September 6, 2020 - Home Worship Service

Welcome & Announcements: Good morning church!


Sunday Sept 6th we will start up in person worship at Lightstreet with the 8am contemporary service in the Lighthouse. 9:00am 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. There will be no live musicians, but we will have music via the sound system.  Space is limited to around 25 at the in-person services so reservations are required by contacting Pastor Jenn at or call or text her.


Sunday 9:00 am Zoom Worship & Prayer

Jennifer Parks-Snyder is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Worship

Time: Aug 30, 2020 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


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Meeting ID: 854 4146 8430

Passcode: 279040


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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

Sing aloud to God our strength!

Sing the story of our faith.

Sing of God's providential care!

Sing of God's sorrow at our wandering!

Sing of God's love that calls us anew.

Sing aloud to God our strength!


Opening Song:  Below My Feet by the LUMC Praise Band


You were cold as the blood runs through your bones

And the light which led us from our chosen homes

Well I was lost


And now I sleep. Sleep the hours that I don’t weep

When all I knew was steeped in blackened holes

I was lost


Chorus:           Keep the earth below my feet for all my sweat my blood runs weak

Let me learn from where I have been, keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn

Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn


And I was still. I was under your spell when I was told by Jesus all was well

So, all must be well


Just give me time You know your desires and mine

So, wrap my flesh in ivy and in twine

For I must be well




Opening Prayer

This morning, O God, Your voice sounds into our lives again. Calling us to Your healing care, to Your spacious freedom, to Your giving humility. We come to rest and be fed. Call us to your freeing love again. Feed us now, God of our strength. Amen.


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!

Have you ever read the story, "Horton Hatches the Egg" by Dr. Seuss? It is a wonderful story about an elephant named Horton. The story begins with a lazy bird named Mayzie sitting on her egg in a tree. Sitting on the egg was tiresome and boring and Mayzie hated it. "I'd take a vacation, fly off for a rest if I could find someone to stay on my nest!" said Mayzie.

That’s when Horton walked by. Mayzie asked Horton if he would sit on her egg while she took a little rest. Horton objected at first, but Mayzie promised that she would not be gone long, so Horton finally agreed and soon he was sitting on the nest while Mayzie flew off to Florida for a vacation.

In Florida, Mayzie had such fun that she decided she would never return to her nest. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, but Horton kept sitting there, day after day. Winter came and icicles hung from Horton's trunk and his feet, but still he remained faithful to his promise to Mayzie.

"I'll stay on this egg and I won't let it freeze," he said with a sneeze. "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant is faithful, 100%."

Now, I don't know if elephants are really faithful 100% or not, but I know someone who is. God is faithful, 100%!

Scripture reminds us of that as does Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. God is always there for us, and God will never leave us. And so, I hope you believe that trust that. Like Horton, God is faithful to you.

Let’s pray: Thank You God, for Your faithfulness in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Here’s a link to a video of Horton Hatches An Egg:

Labor Day Prayer & Lord’s Prayer:

Come to me all you who labor and are heavily burdened and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden light
(Matthew 11:28)

Good and gracious God, on this holiday weekend, we recognize how we are interdependent in our laboring. We depend on the farmers and workers who plant and pick our vegetables and fruit, the doctors, nurses, and hospital workers that care for us, the teachers and school staff who form our children’s minds, and the countless volunteers and social service workers that protect us and help us in emergencies. We thank You, Lord, for the gifts and talents You have given us that allow us to earn a living and contribute something positive to our world.
            We pray, dear Lord, for those who are without work. Our society preaches to us that our worth comes from success, of being better than the Jones’. But our worth comes because You made us. We are Your children, no matter what, job or no job. You love us and you call us to love and support each other. Help us to bind together, Lord, as a community, as a nation. Help us to realize this weekend how dependent we are on one another and let us give thanks for each other this Labor Day weekend, Lord. Help us to celebrate and give thanks for each other and appreciate the value, the dignity, the contribution that each one makes to keep our country, our cities, our lives going.

And in tough times, be it for us or those we named before You, help us all to remember the words of Jesus who promises to take our burdens and make them light. And so, in affirmation of our trust in his grace, we pray the words He taught us saying……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.  Amen. 


Offering Invitation: Because God has so richly blessed us, let us receive our morning offering in gratitude for all God has done and continues to do in our lives.

Offering Prayer: Holy and Generous God, we humbly bring our gifts to Your altar, conscious of how unwilling we’ve been at times to let go of money to help others, but how easily we can spend on ourselves. Help us to learn better to invest what we have in that which has lasting value: love, hope, compassion, redemption, and reconciliation. We pray in the name of the One who was all these things made flesh, Jesus the Christ. Amen.


Scripture Lesson: Matthew 25:14-30 (RSV)

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; 15 to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more. 17 So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’


Sermon: Fruit of the Spirit is Faithfulness


In this text, Jesus is preparing his followers for His absence. And so, He gives this discourse about end of times and judgement using parables and warnings. Like the days of Noah in chapter 24, that remind us that people lived their lives not considering a flood could occur, but it did.  Jesus then tells the story of the thief in the night; the house owner should be ready for his arrival. And before the story you hear of the talents, Jesus speaks of ten bridesmaids waiting for their groom, but only half were ready. All spoken by Jesus because He wants to encourage the faithfulness of His followers while He is gone.


So, we come to this story about the talents. 14 “For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; 15 to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.


A talent was a unit of money worth about 15-20 years of a laborer’s wages. That’s a lot of money.  And the question will be, who will be good and faithful to the man?  It’s not a story that teaches us what to do with our money, it’s a story that teaches us what faithfulness is about, especially when the one we are faithful to is not around to tell us how to live. Because notice the master doesn’t tell the servants what to do with the talents. He simply gives them the talents, “each according to his ability”


You heard what happened. The master comes back, and the first two servants took the money and traded it, bringing about another profit. Both are praised when the master comes back. ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’


But the one who buried the talent and did nothing….. Well he said this, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ Unfortunately, this guy condemns himself with his own logic because the master points out that if he really were so harsh, then the servant should have feared all the more for not trying to earn more money with what was entrusted to him. This guy is not praised for his inaction, he is not called good or faithful. Rather he is labeled “wicked” and “slothful” and his talent was taken away. Further he was condemned for his fearful inactivity.


What this parable teaches us is that being good and faithful is not about passiveness, but rather being active and responsible with what you have been given. And sometimes that includes taking risks.


The Bible is filled with stories of those who were faithful to God, and took risks to prove it. Abraham was definitely a man who did so. First he was called by God to move to another land, away from his family. And he did so. Then he was told to travel and go various places as God was leading him to the land he promised Abraham, and he went. And when God promised him an heir, Abraham believed and trusted. So much so that when God tested Abraham to sacrifice his own son, Isaac, Abraham was willing to do so, because Abraham believed with God, God would take care of it all.


He wasn’t the only faithful one, but he is labeled a faithful father of our beliefs because he trusted God, and his actions and responses to God’s will, proved it.


There are many others in the Bible who can teach us about actively responding to this faith, even if it meant taking risks. There’s Noah, ridiculed for building an ark, but he was prepared when the flood waters came. There is Gideon, sent to battle the Midianites with a small army, but they won with God’s help. Esther, who gave herself to become a leader of God’s people in a tainted kingdom of persecution.  David, who battled a giant with a sling shot, trusting God would see him through.  Jeremiah, who time and time again tried to warn the kingdom of their downfall, and was chastised for his words, but he remained faithful to God. And of course, Mary and Joseph, both making social sacrifices in order to bring the Son of God in this world and raise him.


Being faithful requires action, requires risks. And if you look around, you will notice others who do such things in response for what they believe in.  


You may have seen this story this week. Julio Ceasar Mora and his wife Waldramina Maclovia Quinteros of Ecuador, have been married for 79 years. He’s 110 years old and she'll turn 105 in October, making them the oldest married couple in the world with a combined age of 214 years and 358 days.


They met during a school vacation because her sister was married to his cousin. After seven years of friendship, they got married on February 7, 1941. It was an intimate and secret ceremony with their godparents and close friends because their families didn't approve of the marriage. The husband and wife said their relatives didn't get along at first, but they were able to bring them together over the years. "It was not easy because our relatives did not have a good relationship, but with time and patience we were able to unite them and we became an example and the best reference for the younger generations" they added.


In a statement they released when asked what made their marriage last, they said, "Family unity under the rules of love, mutual respect, honest work, and proper education based on family values are the keys to healthy coexistence”.[1]


Being faithful to something or someone you believe in is never passive, but active. It is active with love, with mutual respect, with honest work, and family values. And being faithful to what you believe in is not necessarily safe. Just as Julio and his Waldramina ended up taking a risk to get married, despite their family’s approval.


Jesus was faithful to God and God’s way, and we know that by His actions and the risks He took. Preaching where He was heard but also condemned. Touching and healing those considered untouchable. Forgiving those who sinned, in order that they may go and sin no more. And the point was, with each action, with each movement, Jesus was revealing God’s faithfulness to us. God takes a risk with each of us, by being faithful to us, being responsible for us. Further, God has given us the Spirit to be faithful to God and God’s way for us, as revealed in Jesus Christ. Therefore, the question is, what will we do to be a good and faithful servant?  

What talent has God given you to use as a form of your trust in His will? And what are you doing with it? Are you allowing the Spirit to lead you with the fruit of faithfulness?


At my first appointment as a pastor, I was blessed to know a man named Bob. Bob was in his 80’s when I became his pastor and he was a certified lay speaker that was asked to preach at many of the smaller churches in the area. So, I didn’t get to see Bob that often on Sundays, but I saw him a lot out and about in the community. And every time I did, I saw Bob sharing his faith with as many people as possible.


If I ran into him at a restaurant, I heard him quote scripture to the people he was talking to. Matthew 6:33 was one of his favorites when he spoke to someone struggling with a problem. He would look at them, point his finger upwards and say, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”.


If I saw Bob at a community function, he would go around and hand out dollar bills to children and youth, pointing out the words on the bill that state “In God We Trust” encouraging them to do so.


If I were doing a hospital visit, I would run into him doing the same, visiting people and praying for them. I would even see Bob praying for the doctors and nurses when he was talking to them in the hallways.


Bob was an optimist for God’s role in our lives, knowing God always had a plan for each of us, and Bob used his talents to build up the community of believers in his Savior, to build up the kingdom of God. Bob was a faithful servant, and he inspired our faithfulness too.


Maybe you know a Bob, who does the same for you. And maybe today’s text is God’s way of nudging you to consider how to use your talents to be faithful, too. To put them in action, in response to the faithfulness God has shown you. If so, may I suggest, you be open to the will of the Spirit and its fruit so that when the day comes and you see Jesus, he can say “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’


Closing Song: Great is Thy Faithfulness by Donna Farver & Linda Creasy


Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with Thee;

Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not as Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.


Chorus:           “Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”

                        Morning by morning new mercies I see;

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—

                        “Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!


Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest, sun, moon and stars in their courses above,

Join with all nature in manifold witness to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love. Chorus


Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!



Benediction/Sending Forth

Go into this world confident in Christ’s love, the Spirit’s generosity, and God’s faithfulness. Go to be a witness to all you meet. AMEN.






  April 2021  
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