The State of the Church, July 2020

 For the Week beginning July 26th, 2020:  "The State of the Church"

FAMILY ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • 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):

God, you call us to your Church:  to one body and one Spirit, to one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Creator of all, who is over all and through all and in all. We thank you for this amazing gift of grace, in the name of Christ.  Amen.

We Sing a Song of Praise: "I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord" 
(UMH #540) (Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, CA)

Please sing along or just listen to this beautiful hymn.

1. I love thy kingdom, Lord,
the house of thine abode,
the church our blest Redeemer saved
with his own precious blood.

2. I love thy church, O God!
Her walls before thee stand
dear as the apple of thine eye,
and graven on thy hand.

3. For her my tears shall fall,
for her my prayers ascend,
to her my cares and toils be given,
till toils and cares shall end.

4. Beyond my highest joy
I prize her heavenly ways,
her sweet communion, solemn vows,
her hymns of love and praise.

 

We Call Each Other to Worship (based on Psalm 136)

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

Give thanks to the Lord.  Our God is good.

God's love endures forever.

to the One who alone does great wonders,

God's love endures forever.

In wisdom God created the heavens,

God's love endures forever.

God spread out the earth upon the waters,

God's love endures forever.

God led the people through the wilderness;

God's love endures forever.

God remembered us in our low estate

God's love endures forever.

and freed us from our enemies.

God's love endures forever.

God gives food to every creature.

God's love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven.

For God's love endures forever.

People of God, why do we keep saying the same thing, over and over again?

Because we too often forget the greatest truth ever known:  God's love endures forever!

 

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:  Selections from Acts 2:42-47 and Acts 4: 32-34 (GOD'S WORD)

(If possible, read all scriptures out loud)

4:32a All the believers were one in heart and mind.

2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.2:43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.2:44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.4:32b No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 4:33b & 44a And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. 2:46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,2:47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.   

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

 

We  Sing a Song of Devotion: "Where Peace Begins (One Family Under God)" 
Trina Belamide & The TriBe Singers

Please play the music video and use the verses to sing along or just reflect.

 

Here... we stand together
One in our humanity
For we all come from the Father
We are one family

It's our school of love and peace
Where we've learned there's a way
For the world to live in harmony
And together we all say...

This is where peace begins
Here we sow the seeds of love
It all starts with our knowing
We are one family
We are one family
under God

Not just body but spirit
On and on we try to be
People who live for others
For love knows no boundaries

Neither race nor religion
No barriers can keep us apart
Forgiveness, true understanding
This... is how. it all starts...!

This is where peace begins
Here we sow the seeds of love
It all starts with our knowing
We are one family
We are one family
under God

Under God.....
We are one......

This is where peace begins
Here we sow the seeds of love
It all starts with our knowing
We are one family
We are one family
under God

 

We Testify to God's Grace:    "The Church Exists in Unvoentional Places"   
(The Upper Room; Terri Foster, South Carolina)

Strip clubs aren’t places you would typically expect a church group to go in search of friends. But for years, my friend Tonya and other women from her church went there regularly to cultivate relationships. With permission from club owners, the church women gave female employees free toiletries. Many of the recipients were single mothers, struggling to make ends meet, and they gladly received the gifts. After a while, the church group got opportunities to meet with the women during non-work hours. They listened, offered support, met practical needs, and shared spiritual truth about Jesus from the Bible.

It took courage and perseverance to do something so unconventional. Was it without risk? Definitely not. Was it Christlike? Absolutely.

Jesus invited all kinds of people to come into the kingdom of God. It didn’t matter if onlookers misunderstood or gossiped. Everyone needs God’s grace. If we’re followers of Jesus, we’ll look for ways to extend it — even in unconventional places.

(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
"State of the Church, July 2020"

 

We Pray to the Lord

(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 new relocation
      • 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 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 HEAVEN,

HALLOWED BE THY NAME.

THY KINGDOM COME.

THY WILL BE DONE

ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD,

AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES,

AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US,

AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION,

BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL.

FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM,

AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY,

FOR EVER AND EVER,   AMEN

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:  The Apostles' Creed

(If possible, read this out loud):

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth;

And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;*
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic** church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

Closing Hymn: "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing"  (UMH #400; First UMC, Houston)

1. Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.

2. Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.

3. O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

Benediction (adapted from a 1698 hymn)

(Please read together aloud):

Friends,

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.

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

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