November 26, 2017, Worship Bulletin, Prayer Concerns, Announcements

Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the

Church of Christ, Union

Reign of Christ Sunday

November269, 2017   10:30 am 


“If we only had eyes to see and ears to hear and wits to understand, we would know that the Kingdom of God in the sense of holiness, goodness, beauty is as close as breathing and is crying out to born both within ourselves and within the world; we would know that the Kingdom of God is what we all of us hunger for above all other things even when we don’t know its name or realize  that it’s what we’re starving to death for.”

― Frederick Buechner  

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 Keep on the Sunny Side the Whites

Callie & Louie Northern and Will Padgett

¨  Call to Worship

One: O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the bedrock of our salvation!

All: Let us come into God’s presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to God with songs of praise!

One: For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods and dictators and presidents.

All: In God’s hand are the depths of the earth, the heights of the mountains, the seas and the dry land that God created.

One: O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

All: For this is our God, and we are the people in God’s pasture, and the sheep of God’s hand.

— Based on Psalm 95

¨  Opening Hymn #303   Rejoice, Give Thanks and Sing Darwall’s 148th

¨  Prayer of Approach and Confession 

One: God our Shepherd, in the clutter of this season of life: in the deals of Black Friday that overshadow the depth of Good Friday; in the excitement of Cyber Monday that drowns out Easter Sunday; in the shouts and tweets and articles of politicians deciding our future; in the din of hospital beeps and the deafening silence of loneliness, it is easy to forget to listen for your voice, calling us forth into greater life, introducing us to your Christ in the face of our neighbor.

All: Forgive our lack of focus in our hearing, and call us again in your loving voice. Amen.

¨ Words of Assurance

 One: Hear now the words of comfort from the prophet Ezekiel: “For thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.”

We are called to listen, and to respond, and we are promised forgiveness, love, and care as we do. This is the good news that brings us new life.

All: Thanks be to God! Amen.

¨  Passing the Peace of 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. 

Celebrating the Joy of Baptism

Anthem Thanks Be to Thee, O Lord! G.F. Handel

Union Church Coir

Thanks be to Thee, O Lord! Thou hast Thy flock safely led, Israel, through the sea.  Safely led and protected by Thy strong hand: glory be to Thee, O Lord!

Invitation And Introduction of Ellison Eugene Groth

Today we celebrate the relationship with God made manifest in Ellis, son of Ben and Chloe Groth. Together as a congregation we pledge to be spiritual guides to Ellis and to all who seek life in Christ. We joy we welcome members of Ellis’ extended family and pray for blessings to all.

Questions to Family and Congregation

When invited by the ministers you are invited to join in this covenant:

All: We rejoice to welcome you, Ellis, to our care. With you we commit to be a community that embodies Christ’s life and ministry and lives as faithful heirs of Christ’s promise. In all that we do, we will seek God’s grace to make the radical and inclusive love of God, the beloved community proclaimed by Jesus, and the continuing inspiration of the Holy Spirit visible and real to you and to all.

Blessing of Water and Baptismal Prayer

Blessing of Parents, Family and Friends

Hymn #4 Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You Hymn to Joy

The Living Word among us

Epistle Lesson Ephesians 1:15-23

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.

Following the Children’s Moment, children kindergarten through 5th grade are invited to Children’s Church in Cowan Chapel. They are also welcome to stay in the service if they prefer. The Children’s Worship Center in the back of the sanctuary has toys, books, and drawing materials for children (or parents) who would like help staying present in the service. For children preschool age & under, care is available in the Nursery, downstairs in Room 104 off the playground.

Gospel Lesson Matthew 25:31-46

Sermon On Earth as it Is in Heaven 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                    Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing Robert Robinson

Callie & Louie Northern and Will Padgett

¨  Doxology  We give thee but thine own, what e’re the gift may be,  Schumann

        All that we have is thine alone, a trust, O God, from thee!  

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 Prayer and Prayers of 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

¨  Closing Hymn Let All Things Now Living (next pages) Ash Grove

¨   Benediction & Sending Forth

 Postlude Now Thank We All Our God arr. Virgil Fox

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 Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore and our brothers and sisters at Dreyfus Church of Christ in our hearts, and pray for them.

Please 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, Nancy Hindman, Mary Miller, Alva Peloquin, Gloria VanWinkle.

¨ Jackie Perman, mother of Kelly Madden and grandmother to Colin and Cadence Perman, critically ill in ICU.

¨ Neighbors and friends in fear of ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) raids in our area, and for DACA students and their families. May we all strive for a safe and respectful path forward to be good neighbors.

¨ Rev. Rachel’s cousin, Jeff Small, father of two small kids, who had a heart transplant and whose recovery is still very tenuous.

¨ Dan Rohrer, who is suffering from a severe liver disorder.

¨ Teri VanPelt, recovering from knee replacement surgery

¨ Susan Doring-Zook and students, faculty and staff of Dunbar High School, who lost a student to gun violence lastweek.

¨ Doug and Nancy Hindman’s daughter, Heather, recovering well after a stroke

¨ All for whom the Thanksgiving weekend and the upcoming holidays are difficult

Hanging of the Greens today! Stay after worship to help decorate the sanctuary. Many hands make light work.

Please order poinsettias by November 29. Online or use the order slip. Thanks!

Church Finances: Update on the 2018 budget:  We have some better news to report.  Our income projections are somewhat higher in that we have received several new and increased pledges and we expect a somewhat higher carryover from 2017 than last year.  Expenses have been trimmed where we could, and some larger projects put on a “wish List” for which we will seek alternative sources of funding such as grants, special appeals and fundraising activities.

With these changes, the gap between projected income and expenses is about $22,000.  Any new and increased pledges and year-end gifts towards the 2018 budget received this month will be incorporated into the budget, distributed December 3rd, and presented to the congregation for approval on December 10th.  If you haven’t already and are in a position to increase your pledge, now would be a great time to do it.  Feel free to contact any Finance board or Church Council member if you have questions about our plans and projects for next year.

Next Sunday during worship we will commission our Stephen Ministers. These very gifted people will strengthen our caring ministry to those in our congregation who are grieving or other-wise in need. They have answered a special call to use their gifts to follow in Jesus’ caring footsteps. As we commission these new Stephen Ministers, let us celebrate the completion of their training for this ministry and thank God for their generous response to this call, keeping the success of their ministry always in our prayers.

Alternative Giving Market November 28. At Acton Folk Center this year! 3-7 pm. What to get that friend or family member for the holidays?  Does your sister really need another sweater?  Why not give alternative gifts this year that reach toward your loved ones’ hopes and dreams for a better world?  Maybe what your friends and family really want for this year is health care, food and housing for those in need or disaster relief for those affected by this year’s terrible hurricanes.  Come and shop for that alternative gift for your loved ones. 

Volunteers needed to set up, clean up, staff tables and make cookies. If you can do any of these things, please sign up!

New this year: you can participate online! Make your gift at

The Berea College Christmas Concert is Friday & Saturday. Sold out, but here are links to watch at home!

Friday, Dec.1:

Saturday, Dec.2:

Christmas Baskets and Toys – St. Clare Catholic Church is taking applications for those who need to receive Christmas baskets and toys on November 27th, Monday-Thursday 9:00am-12:00pm, 859-986-4633. Union Church participates in filling the baskets! Watch for details soon.

Sustainable Berea Holiday Open House Friday Dec. 8! (and “hang the lights” party) 3 – 4 pm: Hanging strings of lights on the farm, 4 – 6 pm: Refreshments Celebrate with us on the Berea Urban Farm, 201 Adams Street, Berea, KY. For information:; 859-893-4590;

Mission Trip Support Needed: John Payne and Cheryl Caruso-Payne are going to Honduras on a mission trip. John will  work in the clinic, and Cheryl will assist in teaching about using the water system.

To  support this mission, you can: Donate reading glasses with the following strengths:1, 1.25, 1.50, 1.75, and 2. Write a check in any amount to go toward purchasing supplies in Honduras. Checks should be made out to BSUMC (Broad St. United Methodist Church), writing “supplies in Honduras” in the “for” line.
The address for the church is: P.O. Box 3, Cleveland, TN 37364-0003


Categories News, Weekly Bulletin | Tags: | Posted on November 22, 2017

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