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

08.23.20 “The Church of the Misunderstood”

Mark 1:21-34

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Sunday Worship at Home
Bethel UMC Columbia | Rev. Julie Songer Belman
August 23, 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“Lift Every Voice and Sing”
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. 

Sharing Our Stories:  Denice & Reggie Rowell

Offertory:  “Meditation” by Matthew Koch
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: The Heavens Are Telling”  Enjoy this beautiful piece sung by our Bethel Choir.

Scripture:  This is Week Four on our year-long journey through the Gospel of Mark. 
Today Pastor Julie is preaching on Mark 1:21-34. We invite you to open your Bibles (or the Bible app on your phone!) at home and read along.

Sermon:  The Church of the Misunderstood”  Rev. Julie Songer Belman

Hymn Meditation:  God of Grace and God of Glory  Words by Harry Emerson Fosdick
(Thank you to Marian Scullion for providing our weekly Hymn Meditations!)

God of grace and God of glory, on your people pour your power;
crown your ancient church’s story, bring its bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the facing of this hour, for the facing of this hour.

Lo! the hosts of evil round us scorn the Christ, assail his ways!
From the fears that long have bound us free our hearts to faith and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the living of these days, for the living of these days.

Cure your children’s warring madness; bend our pride to your control;
shame our wanton, selfish gladness, rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, lest we miss your kingdom’s goal, lest we miss your kingdom’s goal.

Save us from weak resignation to the evils we deplore;
let the gift of your salvation be our glory evermore.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, serving you whom we adore, serving you whom we adore.

This hymn is a prayer — a prayer for God to bestow power upon the church — and wisdom — and courage “for the facing of this hour.”  The hour that they were facing at that time was the Great Depression — an economic disaster that drained the nation of life and hope.  “For the facing of this hour,” however, is a timeless phrase, because there is never a time when we do not need God’s help “for the facing of this hour.” “Save us from weak resignation” is an important part of the prayer.  “Save us from weak resignation to the evils we deplore.”  We are always tempted to believe that the evils that we face far outstrip our resources to deal with them — tempted to retreat into a safe place and wait for the storm to blow over — but evil unopposed doesn’t blow over.  It takes the sacrifices of dedicated men and women to build a better world. “Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour.”  That was a good prayer when Fosdick first wrote this hymn in 1930.  It is a good prayer today.

The Hymn Meditation comes from Richard Niell Donovan’s Sermon Writer Hymn Story (

Benediction:  Say these words aloud:  
Jesus comes to us, offering healing and hope,
speaking and acting with authority. Listen to him. 
Go into this world, confident in God’s love and healing power. AMEN.

Go in Peace:  Check on someone you love today.