August 30, 2020 - Home Worship Service

Welcome & Announcements: Good morning church!


August 30th, Pastor Jenn will hold the 9am ZOOM worship. Then at 10:10am she will be preaching in person at Rohrsburg UM Church, 706 Zaners Rohrsburg Rd, Orangeville, PA 17859  and at 11am she will be at Orangeville UM Church, 402 Mill St, Orangeville, PA 17859 for in person worship as well. Please note: Pastor Jenn will NOT be preaching the same sermon as below at those locations. Because this sermon is part of a series, she has decided to preach something else there. Both churches are part of our charge. Feel free to attend with a mask. No chairs needed.


Sunday, September 6th we will start up in person worship at Lightstreet with the 8am contemporary service in the Lighthouse where you bring your own mask and chair. 9:15am will be ZOOM worship. And then at 10:30am will be our traditional service in the church sanctuary. You will need a mask and will be asked to be spaced apart from others unless you are sitting with those in your household. 8am will have the praise band leading. 10:30 we will have traditional music via sound system. No singing allowed at this time, just humming. And no children and youth Sunday School just yet. Space is limited to around 25 at the in-person services.



Sunday 9:00 am Zoom Worship & Prayer

Pastor Jenn and your church leaders invite you to ZOOM, Sunday morning, 9:00 am.

  Meeting ID: 854 4146 8430        Password: 279040

One tap mobile:  +19294362866,,85441468430#,,,,0#,,279040# US (New York)

For audio only using a landline or non-smart phone:  1 929 436 2866 US (New York)



I invite you to light a candle to welcome the Light of the World in your presence and prepare your heart for worship this day.


Call to Worship:

L: Sing to the Lord a new song, a song of hope and rejoicing!

P: Praise God for wonderful acts of mercy and kindness!

L: God has remembered God’s faithful ones.

P: God has poured blessing upon blessing upon us!

L: Praise the Lord, all the earth, shout your praise!

P: Rejoice, for God is truly with us. AMEN.


Gathering Prayer

From all our life’s pathways, You have called us to this place, O Lord. Be with us as we listen for Your word and seek Your ways. Guide our steps and guard our lives that we may serve You more effectively in this broken world. AMEN.[1]


Opening Song: Open My Eyes by Donna Farver
1.Open my eyes, that I may see Glimpses of truth thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key That shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for thee, Ready, my God, thy will to see. Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!


2.Open my ears, that I may hear Voices of truth thou sendest clear;
And while the wavenotes fall on my ear, Everything false will disappear.
Silently now I wait for thee, Ready, my God, thy will to see. Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine!


3.Open my mouth, and let me bear Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare Love with thy children thus to share.
Silently now I wait for thee, Ready, my God, thy will to see. Open my heart, illumine me, Spirit divine!


Children’s Time: It's our children's time and I want to start with a question I ask you each and every week: Who are you? Children Respond: Special Gifts of God!

PJ: That's right, you are special gifts of God each and every day and I'm so lucky to spend time with you!


Today I am going to be talking about kindness and goodness, both fruits of the Spirit. Now to help us understand the difference between the two, we can picture one fruit as an apple, the other as an orange. Like the apple could represent kindness. Kindness is when you notice others, and you want to care for them. There used to be a tradition that when students wanted to show their kindness to their teachers, they would bring them an apple.


Now the fruit of goodness is the when we want to help others, particularly those in need. When you know someone is not feeling well, do you know what is good for them? Oranges. Oranges have vitamin c, which is good for our bodies to feel better.


So, let’s see if you can recognize the difference between the two. When I say something, you decide if it deserves an apple, for kindness, or an orange for goodness.


When the church celebrates its Sunday school teachers. Is that an apple or an orange? It’s an apple, we are showing kindness to our teachers.


How about when the church recognizes there are people in need, and they want to help them. Is that an apple, of kindness, or orange for goodness? It’s another apple, we recognize them, and we are being kind in seeing them.


Now what if the church collects and distributes food to people who are hungry. That is an orange. It is goodness, helping others.


And when the church organizes a coat drive, or offers free books, that too is an orange, it is goodness.


This week I want you to consider how the Spirit of God may be leading you to be kind and good to another person. Because a lot of times those two fruits go together. Like you think of someone and you miss them, and you know they miss you, so send them a card. That is being kind and good to that person. Or maybe you see your parents have been pretty busy working and helping you at home at the same time, so you decide to help them around the house, that too is being kind and good. Jesus was always being kind and good to others, and as his followers, we are to do the same.


Let’s pray: Thank you God, for the fruits of kindness and goodness that help us be like Jesus. Amen.


Pastoral Prayer

Lord of summer sunshine and autumn harvest be with us this day as we gather to encounter Your word and Your way for us. Remind us that we can place our trust in Your eternal love. Enable us to be more effective in our witness to that love by word and deed. Guide our steps and pick us up when we falter. Dust us off and place us on the pathways of grace and service.

Help us to mirror Jesus who loved and healed others who were rejected by society. Remind us that we are called to be strong voices of hope for those who feel alienated and lost; we are called to be a home to strangers; to quench thirst and to give nourishment; to welcome and bring words of hope. Forgive us when we have forgotten these things.

Enter our hearts this day as we share our joys and concerns in prayer and in the actions and service that follows. We lift before You situations and people who are in need of Your healing mercies and Your peace. Help us to be those who would bring this peace to them. As our lives have encountered difficulties and concerns, so, too, are we blessed with great joys. We celebrate these moments of happiness and wonder with each other, lifting up joys and celebrations in this congregation this morning.

Lord, bless all those whom we have named before You in our hearts and with our voices. Touch each life with the blessings and peace and mercy from Your Son, 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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.[2]  Amen.



As God has blessed our lives with abundant love and gifts, let us bring our tithes and offerings to this place, seeking to help others, to offer comfort and hope. Let us receive our morning offering.


Prayer of Dedication

Lord of all mercy and compassion, bless these gifts lovingly offered and all the people here. Help us to use these gifts for ministries of hope through our church and into our community, nation and world. AMEN.



Scripture Lesson: John 5:1–17

Even on the Sabbath

5 1-6 Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?”

7 The sick man said, “Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.”

8-9 Jesus said, “Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.” The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off.

9-10 That day happened to be the Sabbath. The Jews stopped the healed man and said, “It’s the Sabbath. You can’t carry your bedroll around. It’s against the rules.”

11 But he told them, “The man who made me well told me to. He said, ‘Take your bedroll and start walking.’”

12-13 They asked, “Who gave you the order to take it up and start walking?” But the healed man didn’t know, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd.

14 A little later Jesus found him in the Temple and said, “You look wonderful! You’re well! Don’t return to a sinning life or something worse might happen.”

15-16 The man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. That is why the Jews were out to get Jesus—because he did this kind of thing on the Sabbath.

17 But Jesus defended himself. “My Father is working straight through, even on the Sabbath. So am I.”



Sermon: The Fruit of the Spirit is Kindness & Goodness


As we are continuing our sermon series on the Fruit of the Spirit, ways that the Spirit of God works in us to be more like Christ, we come to the fruits of kindness and goodness. And as I shared in the children’s message, there is a difference. Kindness is showing concern for others, while goodness is helping others who are in need.


In this text I just shared, we see Jesus being kind and good to the man who was not able to walk for thirty-eight years.


Now the story is this man was near the pool called Bethesda, that was believed to have healing abilities. The healings came when the waters were stirred. Now they weren’t stirred by a person, they stirred naturally. Scholars believe this occurred because this pool was connected to a reservoir to collect rainwater and every once in a while, the dam would be open to pour that water into this pool area developed by the Roman Empire. [3]However, the people believed the waters were stirred by angels, therefore they believed they had a healing element to them. And so, it would be a blessing to get in the waters as soon as they stirred.


This was the hope the man held onto. But he waited 38 years because he couldn’t go in the waters himself, he was waiting for someone to be kind, to show concern for him, and someone to be good, that is help him into the waters. For 38 years that did not happen.


Enter Jesus. Jesus knew the pain of the man. The pain of his impairment, and the pain of being left on his own, helpless and hopeless. So, Jesus says, “Do you want to get well?” The man replies no one will put him in the pool. But that wasn’t what Jesus was asking, and it was not what he was offering.  So, Jesus says, “Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.” The text next states, The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off.


Now what we need to pay attention to is, this man did not seek Jesus out, it was the other way around. Jesus sought him out, because no one else sought this man out. No one else would be kind or good to him, but God will, God does in Jesus, who made His power known to a man who hadn’t even known His name.


As the story continues, this man was healed on the Sabbath, and was told it was not lawful to carry his bedroll.

In Jesus’ time, Judaism kept to three practices: circumcision, food laws, and sabbath observance. And to challenge any of those practices was sacrilegious.


I read this article titled, The Sabbath Controversy in the Gospels by scholar Robert L. (Bob)Deffinbaugh

And he shared,

“that the Sabbath Day is to be kept holy, and that on it no work is to be done… All kinds of things were classified as work. For instance, to carry a burden on the Sabbath Day is to work and the Scribal Law lays it down that a burden is “food equal in weight to a dried fig, enough wine for mixing in a goblet, milk enough for one swallow, honey enough to put upon a wound, oil enough to anoint a small member, water enough to moisten an eye-salve, paper enough to write a customs house notice upon, ink enough to write two letters of the alphabet, reed enough to make a pen”—and so on endlessly. So they spent endless hours arguing whether a man could or could not lift a lamp from one place to another on the Sabbath, whether a tailor committed a sin if he went out with a needle in his robe, whether a woman might wear a brooch or false hair, even if a man might go out on the Sabbath with artificial teeth or an artificial limb, if a man might lift his child on the Sabbath Day.”[4]


When this man was challenged for carrying his bedroll he states, “The man who made me well told me to. He said, ‘Take your bedroll and start walking.’”12-13 They asked, “Who gave you the order to take it up and start walking?” But the healed man didn’t know, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd. It’s important to recognize that the healed man didn’t know Jesus’ name, because this is not a lesson on faith. It was and is a lesson of kindness and goodness, of concern for a suffering man, and helping him. And after that help, comes faith. 14 A little later Jesus found him in the Temple and said, “You look wonderful! You’re well! Don’t return to a sinning life or something worse might happen. “This is not a threat, it’s a statement of God’s truth, it doesn’t matter where one has been or what they have done, God wants to make their life better and keep it that way.


So next we read that the man tells the authorities it was Jesus who healed him – not to get Jesus in trouble, but as an act of faith. He is not turning Jesus in for violating the Sabbath law, he announces Jesus as the man who made him well. And the text continues, That is why the Jews were out to get Jesus—because he did this kind of thing on the Sabbath.17


I want to pause here for a moment. In this climate of divisions, I want to make something clear about the gospel of John. When it is written “the Jews”, we need to keep in mind they are characters in the story- just like the invalid. To call these men of this story “the Jews” is not to reflect the ethnic group. They are not Jesus’ enemy because they are Jewish, but because this certain group rejects Jesus. Their response to Jesus is the issue, not their Jewishness. I wish John would have kept to “religious authorities” or “Temple leaders”, but he didn’t. So please keep that in mind as you read about “the Jews” in this gospel or anywhere else in the Bible. They were characters of this story and time who were threatened by Jesus power which threatened their order. And their concern is they have too much to lose if Jesus redefines that order and their understanding of God.


Which is what Jesus spends time doing with His ministry, helping people to grow in their understanding of God and what God is about. In this text we read, But Jesus defended Himself. “My Father is working straight through, even on the Sabbath. So am I.”


The God the Temple leaders knew of through creation, the God who rested on the 7th day, Jesus says is now working, to give and sustain life, all days. Therefore, if believers want to imitate God, they should recognize that God is at work, even on the Sabbath to make goodness and kindness known.


John writes this story in his gospel because it is a story about revealing Jesus, not teaching about the law. And in Jesus we see kindness and goodness, just like God. And this God of kindness and goodness- doesn’t matter where you have been or what you have done, this God wants to make your life better.

This God wants to use us to make lives better.

Not sure if you saw this story this summer, but Rockstar Jon Bon Jovi and his wife are doing that, being kind and good to others. This started 10 years ago after Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey, Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea, started The JBJ Soul Kitchen, which is an effort to address food insecurity -- hunger -- among people in need. The menu, which features fresh farm-to-table meals, has no posted prices. Patrons who can afford to do so make a donation to cover their own meal and the meal of someone else. Individuals or families who cannot afford to donate are fed anyway, and those who are able can pay it forward by volunteering for tasks in the kitchen, such as washing dishes.


The JBJ Soul Kitchen website expresses the philosophy this way: "Community Dining with Dignity. All are welcome at our table where locally sourced ingredients, dignity and respect are always on the menu." However, the website advises, "Please note that our in-need customers will always be seated first as they have no other options for dining."


"Our desire is to make sure that anyone who needs a meal knows that they can come and see us," Bon Jovi said, "and we'll provide them with that nutritious meal."


With the pandemic, these normal practices were altered to take-out only therefore people couldn’t volunteer in the kitchen. So, at one point, the rocker himself, filled in as a dishwasher. That’s when Bon Jovi's wife, Dorothea, took a picture of him washing dishes and posted it on social media, with the caption, "If you can't do what you do ... do what you can."[5]


Do what you can, that is the fruit of the Spirit of kindness and goodness.


Friends, may we learn from the Scriptures this day to be open to the Spirit’s leading for God’s will and do what we can, to be kind and good to others, in Jesus’ name.  


Prayer: Lord, help us to neither discount the little we can sometimes do, nor the much we can do at other times. Make us willing to put both our little and our much at your disposal. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Closing Song: Beautiful Things by LUMC Praise Band

All this pain I wonder if I'll ever find my way.  I wonder if my life could really change, at all
All this earth could all that is lost ever be found?  Could a garden come out from this ground, at all?



You make beautiful things.  You make beautiful things out of dust
You make beautiful things.  You make beautiful things out of us


All around, hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found, in You






You make me new, You are making me new.  You make me new, You are making me new

(Making me new)

You make beautiful things.  You make beautiful things out of dust
You make beautiful things.  You make beautiful things out of us


Oh, you make beautiful things.  You make beautiful things out of dust
You make beautiful things.  You make beautiful things out of us


You make me new, You are making me new.  You make me new, You are making me new


Benediction/Sending Forth

Jesus has called you and placed His trust in you. Go into this world, bearing the words of hope and healing. Reach out to others with kindness and goodness. For it is in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that you are sent out to serve. AMEN.


  April 2021  
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