First Christian Church, Grand Junction – Praising God, Changing Lives!

August 16, 2020 At-Home Worship Plan

20th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020
At-Home Worship Plan
First Christian Church, Grand Junction
August 16, 2020


  • Communion Elements
  • A computer/tablet/phone for looking up the worshipful songs.  You could also use a hymnal and an instrument.
  • YOUTUBE Sermon and Hymns – A video of Pastor Brad preaching will be on the First Christian Church Youtube site.  Visit the First Christian Church Grand Junction Colorado YouTube Channel to find the playlists for the sermon and the hymns for the day.  The playlists of the videos for each are also accessible from our website.


Song of Praise

(You can look up the lyrics/music in a hymnal or on hymnary.org)

  • “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” #67


God of Justice,

By your love for people and your desire that all human needs be met, you show us a better way to live, a way of and into your kingdom.  Strengthen us as we gather to worship you to attune our hearts, minds, and wills to your own, that we might become the instruments by which your kingdom becomes present on this earth now and always.   We pray this in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray…

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
Lead us, not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
And the power, and the glory
Forever.  Amen.

Morning Prayer

(Share joys and concerns, then have someone pray the following prayer or one of your own.)

Eternal God, in gratitude and great joy we thank and praise you for your good desires for all people, for your desire that we will live in blessedness rather than pain, that we will live in abundance rather than need.  Help us to live each day out of a sense of your love for us that compels us to share your love with all and to do what we can to meet the needs of all, especially the needs of people right in front of us.

As we celebrate your love that is the source of justice, help us each time we experience a met need, each time we experience the joy of a met need in life, to seek and discover how our joy is the result of your love and your guidance, how our joy is the result of your blessing upon us…joys like those mentioned in this service of worship.

Even as we give thanks for the joys you make possible, we know there are people who struggle to find joy, people who struggle to know your work and your love for us, and so we ask also for your strength to entrust the needs of this world and its inhabitants to you.  We entrust to your care this day:

  • All who are on our congregation’s prayer list, and all who have been mentioned by name in our worship;
  • All who suffer from abuse or oppression;
  • All who struggle with anxiety or distress;
  • All who suffer from lack of food, water, shelter, or loving relationships;
  • All who suffer from injury or illness;
  • All who mourn or grieve;
  • All who struggle with quarantines and lockdowns, as well as those whose bodies are being ravaged by COVID-19;
  • All who struggle in their efforts to follow Jesus;
  • All who fear the power of your outpoured Spirit;
  • All who refuse to seek you;
  • For all who have need but who go unnamed;

For all who have need of your intervention, O God, grant them what you know they need; respond to these prayers in the way you see as being best, the way that will turn shouts of pain and suffering into shouts of joy, the way that will bring glory to your name.

God of steadfast love and justice for all, we thank you for making it possible by the scriptures for us to know how to live into your kingdom, how to live by identifying and meeting the needs of those around us.  Strengthen us daily to live justly, to help others, that we may experience the blessing of living in your kingdom.

We pray, as we live, through Jesus the risen one, and in the power of the Holy Spirit…Amen.

Scripture and Message (Sermon)

Read the scripture passage from pastor Brad’s sermon and then read, listen to, or watch (on YouTube) the sermon.  The text and audio of the sermon – as well as a video – can be found on our congregation’s website at gjdisciples.org under the “Sermons” tab.


    1. Invitation – Meeting the present needs of people around us.  That’s what Jesus told us is the key to living into God’s kingdom out of and into each present moment.  Y’all, that’s also a great big part of what this weekly opportunity for offering is all about. Sure, there’s an individual component to this meeting needs thing.  If you see a need in front of you, don’t wait until Sunday morning to place an offering in the basket and assume that’s going to meet the need right in front of you.  BUT, there’s also a communal component to meeting needs.  We give to God’s work through this congregation and region and denomination because God can meet more needs through our collective resources than God can meet through our individual efforts and resources.   So, please consider how God is calling you to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, give shelter to the homeless, visit those in need of a visit, and welcome the stranger by your giving to God through FCCGJ.  Let’s be in the Spirit of Christian giving.
    2. If you feel called to respond by making a monetary gift to continue God’s work through FCCGJ, you can do so right now in one of three ways:
      1. Write a check to First Christian Church and mail it to FCCGJ, 1326 N. 1st Street, Grand Junction, CO 81501.
      2. On your cellphone, text GIVE2FCCGJ (plus the dollar amount you want to give) to 73256.  For example, if you want to offer $50, text GIVE2FCCGJ $50 to 73256.
      3. Via the internet on your computer, go to our congregation’s website at gjdisciples.org, click “online giving” on the top menu bar, and then click on the link under the second bullet point to make an online contribution.
    3. Say a prayer asking for God’s blessing upon whatever gift/commitment you made to God, as well as all the other commitments Jesus’ followers are making this morning.


    1. Invitation to Communion:  Jesus saw a need…right in front of Him.  God’s people needed salvation; that was a BIG need.  We know that Jesus didn’t exactly want to go to the cross; who would?  And so Jesus asked God to “remove this cup” from Him, but only if it was God’s will.  Ultimately, Jesus went along with God’s plan; Jesus did what He could to meet the greatest need of humanity right in front of Him.  In so doing, He set the perfect example of God’s justice for us to follow.  Consider how God calls you to follow in meeting the needs in front of you as you prepare to partake of this communion meal.
    2. Communion Hymn – “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory” #705 
    3. Prayer – God who calls us to follow Jesus’ example of meeting the needs in front of us, grant by this bread, which is Jesus’ body broken, and this cup, which is Jesus’ blood shed for us, we followers of Jesus will remember ALL the ways Jesus spent His life and ministry and death meeting the needs in front of Him.  Grant also that we will be strengthened by this meal and this encounter with Jesus to go and do likewise. I pray these things in the name of Jesus and by the power of your Holy Spirit, Amen.
    4.  Words of Institution:  We remember that on the night Jesus was to be betrayed, he sat around a table with his disciples and shared a meal.  While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread and, after giving thanks, broke it and gave it to them, saying, “Take, eat.  This is my body, broken for you.”  In the same way, Jesus took a cup, and after blessing it, said, “This is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  Do this in remembrance of me.”
    5. Partake of the bread and cup in your own time.

Closing Song

“Seek Ye First” #354

Closing Prayer/Benediction

Go now as the people of God,
Empowered by the Holy Spirit
And given peace by God’s risen Son,
That you may live by God’s justice,
Meeting the needs right in front of you,
And experience the blessing of God every moment of your life!