On Line Worship Service, August 30, 2020

Welcome to this service the final of four 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. This Sunday, Joey and John Hawkins are our hosts this Sunday and this is the zoom link to use – not the one found at the link above.Thanks to Maggie Hooker for hosting Joys and Concerns these past three Sundays.

With love,
Becky Bailey, for the UCS Deacons

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

Prelude  “Kumbaya,” sung by Annemieke McLane in the United Church sanctuary, in June.

Call to Worship This week’s haiku by Herbert Goertz, spouse of our usual haiku artist Mel:

The broad-winged hawk perched
on the bird house to survey
the garden for prey.


Dot Burden has moved to a long-term situation that she and her family feel good about. We can write to her at: Dorothy Burden, c/o Valley Terrace, Room #106, 2820 Christian St.White River Junction, VT 05001. 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.

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 July 12th service, in this session, Pastor Tom heads back to the garden, particularly the potato patch, and why he left some milkweed among the potato plants. How do you decide what is a weed and what is not? It’s a great demonstration of something Christians call “discernment” – and it’s vital to how we live our lives.


Hope in the Last Days
Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder
United Church of Strafford, Vermont
Created for the May 31 service, this sermon looks at where to find hope at times that feel hopeless. You can find the text of the Sermon by clicking here. You can also listen to two related videos that also contemplate the lessons of Pentecost.

Anthem  “In Heavenly Love Abiding,” published in 1850, with words by Anna Letitia Waring, set to a traditional tunue “Nyland,” a folk melody from Kuortane, South Ostrobothnia, Finland. It is sung by Christina Robinson with Annemieke McLane, piano.


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 One Day” by singer and beatboxer Matisyahu with New York City’s PS22 Chorus: “One day this all will change…Treat people the same… Stop with the violence… Down with the hate.”

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