First Mennonite Church
Sugarcreek, Ohio November 8, 2020
At Home Edition
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____________
Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.
Welcome & Announcements:
Our relationship with God is a dynamic, growing communion that we are called to forever renew and recommit ourselves to. Joshua called and reminded God’s people to remember the things God had done, and to recommit and choose to serve Him alone. We also need to be reminded of whom we are and whose we are. Being a Christian is not just something that happened to us some time ago—it is someone we are, and someone we choose to be each and every day. (Emphasis magazine)
Call to Worship:
L: Our songs and praises are meaningless,
P: unless we live out their meaning in our lives.
L: Our celebrations and worship are empty,
P: Unless we live our lives as an act of worship to God.
L: Worship is not about this hour alone;
P: Worship is how we live our lives for God.
L: Come, enter this time of worship to praise God,
P: And after, let us continue to worship God in our daily life.
L: Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,
P: As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Loving Father, we are pulled in many directions and have many duties and tasks that seek to lay claim on our lives. This day, in this place, we open our hearts and spirits to You, who has called us here to be renewed and refreshed. Speak to us, so we might listen, and in hearing be transformed into your people. Fill us with holiness, so we might give ourselves wholly to others. Enable us to serve you faithfully and completely, even as did our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
“Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” Hymnal a Worship Book #582
~Prayer & Praise~
Prayers of the Congregation:
God of Guidance, quicken your Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds so we may follow what is right. Give us direction so we may know which was to choose and which to refuse; which course to claim and which to reject; which action to take and which to avoid. Enlighten our minds, purify our hearts, strengthen our wills, and lead us to live as faithful followers of Jesus all the days of our lives. AMEN. [HWB 725]
Scripture: Psalm 78:1-7
My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old— 3 things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, 6 so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. 7 Then they would put
their trust in God and would not forget his deed but would keep his commands.
Hymn of Praise:
“The God of Abraham Praise” Hymnal a Worship Book #162
Scripture: Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25
The Covenant Renewed at Shechem
24 Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel, and they presented themselves before God.
2 Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods. 3 But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants. I gave him Isaac,
14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
16 Then the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods! 17 It was the Lord our God himself who brought us and our parents up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled. 18 And the Lord drove out before us all the nations, including the Amorites, who lived in the land. We too will serve the Lord, because he is our God.” 19 Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. 20 If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.” 21 But the people said to Joshua, “No! We will serve the Lord.”
22 Then Joshua said, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the Lord.”
“Yes, we are witnesses,” they replied. 23 “Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” 24 And the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the Lord our God and obey him.” 25 On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he reaffirmed for them decrees and laws.
Message: “Making Important Choices”—by Mike Gehman
Hymn of Response:
“Be Thou My Vision” Hymnal a Worship Book #545
Generous God, our lives are renewed as we remember your goodness. You have made us in your image and placed in our hearts the memory of your love made flesh in Jesus Christ. That memory calls us to give and to embrace your world as we offer these gifts. May our lives invested through these offerings create a new reality and extend your grace in remembrance of Jesus, in whose name we pray. AMEN.
“Lead on O Cloud of Presence” Hymnal a Worship Book #419
Ever-present God, in Christ Jesus you never leave or forsake us. Teach us to be faithful to your call, to persevere in commitment, and beyond all else, to know the strength and joy of being near to you, in the name of our Savior. AMEN. [HWB 767]
THE CHURCH GIVES THANKS____________________
For wonderful day that God has given us. Also for the ZOOM worship together with Cincinnati Mennonite Fellowship.
THE CHURCH PRAYS FOR_________________
Sue Stauffer: Prayers for Julie Gerber’s sister and brother in-law the Roths, who are both battling COVID-19. Prayers of healing and comfort for them and for their families.
Sue Stauffer: Prayers also for members of Tim Sewel’s family who also have COVID-19.
Sue Stauffer: Special prayers for Rebecca Cahill who has to travel from Corpus Christi to Houston by herself for cancer treatments. Also the Doctors are going to inform Rebecca if the treatments are doing any good. So prayers of safety and a good report from the Doctors.
Bertie Showers: Her brother, Abe Mast has had back surgery recently and is home recovering.
Bill Flinner: Prayers for the people at Walnut Hills, 7 residents from the assisted living, and 36 nursing home residents have COVID-19 at this time.
MMN: Janie and Neal Blough have retired in France after 45 years of ministry there through Mennonite Mission Network. Pray for them as they continue to serve by teaching and providing worship resources to congregations throughout Europe and beyond.
Prayers for Mennonite Education-Bluffton University: Please pray for our campus community as we launch our five-year strategic plan with attention on academic success, well-being, emotional intelligence, social justice and advocacy. Quakertown Christian School, Quakertown, Pennsylvania: We are grateful for our families who continue to choose QCS and follow our guidelines.
FMC LIVES IN DICIPLESHIP TOGETHER_________
Next Week’s Texts: Numbers 6:24-26; Psalm 63:1-4; Psalm 34:1-10, 22 (10) NCV; Revelation 7:9-17; I John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12
Harbor of Hope: In October 32 items of Laundry & Cleaning Supplies donated to Harbor of Hope. Thank you for your contributions. Mission Comm. This month items are: Canned Fruits & Veggies, they are due on November 18th.
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.
Bev McNutt’s new address: Bev McNutt, Room 103, Hennis Care Center, 300 Yant St., Bolivar, Ohio 44612; Bev’s cell phone: (330) 432-5523.
MC-USA: Join women in Leadership, a ministry of Mennonite Church USA, on Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT/5 p.m. MT/4 p.m. PT for “What We Need is Here,” a time of worship featuring a message by Rev. Addie Banks, founder and CEO of the Groundswell Group and elder at Manhattan Mennonite Fellowship. The worship service is the fourth and final event in the 2020 Women Doing Theology conference. Learn more at mennoniteusa.org/wil.
MC-USA: Parent and caregivers, Mennonite Church USA invites you to join Talashia Keim Yoder, writer of this year’s “Advent at Home” devotional, for a free webinar on “Advent with Children,” Sunday, November 22 at 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT/1 p.m. MT/noon PT. The author will share simple ways to celebrate Advent as a family, as well as various ways to use the devotional. Register by Thursday, November 19: https://bit.ly/37Lttbo
MC-USA-Menno Snapshots: In her blog, “Encircling prayer for a pandemic,” spiritual director Wendy Jantzen encourages us to embrace the practice of an encircling prayer while we cope with the ongoing physical distancing necessitated by COVID-19. https://www.mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/encircling-prayer/
AMBS: Visit AMBS virtually! While we’re not currently hosting campus visits, we’re still here to answer your questions about how our on-campus and distance programs can prepare you to lead effectively and live faithfully—wherever God calls you. Contact us to learn more about the AMBS experience! ambs.edu/visit
Nov. 10th Braden Shupe has a Birthday
Nov. 11th Morning Prayers in the library 9 a.m.
Nov. 12th Amy Stauffer-McNutt has a Birthday
Nov. 12th Worship Committee Meeting 10:00a.m.
Nov. 15th First Service back in the Sanctuary at 10 a.m.
Nov. 15th First Church Service back in the Sanctuary @ 10:00 a.m.
Nov. 16th Candlelighters
Nov. 18th Harbor of Hope items due: Canned Fruits & Veggies
Nov. 26th Happy Thanksgiving
Nov. 27th Senior Breakfast @ Dutch Valley 9:00 a.m.
Dec. 2nd Leadership Team 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 7th Candlelighters
Dec. 15th Harbor of Hope items due: Spaghetti Sauce & Pasta
Dec. 24th Christmas Eve Service
Dec. 25th Christmas Day
Dec. 29th Homeless Shelter Meal 6:00 pm
The family of Clare Blauch,
Would like to thank First Mennonite Church members for the cards, texts, visits, phone calls, and for coming to his visitation and funeral service during our great loss. Dad loved his church and was sorry he couldn’t attend more often. Years ago he really enjoyed singing in the choir and going to Sunday School. This is the church he grew up in and he had a strong connection. We were blest to have him for 94 years.
Mark & Melanie and families
Prayers for Rebecca Cahill & Millie
Minister: Mike Gehman
Worship Leader: Tally Maust
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: