On Line Worship Service, July 25, 2021

Welcome to this service for this Ninth Sunday after Pentecost.

The main part of the service is included below in a video of our in-person and zoom worship on Sunday morning at 10:00 AM on July 25th. 

The service focused on remembrance and rest as practices that can help us pause and make meaning of changes that we go through, like the pandemic, or climate change or an infinite number of daily events.

The Passover and the Sabbath are times set aside for remembrance and rest, and at the end of this video the congregation paused to reflect on the changes that have come and are still unfolding from the pandemic.

The three stages of the Exodus story are part of every transition, the ending of leaving Egypt, the in-between time journey through the trackless wilderness, and the new beginning in the Promised Land. The children’s time teaches a tool that monks have used for hundreds of years to navigate through life’s wildernesses: the Examen.

The music this week was exceptionally beautiful, with Jeremiah and Annemieke McLane playing original arrangements of pieces by Bach and Vivaldi, the choir singing two moving pieces and the congregation singing “Be Still, My Soul” and “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”

The congregation reflected on these questions: What is important to remember about the pandemic time, and to celebrate or grieve—the good things, the hard things, the hard things that led to good things?  What ways of being do you hope will return to the pre-pandemic time “normal,” what pandemic ways do you hope we will keep going, and what do you hope will change to be completely new?

You can see the Order of Worship below and find a link to the bulletin. 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! We haver returned to the sanctuary for in-person services but we will also continue live streamed and recorded service options.  If you would like to join us by Zoom on Sunday mornings click here.

Similarly, our 7:00 PM Thursday Heartfulness Contemplative Training Circle will return to in-person gatherings on July 8th, but several of us will continue to participate by zoom.  For the Heartfulness Circle link, 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 Mel Goertz: 


swing back and forth on the feeder

bright yellow in the mist

Let us worship together…            



The scripture readings for this Sunday are from Exodus 12:14, 17; Deuteronomy 5:12-14b, 15; Matthew 11:28-30; Psalm 126. You can hear them read dramatically on the video below or read the text or download it here: 7-25-21 Service Readings


The Live Zoom Service Recording

Order of Worship (the video is below)—please note that the video is a different order from the bulletin, which is here: 7-25-21 bulletin final

  1. Call to Worship, by Pastor Tom Kinder
  2. Hymn, “Be Still, My Soul”
  3. Introit: Uthando Lwakhe,  sung by the United Church of Strafford Choir, Directed and Accompanied by Annemieke McLane
  4. Interlude: Pieces by Bach and Vivaldi arranged and performed by Jeremiah McLane, Accordion and Annemieke McLane, Piano
  5. Children’s Time and Lord’s Prayer
  6. Anthem:  “Requiem,” by Eliza Gilkyson, sung by the United Church of Strafford Choir, Directed and Accompanied by Annemieke McLane
  7. Scripture Reading, read by Jane Prescott
  8. Sermon “Remembrance and Rest” by the Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder, Pastor
  9. Hymn, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”

Here is the video: 


Sermon   You can read the text and find a pdf of the Call to Worship, Children’s Time 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 continue to stay closely connected during this transition time.  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 Deacon Chair Becky Bailey is 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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