Alternative Worship Service

Due to the snow and potentially dangerous travel conditions, we will not be having our traditional church service this Sunday, January 13.  We pray that you are home, safe and warm.

However, we didn’t want to miss an opportunity to worship our Creator God – the maker of all seasons.  So, grab a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate, and prepare to worship in this “nontraditional” way, knowing that your praise is music to God’s ears.

Call to Worship – inspired by John 6
(please say aloud the bolded parts)

Rejoice, friends, Jesus is in our midst, no matter where we worship.
Feed us, Jesus, and fill us with hope.

Be glad, friends, Jesus has bread and fish to spare.
Free us, Jesus, from the pursuit of food that does not satisfy.

Worship with joy, people of God;
God gathers up the pieces of our lives, that nothing may be lost.
Thanks be to God!

[~ Adapted from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2009, © 2008 Abingdon Press. Posted on the Ministry Matters website.  http://www.ministrymatters.com/ ]

Invocation
Holy God,
Like the Psalmist, we ask you:  “Where can we go from your Spirit?  Where can we flee from your presence?”  And you assure us that:  “If we go up to the heavens, you are there; if we make our beds in the depths, you are there.

“If we rise on the wings of the dawn, if we settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide us, your right hand will hold us fast.”

Lord, even though we are not gathered together for worship this morning, still you are with us, and you receive our worship gladly.  For this, and all the other blessings, mercy and forgiveness you bestow upon us, we thank you.

Amen.

Opening Hymn – “Break thou the bread of life
(If you click on the title, it will play a beautiful a cappella version of this song, found in our hymnals. Be blessed by this rendition)

Pastoral Prayer
Since we are not together to pray this morning, please join me in a bidding prayer.  Read along in prayer, and then insert the names and things on your heart where guided.

Never-changing God,
Though your flock is not together in body, we are gathered in spirit and in praise to you.
This morning, we are reminded of the power that is not ours to wield.  We are made to rest, and to take note of the awesomeness of your creation.

Lord, we are grateful for this time to reflect on all that you are, and on how dependent we are on you.  Thank you for the warmth of our homes, for the provision of food, for the love of those near us.  We are grateful for the men and women who are even now out in the storm taking care of our needs:  the police and firemen, the utilities workers, the doctors and nurses, and the plow drivers.  Lord, bless them.

We lift up the following names in gratitude to you:

Lord, we are concerned for those who are ill or alone during this time of storm.  Bring comfort and healing to those in need.  Make us mindful of those we may be able to help.

We lift up the following names of those who need your healing touch:

Lord, bringer of peace – in times of rest, our brains often remain busy.  We worry.  What will the storm bring?  What will tomorrow bring?  Are we prepared?  These worries may reflect cares far beyond the current weather.  Help us to turn our worries over to you.  Strengthen our faith to know that you are working.  Give us courage to let go of our need to control, and to let your abundant plan for our lives play out.

We lift up the following cares and concerns – knowing you are in the midst of them:

Thank you for this day and for your unending presence with us.
In gratitude and praise,
Amen.

Scripture Reading:   John 6
Since you didn’t have to spend any time today driving over to the church, I’m going to assign a longer Scripture reading than usual.  Please pull up your favorite translation or paraphrase of the Bible and read the entire 6th Chapter of the Gospel of John.  Yes, the whole thing.  It really will help you with the sermon if you’ve read the Scripture first.

Sermon:  “Fan or Follower”
(If you click on the sermon title, you will see a video of the sermon.  This is NOT the sermon I had intended to give on January 13.  I’ll save that one for you live.  However, I recorded this one in my house today, and it fits well with the theme we are exploring).

Closing Hymn:  “I am the bread of life
(Click on the song title to be taken to a recording of another hymn found in our hymnal.  This is a contemporary, beautiful rendition.)

Offering
We now have secure, online giving available through a link here on our website.  If you are led, please feel free to make your weekly tithe or offering.

Benediction
Thank you Lord, for making a way to intentionally spend time in worship and praise.  As we continue about our day, may your name be on our lips and your ways be our ways.
Amen.

 

Live Nativity and Community Chili Dinner

On Saturday, December 2, following the Nokesville Christmas Parade (which begins at 4 pm), gather on the church lawn at 5 pm for the telling of the Christmas story, complete with choir singing Christmas carols, children re-enacting the story, and live animals. We’ll finish with a candlelighting.

Then, gather inside for the Community Chili Dinner. $5.00/person donation (children 12 & under are free). All proceeds benefit the Nokesville School lunch program and the Community Blessings Box.

Free horse-drawn carriage rides leave from the church all evening.

For those wishing to participate as volunteers:
All are welcome to sing in the choir during the Live Nativity.  Come to the choir room at 4:45 to get your caroling booklet.  We also need desserts (which you can drop by any time after 9 am on Saturday) and help setting up tables and chairs at 9am Sat. morning.

For those wishing to help decorate tables and prepare to serve food, please arrive at 3 pm.  Contact Jeannette with questions.  Many hands make light work, and this is a fun event with the community.

Family Christmas Eve Service

All are welcome for a meaningful service as we celebrate the birth of Christ on Monday, December 24 at 7:00 pm! We will sing carols, hear the traditional story presented in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2 (from the Shepherds’ point of view) and conclude the service with singing Silent Night by candlelight.

Communion will be served, the Children’s Choir will sing, and the bell choir will play. We will also be taking up a love offering to benefit those devastated by the California wildfires among others.

From our family to yours – may you be blessed by the love of Christ this Christmas.

Mid-Atlantic District Conference at Manassas CoB

Each year, the 60+ churches that comprise the Mid-Atlantic District of the Church of the Brethren gather to worship, fellowship and conduct business.  This year’s conference is Friday and Saturday, October 12 & 13 at Manassas CoB.

Worship is Friday evening at 7:30 PM, and Rev. Dr. Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm will be preaching.  Dawn is the professor of preaching and worship at Bethany Theological Seminary, and also serves as the President of Societas Homiletica, the international association of preaching.  This is a wonderful opportunity – close to home – to worship with the wider body.  Plan to attend!

Join us for Love Feast – Sunday, Oct. 14

One of the defining traditions of the Church of the Brethren is it’s twice a year celebration of Love Feast. This year, the service is Sunday, October 14 at 7 PM.  During Love Feast, we gather to sing and eat and serve one another. It is one of the most meaningful rituals we have, and many other churches “borrow” our tradition because it is so lovely.  Pastor Angela wants to focus on the celebratory aspect of Love Feast and will be using a Prodigal Son theme for this service.

This is not a carry-in meal – a very simple spread is provided. All are welcome, but if you’ve never attended a Love Feast before, you are especially welcomed. You may participate in as many of the elements as you feel comfortable, and simply observe the rest. No one is keeping track!

Make it a priority to come and deepen your relationship with your church family and with God.