Brothers and sisters, we are facing unprecedented times for our church and our city. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak among the general population, we have reached Stage 4 (CRITICAL) of our COVID-19 Response Plan. That means all Sunday worship services have been suspended until further notice.
We should grieve the fact that we cannot gather together as a church family – in the presence of God and fellow brothers and sisters – to corporately worship on the Lord’s Day. But duty to honor governing authorities and love of neighbor compel us to temporarily suspend our in-person gatherings. Through social distancing, we can help limit the spread of this virus, and Lord-willing, we will soon be able to gather again to worship as the church on the Lord’s Day.
In the meantime, we will create and distribute a weekly guide for how families, couples, and singles can conduct home worship on the Lord’s Day. Home worship cannot replace the God-ordained purpose and power of corporate worship as the church, but during this time of crisis, we hope it will be used by God to encourage believers, strengthen faith, and equip husbands, fathers, and spiritual heads to lead their family in worship.
Who should participate in home worship?
We encourage families with children of all ages to participate. We recommend conducting home worship on Sundays at 10:30am (~1 hour). It is advisable for all family members to still wake up at a reasonable hour, change out of their pajamas, eat breakfast, and then gather in the living room. Using a laptop, tablet, or television (broadcasted), open this Google Doc and follow its instructions and links.
For couples without children and singles, at this time, we allow (if you so choose) to gather in homes in smaller groups no larger than 5 to conduct the home worship together. Be sure that no one present is sick or has any reason to think they have been exposed to the virus. Shared surfaces should be disinfected before and after the meeting, and everyone should wash hands thoroughly upon arrival and departure. Food and drink should be served individually, and as much distance as possible should be maintained between members and their belongings.
Who should lead home worship?
In accordance to the pattern set in Scripture, we encourage believing husbands/fathers to lead their family in home worship. In instances where there is not a father in the home or the father is not a Christian, the mother will need to assume this role.
Among smaller non-family gatherings, the group can assign the task to conduct the home worship to any believing member. If you are not in a group, the following guide can still be utilized for a time of personal devotion.
Which language should we use to conduct home worship?
How can I give during this temporary suspension of services?
Offerings and donations can be given online through HCC’s PayPal Giving Fund. We encourage members to stay the course of your faithful generosity to the Lord and the ministry of his church.
Sunday, March 15, 2020 | 10:30am
Call to Worship
Psalm 23 [Leader invites one person to read aloud]
Worship in Song
Guided Prayer (by Philip Doddridge, 1709-1751)
- Leader: O Lord, cast us into whatever dangers you please, and we will cheerfully await the happy event which will at length prove the wisdom and kindness of even your most mysterious plans.
- All: In the meantime, even as we travel in the bonds of affliction, may we see your hand in the expressions and encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
- Leader: Let us thank you and take courage in the humble assurance that you will stand by us in every future unknown extreme.
- All: You will either display your power and goodness by raising up those around us in support – or you will display your all-sufficiency in a yet more glorious way, bearing us up when everything else fails us. Amen.
Confession of Sin
- Leader: Father, we gather together with the expectant knowledge that, through your Son, you freely pardon all who repent and turn to him.
- All: We have sinned against you this week in our thoughts, our words, and our actions. We have not loved you, or others, as you told us.
- Leader: Grant us the mercy, the forgiveness, and the cleansing that Jesus gives to those who confess their sin. On that basis, grant that we may continue to worship you in Spirit and in truth, to the glory of your name. Amen.
Word of Pardon
Isaiah 53:4-6 [Leader invites one person to read aloud]
Group Prayer [Individuals choose a request and pray aloud]
- Praise God for his sovereignty and power over all things – from microscopic viruses to measureless galaxies
- Thank God for his mercy and all the countless Sundays we are able to gather as the church for corporate worship
- Thank God for his salvation in sending his Son Jesus to die for our sins and adopt us into his family
- Ask God to alleviate our anxieties during this health/financial crisis and to give us peace that surpasses understanding
- Ask God to help federal, state, and city leaders to make wise decisions to slow the spread of the virus
- Ask God to strengthen healthcare workers and first responders during this time of crisis
- Ask God for the heart and opportunity to love our neighbors through generosity and service during this time of crisis
- Ask God to preserve our unity and encourage our members even though we presently cannot meet in-person
- [Leader concludes with a prayer for our hearts to humbly receive the reading and preaching of God’s Word]
Proverbs 9:1-18 [Leader invites one person to read aloud]
Worship in Song
Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Kids Church Online For Children
For Families with Children (3 years old to 5th Grade), HCC Children’s Ministry is providing a Kids Church Online weekly lesson for your children. This will take the place of our weekly Kids Church or Sunday School.
Mr Frank’s suggestion is to plan your Sunday morning to hold Kids Church Online either before or after your Home Worship Time. If you plan to hold Home Worship at 10:30am as suggested, then have Kids Church Online run at 9:45-10:15am or from 11:40-12:10pm. You can allow your children to participate in Kids Church Online by themselves or join your kids.
Mr. Frank will be available online through Zoom at Kids Church Online MeetUp to say hello and answer questions. He will be online through Zoom meeting platform at either 10:15-10:30am and 12:00-12:15am each Sunday if your kids want to say hello and tell me what they think of each Sunday’s lesson. The link to the Zoom meeting will be posted after each week’s Kids Church Online.
Missed a Sunday? Access a previous worship guide in our archive page.