A Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost 10:30 am
Meditation “During times of war, hatred becomes quite respectable, even though it has to masquerade often under the guise of patriotism.” ~ Howard Thurman
From There to Here: We Gather
The Call Lorilyn Howie-Kipphut, Reader
¨ Hymn Stepping In Christopher Grundy
Chorus: There is a prayer like a wide river. It never ends, does not begin. Around the world, it’s always flowing and I am stepping in, we are stepping in.
1. We are praying with those in diff’rent places, diff’rent languages and faces, every hour of the day. And we are praying, with enemies and strangers, in gratitude and danger, calling God ten thousand names!
2. We are praying with those who’ve gone before us, that great ancestral chorus we are joining as we sing. And we are praying with heroines and heroes, Moses, Mary and Romero, and Martin Luther King!
¨ 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 Be Thou My Vision arr. Robert Hunter Union Church Choir
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart; nought be all else to me, save that Thou art. Thou my best thought, by day or by night, waking or sleeping Thy presence my light.
Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word, I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord. Thou my great Father, I Thy true son, Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise. Thou mine Inheritance, now and always, Thou and Thou only, first in my heart, High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
High King of Heaven, my victory won. May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun! Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, still be my vision, Oh Ruler of all.
Scripture Lesson Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20
Then God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in
the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.”
~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 Matthew 21:33-46
“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another.
Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’ So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’?
Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.
~ New Revised Standard Version: Updated Edition (Friendship Press, 2021)
Sermon What We Build On 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.
Prayer & Reflection Questions
The commandments relate to right relationship with the divine, right relationship with self, and right relationship with others. Take a moment in your prayers today to “map” your relationships, celebrating what is in right order and seeking a path forward if something isn’t aligned just right. Ask for the help you need. Receive both the forgiveness of transgressions and the support to make them right.
Broken Rocks and Cornerstones:
Despite our broken places, God is always making new possibilities in our lives. In prayer or conversation today, consider how it is that discarded elements have (or could) become bedrock foundations for better things. What support could you give to others who others have rejected to give them a firm foundation? How might we together offer our best, not our worst to those around us?
Offertory Pie Jesu Union Church Orchestra
As we come forward, our gifts are received for this common work together.
A Chance for Generosity: www.easytithe.com/union
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Your contribution is love made visible. Thank you!
Silent Prayer and Prayers of the Community Lorilyn Howie-Kipphut, Reader
Lord, In saying we want to do what is right, help us mean “to do what is right by YOU.” Help us tend the vineyard of your creation, your people, and all the complicated relationships around us with exquisite care and unrelenting diligence. Heal in us the urge to kill, the will to power, the greed that is choking us; for your love is stronger than death. It comes to us all, even when we feel broken and rejected, and lays the foundations of grace on chipped stone. Your mercy sustains us and your words remind us. May they fill our cup and run over in a flood of hope. For those in sorrow, for those in danger, for those in poverty, for those who are ill, for us all: may we rise to your call as love demands.
We ask this and all things in the name of Jesus our brother, who taught us to reach to you as…”Our Maker, Our Mother…”
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.
From Here to There: We Depart
¨ Hymn #400 Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation Regent Square
- Christ is made the sure foundation, Christ the head and cornerstone, chosen of our God, and precious, binding all the Church in one; holy Zion’s help forever, and our confidence alone.
- To this temple, where we call you, come, O God of Hosts, today; with your constant loving kindess, hear your people as they pray. Give your fullest benediction: grace to follow Christ the Way.
- Here renew your servants’ vision, that by faith they may attain peace and hope, renewed compassion, strength to comfort those in pain, tears and grief transformed to gladness in your everlasting reign.
We share opportunities for Beloved Community and ways to serve. Please see the listing of church and community events, prayers, and notices in the pages following the service.
Lighting the Justice Candle to Lead us Forth
Tomorrow, October 9, is Indigenous People’s Day. You may remem-ber this as Columbus Day, a national holiday to commemorate the founding of the Americas. But this continent was not lost. It was inhabited by many, many people who were not recognized as people. Their lands were taken by force, their children were removed from their homes, their language and sacred ceremonies were forbidden, and treaty after treaty was broken.
Today we light this candle in honor of Dr. Wendsler Nosie of the Apache Nation who has been fighting for over ten years to save Oak Flats, land held sacred by the San Carlos Apache Tribe, the Western Apache tribes, and many other Tribes in the Southwest.
“Oak Flat is like Mount Sinai to us—our most sacred site where we connect with our Creator, our faith, our families, and our land,” said Dr. Wendsler Nosie, Sr. of Apache Stronghold. “It has been sacred to us since long before Europeans came to this continent, and it is imperative that it be protected for generations—so our, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren can continue our religious ceremonies that make us Apaches.”
But as a result of another broken promise, these ancestral homelands are now at risk of being obliterated by a copper mining project. In March, the third bill in ten years was introduced into Congress to save this land. The Save Oak Flat Act will permanently repeal the federal land exchange and protect this sacred Indigenous site from Resolution Copper.
To learn how you can help, visit:
To learn more about Indigenous People’s Day visit: culturalsurvival.org
¨ Benediction Song and Blessing
Stepping In (Sung)
There is a prayer, like a wide river. It never ends, does not begin. Around the world, it’s always flowing and I am stepping in, we are stepping in!
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 Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama; and our brothers & sisters at Silver Creek 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.
¨ 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
¨ Loyal Jones, in hospice care. His daughter, Susan, reports he’d love to hear from friends. His address is 200 Tabernacle Rd. L-205; Black Mountain; NC; 28711.
¨ For Nora Ruth Jenkins recovering after a fall.
¨ For Cheryl Stone recovering from back surgery.
¨ For Eddie Kennedy being treated for blood clots.
¨ 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, suffering with cancer.
¨ Members and Friends who need safer housing and income security.
¨ JoAnn Russell, Reda Hutton’s aunt, facing several medical challenges.
¨ Russ Neil, family of Peggy Patrick, critically ill, soon moving to hospice.
¨ David Bellnier and family at the unexpected death of his father.
¨ Celebrations with Prayers of Joy!
Birthdays: Today, Oct. 8 – Eric Dodson, Landon Connelly; 11 – Katie Basham
If we haven’t got your important dates, let us know. We’ll help you get connected in FellowshipOne Go!