Bible Passage: 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
Theme For the Week beginning September 27th, 2020: “The Christian’s Response to the Need for Affordable Health Care”
- 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
- Before you start your home worship service, please download and read “How to Prepare for Worshipping at Home.”
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 Psalm 42)
(If possible, please pray out loud):
As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so our souls long for you, O God.
Our souls thirst for God, for the living God.
Come to us, Lord, and heal our deepest longings.
We pray this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
We Sing a Song of Praise: “We Come to You for Healing, Lord”
(Words and music by Herman G. Stuempfle; sung by Bryan Odeen, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Warren, IL)
(Please sing along or just listen to this inspirational song)
We come to you for healing, Lord, of body, mind, and soul,
and pray that by your Spirit’s touch, we may again be whole.
As once you walked through ancient streets and reached toward those in pain,
come, risen Christ, among us still with power to heal again.
You touch us through physicians’ skills, through nurses’ gifts of care,
and through the love of faithful friends who lift our lives in prayer.
When nights are long with wakefulness, through days when strength runs low,
grant us your gift of patience, Lord, your calming peace to know.
We come to you, O loving Lord, in our distress and pain,
in trust that through our nights and days your grace will heal, sustain.
We Call Each Other to Worship (inspired by Matthew 7:7 and Mark 1:40-42)
(If possible, read out loud. If you are not alone, take turns reading the light and the bold lines)
Jesus said: Ask, and it will be given; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.
Jesus said: Everyone who asks will receive, and those who seek will find, and to each who knocks, the door will be opened.
Then let us open our lives to God’s healing presence among us, working through us, being blessed and blessing others.
With the leper, let us say to Jesus: “If you want to, you can make me whole.”
Listen to the reply of our Lord: “Of course I want to! Be made whole!”
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: 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (MSG)
(If possible, read all scriptures out loud)
May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!
We Testify to God’s Grace: “Breathe, Pray, Believe“
(by Jack Albright, Kansas; The Upper Room, August 4, 2020)
I was 89 years old when illness and depression forced me to enter a long-term care facility. There I faced the combined challenges of physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental exhaustion. Being so heavily dependent on others caused me to wonder if my lifetime of ministry as a pastor, chaplain, and counselor would help me now. During that frightening, near-death journey, I found that my years of practicing what I was teaching others sustained me without my having to think about it. With great thanksgiving, I celebrated my ninetieth birthday with many friends in the facility.
On the day I was preparing to return home, a staff member said, “When you came in here you were half dead. Now look at you! You’re going home. What part did prayer and faith have in your healing?”
The question made me realize that prayer and faith are not new, additional, or spectacular emergency items that we use during crises. Physical breathing, spiritual believing, and praying without ceasing are ongoing practices essential to spiritual health that sustain us not just in times of crisis but every day.
(Do you have a testimonial you’d like to share here during future services? Send your story to email@example.com)
We Sing a Song of Devotion: “Blessings”
(Laura Story, 2015)
Please play the music video and sing along or just reflect.
We Hear the Sermon from Pastor Thomas
“The Only Thing That Jesus Does”
“Confessions of a Church Pastor: What I Believe about Health Care”
(NOTE: Statements on health care from a United Methodist perspective are found in the 2016 Social Principles and the Book of Resolutions. These sections are attached to the end of my sermon manuscript. There is a download link at the lower right of my video sermon at the top of this webpage)
We Pray to the Lord
To receive the prayer email, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(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 Gail Arnold and we pray for her family and friends.
- We remember with thankfulness the life of Brenda Stage and we pray for her family and friends.
- We remember with thankfulness the life of Barbara Roderick and we pray for her family and friends.
- We remember with thankfulness the life of Richard Bachelder and we pray for his family and friends.
- We remember with thankfulness the life of Jerry Robison and we pray for his family and friends.
- We pray for Skip Hurst, Suzanne Pfeifer, Elinor Bartleson, and Jimmy Hillman.
- We pray for our members and friends who are in nursing homes and rehab centers.
- for the people of Hope United Methodist Church, and especially …
- 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: “For the Healing of the Nations” (UMH #428, written by Fred Kaan 1965, tune by John Hughes 1907)
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.