Until we meet in person the Worship Committee of Chino Valley United Methodist Church has thought it wise to offer Holy Communion the first Sunday of each month. Following the direction of Jesus to, “Do this as often as you meet,” and John Wesley reminding us of our “Duty to Constant Communion,” we are offering this text of Communion to use at home. As always everyone is invited to join us for our monthly Communion service online the first Sunday of each month.
Greetings to all in the name of the risen Christ who is with us now! It is difficult in times like these, when we are doing our worship in a virtual world, to experience Holy Communion. It is in the gathering, reciting the ancient texts and experiencing the receiving of the bread and cup that bring us sustenance for the journey as we contemplate the great mystery of God as we remember Christ in the breaking of the bread and drinking the cup. Get yourself some bread, any will do. Get yourself some grape juice if possible, or some form of juice, and join me as we bind ourselves together in this mystery of Holy Communion, remembering the mighty acts of God through Jesus Christ.
The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
And also, with you.
The risen Christ is with us.
Praise the Lord.
Opening Prayer 1
Almighty God, to you all Hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Affirmation of Faith
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of Heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended to heaven, is seated at the right hand of the Father, and will come again two judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy universal church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Great Thanksgiving
Christ our Lord invites us to his table all who love him, who earnestly repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another. Therefore, let us confess our sin before God and one another. Merciful God, we confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart. We have failed to be an obedient church. We have not done your will, we have broken your law, we have rebelled against your love, we have not loved our neighbors, and we have not heard the cry of the needy. Forgive us, we pray. Free us for joyful obedience, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. The Lord is with you. And also with you. Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give our thanks and praise! It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. You formed us in your image and breathed into us the breath of life. When we turned away, and our love failed, your love remained steadfast. You delivered us from captivity, made a covenant to be our sovereign God, and spoke to us through your prophets. And so, with your people on the earth and all the company of heaven we praise your name and join their unending hymn: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ. Your Spirit anointed him to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. When the Lord ascended, he promised to be with us always, set at liberty those who are oppressed, and to announce that the time had come when you would save your people. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and ate with sinners. By the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection you gave birth to your church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.
When the Lord ascended, he promised to be with us always, in the power of your Word and Holy Spirit. On the night when 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 os 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 the 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 their 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 Lord’s Prayer
And now with the confidence of children of God, let us pray:
Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.
Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf. The bread which we break is a sharing in the body of Christ. The cup over which we give thanks is a sharing in the blood of Christ.
The body of Christ, given for you. Amen.
The blood of Christ given for you. Amen
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 to others, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“A third time the Lord called Samuel. He got up, went to Eli, and said, “I’m here.
You called me?”
Then Eli realized that it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So Eli said to
Samuel, “Go and lie down. If he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord. Your servant is
listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down where he’d been.
Then the Lord came and stood there, calling just as before, “Samuel, Samuel!”
Samuel said, “Speak. Your servant is listening.” 1Samuel 3:8-10 CEB
If you are listening, and recognizing that God is calling you, it becomes a
powerful hold on you life. Now that doesn’t mean when you hear God calling
you will become a pastor. That just happened to be the case for me. God had
called me at a very early age, and then just kept on calling. At first I was unsure
who was calling and later, like Moses, I ran from the calling as fast and as far as
I could. But, as fate would have it, a strong call from God finally ends in
surrender. Or should I say begins in surrender. So here I am. I had retired in
2016, for 30 months when God called again and I spent 10 months that turned
into 22 months as interim pastor at St. Johns UMC in Kingman Arizona. I was
ready to retire again but God had other plans for me. I got the call from Nancy
Cushman our west district superintendent. And here I am.
Once again I can feel Gods call on my life and all I can say is,Yes! Here I am,
I look forward to our journey together and pray that Gods call is strong in each
of your lives. And when you might feel that you are not quite feeling it; know that
Gods Spirit is with you. That also means that I am with you, the leadership of
Chino Valley UMC is with you, and the whole congregation is with you. Can I get
an Amen. All of us together are the hands and feet and eyes and heart of Christ.
Are you ready for an incredible journey? I know I am. Let’s go!!
Grace and Peace
Pastor Bob Gilfert