On Line Worship Service, May 2, 2021

Welcome to this service for this Fifth Sunday of Easter and the first of two Sundays reflecting on “Love Groups vs. Hate Groups.”   

The main part of the service is included below in a video of our live zoom worship on Sunday morning at 10:00 AM on May 2nd. 

The video includes teachings about the love of God and our calling be instruments of that love.  We reflect on what we can do to be more Christ-like in our love.  Our readings will be from the second half of Psalm 22 affirming God’s loving rule of the universe, and the Letter of First John’s profound Chapter 4 (“God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God and God abides in them”), and the Gospel of John, Chapter 15 where Jesus says “I am the vine and you are the branches” and calls us to bear fruit.  We will hear and sing beautiful music, played, sung and led by Annemieke McLane and Becky Bailey and members of our choir.  The Anthem includes a stunningly beautiful duet of Becky and Annemieke, and the postlude is “Kind in Einschlummern” by R. Schumann, played by Annemieke McLane, piano. Annemieke says, “This is one of the sweetest short pieces in piano literature, filled with love.”

You can see the Order of Worship below. You will also find some portions of our worship that were not included in the live zoom service, including the haiku 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  

Here is this week’s haiku by Herbert Goertz:                        

What promise they hold
the tight buds just emerging—
Summer dwells in them.


Readings:  The scripture readings for this Sunday are selected verses from Psalm 22:26-31, 1 John 4:7-21 and John 15:1-7.  You can hear them read on the video below or read the text or download it here: 5-2-21 Service Readings


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

  1. Call to Worship, by Pastor Tom Kinder
  2. Introit, “If You Love Me” The United Church of Strafford Choir, Directed by Annemieke McLane
  3. Scripture Reading, read by Ingrid Webb
  4. Anthem, “The Gift of Love,” sung by Becky Bailey accompanied by Annemieke McLane
  5. Sermon “Love Groups vs. Hate Groups, Part I” by the Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder, Pastor
  6. Hymn “Take My Life and Let It Be” 
  7. Closing Unison Prayer, The Prayer of St. Francis
  8. Postlude, “Kind in Einschlummern” by R. Schumann, Annemieke McLane, piano

Here is the video:    


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


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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