Good Morning Salem Church family and Friends.
I am looking forward to worshipping with you today as we celebrate God’s goodness and love evident in our lives. There are also some exciting things happening during these seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas that your participation is encouraged.
Today we will hold indoor, in-person worship at 10:00am. If your Sunday plans allow you to join us in worship this way, I invite to take a moment to review the guidelines and protocols we have adopted for gathering the community at Salem.
– Please keep walkways, isles, and natural pathways clear both inside the sanctuary and outdoors to allow others to move about comfortable.
– Consider taking you conversations outdoors to the lawn or parking lot after the worship service concludes.
– Please don’t rearrange the seating options in the sanctuary. Spacing has been designed around the designated seats available in the sanctuary.
– Seats are identified by a worship bulletin.
– Face coverings must be properly worn the entire you are inside the building.
– Music will be offered as part of our worship. We will continue to refrain from singing together as a whole congregation
– The restrooms in the fellowship hall are open and available for you to use.
Thank you for your dedication and commitment to keep one another as healthy and safe as possible.
We begin our collection of hats, gloves, scarfs and socks for community members in need this winter. This a joint venture with the folks at our sister churches, Alexander Chapel and Clark’s Chapel. Any and all sizes of these items are needed. Thank you in advance for your support of this initiative.
This Sunday also marks the begging of our preparations to celebrate the Christmas Season. This year we have decided to use poinsettias as a focal point in our Christmas decoration. You and your family are ask to consider donating $10 toward the purchase of poinsettia which can be given in honor or memory of a loved one. The church will purchase these Christmas flowers on your behalf. Simply earmark your donation with ‘Poinsettia” and share the name of your love you would like to celebrate. The final day to turn in Poinsettia orders is Sunday, November 29th.
Lastly, please put Next Sunday (11/22) on you calendar. We are going to gather together to decorate the church for the upcoming Advent and Christmas Season. The same protocols and guidelines we have adapted for in-person worship will be expected by those attending the evening of decorating. We will begin at 6:00pm. All are welcome to join us.Now, I invite us to unite our hearts in praise and thanksgiving as we offer our worship to God.
Order of Worship for Sunday, November 15th
Call to Worship: Pslam 92
It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night.
For you make me glad by your deeds, O Lord: I sing for joy at the works of your hands.
How great are your works, O Lord, how profound your thoughts!
Your statues stand firm; holiness adorn your house for endless days, O Lord.
Hymn – Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee
Great and Loving God, we give you thanks for gift of this day. Awake our hearts for worship and make us receptive to your holy word. Through the strength of the Holy Spirit at work in us, may our lives, our choices, our witness showcase your wisdom, justice, and love. Continue to transform your church, O God, that in all ways we may shine with the light of Christ our Savior. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Lesson – Hebrews 10:19-25 (NRSV)
A Call to Persevere
19 Therefore, my friends,[a] since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus,
20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh),
21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
22 let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds,
25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Holy God, in celebration we acknowledged the wonderful ways your are at work transforming and shaping your church. Thank you for send your redeeming love to us through Jesus Christ our Lord. We are humble by your love and captivated by grace.
We also acknowledge our great need for your presence and your peace in our world. Heal us of cancers, viruses, and the brokenness that seeks to isolate and separate us from one another. Infuse our doctors and nurses with wisdom and compassion, tenderness and understanding that they may continue to be agents of your healing.
We pray today for all who suffer violence on dangerous streets and in war-torn communities. Protect the men and women you’ve called to bring peace. Strength the resolve of our fire-fighters, police offices, soldiers and first responders that they may enter these hostile moments with calming presence.
We pray for our leaders, civic and religious, and all who seek to govern among us. Grant each one your wisdom and give them a vision of your kingdom where all flourish in your fold. Shine you light on us, your church, that we may illuminate the path that leads to you, leading other into the embrace of your forgiveness and love.
Hear our prayers today, as we offer them to you now in the prayer that Christ taught he disciples. . . Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today 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 glory, forever. Amen.
Lesson – Matthew 25:1-13 (NRSV)
The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids
25 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids[a] took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.
3 When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them;
4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.
5 As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept.
6 But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’
7 Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps.
8 The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
9 But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’
10 And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut.
11 Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’
12 But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’
13 Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
Message – Waiting Expectantly, Living Faithfully
Hymn – Blessed Assurance
Now may God, who creates, redeems, and sustains, keep you fervent in faith, cheerful in hope, and overflowing in love. And the belting of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be among and remain with you always. Amen.
Kent Smith, Pastor
Salem United Methodist Church