A Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
Eighth Sunday after Pentecost 10:30 am
Meditation “What is shalom but dignity stretched out like a blanket over the cosmos?” ~ Cole Arthur Riley
From There to Here: We Gather
¨ The Call Cole Arthur Riley
One: Perhaps the more superior we believe ourselves to be to creation, the less like God we become. But if we embrace shalom—the idea that everything is suspended in a delicate balance between the atoms that make me and the tree and this bird and the sky—if we embrace the beauty of all creatures, we find our own beauty magnified. And what is shalom but dignity stretched out like a blanket over the cosmos?
from This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us
¨ Hymn #21 Black God Reigns O’er All the Earth Terra Beata
¨ Prayer of Approach and Confession
One: If we were self-sufficient, and had all the answers,
All: we would not be here, all-wise God.
One: If our achievements matched our aims and if our deeds perfectly reflected our holist vows,
All: we would not be so spiritually hungry, God of truth and grace.
One: If we had cared for our neighbors with the love of Jesus Christ, and cherished our loved ones without selfishness or impatience,
All: we would not be seeking your mercy, redeeming God.
One: We bring to you our inept and evil ways, and rest the troublesome load of frustration, disappointment, regret and guilt in your hands. Please wash the grime and infection from our wounds, and anoint us with the salve of forgiveness. Take us gently by the chin and lift up our faces so that we can look up into the face of Christ Jesus without shame or fear. With him let us recover our authentic humanity and face all coming challenges with his quiet strength and optimism. In his name we so pray. Amen!
~ written by Bruce Prewer, and posted on Bruce Prewer’s Home Page. http://www.bruceprewer.com/DocC/C47sun18.htm
¨ Words of Assurance
¨ Passing the Peace
Building the Community: News that Connects Us
Lighting the Justice Candle
Margo Cowan and Keep Tucson Together Margo Cowan is a lawyer active in Tucson who has devoted her life to helping others. Beginning in the late 1960s to early 1970s, Margo managed a farm worker strike in San Diego, mentored by Cesar Chavez & Dolores Huerta and organized transborder farm workers in the Tijuana – San Diego border region. Between 1976 – 1983, Margo was active in the Sanctuary Movement and established the first in-detention defense project in El Centro, California, represented approximately 3000 Salvadorans and Guatemalans fleeing the wars in Central America and stopped the deportations of the vast majority of these people. She also created a national bond fund.
As a way of demystifying the law and providing a way to assist the many people who find themselves caught up in deportation process and cannot afford legal assistance, she started Keep Tucson Together (KTT) in 2011. KTT is a group of volunteers who have formed a pro-bono legal clinic that assists people in preparing their cases and works with volunteer attorneys to stop deportations and the separation of families in Southern Arizona. When the Union Church delegation was in Arizona, we visited the clinic and contributed to its financial support.
Word And Worship
Special Music How Can I Keep from Singing trad.
Lesson from the Psalms Psalm 107:1-9, 43
O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, those he redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to an inhabited town; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress; he led them by a straight way, until they reached an inhabited town. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind. For he satisfies the thirsty, and the hungry he fills with good things. Let those who are wise give heed to these things, and consider the steadfast love of the LORD.
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 12:13-21
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”
Sermon Storing Up 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!
Maker of all that is good and sweet, holder of our hearts, be with us now and in the week to come. When we are tempted to that think that ‘too much’ is not enough, enfold us in the power of your lavish love. When the ways of the world reach for our well-being, draw close around all who need you. Shield us from what would harm us and open us to what you would have us do. Hear the cries of those who have been flooded. Send relief to those who hunger and thirst. Help us give and receive in right measure so that we might be in right relationship with all you have made. In the living of these days, and for those who will come after us into your creation, give us your true Shalom and an abundance of your mercy and love. We pray this in the name of the one who embodied your shalom, Jesus the Christ, and pray as he taught us…
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 #436 Black God of Grace and God of Glory CWM Rhondda
(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 Republic of Congo, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe and our brothers & sisters at New Liberty 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.
¨ Congrats to Betsy Hoefer returning to McCready Manor from her lengthy rehab.
¨ Sue Peterson Blyth’s family in the death of her aunt in Kansas. Comfort and travel mercies for them all.
¨ Keith Gilbertson, suffering from a serious illness of unknown origin. May God’s healing come swiftly.
¨ The families and friends and for all the emergency responders to the floods in our Eastern counties: that safety return, that homes be rebuilt, that all needed help will come.
¨ Joy Frazier, relocating to be near family in Indiana. Go with God and carry peace in your heart!
¨ The family and many friends of David Crandall, at his sudden death.
¨ 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.
¨ 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 car wreck.
¨ Important dates—if we haven’t got yours, let us know. We’ll help you get connected in FellowshipOne Go!
Birthdays: today, July 31 – Sharona Nelson; August 6 – Jack Marshall; August 7 – Truman Fields
Anniversaries: August 5 – Kent Gilbert & Diana Hultgren
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 Madison County is in the “YELLOW” for Covid numbers,
· 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.
Response to Devastating Floods
Our hearts are breaking for our brothers and sisters in Eastern Kentucky with the devastating floods this week. Tens of thousands of people throughout several counties have lost everything including family members. Evacuation continues and more rain is expected next week.
The Mission and Service Board is quickly responding to this desperate need by donating $1000.00 to the Appalachian Kentucky Crisis Fund. We urge the congregation to match this amount.
You can help with a designated gift through Union Church or choose either of the following relief efforts:
Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky Crisis Fund at bit.ly/AppCrisisAid
EKY Flood Relief https://secure.kentucky.gov/FormServices/Finance/EKYFloodRelief
Opportunities to Serve
The Nominating Board is looking for members of the Union Church community to serve on these Boards:
· Faith Development
· Mission & Service
· Nurture & Care
Pastoral Relations position filled!
Please call/email the church office or email/text Rachel Lakes (859.582.6646, email@example.com) for more information or to express interest.
Memorial Service for Jennie Kiteck
A service will be held August 13 for Jennie Kiteck who died January17, 2022. Music begins at 1 pm; service at 2 pm. All welcome.
Celtic Festival August 18-21!
Union Church supports the Berea Celtic Festival with Concert and Special Service
The Berea Celtic Service will once again hold a festival concert at Union Church on Saturday, August 20, and Union Church will host a special Celtic Worship Service on Sunday morning, August 21 with guest harpeist, Jeni Balcom. There are many other events and there are still volunteer spots open if you’d like a wonderful experience and the chance to promote some great music. Call Sune Frederiksen at 859-248-0690 . Even a single hour or two volunteering is a great help!
Madison County is in the CDC’s RED range regarding Covid cases. These are the protocols we’ll follow:
· Congregants recommended to stay up to date with vaccinations.
· Stay home when sick. Follow KY state quarantine and isolation guidance.
· Indoor mask use with N95, KN95, or surgical mask is required.
· No choir.
· Masked and distanced groups of up to 25 can meet in the community room and up to 50 in the sanctuary. All other meeting spaces closed. If you have a meeting scheduled in-person, it’ll have to move to the Community Room for the duration.
· Balcony closed for seating.
· Cleaning is necessary between groups.