A Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost 10:30 am
A spiritual life, a blessed life, is not free of the human condition with all of its stresses and sorrows, but rather a life lived in the very heart of those challenges. ~Steven Charleston
From There to Here: We Gather
¨ The Call
A spiritual life, a blessed life, is not free of the human condition with all of its stresses and sorrows, but rather a life lived in the very heart of those challenges. Spiritual people hurt just like everyone else. We experience loss, disappointment and anger. We are not given a reprieve from human frailty but we are shown how it can be lived with a sense of purpose, balance and gratefulness. The key is not to escape the world, but to change the world. We are alchemists of the holy: everyday people made sacred by the process of life itself, turning lead to gold. We are transformation from the inside out.
¨ Prayer of Confession
One: God of constant change and divine transformation, welcome us again to your presence. Surround all this hour with purpose and passion and your peace.
All: As you have welcomed us in our needs, may we now open ourselves to you. When we have not been a host to your loving spirit, when we have turned against neighbor and forgotten our best self, hear our sorrow. In your mercy help transform us. Forgive the shortcomings and the short words and set us to the work of balance and grace.
One: Help us lose our distractions and choose the better part, O Lord. In your mercy,
All: Hear us Pray
[Silence is observed]
¨ Words of Assurance
One: The hospitality of God’s heart is open to all who seek it. In Christ, God sets before us a feast of reconciliation and renewal. And forgiveness. Forgiveness to transform lead into gold. In the name of our brother Jesus, the Christ, and by his grace you are forgiven. We are all forgiven and freed to serve.
” Hymn #289 Black Come Forth, O Love Divine Down Ampney
¨ Passing the Peace
Building the Community: News that Connects Us
Lighting the Justice Candle
Goodwill Industries began in Boston at the turn of the 19th century as an idea by the Rev. Edgar J. Helms. The idea was simple, fight poverty not with charity, but with trade skills—and provide a chance for the poor and the unemployed to do productive work. In the 1890s, there were no government programs to aid those in need. Determined to provide a hand up, not a hand out, Helms put a burlap bag over his shoulder and went door-to-door, appealing to well-to-do people of Boston to contribute shoes, clothing, furniture, anything. Poor men and women were put to work restoring collected goods while learning trades and sharpening skills at the same time. Income from the resale of the goods paid their wages and eventually an industrial school developed.
Word And Worship
Hebrew Scripture Lesson Genesis 18:1-10a
The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, ‘My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.’ So they said, ‘Do as you have said.’ And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, ‘Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.’ Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate. They said to him, ‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ And he said, ‘There, in the tent.’ Then one said, ‘I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.’ And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him.
Children’s Moment Please join in singing as we bless children everywhere:
May God’s blessing 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.
Please note that Union Church services are livestreamed, including the Children’s Moment. A “no camera zone” is at the back of the balcony, behind the AV booth.
Gospel Lesson Luke 10:25-37
The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, ‘My lord, if I find favour with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.’ So they said, ‘Do as you have said.’ And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, ‘Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.’ Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
They said to him, ‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ And he said, ‘There, in the tent.’ Then one said, ‘I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.’ And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him.
Sermon When God Is Your Guest Rev. Kent Gilbert
Call to Prayer and Offering
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.
A Chance for Generosity: www.easytithe.com/union 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 portion of our contributions flows out to aid 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”)
You can also use US mail! Mail to: 200 Prospect St., Berea, KY 40403
Your contribution is love made visible. Thank you!
In your mercy, Lord, look upon all our work and help us sort out what is most important, most needed. Help us in disease or distress to sit at your feet, relying on your wisdom and strength when our own fail. We pray to see in each face the countenance of Christ, and welcome all as we would hope you would welcome us. For ourselves, for our families and for our world, we ask your help to work for the things that cannot be taken away, that are worthy of the love you have invested in us and in all creation. Holy one, we are worried about so many things. Help us choose the better part. As Jesus taught us this, so he taught us to reach to you as…
Our Lord’s Prayer
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 # 552 Black From the Crush of Wealth and Power Bridegroom
- From the crush of wealth and power something broken in us
all waits the spirit’s silent hour pleading with a poignant call,
bind all my wounds again.
- Even now our hearts are wary of the friend we need so much.
When I see the pain you carry, shall I, with a gentle touch,
bind all your wounds again?
- When our love for one another makes our burdens light to bear,
find the sister and the brother, hungry for the feast we share;
bind all their wounds again.
- Ev’ry time our spirits languish terrified to draw too near,
may we know each other’s anguish and, with love that casts out fear,
bind all our wounds again.
Partnership and Purpose
At Union we agree to abide by these Fellowship Principles:
“Union Church welcomes all followers of Christ and works with all who work with him, working by love, respecting each one’s conscience, and endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit within the bond of peace.” (1853)
If this is the time and if this is the way forward for you, then let us join company to boldly and creatively embody the life and ministry of Jesus together. You are welcome to come forward during the Hymn. Thanks be to God for these ministers among us.
” Questions of the Congregation and New Members
¨ Covenant of Welcome
And we, the members and faithful friends 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.
Postlude (you are welcome to be seated and enjoy the Postlude)
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. Let us hold the people of Djibouti and Somalia and our brothers & sisters at Lighthouse Baptist Church in our hearts, and pray for them. Please hold these concerns in your prayers, today and throughout the week.
¨ Those affected by the Covid-19 virus, their families and friends living with fear, anxiety, and feelings of isolation, may God bring peace to all who love them; and our wider community as we cope with the new realities of living, including the now over 16,200 Kentucky residents, and 286 Madison County residents, who have died to date from Covid-19.
¨ Prayers for all the people of Ukraine for their safety and sovereignty, and especially those in the city of Nikolaev where the family of former Berea International student daughter of Kevin and Carla, Yulia live. 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 seeking a new and just society and those fearful that they will be supplanted, may God open their hearts and include them in grace.
¨ Our church family members in nursing homes or who are homebound: Alva Peloquin, Loyal Jones, Lois Morgan, Jan Hamilton, Laura Robie, Dorie Hubbard, Betty Wray, Sally Zimmerman
¨ Families and Friends in Crises…may God be present to every need and heal every rift and wound and those who care for them.
¨ JoAnn Russell, Reda Hutton’s aunt, facing several medical challenges.
¨ Children in detention centers, that they may be reunited with their families soon.
¨ Hazel Morris, being treated for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
¨ Raymond Binkley, Betty Wray’s brother, aged 94, and in ill health.
¨ Chris McKenzie and family, at the death of his grandma, Zane Brown.
¨ Michelle, beloved nurse at Morning Pointe, undergoing treatment for cancer.
¨ Jess Burton & Jake Graber and their little girl, Lila, who has serious gastric issues.
¨ Dan & Donna Brewer, recovering from injuries sustained in a terrible car wreck last week.
¨ Important dates—if we haven’t got yours, let us know. We’ll help you get connected in FellowshipOne Go!
Birthdays: Today, July 17 – Jeff Hutton; 20 – Deborah Martin, Mallory Lakes, Cavan Kobersmith; 22 – Emma White
Anniversaries: July 23 – Laura Nagle & Melissa Sparks
Children are welcome in the service, or you can stay with them in the nursery
· There will be a nursery assistant available in the nursery space to provide support for families who are supervising their own children there,
· The nursery and playground will be open for families to use if you supervise your own children,
· There will be a device for listening/watching the service in the nursery,
· We anticipate adding full nursery services once under 5s can be vaccinated,
· The children’s Worship Center in the back of the sanctuary will have activities for our youngest members
· Please note that Union Church services are livestreamed, including the Children’s Moment. A “no camera zone” is at the back of the balcony, behind the AV booth.
Lemonade in the Shade
The Community Life and Growth Board is looking for volunteers to assist in our weekly Lemonade on the Porch after our morning worship running through the summer. If you can help on a particular Sunday this summer, please go to our News page at union-church.org/news and click on the form labeled Volunteers for Lemonade on the Porch. We need folks to help with set up and take down as well as people to donate snack items like cookies or other kinds of snacks.
Opportunities to Serve
The Nominating Board is looking for members of the Union Church community to serve on three Boards:
· Faith Development
· Mission & Service
· Pastoral Relations
Please call/email the church office or email/text Rachel Lakes (859.582.6646, firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information or to express interest.
Madison County is in the CDC’s YELLOW range regarding Covid cases. These are the protocols we’ll follow:
Þ Congregants recommended to stay up to date with vaccinations.
Þ Stay home when sick. Follow KY state quarantine and isolation guidance.
Þ Indoor mask use with N95, KN95, or surgical mask is required.
Þ Groups can meet if masked and distanced.
Þ Choir can sing if masked and distanced.
Þ Cleaning is necessary between groups.