Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the
Church of Christ, Union
January 8, 2017 10:30 am
If you have the gift of frustration and the deep sense that the world is a mess, thank God for that; not everyone has that gift of vision. It also means you have a responsibility to lead us in new ways. Recognizing that something is wrong is the first step toward changing the world.
— Shane Clairborne, The Irresistible Revolution
From there to Here
Welcome & Announcements
Welcome to this service of worship! During the service, you are invited to rise in body or in spirit, standing or sitting, at points in the service marked ““”
Please sign in using the pew folder, passing it back down the row so all can greet one another by name, and place the sheet in an offering plate. We’re glad you’re here!
Prelude Greensleeves C. Moklebust Artists: Pearl Marshall, handbells, Susan Waterbury, percussion
¨ Call to Worship
One: Come beloved, seekers of God’s wonders…
All: We come to the river – the sparkling river.
One: Come beloved, seekers of God’s creative spirit…
All: We come to the river – the buoyant river.
One: Come beloved, seekers of God’s assurance…
All: We come to the river – the cleansing river.
One: Come beloved, seekers of God’s nurture and care…
All: We come to the river – the healing river.
One: Come beloved, seekers of God’s abiding presence…
All: We come to the river – the refreshing river.
¨ Opening Hymn Shall We Gather at the River Hanson Place, words: Robert Lowry
- Shall we gather at the river, where bright angel feet have trod,
With its crystal tide forever flowing by the throne of God?
Refrain: Yes, we’ll gather at the river, the beautiful, the beautiful river; Gather with the saints at the river that flows by the throne of God.
- On the margin of the river, washing up its silver spray, We will talk and worship ever, all the happy golden day.
- Ere we reach the shining river, lay we every burden down;
Grace our spirits will deliver, and provide a robe and crown.
- Soon we’ll reach the silver river, soon our pilgrimage will cease;
Soon our happy hearts will quiver with the melody of peace.
¨ Prayer of Approach and Confession
One: What do we do when we feel the tug of a call, a small or big urge within us, to something scary?
All: So often, we run away.
One: What do we do when we feel like the outcast, the one everyone despises?
All: We fear the worst and react to that fear rather than risking the real action.
One: What do we do when the tables turn? When we are not the righteous, but the one in need of righting?
All: More than we’d like to admit, we are bitter and angry.
One: What do we do when our enemies become more holy than we?
All: We might not exhibit the appropriate amount of jubilation… we might even resent it.
One: What do we do when our weaknesses get the best of us?
All: We pray, O God, just like we’re doing now. God, help our unbelief. Where we are weak, give us strength; where we falter and hold back, gently bring us forward; where we fail, please forgive us. Amen.
¨ Words of Assurance
One: We worship a gracious and merciful God, who is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. God calls us to repent, and God offers us the waters of forgiveness.
All: Thanks be to God! Hallelujah, and Amen.
¨ Passing the Peace of Jesus Christ
All who come to this sanctuary are welcome companions on this day! You are invited to turn to those nearest you and greet them with words of peace and joy.
The Word in our Midst
Anthem Like a River that Overflows K. Medema
Refrain: Hallelujah! That’s the reason we sing!
Like a river that overflows, bringing life to a desert land: is the Spirit that lives within us that’s the reason we sing!
Like a wind that is blowing free, bringing with it the rains of spring: is the Spirit that lives within us, that’s the reason we sing!
Like a mother who feeds her young, so that they may brave and wise: is the Spirit that lives within us, that’s the reason we sing!
Praise the One who has made all things; Praise the One who gives Love a name; Praise the Spirit who lives within us: that’s the reason we sing!
Hebrew Scripture Reading Isaiah 42:1-9
Isaiah speaks of the divinely sent “servant” who will “bring forth justice to the nations.” The servant will execute justice in a way that is different from our expectations of a Messiah.
May God’s presence guard, protect and guide you. God bless you, God bless you. Our savior’s loving arms be ever ’round you. God bless you, God bless you.
Gospel Lesson Matthew 3:13-17
Jesus is baptized in the Jordan and, as he rises up out of the water, the Spirit descends upon him and a voice declares, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
Sermon Ankle Deep and Full of Mud Rev. Kent Gilbert
Remembering God’s Love
Today, with many other Christians, we celebrate a renewal of our Baptismal Vows, using both words and water. During the readings and music, a branch from a Christmas tree will be used to sprinkle water over the congregation. Like the rain, the grace of God falls on all people, whether baptized or not. We invite all who will to join in prayers for grace and wholeness, and all who will to recommit to service in the way of Jesus. All God’s children are beloved.
Waters of Blessing Litany
One: God calls us to the water to find a new way:
a new grace,
a new hope,
a new faith,
a new life.
All: God calls; we come.
One: Come to the water and let go of the outworn:
All: God calls; we come.
One: God blesses the water and it
All: God blesses; we praise.
One: Come to the water and receive
All: God blesses; we praise.
One: Bless to us this water with your presence, Lord. Amen.
Receive this water, gift of God, and hear for yourself how God names you: Beloved.
All: By the waters of baptismal grace we promise to love and serve God by following the Christ.
We pray to boldly and creatively embody the life and ministry of Jesus by celebrating the transforming power of God, the compassion of Christ, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Asperges: Remembering and Receiving
Hymn #351 I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry Borning Cry
GIfts Given for Love to Flow
Our gifts help sustain this particular community of caring by sustaining the building, pastors and staff, and all the materials that make our ministry of healing, justice, and teaching available to all in need. In addition, a good portion of our contributions flows out to aid to those in need via many external agencies.
This can now be done online or by text to 859-448-3403 (Example: Text “$50.00 Offering” to contribute to the ongoing ministries, or add “youth,” or “missions” or designation of your choice to benefit one in particular.
Your contribution is love made visible. Thank you!
Offertory Capriccio T. Kendall
¨ Doxology To God all glorious heavenly light; Old Hundredth
To Christ revealed in earthly night;
To God the spirit now we raise
Our grateful hymn of thankful praise. Amen.
Praying it Forward
Ringing of the Peace Bell
The Union Church Peace Bell was created by Jeff Enge in honor of Union Church member Carl Eschbach (1904-1998). A twin bell hangs in Berea’s sister province in Japan and is also rung in the hope of peace for all nations.
Silent Prayers and Prayers for the Community
Our Lord’s Prayer
One: Our Maker, our Mother, and …
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
From Here to there
Introduction and Invitation to Membership
Union Church is a vital and growing family of faith, a home to those committed to the way of Christ’s sacrificial love and service. All who feel led to join will be received in joy, and are welcome to come forward during the Closing Hymn. Thanks be to God for these ministers among us.
¨ Closing Hymn Wade in the Water trad.
¨ Questions of the Congregation and New Members
¨ Covenant of Welcome
And we, the members of this church, renewing our own covenant to God and to each other, do now heartily welcome you to our fellowship, promising to watch over you in love, and praying that you, and we, may be true witnesses for Christ, a light in the world, and continue to increase in usefulness and joy in his service.
¨ Benediction & Sending Forth
Postlude (please be seated) Allegro Moderato G.F. Handel
Especially in our prayers
Each week we join millions of Christians who pray for one another through the ecumenical prayer cycle and, locally, the Berea Ministerial Association’s prayer cycle. Let us hold the people of Ghana and Nigeria and our brothers and sisters at Friendship Valley Baptist Church in your hearts, and pray for them.
Please also hold these concerns in your prayers, today and throughout the week. Prayer requests to be printed may be sent to the office anytime before 10:00 am Fridays.
¨ The healing of families, communities, and our nation and world, wracked by violence and murder, may we be agents of transformation.
¨ Refugees around the world.
¨ Prayers of solidarity and support for those made most vulnerable by the recent elections. May the people who follow Jesus follow him to the stranger, the outcast, the foreigner, and the destitute.
¨ Our church family members in nursing homes, or who are homebound: Ruth Butwell, Edith Hansen, Mary Miller, Alva Peloquin, Gloria VanWinkle.
¨ Toby Wilcher, hospitalized in Lexington
Coming up …
January 17 – Bloodmobile, Community Room
February 3 – Union Church’s FIRST Talent Show!
February 11 – CPR Training. Call the office to register
You Matter! Please Sign the Register, Check in on Facebook/Twitter and try a nametag! It’s hard to get to know people elsewhere, but we don’t want it that way at church. Let’s all try to get to know each other better.
Help Wanted. We have an ongoing need for volunteers to help with Sunday services. Can you be a worship reader, greeter, coffee angel, etc.? For details go to the church website, union-church.org and click on “Volunteer” near the upper right corner (or talk to Doug Hindman).
Dodie Murphy still can’t drive and needs rides to the grocery, post office and US Bank. Please call if you have time to transport her. Thanks for considering. 859-200-7277.
The Sunday bulletin is available at the church website, union-church.org, the farthest right blue button. Read along as you watch the service!
Kentucky Council of Churches is hosting Prayer in Action Days at the State Capitol each Tuesday during General Assembly to pray for government officials and act on behalf of Kentucky’s most vulnerable citizens. Beginning at 9:30 a.m., these are the topics:
Jan. 10 Workers’ Rights/Fair Wage
Jan. 17 Responsible Lending
Jan. 24 Voting Rights
Jan 31 Tax Reform
Feb. 7 Justice Reform/Restorative Justice
Feb. 14 Gun Violence
Feb. 21 Healthcare/Disabilities
Feb. 28 Death Penalty
Mar. 7 Environment/Energy
Mar. 14 Immigrants/Refugees
All are welcome to participate!