A Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
Sixth Sunday of Easter 10:30 am
“When things stay separate and isolated they stiffen into the act of surviving, whereas when they have a conversation with each other they begin to live as the artists of their own destiny.” —John O’Donohue, Walking in Wonder
From There to Here: We Gather
¨ The Call
One: Today we gather for worship!
All: Like the tree of life, we gather for the healing of nations.
One: God is our Light,
All: In God’s Light, the gates are always open.
One: The river of life flows from God,
All: The river flows brightly and sustains us wherever we go.
One: God gives us Peace,
All: May we let go of our troubles and rejoice in God.
Hymn What Love Demands Mark Hayes Deborah Thompson, guitar
Dedicated to the public health workers, medical personnel, chaplains, and front-line essential workers who answered love’s demands in a time of national pandemic.
Dedicated to them by the people of Union Church, Berea, KY, in memory of Mr. Tom Warth, Dr. Richard and Ms. Judy Drake, and Ms. Mary Lou and Dr. Lester Pross.
2nd time through—please sing “we” for “I,” and “our” for “my.”
1. What does it mean to love my neighbor? How can I live in harmony? Are you my brother or are you just another? When I look in your eyes, who do I see? I see you’re made in the image of God, uniquely gifted with the right to be loved. Neighbor or stranger, how may I serve you? What does love demand?
Chorus: Love is listening with heartfelt compassion, holding the lonely, wiping a tear. Love demands that I live in the moment to live in the question when the answer’s unclear. Love demands I seek what unites us releasing fear and whatever divides us. With God as my strength I will be the change I want to see. For that’s what love, that’s what love demands.
2. What can we do to stand for justice? What can we do so all are free? What can we do to end oppression, so all have the same opportunity? We will be God’s hands and welcoming arms. We’ll keep you safe from danger and harm. Homeless or helpless, how may we serve you? What does love demand? Love demands we do what we can. Take a stand. Lend a hand.
Chorus: Love is listening with heartfelt compassion, holding the lonely, wiping a tear. Love demands that we live in the moment, to live in the question when the answer’s unclear. Love demands we seek what unites us, releasing fear and whatever divides us. With God as our strength we will be the change we want to see. For that’s what love, that’s what love demands.
¨ Passing the Peace
Building the Community: News that Connects Us
Lighting the Justice Candle
May is Mental Health awareness month. Today, we light the Justice Candle for Clifford W. Beers who, in 1909, founded Mental Health America, a community based non-profit dedicated to the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting mental health for everyone.
Beers’ own struggle with mental health issues resulted in first hand experience of the horrible treatment and conditions in both public and private institutions. From these experiences, Beers set into motion a reform movement that took shape and is known today as Mental Health America.
MHA’s mission is to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all; early identification and intervention for those at risk; integrated care, services, and supports for those who need them; with recovery as the goal.
Word And Worship
Lesson from Revelation Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5
And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.
I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.
Its gates will never be shut by day–and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
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.
Gospel Reading John 14:23-29
Jesus answered him, ‘Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.
‘I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I am coming to you.” If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.
Sermon Staying Put While Moving On 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!
God of journeys and tender of the tree of life, we are lost in you and fully found. Standing still and moving on, you illumine our lives in dazzling love. Ever-changing, ever-growing, ever-greening we thrive in the peace you offer in every age of our lives. We lift to you today those who have grown among us and who now branch out in new ways. Bless all those who cross thresholds; who step from the “what was” to the “what next.” Prosper the work of their hearts and hands; guide them, and all who seek, to communities of care and work that matters. Coming and going, leaving and staying, center in them and in all your deep peace, your deep compassion, and your deep love for both being and becoming in full measure.
Never-leaving Spirit, your love never-changing, ever-flowing, always renewing, make new the lives of your servants that the tree of life may be for the healing of every ill in every land. This we pray…
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 #576 Black For the Healing of the Nations Westminster Abbey
1 For the healing of the nations, god, we pray with one accord; for a just and equal sharing of the things that earth affords; to a life of love in action help us rise and pledge our word.
2 Lead us forward into freedom; from despair your world release, that, redeemed from war and hatred, all may come and go in peace. Show us how through care and goodness fear will die and hope increase.
3 All that kills abundant living, let it from the earth be banned; pride of status, race, or schooling, dogmas that obscure your plan. In our common quest for justice may we hallow life’s brief span.
4 You, Creator God, have written your great name on humankind; for our growing in your likeness bring the life of Christ to mind, that by our response and service earth its destiny may find.
Postlude (you are welcome to be seated and enjoy the Postlude)
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 the Indian Ocean Islands: Comoros, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, and Seychelles; and our brothers & sisters at Gloryland 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 15,800 Kentucky residents, and 280 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.
¨ Ukrainian Refugees and Afghani Refugees
¨ All those feeling the oppression of depression and isolation. May God strengthen us all and build bridges to grace.
¨ 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.
¨ Sharona Nelson, facing a long recovery after surgery to repair a broken shoulder.
¨ Charlie Hoffman’s uncle, Richard Merrill, diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
¨ Hazel Morris, recently diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) but doing well so far on treatment.
¨ John and Cheryl Payne, missing each other and under the weather.
¨ Raymond Binkley, Betty Wray’s brother, aged 94, and in ill health.
¨ Alice White, recovering from hip replacement surgery at home.
¨ Melissa Zook’s, Susan, Sam and Landen, as they grieve the loss of their beloved Aunt Pat .
“Ellen Suters and family as they grieve two terribly sad deaths last week. Baby Ezekiel, newborn son of Chris and Eva Jessen, has died after a time in intensive care; and her Uncle David, brother of Meg Suters and eldest son of Ellen Turnbull (d. 2007), longtime Union Church member, died on May 13. Condolences may be sent to Ellen at 1019 Danielle Ct. #103, Richmond, KY, 40475
¨ Tina Parker’s dad, Opal and Iris’ grandfather, Tom Parker, had a stroke this week. He will go to Cardinal Hill for two weeks for rehab.
¨ Muse Watson, recovering from neck surgery
¨ In gratitude for our guest musicians today: Betty Hibler, Robert Rorrer, and Deborah Thompson!
¨ Important dates—if we haven’t got yours, let us know. We’ll help you get connected in FellowshipOne Go!
Birthdays: Today – Ann Rhodes; 23 – Rachel Lakes; 25 – Al White; 26 – Carter Brownrobie; 29 – Maggie Park
Anniversaries: 22 – Paul & Patti Smithson
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!
Lemonade on the Porch !
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.
Our hosts today are the Kobersmiths, with congratulations to our high school graduates, Sayer Kobersmith and Ainsley White, and 8th grads and Opal Bailey.Felix Reyes
Election Day Issues?
The NAACP requesting anyone who experienced election problems go to the clerks office website and leave them a message of problems and issues. The address for Madison County Clerk is https://www.madisoncountyclerk.us
If you attend in-person: Union Church services are livestreamed and archived on YouTube, Facebook and the church’s web page. If you prefer not to be on video, please be seated rear of balcony, out of camera range. We will make every attempt to respect your privacy.