This Sunday we are continuing in our new series called "God is Holding Your Life". This week we are going to look at the truth that there is no where you can go, run to, or hide where God is not with you and holding you. We are going to explore this in a way that might help us in times like this. This week we need to be in prayer for our nation as we continue the transition of power from own elected President to the next one. It is a hallmark of our democracy and as Christians we are called to pray for ALL our elected leaders. We pray for them when we agree with their policies, we pray for them when we disagree with their policies. The prayer must be earnest and heartfelt, regardless of who holds the office, and we must be fervent in our prayers for our leaders. I know most of you already do this but I just wanted to stress that prayer is needed in this coming week as tension and stress are high for so many. God is holding our lives, our leaders, and world and we must know there is not a place where we can go that God doesn't see our true heart. If our heart has hate or we have malicious thoughts about our leaders, even if we try to pretend it is not there, God knows our heart. We do not have to agree with our leaders, we can voice our concerns about policies and actions, BUT we must pray for our elected officials with love in our hearts for our fellow humans who hold offices. God knows our heart and there in no where we can go where God does not know our true heart. One part of worship is it's a time where we offer the truth of how we have failed to follow the way of God's love, how we have done and said things that are hurtful in God's eyes. We offer it up, even though God already knows, and God knows when we offer it up but are not being truthful about our remorse or plans to change our ways. Worship is a centering time where we remind ourselves we are not our own but we belong to God who has called us to love one another. Let us love God and let us love one another as we come to worship this week.
The bulletin is attached but the words to most songs are no longer in the bulletin. The songs that are meant for us to sing will have the words on the screen. What is important is not whether we sing along but whether we allow the message of them to wash over us, if we truly enter into worship, and let God restore us with the music that is part of the service. While the structure is a little different and a little more reflective, I know many who let them so enter it, had their souls moved last week. I hope this format will allow us to do that as we travel toward Lent.
We are continuing to offer many ways to worship. The downstairs Fellowship Hall is available to worship and there is plenty of room for all who come to have safe space between others. I know those that have come have enjoyed being able to be in community with others and that their souls needed that. At this time we are still not in the sanctuary because it cannot be done safely and at the same time me be able to fully connect with the many who still wish to worship from home. Our Fellowship Hall worship space with altar allows people to come together in a space where everyone is masked and all can easily maintain safe distance. To give you an idea of numbers, we have had between 10-15 people worshipping in Fellowship Hall and can safely accommodate double that (if not more). So if your soul needs to be with others for a time we offer this but know that for now it is safer to stay at home and utilize the many other ways we offer for you to worship together.
We will start the Facebook Livestream at @8:50am and you will see message on the screen and hear music playing. This is the best option if you want to interact with others online. Feel free to chat to each other before and during the service. You can put prayer requests in the chat. This is great way to be able to interact with others if you watch it live with others in your church family who are staying home but want to worship as part of an online community. It will continue to be there to watch later and feel free to share or create watch parties in order to share it with others.
You can catch this livestream on our Toms Creek UMC channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX6E7eCwH2ZGYspkSCF0CGw/featured. We will start the YouTube Livestream at 8:50 am and you will see announcements scroll and hear music playing. This format is best if you are watching on a television or large screen with lots of people gathered around. You can have it fill the whole screen and just watch it without any distractions. There is a way to chat on YouTube but it normally has a lot less people and is normally a lot less chatty than the our Facebook livestream. If you subscribe to our channel it will let you know when we go live in future weeks. Later in the day another shorter version of the service is posted but for this coming series I recommend taking in the entire worship experience.
You can go to our website here https://www.tomscreekumc.com/service-videos and by Monday morning there should be a version of our service. Sometimes the whole service is there instead of the shortened version depending on different factors.
You can also use a phone to listen to our service by calling 857-799-9465 from any phone starting at 8:50 am. This will only have sound coming through and you will not be able to see anything that is occurring. If you would like we can we make a DVD of the service for you to watch just let the church office or Pastor Heath know.
you can go to our website and hit the donate button on our webpage
you can mail your offering to:
Tom's Creek United Methodist Church
10926 Simmons Road
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
Friends, we cannot let ourselves get so worked up that we forget that God is holding us. We must not forget that all we say and do is seen and heard by God. More than that there is no where we can go where God does not know what we truly think and what we truly feel. We can put on a show for others but God knows us and there is no escaping God knowing our thoughts and hearts. So we come to worship to be reminded we are on a journey and part of our task is to find more and more ways for what we do to be pleasant in the sight of the Lord. It helps to ground us for how we will act and be in the week to come. I think this coming week we will need to have ourselves grounded in that truth so we may not enter into the pits but help ourselves and others to meet the lofty and love filled goals God has set for us as followers of Christ. May we live up to those lofty ideals and may worship prepare our hearts to be able to achieve those holy standards God has set for us in the weeks to come.