A Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
10:30 am The Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Meditation “Let the time not be distant, O God, when all shall turn to You in love, when all the brokenness in our world is repaired by the work [tikkun olam] of our hands and our hearts, inspired by Your words of Torah.” ~ from the prayer “Aleinu,” 3rd Century CE
From There to Here: We Gather
Greetings Dr. Cheryl Nixon, Berea College President
¨ The Call Alice White, Reader
One: Of One blood God has made all the people.
All: On one earth, made of the Lord’s hand, do we all depend.
One: From scattered places, carrying different burdens, seeking the Divine in a thousand ways…
All: God has made us, called us, empowered us, and challenged us to be the Body of Christ.
One: Gathered in this place, then, let us open our minds and hearts, and seek together the love of God and the redeeming grace of Jesus. And by the Power of the Holy Spirit, may our search lead us closer to the healing and wholeness God desires for all creation!
¨ Hymn #427 God Made from One Blood St. Denio
1 God made from one blood all the families of Earth. The circles of nurture that raised us from birth. Companions who join us to walk through each stage, of childhood and youth, adulthood and age.
2 We turn to you, God, with our thanks and our tears. For all of the families we’ve known through the years. The intimate networks on whom we depend, of parents and partner and roommate and friend.
3 Through families we’ve tasted the value of trust, And felt what it means to be loving and just. Yet, families have also betrayed their best goals, mistreating their members and bruising their souls.
4 Help families in all of their various forms To face with integrity struggles and storms; Grant peace to our homes that will nurtures the bud of peace for the families you made from one blood.
¨ 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
Special Music Christ Has Broken Down the Wall Mark A. Miller
Berea College Homecoming Choir, Dr. Stephen Bolster, conductor
Christ has broken down the wall. Let us join our hearts as one. We’re accepted as we are. Through God’s love all is reconciled. Cast aside your doubts and fears. Peace and love, freely offered here;. We will tear down the walls! We will tear down every wall! God has called us, one and all. Christ has broken down the wall.
Scripture Lesson Exodus 32:1-14 EJ Stokes, ‘08, Reader
When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”
Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’
“I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”
But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people.
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’” Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.
~ New Revised Standard Version: Updated Edition (Friendship Press, 2021)
Children’s Moment as the children return to their seats we sing:
May God’s blessings 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 Acts 17:22-29 EJ Stokes, ‘08, Reader
Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely spiritual you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all peoples to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps fumble about for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said,
‘For we, too, are his offspring.’
“Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals.
~ New Revised Standard Version: Updated Edition (Friendship Press, 2021)
Sermon Your Will Be Done, Tikkun Olam Rev. Christina Ryan Perkins ‘98
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.
Prayer Reflection Questions
Devotion: Good and Bad
Devotion in and of itself is not a virtue. It is WHAT you are devoted TO that matters. Sit quietly and honestly assess your devotions. If you find something consuming more time or devotion than it deserves, pray about whether it has become a golden calf to you: shiny, precious, but misdirecting. Focus then on those things you cherish but are deserving. What are they? How do they support your spiritual relationship with God? If you need, pray for guidance about how to decrease the one and increase the other so your inner world can be aligned.
Putting It All Back Together
In your prayers consider what is broken and in need of healing in your life. As you hold those things in your heart, also allow yourself to become aware of being held with compassion. Let God’s fingers work the puzzle pieces, and Christ’s hands apply the healing salve. Can you also hold this visual prayer for elements in the world? What would a healed world include? In your prayers speak boldly with God about these hopes, then listen carefully for the next steps you are called to take.
Offertory Lord of the Dance Carter, arr. Harmon
Berea College Homecoming Choir, Dr. XT Hong, conductor
I danced in the morning when the world was begun, and I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun, and I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth. At Bethlehem I had my birth. Dance, then, wherever you may be; I am the Lord of the Dance, said he. And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be, and I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he.
I danced for the scribe and the Pharisee, but they would not dance and they would not follow me; I danced for the fishermen, for James and John; they came with me and the Dance went on.
I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame, the holy people said it was a shame; they whipped and they stripped and they hung me on high; and they left me there on a cross to die.
I danced on a Friday and the sky turned black; it’s hard to dance with the devil on your back; they buried my body and they thought I’d gone, but I a, the Dance and I still go on. They cut me down and I leapt up high, I am the life that’ll never, never die; I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me; I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.
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Silent Prayers and Prayers of the Community Alice White, Reader
Gracious donor of all our days, we give you thanks for all that healed our misconceptions and built up our courage, our vision, our passions, our heart and soul. For those classes, teachers, mentors and friends, and for the knowledge they imparted, we are so very grateful.
Teach us now to not rest on laurels but rise from the firm foundation of your kingdom of kin-dom. Help us set aside idols of power or wealth that collude with division. Instead, let us be agents of a uniting care and universal restoration in a world so broken. We are struggling with our world turned upside down; we grieve the hurts and fear the consequences of the people of your love turned against themselves. Grant us clear eyes and open hearts to search for the healing of your world with the Saving Love of your Son. Help us hold fast to all that is good, despite the turmoil. Guide us and guard us, gracious Lord, to work with you to restore your world. This we pray in the name of the one who taught us to reach to you as…
Our Lord’s Prayer
All: 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.
¨ Hymn #581 Lead Us from Death to Life World Peace Prayer
Refrain: Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth, from despair to hope, from fear to trust. Lead us from hate to love, from war to peace; Let peace fill our hearts, let peace fill our world, let peace fill our universe.
1 Still all the angry cries, still all the angry guns, Still now your people die, earth’s sons and daughters. Let justice roll, let mercy pour down, Come and teach us your way of compassion. Refrain
2 So many lonely hearts, so many broken lives, Longing for love to break into their darkness. Come, teach us love, come, teach us peace, Come and teach us your way of compassion. Refrain
3 Let justice ever roll, let mercy fill the earth, Let us begin to grow into your people. We can be love, we can bring peace, We can still be your way of compassion. Refrain
From Here to There: We Depart
We share opportunities for Beloved Community and ways to serve. Please see the listing of church & community evens, prayers, and notices in the pages following the service.
Lighting the Justice Candle to Lead us Forth
Today’s Justice Candle is lit in honor of libraries and librarians everywhere in their work of justice is to promote literacy, information and enable meaningful community connection since the establishment of the first such library in the United States, The Library Company of Philadelphia, founded in 1731 by Ben Franklin and others. Most public libraries provide access to material in the form of books, newspapers, and other media, and which may be counter to the information and myths that are considered “facts” on many issues, in particular around our country’s celebration of the “first” Thanksgiving.
We are especially grateful to our Madison County Public Library and those who diligently sought to bring about its founding and establishment in 1987, as both the Berea and Richmond branches continue to provide access to other opportunities and public services for the well being of their communities.
Choral Postlude I’ll Fly Away Albert E. Brumley, arr. Craig Courtney
Berea College Homecoming Choir, Dr. XT Hong, conductor
Some glad morning when this life is o’er I’ll fly away. To a home on God’s celestial shore, I’ll fly away.
Refrain: I’ll fly away, O glory, I’ll fly away. When I die, hallelujah by and by, I’ll fly away.
When the shadows of this life have gone I’ll fly away. Like a bird from prison bars have flown I’ll fly away. Refrain.
Just a few more weary days and then I’ll fly away. To a land where joys shall never end, I’ll fly away. Refrain.
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 East Timor (Timor Leste), Indonesia and the Philippines; and our brothers and sisters at Berea Church of Christ in our hearts, and pray for them today and throughout the week.
¨ 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 affected by the devastating losses in the current conflict in the Middle East.
¨ Our church family members in nursing homes or who are homebound: Jan Hamilton, Betsy Hoefer, Dorie Hubbard, Lois Morgan, Sara Parker, Cheryl Payne, Alva Peloquin, Laura Robie, Betty Wray, Sally Zimmerman
¨ Rita Barlow, receiving care at home.
¨ All those suffering from mental strain, trauma, and disease: may God soothe and heal all who are troubled.
¨ James Stephens, Charlie Hoffman’s brother-in-law, responding well to cancer treatment.
¨ Members and Friends who need safer housing and income security.
¨ JoAnn Russell, Reda Hutton’s aunt, facing several medical challenges.
¨ Jeannette Davidson, having health problems.
¨ Betty Wray, at Cardinal Hill for rehab.
¨ Rhonda Edwards’ son, Steven Bailey, recovering from surgery.
¨ Celebrations with Prayers of Joy!
Birthdays: Today, Nov. 19 – Dale Brown; 21 – George Mountjoy, Tina Hemphill; 22 – Chip Bailey, Ben Groth; 25 – Ally Nurre, Rina Tanaka; 26 – Amy Schill
Anniversaries: Nov. 25 – Chip & Diane Bailey
If we haven’t got your important dates, let us know. We’ll help you get connected in FellowshipOne Go!