On Line Worship Service, January 24, 2021

Welcome to this service for the Third Sunday of Epiphany celebrating the Baptism of Christ and the new story that the Holy Spirit is bringing into being.  

The worship format this Sunday is a little different from what we did up until November 22, 2020.  The music, readings and sermon are all included as part of one video of our live zoom worship on Sunday morning at 10:00 AM on January 24th. 

You will see the video below.   You will also see below some portions of our worship together that were not included in the live service, including the haiku of the day, announcements and the offering. 

Thank you for being part of our church community! If you would like to join us on our Sunday morning zooms click here or on our Thursday Heartfulness Contemplative Training Circle zooms click here.

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

This week’s haiku by Herbert Goertz:

Winter Sunset
Over the mountains
Fiery streaks of red and white:
Day fades into night.

Let us worship together.             


The scripture readings for this Sunday are Isaiah 42:1-9 and Mark 1:4-11.  You can read them or download them by clicking here:

1-24-21 Service Readings

The Live Zoom Service Recording

Order of Worship

  1. Welcome by Pastor Tom Kinder
  2. Prelude by Annemieke McLane, piano, E. Grieg’s Folkevise opus 38 no. 2/This Land Is Your Land Medley (in between the two readings below) 
  3. Readings (see above), read by Danette Harris
  4. Anthem, “Spirit of the Living God,” sung by members of the United Church of Strafford choir with Annemieke McLane, Choir Director and Pianist
  5. Reflection by the Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder, Pastor of the United Church of Strafford
  6. Hymn, “Christ Needed His Immersion”
  7. Closing Unison Prayer

Here is the video.



You can read the text and find a pdf of the Call to Worship and Sermon by clicking here.

Additional Reflection 

You can click here to find a sonnet and reflection by Pastor Tom Kinder posted on January 21, 2021.  It talks about both secular and spiritual epiphanies, about the new story that humanity needs and we can see rising, and about the ancient wisdom-inscriptions that we all share that can both guide our new story and form a basis for unity with those who are reluctant to abandon the old story. The reflection analyzes the prayer that a leader of the insurrectionist mob made on the Senate floor that was recorded by a journalist and published online by The New Yorker.


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.)      


To read additional announcements please see our weekly churchwide emails by clicking here

You can be added to our email list by requesting so at unitedchurchofstrafford@gmail.com.

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.  If you would like to donate or help please email us or use the comment feature on this page.         

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