Worship Wherever We Are

Lebanon United Methodist Church

creating a place at the table (even the virutal one) for everyone

 

God is praised from every time and place! In these new and challenging circumstances, our worship together looks a little-- okay a lot-- different, but it still carries on. Welcome, people of God, to worship with the folks of Lebanon UMC and beyond. 

You can share the link to this page, or the videos themselves, with others; what a unique opportunity we suddenly have to share the love of God and the connection of our community far beyond our region!

You can find previous worship guides, messages, and links here

Check out what we are offering for worship wherever you are each week

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Centering

 How can you make the space you are in right now feel more sacred? Light a candle? Play soft music? Look out the window? You are on holy ground, no matter where you are. God is with you. 

You are invited to take a deep breath. Let it out with a sigh. And another. May we never take so simple-- so essential, so miraculous-- a thing as breathing for granted. Thank you, God, for breathing life into us this day. 

Perhaps you would like to center yourself with the song, "Sanctuary," a reminder that we don't need to meet in any specific place, because we are God's sanctuary, or with "Holy Ground," reminding us that everywhere we are is holy ground. 

 

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Worship outline - Week of Sunday, March 29

 

Opening Prayer - (by Becca) 

God of connection and community, we feel utterly alone. We are disjointed and cut off, isolated, quarantined, confined. We, who have held hands and dried tears and offered hugs and just sat together, all to embody your presence in the world-- we are not able to do what we know how to do, to be who we know to be. What now? Dried up and scattered like bones in a vast desert, we wonder: can hope spring up again? Can love forge connections that transcend the space between us? Can these bones-- old bones, dry bones, tired bones, lonely bones-- find life? 

The first robins in the yard, the crocus sprout that survived the spring snow, the freind who called right when we needed someone to talk to-- these whisper your answer, borne on the breath of a spring breeze. Help us listen; help us trust; help us persevere. Deepen our connection with you, the One who knows where hope will be reborn, who sees the flower in the bulb, the tree in the seed, and the resilient, faithful child of God in even the most frightened and lonely heart. Amen. 

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Optional - Begin the playlist for today's worship now
Click the link and start the playlist, pausing after the message for a prayer, Joys, Concerns, and Connections, and the closing prayer, then concluding the playlist. Or, you can click through and pick/choose from the videos one by one below. 

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Music for Centering or Singing Along - God knows when and how hope emerges.
Hymn of Promise, by Natalie Sleeth (uncredited singers) 

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A Time for the Child in All of Us ... Click here to watch Children's Time for 03-29-2020

  

Pastor Becca and William are playing with blocks. How can we make our creations feel less like a bunch of blocks and more like a "real" thing? With imagination! 

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Centering Song - We are part of God's body together, and we need one another.
I Need You to Survive, by Hezekiah Walker & LFC

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Scripture Readings (also read during the message video)  
     1 Corinthains 12:12-27
     Ezekiel 37:1-14

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Message - More than a Pile of Bones
     Message for 03-29-20

  

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Image to the right: "And then the whole world walked inside and shut their doors and said we will stop it all. Everything. To protect our weaker ones. Our sicker ones. Our older ones. And nothing. Nothing in the history of humankind ever felt more like love than this." - attributed to Chelsie Diane


Prayer 
- by Maren Tirabassi

Prayer for those who are alone

God, we pray for those who have touched
computer keys or phone touchscreen
(or both) thousands of times,
since they last touched human skin --
for both extroverts, who are fatigued,
unable to generate any energy,
and introverts, charged up
with nowhere to share renewed compassion.

We pray for those who decided to skip deodorant,
and now have not washed their hair
for days and days and days,
and for people who never, ever thought
they would not be satisfied with dog’s devotion
or the sufferance of the cat.

We pray for those who have signed up
for free Gratefulness.org courses,
My Fitness routines,
binged some fabulous new shows,
play online scrabble with friends,
and who know that a single phone call
can be an offertory-worthy gift,

and those who feel like they don’t care.

We pray for those with newly cleaned closets,
and those with dirty underwear
underfoot ... everywhere
because no one is going to see it.

We know you are with everyone who is alone,
and pray they feel it at least once a day,
and we pray for the ones
whom lonely is damaging --
that they may have
human attention, maybe ours. amen

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Responding to God with Thanksgiving - Offering our Gifts and our Selves

Even in these difficult times, we are abundantly blessed with love and grace and the opportunity to serve. As you are able, you are invited to continue giving your gifts of time, talent, and treasure to God. In prayer and connection to one another, we serve God with our time; as you sew masks, or call somoene who is lonely, or practice isolation for the safety of others, you are serving God with your actions and your talent. How are you called to give of your treasure, to give thanks to God and to equip the ministry we continue to do in our community and around the world? Please mail your offering to the church (18 School St., Lebanon NH 03766) where it will be handled with safety for our counters, or contact our financial secretary to establish automatic bank payments.

God, we thank you for the abundance with which you bless us, even and especially in times of fear and sickness and isolation. Receive our gifts, our love of you and of your children, and our hearts in gratitude and hope. Amen. 

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Joys, Concerns, and Connections - Praying together

Join us Sunday at 11 am as we pray together across the distance that separates us. In the mystery and miracle of God, we are one despite the limits of time and space! And with the help, imperfect as it it, of technology, we can hear one another, maybe even see one another, and share our prayers together. 

From your web browserclick here to join the teleconference
Zoom app and desktop users, enter Meeting ID 682 470 579
People calling in by phone can dial: 1-929-205-6099, 
and enter when prompted: 682 470 579

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Closing Song - Even while apart, we are connected by God's love.
Blest be the Tie that Binds, by Charles Elmer Szabo, (c) 2019 BMI

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Benediction - This "virtual choir" of Nashville performing artists helps demonstrate how faith, connection, and music can transcend the distances between us, reminding us that we are indeed one.
It is Well With My Soul, arr. David Wise, The Nashville Studio Singer Community

 

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, be with you and comfort you. 

photo credits: crocus by Vickie Mathews; heart hands by johan van den berg; both from FreeImages; poster photo found on reddit.

 

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Our Virtual Worship Offerings:

Worship Guide - No later than 10:30 am on Sundays, this space will offer a worship guide including videos of music and messages, which you can watch (and pray and sing along) from wherever you are. 

Joys, Concerns, & Connections - Join us Sundays at 11 am as we pray together across the distance that separates us. 

From your web browserclick here to join the teleconference
Zoom app and desktop users, enter Meeting ID 682 470 579
People calling in by phone can dial: 1-929-205-6099, 
and enter when prompted: 682 470 579

Mid-Week Message of Assurance & Action - Each week, Pastor Becca and Pastor Sean will post a short video message offering a word of assurance and a call to a simple action you can take. This video will be posted to this page, to Facebook, and on Pastor Becca's YouTube channel

Mailings and Phone Calls - Weekley announcement updates and summaries of the previous week's messages and prayer requests will be mailed to those who do not have internet access. Time-sensitive announcements will go out via a phone tree. 

 

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