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, June 14, 2020

Online Worship (June 14) Athens First UMC

Welcome to our (June 14) online worship @ Athens First UMC!
2 S. College St., Athens, OH 45701

Greeting From Pastor Robert

Call to Worship 
L: Laugh with Sarah, as life grows within the womb of an old woman. Stand in amazement with the crowds as illiterate fishermen perform the miracles of God. Forget what you think you know. Expect miracles for with God, all things are possible. 
All: We come to worship knowing that God is speaking a new word of hope for us today.

Hymn       Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

  1. Welcome & Passing the Peace
[This is Michelle Shively’s dog, Teddy. Teddy has attended Kappa Phi meetings at our church and once stopped by to say “hi” to a new member class. Teddy loves people and invites us to greet one another, not by rubbing noses, but by simply barking, “The peace of Christ be with you!”]

Prayer of Confession & Words of Assurance
God of steadfast mercy and grace, thank you for revealing yourself to us again and again. You bless us in more ways than we can even imagine. Your overwhelming goodness seems too good to be true. Forgive us for routinely forgetting just how much you truly love us. Open our ears to hear you speak your word of hope, assurance, guidance, and protection. Teach us what it means to be good listeners of all that you want to say to us this day and this upcoming week. Speak to us, O God for we are ready to hear you. 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!

Church Toys Special Music   Directors - Kristin Kerwin & Kathy Mangen

Scripture Lessons - Genesis 18:1-15 & Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19   
Michelle Shively
[In our Genesis reading, God has promised that he will be God of Abraham and of his descendants. The only obligation God has placed on Abraham is that he, and his male descendants, be circumcised. When God promises that Abraham and Sarah will have a son, they both laugh not realizing that with God, all things are possible! In our Psalm reading, Psalm 116 is considered a psalm of praise because the psalmist has recognized that with God, all things are possible.]

Special Music   Good to Me, Audrey Assad
[Like, our psalm for today, this song written and sung by Audrey Assad is a prayer of praise celebrating God’s goodness.]

Sermon   Psummer of Psalms: Psalm 116
 Rev. Robert McDowell

Sermon Discussion Questions
Do you have a favorite Psalm? Why is it meaningful to you? 

Since our hymns from the hymnal have a similar function to the Psalms, share your favorite hymn. Why is it meaningful to you?

Share a time when God helped you through what seemed to be an impossible situation.

Are you a good listener? What can we do to become better listeners in our prayers with God? Do you ever wonder if God is listening to our prayers?

When God helps you through a difficult situation, how do you respond? In what ways might we respond with generosity and praise?

Hymn                 Lord, Speak to Me

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    Precious Name


Join us back here next Sunday (June 21) for our online worship service.

[For previous online worship services, click here.]

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