A Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost 10:30 am
About Today’s Service: The Fee Memorial Sanctuary of Union Church was begun in 1920 and completed in 1922. It was dedicated September 17, 1922 and it was the congregation’s intention to celebrate “the Grace in this Place” in its centennial year.
Covid restrictions of 2020-2022, however, meant gathering was curtailed and planning was delayed. A sprinkler head failure in the sanctuary ceiling in December of 2022 necessitated more than 6 months of repair to the historic building. But delay has only sweetened the celebration, now that one is possible. With the building restored, we rejoice to remember the past, but actively live into the future!
“We should be false to our early leader and to those who learned his great language and caught his great spirit, if we should linger this day in memory. This day is rather a day of hope…Into the far coves and “hollers” of the hills the message of this building will be sent, and men who have been torn from their brothers by old hates, by race or creed or color, will hear of the Gospel of impartial love.” ~ from the Sanctuary Dedication Sermon “The Open Door,” by Berea College President, William J. Hutchins, September 17, 1922
From There to Here: We Gather
Unfold Ye Portals Gounod Bernardo Scarambone, organ; Olivia Puckett, trumpet
The Call Diane Bailey, Reader
One: The Lord is in His Holy Temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.
All: I was glad when they said unto me, let us go to the house of the Lord!
One: O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,
All: O come, let us worship; and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker, for He is our God.
One: God is Spirit, and they that worship Him, must worship in spirit and truth.
All: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.
¨ Hymn #386 The Church’s One Foundation Aurelia
- The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord; we are Christ’s new creation by water and the word. From heaven Christ came and sought us in love to set us free; with precious love Christ bought us, for all eternity.
- Elect from every nation, yet one o’er all the earth; one charter of salvation, one God, one faith, one birth; one holy name to gather blessing, one holy food we share, to one hope we are pressing, at work in love and prayer.
- Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of our war, we wait the consummation of peace forevermore; till, with the vision glorious, our longing eyes are blessed, and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.
- Yet we on earth have union with God the Three in One, and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won. O happy ones and holy! God, give us grace that we, like them, the meek and lowly, may live eternally.
¨ 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
O Come Let Us Sing Eugene Butler Union Church Choir
O come, let us sing before the Lord, Let us make a joyful noise to God! Come, let us kneel before our Maker; in God’s hand are the depths of the earth. The mountain heights are God’s also. O come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the
Scripture Lesson Exodus 16:2-15
The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.”
So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?” And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him–what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.”
Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, ‘Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.'” And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. The Lord spoke to Moses and said, “I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.'” In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp.
When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.”
Children’s Moment as the children return to their seats we sing:
May God’s presence 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 Ephesians 4:1-16
I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace: there is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said,
“When he ascended on high, he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.”
When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things. He himself granted that some are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. ~ New Revised Standard Version: Updated Edition (Friendship Press, 2021), Eph 4:1–16.
Sermon The Open Door of Impartial Love The Rev. John G. Fee, as portrayed by The Rev. Kent Gilbert
Thanks to the work of the Berea College Archives and hundreds of Union Church members who have kept minutes, served on committees, cleaned rooms, taken pictures, helped lead worship, and kept the spirit of Impartial Love open to all, we celebrate in these pictures some of the faith of our forbearers.
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.
Act of Dedication (adapted from the original service, 1922)
One: Blessed be Thou, Lord God, forever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art exalted, as head above all. Both richness and honor come of Thee, and Thou rulest over all.
All: Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things; And blessed be God’s glorious name forever; the whole earth be filled with God’s glory,
One: Being prospered by the good hand of the Lord our God to finish the work,
All: We do now, with gratitude and joy, solemnly re-consecrate this church.
One: To the glory of God our Maker, Creator of All, to the honor of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to the praise of the Holy Spirit, source of light and life;
All: We dedicate this house.
One: For the worship of God; for the ministry of the Word, for Christian fellowship and service; for the celebration of the Sacraments;
All: We dedicate this house.
One: For the comfort of those who mourn; for strength to those who are tempted; for help in right living;
All: We dedicate this house.
One: For the nurture of childhood; for the instruction of youth; for the sanctity and safety of the home;
All: We dedicate this house.
One: For the fostering of compassion; the training of conscience; the promotion of civic righteousness;
All: We dedicate this house.
One: For the help of the needy; for the promotion of justice and equity; for the advancement of the kingdom and kin-dom of God;
All: We dedicate this house.
One: For unbounded hospitality; for thoughtful, inspirational, and intentional faith development; for passionate worship; for risk-taking mission and service, and for extravagant generosity and care in the stewardship of all God’s creation…
All: We dedicate this house. We now, the people of this Church and Congregation, compassed about with a great cloud of witnesses, grateful for our heritage, sensible of the sacrifices of our forebearers, confessing that apart from us their work cannot be made perfect, do dedicate ourselves anew to the worthy worship of God in this place, and commit ourselves to work and fellowship that makes the radical and inclusive love of God, the beloved community proclaimed by Jesus, and the continuing inspiration of the Holy Spirit visible and real to all.
One: And now let us repeat together, as the expression of our common faith, the words inscribed upon the walls of our former church homes and inscribed on our hearts:
All: The Church of Christ, Union, founded 1853 and living still, receives all followers of Christ, and works with all who work with Him, respecting each one’s conscience, working by love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace.
One: With such work and worship may unity and peace ever abide in this house, and by God’s grace may it serve the cause of Christ and the people of Berea for decades to come.
All: “Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit, saith the Lord!” Amen!
As we come forward, our gifts are received for this common work together.
A Chance for Generosity: www.easytithe.com/union
A community of caring relies on support. Your recurring or one-time donation will make a ministry of healing, justice, and teaching available to all in need.
¨ Use your smart phone or computer and go to www.easytithe.com/union. No registration required, but registering once makes future generosity an amount and a click.
¨ Baskets for checks or cash are located at the head of each aisle for those who wish to make an in-person donation.
¨ Give by Text. Text an amount to 859-448-3403 (Example: Text “$50.00 Offering”)
¨ Give by Mail to: 200 Prospect St., Berea, KY 40403
Your contribution is love made visible. Thank you!
Silent Prayers & Prayers of the Community Diane Bailey, Reader
Diane Bailey, Reader
This prayer was offered by the Rev. A.E. Thompson, in 1922. Rev. Thompson was pastor of Union Church from 1903-1911, and was serving as President of the Lincoln Institute at the time of the dedication.
God of all Saints, who yet dost bend
To fan the sparks of feeble fires,
Thou who art called the sinner’s friend,
Kindle in us some great desires.
God of our fathers, teach us now
To frame a dedication vow.
Those who before us tented here
Were called to task that wrung the heart;
But mighty love expelled their fear;
In simple faith they played their part.
God of our fathers, grant that we
Some tasks of hero size may see.
Lord, what to thee is utmost cost,
Or gift of ornament or art?
Thy passion is to save the lost,
Thy dwelling is the contrite heart.
God of our fathers, grant that here
Some contrite hearts may still draw near.
O may the sheep no shepherd tends
Here find a fold; be sweetly led;
Here youth be shown life’s nobler ends;
Here prophet’s thunders wake the dead.
Lord, let each selfish prayer be dumb –
Thy will be done, thy Kingdom come.
~ Church House Dedication, AE Thompson
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 #25 O God, Our Help in Ages Past St. Anne
- God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home:
- Under the shadow of your throne your saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is your arm alone, and our defense is sure.
- Before the hills in order stood, or earth received its frame, from everlasting you are God, to endless years the same.
- A thousand ages in your sight are like an evening gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun.
- Time, like an ever-rolling stream, soon bears us all away; we fly forgotten, as a dream fades at the opening day.
- God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, still be our God while troubles last, and our eternal home!
Introduction of Youth Staff
We share opportunities for Beloved Community and ways to serve.
Lighting the Justice Candle to Lead us Forth
It is more than fitting that today – as we celebrate 100 years in this building – that we recognize the importance of Berea College Special Collections and Archives which curates an extensive collection of resources that document Berea College, local history, the life of Abraham Lincoln, and the diverse culture of the Southern Appalachian region. One of these collections focuses on Union Church:
“The Church of Christ, Union, of Berea Kentucky (Union Church) collection consists of materials pertaining to the historical, financial, and celebratory records of the institution. It also includes information about the church’s order for worship, including music and the arts as a part of the church’s history. There are minutes, programs, and brochures about the governance of the church and in celebration of its major anniversaries…”
” Sung Response Blest Be the Tie That Binds
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
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 Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Peru; and our brothers & sisters at New Liberty 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
¨ Continuing prayers for the family of Tom Parker, who passed away on Aug 29th. He was the husband of Sara and father of Tina, and beloved family member of the Baileys and Parkers.
¨ 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.
¨ Rita Barlow, receiving care at home.
¨ All those suffering from mental strain, trauma, and disease: may God soothe and heal all who are troubled.
¨ Doug Hindman’s family, church family and many friends, at his passing. His life will be celebrated at a memorial on Oct. 7, 1 pm.
¨ James Stephens, Charlie Hoffman’s brother-in-law, suffering with cancer.
¨ Edda Keuchel, relative of Diana Hultgren, who broke a hip and is not doing well after surgery.
¨ Members and Friends who need safer housing and income security.
¨ John Stanley & Heather Lundy, former Union Church members & still beloved friends, as John recovers from a stroke.
¨ JoAnn Russell, Reda Hutton’s aunt, facing several medical challenges.
¨ Eef Fontanez’ mom, Mary Luzader, recovering from a serious illness, and all the family as they help with her care.
¨ Kate Grigg’s cousin, Becca, who was in a serious climbing accident and is now under care for serious injuries and brain trauma in Grand Junction, CO.
Celebrations with Prayers of Joy!
Birthdays: today, Sept. 24 – Claudia Munson-Schrumpf; 25 – Brice Catlett; 28 – Pat Barrett; 29 – Abi Woodie; 30 – Michelle Hayden
If we haven’t got your important dates, let us know. We’ll help you get connected in FellowshipOne Go!