CRFUMC Worship Experiences for 1.1.23
Liturgical Week: Epiphany
Liturgical Color: White or Red
At First United Methodist Church Castle Rock we are touching people and changing lives through the love of Jesus Christ. Are you interested in becoming a part of the Castle Rock FUMC family? Please speak to Pastors to find out when you would like to join our Church Family.
Thank you for joining us in worship today.
How to connect with worship online
To Watch on Facebook:
Like our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/castlerockfumc
A couple of tips. When you see a “get reminder” button on the video announcement. Click on that. Then whenever we go live, the reminder will pop up in your notifications and you can simply click on the notification to go straight to the video. You can use the direct link here: https://www.facebook.com/castlerockfumc/live_videos/
For Youtube Use
For a direct link to our Youtube Channel go here:
Note that you can also watch the service on a smart TV with the YouTube app and/or by casting the service to the TV from your phone/tablet if it's set up properly - click the icon next to YouTube. See the image below
Covenant Renewal Service Jan. 1 2023
+=stand if you are able or comfortable
Welcome and Greeting
+HYMN: Joy To The World UMH 246
All: God of all creation, you have formed us as a people and claimed us for your own, reveal any stumbling blocks within us.
May we be reminded of the call from Jesus to be light and love for all creation. Let your Spirit breathe into us new life to be open to where you will lead us in the coming year. Today we come to acknowledge your influence and grace in our lives and to enter anew into a covenant with you. So be it.
Leader: Holy One, your love came down at Christmas to develop a true relationship with us. Help us be open to receiving you into our lives.
Thank you for your unconditional love for us. Amen.
+Hymn: Love Came Down at Christmas UMH 242
Offering Prayer Written by David Bell
All: Affirming God, we allow the distractions of everyday life to burden our spirits. As a result, we often embrace a mindset of scarcity rather than abundance. Transform our ambiguity of thought to a solid belief in the promises of Jesus Christ. We give these generous gifts because you have given us your Spirit. Glory to God! Amen and amen!
+Doxology UMH 94
Hymn: Sing We Now of Christmas UMH 237
We Hear The Word Proclaimed
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Leader: Eternal God, in the reading of the Scriptures,
may your word be heard;
In the meditations of our hearts, may your Word be known;
And in the faithfulness of our lives, may your Word be shown. Amen.
Deuteronomy 31:9-13, 1 Peter 1, John 15:1-8
Response to the Reading of Scripture
Leader: The Scripture of Faith for the People of faith.
All: Thanks be to God. Amen
SERMON: Time to Renew
Given by Rev. Matt Franks
Prayer after Sermon
Leader: Siblings in Christ,
the Christian life is a long journey,
and every now and then we need renewal.
Through baptism, we have entered this journey
and at times following the way of Jesus has been easy
and other times not so much.
Jesus is our guide throughout this journey,
Jesus never gives up on us even when we are not following the way.
Jesus meets us wherever we are, loving us, caring for us,
and giving us grace when we need it.
From time to time, we renew our covenant with our creator,
To help recalibrate our bearings on the way.
Today, however, we meet, as the generations before met,
to renew the covenant that connects us to God.
Let us make this covenant of God our own.
Hymn: Come, Let Us Use The Grace Divine UMH 606
Charles Wesley wrote this hymn specifically for this service.
The Adapted Wesley’s Covenant Service
The Call to Covenant
Leader: Join Christ on the way.
Commit yourselves to Christ, that you may walk with him.
The journey with Christ calls you to serve and not be served.
Sometimes this journey is easy
Sometimes this journey is difficult.
No matter the journey may we serve Christ with all that we can.
Let us, therefore, go to Christ, and pray:
All: Let me be a companion on the journey with you leading me every step of the way. You are the guide, you know the way even if we cannot see the way. Let me be your faithful companion by trusting in you and letting go of those preconceived notions about following you.
Leader: Christ will call you to serve in all aspects of your life. As one body Let us pray the Revised Wesley’s Covenant Prayer to renew and refocus us on the journey.
All: I am not my own self-made, self-reliant human being.
In truth, O God, I am Yours.
Make me into what You will.
Make me a neighbor with those whom You will.
Guide me on the easy path for You.
Guide me on the rocky road for You.
Whether I am to step up for You or step aside for You;
Whether I am to be lifted high for You or brought low for You;
Whether I become full or empty, with all things or with nothing;
I give all that I have and all that I am for You.
So be it.
And may I always remember that you, O God, and I belong to each other. Amen.
(Revised by Jeremy Smith found here: http://hackingchristianity.net/2016/12/wesleys-covenant-prayer-in-a-post-christian-context.html )
You are encouraged to make this covenant not only in your heart, but in word, not only in word, but in writing. Copy or take a picture of this Covenant Prayer for you to be reminded of the holy covenant between God and you that you may remember it during those rough times on the journey.
+HYMN: Go Tell It On The Mountain UMH 251
Thank you for joining us in worship tonight.
About the Covenant Renewal Service
In 1663 Richard Alleine, a Puritan, published Vindiciae Pietatis: or, “A Vindication of Godliness in the Greater Strictness and Spirituality of It”. In 1753, it was again published in John Wesley's A Christian Library. Wesley used one chapter, "The Application of the Whole," on Monday, August 11, 1755, in what probably was the first real celebration of the Covenant Service in the Methodist movement.
Wesley found the service rich and meaningful, as expressed in his Journal: "Many mourned before God, and many were comforted" (April 1756); "It was, as usual, a time of remarkable blessing" (October 1765). "It was an occasion for a variety of spiritual experiences ... I do not know that ever we had a greater blessing. Afterwards many desired to return thanks, either for a sense of pardon, for full salvation, or for a fresh manifestation of His graces, healing all their backslidings" (January 1, 1775). In London these services were usually held on New Year's Day. Around the country the Covenant Service was conducted whenever John Wesley visited the Methodist Societies.
After the time of Wesley several versions of the Covenant Service were developed, gradually giving Wesley's material less place in the total service. The present service follows our Basic Pattern of worship, enables the congregation to participate more fully, and updates language. Most significant, the liturgy beginning with the Invitation is taken directly from Wesley's service of 1780.
The heart of the service, focused in the Covenant Prayer, requires persons to commit themselves to God. This covenant is serious and assumes adequate preparation for and continual response to the covenant. Leaders of worship must take seriously the need to prepare the congregation for this service, possibly through study sessions and prayer.
The leaders must also assume responsibility to assist persons to be faithful to the covenant, possibly through meetings for spiritual discipline.
The Covenant Service is most commonly held on New Year's Eve or Day and therefore is sometimes called a Watch Night Service. Historically, a Watch Night Service would be three hours or longer, including readings from Scripture and hymn singing. This Covenant Service would also be appropriate on one of the Sundays After the Epiphany, during Lent, on a church anniversary, or during a revival or preaching mission. Ideally, the service should be used only once a year on the same Sunday. Red is an appropriate color for paraments and vestments.
This Service has been adapted to fit our community. You can find the original text here: https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/book-of-worship/covenant-renewal-service