"Your First Job:" What I Believe About Climate Change

Speaker: Pastor Thomas

Theme For the Week beginning August 16th, 2020:  “The Christian and the Environment”

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

(inspired by Luke 24; thanks to Rev. Ann Harbridge)

(If possible, please pray out loud):

O God, you come to us in unexpected places
In isolation, behind closed doors
On dusty roads, as we go from place to place
In video chats with friends and telephone conversations with loved ones.
You come bringing us peace, where there is no peace
You come bringing us hope when everything seems hopeless
You come bringing us courage when we are afraid.
Come and be among us now, in every place where we are.
Open our eyes to see you, open our hearts to know you.
In the name of the Risen Christ we pray. Amen

We Sing a Song of Praise: “Morning Has Broken”
(UMH #92; Bill & Gloria Gaither & Friends, 2012 )

(Please sing along or just listen to this beautiful song)

“Morning Has Broken”

Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the word

Sweet the rains new fall, sunlit from Heaven
Like the first dewfall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

We Call Each Other to Worship (inspired by Psalm 104)

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

We gather together to praise our God, who created the heavens and earth!
Yet, who can describe the Creator of the universe?

We come to tell each other how wonderful our Awesome God is!
Yet, who can find words great enough to honor God?

But we will try! It is the least we can do.
For God’s Creating Spirit draws us together in worship and praise.

How amazing is our Creator!

ALL:  Yes, we will praise and worship our God! Amen.

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:  Genesis 1:26-28; 6:11-13 (The Message)

(If possible, read all scriptures out loud)

Genesis 1:26-28

God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them
reflecting our nature
So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,
the birds in the air, the cattle,
And, yes, Earth itself,
and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”
God created human beings;
he created them godlike,
Reflecting God’s nature.
He created them male and female.
God blessed them:
“Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!
Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,
for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.”

Genesis 6:11-13

11-12 As far as God was concerned, the Earth had become a sewer; there was violence everywhere. God took one look and saw how bad it was, everyone corrupt and corrupting—life itself corrupt to the core.  13 God said to Noah, “It’s all over. It’s the end of the human race. The violence is everywhere; I’m making a clean sweep.”

 

We Testify to God’s Grace:    “The Survival of Creation”
(From a sermon by the poet/essayist Wendell Berry)

If we read the Bible, . . . we are apt to discover several things that modern Christian organizations have kept remarkably quiet about, or have paid little attention to.

We will discover that we humans do not own the world or any part of it: “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof: the world and they that dwell therein” (Ps. 24:1). . . .

We will discover that God made not only the parts of Creation that we humans understand and approve, but all of it: “all things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made” John 1:3). . . .

We will discover that God found the world, as he made it, to be good; that he made it for his pleasure; and that he continues to love it and to find it worthy, despite its reduction and corruption by us. People who quote John 3:16 as an easy formula for getting to heaven neglect to see [that this] . . . was made possible by God’s love for the world–not God’s love for Heaven or for the world as it might be, but for the world as it was and is. . . .

We will discover . . . (as Philip Sherrard has written) that . . . to every creature the gift of life is a portion of the breath and spirit of God. . . . 

We will discover that, for these reasons, our destruction of nature . . . is flinging God’s gifts into his face, as of no worth beyond that assigned to them by our destruction of them. . . .  We have the right to use the gifts of Nature, but not to ruin or waste them. . . . 

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

 

We  Sing a Song of Devotion: “For the Beauty of the Earth”

(UMH #92; First-Plymouth Church, Lincoln, NE, 2019)

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

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth,
Over and around us lies.

Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale and tree and flower,
Sun and moon and stars of light.

Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony,
Linking sense to sound and sight.

Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.

Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For thyself, best gift divine,
To the world so freely given,
For that great, great love of thine,
Peace on earth and joy in heaven.

Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

We Hear the Sermon from Pastor Thomas
“Your First Job”
“Confessions of a Church Pastor:  What I Believe about Climate Change”

(NOTE:  Statements on the natural world from the Book of Discipline’s Social Principles and the Book of Resolutions can be found attached to the copy of my sermon that you can download at the bottom of this webpage)

 

We Pray to the Lord

To receive the prayer email, please reach out to healing@hopefortulsa.com

(If possible, please pray out loud)

 God, today I (we) pray . . .

    • for the people of Hope United Methodist Church, and especially …
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Barbara Roderick and we pray for the Roderick Family.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Richard Bachelder and we pray for the Bachelder family.
      • We pray for Suzanne Pfeifer.
      • 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!

 

Closing Hymn: “This Is My Father’s World”  (UMH #144; First UMC, Houston; Sanctuary Choir))

1. This is my Father’s world,
and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings
the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.

2. This is my Father’s world,
the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world:
he shines in all that’s fair;
in the rustling grass I hear him pass;
he speaks to me everywhere.

3. This is my Father’s world.
O let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

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 our Lord and God
our heart and tongue employ.  Amen.

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