On Line Worship Service, October 18, 2020

Welcome to this service. 

This service offers the hope of the spiritual “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” and “Pues si vivimos (In All Our Living We Belong to God)” and Jesus winning a nonviolent skirmish in a culture war and Paul assuring us we can transform our consciousness.  The sermon offers practical steps toward solving problems that seem unsolvable and transforming the world around us.  The service ends with the comforting Benediction of the 23rd Psalm. 

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. Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey, you are welcome here and in our church community. 

Pastor Tom Kinder    

Today’s Order of Worship

  1. Prelude by Annemieke McLane
  2. Call to Worship: A Haiku by Mel Goertz
  3. Scriptures
  4. Sermon
  5. Offering
  6. Announcements
  7. Benediction 23rd Psalm KJV
  8. Postlude, “Pues si vivimos,” sung by members of the United Church of Strafford Choir, accompanied by our church musician and choir director, Annemieke McLane

  Prelude  “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” Annemieke McLane, piano

Call to Worship  “Be still, and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46  

This week’s haiku by Mel Goertz:

Wind roars through the trees,

casts its shadows on the road,

scatters the sunshine.

Let us worship together.     

Scripture Passages

Romans 12:1-2

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. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Matthew 22:15-22

Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality.  Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?”  But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites?  Show me the coin used for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius.  Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?”  They answered, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.

Sermon   Be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind,  Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder  [Note: please read the above scriptures first!]

You can find the text of the Sermon by clicking here

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.)

Announcements

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.

We are now streaming live readings and music from our sanctuary on that same Zoom link at 10:15 AM, so just sign on fifteen minutes earlier.

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.  

Benediction   The 23rd Psalm, King James Version  [Note: Please pray this, either aloud or silently.]

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his names sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Postlude “Pues si vivimos,” sung by members of the United Church of Strafford Choir, Annemieke McLane, piano and Director 

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