May 17, 2020

In Him we live, and
move, and have our being.

at home edition

First Mennonite Church
Sugarcreek, Ohio May 17, 2020

We believe in Jesus and take his life, teachings, death and resurrection as the model for how we live and the message we proclaim.
We seek to be a caring and discerning community,
the body of Christ,
that welcomes all to join in worship, study, and service.
We embody God’s transforming and redeeming Spirit in the world through our prophetic witness and action.


In Him we live, and move, and have our being


Welcome & Announcements:
Focus Statement:

God is the creator of our world and everything in it. He gives us life and breath, and is never far away from any of us. In times of uncertainty and change, we know that God is in control and calls us to seek after him and share his love with those around us.

*Call to Worship Prayer:
L: Here we are Lord, your church, uncertain, on an ever-changing journey.
P: Show us your path.
L: Here we are, longing to know your way.
P: Guide us to follow you.
L: Here we are, desiring only your comfort.
P: Help us to hear your voice.
All: Here we are, God; lead us according to your will.
*Opening Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we thank You that You are our God and our Saviour. Lord without You we can do
nothing—for in You we live and move and have our being. Use our lives to glorify You, and thank You Father for sending the Lord Jesus to suffer and die so that we might live, AMEN.

*Gathering Hymn:
“Sweet Hour of Prayer” Hymnal a Worship Book #11

~Prayer & Praising~

Psalm 66:8-20

8 Praise our God, all peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; 9 he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. 10 For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. 11 You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. 12 You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.

13 I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfill my vows to you—14 vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble. 15 I will sacrifice fat animals to you and offering of rams; I will offer bulls and goats.

16 Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. 17 I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. 18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; 19 but God has surely listened; and had heard my prayer. 20 Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!
Prayers of the Congregation:
Closing Prayer:
Almighty God, in whom we live and move and have our being, you have made us for yourself, so that our hearts are restless until they rest in you. Grant us purity of heart and strength of purpose, that no selfish passion may hinder us from knowing your will, no weakness from doing it; but that in your light we may see light clearly, and in your service find our perfect freedom, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. AMEN.

Hymn of Praise:
“Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” Hymnal a Worship Book #110


Scripture: Acts 17:16-34 NIV
16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 Then they took him and

brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offering.’
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he had set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” 32 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
Message: More than Religion


*Hymn of Response:
“Open My Eyes, that I May See” Hymnal a
Worship Book #517

Offering Prayer:

Dear God, I offer you my praise. I offer you my heart. I offer you my money. I offer you my life. Thank you for everything you give to me. AMEN.


*Sending Hymn:
“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” Hymnal a Worship Book #592

*Sending Prayer:

Gentle God, you have come near to us and have shown us your patience, compassion and love. As we go, O God, give us patience when people are indifferent to your Word, give us compassion for the needs of the world, and give us love which reflects your forgiveness and grace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior. AMEN.


For the new opportunities we have to gather to worship God.

*Jean Flinner: Praise that Jean and Bill have become great-grandparents again. Granddaughter Erica had Harper Lynn Sunday morning at 10:00a.m. Harper weighed 7lbs. 11oz.

*Tally Maust: Tabatha is now able to put weight on her leg and will be starting physical therapy on Monday.

*Mike Gehman: Visited Jeanne Maurer on her birthday through the window at Walnut Hills, and also visited Dan & Nancy Yoder through their screen door. They are doing well.

THE CHURCH PRAYS FOR____________________
*Mike Gehman: Dan Yoder lost his sister on April 20th. Her name was Sara Mae Yoder. Prayers for Dan and the family.
*Reno Stevanus: Prayers for Don Sprankle and family as he is suffering from health issues. (sorry, I did not hear everything yesterday on zoom)
*Sue Stauffer: Prayers for Brenda Stauffer and family. She has suffered a mini stroke but seems to be doing as well as expected.
*Camp Friedenswald: Prayers for all of the Mennonite Church Camps who have decided to not have summer youth camps. Prayers for the children who would have been close to God through nature. And prayers for the camps and the financial distress this makes.
*MMN: Join Mennonite Mission Network in praising God for Noelia Fox’s recovery from COVID-19 and protection for Brian and their three daughters in Spain. Pray that God will provide as the family reconfigures their English-language school due to closure during the pandemic.
*Prayers for Faith and Learning-Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas: Bethel College holds its first-ever virtual commencement this afternoon. Pray for the 00 graduating seniors and their families as they gather in their various homes, and for those who choose not to participate or are unable to do so. Pray for God’s strength and blessing in a time of disappointment and celebration, and a future this is both hopeful and uncertain.

Next Week’s Texts: Acts 1:6-14; Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35 (4); I Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11; John 14:15-21 ~Or~ Ascension Day Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47 or Psalm 93; Ephesians 1:15-23; Luke 24:44-53
Harbor of Hope: This month is Laundry & Cleaning Supplies and is due on May 27th.
Mission Projects for May: Harbor of Hope: Laundry & Cleaning Supplies
MC-USA: Mennonite Education Agency asks that we join in prayer for our Anabaptist-Mennonite schools and colleges, especially during this time of uncertainty and change. This month’s Prayers for Faith & Learning focuses on students.
MC-USA-Learn, Pray, Join: “To us, experiencing climate change is beyond record-breaking heat, another drought, a dying polar bear, a wilting garden. It is growing up while watching the future burn.” Take a moment and view climate change through the eyes of a young person in Lyn Her’s blog, “Grieving for the world’s future” at
MC-USA-Menno snapshots: This isn’t the first time an epidemic interrupted church life. Travel back in time with history professor Stene Nolt to learn how the polio epidemic devastated the Shenandoah Valley in 1917 in his blog, “An epidemic that complicated Mennonite Church plans a century ago.”

THIS WEEK__________________________________
May 24th Jim & Suzie Armstrong’s Wedding Anniversary
May 24th Mike & Hannah Gehman’s Wedding Anniversary

UPCOMING EVENTS__________________________
May 25th Memorial Day
May 27th Harbor of Hope items due: Laundry & Cleaning Supplies
May 29th Senior Breakfast @ Dutch Valley 9:00 a.m. ???
June 3rd Leadership Team Meeting 7:00 p.m.
June 8th Community Arts Council 6:00 p.m.
June 14th Flag Day
June 24th Harbor of Hope items due: Cereal
June 26th Senior Breakfast @ Dutch Valley 9:00 a.m.
June 30th Homeless Shelter Meal 6:00 p.m.
July 4th Independence Day
July 12th Winklepleck Grove Service 10:00 a.m. hopefully
July 13th Community Arts Council 6:00 p.m.
July 22nd Harbor of Hope items due: Paper Products
July 24th Senior Breakfast @ Dutch Valley 9:00 a.m.
July 31-Aug. 1 Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale, Wooster, Ohio This event
Has been canceled with an online auction taking place

Sept. 26th –Oct. 3rd.
Aug. 5th Leadership Team Meeting 7:00 p.m.
Aug. 10th Community Arts Council 6:00 p.m.
Aug. 26th Harbor of Hope items due: Soup-N-Mac & Cheese
Aug. 28th Senior Breakfast @ Dutch Valley 9:00 a.m.

CHURCH LEADERSHIP________________________
Pastor: Mike Gehman:
Pastor’s Hours: Wednesday 9:30a.m.-2:30p.m.
Secretary: Tally Maust
Phone: 1-330-852-2822
Website: http//
113 W. Main St. P.O. Box 250
Sugarcreek, Ohio 44681

Chairperson: Mike Keim:
Office Contact: Linda Yoder:
Trustees Contact: Jim Armstrong:
Mission Contact: Reno Stevanus:
Secretary Contact: Jo Anne Pyle: