Happy Sunday Salem Church. I trust that each of you was able to enjoy the gorgeous day yesterday in WNC. For those who are able to join us for outdoor worship today at 9:00am, we will be celebrating Holy Communion. Please stop by the table to pick up your communion elements before making your way to the front lawn. I also invite you to review the protocols and practices we have established for gathering outside:
– You are encourage to bring all you need to be comfortable for the duration of the service. i.e. lawn chairs, sun protection, water.
– The lawn has indicators for where family should consider gathering. We are mindful of the healthy distances necessary to keep people safe.
– Face coverings must be properly worn at all times throughout the service.
– We will refrain from singing as a congregation
– The church buildings will be closed. This includes the restrooms.
Thank you for your willingness to go the extra mile in these ways to ensure that we all stay safe.
Below is a brief order of worship, designed to be a guide to your personal worship. The links in blue will redirect you to a Youtube Video. You may have to watch a brief advertisement on YouTube before the hymn will play.
Lastly, please continue to pray for the church leaders meeting with me as we discern the best ways for Salem Church to move forward and make plans to offer indoor worship. We are currently on track to begin indoor worship on October 4th. You should receive more information this week about our plan to offer indoor worship to the community. Thank you for your prayers.
Let our hearts unite and our praise be raised as worship today.
Order of worship for Sunday, September 6
Call to Worship: Psalm 112
Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands.
Even in darkness, light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.
His heart is secure, he will have no fear. His hear is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Opening Hymn: Here I am to Worship
Loving God, we offer our thanks for all you have given to us. We praise you for your astounding goodness. Receive the dedication of our hearts, minds, and bodies for the work of your kingdom. Grant us wisdom as we study your word so that we may employ the gifts you have shared with us to enhance the lives around us. May all see your glory and offer you their heartfelt praise to you. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Scripture Lesson: Ephesians 2:4-10
Ephesians 2:4–10 (NRSV): 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
Almighty God, Lord of love and light, we bow in you presence and offer you the prayers of our hearts. Your grace sustains us in all things and your mercy is renewed every morning. We are your children because you chose to love us – you chose to give us our Savior, Jesus. Fill us anew with your Holy Spirit that our lives may become a walking anthem of praise.
We lift our prayer for those in need today; mindful of those who are sick, hurting, overlooked, and oppressed. Bring your healing peace to each one that may be strengthen by your presence. Continue to bless the work of our doctors, nurses, therapists, and front line workers. Illuminate the anxiety and fear lurking in our hearts with the light of your love and allow us to abide in the comfort of your grace.
Today we pray for world and especially those areas and regions where conflict and strife have lead to fights, battles, and wars. Calm our raging hearts with your peace. Whisper your love into these trouble places and give us courage to be agents of reconciliation for one another. Inspire all who lead and govern with your wisdom, that they may honor justice and compassion as strive to serve the common good that all your children may flourish.
Fill your church with the power of your love and the presence of your spirit that we may shine with light of Christ. Empower our work and witness to transform hearts and lead our neighbors into your saving grace. May your church continue to minster to those in distress and offer your compassion for all who suffer. All this we ask in the name of Christ our Savior. Amen.
Scripture Lesson: Matthew 5:13-16
Matthew 5:13–16 (NRSV): 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Message: Salt and Light – Doing Good Together
Hymn: I want to walk as Child of the Light
Jesus said, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. May Christ, the true light, shine upon you, that you may walk in the ways that lead to life. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Kent Smith, Pastor
Salem United Methodist Church