Welcome to this service. This week’s service features three teachings entitled “You Have What the World Needs,” and it sets out in three different directions to define what that is, and each of the three paths reaches the same conclusion: what you have that the world most needs right now is the Christ within you, defining Christ in different ways than we may have thought in the past. Please feel free to respond using the comment feature of this website.
You will find an “Orientation to this Service and Announcements” after the first few videos. You can watch the entire service in under an hour or spread it out watching in two to twelve minute segments. You can also find links to read some of the service instead of watching the videos.
Toccata in E minor, Fugue, J. S. Bach, piano and photography by Annemieke McLane
Introit “Pues si vivimos (In All Our Living)” Mexican Folk Hymn.
The words of the second English verse are by Elise S. Eslinger.
Sung by members of the United Church of Strafford Choir.
Teaching One: You Have What the World Needs—Call to Worship and Herbert 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 28th, 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 Herbert Goertz’s Haiku;
- This orientation;
- Time with Children (and Adults);
- Alternate Lord’s Prayer read by six members of our congregation;
- Scripture passages, Philippians 2:1-8; John 1:1-14
- Sermon by the Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder;
- Anthem (“Fairest Christ Jesus”);
- Benediction Anthem (“I Still Can’t Breathe” a PG 13 video of an extraordinary children’s choir)
- Postlude by Annemieke McLane.
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 email@example.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!
Teaching Two: You Have What the World Needs Time with Children (and Adults)
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 Passages: Philippians 2:1-8
If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
Teaching Three: You Have What the World Needs—Sermon Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder
You can find the text of the Sermon by clicking here.
Anthem “Fairest Christ Jesus,” a revision of the folk hymn, “Fairest Lord Jesus”
Fairest Christ Jesus,
Spirit of all nature,
Ideal of God and flesh made one:
Thy way we honor,
Thy heart we nurture,
Thy mind in us: Earth’s longed-for dawn.
Fair are the meadows,
Fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring:
Christ-light is fairest,
Christ-love is purest,
That make the woeful heart to sing.
Fair is the sunshine,
Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling, starry host:
Christ-light shines brightest,
Christ-love shines purest,
Christ in our hearts: this, earth needs most.
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 “I Still Can’t Breathe,” words and music and introduction by John Alston, Executive and Artistic Director, Chester Children’s Chorus, a project of Swarthmore College, sung by the Chester Children’s Chorus.
Please see the description of the Chorus by clicking here. It is also well worth reading about the city of Chester, Pennsylvania to get the context for this chorus by clicking here. Note especially the sections on its history in the second half of the 20th Century, and Political Corruption. Note also that the population is almost 85% people of color.
This is an extremely moving introduction and performance, but the YouTube bears this message: “Content warning: This video contains footage of graphic violence that may be upsetting to some viewers. Please use discretion when showing the video to children under age 13.”
Postlude Felix Mendelssohn, Songs Without Words, Opus 30, No. 1
Annemieke McLane, piano