"A New Horizon: Serving Others with Your Gifts"

Preacher: Bruce Leonhart

Bible Passage: Romans 12:3-13

Theme for the Week beginning January 3rd, 2021:  “Serving with Your Gifts”

  • This powerful Rockwell-esque work by Dusty Gilpin was the cover of The Curbside Chronicle, an OKC-based magazine that is produced by and for the homeless.  You can find more information at the Homeless Alliance.  Gilpin perfectly illustrates the beauty of serving others with whatever gifts we have been given.
  • 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

(based on Rom. 12:1-8, Matthew 16: 13-20, Psalm 124)

(If possible, please pray out loud):

Lord God, Maker of heaven and earth,

we gather together in Your name.

We come as living sacrifices,

to offer You our worship and thanksgiving,

our praise and our prayers.

Come among us, living Lord.

Through the power of Your Holy Spirit,

transform our hearts and minds

so that we may recognize Your presence,

hear Your voice, know Your will,

and walk in Your way.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ,

our Lord and Saviour.

Amen.

We Sing a Song of Praise: “Every Praise”

(First Baptist, Dallas, Ap[ril 15, 2018)

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

 

We Call Each Other to Worship

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

Leader: The God of New Beginnings has called us to this place.
People: We come celebrating the new that is ours as God’s faithful people.
Leader: Let your joy ring through the universe, and let your vision see to the depths of every soul.
People: We will be shouters of joy and seekers of God’s light wherever we go. Praise God for
this day!
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
Romans 12:3-13 (NIV)

(If possible, read all scriptures out loud)

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach, if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

 

Leader:  The word of God for the Children of God:

People:  Thanks be to God!

 

We Testify to God’s Grace:    “Our Gifts & Our Service”

Juan Guerrero (Valle del Cauca, Colombia), The Upper Room, August 9, 2020

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. – 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

When I finished the sermon, I prepared to celebrate Holy Communion. Seeing Lina near the chancel, I asked her to assist me in serving the elements. After the worship service, Lina’s mother cried with joy. Lina is Deaf and communicates using sign language. Her mother recalled how she endured distress because of her daughter’s condition. But when she saw her assisting during Holy Communion, she understood that Lina communicates with God in a unique way and does it joyfully.

A faithful Christian, Lina is independent, caring, and valued in the church and in the workplace. She is filled with God’s love and grace as she communicates through sign language to others who are deaf. Instead of being constrained by what she cannot do, Lina abides in the hope of one day being involved in formal ministry wherever God can use her gifts and her service.

God delights in the variety of ways we serve others, sharing the love of Christ with the world.

TODAY’S PRAYER

God of grace, grant us the wisdom to acknowledge and honor the gifts of all your people who seek to serve you with a joyful heart in unique and wonderful ways. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

We  Sing a Hymn of Devotion: “Start Right Here”

(Performed by Casting Crowns, July 24, 2020)

Please play the music video and reflect or sing along.

 

We Hear the Sermon from Bruce Leonhart, Lay Servant

“A New Horizon: Serving Others with Your Gifts”

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 …
      • We pray for Cyndi McNutt in her recovery from cataract surgeries.
      • We pray for those continuing to recover from procedures.
      • We pray for this who have contracted COVID, asking for a quick and full recovery.
      • 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.
      • We especially pray for President Donald Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence, President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and their families.  We pray for a smooth and peaceful transition of government.  We pray for all those newly elected into public offices, locally and nationally.
    • for the battle we are facing with COVID-19, and especially for both those who are suffering and those who are front-line responders, and for … 
      • . . . the production and worldwide distribution of vaccines; 
      • . . . those who are separated because of the need for isolation;
      • . . . the financial well-being of those impacted by COVID; and,
      • . . . an end to this pandemic.            
    • for the Church universal—its leaders, its members, and its mission. We especially pray for Bishop Nunn and for our 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…
      • . . . the Hoffmanns as they resettle in Oklahoma City.
      • . . . Bruce Leonhart as he brings us God’s word each Sunday in January.
      • . . . Elson Hargrove as he provides pastoral care during January.
      • . . . the new pastor soon to be appointed to Hope UMC.
    • 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 . . .
      • . . . all those from the family of Hope that have passed away in 2020.
      • . . . all those who have died from COVID, or have died apart from family and friends.
    • 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: “We Are Called”

(The St. Paul Youth Choir and Ensemble, “We Are Called” by David Haas arr. Garrett Taylor Joey Chancey, Music Director; Produced at the Paulist House of Mission and Studies; May 25, 2020.

Closing Hymn: “Here I Am, Lord”

( Dan Schulte, writer and composer; arranged by Mark Hayes; performed by the Choir & Orchestra of St. Lillian; Deborah Baseil, musical director; David Schmiech, mixer and editor; recorded on Dec. 6, 2020 by permission of OneLicense.

Benediction 
Leader:
Go now, with courage in our God.
Declare the message of the gospel
which God has entrusted to us.
And in wholehearted love for God and for others,
Share not only the message, but your very selves.
And may God be your haven.
May Christ Jesus lead you into love –heart, soul, and mind;
And may the Holy Spirit bless the week of your hands and gladden all your days.
People:
We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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

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