Knowing, Loving, Serving…
So the World Will Know Christ’s Love

08.02.20 “Preparing Our Lives for the Gospel”

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Sunday Worship at Home
Bethel UMC Columbia | Rev. Julie Songer Belman
August 2, 2020

Preparation:  Find a spot in your home for yourself/your family to engage in worship. Include your Bible, a candle, and a lighter or matches (or battery operated candle or low wattage table lamp), if possible. You might consider a small cross as well.

Welcome: Thank you for joining us! We pray you will be blessed by your time of worship with us today.

Prelude“Come Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain”
While Bill plays the prelude, we invite you to light or turn on the candle/lamp to acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit in your worship. Take a deep breath and give thanks for God’s presence. 

Offertory:Holy Holy Holy”
Your continued support of God’s ongoing work at Bethel UMC is sincerely appreciated. Contributions to the mission of Bethel {Knowing, Loving, Serving: so the world may experience Christ’s Love!} may be made by mailing a check to 4600 Daniel Drive, Columbia SC 29206, or giving online at:  You may also contact your bank to have them draft a check on your behalf.

Pastoral Prayer:  Please join with Pastor Reggie as he prays today. Pray for yourself, your family, your church community, your city, your state, your country, our world. Pray for the global health situation, particularly for those who are sick, those who are lonely, those who are gripped by fear, those who are facing financial hardship, those without safe shelter, those who are hungry, our healthcare workers, our leaders in every realm. Give thanks, once again, for God’s faithfulness, and seek God’s guidance for ways to offer love and grace in the world right now.

The Lord’s Prayer:  Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen.

Anthem: “Let The Whole Creation Cry”  Enjoy this beautiful piece sung by our Bethel Choir.

Scripture:  This week we begin our year long journey through the Gospel of Mark. 
Today Pastor Julie is preaching on Mark 1:1-8.
We invite you to open your Bibles (or the Bible app on your phone!) at home and read along.

Sermon:  Preparing Our Lives for the Gospel”  Rev. Julie Songer Belman
Listen to, watch, or read a sermon. You can find access to all of Bethel’s recent sermons on our website:

Hymn Meditation:  We Are God’s People

We are God’s people, the chosen of the Lord,
Born of His Spirit, established by His Word;
Our cornerstone is Christ alone, And strong in Him we stand:
O let us live transparently and walk heart to heart and hand in hand.

We are God’s loved ones, the Bride of Christ our Lord,
For we have known it, the love of God outpoured;
Now let us learn how to return the gift of love once given:
O let us share each joy and care, and live with a zeal that pleases Heaven.

We are the Body of which the Lord is Head,
Called to obey Him, now risen from the dead;
He wills us be a family, diverse yet truly one:
O let us give our gifts to God, and so shall his work on earth be done.

We are a temple, the Spirit’s dwelling place,
Formed in great weakness, a cup to hold God’s grace;
We die alone, for on its own each ember loses fire:
Yet joined in one the flame burns on to give warmth and light, and to inspire.

The theology of the church is often expressed in its congregational singing. Congregational singing is part of the church’s DNA. The church presents God’s message of love, reconciliation, and mission to the local and global community, partly through its congregational song. The text for “We Are God’s People,” published in The Faith We Sing (as well as in numerous other denominational hymnals) is inspired by biblical texts that best identify the church’s DNA as “God’s people,” “God’s loved ones,” “the body,” and “the temple.”

The text for “We Are God’s People” was written by Bryan Jeffery Leech (1931-2015). Leech did not begin writing hymns until his mid-thirties, and he went on to compose more than five hundred hymns, songs, anthems, and cantatas, with perhaps his most well-known and most sung hymn being “Come, Share the Lord.”

Leech shares the background story behind the writing of “We Are God’s People” Information for this meditation gathered from the UMC Disciple Ministries’ History of Hymns article by Rev. Thomas L. (Tom) Baynham, Jr. (  

Benediction:  Say these words aloud:  

As people who are being changed,
We go into a world that is being changed
Ready to share the Good News!
Glory be to God who walks with us, sings with us, and struggles with us,
Each and every day. AMEN!

Go in Peace:  Check on someone you love today.