A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Sunday (May 10) Online Worship Service Athens First UMC

Welcome to our (May 10/Mothers’ Day) online worship @ Athens First UMC!
2 S. College St., Athens, OH 45701

Greeting From Pastor Robert

[This is a new large sign that will be placed on the wall along our education hallway in the Lower Level of the church. Thank you, Christian education team for this wonderful addition and creative way to help us remember our church’s weekly benediction that we are all a “blessed, beloved, and beautiful child of God.”]

Call to Worship
L: Welcome home, people of God.
P: We have come to find refuge in the shelter of God’s care.
L: Come and sit down. There is room for everyone in God’s house.
P: We have come to be nourished by God’s word.
L: We are God’s own people, and are precious in God’s sight.
P: We have come to give thanks for God’s inclusive and faithful love!

Hymn      O Church of God, United

Welcome & Passing the Peace
[Lulu and Blu, the McDowell westies love their mommy! They invite you to greet one another in your homes, not by rubbing noses, but by simply barking out, “The peace of Christ be with you!”]

Prayer of Confession & Words of Assurance
Holy One, we confess that we are often more focused on boundaries that exclude people rather than upon your boundless grace. Through the strength of your Spirit, widen our capacity to embrace all people and affirm their worth and dignity. As we proclaim the dawn of your reign of justice and peace, remind us of your promise that in God’s house there is always plenty of room. Teach us to widen your circle of love that welcomes all into your kingdom. Amen.
L: In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.
P: In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.
All: Thanks be to God!

Children’s Moments Kathy Mangen & Sarah Mangen (Mother/Daughter)

Mother/Daughters Song      Peace Like a River
Laura Brown & Daughters, Morgan & Caroline

Scripture Lessons I Peter 2:2-10 & John 14:1-14 
Laura Brown & Daughter, Morgan

[Our I Peter reading offers one of the most profound statements about who we are as God’s people. We are a royal priesthood and have been called to leave the darkness and live in God’s marvelous light! Our Gospel reading is part of Jesus’ farewell discourse in preparing his disciples when he would be leaving them. Jesus is assuring them that there is plenty of room in God’s kingdom.]

Special Music  I Choose You, Deborah Governor
The Cathedral Choir of Hyde Park UMC Cincinnati, OH   
Brenda Portman, organist; Neil Hamlin, director

Sermon             More than Enough Room
 Rev. Robert McDowell

[Pastor Robert during his tour of the Stan Hywet mansion in Akron, OH this past summer. This tour made it into today’s sermon. “In my Father’s house, there are many mansions.” There is truly more than enough room for everyone in God’s kingdom.]

Testimony  Logan Waldie, Leadership Board
(Recorded for October 5, 2019 Worship Service)

Sermon Discussion Questions
Share your reflections about Logan’s testimony in which he shares about his personal faith journey regarding issues related to human sexuality. Why do you think there are so many different views about this important issue?
Why do you think that Jesus was telling the disciples that there is more than enough room for them? Have you ever felt like there wasn’t enough room for you to be included in God’s kingdom?
Do you know of anybody who feels excluded by God or the church? Why do some people feel excluded by God?
Share some examples of how you see the church including people and welcoming all.

Hymn                In Christ There Is No East or West

Pastoral Prayer & The Lord’s Prayer

Church News
[The following announcement slides below are to help us stay connected as a church especially since we are unable to gather in our church building for weekly worship. Please scroll down through the announcements, and our online service will continue with another video.]

Offering Our Gifts

Thank you for your gifts!!!
“Riches and honor come from You, and You are the ruler of everything. Power and might are in Your hand, and it is in Your hand to make great and to give strength to all.”  1 Chronicles 29:12

Closing Hymn                     When We All Get to Heaven


Join us back here next week (May 17) for our online worship!
For previous online worship services, click here.

Church Toys & Mothers Pictures

Happy Mothers’ Day!!

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