On Line Worship Service, August 23, 2020

Welcome to this service week three of lay-led, “summer-simple” services we holding while Pastor Tom Kinder is on break. Music, time with children, announcements, sermon, and haiku – that’s all – and mostly from the archive of beautiful and meaningful digital content we have created since the pandemic moved our worship online.

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.

More than anything, take time to take care of yourself and your “pod” and reach out to others as you are able. Remember the love you are held with, even when you aren’t being reminded of it. If you’re struggling with worry or fear (who isn’t?), remember the strength of love, purpose, and our commitment to each other

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.

With love,
Becky Bailey, for the UCS Deacons

Today’s Order of Worship
Call to Worship
Time with Children

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

Call to Worship This week’s haiku by Mel Goertz

Hiking up through the orchard out to the left
knee-deep in red clover and back to the right
a wild garden.


Condolence notes for Dot Burden on the death of our very dear Bill Burden can be sent to her at Genesis Health Care, Lebanon, 24 Old Etna Rd, Lebanon, NH 03766. Donations are being collected for Annemieke McLane and her family on the United Church online offering link as well as by checks made out to “McLane Recovery Fund” and sent to the United Church of Strafford Deacons, P O Box 124, Strafford VT 05072. We are glad to hear that Rachel Claffey and her mother Barbara Hanchett are back home from stays in the hospital. Congratulations to the Hookwurms for their official adoption of Carmen, and to Martha Manheim on her 96th birthday; we all feel such gratitude that all of you are in our lives.

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.

 Time with Children (and Adults—For Everyone, Really!) 

Created for the June 14th service, in this session, Pastor Tom thinks about the peas and beans that were “rocks and pebbles” when he planted them and are now starting to sprout – as hope, courage, and the desire to do good in the world can grow, in each of us, when we listen to what’s at our heart’s core.

Sermon The Spirit of Truth Awakens by Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder, created for the May 17 service. Pastor Tom starts with by painting a picture of South Africa’s first free election, post-apartheid, and looks at six ingredients that some of today’s most thoughtful activists say are needed to change our collective consciousness and change the course of our society toward justice, peace, and sustainability. You can find the text of the Sermon by clicking here.

Anthem  “Morning Has Broken,” published in 1931, with words by English author Eleanor Farjeon inspired by the village of Alfriston in East Sussex, set to a traditional Scottish Gaelic tune, “Bunessan.” It is sung by the United Church of Strafford Virtual Choir, Becky Bailey, guitar.


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.)

Postlude Felix Mendelssohn, “Songs Without Words,” Opus 30, No. 1, Annemieke McLane, piano.

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