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
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,
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
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,
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jesus, we pray our family prayer that you taught us:
Our Father in heaven,
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?
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
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.