A Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
10:30 am Seventh Sunday of Easter
“You are about to start the greatest improvisation of all. With no script. No idea what’s going to happen, often with people and places you have never seen before. And you are not in control. So say ‘yes.’ And if you’re lucky, you’ll find people who will say ‘yes’ back.” ~Stephen Colbert
From There to Here: We Gather
The Call from Ibn Arabi Carla Gilbert, Reader
There was a time I would reject those
who were not of my faith.
But now, my heart has grown capable
of taking on all forms.
It is a pasture for gazelles,
An abbey for monks.
A table for the Torah,
Kaaba for the pilgrim.
My religion is love.
Whichever the route love’s caravan shall take,
That shall be the path of my faith.
¨ Hymn #591 Black This Is My Song Finlandia
1. This is my song, O God of all the nations, a song of peace for lands afar and mine. This is my home, the country where my heart is; here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine; but other hearts in other lands are beating with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
2. My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean, and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine; but other lands have sunlight too, and clover, and skies are everywhere as blue as mine. O hear my song, O God of all the nations, a song of peace for their land and for mine.
¨ Passing the Peace of Christ
All who come to this sanctuary are welcome companions on the journey of faith. Please turn to those nearest you and greet them with words of peace.
Word and Worship
Anthem Alleluia, Christ is Alive Joel Raney Union Church Choir
Why do you seek the living among the dead? The stone has been rolled away as the angel said. Why are you weeping, when Christ, his promise keeping, has opened heaven’s door? He’s alive. He has risen. The tomb is empty. He has risen, to reign forevermore. He is alive! Sing “Alleluia, Christ is risen.” Sing a hymn of praise to God on high. The power of sin has been overcome, the ransom paid by the holy Son. Blameless, forgiven, the dead are raised to life! Praise to the Lord of earth and heaven. Christ arose and opened paradise. On this day of resurrection, join the jubilant celebration. Alleluia, Christ is alive! Alleluia, sing to God a joyful hymn, a hymn of gladness, a hymn of praise! Now love’s redeeming work is done. He fought the fight, now the battle’s won. Blessed Redeemer, the King of love and light! Praise to the Lord of earth and heaven. Christ arose and opened paradise. From the grave he rose, victorious. Praises ring from the heavenly chorus, “Alleluia, Christ is alive.” Sing “Alleluia, Christ is risen.”
Scripture Lesson Acts 1:6-14, p. 1317
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying: Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.
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.
Scripture Lesson John 17:1-11 p. 1307
After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you, for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.
Sermon Things Are Looking Up 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.
Silent Prayer & Reflection Actions
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 are also placed at the head and foot of each aisle and passed 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!
Offering Music Meditation for Flute and Handbells Darrell Day
Union Church Handbell Ensemble & Kim Kobersmith, flute
Silent Prayers and Prayers of the Community
Dear Lord, in our myriad misunderstandings and misinterpretations, lift us beyond our unknowing, beyond the convoluted controversies, and into the very heart of loving. Help us love what you love. Help us act on that love. Help us help others to love well and often. When we are earthbound, mired in sorrows, and eating only the bread of anxiety, we are no good servants to you or the love you intended for us. Lift your people, Lord, take us just high enough to see beyond the ridges of this world to the light that breaks beyond. We do not even know what we don’t know, but the light of your love guides us upward and we ask your help to follow. As we lift our eyes, so we lift our hearts and pray in way of Jesus, reaching to you as…
All: Our Maker, Our Mother, and Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy nameThy 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: We Depart
¨ Hymn #357 Black You Are Called to Tell the Story Regent Square
If you’re a graduate, you’re invited to come to the front of the sanctuary at the last verse so we can recognize your accomplishment!
1. You are called to tell the story, passing words of life along, then to blend your voice with others as you sing the sacred song. Christ be known in all our singing, filling all with songs of love.
2. You are called to teach the rhythm of the dance that never ends, then to move within the circle, hand in hand with strangers, friends. Christ be known in all our dancing, touching all with hands of love.
3. You are called to set the table, blessing bread as Jesus blessed, then to come with thirst and hunger, needing care like all the rest. Christ be known in all our sharing, feeling all with signs of love.
4. May the One whose love is broader than the measure of all space give us words to sing the story, move among us in this place. Christ be known in all our living, filling all with gifts of love.
We share opportunities for Beloved Community and ways to serve.
Lighting the Justice Candle to Lead us Forth
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Today we honor The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
NAMI is committed to building our understanding of mental illness, increasing access to treatment and ensuring those who are struggling know they are not alone. NAMI works to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, and offers education and assistance in drug abuse recovery, suicide prevention and the myriad issues facing those with various types of mental illness.
NAMI in Kentucky is based in Lexington, with 14 other affiliates statewide. They offer educational courses, various awareness events throughout the year, assistance in locating addiction treatment facilities, among other activities. Visit their website for more details. nami.org
Postlude Postlude in G Jeremy Sturgill, saxophone
You are welcome to be seated to appreciate the music following service, and to show appreciation at the end with applause.
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 Indian Ocean Islands: Comoros, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles; and our brothers & sisters at Grace Baptist Church in our hearts, and pray for them today and throughout the week.
¨ Prayers for 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 seeking a new and just society and those fearful that they will be supplanted, may God open their hearts and include them in grace.
¨ For the survivors of the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria and all those in the aftermath of natural, and man-made, disasters.
¨ The Bellnier family and for David’s father, recently diagnosed with aggressive lymphoma.
¨ JoAnn Russell, Reda Hutton’s aunt, facing several medical challenges.
¨ Our church family members in nursing homes or who are homebound: Jan Hamilton, Doug Hindman, Betsy Hoefer, Dorie Hubbard, Loyal Jones, Lois Morgan, Tom & Sara Parker, Cheryl Payne, Alva Peloquin, Laura Robie, Betty Wray, Sally Zimmerman
¨ Patsy Boyce, sister-in-law of Bob and Jean Boyce, undergoing chemotherapy.
¨ Rita Barlow, receiving care at St. Joseph Hospital
¨ Melissa Zook’s dad, Frank Zook, and all the family, as he approaches the end of life.
¨ Thomas Chapman, due to have surgery tomorrow at University of Kentucky hospital.
¨ Gratitude for our Youth Group, who helped in Alva Peloquin’s move to The Terrace
¨ David Duffee, recovering from an animal bite infection at home.
¨ Doug Hindman, recovering from a successful lumbar puncture test, hoping it will indicate some solutions.
¨ The Brandenburg family, at the sudden death of Iris’ brother, Clayton, in Bristol, Tennessee.
¨ All those suffering from mental strain, trauma, and disease: may God soothe and heal all who are troubled.
¨ Angela Anderson, traveling to MD Anderson Hospital in Texas for treatment of her colon.
¨ Update on baby Silas, grand-nephew of Debbonnaire Kovacs born prematurely and very tiny. He’s now up to 3 lbs and able to take milk.
Celebrations with Prayers of Joy!
Birthdays: Today, 21 – John Wernegreen, Steve Gowler; 22 – Ann Rhodes; 23 – Rachel Lakes; 25 – Al White; 26 – Carter Brownrobie; 28 – Hazel Moris
Anniversaries: May 21 – Dan Kotlow & Sharona Nelson; 22 – Paul & Patti Smithson
If we haven’t got your important dates, let us know. We’ll help you get connected!
Congratulations to Our Graduates!!!
Rina Tanaka – Eastern Kentucky University, Masters in Wind Conducting
Jameson Tuwe – Eastern Kentucky University, Master of Music in Vocal Performance
Joseph Jacobs – Master of Divinity, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Quil Kibak Master of Arts in Global Policy, University of Maine (Amy Williams’ nephew)
Kayla Havert – Master of Education, University of Mary Washington (Triss Holland’s granddaughter)
Kasey Crockett – Eastern Kentucky University, Bachelor of Music in Music Education
Sunni Walters – Eastern Kentucky University Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Emy Lovell – Center College, Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Adele Reyes – WKU, Bachelor of Elementary Education
Hope Tarter – Cumberland College, Bachelor of Science in Human
Services, Mental Health Counseling
Colin Perman – Madison Southern High School
Haley Jo Campbell – Berea Community High School
Austin Quinn—Maury High School in Norfolk, VA(Triss
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