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

Thanksgiving Sunday – November 22, 2020 – At-Home Worship Plan

Thanksgiving Sunday 2020
At-Home Worship Plan
First Christian Church, Grand Junction
November 22, 2020

PREPARATION

  • 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

Song of Praise

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

  • “Come, Ye Thankful People Come” #718

Invocation

God who is good,

Help us on this day and in this service of worship to proclaim with King David:

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34)

Strengthen our hearts and voices to sing your praises regardless of our circumstance, that we might not just proclaim your steadfast love but also experience it frequently and live by it daily.   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.

Anthem – “Thankful” by Josh Groban

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kiU65jzqhc

Litany of Thanksgiving/MorningPrayer

[This Litany of Thanksgiving – which will also serve as our Morning Prayer – was adapted from one found in The Book of Common Prayer.  If you have more than one person, select a person to read each of the “One Voice” readings and have everyone read together the “All Voices” readings.  If you are by yourself, read everything.]

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

JOYS

  • Cole Barton has received his ship date for basic training – January 12, 2021.  His assignment will be in Air Force Intelligence.

LITANY OF THANKSGIVING

One Voice: Give thanks to the Lord who is good. God’s love is everlasting. Come, let us praise God joyfully. Let us come to God with thanksgiving. For the good world; for things great and small, beautiful and awesome; for seen and unseen splendors; for the joys offered up in this service of worship.

All Voices:  We thank and praise you, O God. 

One Voice: For human life; for talking and moving and thinking together; for common hopes and hardships shared from birth until our dying.

All Voices: We thank and praise you, O God. 

One Voice: For work to do and strength to work; for the comradeship of labor; for exchanges of good humor and encouragement; 

All Voices: We thank and praise you, O God.

One Voice: For marriage; for the mystery and joy of flesh made one; for mutual forgiveness and burdens shared; for secrets kept in love;

All Voices: We thank and praise you, O God.

One Voice: For family; for living together and eating together; for family amusements and family pleasures; 

All Voices: We thank and praise you, O God.

One Voice: For children; for their energy and curiosity; for their brave play and startling frankness; for their sudden sympathies; 

All Voices: We thank and praise you, O God. 

One Voice: For the young; for their high hopes; for their irreverence toward worn-out values; for their search for freedom; for their solemn vows; 

All Voices: We thank and praise you, O God. 

One Voice: For growing up and growing old; for wisdom deepened by experience; for rest in leisure; and for time made precious by its passing; 

All Voices: We thank and praise you, O God. 

One Voice: For your help in times of doubt and sorrow; for healing our diseases; for preserving us in temptation and danger; 

All Voices: We thank and praise you, O God. 

One Voice: For the church into which we have been called; for the good news we receive by Word and Sacrament; for our life together in the Lord; 

All Voices: We thank and praise you, O God. 

One Voice: For your Holy Spirit, who guides our steps and brings us gifts of faith and love; who prays in us and prompts our grateful worship; 

All Voices: We thank and praise you, O God.

One Voice: Above all, O God, for your Son Jesus Christ, who lived and died and lives again for our salvation; for our hope in him; and for the joy of serving him; 

All Voices: We thank and praise you, O God. 

God who is worthy to be praised, God who is worthy of our Thanks-giving, even as we give you praise and thanks for who you are and all you’ve done, we recognize that your work of bringing the world around to your great desires for it is not complete.  And so we lift up the people in need that have been mentioned in this service of worship.  We lift up the people in need in all the world, entrusting them to you, waiting with hopeful expectation for your response.  And we now lift up to you the silent joys and concerns of our hearts that we are not ready to say aloud…[SILENCE.] We pray all of this in the name of Jesus (and by the power of the Holy Spirit)…Amen.

Scripture and Message (Sermon)

Read the scripture passages 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

Invitation.  The Apostle Paul wrote, “the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”  I mentioned in the sermon that I don’t think this is about God multiplying your income if you give more toward God’s purposes.  So, please, don’t think of it like that.  However, these words are STILL about giving, and they are true.  The more you give toward God’s purposes – whether your giving be in terms of time, talents, or money/stuff – the more you give, the more you will notice God’s abundance around you.  In other words, the more you give the more bounteous will be your experience of life.

If you’ve never tried this and you wonder why you’re not experiencing life the way you desire to experience life, even why you’re not experiencing life the way God promises you CAN experience life, it might be time for a change in your approach to giving and dedication/commitment to God and God’s purposes.  Let’s be in the spirit of Christian giving.

Response.  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.

Offering Prayer.  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

Invitation to Communion. “When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us, you forgive our transgressions.”

Even the psalmists were aware of God’s forgiveness…hundreds of years before Jesus was born.  How much more should WE be aware of God’s forgiveness…thousands of years after Jesus’ birth and thousands of years after the institution of this meal of which we partake as a weekly reminder of God’s forgiveness?

As you approach the Thanksgiving holiday this week, if you’re looking for a specific reason to give thanks but cannot find one, look no further than this meal and your remembrance of all Jesus gave for you…and give thanks for that.  Let us prepare to partake!

Communion Hymn. “For the Fruit of All Creation” #714 

Prayer.  God who gave your Son that we might have new life, real life, eternal life…bless this bread and cup, and help us by our partaking of these elements to remember and know your love for us…as the ultimate reason to give thanks.  I pray these things in the name of Jesus and by the power of your Holy Spirit, Amen.

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.”

Partake of the bread and cup in your own time.

Closing Song

“Now Thank We All Our God” #715

Closing Prayer/Benediction

Go now as the people of God,
Giving thanks for all God has done
Regardless of your current circumstance.
Go in the name of Jesus
And by the power of God’s Holy Spirit.
Amen.