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Sunday, February 5, 2023
Worship Service

Discipleship Ministries
Online Worship Service, 10am

139 Main Street

Little Falls, NJ 07424

Office Phone: (973) 256-0993

Website: www.LittleFallsUMC.org

Email: Info@LittleFallsUMC.org

 

 “A Welcoming Community of Faith, Hope, Mission and Outreach Sharing Christ’s Love”

“Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World”

 

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice,

holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1)

Dear Church family,

 

We will have In-person and Online Worship on Sunday, February 5, 2023, 10 am.

 

The information for Online Worship is:

Website: www.littlefallsumc.org

YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCOzxLc7UQjeMNprjm9u8gtQ

You can join Online Worship using your home phone or cell phone.

Call 646-876-9923; enter the Meeting ID 917 9067 6301; and enter the Passcode 139139.

 

Sunday Scriptures

Isaiah 58:1-12 and Matthew 5:13-20

Today’s Message! ‘Do We Need a Fresh Start?’.

 

We will have Holy Communion during Sunday Worship on February 5th.

The elements will be given to those who are in the Sanctuary.

Online Folks, please prepare a piece of bread (or a Cracker) and a small

cup of juice (or Water) as the elements of Holy Communion before worship.

If you have any concerns and joys and want to share them with the congregation,

and ask the church to pray on Sunday, please let me know!

You can email, call, or text me. Or you can submit your prayer concerns and joys here: www.littlefallsumc.org/prayer 

Your generous financial support is significant and appreciated very much.

We have continued our ministries with your support.

 

You can support God’s ministry in three ways:

1. Putting your offerings in the plates at the Offering Station at the in-person Worship

2. Mailing your offerings and tithes to the church office (139 Main St. Little Falls, NJ 07424)

3. Doing online donations at www.littlefallsumc.org/donation

 

Again, we appreciate your generosity very much.

  

Please see the bulletin for other announcements!

Have a good day! & See you on Sunday!

Pastor Jin

Called to Praise

 

⭻Prepare your heart and body for Worship

 

Greeting & Announcements

 

  • We have ‘In-Person’ & ‘Online Worship’ on Sunday, February 5, 2023, 10 am.

 

  • You can join our online worship via YouTube or Facebook. Type “Little Falls United Methodist Church” in the search window on Youtube or Facebook. Please use the link below to join in Online Worship.

YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCOzxLc7UQjeMNprjm9u8gtQ/

  • You can join the Online Worship by your phone. Call (646)-876-9923 and enter the Meeting ID, 917 9067 6301, and Passcode 139139.

 

  • Holy Communion – We will have Holy Communion during Sunday Worship on February 5th at 10am. If you plan to join us Online service, please prepare Holy Communion elements, Bread (or a cracker) and Grape juice (or water). 
     

  • Ash Wednesday Service – Ash Wednesday Service will be held at 7 pm on Wednesday, February 22, 2023. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. Let us worship together considering the meaning of Jesus’ death and sacrifice for us.

 

  • 2023 Lenten Series - The theme of Lent this year is "Witness at the Cross." We will consider the witnesses of the people who were with Jesus at the cross: The Bystanders and Scoffers, The Other Victims, The Soldiers, The Beloved Disciple, The Women, & Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. Join Sunday Worship (Feb. 26 - Apr. 2) during the Lenten Season for the message. Let us listen to their witnesses and find the meaning of Jesus' cross for us. 
     

  • Altar Flowers – Thank you Lynn Wielinga for providing the altar flowers for Sunday Service. If you would like to offer the altar flowers, please contact Janet (973) 896-8936 or ladyteddy@aol.com
     

  • Fellowship Time after Worship – Thank you Unity Circle for hosting coffee hour. Let us enjoy a good fellowship time every Sunday after Worship. Please help us with hosting the coffee hour. The Sign-up board is on the table in the narthex. Please contact Cheryle or Kathy F. if you have any questions for the coffee hour.
     

  • Stewardship Campaign for 2023 - Thank you for your pledges for the 2023 Church ministry. We are still accepting the pledge cards. Please give us yours if you have not given us yours yet. Our pledges mean we give God our first fruits, not leftovers. Our pledge is a token of our faith that we are stewards of all our resources that we are given by God. Our pledges are for God's ministry through the church ministry that changes one's life and the world with God's love and grace. As a pastor of LFUMC, I give thanks to all of you for your commitment and sacrifice using your spiritual gifts and talents and finance.  We can continue God's ministry when you participate in it and support it with your presence, gift, prayer, service, and witness. Let's glorify God through our whole being!

 

  • Ruth Lee Meeting – Next meeting: Wednesday, February 8, 4pm, Lee Lounge.
     

  • Coffee and Bible – We will have a four-week Bible Study every Thursday from February 9 to March 2 at 1pm, in Lee Lounge. We will read the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament in the Bible and have a conversation while having coffee. Jung Ae will lead the study.  Sign up online or contact Jung Ae (cclim92@gmail.com). Please join us!

 

  • Treasured Memories – “Treasured Memories” is a grief group for those who have lost their loved ones. The ongoing meeting gathers every 2nd Wednesday of the month in Lee Lounge at 7 pm. Contact Allison for details (973) 800-4152. 
     

  • Kids For Christ - KFC is a Fun Thursday night program for Children (K-6th) that is held on the first and third Thursday from 5pm to 6:30 pm. We began our new season 2022-23. This program is open to all children! The next meeting will be held on February 16, 2023.
     

  • Super Bowl Chili and Sub – Sunday, February 12, take-out only, 11am to 1pm. Enjoy a delicious bowl of chili and a sub sandwich, $7 for each! Pre-orders accepted by Sunday, February 5. See more information at www.littlefallsumc.org

 

  • Bethany Hope Circle – Collecting new children’s pajamas for Oasis until Sunday, February 12th. A table has been set up in the Narthex. Thank you for your support!
     

  • The Unity Circle is collecting gloves, hats, scarves, and mittens to fill our snowman box. Please see Betty Caceres for more information. Thank you for your support!
     

  • Online Donation – Online donation is available now. Please visit the church website and click ‘Donation.’ The link is www.LittleFallsUMC.org/donation
     

  • Shoprite Gift Card - If you want to buy a Shoprite gift card, please contact Pete (973) 595-5765 or detroit50@aol.com.
     

  • Kohl’s Gift Card – To purchase a Kohl’s gift card, please contact Allison (973) 800-4152.
     

  • AmazonSmile Program - Please choose Little Falls UMC as your charity organization at www.smile.amazon.com. All services and prices will be the same and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to the church.
     

  • Your financial support and generosity are greatly appreciated and essential for our church ministry and mission. Please consider sending your tithes and offerings to Little Falls UMC (139 Main St. Little Falls, NJ 07424). You can send your offerings and tithes to the church every week. Or you can send offerings and tithes for a month with a check. Thanks again for your generosity!
     

  • LFUMC FOOD PANTRY ITEMS NEEDED - Many families depend on the Food Pantry on a regular basis. The Pantry needs the following non-perishable items; canned vegetables, peanut butter, jelly, adult/children’s cereal, pasta & sauce, instant potatoes/rice, tuna, chicken, sardines, fruit, apple sauce, juice, and granola bars.
     

  • SOCKS FOR SOULS - Do your feet get cold? Please help Unity Circle to provide new or gently used socks to the homeless. There is a constant need. Please drop off your socks in the large white sock in the Narthex. 
     

  • Ongoing Collection - UMW also collects postmarked stamps, can pull tabs, Box Tops for Education, and the front of greeting cards. Items are donated to different charities and organizations.  

⭻Call to Worship

 

Leader: We are called to bring a new understanding of God: that God so loves the world.
All: We are the salt of the earth.
Leader: We are called to bring a new hope in God: that God gives us new life.
All: We are the light of the world.
Leader: We are called to follow the commandments and the law.
All: The Law of God is to love God and to love one another.
Leader: Come, let us be the salt of the earth, the light of the world.
All: Come, let us love one another with the love of God. Let us join together in our love of God to worship and follow Jesus.

 

⭻Praise Song                      This Is the Day                              UMH 657

 

Verse

This is the day

This is the day

That the Lord hath made

That the Lord hath made

Let us rejoice

Let us rejoice

And be glad in it

And be glad in it

This is the day

That the Lord hath made

We will rejoice and be glad in it

This is the day

This is the day

That the Lord hath made

 

Children’s Message                    Israel’s First King - Part 2                    1 Samuel 8-10

 

God led Samuel to a man named Saul. Samuel poured oil on Saul’s head. This was a sign that Saul was God’s choice for their new king. Saul hid because he was shy. The people found him. Then Samuel said, “Here is your king.” Everyone cheered and shouted, “Long live the King!” 

                                   

⭻Hymn of Prayer                         O Lord, Hear My Prayer                       TFWS 2200

 

O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer.

When I call, answer me.

O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer.

Come and listen to me.

 

Pausing for Silent Prayer and Confession

 

Prayers of the People (Response: God, in Your Mercy, hear our prayers.)

 

Gracious God, we come to you and worship you and praise you for your love, grace, care, and mercy. You lead us and help us with your mighty hands, so we have each day as a gift given by you. Although you bless us in many ways, we often face difficulties and hardships. We see others who suffer from illness, hopelessness, and spiritual devastation. Merciful God, have mercy on us. Let us and those dear and near us have your healing mercy, loving care, and continuous provision. God, you have made us to be salt and light in a tasteless, shadowed world, guide us in this time of worship. Grant us understanding and spiritual discernment so that others may see your good works through us, give you glory, and be moved to serve you. Amen.

 

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.

 

Called to the Word

 

Prayer for Illumination   

 

Leader: Lord, open our hearts and minds by the power of your Holy Spirit, that, as the Scriptures are read and your Word proclaimed, we may hear with joy what you say to us today. 

 

All: Amen

 

OT Lesson                                       Isaiah 58:1-12

 

True Fasting

58 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
   Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
   and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out;
   they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
   and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
   and seem eager for God to come near them.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
   ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
   and you have not noticed?’

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
   and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
   and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
   and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
   only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
   and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
   a day acceptable to the Lord?

6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
   and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
   and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
   and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
   and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
   and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
   and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
   you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
   with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
   and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
   he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
   and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
   like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
   and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
   Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

This ends the OT Lesson. 
Let us turn to the Gospel Lesson. Please stand, if able.

 

Gospel Lesson                               Matthew 5:13-20

 

Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

 

The Fulfillment of the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

This is the word of God for the people of God. 

All: Thanks be to God.

 

Message                   Do We Need a Fresh Start?                 Rev. Jin Kook Kim

 

Good morning, Church Family! I hope you had a blessed week in God’s love and grace last week. Last Sunday we considered the beginning of a fresh start. As we see in the story of the commander Naaman and another story of Jesus and the ten men with a skin disease, a Fresh Start begins in our lives when we come to God, when we ask God to give us a fresh start, and when we follow God’s will taking each step for a fresh start. I pray all of us come to God and ask God to give us a fresh start and follow God’s will, taking each step for a fresh start. I hope all of us have a fresh start in our lives and our church.

 

As the new year started, I have shared messages regarding a fresh start. I talked about a fresh start at the individual level and the church level. We also considered the blocks in a fresh start and the beginning of a fresh start. And, I found that I didn’t ask the question that should be the first question, “Do you need a fresh start?” Do you want or need a fresh start in your life or not? How about our church? You would want or need a fresh start in your life if you don’t like your current life. Otherwise, you would not want or need it if you are satisfied with your current life. How about your spiritual life? Do you need or want a fresh start in your spiritual life or not? How about us as a church family? Do we, as a church, need or want a fresh start or not?

 

Last week, after my first child came back home from cheerleading practice, she told me that the practice was harder than other days because the coach who created a dance for the cheerleading team joined the practice and corrected all dance, pose, and positions. The team had practiced by themselves after they learned everything. The team practiced hard twice or three times every week and won two or three competitions already. And they had only two competitions left during the coming weekend at that time. They were experts in their performance. However, the coach found incorrect parts and tried to help them to correct them. They changed slightly without knowing it while they practiced hard and performed at competitions. They didn’t notice where their dance slightly changed until the coach let them know. And when the coach let them know, they realized the incorrect parts and could correct them. 

 

That happens to sports players. I heard that the pitcher coach of the baseball always gives notice to the pitcher when the player’s pitching form is changed a lot or slightly because the changed angle of the pitcher’s elbow changes the quality of pitching. It doesn’t matter how many times or years the player pitched. Pitcher’s form can change without knowing it. The coach helps the pitcher to correct it to be better.

 

In today’s scripture, the people of Israel complained to God “Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” They were saying, “Why don’t you save us and help us although we practiced righteousness and followed your words?” However, God said, “No, you are not. “Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day and oppress all your workers. You fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist.”(Isaiah 58:3-4). Although you fast, you fast for your own interest, not for righteousness.” They thought they were following God’s words and humbled themselves before God because they did fast and did other practices. However, God saw their hearts and what practice they did, and how they did the practice. They didn’t know what they were wrong for, but God saw everything and pointed them out. They couldn’t see their status, where they were in their lives, and spiritual lives until God told them.

 

We are like the Israelites, pitchers of baseball, or cheerleaders. Sometimes, we don’t know our change because we change without knowing it. In particular, in our spiritual lives and faith journey, we sometimes do not know where we are and where we are heading until God lets us know. We need a coach who lets us know where we are and where we are going to so that we have a fresh start. Graciously, we have a great coach, God. God lets us know where we are and where we are heading. God coaches us with love and care. God coaches us to have a fresh start. We need a fresh start in our faith journey whenever we stop the journey or take the wrong way. 

 

Sometimes we think we do enough things for our faith journey, so we stay there although God wants us to go further. In today’s gospel lesson, Jesus said, “whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19) Jesus said that because there would be people who said, “We don’t have to follow a small thing of God’s words. However, Jesus said, “No” If God thinks that a commandment is ok for us not to follow, God would not give us the commandment. God wants us to follow every single word when God gives us the words. God wants us to grow in Christ and in faith. And God gives us a fresh start to grow in Christ and in faith. This is why God gives us and initiates a fresh start in our lives.

 

A fresh start is God’s invitation to God’s kingdom and God’s way. A fresh start is God’s help for us to see our status and where we should go. If we don’t have a fresh start, we will be the salt that lost its taste, and we will be light under the bucket so the light cannot shine anything out of the bucket. Let us open ourselves to God and let God coach us and lead us. Let us open ourselves to the fresh start that God gives us in our faith journey. Rather than saying, “I didn’t know where I was.” or “My practices for our faith journey are enough” let us ask God to help us and give us a fresh start. We need a fresh start every time.

 

What do you think? Do we as a church need a fresh start? Yes, we need it. You would not want to see that the church is the same as it is now always. We need a fresh start as we have had a fresh start each time and as we grow in Christ each time. For what, do we need a fresh start? For the church, would you dream with me that this sanctuary is filled with God’s people? That means we make disciples of Jesus Christ. That means we serve people to accept God’s love and grace in their lives and start their faith journey through us and with us. Would you dream with me that our church becomes the center of love, grace, hope, peace, and justice in our local community and the world so people can experience God’s grace in our church and through our church ministry? What are you dreaming of for our church, Little Falls UMC? Can we dream together and work together on a fresh start for the dream asking God’s guidance and lead? We need a fresh start. Let us dream together, work together, and have a fresh start together. Amen.

 

THANKSGIVING AND HOLY COMMUNION

 

Response 1

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

 

Response 2

Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.

 

Response 3

Amen

 

Called to Share

 

Response to Our Generous God 

 

 ⭻Doxology                 Praise God, From Whom All Blessings Flow        UMH 95

 

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise Him, all creatures here below;

Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

 

⭻Prayer of Dedication

 

All: God of all creation, source of every blessing: you have given us so much. As we bring our tithes and gifts to you this day, these seem so small by comparison, unless we see that we are truly called to give ourselves back to the world. May we be the salt that brings value and flavor into relationships with those around us. May we be the light that helps others find their way to your love and care. We pray all of this in the mighty name of Jesus, who came to help us see all we could be. Amen.

 

Called to the World

 

⭻Closing Hymn                               Blessed Assurance                               UMH 369

 

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!

O what a foretaste of glory divine!

Heir of salvation, purchase of God,

born of his spirit, washed in his blood.

 

Refrain

 

This is my story, this is my song,

praising my Savior, all the day long;

this is my story, this is my song,

praising my Savior, all the day long.

 

Perfect submission, perfect delight,

visions of rapture now burst on my sight;

angels descending bring from above

echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

 

Refrain

 

Perfect submission, all is at rest;

I in my Savior am happy and blessed,

watching and waiting, looking above,

filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

 

Refrain

 

⭻Benediction                                                                                             Rev. Jin Kook Kim

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you.  Amen

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