, love out of apathy, and joy out of sorrow,
who loves and renews the church
that it may always be the body of the risen Christ,
loving the world through prayer, word and deed.

We believe that as we are caught up in this resurrection life of Christ Jesus,
nothing in life or death can separate us from his love and joy.

This we believe, in spite of an uncertain and ever-changing world.

Closing Hymn: "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus"  (Rachel Scott, 2012)
I have decided to follow Jesus,
I have decided to follow Jesus,
I have decided to follow Jesus --
no turning back, no turning back.
The world behind me, the cross before me,
the world behind me, the cross before me,
the world behind me, the cross before me --
no turning back, no turning back.
Though none go with me, still I will follow,
though none go with me, still I will follow,
though none go with me, still I will follow --
no turning back, no turning back.
Benediction (adapted from a 1698 hymn)

(Please read together aloud):


Through all the changing scenes of life,
in trouble and in joy,
may the praises of your Lord and God
your heart and tongue employ.  Amen.



Enjoy this LOOP Show Worship-at-Home-for-Kids Video from LifeChurch!

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