On Line Worship Service, March 7, 2021

Welcome to this service for the Third Sunday in Lent.  Each Lenten Sunday has a theme and a ritual just as each Advent Sunday does.  This is the Sunday of Faith. 

The main part of the service is included below in one video of our live zoom worship on Sunday morning at 10:00 AM on March 7th. 

We will hear about Moses having the faith to draw water from a rock in the wilderness, and hear Jesus talk about the spring of living water that wells up from within people who place their faith in the Spirit, and hear from Paul how faith connects the Spirit, freedom and acts of love.  Faith opens us to the Spirit’s guidance and power and shows a way where there was no way.  Faith is the superpower we need now in this time of crisis in our society and on our planet.  You will have the chance to sing “The Wilderness Is Dark Tonight,” set to the tune of “Just As I Am,” and pianist Annemieke McLane and members of our choir will share some beautiful music. 

You will also see below some portions of our worship together that were not included in the live service, including the haiku (or tanka) of the day, a few 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.  If you would like to be added to our weekly newsletter list please let us know at unitedchurchofstrafford@gmail.com

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 poem by Mel Goertz is in the Japanese tanka form of 31 syllables in five lines.  Mel calls it an uta, the Japanese word for song:   

          As the soft call notes

of the pine grosbeaks

          mingled with the light voices

of the redpolls,

          I realized my Spirit was being healed.

 

Let us worship together.    

 

Readings:  The scripture readings for this Sunday are from Galatians 5, Exodus 17 and John 7.  You can read them or download them by clicking here: 3-7-21 Service Readings     

 

The Live Zoom Service Recording Order of Worship (the video is below):

  1. Gathering Music by Church Musician, Annemieke McLane, “Les Barricades Mysterieuses”. F. Couperin (sadly, the recording started just at the end)
  2. Call to Worship by Pastor Tom Kinder
  3. Introit by Annemieke McLane and Becky Bailey, “The Word Is a Lamp” by Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith
  4. Readings (see above), read by Bill Williams
  5. Anthem “We Walk by Faith/In Times of Trouble,” by Barbara Bridge, sung by members of the United Church of Strafford choir directed by Annemieke McLane
  6. Reflection “We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight” by the Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder, Pastor
  7. Hymn “The Wilderness Is Dark Tonight”
  8. Closing Lenten Ritual and Unison Prayer

Here is the video:  

 

Sermon 

You can read the text and find a pdf of the Call to Worship and 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

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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