On Line Worship Service, May 16, 2021

Welcome to this service for this Seventh and Last Sunday of Easter and Ascension Sunday, and the first of two Sundays reflecting on “Where and How Do We Go from Here.”   

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 16th. 

The video includes a reading of the Ascension Story from Luke and the story of Elijah being taken up by the whirlwind with the chariots of fire. We found lessons in the scriptures for our transition in the wilderness as we enter a new unknown, with the pandemic separation ending, the church moving toward regathering, and the world in escalating crises of many kinds. We hear beautiful music by Annemieke McLane, Becky Bailey and David Webb.

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:                             

A Double Haiku by Mel Goertz:

     I like to stop and look

at the leaves in the trees

     tiny and light green.


     I like to stop and hear

the red-winged blackbird singing

     his heart beating.


Let us worship together…  


Readings:  The scripture readings for this Sunday are 2 Kings 2:9-15; Luke 24:44-53; Acts 1:1-11.  You can hear them read on the video below or read the text or download it here: 5-16-21 Service Readings  


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

Please note that we failed to record Annemieke McLane’s Prelude, but you can hear her recording of it from October below as a second video.

  1. Call to Worship, by Pastor Tom Kinder
  2. Introit, “Still, Still With Thee” Becky Bailey and David Webb, voices; Annemieke McLane, piano; words by Harriet Beecher Stowe, melody by Felix Mendelssohn
  3. Scripture Reading, read by Annemieke McLane
  4. Anthem, “Farewell, My Friend,” by Berta and Sonja Poorman, sung by Becky Bailey, Annemieke McLane and Davide Webb and accompanied by Annemieke McLane
  5. Sermon “Where and How Do We Go from Here, Part I” by the Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder, Pastor
  6. Hymn “The Heart That Empties Is the Heart Christ Fills” 
  7. Closing Unison Prayer
  8. Postlude (see the second video below) 

Here is the video: 

Poslude Video: “Songs Without Words,” Op. 19 No. 4, in A Major, F. Mendelssohn, performed by Annemieke McLane in the United Church of Strafford sanctuary.


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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