WE HAVE RESUMED CORPORATE WORSHIP SUNDAYS AT 10:50AM WITH COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE
First Christian Church, Grand Junction – Praising God, Changing Lives!

May 31, 2020 – Pentecost Sunday – At-Home Worship

Pentecost Sunday

 At-Home Worship Plan
First Christian Church, Grand Junction
May 31, 2020

PREPARATION

  • Red Stuff – It’s Pentecost Sunday.  The liturgical colors switch to red for this day (and we’ll keep them red for the month of June.)  You might even want to make something to represent “tongues of fire” to wave during your singing of “On Pentecost They Gathered” and during the reading of the Pentecost Scripture from Acts 2.
  • Communion Elements
  • A computer/tablet/phone for looking up the worshipful songs.  You could also use a hymnal and an instrument.
  • Make a list of people who you would like to remember during our Memorial Sunday observance (people who have died in service to this nation.)
  • 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

Celebration of Pentecost

  • “On Pentecost They Gathered” (sing or listen to)
  • Pentecost Scripture Reading – Read Acts 2:1-13
  • Reflect on Being Church – Today is the day of Pentecost, the day we remember as the birth day of the C=universal Church.  Reflect on your own or reflect out loud with others who are with you on the history, purpose, power, and witness of Christ’s Universal Church.  Why does it matter that there is a large body of believers instead of faith being something exclusively between one person and God?

Invocation

God of Pentecost,

Almost two thousand years ago, you poured out your Spirit upon Jesus’ believers who had gathered in Jerusalem for the Festival of Weeks, for Pentecost.  On that day, you gave those disciples – and all disciples of Jesus since – a great gift of amazing power.  Open us to your presence by that gift, by your Spirit, and help us to receive, accept, and live by the power of your Spirit, that we might continue Jesus’ ministry in our time and participate in the work of your Spirit to achieve your will, the common good, throughout the world.  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 power, in gratitude and great joy we thank and praise you for the gifts of Pentecost, for the outpouring of your Holy Spirit among us.  Help us to discover the wonder of your Spirit among us and upon us.  Help us to know the joy of the power your Spirit offers.

As we celebrate the outpouring of your Spirit, attune us to the many gifts and joys of life you offer daily…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 the Spirit’s power in their lives, 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 Pentecost, we thank you for the trust you show by the gift of your Spirit.  Help us to be worthy recipients of your trust.

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 second 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.

Offering

    1. Invitation – In our reading today, we remembered one of God’s greatest gifts to the world: the gift of God’s Holy Spirit outpoured on all who follow Jesus to achieve the common good.  The history of God’s interaction with people is a history absolutely filled with gifts from God to us.  Consider how you should, and how you will, respond to God’s amazing gifts.
    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:  I mentioned in my sermon that there’s quite a bit of fear surrounding the power of God’s Holy Spirit.  I believe that’s true historically, as well as today.  You might even find yourself more than a little bit afraid of experiencing the Spirit of God flowing and working through you in such a powerful way.  Fortunately, when we’re afraid, especially when we face fear associated with the challenges of doing all God calls us to do, we can turn to this meal.  In the bread and cup, Jesus will encounter you to offer you peace amidst your fear.  In this meal,  Jesus will encounter you to ease your fears.  As you prepare to partake of this meal, open yourself to allow Jesus’ comforting and peaceful presence to calm and strengthen you.
    2. Communion Hymn – “An Upper Room Did Our Lord Prepare” 
    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 find the strength and peace of 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.

 

Memorial Sunday Observance – Each year, on the last Monday of the month of May, the citizens of our country take time to remember, to honor, the men and women who have died while in military service to our nation.  This year, we have chosen to remember those who have given their lives for the dual causes of peace and freedom from human oppression – causes Jesus so vigorously pursued – on the last Sunday of the month, today.

Please take some time now to remember those you’ve known and those you haven’t known who have given their lives for these causes.

Prayer:

God,
As we remember those who died in war for the cause of peace,
As we look to the future of our children and grandchildren,
As we think of the war-torn, blood-stained, sorrowful world,
Make us peacemakers.
Lord, hear our prayer.
Hear our prayer of remembrance and gratitude for fallen peacemakers.
Hear our prayer for peace, and come to us in perfect love to drive away our fear.
We pray this in the name of Jesus, the Christ, Amen.

Closing Song

“Sister, Let Me Be Your Servant” (aka “The Servant Song”)

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 might participate in achieving God’s will on earth.
Amen.