Change Our Focus

HFUMC/MUMC
Jan. 24, 2021
Mark 1:14-20  

Follow along in this service by clicking
on the links for music, message, etc.,
coming back to the service
after each.

Call to Worship:
It is time to become focused,
not on our wants or complaints but on God:
In the silent places of my soul I turn to God,
for God alone is our rock and salvation
.

Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the good news of God,
saying the time has come, the realm of God is at hand.
The realm of God is not very far from any one of us,
for in God we live and, move and have our being.

Jesus said: repent and believe the good news.
The time has come.
In the silent places of my soul I turn to God,
for God alone is our rock and salvation.

                                                                                                                      ~ Bruce Prewer

Praise: You Gave Your Life Away https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzVMHqu9_DQ&feature=youtu.be

If you have children please share this – if you do not, navigate to the prayer section below.

Children’s Church:  Following the Leader https://sermons4kids.com/following_the_leader.htm

Prayer:
Please take this time to speak out loud the things that have brought you joy and blessing this week.   I am sure you have them, but sometimes we have to be reminded to look for them.   Thank you Jesus for these things.  Then after you have have shared those joys, list your concerns as you would if we were together.  Now, let us join together in prayer:

Prayer/Scripture/Message: Mark 1:14-20 — Change Your Focushttps://youtu.be/0af4y4ZaUIg

Hymn: Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Callinghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V_QiN4qmEg

Offering:
Take this time to exercise the privilege of sharing in the work of God by giving your tithe to the church.  You have options:

US Mail:
First United Methodist Church of Herkimer
127 N. Prospect Street
Herkimer, NY 13350.   

         or

Morning Star United Methodist Church
36 Second Avenue
Ilion, NY  13357

        or

Online Giving for HFUMC (safe and secure)

You can use this link or download the Tithe.ly app from the app store https://tithe.ly/give?c=1695306

During this time the church is especially challenged to meet payroll and pay bills.   We are unable to hold our fundraisers -rummage sales, etc. We still count on you to help us meet our commitments. We have folks among us who have reduced income as a result of the COVID-19 guidelines who may not be able to give as they have in the past.

Use this time to brainstorm ideas in how you can reach out tangibly to others to show God’s love to the people around you this week even while living in a self-quarantine state.

Prayer of Dedication:
Generous God, we ask you to bless the gifts we give this morning. We ask that that you help grow the trust in us, that we might follow without looking back and that we might leave behind more of our old lives to experience more deeply new life in you. Help us to leave our nets on the shore, leave those things that seemed essential before we heard the call, so that we might travel the road you have put before us. In the name of Christ who goes before us and beside us, we pray. Amen.

Hymn: Where He Leads Mehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXhJx_VrjPw

Benediction:
Jesus is calling us
He tells us the Kingdom of God draws near,
Repent and Believe in the Good News
Go from this place with your focus on the one
Who is always in the business of re-creation!

Passing of the Peace of God

Let your hearts sing a new song in place of your benediction song. Reach out to someone in our congregation and place a song in their heart by your contact.

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Come and See

HFUMC/MUMC
January 17, 2021
John 1:43-51

Follow along in this service by clicking
on the links for music, message, etc.,
coming back to the service
after each.

Call to Worship:

 Jesus comes along side us and calls us by name:
“[your name], follow me.”

A simple call. A hard call.
Because following requires leaving.
And we look around to see who else Jesus could be talking to.
And we look around to see the trappings of the life we know.

It’s hard to leave our nets and walk away from the lake.
But we have come this far, to this place, where we can listen and be transformed.

~ Joanna Harader

Praise: I Have Decided to Follow Jesushttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=921pTi1Raro

If you have children please share this – if you do not, navigate to the prayer section below.

Children’s Church: Tell your Friends https://sermons4kids.com/tell_your_friends_about_jesus.htm

Prayer:
Please take this time to speak out loud the things that have brought you joy and blessing this week.   I am sure you have them, but sometimes we have to be reminded to look for them.   Thank you Jesus for these things.  Then after you have have shared those joys, list your concerns as you would if we were together.  Now, let us join together in prayer:

Prayer/Scripture/Message: John 1:43-51 — Come and See — https://youtu.be/k3RSBOxCJXk

Hymn:  I am Thine Lordhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZYypguFdsk

Offering:
Take this time to exercise the privilege of sharing in the work of God by giving your tithe to the church.  You have options:


US Mail:
First United Methodist Church of Herkimer
127 N. Prospect Street
Herkimer, NY 13350.   

         or

Morning Star United Methodist Church
36 Second Avenue
Ilion, NY  13357

        or

Online Giving for HFUMC (safe and secure)

You can use this link or download the Tithe.ly app from the app store https://tithe.ly/give?c=1695306

During this time the church is especially challenged to meet payroll and pay bills.   We are unable to hold our fundraisers -rummage sales, etc. We still count on you to help us meet our commitments. We have folks among us who have reduced income as a result of the COVID-19 guidelines who may not be able to give as they have in the past.

Use this time to brainstorm ideas in how you can reach out tangibly to others to show God’s love to the people around you this week even while living in a self-quarantine state.

Prayer of Dedication:
Holy God, like the first disciples, we have heard the call to follow Jesus! Yet too often, we have failed to introduce him to others, not willing to take the risks that go with true discipleship. As we bring our tithes and offerings to you this day, make us bold in following. May we give more readily, love more deeply, show mercy and compassion more extravagantly, and seek justice for others courageously. Help us to walk in the steps of the one we follow. In Christ’s holy name, we pray. Amen.

Hymn: Jesus Calls Us Over the Tumulthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ufpeu7mLtA

Benediction:
Listen to the Holy Spirit in your life
Follow His lead
Go tell your friends about Jesus and who He is
If they question or doubt,
Don’t argue, don’t fight or try to prove you are right,
Just say Come and See for yourself.

Passing of the Peace of God

Let your hearts sing a new song in place of your benediction song. Reach out to someone in our congregation and place a song in their heart by your contact.

Epiphany or Baptism?

HFUMC/MUMC
January 10, 2021
Mark 1:1-11

Follow along in this service by clicking
on the links for music, message, etc.,
coming back to the service
after each.

Call to Worship:

Lost . . .
wandering without purpose, meaning, value, acceptance, or place.
We wander lost. But the Spirit of God descends like a dove upon us. We hear the ancient words that name and claim us as children of God.
We are cleansed, refreshed, and made new in the love of those words

Praise: Victory in Jesus — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3oxCOAkx-o

If you have children please share this – if you do not, navigate to the prayer section below.

Children’s Church: A New Life in Jesus https://sermons4kids.com/new_life_in_jesus.htm

Prayer:

Please take this time to speak out loud the things that have brought you joy and blessing this week.   I am sure you have them, but sometimes we have to be reminded to look for them.   Thank you Jesus for these things.  Then after you have have shared those joys, list your concerns as you would if we were together.  Now, let us join together in prayer:

Prayer/Scripture/Message: Mark 1:1-11 — Epiphany or Baptism — https://youtu.be/qBt9brx9wVc

Hymn:  We Three Kingshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0BJonwPCds

(How can it be Epiphany Sunday without this hymn?)

Offering:

Take this time to exercise the privilege of sharing in the work of God by giving your tithe to the church.  You have options:


US Mail:
First United Methodist Church of Herkimer
127 N. Prospect Street
Herkimer, NY 13350.   

         or

Morning Star United Methodist Church
36 Second Avenue
Ilion, NY  13357

        or

Online Giving for HFUMC (safe and secure)

You can use this link or download the Tithe.ly app from the app store https://tithe.ly/give?c=1695306

During this time the church is especially challenged to meet payroll and pay bills.   We are unable to hold our fundraisers -rummage sales, etc. We still count on you to help us meet our commitments. We have folks among us who have reduced income as a result of the COVID-19 guidelines who may not be able to give as they have in the past.

Use this time to brainstorm ideas in how you can reach out tangibly to others to show God’s love to the people around you this week even while living in a self-quarantine state.

Prayer of Dedication:

God of light and promise, we bring our gifts to further your work in a dark world.
May they bring your light to those overwhelmed by darkness, pain, and loneliness.
Accept these gifts of money and time, indeed, the gift of our very selves.  Let them shine for all to see and be brought into the sphere of your love and righteousness. Amen.

Hymn:  Spirit Songhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWEDBaFy0SI

Benediction:

May the path
that Christ walks
to bring justice
upon the earth,
to bring light
to those who sit
in darkness,
to bring out those
who live in bondage,
to bring new things
to all creation:
may this path
run through our life.
May we be
the road Christ takes.

~ written by Jan L. Richardson

Passing of the Peace of God

Let your hearts sing a new song in place of your benediction song. Reach out to someone in our congregation and place a song in their heart by your contact.

Through the Church

HFUMC/MUMC
Jan 3 2021
Ephesians 1:3-14

Follow along in this service by clicking
on the links for music, message, etc.,
coming back to the service
after each.

Call to Worship:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world,
who destined us for adoption as his children
through Jesus Christ, who has forgiven our sins according
to the riches of his grace, and has made known to us the
mystery of his will.
This is our God! 
Let’s worship him together.

Wesleyan Covenant Prayer: (this prayer is an annual covenant many of the UMC use every first Sunday of the year. Disregard the old english. A very good prayer to start the year off with)

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.

Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.

So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.

Amen.

Praise: Sing We Now of Christmashttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfytGpxXHA0

If you have children please share this – if you do not, navigate to the prayer section below.

Children’s Church:

He Has Chosen Us https://sermons4kids.com/he_has_chosen_us.htm

Prayer:

Please take this time to speak out loud the things that have brought you joy and blessing this week.   I am sure you have them, but sometimes we have to be reminded to look for them.   Thank you Jesus for these things.  Then after you have have shared those joys, list your concerns as you would if we were together.  Now, let us join together in prayer:

Prayer/Scripture/Message: Ephesians 1:3-14 – Through the Churchhttps://youtu.be/PYiirHwaDuw

Hymn:  This is the Day of New Beginningshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yo4cnPKjYqs

Offering:

Take this time to exercise the privilege of sharing in the work of God by giving your tithe to the church.  You have options:


US Mail:
First United Methodist Church of Herkimer
127 N. Prospect Street
Herkimer, NY 13350.   

         or

Morning Star United Methodist Church
36 Second Street
Ilion, NY  13357

        or

Online Giving for HFUMC (safe and secure)

You can use this link or download the Tithe.ly app from the app store https://tithe.ly/give?c=1695306

During this time the church is especially challenged to meet payroll and pay bills.   We are unable to hold our fundraisers -rummage sales, etc. We still count on you to help us meet our commitments. We have folks among us who have reduced income as a result of the COVID-19 guidelines who may not be able to give as they have in the past.

Use this time to brainstorm ideas in how you can reach out tangibly to others to show God’s love to the people around you this week even while living in a self-quarantine state.

Prayer of Dedication:

Holy God and Parent of us all: we have moved through this season of family and Christmas joy, and we are reminded that beyond our earthly families, you have adopted us into your redeemed family. Through the saving, redeeming work of the Incarnation, we have become heirs, and our redemption is the magnificent gift of salvation. We give our gifts, but we give ourselves as the only fitting response to your adoption of us, your rebellious children. Lead us in your way into this new year. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Hymn: God of the Ages https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ey1kTyaLzU

Benediction: Go tell the story to anyone who will hear it!

Passing of the Peace of God

Let your hearts sing a new song in place of your benediction song. Reach out to someone in our congregation and place a song in their heart by your contact.

The Time Has Come

HFUMC/MUMC
12/27/2020
Isaiah 61:10-62:3
Luke 2:22-40

Follow along in this service by clicking
on the links for music, message, etc.,
coming back to the service
after each.

Call to Worship:
The Good News that we have proclaimed for this Advent/Christmas season ends with a second chapter of Luke that starts, “When the time came…” Indeed, the time has come for us to move from the narrative of birthing to the narrative of redemption. The story of Jesus’ ritual cleansing as a child contains stories of people who had been waiting for this moment. But the time of waiting is over–for us too. Like Isaiah who says, “for Zion’s sake I won’t stay silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I won’t sit still,” we will not stop our songs of resistance until justice shines out like a light for all.

I believe in the sun, I believe in the sun,
even when, even when it’s not shining.

I believe in the sun, I believe in the sun,
even when, even when it’s not shining.

The clouds begin to clear
The horizon starts to glow
The time has come

Prayer
Holy One, we thank you for the glimpses
we have caught throughout this season
of Advent and Christmas
of your gifts of hope, love, joy, and peace.

Even in the midst of fear,
of challenge, of struggle–
even when we have not been sure of tomorrow,
you have ignited the Light within us,

and we have glowed with its brilliance
from the inside out.

I believe in the sun,
I believe in the sun,
even when… even when…
it’s not shining.

Help us continue to proclaim far and wide
that the time has come for light to be among all people.
Amen.

Praise: Hark the Herald Angels Singhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCt1s44cfMM

Children’s Church:

If you have children please share this – if you do not, navigate to the prayer section below.

Simeon Blesses Jesushttps://sermons4kids.com/simeon-blesses-jesus-htm

Prayer:
Please take this time to speak out loud the things that have brought you joy and blessing this week.   I am sure you have them, but sometimes we have to be reminded to look for them.   Thank you Jesus for these things.  Then after you have have shared those joys, list your concerns as you would if we were together.  Now, let us join together in prayer:

Prayer/Scripture/Message: Isaiah 61:10 – 62:3, Luke 2:22-40 — The Time Has Come — https://youtu.be/nBcVjlh_K0A

Hymn:  Angels from Realms of Glory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgncqwjcIS0

Offering:
Take this time to exercise the privilege of sharing in the work of God by giving your tithe to the church.  You have options:


US Mail:
First United Methodist Church of Herkimer
127 N. Prospect Street
Herkimer, NY 13350.   

         or

Morning Star United Methodist Church
36 Second Street
Ilion, NY  13357

        or

Online Giving for HFUMC (safe and secure)

You can use this link or download the Tithe.ly app from the app store https://tithe.ly/give?c=1695306

During this time the church is especially challenged to meet payroll and pay bills.   We are unable to hold our fundraisers -rummage sales, etc. We still count on you to help us meet our commitments. We have folks among us who have reduced income as a result of the COVID-19 guidelines who may not be able to give as they have in the past.

Use this time to brainstorm ideas in how you can reach out tangibly to others to show God’s love to the people around you this week even while living in a self-quarantine state.

Prayer of Dedication:
God of hope and joy, the gifts we offer to you pale when our minds try to grasp all we have been given in this season: wholeness in our woundedness, hope in our despair, peace in our turmoil, forgiveness in our rebellion. Like Simeon, our eyes have seen your salvation, and you give us light in our darkness. Help us embrace your extravagant generosity as we give ourselves to others. In our Savior’s holy name, we pray. Amen.

Carol of Resistance:  Do You Hear What I Hear? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRw35_2qTQ0
This carol was written in 1962 by Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Inspired by seeing babies pushed in strollers in New York City while the dire threat of nuclear war loomed, Noel wrote, “said the night wind to the little lamb,“ and “pray for peace, people everywhere.” The “star dancing in the night with a tail as big as a kite” can be interpreted as the star of Bethlehem but also what a nuclear missile looks like in flight. The composers said in an interview later that it was difficult to actually sing the song that year without crying. Indeed, our prayers for peace continue and the need to protect the children of the world and secure a future for them are as dire as ever. As the last song in our series, let us sing this Carol of Resistance, “a song high above the trees” with our voices “big as the sea.”

Benediction:

We wait for justice
but we do not wait to work for change;

We wait for restored health
but we do not wait to work to heal;

We wait for wholeness
but we do not wait to work at binding brokenness;

We wait for peace
but we do not wait to work to eliminate hatred.

And so, my friends, like bells ringing out the news
that we believe that good will prevail,
fill the night left by sadness with light.
Go into your lives humming the tunes
that keep that goodness alive in you
and that spur you on in your work of
justice and reconciliation.

Raise your voices and repeat after me…
“do not be afraid!”
“do not be afraid!”
Amen!

Passing of the Peace of God

Let your hearts sing a new song in place of your benediction song. Reach out to someone in our congregation and place a song in their heart by your contact.

What Now?

HFUMC/MUMC/FBC
Dec 24, 2020
Isaiah 52: 7-10, Luke 2:1-20

Follow along in this service by clicking
on the links for music, message, etc.,
coming back to the service
after each.

Call to Worship:

In this season leading up to this night, we have been hearing the Good News from all the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John because we have needed good news and that’s what “Gospel” actually means. We have heard stories of courage all along our journey–of people who have sung out songs of hope, love, joy, and peace. Our luminaries and candles tonight are a witness to the light we believe has come, and is coming.

Tonight we return to the story of Jesus’ birth as it is told in the Gospel of Luke. This account is the narrative we read again and again on this holy night, for this author gives us the most beloved detail. We yearn to see the scene play out, to hear the music of the angels, to feel the rush to the manger to see what this star that pierces the night sky has come to proclaim. This year the world even gets a tiny glimpse of what that star might have been like.  We so desire to believe the Good News of the messengers that is the culmination of humanity’s pain of birth: “don’t be afraid” for unto us a sign has come that will be to all people… “on earth, peace.”

I believe in the sun, I believe in the sun,
even when, even when it’s not shining.

Over the last four weeks, our theme song has helped us remember that we can believe that God is with us, even and especially in the midst of hard times.

Even when the sun is hidden from sight
Even when love feels so remote
Even when love feels so remote
Even when God is silent
Even then…We believe

We believe in the presence of Emmanuel–God with us.
This is the night we celebrate that the Holy came in human form
to be light in our lives…
to speak to us, touch us, comfort us, and call us.

Prayer

Holy One,
we thank you for the glimpse of heaven on earth
In the faces and the light of those around us.
Even in the midst of fear,
of challenge, of struggle–
even when our view is obscured
by clouds of doubt,

You have ignited the flame of hope, love,
joy, and peace within us.
Let us glow with its brilliance
from the inside out. Amen.

Scripture: Isaiah 52: 7-10 (CEB)

How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of a messenger
who proclaims peace,
who brings good news,
who proclaims salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God rules!”

Listen! Your lookouts lift their voice;
they sing out together!
Right before their eyes they see the Lord returning to Zion.

Break into song together, you ruins of Jerusalem!
The Lord has comforted his people and has redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord has bared his holy arm in view of all the nations;
all the ends of the earth have seen our God’s victory.

Opening Hymn: Joy to the Worldhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kqi8aphPtNQ

Scripture: Luke 2:1-5

In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant.

Hymn: O Little Town of Bethlehemhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uLELfqlntI

Scripture: Luke 2:6-7

While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.

Hymn: Away in a Mangerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WisMfuTZva0

Scripture: Luke 2:8-14

Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified.

The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”

Special Music unable to share online

Scripture: Luke 2:15-18

When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go right now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.” They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw this, they reported what they had been told about this child. Everyone who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds told them.

Hymn: O Come, All Ye Faithfulhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3egGjeiWEA

Scripture: Luke 2:19-20

Mary committed these things to memory and considered them carefully. The shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. Everything happened just as they had been told.

Hymn: What Child is This?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jroBAl3WW8

Message: What Now?https://youtu.be/-eTmaFbwbpk

Offering:

Take this time to exercise the privilege of sharing in the work of God by giving your tithe to the church.  You have options:


US Mail:
First United Methodist Church of Herkimer
127 N. Prospect Street
Herkimer, NY 13350.   

         or

Morning Star United Methodist Church
36 Second Street
Ilion, NY  13357

        or

Online Giving for HFUMC (safe and secure)

You can use this link or download the Tithe.ly app from the app store https://tithe.ly/give?c=1695306

During this time the church is especially challenged to meet payroll and pay bills.   We are unable to hold our fundraisers -rummage sales, etc. We still count on you to help us meet our commitments. We have folks among us who have reduced income as a result of the COVID-19 guidelines who may not be able to give as they have in the past.

Use this time to brainstorm ideas in how you can reach out tangibly to others to show God’s love to the people around you this week even while living in a self-quarantine state.

Prayer of Dedication:

Great God, our Redeemer, we sing your praises. Your glorious love shines in the face of Jesus, born a babe in this dark world. We marvel that he generously humbled himself to bring salvation. How precious is your gift of love! Let the light in our sanctuary and our songs of praise spill through the windows to neighbors dwelling in darkness. May our gifts and offerings reflect the light of Christ and, as beacons in the night, draw people far and near closer to you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Hymn:  Silent Nighthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyY36DJmIcs

We come to the classic moment of every Christmas Eve… the moment to light our candles and sing, “Silent Night.” We have wondered this year how we could possibly recreate a sense of normalcy in this moment. We wondered how we could get through it with the joy we usually feel on this night, having lost so much this year.

No, it is not the same. And we know that because of the people we have lost, the jobs and security we have lost, that it will likely not ever be the same. Surely every year, we will remember this moment when we thought perhaps light and song would elude us. But here we are. We will light our lights and we will have our song. Just like those soldiers in World War I sang across enemy lines. Everything stopped for a short while as the message that all is calm and bright prevailed above the violence and dark night of the world. We have been sorely divided on many things. We are devastated by our losses. We are tired and we are not so calm. But for this moment, this night, let us remember that we are not alone. And that we believe that the music and light of God’s promises come again and again: hope for a better tomorrow, love that works for a more equitable world, joy that wells from a place deep within us, and peace that offers us the assurance we need.

Benediction:

I invite you to raise your candle high for the Benediction:

We wait for justice
but we do not wait to work for change;

We wait for restored health
but we do not wait to work to heal;

We wait for wholeness
but we do not wait to work at binding brokenness;

We wait for peace
but we do not wait to work to eliminate hatred.

And so, my friends, like bells ringing out the news
that Christ is born among us,

fill the night left by sadness with messages of hope,
love, joy, and peace. Go into your lives humming
the tunes that keep that light alive in you
and that spur you on in your work of
justice and reconciliation.

Raise your voices and repeat after me…
“do not be afraid!”
“do not be afraid!”
Amen!

Merry Christmas!

I Believe in the Light!

HFUMC/MUMC
December 20, 2020
Isaiah 9:2-7, John 1:1-18

Follow along in this service by clicking
on the links for music, message, etc.,
coming back to the service
after each.

The “great light” prophesied by Isaiah in today’s text is echoed in the first strains of John’s Gospel good news: the light that brings peace–that saves the people from all that would extinguish it–has been there from the beginning. The Word is made flesh and dwells among us. This reign is now… will we believe it? Will we continue to put flesh on it, embodying the peace meant for all humanity?

Praise: Hark the Herald Angel’s Sing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCt1s44cfMM

Children’s Church:

If you have children please share this – if you do not, navigate to the prayer section below.

The Light of the Worldhttps://sermons4kids.com/light_of_the_world.htm

Prayer:

Please take this time to speak out loud the things that have brought you joy and blessing this week.   I am sure you have them, but sometimes we have to be reminded to look for them.   Thank you Jesus for these things.  Then after you have have shared those joys, list your concerns as you would if we were together.  Now, let us join together in prayer:

Prayer/Scripture/Message: Isaiah 9:2-7, John 1:1-18 — I Believe in the Lighthttps://youtu.be/EcL38ItHLOQ

Hymn: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel! — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utpZAIycWFU

Offering:

Take this time to exercise the privilege of sharing in the work of God by giving your tithe to the church.  You have options:


US Mail:
First United Methodist Church of Herkimer
127 N. Prospect Street
Herkimer, NY 13350.   

         or

Morning Star United Methodist Church
36 Second Street
Ilion, NY  13357

        or

Online Giving for HFUMC (safe and secure)

You can use this link or download the Tithe.ly app from the app store https://tithe.ly/give?c=1695306

During this time the church is especially challenged to meet payroll and pay bills.   We are unable to hold our fundraisers -rummage sales, etc. We still count on you to help us meet our commitments. We have folks among us who have reduced income as a result of the COVID-19 guidelines who may not be able to give as they have in the past.

Use this time to brainstorm ideas in how you can reach out tangibly to others to show God’s love to the people around you this week even while living in a self-quarantine state.

Prayer of Dedication:

Gracious and Generous God: We offer our gifts to you, knowing full well we have devoted so much more energy into finding the gifts for our families and much less on the gifts we offer to you. You gave Mary, an unmarried girl, a Son so the world might have a Savior. Her response was so simple: “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be according to your word.” May her affirmation of faith and obedience be the gift we offer this day. In Christ, we pray. Amen!

Hymn: Go Tell it on the Mountain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14WM2MKulGk

Our Carol of Resistance this week is part of the repertoire of Christmas songs that were created by people who endured brutal hardships as the result of African colonization and North American slavery. But, though people of African descent were ripped from much of their cultural heritage, they maintained their heritage of group song, punctuated by West African rhythms and vocal stylings. Of course the safest thing for oppressed peoples to sing about was the religious beliefs that, first forced upon them by their oppressors, later gave many hope in the midst of suffering. “Go Tell It On The Mountain” is probably the best-known African American Christmas song and the words “seeker” and “watchman” are thought by some to have been code words for those seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad. It was made popular by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in the 19th century as these college students–themselves freed slaves–traveled the country to raise money and awareness. They were turned away from hotels, railway waiting rooms, and even some churches because of their color. As we sing, let us honor them, honor all who have endured slavery and the continued systemic racism caused by slavery. Let us…

Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere.

Go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born.”

indeed that the Prince of Peace that calls us to break the chains of oppression… is born!

Benediction:

In this season of waiting know this…
We wait for justice
but we do not wait to work for change;

We wait for restored health
but we do not wait to work to heal;

We wait for wholeness
but we do not wait to work at binding brokenness;

We wait for peace
but we do not wait to work to eliminate hatred.

And so, my friends, like bells ringing out the news
that the light has dawned and shines on all people,
fill the night left by sadness with messages of peace.
Go into your lives humming the tunes that keep that peace alive in you
and that spur you on in your work of justice and reconciliation.

Raise your voices and repeat after me…
“do not be afraid!”
“do not be afraid!”
Amen!

Passing of the Peace of God

Let your hearts sing a new song in place of your benediction song. Reach out to someone in our congregation and place a song in their heart by your contact.

I Believe in God

Follow along in this service by clicking
on the links for music, message, etc.,
coming back to the service
after each.

HFUMC/MUMC
December 13, 2020
Isaiah 57: 14-19, Luke 1: 1-4; 26-56

Enter into the Week of Joy
This week, we turn to Luke’s writing, which is an account in two acts: the Gospel biography of Jesus and then the story of the early church–the “Jesus community.” Whether you were a Jew or Gentile in those days, deciding to become a part of this illegal early Christian movement could bring punishment for your allegiance. Surely the message in both Luke and Isaiah that the downcast, lowly, and oppressed would rise up is a welcome and inspirational account. Like the Jewish exiled people of Isaiah’s time and like the early Christians, we also sometimes wonder where God is in our suffering. We long to hear the promise that a reason for joyful praise is the good news on the way!

I believe in God, I believe in God,
even when, even when God is silent.

Leader:  The loneliness of fear
People: The loneliness of fear

Leader:  The invisibility of the next step
People: The invisibility of the next step

Leader:  The yearning for presence
People: The yearning for presence

Prayer
Holy One,
we thank you for the glimpses we catch
of your gift of the depths of joy.
Even in the midst of fear,
of challenge, of struggle–
even when we are not sure
of your presence,
ignite the flame of joy within us,
People: … that we might glow with its brilliance
from the inside out.

I believe in God,
I believe in God,
even when… even when…
God is silent.

Leader: Help us face the silence of unknowing
and embrace it as the pregnant pause before joyful new beginnings.
Amen.

Praise: Hail to the Lord’s Anointedhttps://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hail+to+the+lord%27s+anointed+

Children’s Church:

If you have children please share this – if you do not, navigate to the prayer section below.

Call His Name Jesushttps://sermons4kids.com/name-him-jesus.html

Prayer:

Please take this time to speak out loud the things that have brought you joy and blessing this week.   I am sure you have them, but sometimes we have to be reminded to look for them.   Thank you Jesus for these things.  Then after you have have shared those joys, list your concerns as you would if we were together.  Now, let us join together in prayer:

Prayer/Scripture/Message: Isaiah 57:1-19, Luke 1:1-4, 26-56 “I Believe in God” — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aB_nxLlMLEg&feature=youtu.be

Litany of Belief
In times when humanity disappoints,
perhaps when even our own thoughts and behaviors disappoint,
it is an important act to call out, name and claim, the consequences of our wrongs.
And in times of distress it is a prophetic act to call out,
name and claim, our belief in the promise of joy.
Let us speak these statements of belief:

Leader: I believe that we have sometimes been silent in the face of injustice AND
People: I believe that we are capable of raising our voices and insisting on goodness for all.

I believe that we have been afraid of feeling deeply, making our joy small AND
I believe that the deep joy of community can always be present, even in hard times.

I believe that sometimes we wonder if we can make a difference AND
I believe that small acts of kindness and help do make a real difference.

We believe, even when we are discouraged.
We believe, that when we are discouraged,
raising our voices for justice will offer us joy!* 

Hymn  — What Child is This  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0qcU4C45UI                

Offering:

Take this time to exercise the privilege of sharing in the work of God by giving your tithe to the church.  You have options:


US Mail:
First United Methodist Church of Herkimer
127 N. Prospect Street
Herkimer, NY 13350.   

         or

Morning Star United Methodist Church
36 Second Street
Ilion, NY  13357

        or

Online Giving for HFUMC (safe and secure)

You can use this link or download the Tithe.ly app from the app store https://tithe.ly/give?c=1695306

During this time the church is especially challenged to meet payroll and pay bills.   We still count on you to help us meet our commitments. We have folks among us who have reduced income as a result of the COVID-19 guidelines who may not be able to give as they have in the past.

Use this time to brainstorm ideas in how you can reach out tangibly to others to show God’s love to the people around you this week even while living in a self-quarantine state.

Prayer of Dedication:
God of love and light: just as John the Baptist came long ago in Judea to witness to your light, we remember that the offering you seek is that what we have and how we live should also witness to the light. We admit that there are times when we feel the darkness is just too prevalent, too strong, then we realize that we are ignoring the call to witness to the light. May we witness through our giving and our compassion, through what we say and what we do. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

Carol of Resistance: 
As you will witness in our documentary this week, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, which is the basis of the tune for our hymn “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” has been a powerful witness to the human spirit to overcome adversity in many instances around the globe. British punk rock star, Billy Bragg, once wrote an alternative translation of the original German choral score for a school teacher to teach the children in her classroom, and it soon became a popular anthem, even being performed for the Queen. In these words you can hear the call to resist division, to raise our voices, to “furnish every heart with joy and banish all hatred for good.”

“See now like a Phoenix rising
from the rubble of the war
hope of ages manifested
peace and freedom evermore.

Brothers, sisters stand together,
raise your voices now as one.
Though by history divided,
reconciled in unison.

Throw off now the chains of ancient
bitterness and enmity.
And in hand let’s walk together
on the path of liberty.

Hark…a new dawn is breaking;
raise your voices now as one.
Though by history divided,
reconciled in unison.

What’s to be then all my brothers,
sisters; what is in your hearts?
Tell me now the hopes you harbour,
What’s the task and where to start.

… Those speak ten million voices;
every word is understood.
Furnish every heart with joy
and banish all hatred for good.”

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Theehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FilPgzj-lk

Benediction:

We wait for justice
but we do not wait to work for change;

We wait for restored health
but we do not wait to work to heal;

We wait for wholeness
but we do not wait to work at binding
brokenness;

We wait for peace
but we do not wait to work to eliminate
hatred.

And so, my friends, like bells ringing out the news
that God is with us, Emmanuel.
And continue to fill the night left by sadness
with messages of love.

Go into your lives humming the tunes that keep that
love alive in you and that spur you on in your work of
justice and reconciliation. Raise your voices and
repeat after me…
“do not be afraid!”
“do not be afraid!”
Amen!

Passing of the Peace of God

Let your hearts sing a new song in place of your
benediction song. Reach out to someone in our
congregation and place a song in their heart
by your contact.

I Believe in Love

HFUMC/MUMC
December 6, 2020
Isaiah 7:1-14,  
Matthew 1:1-25 

Follow along in this service by clicking
on the links for music, message, etc.,
coming back to the service
after each.

In both the Gospel of Matthew and Isaiah, a messenger appears as a sign from God, heralding a new era. In each passage, the words “do not be afraid” appear… offering a clue that the messenger–whether prophet or angel–was referencing something that induced fear in the recipient. A new way of being together, of relating and loving takes courage–eschewing the present order of things so that a new and better day can be born.

Praise: Waymakerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29IxnsqOkmQ

If you have children please share this – if you do not, navigate to the prayer section below.

Children’s Church: Angel Appears to Josephhttps://sermons4kids.com/angel_appears_to_joseph.htm

Anthem SongLove Has Broken Down the Wall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKGnnt3NIFs

As we said last week, our worship series this Advent calls on the power of music that has always called humanity to a brighter tomorrow. Rather than turn away from music in sorrow, we will turn toward the story of music and deepen our appreciation of its role in healing, change, and reconciliation. Indeed, on this Sunday with “love” at the center, we can attest that probably love songs top the charts in the history of human song.

This week we will be hosting discussions of the documentary film, Girls on the Wall Wednesday evening via zoom. The “girls” of this documentary are juvenile offenders in prison. A drama teacher leads them in writing the story of their lives and creating a musical out of it. As they allow the process and the music to penetrate their hardened hearts, they find that their desire for love is the key to moving forward in their own healing and rehabilitation. Information about this film and small group discussions can be found by contacting me.

Our anthem is called “Love Has Broken Down the Walls.” This anthem has become a favorite of youth choirs across the country. Young people are showing us what it means to accept each other’s diversity as a global community, and we pray that this continues as time moves on.

Prayer:

Please take this time to speak out loud the things that have brought you joy and blessing this week.   I am sure you have them, but sometimes we have to be reminded to look for them.   Thank you Jesus for these things.  Then after you have have shared those joys, list your concerns as you would if we were together.  Now, let us join together in prayer:

Prayer/Scripture/Message: Isaiah 7:1-14, Matthew 1:1-25 – I Believe in Lovehttps://youtu.be/ohu71Zb0T9o

Hymn: Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V-6GopZyhs

Offering:

Take this time to exercise the privilege of sharing in the work of God by giving your tithe to the church.  You have options:


US Mail:
First United Methodist Church of Herkimer
127 N. Prospect Street
Herkimer, NY 13350.   

         or

Morning Star United Methodist Church
36 Second Street
Ilion, NY  13357

        or

Online Giving for HFUMC (safe and secure)

You can use this link or download the Tithe.ly app from the app store https://tithe.ly/give?c=1695306

During this time the church is especially challenged to meet payroll and pay bills.   We are unable to hold our fundraisers -rummage sales, etc. We still count on you to help us meet our commitments. We have folks among us who have reduced income as a result of the COVID-19 guidelines who may not be able to give as they have in the past.

Use this time to brainstorm ideas in how you can reach out tangibly to others to show God’s love to the people around you this week even while living in a self-quarantine state.

Prayer of Dedication: Almighty God, as John the Baptist identified the arrival of the Messiah, this Advent season, that role falls on us. As we bring our tithes and offerings to you, we pray that our giving continues to point to the Christ who comes in love and compassion, with more concern for those who don’t have enough and little concern that those who have so much will get more. May our giving in this season reflect our hope for a new kind of kingdom to reign in our world. We pray this in the name of the Messiah, Jesus our Savior. Amen.

Hymn: Each week we will include in our worship each week a Carol of Resistance for this series.

Today’s Carol of Resistance was written in 1849 by a Massachusetts Unitarian minister, Rev. Edmund Hamilton Sears. One verse has been left out of several hymnals over the decades since then but the new hymnal, Glory to God, restores this powerful verse that refers to the love-song of the angels being drowned out by our warring nature:

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
the world has suffered long;
beneath the angel-strain have rolled
two thousand years of wrong;
and we at war on earth hear not
the love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise and cease the strife,
and hear the angels sing.

Let us be reminded that we are to listen to the angel chorus and then join it, raising our voices with the message that love, not hate, is the answer.

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkjH7sowY4U

Benediction:

We wait for justice
but we do not wait to work for change;

We wait for restored health
but we do not wait to work to heal;

We wait for wholeness
but we do not wait to work at binding brokenness;

We wait for peace
but we do not wait to work to eliminate hatred.

And so, my friends, like bells ringing out the news
that God is with us, Emmanuel.
And continue to fill the night left by sadness with messages of love.

Go into your lives humming the tunes that keep that love alive in you
and that spur you on in your work of justice and reconciliation.
Raise your voices and repeat after me…
“do not be afraid!”
“do not be afraid!”
Amen!

Passing of the Peace of God

Let your hearts sing a new song in place of your benediction song. Reach out to someone in our congregation and place a song in their heart by your contact.

I Believe in the Sun

HFUMC/MUMC
Nov. 29, 2020
Isaiah 40: 1-11
Mark 1:1-15

Follow along in this service by clicking
on the links for music, message, etc.,
coming back to the service
after each.

This Advent, we are looking to hear words of comfort, of challenge and of good news. The prophet Isaiah and the four Gospel authors were writing in a time when people needed desperately to hear all of these as well. This first week, Isaiah, the prophet, and Mark–the Gospel writer who published first–reassure the people that good news is beginning and yet they both say, “Make yourself ready! Raise your voices, change your hearts, get ready to be transformed, because now is the time.” Let us embrace hope that we can do what needs to be done to bring more light into the world.

Our worship series this Advent calls on the power of sung poetry that inspires those who hear it to a brighter tomorrow. It has been a difficult time in this pandemic for singing to be restricted in many places. In its absence, we have been reminded just how important it is to sing together. Indeed, music has often been the soundtrack of hope. Today I am sharing with you the theme anthem for this series. These words were found scrawled on a wall and have now been shared with the world, reminding us of the resilience of hope. May we never forget what can happen when evil is allowed to go unchecked and may we always use our music, our art, our poetry, even our simple acts of kindness, as inspiration to create goodness, not evil, in this world.

The words are simple and I promise you will know them by heart by the end of this series.   I have found that this song sticks with you and I find myself singing it to myself all day long. Someday, we will once again be able to join our voices in song in our sanctuary. But for now, rather than turn away from music in sorrow, we will turn toward the story of music and deepen our appreciation of its role in healing, change, and reconciliation.

Anthem“I Believe”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmtIZHEHPd4

Advent Candle Lighting
At home you can create your own Advent candle for the season. Or you can just have a single candle for each week to light. This week we focus on the candle of Hope.

Leader:  I believe in the sun, I believe in the sun, even when,
even when it’s not shining.
People:  I believe in the sun, I believe in the sun, even when,
even when it’s not shining.

Leader:  The place without light
People:  The place without light

Leader:  The depth of night
People:  The depth of night

Leader:  The pit of unknowing
People:  The pit of unknowing

(Leader leads in Prayer – Candle is lit when “ignite the flame” is said)

 Holy One,
we thank you for the glimpses we catch
of your gift of untiring hope.
Even in the midst of fear,
of challenge, of struggle–
even when our view is obscured
by clouds of doubt,
ignite the flame of hope within us,

People: … that we might glow with its brilliance from the inside out.
I believe in the sun,
I believe in the sun,

even when… even when…
it’s not shining.

Help us face this bleak night of the soul and embrace it as a womb of rebirth.  Amen.

Praise  The Thrill of Hopehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNuY6I4OtoE

Children’s Church: We are focusing on learning one verse each week during the Advent Season. Let us bring light to the darkness.

Prayer:

Please take this time to speak out loud the things that have brought you joy and blessing this week.   I am sure you have them, but sometimes we have to be reminded to look for them.   Thank you Jesus for these things.  Then after you have have shared those joys, list your concerns as you would if we were together.  Now, let us join together in prayer:

Prayer/Scripture/Message: Isaiah 40:1-11 CEB, Mark 1:1-15 CEBhttps://youtu.be/TyYRBcAn5jM

Litany of Belief
In times when humanity disappoints,
perhaps when even our own thoughts and behaviors disappoint,
it is an important act to call out, name and claim, the consequences of our wrongs.

And in times of distress it is a prophetic act to call out,
name and claim, our belief in the hope for tomorrow.

I believe that we have looked the other way too many times AND
I believe that we are capable of facing reality and working for change.

I believe that our fear of difference has robbed us of compassion AND
I believe that we can look deeper and hold onto the things that we have in common.

I believe that our fear of doubt makes us stop asking tough questions AND
I believe that asking tough questions in the face of injustice is faithful.

We believe, even when we are discouraged.
We believe, that when we are discouraged,
raising our voices for justice will offer us hope!

Hymn:  Come Thou Long Expected Jesus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRAFQCOkjgE

Offering:

Take this time to exercise the privilege of sharing in the work of God by giving your tithe to the church.  You have options:


US Mail:
First United Methodist Church of Herkimer
127 N. Prospect Street
Herkimer, NY 13350.   

         or

Morning Star United Methodist Church
36 Second Street
Ilion, NY  13357

        or

Online Giving for HFUMC (safe and secure)

You can use this link or download the Tithe.ly app from the app store https://tithe.ly/give?c=1695306

During this time the church is especially challenged to meet payroll and pay bills.   We are unable to hold our fundraisers -rummage sales, etc. We still count on you to help us meet our commitments. We have folks among us who have reduced income as a result of the COVID-19 guidelines who may not be able to give as they have in the past.

Use this time to brainstorm ideas in how you can reach out tangibly to others to show God’s love to the people around you this week even while living in a self-quarantine state.

Prayer of Dedication:
Great God of wonderful surprises: we enter this season of preparation for your Son’s coming, looking not for just a memory of past events, but anticipating a return. We strive to get our lives in order and pray that our giving of ourselves to these preparations might reflect the earth-shaking importance of his coming. Help us to give ourselves generously, for we do not know the day or the hour. We pray in the name of the one who will come. Amen.

Hymn:  We will include in our worship each week a Carol of Resistance for this series.   This morning we are embracing I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.

Benediction: (If you can pick up your candle and hold it up high!)

We wait for justice
but we do not wait to work for change;

We wait for restored health
but we do not wait to work to heal;

We wait for wholeness
but we do not wait to work at binding brokenness;

We wait for peace
but we do not wait to work to eliminate hatred.

And so, my friends, like bells ringing out the news
that the sun still shines even on cloudy days,
fill the night left by sadness with messages of hope.

Go into your lives humming the tunes that keep that hope alive in you
and that spur you on in your work of justice and reconciliation.
Raise your voices and repeat after me…

“do not be afraid!”
“do not be afraid!”
Amen!

Passing of the Peace of God
Let your hearts sing a new song in place of your benediction song. Reach out to someone in our congregation and place a song in their heart by your contact.