On Line Worship Service, October 25, 2020

Welcome to this service.  This week’s sermon takes its title from a famous story from the Civil Rights Movement during the Montgomery bus boycott in 1956: “My feets is tired, but my soul is rested.”  The sermon begins with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. telling that story and how the woman who said it provided him with the light, peace and guidance his troubled soul would need in the long struggle ahead. 

The sermon ends with another story that is unfolding now, the story of a performance of Sinclair Lewis’s novel, It Can’t Happen Here, in theatrical form.  Jim Schley is one of the actors touring Vermont in that play. It suffered a tragedy recently that the sermon describes, along with the production’s inspiring response.

Many of us have tired feet from the pandemic and political road we have been traveling.  The sermon and entire service are designed to help you find the rest in your soul and the encouragement in your heart that you need to exert yourself in these last days before a historic national election, and beyond.

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. Hymn “Guide My Feet,” African-American Spiritual
  6. Offering
  7. Announcements
  8. Benediction and Postlude, “Nada te turbe,” sung by members of the United Church of Strafford Choir, accompanied by our church musician and choir director, Annemieke McLane


Prelude  Le Rappel des oiseaux, by J. Ph. Rameau,  Annemieke McLane, piano 


Call to Worship  “Be still, and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46   This week’s haiku by Mel Goertz:

Drops of water on leaves

in the road, little jewels

that fell from the sky.

Let us worship together.     


Scripture Passages:

Deuteronomy 34:1-5, 10
Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the LORD showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, and the Plain — that is, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees — as far as Zoar.  The LORD said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.” Then Moses, the servant of the LORD, died there in the land of Moab, at the Lord’s command…. Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.

I Corinthians 9:24-25
Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.

Philippians 3:13b-14
This one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

Luke 18:1-8
Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”


Sermon   “My Feets Is Tired but My Soul Is Rested,”  Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder  

You can find the text of the Sermon by clicking here


Hymn  “Guide My Feet,” African-American Spiritual



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.)



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 and Postlude “Nada te turbe,” sung by members of the United Church of Strafford Choir, Annemieke McLane, piano and Director, see the words below the video

Nada te turbe, nada tespante.
Quien a Deios teine nada le falta.
Nada te turbe, nada tespante.
Solo Dios basta.

Nothing can trouble, nothing can frighten.
Those who seek God shall never go wanting.
Nothing can trouble, nothing can frighten.
God alone fills us.


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