Greetings Salem Church, I invite you to join me in offering ourselves in worship today either with our in-person gathering at 10:00am or through personal worship at home. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
I also want to share a couple of opportunities we have to connect with our friends and sister churches, Alexander Chapel and Clark’s Chapel. Rev. Marjory Kiess and Rev. Ray Kiess have invited us to join in a special Ash Wednesday Service.
Ash Wednesday is this coming week, Wednesday, February 17th. Our Ash Wednesday Service will be offered virtually so that you can participate as your schedule will allow. I will send out the link to connect to this service Wednesday (2/17) morning through email.
Additionally, Salem Church is partnering with Alexander Chapel and Clarks Chapel to offer a special Bible Study during the 6 weeks leading into Easter Sunday.
Our Lenten Bible Study is based on The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi by Kathie Lee Gifford. This is an online Bible Study facilities by Pastor Ray, Pastor Marjory, and myself. It will be offered through zoom, similar to our regular Wednesday Bible Study. The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi will begin Wednesday, February 24 at 7:00pm.
For all of us planning to attend our in-person worship service today at 10:00am, please look over and familiarize yourself with the guideline and safety protocols we have adopted for in-person gathering at Salem Church.
– 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.
– Seats are identified by a worship bulletin. Seating arrangement can accommodate family groups of 2 or 3. If your family group includes more
than three people all over 2yrs old, please separate into appropriate groups of 2 or 3.
– Please don’t rearrange the seating options in the sanctuary. Spacing has been designed to maximize our capacity while giving each family the necessary space to be safe.
– Face coverings must be properly worn the entire time 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.
For all of us planning to connect through personal worship today I have composed a brief order of worship below. This is designed to be guide for you. The blue links with hymn titles will redirect you to YouTube. You may have to watch a brief advertisement prior to hymn. We are finishing the sermon series focused on the relationship principles Jesus teaches through the gospels with today’s message. I would love to hear your take aways from the six week endeavor. I also want to say thank you to my collaborating partners, Ray and Marjory Kiess. I learned from them through this process.
Order of Worship for Sunday, February 14th
Call to Worship – Psalm 1
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or sit in the seat of mockers.
His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by the streams of water.
It yields its fruit in season and whose leaves do not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Hymn: Lord You Are More Precious than Sliver
Holy God, your splendor and majesty surround us. We are captivated by your love and delighted to be know as your children. Infuse our worship today with your Holy Spirit that our anthem of praise might unite us again as your church. Grant as the courage to follow Jesus’ example as we examine the scriptures and long to walk in his ways. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Scripture Lesson- Philippians 2:1-5
Imitating Christ’s Humility
2 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.
Almighty God, your mercy has no limits and your goodness has no borders. By your love alone we are yours. Today we celebrate your presence in our lives and your sustaining grace in all we face. Help us to keep our focus on you as the challenges and trail of life would seek to draw our attention elsewhere.
As our Great Physician, we affirm that you are at work transforming all things together for our good and ask that your healing mercy would fall on all who are sick today.
Continue to use our doctors and nurse and health professionals as conduits of your mercy and compassion. Guide all who are lost back to your loving embrace.
Fill those who hurt and those who mourn with hope. Remind us all of the wonderful promise of Christ’s presence with us always. Increase the capacity of those who lead us that they may use your wisdom and compassion to work for the common good of us all, especially mindful of those on the margins of society.
Fit us together as your church that our witness and the testimony our lives may become a beacon that draws this community into the fullness of your presence. Hear our prayers today as we ask all these things in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Scripture Lesson- Mark 12:28-33
The First Commandment
28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; 33 and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’—this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Message – Relationships have the Highest Value (on Zoom)
Affirmation of Salem’s Relational Covenant
As the people of Salem United Methodist Church, we acknowledge that we belong first to Jesus Christ, to his church, and to one another. We trust God is at work shaping us into the Body of Christ – reflecting his love and light for all to see. We strive to live together in the following manner:
- By regarding our relationship to Christ and with one another more precious that any issue we face.
- By speaking the truth in love at all times – seeking first to understand before demanding we are understood.
- By approaching another with humility, integrity, and respect remaining open to clarification until there is understanding between one another
- By agreeing to disagree in love at times for the sake of our relationship with Christ and one another.
- By going directly to the person(s) involved when we feel that we have been wronged in accordance to Matthew 18:15-20.
- By clothing all our conversations and interactions with one another in prayer.
Hymn – Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
Benediction – Now may the God of all grace, who has called you to eternal glory with Christ, establish you in his love and strengthen you through the power of the Holy Spirit. May you walk in his love and share his peace with everyone you meet. Amen.
Kent Smith, Pastor
Salem United Methodist Church