For Sunday, 1 November 2020
Wherever & whenever you choose!
Church Without Walls: Driveway to Driveway
Beloved Anchor City Family,
We are so thankful that our church community demonstrates the reality of Psalm 68:6, “God sets the lonely in families.”
This week, instead of gathering via Zoom for worship, we are meeting in socially-distanced small groups — in driveways, backyards, parks, or wherever works for you!
Please use this simple worship guide to help connect you to God and to each other. We believe transformation happens in community, so we encourage you to bring open hearts in worship, prayer, and friendship! You’ll find suggestions in green throughout, but feel free to make this worship service your small group’s expression of worship!
This Church Without Walls is for young and old alike. We know the littles can be squirmy at times, but please include and encourage them to participate! We’re praying for grace, friendship, and love to overflow as you worship God together this weekend!
Light a Candle
Note: Everyone local to San Diego received a candle in their November Thanksgiving packages from the church. You can choose to light just one person’s candle or everyone can light their own (recognizing that this might be tough to stay lit when you’re outside!)
If you’re participating in the Desktop to Desktop gathering, similar packages are on their way — apologies for not getting there in time for this first Sunday in November!
Call to Worship
Suggestion: You can read this out loud together or have one person read. If you have kids in your group who can read, this might be a great way to get them involved in leading worship too.
Based on Psalm 19
The heavens are telling the glory of God
May our worship reflect God’s glory.
The firmament proclaims God’s handiwork.
May we see each other as the handiwork of God.
Let our prayer and praise, our singing and proclamation project the love of God.
We commune with Christians around the world,
with Christians throughout time.
With Christians across geography and across time, Let us worship!
from Jesus Sets the Table, resources by the United Church of Christ, posted on their Worship Ways website.
by John Birch
Suggestion: Similarly to the Call to Worship, you can read this out loud together or take turns, or have one person read. If you have kids in your group who can read, this might be a great way to get them involved in leading worship too.
The warmth of the sun’s embrace
the gentle breeze swept in by incoming tide
the rhythm of seasons
Of new birth death and recreation
All these speak so clearly of your love
your power and your beauty
All are expressions of your creativity
and more importantly of yourself
As an artist might share his personality
within each brushstroke
so within the myriad colours
of a butterfly’s wing
you share the exuberance of your love
That we can glimpse you
within creation is a beautiful thought
but also tells us that you desire to be seen
to be found and known
Open our eyes, Lord
as we walk through this world
feel the wind and sunshine
see the majesty of creation unfolding before our eyes
to see you. Amen.
Copyright © John Birch, posted on Faith and Worship – Prayers and Resources
From Psalm 148
Suggestion: Instead of singing a praise song, listen to this song together.
Share: Did any of these lyrics speak to you today?
Prayer of Confession
Suggestion: You can read the passage out loud together, have one person read the whole passage, or have different people (including kids!) read different verses.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Amen.from Psalm 51
How Close Is God?
For the children’s time in today’s worship gathering, have someone read the story, “How Close is God?” from the Growing in God’s Love Story Bible that was distributed with the packages (p. 174-175) and ask the questions at the end of the reading. Be sure to have some of the adults answer the questions as well.
After, elementary age and younger children can do the three crafts outlined in the parent letter (wooden rainbow coloring and the two rainbow scratch projects) reminding the children that we can know that God is close when we see a rainbow.
Notes: For today’s worship, we’ll center our worship around sharing in a meal called an “Agape Meal.” Agape means unconditional love in Biblical Greek.
An Agape Meal was shared in two ways:
1) As an actual meal that was shared by followers of Christ as an act of worship that reminded us that we are to share love with all
2) As a way to remember Christ through a meal, even when there isn’t someone ordained (pastor) present.
While you won’t be sharing an actual meal today, you’ll be sharing elements that remind us of Christ’s final meal on earth and remember that Christ is with us.
Those local to San Diego received a packet of crackers and a bottle of grape juice. For safety’s sake, please do not share these elements with people outside of your family.
Choose someone to read Psalm 34:8 out loud:
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
After reading out loud, please take some time to share as a group.
- How have you experienced God’s goodness this week?
- From what do you need to find God’s shelter?
Have someone read this prayer before sharing of the bread (cracker) and juice:
Lord Jesus, we know you are here,
as you were in the midst of your disciples;
Help us to see You
as we share this food together.
May the food and companionship we share
nourish our bodies, hearts, and minds.
And may our spirits be refreshed
as we live in the light of your presence,
with us now and at all times and places.
Eat the crackers and juice. Feel free to eat and drink all of what you have.
If you’re comfortable doing so, please wrap up the reflection time by praying for each other and then close the worship time with the Lord’s Prayer.
The Lord’s Prayer
Suggestion: Please close your time of worship by praying the Lord’s Prayer out loud together. You can have one person say, “Let us pray the prayer Jesus taught us to pray, saying. . .” as a way of prompting everyone to pray together in unison.
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 debts,
as we forgive our debtors;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom
and the power
and the glory, forever.
If you want worship music during this time (or at any time!), click here to check out Anchor City’s Spotify playlist.