Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany
February 17, 2019 10:30 am
When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden. —Kahlil Gibran
From there to Here: We Gather
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 Ride the Chariot arr. B. Ingram Union Church Handbell Ensemble
The Call Immersion Denise Levertov
There is anger abroad in the world, a numb thunder, because of God’s silence. But how naïve, to keep wanting words we could speak ourselves, English, Urdu, Tagalog, the French of Tours, the French of Haiti… Yes, that was one way omnipotence chose to address us—Hebrew, Aramaic, or whatever the patriarchs chose in their turn to call what they heard. Moses demanded the word, spoken and written. But perfect freedom assured other ways of speech. God is surely patiently trying to immerse us in a different language, events of grace, horrifying scrolls of history and the unearned retrieval of blessings lost for ever, the poor grass returning after drought, timid, persistent. God’s abstention is only from human dialects. The holy voice utters its woe and glory in myriad musics, in signs and portents. Our own words are for us to speak, a way to ask and to answer.
¨ Hymn #313 Black Like a Tree Beside the Waters Silver Creek
¨ 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 hospitality.
The Living Word among us
Anthem I’m Gonna Live so God Can Use Me David Pote & Allen Pote Union Church Choir
- I’m gonna live so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!
- I’m gonna work so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!
- I’m gonna pray …
- I’m gonna sing …
Hebrew Scripture Lesson Jeremiah 17:5-10 (p. 911)
The prophet Jeremiah pronounces blessings upon those who trust in the Lord and curses upon those who trust in themselves.
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 Luke 6:17-26 (p. 1235)
Jesus speaks to his disciples on the plain in a series of blessings and curses.
Sermon Woe and Glory Rev. Kent Gilbert
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.
Prayer in Action and Reflections
Blessings and Curses: Think of time you have felt “cursed.” If you can, reflect on that time of darkness. What changes were needed? What insight came? Now think of blessings. As you breathe and pray: can you intermingle the blessings and curses, the dark and the light? What is God calling you to offer out of both? Trees beside deep water: What is the nature of your roots that seek the streams of living water? When drought comes, what keeps your leaves green and anxiety at bay? What does it mean to you to bear fruit “in season”? As you pray, endeavor to plant your heart and mind close to these streams. Consider what would bring your day-to-day living closer to this source for you.What would a valentine to your enemy say? What gift came, unbidden, even unwanted, from the challenge you see in that person, that circumstance? What love is at work in you to reach past difficulties and fears?
Offering baskets are placed in the aisle, and can also be brought to your seat.
Restoration Station: You are invited to come to the table in the piano corner to pray, standing or kneeling. You may confess or release that which is burdensome and painful. You may also pray with someone else if you wish.
Choose a new “Love Is…” heart for this week. As you hold it, consider how God is putting this word within you. Over the weeks, decide whether to keep each heart, share it, make something out of it, give it away…
In the back corner, our Community Sharing Table still and always needs food, warm hats, etc. Right now, we are asking for old glasses to donate to Lions Club International to help those in need.
Children’s Fire: There are supplies for drawing the shape of Love in the children’s corner… perhaps, what would a Valentine to your enemy look like? Anyone, especially children, are welcome to come to the children’s corner and draw.
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.
Many friends give online, and you can use your smart phone or computer and go to www.easytithe.com/union. You don’t have to register to make a contribution, but if you do, it can make future generosity that much easier. You can even give by text! Text to 859-448-3403 (Example: Text “$50.00 Offering)
Your contribution is love made visible. Thank you!
As we draw back to our seats, you are invited to join in singing:
Holy Spirit, Come to Us Taize
Silent Prayers and Prayers of the Community
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
¨ Hymn #61 Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost Anderson
¨ The Sending and Blessing
Postlude (please be seated)
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 France, Germany and Monaco and our brothers and sisters at Richmond Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 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.
¨ Children in detention centers, that they may be reunited with their families soon. 15,000 are now detained in the US.
¨ Our church family members in nursing homes, or who are homebound: Edith Hansen, Nancy Hindman, Loyal Jones, Mary Miller, Alva Peloquin.
¨ Those who are without homes and safe places.
¨ Gabe Barlow, awaiting tests and results for cancer in Seoul, South Korea.
¨ George Mountjoy, recovering from knee replacement and now home from rehab.
Congregational Conversations: What Will it Take for What’s Next? The next all-church conversation about “What Next” for our vision of mission and service will take place on Wed, Feb 20, at 6:30pm after Wednesday Night Live supper (all invited, supper provided, $5 suggested donation). Results of last month’s conversation have been reviewed and have begun to be shaped into some concrete plans. Come share you insight and reflection as we think about staffing, money, and whom we might serve! Program will be repeated on Sunday, February 24th at 1:30 pm.
Learn more about the church next week! Come One, Come All! Each fourth Sunday of the month anyone wanting to know more about Union Church or wanting to explore church membership, are invited to come to the Classroom and join in conversation with the Community Life and Growth Board after worship.
Feb. 27. An Evening With Chris Crass: Conversations for Racial Justice In partnership with the Carter G. Woodson Center for Interracial Education, Union Church is pleased to host “Courage for Racial Justice, Courage for Collective Liberation” an informative and interactive evening with author, Chris Crass.
Chris is a longtime organizer, educator, and writer working to build powerful working class-based, feminist, multiracial movements for collective liberation. He is a one of the leading voices in the country calling for and supporting white people to work for racial justice. He is the author of two books. His latest, Towards the “Other America:” Anti-Racist Resources for White People Taking Action for Black Lives Matter, is a call to action to end white silence and a manual on how to do it. Chris’ essays have been translated into half a dozen languages, taught in hundreds of classrooms, and included in over a dozen anthologies.
This event is free and open to the community, who are encouraged to share the event widely with interested persons, groups, and organizations. A light soup supper will be served at 5:45pm ($5 suggested donation).
Rev. Kent Awarded Grant. Rev. Kent has been awarded a grant to attend Ecumenical Advocacy Days, April 5-8, in Washington, DC. Ecumenical Advocacy Days is a movement of the ecumenical Christian community, and its recognized partners and allies, grounded in biblical witness and shared traditions of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. The goal, through worship, theological reflection and opportunities for learning and witness, is to strengthen our Christian voice and to mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues. He will join 5 other pastors from around the state as representative of Kentucky clergy.
Check the Lost & Found shelves across from the office if you might’ve left something at church. There are also items from the kitchen on them, which have been around for a while. If unclaimed, they are Goodwill-bound in a week or so. Thanks.
Union Church’s Annual Meeting will be March 10, after worship and lunch. We will vote upon acceptance of the Annual Report and conduct other business of the church. Board & Officer reports are due in the office February 24.
Our Nominating Board is hard at work! We are completing the leadership slate for Union Church with a variety of terms open just waiting for your interest and possibility. Election of Board Members & Officers will happen at our Annual Meeting on March 10, after worship and Lenten Lunch. If you would like to serve on ANY of the Boards, you are welcome to do so!
Please prayerfully consider where your passion lies and where it might meet the needs of Union Church.
Especially needed are members of Community Life & Growth, Mission & Service, Worship and Properties Boards. And, of course, other possibilities for service are Nurture and Care, Admin-istration, Finance and Pastoral Relations.
If you are unable to serve a specified term, but are interested in helping with tasks, please also consider that possibility as well and let that be known.
To see Job Descriptions and indicate interest , please contact Carla Gilbert at firstname.lastname@example.org or 985-1144.
Music Events at Union Church!
Feb. 23 – The African American Traditional Music Workshop and Symposium (hosted by the Berea College Black Music Ensemble) will be held beginning at Union Church at 12 pm in the Community Room, then moving into the Sanctuary. The half day events will include a community choral (spirituals and gospel song) music workshop—inviting all to sing and to learn African American traditional sacred music. We will engage with the song history, and the role of African American traditional music our world today.
The day will conclude with a 7:00 pm symposium talk (also free and open to the public) by our guest clinician, Dr. Raynetta Wiggins, ’08 alum of Berea College, and a gospel choir performance, at Presser Hall.
March 3 – This & That: A Concert of Anything but “Church Music” The ringers of Union Church Handbell Ensemble will present a mini-concert comprised of pieces that would not likely find a place in a typical worship service. Please join us Sunday, March 3 at 2 pm in the sanctuary for a variety of fun and funny handbell music.
Around Town and Notes & Notices
Feb. 23 – Stepping Out for Art, fundraiser for the Berea Arts Council. Come to an elegant evening when local artists, Arts Council members, and guests will gather to raise funds to support Berea Arts Council operations and programs. This year the theme will honor spring in Japan with “Cherry Blossom Time.” Food, music, and cash bar, at Churchill’s. Rev. Kent will be the auctioneer.
For dinner tickets, contact the Arts Council at 859-985-9317.
How to Choose & Use the Right Assistance Equipment. Feb. 26, 6 pm at First Christian Church. Berea Home Village invites you to learn how to choose the right device for your situation (wheelchairs, walkers, braces, etc.) Presented by Ernestine Brashear, Physical Therapist. Open to all, no charge.
Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) is seeking volunteers to serve during its alternative spring break programs: WorkFest and YouthFest. Kitchen volunteers are needed to prepare and serve meals to student volunteers in Jackson and Floyd Counties during March and April. CAP provides all recipes, ingredients, and supplies. Opportunities include making sandwiches on a Sunday afternoon, cooking and serving breakfast on an early weekday morning, or getting supper ready and greeting students returning from their construction sites in the evening. Volunteers with construction skills are also needed to provide guidance and direction to student volunteers. Project leadership by industry-trained CAP staff will be provided. You can make a difference in our communities and in the lives of our student volunteers!
CAP also has an urgent need at Grateful Bread Food Pantry and Grateful Threadz Thrift Store (Mount Vernon), helping to sort and stock donated items and serving members of the Rockcastle County community. Join CAP in its mission of building hope, transforming lives, and sharing Christ’s love through service in Appalachia. To learn more, visit www.christianapp.org/volunteer, or contact Amy Schill at email@example.com or 859.230.4027.
The Census Bureau is hiring now and up to the 2020 Census. You must be 18 years old or older, a US citizen, have transportation, an email address, internet access to apply (you can use a computer here). Pay is $14 an hour + 58 cents a mile driven for the job. Part time, flexible hours. Paid training for 3-5 days. 2020census.gov/jobs
Kentucky Council of Churches Prayer in Action Days
Rev. Kent and other clergy urge persons of faith to consider opposing Kentucky Senate Bill 150, a bill moving swiftly that would allow “permitless carry” of concealed weapons to any person over the age of 21. This means any person would be allowed to carry a concealed deadly firearm, knife, or other weapon without a license, permit, or training. This legislation was moved on the 1 year anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, shooting. Over 1200 school children have been killed by guns in that one year. Permitless carry will increase the chance of accidental injury, as well as intentional violence and is inconsistent with Christ-like regard for neighbor, children, or a beloved community.
Please call the KY Legislative Message line at 1-800-372-7181 and ask to leave a message for members of the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs, & Public Protection committee. Tell them that you hope they will oppose SB150 as it is not in the interest of public protection and that it represents a reckless and undisciplined response to legitimate 2nd amendment rights pandering to gun lobbies, not law-abiding Kentuckians.
Prayer in Action in Frankfort: 9:30 a.m. in the Capital Annex. The Kentucky Council of Churches will host a 9:30 a.m. gathering at the Capitol Annex in Room 171 on the following Tuesdays during the General Assembly to pray for legislators and hear about an issue of concern. Afterwards, participants may attend committee meetings and visit legislators. Topics are:
· Feb. 19: Voting Rights
You can watch live prayers in action events at the Kentucky Council of Churches Facebook page, and find out more on the KCC website www.Kycouncil ofchurches.org. To express your concerns to elected representatives, committees or officials call 800-372-7181.
· Feb. 26: Gun Violence
· March 5: Death Penalty
· March 12: Environment