WE PLAN TO RESUME CORPORATE WORSHIP ON MAY 31, 2020 – PENTECOST SUNDAY.
First Christian Church, Grand Junction – Praising God, Changing Lives!

May 24, 2020 At-Home Worship Plan

Seventh Sunday of Eastertide (Ascension Sunday)
At-Home Worship Plan
First Christian Church, Grand Junction
May 24, 2020

PREPARATION

  • Paschal Candle – If we were worshipping in the sanctuary, we would keep the Paschal Candle lit on Sunday mornings until Pentecost, so I’ll encourage you to do the same throughout Eastertide during your at-home worship.  You can use any candle you like from around your house.  Place it in your worship space, have a lighter ready, and plan to light it at the beginning of your at-home worship through Pentecost Sunday or when we return for corporate worship, whichever comes first.
  • 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.

ORDER OF WORSHIP

Songs of Praise

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

  • “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”
  • “God, Whose Giving, Knows No Ending”

Invocation

God of Resurrection and New Life,

In a locked room long ago, you sent your risen Son to strengthen your disciples to continue your ministry.   More than a month later, as the risen Jesus ascended into the heavens, you sent angels to remind the disciples that their call and ministry remained firmly on this earth.  Just as you provided those disciples what they needed to continue Jesus’ ministry and take the gospel to the ends of the earth, provide us what we need today to continue Jesus’ earthly ministry in our own time.  We pray this in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray…

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed by 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.)

God of life, in gratitude and great joy we thank and praise you for the gifts of Jesus’ resurrection.  Help us to discover all the risen Christ provided that will help us live into the power of resurrection.

As we continue our celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, strengthen us to look always for the many ways you make joy in life possible…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, 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 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 life, thank you for the mystery planted within us, the paradox of life from death and community from scattered disciples.

We praise you for the dying that saves us from death, and for the rising which brings us new life.

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 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.

Offering

    1. Invitation – In our reading today, the risen Christ gave his disciples a clear command of sending forth, complete with instructions for how to live as sent forth by Christ: make disciples, baptize, teach.  Just as the risen Christ sent those disciples, the risen Christ sends us.  Consider how you will respond to Christ’s sending forth of YOU.
    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.

Communion

    1. Invitation to Communion:  Taking our eyes off the heavens, taking our eyes off the eternal future that awaits us, can be a daunting task.  The needs of the world loom overwhelming before us.  Have courage; Jesus did not leave us to face this task alone.  No, Jesus stands before us with a meal of strength, a meal to provide us all we need to continue his ministry in this place.  Let us prepare to partake of that meal.
    2. Communion Hymn – “In Remembrance of Me” 
    3. Prayer – God of strength, grant by this bread, which is Jesus’ body broken, and this cup, which is Jesus’ blood shed for us, we followers of Jesus will recognize Jesus’ presence in our midst.  Grant that we will recognize Jesus’ presence in such a way that we will receive strength to fulfill the ministry to which you call us and for which you equip us.  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 of Celebration

“He Lives!”

Easter Blessing (Closing Prayer for the Season of Eastertide)

Through the resurrection of Jesus,
God has given us new life.
May God bless us with joy
And lead us continually into new life.
Amen.