On Line Worship Service, September 12, 2021

Welcome to this service for this Sixteenth 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 September 12th. 

The title of the sermon was “To Save Life,” taken from the teaching of Jesus in Mark, “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake and the sake of the gospel will save it.”

The service led up to the following questions with beautiful music and scriptures and reflections: “What would it look like for a nation or all humanity to lose life to save life?  If you were a Hebrew prophet, what death would you call humanity to undergo, what would you be calling humanity to stop being and stop doing?  And what new life would you prophesy, what does God need humanity to evolve to be and do?”

These questions are as important as they are challenging to answer because to save life on earth we need to help humanity undergo a spiritual transformation, as Gus Speth and many others have told us.  Many elements of the service can help us reflect on this.

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 has returned to in-person gatherings, but several of us will continue to participate by zoom.  For the Heartfulness Circle Zoom 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 poem by Mel Goertz: 


When bumblebees

burrow into the pollen,

the whole tree hums and hums.


Let us worship together…



The scripture readings for this Sunday are: Psalm 116:1-9; James 3:1-12; Mark 8:27-36. You can hear them read on the video below or read the text or download it here: 9-12-21 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: 9-12-21 bulletin final 2

  1. Call to Worship, by Pastor Tom Kinder
  2. Hymn, “For the Healing of the Nations”
  3. Children’s Time and Lord’s Prayer
  4. Anthem, “Thuma Mina,” South African Freedom Song, sung by the United Church of Strafford Choir, Christina Robinson Solo, Becky Bailey Choir Director with Carol Rousseau, Piano
  5. Scripture Readings, read by  the Rev. Deadra Ashton
  6. Sermon, “To Save Life”  The Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder
  7. Hymn, “Thou Judge by Whom Each Empire Fell”
  8. Prayers and Benediction
  9. Choral Benediction Response, “Pues si vivimos”  Mexican Folk Song
  10. Postlude   Carol Rousseau, piano
  11. [From this point we return to the beginning of the service for the remainingitems]
  12. Welcome and Announcements
  13. Introit,  “Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying”  by Ken Medema
  14. Gathering Music   Carol Rousseau, piano
  15. Prelude

Here is the video: 



You can read the text and find a pdf of the Call to Worship and Children’s Time 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 when we are not yet out of the pandemic.  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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