First Mennonite Church
Sugarcreek, Ohio November 22, 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 gathered 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.
THE CHURCH WORSHIPS TOGETHER______________________
The Greatness of God‘s Power
Welcome & Announcements:
“The gospel of Christ embodies the greatest power on earth, and is the power of God for salvation. The good news about Christ’s life, death, resurrection, and enthronement is the most powerful force on earth. Nations rise and fall, guns and bombs destroy, swift legs set new records, but only the gospel has the power to redeem the lost.” (Mary S. Lautensleger)
Time of Meditation:
*Call to Worship:
L: God is with his people. He dwells in their midst. Listen and hear him speak.
P: Our hearts long for his word. We wait upon the Lord so that we may renew our strength.
L: God is our help and our support. His spirit moves among us to lead us in holiness and righteousness all our days.
P: With joyful hearts we sing God’s praise. With rejoicing we call upon Him. The Lord is our hope and our salvation.
L: In all our weakness and strength, with our youth-filled spirits and aging bodies,
P: we come to be your people, O God.
L: Strong in faith and eager with questions, singing our praise and whispering our prayers,
P: we come to be your people, O God.
L: Filled with saintly determination yet mindful of our human limitations,
P: we come to be your people, O God.
L: Made strong in your endless love for us, we know ourselves to be yours and
P: we come to be your people, O God.
All: May we truly become your people today. Amen.
“Blessed Jesus, At Your Word” Hymnal a Worship Book #13
Old Testament Reading: Psalm 95:1-7a (NIV)
1 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 3 For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; 7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.
Open my eyes that they may see the deepest needs of people; move my hands that they may feed the hungry; touch my heart that is may bring warmth to the despairing; teach me the generosity that welcomes strangers; let me share my possessions to clothe the naked; Give me the care that strengthens the sick; make me share in the quest to set the prisoner free. In sharing our anxieties and our love, our poverty and our prosperity, we partake of your divine presence. Amen.
Hymn of Praise:
“Praise to God, Immortal Praise” Hymnal a Worship Book #91
~Hearing God‘s Word~
Scripture: Ephesians 1:15-23
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 for above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
Message: “The Greatness of God’s Power”—by Mike Gehman
Hymn of Response:
“Be Thou My Vision” Hymnal a Worship Book #545
Offering Invitation & Prayer:
Generous God, you have given us life, a place to live in, and people to live with. Open our eyes to each other, and to all our brothers and sisters, especially the poor, the oppressed, the alienated. Make us humble enough to help and comfort them, so that a little of your love and justice and peace may come to this place. We make bold to consecrate ourselves and our gifts to you and the service of others, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Rejoice, the Lord is King” Hymnal a Worship Book #288
May the Spirit of the Lord anoint you to provide strength to the weak, freedom to the oppressed, food to the hungry, and good news to the poor. Blest be the name of the Lord!
THE CHURCH GIVES THANKS________________________________
For our ZOOM church service with special guest speaker Valerie Showalter.
Randy Miller: Is grateful for the time that he and his wife Char have been separated do to COVID-19 will be over today.
Amy Stauffer-McNutt: Happiness has returned to the Stauffer-McNutt household, Puff Ball has returned after being missing for a week.
Lizzie Keim: Praise that Kristy Keim is over her bout of COVID-19 and is back to work.
Sue Stauffer: Is thankful for the results from the 4 appointments at Cleveland Clinic. Surgery does not have to happen right now.
Praise be to God for his help in times of trouble. As we are turning our thoughts toward Thanksgiving let’s not forget to give our thanks to Him who is always providing, guiding, keeping us safe, and loving us.
THE CHURCH PRAYS FOR____________________________________
April Shupe: Prayers for the family and friends of Pat “Winkler” Wengerd who passed away on Saturday from ALS. Prayers of comfort in knowing that Pat is no longer suffering and she is in Jesus’ arms.
Julie Gerber: Both Judy and Benji are home from the hospitals. Prayers for their continued healing for both.
Mike Gehman: Prayers for friend Tim who is starting radiation treatments this week for prostrate cancer.
Sue Stauffer: Prayers for Paul Armburst and family as Paul’s wife Frieda has passed away.
Sue Stauffer: Prayers for Bev McNutt as she has returned to the Hennis Care Center in Bolivar.
Sue Stauffer: Prayers for Megan and her students as they transfer to virtual learning this week.
MMN: In many North American Indigenous cultures, every day is Thanksgiving Day. For the Onondaga People around Lake Ontario. The morning begins with the Thanksgiving Address, known as the “Words that Come Before All Else.” Join Mennonite Mission Network in thanking God for the good gifts that sustain us even in difficult times.
Prayers for Mennonite Education-Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA: Pray that families and communities who will be welcoming EMU students home this week stay healthy and safe as students transition to living at home and finishing the semester. Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas: Thank God for a return to health for our student-athletes, and pray for them and their coaches in a month when the calendar is crowded with make-up games for volleyball, soccer and football.
FMC LIVES IN DISCIPLESHIP TOGETHER__________________
Next Week’s Texts: Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; I Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37 this will be the first Sunday of Advent
Harbor of Hope: This month the items are Canned Fruits & Veggies and are due on Wednesday, November 18th. Next month is Spaghetti Sauce & Pasta and is due on December 16th.
Mission Projects for November: Harbor of Hope, Share-A-Christmas (Mittens, Hats, Scarves)
Mitten Tree: Normally we would be collecting Hats, Scarves, and Mittens this month for Share-A-Christmas. But Share-A-Christmas has asked that because of the COVID-19 pandemic that we donate cash and they will] distribute the hats, scarves, and mittens. So make your check out to First Mennonite and put share-A-Christmas on the memo line so Bruce will know where to forward your donation.
Virtual Community Thanksgiving Service: Will be next Sunday, November 22nd, starting at 7:00 p.m. More details coming this week.
A Couple of Corrections to the Revised Directory: Cross out the P.O. Box 122 from Bertie Showers and Shupe’s addresses. And Amy Stauffer-McNutt’s cell phone # is: 340-243-4485. Another addition Nikki Bahler’s phone # 330-243-6235 thank you, Tally
Attention All Readers: If you haven’t been in the church library lately, you might want to “check out” all the new books. There are books for people of all interests and ages and you can keep them for as long as it takes to read them—with no fines! These upcoming grey winter days are perfect for curling up with a good book and being transported to another time and place or to be challenged with new ideas! Stop in, expand your world, and stay safe all at the same time! Thanks! Sue
MCC-Great Lakes: The Ohio MCC Comforter Bash originally scheduled for April 2021 has been postponed for one year. In the meantime, we encourage you to continue making comforters for MCC in your homes or churches. These handmade comforters bring hope and comfort to the people who receive them. They provide not only warmth, but also a tangible message that their needs are not forgotten. We also invite you to continue making comforter tops and backs (60″X80″), and we will collect them at the Material Resources Center in Kidron for the Ohio MCC Comforter Bash in April 2022. Contact Sarah Geiser at SarahGeiser@mcc.org or (330) 201-4515 for more information.
MC-USA: Sunday, November 29th, is the beginning of Advent. “We Wait for Jesus,” this year’s Advent At Home devotional from Mennonite Church USA for families and people of all ages, is available now at mennoniteusa.org/resource/advent-at-home.
MC-USA-MennoCon21: Organizers for MennoCon21 (Cincinnati, Ohio, July 6-10, 2021), the biennial gathering of Mennonite Church USA, are planning a hybrid event with in-person and online programming. Read the first convention newsletter: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/OCT 2020 Newsletter-Revised.pdf Receive future issues by subscribing here: https://eepurl.com/gbyUCj
MC-USA-Menno Snapshots: Rodger Schmell, pastor of Deep Run Mennonite Church West, reflects on the role that camp played in his faith walk and call to ministry in his blog, “Reconnecting with God at camp.” https://www.mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/reconnecting-with-god-at-camp/
Nov. 22nd Nikki Bahler has a Birthday today
Nov. 25th Suzie Armstrong has a Birthday
Nov. 26th Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Nov. 27th Senior Breakfast @ Dutch Valley 9:00 a.m. ?
Nov. 29th 1st Sunday of Advent
Dec. 2nd Leadership Team 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 24th Christmas Eve Service ?
Dec. 25th Christmas Day
Dec. 29th Homeless Shelter Meal 6:00 p.m.
Dec. 31st Annual Reports Due
Minister: Mike Gehman
Worship Leader: Bruce Stauffer
Song Leader: April Shupe
Pastor: Mike Gehman:
Pastor’s Hours: Wednesday 9:30a.m.-2:30p.m.
Secretary: Tally Maust
113 W. Main St. P.O. Box 250
Sugarcreek, Ohio 44681
CONGREGATIONAL LEADERSHIP TEAM:
Chairperson: Mike Keim:
Office Contact: Linda Yoder:
Trustees Contact: Jim Armstrong:
Mission Contact: Reno Stevanus:
Secretary Contact: JoAnne Pyle: