March 15th, 2020
Welcome and Opening Prayer
A Call to Worship (based on Matthew 11:28-30)
Come, all that are weary, all that are carrying burdens so heavy
Jesus will give us rest
Come, take what Jesus has to offer: love, forgiveness, and grace
Christ will give us peace
Come, find rest, and learn from Jesus
For our Savior will give us rest in our souls
Come, let us worship our God
Let us follow our Savior, who leads us into life.
Prayer from From ABC Home Mission Society
O Merciful God, in a time of unknowingness, fear and lack of knowledge regarding the origins of coronavirus, we come to you with open arms, welcoming people from all other places, acknowledging our human frailty and our need for your healing power.
O God, we pray for the loss of life, for those who care for the sick and ask for recovery to those in need of healing.
We pray for the cure of this disease and restoration of health.
We praise you, O God, in time of trouble and confusion; you have reminded us that you are our loving God and Savior.
Help us to spread Christian faith as we seek your truth and love each day. We pray in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.
Giving God Praise
The 28th Psalm declares
6 Praise be to the Lord,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
Take a moment to reflect on the reasons you have to praise God today.
Giving God Thanks
Opening God’s Word
Responding in Love
What tangible step can you take this week to open a door for God’s love to enter into the lives of those around you?
This prayer written by Cameron Wiggins Bellm may encourage you as you consider God’s leading in these days:
Here in Seattle, there’s talk of little else besides the coronavirus. As the situation continues to unfold in our country, I’ve been trying to take a step back and consider all the ways it is affecting people, beyond the obvious disruptions of work and travel. We have a very human instinct to draw into ourselves when threatened, to claw madly for the last bottle of hand sanitizer. In my own effort to overcome that instinct, I wrote this prayer for us. I was thinking that maybe one nice way to open our hearts to each other would be to gather all the money we are saving by staying home (work transportation, meals out, trips canceled) and donate it to organizations that are helping provide care to the most vulnerable. Let us love one another.
May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country,
Let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.
Some Resources and Steps to Consider:
– Pass out letters to neighbors, letting them know that you are present and available if they need you in the weeks ahead.
– You may have more time in your schedule due to cancellations in the coming weeks. Intentionally invest time in connecting with other people in your life.
– Join the Springfield Families Helping Families Facebook page to find out about needs and ways to help others in Springfield.
– Join the Pretzel Feeds Facebook page to find out about needs and ways to help in New Berlin.
– Let staff know if we can assist you in serving your neighbors by prayer, financial support, or inviting others to join in helping.
We encourage you to continue your faithful support of Central’s ministry in these days. Checks can be mailed to Central’s office (501 S. 4th St Springfied, IL 62701) or you can make an online donation by clicking here:
Now may the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Bless you as demonstrate the beauty of God’s love this week.
- Call to worship developed by Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell, http://rev-o-lution.org.
- Link to Andy Crouch article mentioned in sermon “Love in the time of Coronavirus: https://journal.praxislabs.org/love-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-26aaeb0396e3
- Link to Geoff and Cyd Holsclaw’s book Does God Really Like Me?: https://www.amazon.com/Does-God-Really-Like-Discovering/dp/0830845968/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=