A Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
Seventh Sunday of Easter 10:30 am
“Hear the holy voice within you, not the partisan voice that shouts at you, not the fearful voice that whispers in your ear, but the holy voice that you recognize.” —Rev. Steven Charleston
From There to Here: We Gather
¨ The Call ad. From Steven Charleston
One: Listen for the holy voice within you.
All: We hear a voice that is steady and confident.
One: Embrace the holy voice within you.
All: It is a voice that is encouraging and healing.
One: Trust the holy voice within you.
All: We trust that the voice is wise and kind.
One: Know that this is the voice of Love.
All: This is the holy voice of timeless truth and endless vision.
Hymn What Love Demands Mark Hayes Deborah Thompson & Robert Rorrer, 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.
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
Memorial Day began as Decoration Day on May 30, 1868, three years after the Civil Ward ended. It was established by Gen. John A Logan as a day for Americans to decorate the graves of the fallen Northern Civil War Veterans soldiers with flowers. Even though the name Memorial Day was in used in the 1880s, Decoration Day was still in use as a name for the holiday until after the end of World War II. It is the only national holiday when the flag is flown at half-staff, and then only from sunrise until noon. In 2000 President Bill Clinton signed the National Moment of Remembrance Act, asking that all American participate in a moment o f silence at 3 pm on Memorial Day as a sign of respect.
Many traditions have evolved over the years, the most common being decorating graves in the cemeteries of loved ones and in some cases picnicking near those graves.
Word And Worship
Music Shape Note Selections
Lesson from Acts Acts 16:16-34
One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.” She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour. But when her owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities. When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, “These men are disturbing our city; they are Jews and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt or observe. “The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates had them stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods. After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely. Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them outside and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.
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 Lesson John 17:20-26
“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. “Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Sermon The New World 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!
The brokenness of the world we have made is much with us this morning, Lord of all. We confess our hearts can scarcely hold the hurt or find the way despite all we know and all Jesus has taught. Great God of resurrected hope and builder of a new kin-dom, come to us. Wipe the blood from our hands and the greed from our hearts. Dry both our tears and our tolerance for what rips away life and love. Heal the wounds we have, and the ones we have caused and forgive us the wrongs we have done in your name. We would be one with you, ONE in holding creation dear, ONE in loving until all the hurt is drained and stilled. ONE in the love you have sent us. Dear God, help us all be ONE, that none shall hurt or destroy on all your holy mountain. This we pray in the name of the one you loved and sent to love us, Jesus, our brother who taught us to say:
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 Sing a New World Into Being
1. Sing a new world into being. Sound a bold and hopeful theme. Find a tune for silent yearnings. Lend your voice and dare to dream: Dream a church where all who worship find their lives and loves belong. Sing a new world into being. Sing as Christ inspires your song!
2. Sing a new world into being where each gender, class and race Brings its rainbow gifts and colors to God’s limitless embrace: Where the lines that once divided form instead the ties that bind. Sing a new world into being: risk transforming heart and mind.
3. Sing a new world into being where the homeless find a home, Where no children ever hunger but are filled in God’s Shalom: Where all people work for justice, where all hate and vengeance cease. Sing a new world into being: raise the harmonies of peace.
4. Sing a new world into being, join the ancient prophets’ cry For a time of health and plenty, when all tears have been wiped dry: When compassion flows like waters, pouring balm for all who grieve, Sing a new world into being: live the promise you believe!
Reprinted with permission using OneLicense #A-723786
If you attend in person 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.
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 Angola and Mozambique; and our brothers & sisters at Grace 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 nearly 16,000 Kentucky residents, and 281 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, being treated for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
¨ John and Cheryl Payne, missing each other and under the weather.
¨ Raymond Binkley, Betty Wray’s brother, aged 94, and in ill health.
¨ Melissa Zook, Susan, Sam and Landen, as they grieve the loss of their beloved Aunt Pat .
¨ Tina Parker’s dad, Opal and Iris’ grandfather, Tom Parker, recovering from a stroke.
¨ Muse Watson, recovering from neck surgery
¨ Truman Fields, at the death of his brother.
¨ The survivors and the families of those injured and killed in Uvalde, TX and the 20 other school shootings this year.
¨ David Duffee, recovering from surgery.
¨ Joan English’s Uncle Bob & Aunt Karen, recently diagnosed with Covid at nearly 80, and with other health challenges.
¨ On Memorial Day we remember all of those in our families who have served their country and community, sometimes at the cost of their lives. We remember all those who served in defense, in peace-making, in diplomacy, and in movements that have tried to right the wrongs of a broken world. They shall be remembered for the things they have done.
¨ Important dates—if we haven’t got yours, let us know. We’ll help you get connected in FellowshipOne Go!
Birthdays: Today, May 29 – Maggie Park; 30 – David Vaughn; 31 – Sean Perry
June 1 – Dottie Lovell, Reid Livingston; 2 – Jane Mecham; 4 – Laura Menefee-Greene, Loretta Reynolds, Eef Fontanez; 5 – Ethan Connelly
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.
* Long Covid Continues: Many members and friends are suffering from Long Covid, including Rev. Kent. Recent research and tests have not revealed any new course of action, so sufferers continue with bouts of extreme exhaustion, heart issues, breathing difficulties, muscle and bone aches, rashes, sleep disruption, depression, anxiety, and approximately 200 other identified symptoms in unique combinations for each patient. Rev. Kent is available for any who might wish support or more information about how to support those in our midst who are suffering. Because of the unpredictable nature of the symptoms, our pastor is sometimes not able to keep appointments or return messages as quickly as he would like. Thank you for your prayers and understanding for him and for all who are dealing with the issue.
* Important Conversations: Rev. Kent has convened two important conversations at Union this month. The first on Abortion Rights and Faithful responses and concerns, and the second (at the Science and Religion Dialogue session) on understanding Violence. More conversations are planned and all will be available with a Zoom options for remote participation. He also participated as speaker at the recent Appalachian Gathering for Recovery Solutions at Union College in Barbourville, working with hundreds of agencies promoting drug and alcohol recovery efforts.
* Early in May Rev. Kent was appointed by Gov. Beshear to the Medicaid Advisory Council, which informs the Cabinet for Health and Human Services of Medicaid issues, needs, and recommended changes to policy. He was asked to specifically represent the needs of physically and mentally disabled, but all members bring insight to every discussion.
* Rev. Kent will be away Thursday and Friday attending the Annual Gathering of the Indiana-Kentucky Conference of the United Church of Christ. Rev. Kent is concluding his term as Moderator of the 125 congregations that comprise the region.
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.
Sustainable Berea Annual Meeting
June 3, 6-8 pm; First Christian Church Fellowship Hall, more details next page
Pentecost Picnic & Maypole Dance June 5, Right after Worship
The Community Life & Growth Board invites everyone to a picnic at Rev. Kent & Diana’s, 298 Harrison Rd. Please bring Sides or Desserts; lawn chairs or picnic blankets; table service for you & your family. Main dish & drinks provided.
Sun-Day at the Forestry Outreach Center
Weather permitting – Sunday, June 5, at 2 pm. A short indoor presentation by local amateur astronomer Jeff Hutton and a Zoom call with Florida amateur solar astronomer Steve Rismiller are planned. Visitors will also be able to safely view the sun using various devices. And refreshing sundaes will be available! For additional information, please get in touch with Wendy Warren (Forestry Outreach Center) firstname.lastname@example.org.