Worship November 1, 2020
I welcome you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
God’s people are gathered, we join with the Saints of all the ages in giving glory to our God, let us join our hearts, souls, strength and minds as one as we give praise to the God of all creation, the God we have come to know as Jesus Christ.
Dying, Christ destroyed our death. Rising, Christ restored our life. Christ will come again in glory. As in baptism the triumphant Saints put on Christ, so in Christ may they be clothed with glory. Here and now, dear friends, we are God’s children. What we shall be has not yet been revealed; but we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Those who have this hope purify themselves
as Christ is pure.
THE WORD OF GRACE
Jesus said, I am the resurrection and I am life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, yet shall they live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I hold the keys of hell and death. Because I live, you shall live also.
Holy God, we gather in your presence to celebrate your goodness, the goodness we have seen in the dawning of a new day, the goodness we trust in One who faced death with the dawn of a resurrected life, the goodness we remember in those who live in the eternal dawn of your presence. So we open our lives to a new day of life in you and lift all our prayers to celebrate your eternal goodness this day and evermore. Amen
HYMN UMH # 77 How Great Thou Art (verses 1 & 4)
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray. Eternal God, we praise you for the great company of all those who have finished their course in faith and now rest from their labor. We praise you for those dear to us whom we name in our hearts before you. Especially we praise you for those that have been especially close to us whom you have graciously received into your presence. To all of these, grant your peace. Let perpetual light shine upon them;
and help us so to believe where we have not seen, that your presence may lead us through our years,
and bring us at last with them into the joy of your home not made with hands but eternal in the heavens;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
SCRIPTURE Psalm 23 KJV
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
John 14:1-4, 18-19, 25-27
John 14:1-4 1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going.”
[Jesus said,] John 14:18-19 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
John 14:25-27 25“All this I have spoken while still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Friends we gather today to remember, to remember our family, our friends and the Saints of the past that have passed into Life Triumphant.
This is All saints Day. November first, a sometimes-overlooked holy day in United Methodist congregations. It is not nearly as well known as the day before, All Hallows’ (Saints’) Eve, better known as Halloween, but is far more important in the life of the church.
John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, enjoyed and celebrated All Saints Day. In a journal entry from November 1, 1767, Wesley calls it “a festival I truly love.” On the same day in 1788, he writes, “I always find this a comfortable day.” The following year he calls it “a day that I peculiarly love.”
This may sound odd. United Methodists don’t believe in saints. Right?
Well, yes… and no.
Wesley cautioned against holding saints in too high regard. The Articles of Religion that he sent to the Methodists in America in 1784, include a statement against “invocation of saints” (Article XIV—Of Purgatory, Book of Discipline ¶104). Wesley did not see biblical evidence for the practice and discouraged Methodists from participating.
However, he also advised against disregarding the saints altogether. In an All Saints Day journal entry dated Monday, November 1, 1756, Wesley writes, “How superstitious are they who scruple giving God solemn thanks for the lives and deaths of his saints!” If your 18th century English is as rusty as mine, it might help to know that the word scruple means, “to be unwilling to do something because you think it is improper, morally wrong, etc.” (Merriam-Webster.com).
Those to glory gone
Tradition: A Theological Guideline
In studying John Wesley’s theological method, scholars have found four, inter-related theological guidelines: Scripture, tradition, experience, and reason. These are the sources of our understanding of our faith.
By tradition we mean all that has gone before us in the Christian church. We are part of a long history that goes back through John Wesley, to the early days of the Church, and the apostles of Jesus. When we think theologically, we need to keep in mind the creeds, prayers, sermons, books, music, and all other ways Christians have understood the work of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in their lives.
All Saints Day is an opportunity to give thanks for all those who have gone before us in the faith. It is a time to celebrate our history, what United Methodists call the tradition of the church.
From the early days of Christianity, there is a sense that the Church consists of not only all living believers, but also all who have gone before us. For example, in Hebrews 12 the author encourages Christians to remember that a “great cloud of witnesses” surrounds us encouraging us, cheering us on.
Charles Wesley, John’s brother, picks up on this theme in his hymn that appears in our United Methodist Hymnal as “Come, Let Us Join our Friends Above,” #709. In the first verse, he offers a wonderful image of the Church through the ages:
Let saints on earth unite to sing, with those to glory gone,
for all the servants of our King in earth and heaven, are one.
On All Saints Day we remember all those—famous or obscure—who are part of the “communion of saints”.
Alongside the likes of Paul from the New Testament, Augustine, Martin Luther, and John and Charles Wesley, we tell stories of the grandmother who took us to church every Sunday. We remember the pastor who prayed with us in the hospital, and the neighbor who changed the oil in the family car. We give thanks for the youth leader who told us Jesus loved us, the kindergarten Sunday school teacher who showered us with that love, and the woman in the church who bought us groceries when we were out of work.
Retelling these stories grounds us in our history. These memories teach us how God has provided for us through the generosity and sacrifice of those who have come before us. The stories of the saints encourage us to be all God has created us to be.
Saints on earth
Charles Wesley’s hymn tells us those “to glory gone” are joined by the “saints on earth,” whom we also celebrate on All Saints Day. We think of the inspirational people with whom we worship, and those across the world we will never meet. We celebrate fellow United Methodists who inspire us, and those of other denominations whose lives encourage us. We give thanks for those with whom we agree, as well as those whose views we do not share.
Additionally, we remember and pray for our sisters and brothers in Christ who faithfully follow Jesus in places where being labeled a Christian puts them in harm’s way.
On All Saints Day, we recognize that we are part of a giant choir singing the same song. It is the song Jesus taught his disciples; a tune that has resonated for more than 2,000 years; a melody sung in glory and on the earth. Our great privilege is to add our voices to this chorus.
The last verse of “Come, Let Us Join our Friends Above” encourages us to sing faithfully while on earth, so we might join the heavenly chorus one day.
Our spirits too shall quickly join, like theirs with glory crowned,
and shout to see our Captain’s sign, to hear His trumpet sound.
O that we now might grasp our Guide! O that the word were given!
Come, Lord of Hosts, the waves divide, and land us all in heaven.
On All Saints Day, let us give thanks for both the saints in glory and those on earth, who have led us to Jesus. As they have shared the gospel with us, may we add our voices so someone else may hear about the grace and love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to God for the lives of his saints.
First published on Oct. 28, 2015.
NAMING AND WITNESS
Friends we gather today to remember
At the core of our Christian faith is an abiding trust that God holds us close in both life and death. Rooted in this trust, with hope and joy, the church formally remembers those who have departed this life to the life eternal in this special worship services. As a part of the All Saints’ Day Service of Worship, our church remembers persons who have died in the previous year by reading their names and prayerfully giving thanks for their lives and good witness. In addition we remember all those in our lives that have departed this earth and now reside in their heavenly home.
Deborah Thompson Anderson Born December 20, 1978, Died January 23, 2020
Debbie had a vibrant interest in many things in life. She loved movies and music and enjoyed going to the theater and concerts.
She was an avid reader and spent endless hours reading books and discussing them with family and friends. She was a compassionate and extremely generous person.
Debbie accepted people as they were and as her sister commented after her death-“Debbie unapologetically lived life as herself”.
Mark “Ted” Pullen Died March 30, 2020
Mark “Ted” Pullen, formerly of Mora, passed away on Monday, March 30, 2020 at the Estates at Rush City. He was 89 years old.
Ruth Johnson Born May 11, 1918, Died April 26, 2020
Ruth loved to sing and had a smile that lit up the room. She will be remembered for sharing that beautiful smile with all who knew her.
Florence Wahl Born March 6, 1934, Died August 29, 2020
Florence enjoyed spending time with her family, playing bridge, traveling, but most importantly knitting. She knit hundreds Christmas Socks, afghans, baby blankets and socks in her lifetime. She will be missed by all those that knew and loved her.
Waneta Hanson Born January 22, 1941, Died November 14, 2020
Waneta worked throughout her life at various locations. In her later years, Waneta enjoyed working with the local youth at family pathways. She loved being outside working on her flower gardens and being with her dogs.
Vern Kaufert Born May 21, 1924, Died September 15, 2020
Vern was a kind caring thoughtful person. Vern loved his family, his radios, his students, his church and most importantly his loving Savior.
Sharon Hess Born April 30, 1944, Died Oct. 4, 2020
She was a devoted child of God and served Him relentlessly. She served others through volunteering at the food shelf and helping at many church functions. Sharon was a leader in her church and the United Methodist denomination.
HYMN UMH #378 Amazing Grace (verses 1,2,5,6)
God of us all, your love never ends. When all else fails, you still are God. We pray to you for one another in our need, and for all, anywhere, who mourn with us this day. To those who doubt, give light; to those who are weak, strength; to all who have sinned, mercy; to all who sorrow, your peace. Keep true in us the love with which we hold one another. In all our ways we trust you. And to you, with your Church on earth and in heaven, we offer honor and glory, now and forever. Amen
On the night in which he gave himself up for us, he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:
“Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
When the supper was over, he took the cup, gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:
“Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith.
Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine.
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood.
By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at his heavenly banquet.
Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father, now and forever. Amen.
The body of Christ, given for you. Amen. The blood of Christ, given for you. Amen.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
The Saints that have gone on before us felt the call to provide ministry, teaching and to share the Good News to those yet to come. You and I are the beneficiaries of that calling. We now have the opportunity to answer the call for those that come after us. Our offering is giving back to God of that which he has given us. Now is the time to prepare your offering.
HYMN UMH 94 Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow
PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Loving Father, we humbly dedicate these tithes and offerings to your use. Like the saints who have gone before us, we are comforted by the knowledge that you will multiply these gifts. Allow this money to become a resource that lifts the shadows of despair from the recesses of people’s lives. We recognize that only you can restore faith to the faithless, hope to the hopeless, and love to the loveless. May your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven! Amen. I Thessalonians 2:9-13
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Eternal God, we give you thanks for this holy mystery in which you have given yourself to us. Grant that we may go into the world in the strength of your Spirit, to give ourselves for others, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Now may the God of peace who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep,
by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will,
working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ;
to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen. (HEBREWS 13:20–21)
Copyright: “A Service of Death and Resurrection” Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1985, 1989, 1992 UMPH. “An Order for Holy Communion” Copyright © 1972 The Methodist Publishing House; Copyright © 1979, 1988, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1992 UMPH.
- Thank you to those that prepared our service for the recognition of the Saints
- No Youth group on November 4
- MN Dept of Health Covid testing Nov. 4th and 5th at the Mora UMC