On Line Worship Service, June 21, 2020

Welcome to this service.  This service is paired with the June 14th service, reflecting on the same Chapters 9 and 10 of Matthew where Jesus had compassion on the crowds of hurting and lost people and organized a movement to heal and transform society into the realm of God on earth.  Last week we looked more at the inner spiritual dimension of that movement and today we look more at the outer dimension—the what, why and how of Christ’s ‘revolution of values,’ to borrow the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s phrase.

We have an extraordinary Introit this week, a solo by Denise Cote, as well as a beautiful Prelude by Laila Reimanis, flute, and Annemieke McLane, piano.  Be sure to savor them both!  The last two pieces in this service are also not to be missed!

You will find an “Orientation to this Service and Announcements” after the first few videos.

Prelude Sonata in G, for flute and piano, “Cantabile”, Georg Philippe Telemann, Laila Reimanis, Flute and Annemieke McLane, piano.

Introit “Ella’s Song” Words by Ella Baker, Music by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, sung by Denise Cote, member of the United Church of Strafford Congregation and Choir.

Thank you, Denise for this beautiful, powerful, heart-felt and Spirit-filled gift!

Teaching One: What Revolution?  Call to Worship and Mel Goertz’s Haiku

You can find the text of the Call to Worship and Haiku by clicking here.

Orientation to this Service and Announcements

Welcome to this online worship service of the United Church of Strafford, Vermont for June 21st, 2020.

You can respond with thoughts about the service or with anything you would like to say by using the comment feature at the end of the post or by emailing us.  You can also bring others into this experience by sharing the link to this service by email or social media.

Here is the order of worship on this page:

  • Above: Welcome, Prelude, Introit, Call to Worship and Mel Goertz’s Haiku;
  • This orientation;
  • Time with Children (and Adults);
  • Alternate Lord’s Prayer read by six members of our congregation;
  • Scripture passage, excerpts from Matthew 9:35-10:42;
  • Sermon by the Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder;
  • Anthem (“Once to Every Man and Nation”);
  • Offering;
  • Benediction Anthem (“Lift Every Voice and Sing” Don’t miss this!!!)
  • Postlude “Comfort, Comfort Ye My People” Jeremiah McLane, accordion.

Please note that we are gathering as a congregation by Zoom at 10:30 AM on Sunday mornings to say hello to one another and share our Joys and Concerns and Prayer requests and offer our compassion and support and company for this journey.

Our Heartfulness Contemplative Training Circle is also meeting by Zoom on Thursdays at 6:00 PM.  This is for anyone who is interested in practicing mindfulness or meditation, or heartfulness and centering prayer.  It is a time for talking about those practices and also more generally about our spiritual life.

You can find links to instructions on how to be part of those Zoom gatherings on the Welcome Page of our website.

If you are not on our weekly email list and would like to be, please email us at unitedchurchofstrafford@gmail.com and we will make sure you receive all our church news.

It is extremely important that we stay connected now.  Please reach out by phone or email to neighbors and other members of the congregation, especially those who live by themselves or are struggling or vulnerable.  Our Deacons, Becky Bailey, Kim Welsh and Maggie Hooker, are coordinating our Deacons Fund and our outreach to people in need of support, and Danette Harris, Chair of our Mission Committee, is leading our work with the Food Shelf.  Becky, Danette and Joey Hawkins are on the town committee that is coordinating outreach as well.  If you would like to donate or help please email us or use the comment feature on this page.

You can listen to this service in one sitting in under an hour or you may spread it out over the course of the day or week. Thank you!

Time with Children and Youth (and all ages…)  A world turned upside down… (Please remember that the quoting of any particular author does not endorse the opinions of that author on everything!)

Alternative Lord’s Prayer

I invited children, parents and other adults to record themselves saying the prayer.  Here is a composite of six readers.  Please keep sending these in—it would be wonderful to have every member of the congregation lead the prayer!

Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer,
Way, Truth and Life,
Force of Love and Light
flowing within and all around us,
may your realm of compassion,
justice and peace rule our world.
Thank you for nurturing and guiding us,
forgiving us and helping us forgive,
and leading us away from harmful desires.
Please save us from all forms of evil,
for you are our source, our home, our power,
all goodness and beauty forever. Amen.

Scripture: excerpts from Matthew 9:35-10:42 (We focused on a different dimension and different verses of this passage last week.)

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”  Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness.

As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’  Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.  You received without payment; give without payment.  Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food.

Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave.  As you enter the house, greet it.  If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.  If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town.

See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings…. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you….

You will be hated by all… When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next…

What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul…

Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.  Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

Sermon, Teaching Two:The Why and How of Jesus’ Revolution of Values”    Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder

You can find the text of the Sermon by clicking here.

Anthem “Once to Every Man and Nation,”  words by James Russell Lowell, tune: Ebenezer

Offering

This congregation is a small but meaningful part of the movement to establish God’s realm of peace, justice and care for God’s creation on earth, actively engaged in serving our community and supporting the wider worldwide movement.  One of the ways we work together and increase our strength beyond our individual abilities is by pooling our resources.  This is hard to do when we are forced apart by the pandemic, so we hope you will take just a minute to use our online donation service.

To make your offering on line, please click here.  (This is a service we are providing through an extremely well established on-line donation company specializing in churches that is recommended by the national United Church of Christ and used by thousands of churches like ours.  To read more about our decision to allow on line donations, click here.)

Benediction Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing,”  words written by James Weldon Johnson in 1900 and set to music by his brother J. Rosamond Johnson in 1905

“In celebration of Juneteenth, Nicole Heaston gathered 65 Black opera singers accompanied by Kevin J. Miller and conducted by Damien Sneed to sing Roland Carter’s arrangement of the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing. This song expresses the strength and resilience of the Black spirit during this time of turmoil and reflection. So, we will lift our voices and sing in solidarity in honor of those we have lost and who have come before us.”

Have your hankie at hand before you start listening.  You’ll need it.

Postlude “Comfort, Comfort Ye My People,” Jeremiah McLane, accordion

“Comfort those who sit in darkness,
Mourning ‘neath their sorrows’ load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem
Of the peace that waits for them;
Tell her that her wrongs I cover,
And her warfare now is over.”

 

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