A Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
10:30 am Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
Perfect Light of revelation, as you shone in the life of Jesus, whose epiphany we celebrate, so shine in us and through us, that we may become beacons of truth and compassion, enlightening all creation with deeds of justice and mercy.
From there to Here: We Gather
Prelude Hammered Dulcimer Selections Four Shillings Short
¨ Call to Worship
Having eyes, but not seeing beauty;
Having ears, but not hearing music;
Having minds, but not perceiving truth;
Having hearts that are never moved
And therefore never set on fire.
These are the things to fear.
¨ Hymn #175 O Christ, the Healer, We Have Come Kentridge
1.O Christ, the healer, we have come to pray for health, to plead for friends. How can we fail to be restored when reached by love that never ends?
2.From every ailment flesh endures our bodies clamor to be freed.Yet in our hearts we would confess that wholeness is our deepest need.
3.In conflicts that destroy our health we recognize the world’s disease; Our common life declares our ills. Is there no cure, O Christ, for these?
4.Grant that we all, made one in faith, in your community may find the wholeness that, enriching us, shall reach and prosper humankind.
¨ Prayer of Approach and Confession
One: God of light and loving, to see rightly again we come together and we come to you. We know we have not always known, let alone done that which would bring us closer to you or to the world of right-living, right-loving you envision. We pause now to reflect and we stop now in order to understand “what’s next,” and “what’s best” as we seek the healing of the broken places.
[Silence is kept]
One: In all we do…
All: May our failings be forgiven and set right. Lord of Love, guide us in ways that bring life and respect the hope of well-being of all you care for. In Christ’s name we pray: Amen.
¨ Words of Assurance
One: God’s care is more loving and more generous than all our mistakes and misdeeds. God’s hope is never grinding us under some divine heel, but rather the return and restoration of whole beings in whole souls. All who seek it shall find forgiveness and the path to holy Shalom again. In the shelter of Christ’s love we are forgiven and freed to turn toward home.
¨ 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.
Word and Worship
Special Music All the Ways You Wander Four Shillings Short
Scripture Lesson Psalm 111
Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them. Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever. He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds; the Lord is gracious and merciful. He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant. He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy. They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.
Children’s Moment as the children return to their seats we sing:
May God’s blessings 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.
Scripture Lesson Mark 1:21-28
They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.”
But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching–with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.
Sermon The Authority to Make it Better Rev. Kent Gilbert
Call to Prayer
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.
Offertory Sitar Selections Four Shillings Short
A Chance for Generosity: www.easytithe.com/union
A community of caring relies on support. Your recurring or one-time donation will make a ministry of healing, justice, and teaching available to all in need.
¨ Use your smart phone or computer and go to www.easytithe.com/union. No registration required, but registering once makes future generosity an amount and a click.
¨ Baskets for checks or cash are located at the head of each aisle for those who wish to make an in-person donation.
¨ Give by Text. Text an amount to 859-448-3403 (Example: Text “$50.00 Offering”)
¨ Give by Mail to: 200 Prospect St., Berea, KY 40403
Your contribution is love made visible. Thank you!
¨ Doxology Old Hundredth
To God, all glorious heavenly light; To Christ, revealed in earthly night; To God the Spirit, now we raise Our joyful songs of thankful praise. Amen.
We give praise and thanks to you, O God, for in Christ you have given us life: with healing of bodies and minds; with compassion for our infirmities and shortcomings; with guidance to shelter the vulnerable and to seek the righteous, inclusive peace, over the privilege of mere quiet for the powerful few. You commanded the disciples to heal the sick, and work your ministry through us to this day. Keep us mindful, merciful, and loving, this day, no matter what else befalls us. Our faithfulness is our gratitude throughout all our days.
God of every land and nation, Listen to the cries of those who pray to you,
and grant that, as we proclaim the greatness of your name, all people will know the power of love at work in the world.
We ask this through Christ our Lord who taught us to reach to you as…
Our Lord’s Prayer
All: 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 #179 We Yearn, O Christ, for Wholeness Passion Chorale
1 We yearn, O Christ, for wholeness and for your healing touch; too long have we felt helpless; our burdens seemed too much. Forgetting all pretenses we make our pleadings heard, in hope and expectation await your gracious word.
2 We long to have companions who travel by our side, strong friends to call and answer with whom we are allied; as we lift up each other when struggles lay us low, community will flourish; our faith and caring grow.
3 We need your living presence, O Christ of Galilee, a presence that revives us and sets our spirits free. No longer are we fearful, your love pervades each place. Empower us with courage to claim your healing grace.
We share opportunities for Beloved Community and ways to serve. Please see the listing of church & community evens, prayers, and notices in the pages following the service.
Lighting the Justice Candle to Lead us Forth
Today, on the anniversary of Rev. Carla Gilbert’s ordination, we light a candle to celebrate her and Antoinette Brown Blackwell, the first woman to be ordained as a mainstream Protestant minister in 1851. Antoinette began preaching at age 16, but needed to teach school for several years to earn the tuition to attend Oberlin College. After graduating with a literary degree , which was the only course of studies for women, she lobbied Oberlin to be admitted to theological studies. The administration was opposed but finally allowed her to enroll in classes with the understanding that she would not receive a degree.
Antoinette was a prolific writer and a charismatic public speaker. She firmly believed and publically affirmed that the statements in the Bible about women and their proper role in life were specific to a time and place in history. Her interpretation of the writings of Apostle Paul have been cited as the beginning of feminist theology.
Blackwell was also an outspoken advocate for abolition. She paused preaching to write for The North Star, Frederick Douglas’ abolitionist paper. Her address at the first National Women’s Rights Convention in 1850 lead to a speaking tour on abolition, temperance, and women’s rights.
Oberlin College finally awarded her an honorary Master’s and Doctoral degrees in 1878 and 1908, respectively. Beginning in 1975, the United Church of Christ has awarded the Antoinette Brown Awards to ordained UCC women who “exemplify the contributions that women can make through ordained ministry, have provided outstanding ministry in a parish or other church-related institutions, including women in specialized ministry, and have a sensitivity concerning the challenges and possibilities of women in ministry and advocacy on behalf of all women in the church.”
Benediction Response Pass it On! The Gift of Love Is Free Four Shillings Short
Our Prayers for Others
¨ 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 (World Council of Churches Ecumenical Prayer cycle: union-church.org/ministries/prayer) Let us hold the people of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Western Sahara, Tunisia; and our brothers and sisters at Dreyfus Church of Christ in our hearts, and pray for them today and throughout the week.
¨ All the people of Ukraine for their safety and sovereignty. Prayers also that the government of Russia will turn to reason & respect for their own peoples’ lives as well as for Ukrainian families.
¨ All those affected by the devastating losses in the current conflict in the Middle East.
¨ If you’d like to donate to those affected by the recent earthquakes in Japan, this is the most direct way to do so: Japan Red Cross: jrc.or.jp/english/
¨ Our church family members in nursing homes or who are homebound: Jan Hamilton, Betsy Hoefer, Dorie Hubbard, Lois Morgan, Sara Parker, Cheryl Payne, Alva Peloquin, Laura Robie, Sally Zimmerman.
¨ All those suffering from mental strain, trauma, and disease: may God soothe and heal all who are troubled.
¨ Members and Friends who need safer housing and income security.
¨ JoAnn Russell, Reda Hutton’s aunt, facing several medical challenges.
¨ Jeannette Davidson, having health problems.
¨ Celebrations with Prayers of Joy!
Birthdays: Jan. 29 – Gwen Hensley; 30 – Elwood Donnelly; 31 – Steve Bolster; Feb. 4 – Sandy Bolster, Donna Eder, Donna Rath
Anniversaries: Thomas & Sarabeth Brownrobie
Rev. Carla Gilbert’s 40th anniversary of ordination in the United Church of Christ!
If we haven’t got your important dates, let us know. We’ll help you get connected in FellowshipOne Go!