March 12, 2017, Worship Bulletin, Prayer Concerns, Announcements

Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the

Church of Christ, Union

Second Sunday of Lent

March 12, 2017            10:30 am 


“It is not more surprising to be born twice than once; everything in nature is resurrection.”


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 Prelude & Fugue in D minor, BWV554 J.S. Bach

¨  Call to Worship

 One: For God so loved the world;

All: The sparrows, the mountain lions, the fish and the people.

One: For God so loved the world;

All: In success and failure, in sickness and health, in mediocrity and extraordinary.

One: For God so loved the world;

All: Enough to become one of us, enough to suffer along with us, enough to offer new life for us.

One: For God so loved the world;

All: Let us worship God!

Katherine Hawker

¨  Opening Hymn #410    If You But Trust in God to Guide You Neumark

¨   Prayer of Approach and Confession 

One: In these days of information overload, we need to look and listen deeply for the call of the Spirit in our midst. Enlightening Spirit, when we get discouraged in seeking your Truth in the midst of bewilderment.

All: Have mercy, and clear our eyes

One: Challenging Spirit, when witnessing to your Truth seems to take more courage than we have

All: Have mercy, and strengthen our determination

One: Surprising Spirit, when we settle for half-truths in building your Beloved Community,

All: Have mercy, and show us a better way. Amen.

Rev. Susan A Blain

¨  Words of Mercy

“Kyrie eleison” and “Christe eleison” is Greek for “Lord have mercy” and “Christ have mercy.” Through Lent we will sing these ancient Christian petitions as we immerse ourselves in the mercy of God, working for the healing of all.

¨ 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      Circle of Love Pepper Choplin

Union Church Choir

A circle goes ’round and ’round again. It has no beginning and has no end for it will be spinning eternally. A circle was drawn by God’s hand. Filled with love, it will expand to welcome all who will hear the call to join in love, circle of love.

God gives love and there’s enough for all who need a holy touch of love and care open hearts can share. God will touch many hearts, make us one from many parts and we will be joined in unity. So come to gather and gather ‘round, join in the circle of love we’ve found.

God is the center and God surrounds us with His love, with His holy love. The circle of love goes ‘round again and its power shall never end, for love will be living eternally. Love is strong, love is great. Come together and celebrate and welcome all as we hear the call, to share the love, the circle of love.

Hebrew Scripture Lesson Genesis 12:1-4a

God tells Abram and Sarai to venture forth, promising to make a great nation out of their progeny, a nation that shall be a blessing to all the peoples of the earth.

Children’s Moment  as the children return to their seats we sing:

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.

Sung Psalm 121 Robert Rorrer, cantor p. 704

The Psalms were originally musical compositions. During Lent we will pray the psalms in musical form with congregational responses. Please sing the response when invited.

Gospel Lesson John 3:1-17

Nicodemus, a Pharisee and leader of the synagogue, comes to Jesus by night seeking to know more about Jesus and his way.

Sermon Birth Pangs Rev. Rachel Small Stokes

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                    Serenity J. Mansfield

¨  Doxology    

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 #605            As Moses Raised the Serpent Up     Morning Song

¨  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  

¨  Benediction Response We Are Many Parts  M. Haugen

Those who are able & willing are invited to form a circle outside the pews as we sing the Benediction Response together.

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 Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and our brothers and sisters at First Baptist Church of Berea 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.

¨ Our church family members in nursing homes, or who are homebound:  Ruth Butwell, Edith Hansen, Mary Miller, Alva Peloquin, Gloria VanWinkle.

¨ For neighbors in Estill County affected by recent storms, and for all working actively to help restore their homes and family.

¨ In thanksgiving and recognition of women and the gift, wisdom, and strength they are and have been to Christ’s ministry throughout history. We celebrate Women’s History Month and pray with our actions in hope that all women may be respected, healthy, safe, educated, equal and empowered.

¨ Dot Kindel, at home after a series of falls.

¨ Loretta Mountjoy, recovering at home after hospitalization for heart infection.

¨ Dodie Murphy, with heart issues.

¨ Students, family, friends, and community members worried about arrest and deportation.

¨ Those undertaking a renewed investment in a spiritual relationship this Lent. May God love us into transformation.

¨ The many suffering from viruses and illness of all kind. May God speed recovery and prevent the spread.

About the Bulletin Cover. Artist’s Statement: The cover photo is an image of a quilt created by Rev. Rachel Small Stokes. It is a visual representation of a theological statement by Julian of Norwich, a nun in the 13th Century.

She had a vision of Christ’s blood as the blood of childbirth, a productive and blessed suffering. In the quilt, the gold border has a detail of three arc-like lines repeating over and over, representing the trinity, which borders and surrounds all.  

The trinitarian God is also the triangle, breaking into and piercing the pit of snakes that is human life.  One snake has a golden border, though, showing that, even in the midst of depravity, God is still redeeming (even snakes!).  

The red splashes are the blood of childbirth, as God gives birth to the new creation in Christ.  In the blood is marbled black (sin) and gold (God).

Join the church today! 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! New members are received every second Sunday of a month. YOU are welcome here!

Lenten lunch today! Nurture & Care and Administration Boards will serve up a feast of chili (meat & veggie options), chips, salad and dessert! $5 donation if able. Right after worship in the Community Room. As has become a Union Church tradition, lunch following worship will be served during Lent through April 2. The members of the various Boards collaborate to prepare lunch for each week.

Next week’s cooks: Faith Development and Mission Boards

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, and click on “Volunteer” near the upper right corner (or talk to Doug Hindman).

Tuesday, March 14, 6-8 pm. Pie Auction! Come on out to the Annual Pie Auction hosted by your local Madison County Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC) Chapter! We will have great pies to bid on for Pi day!  There will also be pie by the slice to purchase, a children’s pie auction, talent show and more! Spread the word!

Wednesday Nite Live is a POTLCK this week (since we didn’t have one on Ash Wednesday). Bring a favorite dish and come join the food & fellowship!

Friday! Rev. Kent’s Journey to the Pot of Gold You are all invited Friday, March 17th at 6 pm to – an Irish dinner/dance to celebrate Rev Kent’s 20th Anniversary at Union Church (and 25th in ministry). To honor Kent, we are doing this as a fundraiser in support of Berea Home Village – a project that will allow folks to stay in their homes as they age – here in Berea, which Kent has been actively working on for several years. 

     Tickets/reservations/donations can be obtained in the narthex. $15 a person, $25 a couple, and $2 for kids, or online (visit the website, check under “Events” and click the link. Call the office if you have trouble.)

Film Screening Saturday, March 18, 2:00 pm. Embrace. Embrace is a 90-minute documentary about one woman’s journey from body-building and body-hating to loving her body. Alvera Perman will lead a discussion after the film, all welcome, appropriate for teens

March 18 craft sale” Women’s Creative Sewing and Crafts (formerly Industrial) will sell crafts, quilts and other items they’ve been working on at a sale on Saturday, March 18 in the Community Room—10-3. Check out their Facebook page for photos.

Union Church’s Annual Meeting will be next Sunday, March 19, after worship and the Lenten Lunch. Annual Reports are in the vestibule, the Community Room and we’ll email pdfs tomorrow, attached to the regular announcements.

Berea College Empty Bowls will take place on Wednesday, March 29th at 5:30 in the Woods-Penn Commons. More info as the date approaches.

Good Friday, April 14 Jesus Christ Superstar FREE CONCERT at Union Church Motherlodge Live Arts Exchange has been programming community-driven performance events in Kentucky and New York City since 2009. Local singers and musicians from the community will join the “Motherlodge House Band” to perform the music to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical Jesus Christ Superstar. The event will be free and open to the public.

Members of the community of Union Church and Motherlodge are hosting a crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs of this event and make it free to the people of Berea, Kentucky. Donations will pay for transportation, food costs, production supplies, performance rights, musician stipends, and the printing of programs. Donation page:

Motherlodge is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Motherlodge must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. 

These are special groups and activities that will be         convening during Lent.  Could you spend six weeks deepening love in one of these ways?

If you didn’t receive one in the mail, a complete Lenten opportunities       brochure can be found at Union Church’s website ( or you can pick up a paper copy in the Narthex.

Picturing Love Sunday Mornings, 9:45-10:20am, Youth Room 302

A picture is worth a thousand words, and picture books have a way of touching our hearts that other books can’t match.           Join Alvera Perman for picture books, discussions about love, and related activities. This group is designed to be inviting for our youngest members, but it is open to all.

Peacemakers’ Workshop Weds 6:30-8

Using reflection, active listening, and resource-sharing, we will gather weekly to support each other in our efforts to process the state of the world and take steps toward   greater peace and social justice. Your participation in this pilot project, facilitated by Rachel Dorroh, will help us form a  process that can be continued with the broader community.

Rooted in Love: The Spiritual Grounding of Resistance. Sundays after Lenten Lunch, Room 101 on the bottom floor of the Education Wing.

In just a half hour a week, Rev. Kent, Rev. Rachel, and other leaders with experience in spiritual disciplines will lead you through a technique or tool of spiritual strength when facing resistance. We’ll include music, meditation, devotional readings and Scripture, prayer, and humor.  Join us for the joy of communal action in prayer!

Nature Walk Thursdays, 6-7pm, Berea College Alumni Field

Join David Bellnier for a time of walking reflection. Go between Union Church and the Alumni building on Scaffold Cane Rd. Take the second right to park.  Meet at the bench by the paved lot below the Alumni building.

Walk the Labyrinth at Debbonnaire’s House  Daylight Hours, 773 Big Hill Rd.

The labyrinth, an outdoor 60’ meditative path in the Chartres style, is 0.6 miles down Prospect St. from Union Church.  Park off the road in the driveway, then cross the backyard (closing any gates you open, please!). You’ll see a field with a big trellis.  That’s the entrance to the labyrinth. Come any time and take all the time you like. There are chairs in the center to sit and contemplate if you wish.

Advocating for the Vulnerable: Immigrants & Refugees On Your Own Time

Jenny Hobson will provide an easy, step-by-step weekly guide to bills and measures that target immigrant and refugee populations and how to advocate for those in our community who don’t have a voice.  Sign up to be in the group and she’ll email it out weekly.

Photo-a-Day Reflection

Daily, on your own time, social media sharing encouraged

Each day in Lent has an assigned word to reflect on. They are based on the Scriptures of the Revised Common Lectionary for Lent (Year A) and our theme of Love.  Take a photo or upload one to Facebook or Twitter. Use the hashtag #UCLent2017 and the word of the day to share your photos and reflections.








Categories News, Weekly Bulletin | Tags: | Posted on March 10, 2017

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