Worship Wherever We Are

Lebanon United Methodist Church

creating a place at the table (even the virutal one) for everyone

 

God is praised from every time and place! In these new and challenging circumstances, our worship together looks a little-- okay a lot-- different, but it still carries on. Welcome, people of God, to worship with the folks of Lebanon UMC and beyond. 

You can share the link to this page, or the videos themselves, with others; what a unique opportunity we suddenly have to share the love of God and the connection of our community far beyond our region!

You can find previous worship guides, messages, and links here

Check out what we are offering for worship wherever you are each week

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Centering

 How can you make the space you are in right now feel more sacred? Light a candle? Play soft music? Look out the window? You are on holy ground, no matter where you are. God is with you. 

You are invited to take a deep breath. Let it out with a sigh. And another. May we never take so simple-- so essential, so miraculous-- a thing as breathing for granted. Thank you, God, for breathing life into us this day. 

Perhaps you would like to center yourself with the song, "Sanctuary," a reminder that we don't need to meet in any specific place, because we are God's sanctuary, or with "Holy Ground," reminding us that everywhere we are is holy ground. 

 

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Worship outline - Week of Sunday, April 5 - Palm Sunday

 


Opening Prayer
 - (by Becca) 

God, this Palm Sunday, when our own palms are the very things we fear-- (what viruses live between our fingers, under our nails, in our lifelines and love lines, in every line?)-- save us, we beseech thee. 

We want to lift our Hosannas, our cries for help, our cries proclaiming your goodness, your deliverance (deliver us. really.)

We want to shout and sing for joy, for hope, for victory. We want to shout and sing together. We want to simply be together, your gathered Body, doing and loving and being here and now, and as one. 

Save us. Help us. Heal us. Deliver us. 

That is the simple prayer, long ago: Hosanna. Save us. Please. 

That is our simple prayer, even now. 

We lift our palms: dirty, scrubbed clean, cracked with over-sanitizing, aching from trying to help and heal. We lift our voices: hesitant from lack of use, weakened by being alone, tentative because we don't know if you will hear. We lift our hearts, with all of humanity, with all of creation, because we know that even when our voices are silent and our hands are stilled, still your love and strength and healing cry out from the smallest, the humblest, the least likely corners of your sacred earth.

Save us. Help us. Heal us. Deliver us. 

We are no better than the crowds, laying cloaks and leaves before you long ago. And surely, we are no worse. And surely, "better" and "worse" are irrelevant to a God who loves unconditionally. 

Save us. Help us. Heal us. Deliver us. 

We believe in your grace. We believe in your love. We believe you are with us, even here, even now. 

Thank you.

Amen. 

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Optional - Begin the playlist for today's worship now
Click the link and start the playlist, pausing after the message for a prayer, Joys, Concerns, and Connections, and the closing prayer, then concluding the playlist. Or, you can click through and pick/choose from the videos one by one below. 

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Music for Centering or Singing Along -

Prelude for Palm Sunday
The Palms, by Jean-Baptiste Faure, sung by Oregon Sacred Festival Chorale

Welcoming Christ with glory and praise
All Glory, Laud, and Honor, (with processional) First-Plymouth Church, Lincoln, Nebraska

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A Time for the Child in All of Us ... Click here to watch Children's Time for 04-05-20

All the world speaks of God's love and strength!  

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Centering Song - The rocks and stones themselves would start to sing... 
Hosanna!, Jesus Christ, Superstar (1973 film)

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Scripture Readings (also read during the message video)  
     Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
     Luke 19:28-40

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Message - If These Were Silent ...
     Message for 04-05-20

The rocks and stones gather for us, proclaim for us, the love and strength of God, even when we cannot.  

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Prayer - by Lynn Unger, 3/11/2020

Pandemic

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love--
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

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Responding to God with Thanksgiving - Offering our Gifts and our Selves

Even in these difficult times, we are abundantly blessed with love and grace and the opportunity to serve. As you are able, you are invited to continue giving your gifts of time, talent, and treasure to God. In prayer and connection to one another, we serve God with our time; as you sew masks, or call somoene who is lonely, or practice isolation for the safety of others, you are serving God with your actions and your talent. How are you called to give of your treasure, to give thanks to God and to equip the ministry we continue to do in our community and around the world? Please mail your offering to the church (18 School St., Lebanon NH 03766) where it will be handled with safety for our counters, contact our financial secretary to establish automatic bank payments, or make your gift online through our secure donation link:

This week, you are also encouraged to give a designated gift to Lebanon UMC for the Pastor's Discretionary Fund (through the link above, or you can mail it to the church), or to give a gift directly to Listen Community Services. We are still giving out gas vouchers from the church, but offering grocery cards only in extreme cases (since sending folks to the grocery store comes with its own risks). Listen has increased their non-perishable and prepared food offerings, and can use everyone's help. 

God, we thank you for the abundance with which you bless us, even and especially in times of fear and sickness and isolation. Receive our gifts, our love of you and of your children, and our hearts in gratitude and hope. Amen. 

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Joys, Concerns, and Connections - Praying together

You are invited to have some food and drink on hand as we bless and share and know that Christ is present with us. 

Join us Sunday at 11 am as we pray together across the distance that separates us. In the mystery and miracle of God, we are one despite the limits of time and space! And with the help, imperfect as it it, of technology, we can hear one another, maybe even see one another, and share our prayers together. 

From your web browserclick here to join the teleconference
Zoom app and desktop users, enter Meeting ID: 682 470 579, 
then Password: 448 5478
People calling in by phone can dial: 1-929-205-6099, 
and enter when prompted: 682 470 579, and Password: 448 5478

Password (now required by zoom for everyone) 
is the church phone number: 448-5478

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Closing Song - Going forth with Hosannas
Hosanna, Loud Hosanna, First Methodist Church, Houston TX

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Benediction - Hosanna! again, for the Soundtrack snobs (like me) 
Hosanna!, Jesus Christ, Superstar (1970 Soundtrack)

 

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, be with you and comfort you. 

photo credits: palm leaves by Kathryn Banay; hands by Puiu Adriana Mirabelaboth from FreeImages

 

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Our Virtual Worship Offerings:

Worship Guide - No later than 10:30 am on Sundays, this space will offer a worship guide including videos of music and messages, which you can watch (and pray and sing along) from wherever you are. 

Joys, Concerns, & Connections - Join us Sundays at 11 am as we pray together across the distance that separates us. 

From your web browserclick here to join the teleconference
Zoom app and desktop users, enter Meeting ID: 682 470 579, 
then Password: 448 5478
People calling in by phone can dial: 1-929-205-6099, 
and enter when prompted: 682 470 579, and Password: 448 5478

Mid-Week Message of Assurance & Action - Each week, Pastor Becca and Pastor Sean will post a short video message offering a word of assurance and a call to a simple action you can take. This video will be posted to this page, to Facebook, and on Pastor Becca's YouTube channel

Mailings and Phone Calls - Weekley announcement updates and summaries of the previous week's messages and prayer requests will be mailed to those who do not have internet access. Time-sensitive announcements will go out via a phone tree. 

 

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