United Church of Strafford, Vermont

Weekly Churchwide Email, October 25, 2020

You can read our weekly email newsletter published on October 17, 2020 by clicking here.

On Line Worship Service, October 25, 2020

Welcome to this service.  This week’s sermon takes its title from a famous story from the Civil Rights Movement during the Montgomery bus boycott in 1956: “My feets is tired, but my soul is rested.”  The sermon begins with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. telling that story and how the woman who said it provided him with the light, peace and guidance his troubled soul would need in the long struggle ahead. 

The sermon ends with another story that is unfolding now, the story of a performance of Sinclair Lewis’s novel, It Can’t Happen Here, in theatrical form.  Jim Schley is one of the actors touring Vermont in that play. It suffered a tragedy recently that the sermon describes, along with the production’s inspiring response.

Many of us have tired feet from the pandemic and political road we have been traveling.  The sermon and entire service are designed to help you find the rest in your soul and the encouragement in your heart that you need to exert yourself in these last days before a historic national election, and beyond.

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 service 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    

 

Today’s Order of Worship

  1. Prelude by Annemieke McLane
  2. Call to Worship: A Haiku by Mel Goertz
  3. Scriptures
  4. Sermon
  5. Hymn “Guide My Feet,” African-American Spiritual
  6. Offering
  7. Announcements
  8. Benediction and Postlude, “Nada te turbe,” sung by members of the United Church of Strafford Choir, accompanied by our church musician and choir director, Annemieke McLane

 

Prelude  Le Rappel des oiseaux, by J. Ph. Rameau,  Annemieke McLane, piano 

 

Call to Worship  “Be still, and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46   This week’s haiku by Mel Goertz:

Drops of water on leaves

in the road, little jewels

that fell from the sky.

Let us worship together.     

 

Scripture Passages:

Deuteronomy 34:1-5, 10
Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the LORD showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, and the Plain — that is, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees — as far as Zoar.  The LORD said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.” Then Moses, the servant of the LORD, died there in the land of Moab, at the Lord’s command…. Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.

I Corinthians 9:24-25
Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.

Philippians 3:13b-14
This one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

Luke 18:1-8
Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

 

Sermon   “My Feets Is Tired but My Soul Is Rested,”  Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder  

You can find the text of the Sermon by clicking here

 

Hymn  “Guide My Feet,” African-American Spiritual

 

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

Please note that we are gathering as a congregation by Zoom at 10:30 AM on Sunday mornings to say hello to one another and share our Joys and Concerns and Prayer requests and offer our compassion and support and company for this journey.

We are now streaming live readings and music from our sanctuary on that same Zoom link at 10:15 AM, so just sign on fifteen minutes earlier.

Our Heartfulness Contemplative Training Circle is also meeting by Zoom on Thursdays at 6:00 PM.  This is for anyone who is interested in practicing mindfulness or meditation, or heartfulness and centering prayer.  It is a time for talking about those practices and also more generally about our spiritual life. You can find links to instructions on how to be part of those Zoom gatherings on the Welcome Page of our website.

If you are not on our weekly email list and would like to be, please email us at unitedchurchofstrafford@gmail.com and we will make sure you receive all our church news.

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.  Becky, Danette and Joey Hawkins are on the town committee that is coordinating outreach as well.  If you would like to donate or help please email us or use the comment feature on this page.  

 

Benediction and Postlude “Nada te turbe,” sung by members of the United Church of Strafford Choir, Annemieke McLane, piano and Director, see the words below the video

Nada te turbe, nada tespante.
Quien a Deios teine nada le falta.
Nada te turbe, nada tespante.
Solo Dios basta.

Nothing can trouble, nothing can frighten.
Those who seek God shall never go wanting.
Nothing can trouble, nothing can frighten.
God alone fills us.

 

Sermon from October 25, 2020

“My Feets Is Tired but My Soul Is Rested”
Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder
United Church of Strafford, Vermont
October 25, 2020   Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost
Deuteronomy 34:1-5, 10; I Corinthians 9:24-25; Philippians 3:13b-14; Luke 18:1-8

[You can watch a video recording of this sermon at the end of this text and you can see the entire On Line Service by clicking here.  Here is a pdf of this text: 10-25-20 sermon pdf]

The title of this sermon comes from one of the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement and yet history does not remember her full name.  She was known as Mother Pollard, and she was a leading church elder in Montgomery, Alabama during the bus boycott at the start of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ministry.

King was only 26 years old and under intense pressure, but the struggle was difficult for Mother Pollard, too.  The bus boycott meant that she had to walk miles every day carrying heavy loads.  King wrote about her in his book, The Strength to Love.  I will let him tell the story:

“One of the most dedicated participants in the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, was an elderly woman whom we affectionately called Mother Pollard. Although poverty-stricken and uneducated, she was amazingly intelligent and possessed a deep understanding of the meaning of the movement.

“After having walked for several weeks, she was asked if she were tired. With ungrammatical profundity, she answered, ‘My feets is tired, but my soul is rested.’

“On a particular Monday evening, following a tension-packed week which included being arrested and receiving numerous threatening telephone calls, I spoke at a mass meeting. I attempted to convey an overt impression of strength and courage, although I was inwardly depressed and fear-stricken.

“At the end of the meeting, Mother Pollard came to the front of the church and said, ‘Come here, son.’ I immediately went to her and hugged her affectionately. ‘Something is wrong with you,’ she said. ‘You didn’t talk strong tonight.’

Seeking further to disguise my fears, I retorted, ‘On, no, Mother Pollard, nothing is wrong. I am feeling fine as ever.’

“But her insight was discerning. ‘Now you can’t fool me,’ she said. ‘I knows something is wrong….

“Before I could respond, she looked directly into my eyes and said, ‘I don told you we is with you all the way.’ Then her face became radiant and she said in words of quiet certainty, ‘But even if we ain’t with you, God’s gonna take care of you….’

King continued, “Since that dreary night in 1956, Mother Pollard has passed on to glory and I have known very few quiet days. I have been tortured without and tormented within by the raging fires of tribulation. I have been forced to muster what strength and courage I have to withstand howling winds of pain and jostling storms of adversity. But as the years have unfolded the eloquently simple words of Mother Pollard have come back again and again to give light and peace and guidance to my troubled soul.”

I know that today our feets is tired from the pandemic and political road we have been walking.  Where can we find the light, peace and guidance that Mother Pollard gave?  How can we find rest for our soul? Read More

Weekly Churchwide Email, October 18, 2020

You can read our weekly email newsletter published on October 17, 2020 by clicking here.

Lord’s Acre 2020!

Lord’s Acre: Harvest of Hope and Gratitude

Lord’s Acre 2020 is happening – a bit different, but alive and well!

Every year for many decades, the United Church of Strafford has held an annual celebration and fundraiser, Lord’s Acre. Lord’s Acre is a celebration of our interconnected lives in this beloved local community of Strafford – a recognition and honoring of how much we need and depend on each other. And it’s a fundraiser because like all other essential organizations and institutions, the church needs financial support!

In the days to come we’ll put out some more information on the details of Lord’s Acre,  but for right now, here is what you need to know: Read More

Protocols for Attending Live Services during COVID

Here is a downloadable pdf of our protocols that are printed below.  Protocols for Entering and Leaving the UCS During COVID19 (Pre-Opening), Final Draft

Protocols for Entering and Leaving the United Church of Strafford During COVID19 (Pre-Opening)

Introduction:

The following information is for attendees who come to church on Sunday morning to listen to the music and to hear the scriptures, about 15 minutes of programming.

It should be noted that the church building is not officially open at this time and that attendees are coming at their own risk.

There will be no offering collected, no food and no communion.

What to Do Before Coming to Church:

1. Please contact the scheduler to let them know that you want to attend on a Sunday at 10:15 am (This is for members of your household only.) Also, let them know if you plan to stay at church for Joys and Concerns and please plan to bring your own device.

Reservations may be made with Becky Bailey by email at rbailey@sover.net or by phone at 765-4703.

Becky will arrange a Sunday for your household to attend.

2. On the Sunday morning for which you have a reservation, take the mandatory health screening below for each person coming to church:

  • -Is your temperature above 100.4 degrees?
  • -Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pains, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell?
  • -Have you been exposed to someone with COVID19 in the past 2 weeks?
  • -Are any members of your household or a close contact in quarantine for exposure to COVID19?
  • -Have you traveled outside of northern New England in the past two weeks?

3. If ALL answers to the mandatory health screening questions are “No” on the Sunday morning of your reservation, then you may attend church.

4. Bring a mask to church and put it on before entering the church.

5. Doors and windows may be open so plan accordingly and dress warmly.

What to Do When Entering the Church:

You will be greeted and will be told about the protocols and where to sit.

Please inform your greeter of the results of your mandatory health screening this morning for each member of your household.

Sanitize your hands.

Make sure that all members of your household are wearing a mask.

Always keep a distance of six feet from all people who are not in your household.

There will be no sharing of items, including books or microphones.

What to Do When Leaving the Church:

Sanitize hands.

On Line Worship Service, October 18, 2020

Welcome to this service. 

This service offers the hope of the spiritual “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” and “Pues si vivimos (In All Our Living We Belong to God)” and Jesus winning a nonviolent skirmish in a culture war and Paul assuring us we can transform our consciousness.  The sermon offers practical steps toward solving problems that seem unsolvable and transforming the world around us.  The service ends with the comforting Benediction of the 23rd Psalm. 

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 service 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    

Today’s Order of Worship

  1. Prelude by Annemieke McLane
  2. Call to Worship: A Haiku by Mel Goertz
  3. Scriptures
  4. Sermon
  5. Offering
  6. Announcements
  7. Benediction 23rd Psalm KJV
  8. Postlude, “Pues si vivimos,” sung by members of the United Church of Strafford Choir, accompanied by our church musician and choir director, Annemieke McLane

  Prelude  “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” Annemieke McLane, piano

Call to Worship  “Be still, and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46  

This week’s haiku by Mel Goertz:

Wind roars through the trees,

casts its shadows on the road,

scatters the sunshine.

Let us worship together.     

Scripture Passages

Romans 12:1-2

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Matthew 22:15-22

Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality.  Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?”  But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites?  Show me the coin used for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius.  Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?”  They answered, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.

Sermon   Be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind,  Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder  [Note: please read the above scriptures first!]

You can find the text of the 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

Please note that we are gathering as a congregation by Zoom at 10:30 AM on Sunday mornings to say hello to one another and share our Joys and Concerns and Prayer requests and offer our compassion and support and company for this journey.

We are now streaming live readings and music from our sanctuary on that same Zoom link at 10:15 AM, so just sign on fifteen minutes earlier.

Our Heartfulness Contemplative Training Circle is also meeting by Zoom on Thursdays at 6:00 PM.  This is for anyone who is interested in practicing mindfulness or meditation, or heartfulness and centering prayer.  It is a time for talking about those practices and also more generally about our spiritual life.

You can find links to instructions on how to be part of those Zoom gatherings on the Welcome Page of our website. If you are not on our weekly email list and would like to be, please email us at unitedchurchofstrafford@gmail.com and we will make sure you receive all our church news.

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.  Becky, Danette and Joey Hawkins are on the town committee that is coordinating outreach as well.  If you would like to donate or help please email us or use the comment feature on this page.  

Benediction   The 23rd Psalm, King James Version  [Note: Please pray this, either aloud or silently.]

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his names sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Postlude “Pues si vivimos,” sung by members of the United Church of Strafford Choir, Annemieke McLane, piano and Director 

Sermon from October 18, 2020

Be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind
Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder
United Church of Strafford, Vermont
October 18, 2020   Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 22:15-22

[You can watch a video recording of this sermon at the end of this text and you can see the entire On Line Service by clicking here.  Here is a pdf of this text: 10-18-20 sermon]

Strafford has been blessed for decades with extraordinary teachers, many of whom are part of this congregation.  Mary Newman is a product of Newton School teaching who has become an extraordinary teacher herself at The Sharon Academy, and now the head of school there.  Her daughter Elizabeth played Mary the mother of Jesus in last year’s pageant, but other than pageants the family has not been active in the church.

Recently, though, Mary Newman has become one of Strafford’s leading spiritual teachers.  Her pulpit is on the CaringBridge website where she has written journal entries about her husband Ross Gortner’s recovery from a near-fatal bicycle accident and devastating stroke. 

Mary does not preach from scripture, she teaches from the depths of faith, hope and love.  She exemplifies the best of what the church’s spiritual tradition teaches us to be and do.

Mary is transforming suffering into wisdom, to borrow a phrase from the Buddhist teacher George Kinder.  One of Mary’s journal entries recommends the book My Stroke of Insight which teaches wisdom gleaned by a Harvard neuroscientist from the experience of having a stroke. 

The book talks about the different mode of perception that comes when our usually dominant left hemisphere of the brain is silenced and we look out of the right hemisphere.  Suddenly the ego’s illusion of being a separate entity drops away and we see revealed that we are one with all people and all the world.

The Christian contemplative teacher, Richard Rohr, says in his book Falling Upward that great love and great loss can work in a similar way.  They can shift us from our smaller, separate self toward a more expansive, spiritually mature self that sees our true oneness. 

Rohr’s colleague, Cynthia Bourgeault, writes in her book The Heart of Centering Prayer that contemplative practice is another experience that can rewire our consciousness to a nondual kind of perception that sees the oneness of all.

We need these teachers who have appeared among us at this turning point of history because we are faced with threats that humanity may not survive.  Humans have created these threats because we have lacked the wisdom of love and the perception of oneness that all spiritual traditions have urged us to attain. Read More

Weekly Churchwide Email, October 11, 2020

You can read our weekly email newsletter published on October 10, 2020 by clicking here.

On Line Worship Service, October 11, 2020

Welcome to this service. 

This service calls us to action and also offers comfort, it confronts the darkness and hate of this time and also leads us through them to light and love.

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 service 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  

 

Today’s Order of Worship

  1. Prelude by Jeremiah McLane
  2. Call to Worship: A Haiku by Mel Goertz
  3. Scriptures
  4. Sermon
  5. Offering
  6. Announcements
  7. Benediction & Postlude, “Be a Candle of Hope,” sung by members of the United Church of Strafford Choir, accompanied by our church musician and choir director, Annemieke McLane

 

Prelude  “Comfort, Comfort Ye My People,” Jeremiah McLane, accordion

“Comfort those who sit in darkness,
Mourning ‘neath their sorrows’ load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem
Of the peace that waits for them;
Tell her that her wrongs I cover,
And her warfare now is over.”

 

Call to Worship  “Be still, and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46   This week’s haiku by Mel Goertz:

The Asters were drenched.

As soon as the sun came out,

they all opened up.

Let us worship together.   

 

Scripture Passages

Isaiah 25:6-9

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.  And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever.  Then the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken.  It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Philippians 4:1-9

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.  I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.  Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.  Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.  Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. 

Matthew 5:3-16

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

 

Sermon   Only Light Can Do That,  Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder

You can find the text of the 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

Please note that we are gathering as a congregation by Zoom at 10:30 AM on Sunday mornings to say hello to one another and share our Joys and Concerns and Prayer requests and offer our compassion and support and company for this journey.

We are now streaming live readings and music from our sanctuary on that same Zoom link at 10:15 AM, so just sign on fifteen minutes earlier.

Our Heartfulness Contemplative Training Circle is also meeting by Zoom on Thursdays at 6:00 PM.  This is for anyone who is interested in practicing mindfulness or meditation, or heartfulness and centering prayer.  It is a time for talking about those practices and also more generally about our spiritual life. You can find links to instructions on how to be part of those Zoom gatherings on the Welcome Page of our website.

If you are not on our weekly email list and would like to be, please email us at unitedchurchofstrafford@gmail.com and we will make sure you receive all our church news. 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.  Becky, Danette and Joey Hawkins are on the town committee that is coordinating outreach as well.  If you would like to donate or help please email us or use the comment feature on this page.  

Benediction and Postlude

“Be a Candle of Hope” by Becki Slagle Mayo, sung by members of the United Church of Strafford Choir, Annemieke McLane, piano and Director

Be a candle of hope, be a candle of light,
a beacon of truth in a dark, hopeless night.
Share the light with a friend and watch the flame grow.
The more light we give, the more love we’ll know.
When you light another candle, you keep your light, but give it away.
Yet the flame grows even brighter as the darkness turns into day.
Be a candle of hope, be a candle of light,
a beacon of truth in a dark, hopeless night.
Share the light with a friend and watch the flame grow.
The more light we give, the more love we’ll know.
The more light we give, the more love we’ll know.