Church Without Walls

For Sunday, 6 September 2020
Wherever & whenever you choose!
Email for audio/video link

Church Without Walls: Get Outside • Introduction

Beloved Anchor City Family,

Although we’ve been grateful for and have even been enjoying seeing everyone through Zoom on Sundays, we thought this would be a good week to take a break from our screens and get outside — to see and worship and experience God in a different setting. God is indeed everywhere and over all things, just as God is present in our community worship too!

Pleas use this worship guide in whatever time and location that works for you. If you are more than one in your household feel free to share the leadership, especially if you have children who are of reading age. You may take some time between the guide to pause, reflect, and meditate. This guide can serve as a jumping off point in growing deeper in our awareness of God’s presence, Jesus’ friendship and the guidance of the Holy Spirit into every part of our lives.

May you find yourselves continuing to be transformed in the loving grace of Jesus, the creative power of the Creator God, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Counselor.

Sermon series - image of lone tree with birds flying in sky with text overlaid, "Transformed Lives"

Preparing Our Hearts, Minds & Bodies for Worship

The Bible says to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength: our whole selves. So take a minute to start worship today by getting loving God with our strength — that is, our physical selves.

Take a minute to sit comfortably and take five deep breaths. Feel your hearts slow down, your lungs fill with oxygen, your shoulders begin to drop.

Then take some time to notice your surroundings around you. What do you hear? What do you see? Is there something that you see that makes you feel more rested, or filled with joy, or filled with peace? Is there something that you hear that makes you feel more rested, or filled with joy, or filled with peace? Perhaps you can touch something, taste something or smell something that makes you feel the same way. Or perhaps you feel it in a type of movement: stretching, running, maybe even dancing or jumping?

If you are with someone during this time of worship, share what you see or what you hear and ask them to do the same for you. How do you feel God’s presence through your physical self today? If you’re by yourself, take some time to journal your thoughts.

Call to Worship

Please read this out loud together

(inspired by Matthew 11: 28-30)

Jesus said,
If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens,
come to me and I will give you rest.
Take the yoke I give you.
Put it on your shoulders and learn from me.
I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest.
This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.

Christ calls us to come to worship
To rest from the things that are troubling us
To learn what Christ can teach of life
To realize what we can offer to others
And so to return into the world to serve
Let us worship God

From the Presbyterian Church of Aoteoaroa, New Zealand

Family Praise

All Around the World
Led by Elle Kim

Praise Song

How Great is Our God
Led by the Kim family

Prayers for the Household & for Anchor City

Spend some time praying for the different things that God has placed on each of your hearts. What are the things you want to be praying for today?

Also, please lift up our church family in prayer together — how can God be using Anchor City to bring about transformation in the world?

Bible Reflection Time for Families with Elementary and Younger Children

“How do you show love? How do you feel love? (How do you know that mom/dad/sister/brother loves you)?”

“We know God loves us because first the Bible tells us but also because we can see God’s love all around us. We can see it in the beautiful world around us. We can feel it through the love of our family. We can smell it in the clean air. We can even taste it through the yummy foods that God gives us. God loves you so much because you are you!”

Explain to the children that worship is how we love and thank God. We can worship in many ways by ourselves, with our families, and with our church family too.

Read and memorize this Bible verse together right now!

Let everything that has
breath praise the Lord

— Psalm 150:6 —

Take some time to memorize it as a family with motions – do this several times together until you’ve memorized it: 

  • Psalm 150, verse 6 (make numbers with fingers)
  • Let everything (Make a big circle motion with arms)
  • That has breath (Take a deep breath)
  • Praise the Lord! (Put both arms up in the air)

Ask each other:
What do you want to say thank you to God for today? (Have everyone in the family share) 

Pray together:
We pray a special way to remind us God loves us and that we love God too. Let’s pray together by putting our right hand up, our left hand up, wrap ourselves in a hug and pray together: Dear God, thank you for loving me. Help me to love you and to worship you everyday. Help me to become more like Jesus.

You can choose to skip to the end of the worship guide or continue on from here!

Bible Reflection Time for Youth Group and Adults

Take a moment to read John 15:1-17. You can read out loud in turns, by yourselves, or however you choose!

Think about a good friend you’ve had; the silly jokes you’ve laughed at together, the times you’ve been there for each other through hardship. Think about the things you admire about them, and how you’ve been influenced and changed by them. If you want, take a moment to think about two or three friends you’ve had over the years.

Spending time with our Anchor City family reminds me that, despite the frustrations and sorrow of the world around us, hope lives. Your thoughtfulness, kindness, generosity, and adaptability remind me how blessed I am to be in community with each of you. 

When we spend time with Jesus — really draw near to Him, we will be changed. He is unrivaled in compassion, unchallenged in glory, unmatched in love. There’s no one more wise or interesting — and when we stay connected to Him as a branch to a tree, we will begin to bear fruit that reflects who He is. 

One very important word of understanding: this process takes time. You’re not talking about microwave food that takes 90 seconds. You’re not even talking about a major car repair that takes 2 1/2 weeks. This process of transformation is a daily, ongoing, lifetime journey. Here’s one way to think about it. 

Take a minute to look up “cosmic crisp apples.” After a couple of minutes, come back together and share a couple of facts about cosmic crisps that are interesting to you. 

I’m not sure if you’ve tasted one before, but let’s focus for a minute on how long it took to develop this apple — over 20 years! Even with a university and whole industry backing it, there’s simply no rushing a process like this when it comes to bearing fruit. 

Your life is precious and valuable to God. Stick with Jesus — of course it will take time (probably more time than you’d like it to take!); instead of instead of kicking yourself because of your perceived shortcomings, how can you direct your time, effort, and attention to returning to Jesus when you feel yourself drifting away? 

May you stay connected to Jesus, the source of hope, creativity, restoration, redemption, life, and love — and may that deep life with Jesus bear fruit to the glory of God and for the life of the world.

Closing Song

Mercies (New Every Morning)
Led by the Kim family

Closing Prayer

Please read this out loud together

Oh God,
You are over all, in all, beyond all.

Open our eyes to see the wonders that surround us. Open our hearts to know the wonders of our brothers and sisters; open our lips to sing Your praise.

Restore all people in Your image and likeness. In and through Christ, Amen.

If you want more worship music during this time (or at any time!), click here to check out Anchor City’s Spotify playlist.