Dear FUMC Heath Family & Friends, 

Closing the building is how we show love. It’s how we love the older folks in our church who are disproportionately affected by this virus. It’s also how we love our city and medical workers by trying to slow down the spread and help save lives.

But we’re not closing church. The earliest churches met in homes around the table or in living rooms, so this is a chance for us to do the same. Below is a simple guide for a time of worship in a small setting.

Feel free to use whatever is helpful, and to offer any additional discussion or prayers fitting for your gathering. One person can lead by reading everything, or people can take turns reading different parts. Whether you are worshiping alone or with family, friends, or neighbors, know that other Christians are praying some of this liturgy together in Heath, Rockwall, and around the world. 

We encourage you worship at our regular hour of 10:30am on Sunday so we are “worshiping together,” but understand and hope you will follow this liturgy whenever you can. 

And please share and invite others to worship with us online to help spread the good news of Jesus Christ during this season. 

 

HOME CHURCH WORSHIP
APRIL 5, 2020
PALM SUNDAY

 

OPENING PRAYER (one person can pray this)

Heavenly Father, we remember that today your Son Jesus entered Jerusalem and was called King by the crowds waving palm branches. We pray those branches would be a sign for us of his victory. And we pray that we will always call him our Lord, be filled with his Spirit, and follow him in all the ways that lead to everlasting life. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

THE APOSTLES’ CREED (everyone say this together)

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;
he descended to the dead;
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from there he shall come to judge the living 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.
 

SCRIPTURE READING (one person can read this or everyone can take turns reading a verse)

Matthew 21:1-11 (NLT)

1 As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. 2 “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.”

4 This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said,

5 “Tell the people of Jerusalem,
    ‘Look, your King is coming to you.
He is humble, riding on a donkey—
    riding on a donkey’s colt.’”

6 The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it.

8 Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, 

“Praise God for the Son of David!
    Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
    Praise God in highest heaven!”

10 The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked.

11 And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
 

PRAYER (one person can read the prayers and everyone else can respond “Lord Jesus, in your mercy, hear our prayers.”)

Lord God, you created all things and you meet all our needs. We believe you are using those who are on the front lines right now in hospitals, labs, first responders, grocery stores, and other places of essential need. We pray you would give them protection, courage, and love.
Lord Jesus, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

We pray for those who are sick and afraid or hurting, not just with this virus but any illness. Help them get well, and give them your peace. 
Lord Jesus, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

We pray for the leaders of our city, our county, our state, our country, and the world who are making decisions: give them wisdom to make the right choices, even if they’re hard. And help them get along and work together. 
Lord Jesus, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

We pray for people who are losing jobs or having financial trouble now. Take care of them. Meet their needs. Help them find a way.
Lord Jesus, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

We pray for all of us who are scared, confused, frustrated, or whatever we’re feeling. No matter what we’re experiencing, Holy Spirit would you awaken our soul. Show us where you are at work in all this, and where you want us to join you in that work. 
Lord Jesus, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

We pray you would awaken souls in our city, our country, and the world. We pray people would come to a saving faith in you, to repentance, and to being made whole in you.
Lord Jesus, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

Jesus, we pray our family prayer that you taught us:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins 
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.

CHILDREN’S TIME, MUSIC & MESSAGE

REFLECTION & PRAYER 

Questions to ask each other (this is optional, but one person can lead and go around the room or table):

1. What are your fears?
2. How is your psyche – your soul – being formed by voices other than the Lord?
3. Where is Jesus inviting you to be silent in prayer? What would that look like for you to do?

Ask for prayer requests or testimonies (stories of where you’ve seen God at work this week in your life or around you). You can invite each person to pray, maybe pray for the person next to you, or one person can pray for everyone. 

BENEDICTION (which means a “closing prayer of blessing” One person can pray this or you can say it together).

May the Lord bless you
    and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you
    and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor
    and give you his peace. Amen

ANNOUNCEMENTS & LINKS

Get the Seedbed Daily Text six-day prayer guide for Holy Week “Psalm 23: In The Valley of the Shadow of COVID 19” by clicking here. 

If you child is a part of Trackers Of Faith, click here for an abbreviated lesson to do with your children. And now the videos are online here!

Click here to give your tithes, offerings, or gifts. If you use ACH we will still get those. You can mail checks to the church, but the fewer to process the better. Thanks for your continued giving. 

This Monday (April 6)  at 3pm Keum and Esther will lead a “Hymn Sing” via Facebook LiveStream! Email Keum any requests at worship@fumcheath.org and be sure to join us at facebook.com/fumcheath.

If anyone has or knows someone who needs groceries picked up and delivered, or needs any other help during this time so they don’t have to go out, we have a team ready to help. Please contact Pastor Omar at 479-856-4775 or Kelli Hohenshelt at 214-763-3166.

If you have a prayer request, let us know by contacting Barbara Rhode at 713-594-2800 or robbarrohde@aol.com. All prayer requests are confidential. 

Watch previous messages here

And be sure to follow us on Facebook for our live-stream time of Scripture and prayer at 12pm Central, and for all the latest information regarding the church and our response to COVID19.