A Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 21) 10:30 am
If you love friends, you will serve your friends. If you love community, you will serve your community. If you love money, you will serve your money. And if you love only yourself, you will serve only yourself. And you will have only yourself. ~ Stephen Colbert
From There to Here: We Gather
¨ The Call ~ Diane Zaerr Brenneman, Words for Worship 2 (Harrisonburg, VA: Herald Press, 2009) ad. Kent Gilbert
¨ Hymn #70 Black God Is Here Abbot’s Leigh
- God is here! As we your people Meet to offer praise and prayer, May we find in fuller measure What it is in Christ we share. Here, as in the world around us, All our varied skills and arts Wait the coming of the Spirit Into open minds and hearts.
2. Here are symbols to remind us Of our lifelong need of grace; Here are table, font and pulpit; Here the cross has central place. Here in honesty of preaching, Here in silence, as in speech, here, in newness and renewal, God the Spirit comes to each.
3.Here our children find a welcome In the Shepherd’s flock and fold; Here as bread and wine are taken, Christ sustains us as of old. Here the servants of the Servant Seek in worship to exploreWhat it means in daily living To believe and to adore.
4. Sovereign God, of earth and heaven, In an age of change and doubt, Keep us faithful to the gospel; help us work your purpose out. Here, in this day’s dedication, All we have to give, receive; We, who cannot live without you,We adore you! We believe!
¨ Prayer of Approach and Confession
One: Maker of Hope, we come ragged to your house most days. We come WANTING to do the right thing, but too often arrive having forgotten the way. Ragged and unprepared we come to say we are sorry for our spiritual amnesia in our waking, working, lives. We confess that we have not even seen the poor or the broken people who travel with us, and when we have, shamefully we too often avert our gaze.
All: We believe that you hope and you work for a world where all get to be included in the feast of life, and that we as part of your family are intended to help set and serve such a table. We confess that we use our strength to protect ourselves and order the world to serve many rich celebrities and not very many poor people.
One: We know that loving our neighbors means working for everyone to have a place at your table heaping with justice and joy.
All: Christ did it, costly though it was, and we pray now for new strength and spirit… to be wiser, more generous, more caring in that same work. Help us fight the good fight against our worst habits, O God, and enable us to change so that ALL may live long and well on your earth. Amen.
¨ Words of Assurance
One: None of us has it right all together all the time, and a few words on a few pages on a few Sunday’s is not the end of our contrition. It is however a chance to remember that God’s forgiving heart is ALWAYS ready to embrace you, give you hope of change, and look beyond past wrong to future grace. May it ever be so. Friends in the name of Jesus the Christ, every step toward wholeness is welcome, and every step heals a multitude of sins.
All: Amen and Amen!
¨ Passing the Peace
Announcements, Prayers and Celebrations
Lighting the Justice Candle
Wendsler Nosie: Apache Rights Warrior. It seems an unlikely thing to dedicate the Justice candle to someone who is a warrior, but that is what Wendsler Nosie is in the most honorable sense of the word. He wields the power of words, culture and spirituality to fight for his people’s rights. Although the Chiricahua Apache were confined to the San Carlos Reservation in 1872, they have continued to honor their religious traditions in the Oak Flat area of Tonto National Forest. The area was declared off limits to mining by the executive order of President Eisenhower in the 1950s because of it’s importance in the Apaches’ religious pantheon. In 2014, Senator McCain attached a rider at the last minute to a “must pass” defense bill that authorized a land swap for the Rio Tinto Mining Company, essentially giving away Oak Flat for copper mining.
Mr. Nosie has led his people in a relentless fight to preserve this land and therefore save their culture. He formed the Apache Stronghold group which has taken the struggle to the US Congress and the US court system — and in fact, to people all over the country. Currently, the lawsuit is scheduled to be taken to the supreme court. They are also co-sponsoring a bill with Representative Grijalva to declare Oak Flat sacred preserved land.
He is fighting to educate people in the US about true native history and the importance of mother Earth in native religious practice. He has become a strong advocate to remind all those who call themselves Americans that Indigenous people also have a rightful place. He calls for unity of peoples: “Everybody must work together to preserve what is left of the Earth.”
Word And Worship
Special Music Double from Partita No. 1 BWV 1002 J.S. Bach Dr. Sila Darville, violin
Epistle Lesson 1 Timothy 6:6-19, p. 1451
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.
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.
Gospel Lesson Gospel Luke 16:19–31, p.1259
Sermon All the Light We Cannot See 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, pastor 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 ministries.
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. Baskets are placed at the head and foot of each aisle for those who wish to make an in-person donation. Electronic donations can be made very simply and easily at: https//: www.easytithe.com/union
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!
Offering Music Andante Cantabile from Sonata No. 17 in D Tartini Dr. Sila Darville, violin
Community Prayer Kelly Mehler
Giver of all Light, vision-holder, and sight-bringer: when you wake us each morning to the sun, awaken your heart within us, as well. As sleep is wiped from our eyes, wipe away the blindness that curdles our spirit and sours the world. Grant that all who feel outside the gates, stepped over or stepped on, may know your many graces in this world by virtue of our better sight, and your welcome and love at every table of Christ’s deeper, wider love in this world and the next. We see too much, Lord, and not at all. Wounded, we seek you so we can once again hold the vision of your world where all are fed. Heal every trauma here, Lord. Heal our hurts and hold our sorrows. And through our fellowship together, help us to boldly and creatively embody the life and ministry of Jesus, as love demands.
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
¨ Hymn #587 Black Through All the World DeTar
- Through all the world, a hungry Christ
must scavenge far for daily bread,
must beg the rich for crumb and crust —
we are the rich, the daily fed.
- Beyond the Church, a leper Christ
takes the untouchable by hand,
gives hope to those who have no trust,
whose stigma is our social brand.
- In torture cell, a prisoner Christ
for justice and for truth must cry
to free the innocent oppressed
while we at liberty pass by.
- We do not know you, beggar Christ,
we do not recognize your sores,
we do not see, for we are blind:
forgive us, touch us . make us yours.
¨ Blessing the Way
Today we honor and bid farewell to Betty Hibler, who will move in the coming days to her new home in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Betty has been a powerful, vital, and faithful leader in every aspect of our church life and we pray God’s hand will grace, guide, and guard her wherever she may roam. We pray, too, that a part of her devoted spirit will always have a home in our hearts here.
¨ Benediction In God’s Hands Deborah Payne
We will sing the song three times: First to Betty, next as our prayer to God, and finally as our prayer for us all.
Postlude Furlana Tartini Dr. Sila Darville, violin
You are welcome to be seated to appreciate the music following service, and to show appreciation at the end with applause.
Please join us for lemonade and conversation after the service.
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 (Link to World Council of Churches Ecumenical Prayer cycle. https://union-church.org/ministries/prayer/). Let us hold the people of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Peru; and our brothers & sisters at Glades Christian 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 16,900 Kentucky residents, and 293 Madison County residents, who have died to date from Covid-19.
¨ The families and friends and for all the emergency responders to the floods in our Eastern counties: that safety return, that homes be rebuilt, that all needed help will come.
¨ 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, Loyal Jones, Lois Morgan, Cheryl Payne, Alva Peloquin, Laura Robie, 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.
¨ Maggie Park and her family, at the death of her cousin, Nicholas Gwiazdowsky.
¨ Betty Hibler, in her move to Black Mountain, NC.
¨ The Stolte family, grieving Bill’s death. Annriette’s address is 579 Alexian Way #417 South; Signal Mountain; TN; 37377.
¨ Mary Nash’s family and many friends at her death on September 17.
¨ JoAnn Russell, Reda Hutton’s aunt, facing several medical challenges.
¨ Michelle, beloved nurse at Morning Pointe, undergoing treatment for cancer.
¨ Jess Burton & Jake Graber and their little girl, Lila, who has serious gastric issues.
¨ Important dates—if we haven’t got yours, let us know. We’ll help you get connected in FellowshipOne Go!
Birthdays: today, September 25- Brice Catlett; 27 – Olin Shaw Perry; 28 – Pat Barrett; Oct. 2 – Jeff Melton
Anniversaries: Sept. 29 – Maggie Park & Allan Conner; Claudia Munson-Schrumpf & John Schrumpf; Oct. 2 – Josh & Jessie English