Dear Salem Church Family,
Happy New Year! With joy, hope, and faith we embrace a new year of God’s abiding love confident that his watchful care and faithfulness will continue to reveal his grace in our lives.
Thank you for your hospitality to our friends from Pleasant Grove Union Church last month as we shared the pulpit with our sister church just over Hamburg Mountain. For those who are able to gather together, our in-person worship begins at 10:00am this morning. We will be sharing in Holy Communion as part of our worship today.
Please review the following guidelines we have adopted and incorporated for in-person gatherings. Thank you for continued commitment to care for one another through this measures.
– 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 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.
Below you will find a brief order of worship designed to be a guide for those who would like to join in personal, online worship. There are blue links embedded into the order of worship that will redirect you to hymns and the message. The hymns are offered through YouTube and you may be asked to watch a brief advertisement before the hymn will play.
Each of you is invited to join me Wednesday evening at 7:00pm. Our Bible Study hour resume and we being a new study with a focus on Ephesians. The first week will focus on Ephesians 1:1-23. I will send the zoom invitation for this meaningful time on Tuesday. I am looking forward to studying with you and learning from you.
Now, my our heart united us together as we seek to glorify God through our worship.
Order of worship for Sunday, January 3rd, 2021
Call to Worship: Psalm 27
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
To gaze upon the beauty of the Lord;
and to seek him in his temple.
Hymn: Fairest Lord Jesus
Almighty God, fill us anew today with your love. Anchor our faith in the strength of your Son and equip us to become beacons of hope for your world. Receive our worship as an offering of love and devotion for you alone are worthy of all our praise. This we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Scripture Lesson: Philippians 4:4-9 (NRSV)
4 Rejoice[a] in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.[b] 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, beloved,[c] whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about[d] these things. 9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
Gracious and Holy God, we bow before grateful for your steadfast love. Your watch care and providence have brought a new year filled with hope. Thank you for weaving your love and grace into every one of our days – from beginning to end your blessings are abundant.
Infuse our lives with your love so that we may become ambassadors of your tender mercy. Today we pray for one another and all in need of your presence. Heal the sick, comfort the grief stricken, and mend the brokenhearted. Bring your peace to all the places and homes where chaos wreaks havoc.
Continue to undergird our doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals with your compassion as they seek to bring healing and comfort to all who are ill. Direct and guide all who govern, both our religious and civic leaders, in the ways of your wisdom.
Empower them to bring about your good purposes for all your children. Lead us, as your church, into the abundant blessing you extend as we seek to share your love and goodness with the community around us. May all who are weary, find shelter in your presence today.
These things we ask through the strength Jesus grants as we pray the prayer he taught his 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.
Scripture Lesson: Luke 6:27-36 (NRSV)
Love for Enemies
27 “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.[a] Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Message: Playing by the Rules
Hymn: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Now, may the God of all grace, who has called us to eternal glory in Christ, establish and strengthen you by the power of the Spirit, that you may walk in his grace and abide in his peace today and always. Amen.
Kent Smith, Pastor
Salem United Methodist Church