A Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
“The struggle to forgive reality for being exactly what it is right now often breaks us through to nondual consciousness.” —Richard Rohr
From There to Here: We Gather
¨ The Call Ashley Cochrane
One: We are all together in one place.
All: In our own language, we speak of God.
One: With a rush of wind, the Spirit fills this space.
All: We feel the Spirit and speak of God’s deeds and power.
One: The Holy Spirit alights and enables us.
All: We prophesy, we see visions, we dream dreams.
One: Everyone who calls on the name of God shall be saved.
All: In our own tongue, and filled with the Spirit, we call out to God.
Hymn #267 Black Come O Spirit, Dwell Among Us Ebenezer
Come, O Spirit, dwell among us, come with Pentecostal power; give the church a stronger vision, help us face each crucial hour. Built upon a firm foundation, Jesus Christ, the Cornerstone, still the church is called to mission that God’s love shall be made known.
We would raise our alleluias for the grace of former years; for tomorrow’s unkown pathway, hear, O God, our humble prayers. In the church’s pilgrim journey you have led us all the way, still in presence move before us, fire by night and cloud by day.
Come, O Spirit, dwell among us; give us words of fire and flame. Help our struggling voices praise you, glorify your holy name. Good Creator, Savior, Spirit, Three in One: what mystery! We would sing our loud hosannas now and through eternity.
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¨ Passing the Peace
Building the Community: News that Connects Us
Lighting the Justice Candle
The Justice Candle is lit today in honor of James Hal Cone (August 5, 1938 – April 28, 2018), an American theologian, best known for his advocacy of black theology and black liberation theology. His 1969 book Black Theology and Black Power provided a new way to comprehensively define the distinctiveness of theology in the black church. His message was that Black Power, defined as black people asserting the humanity that white supremacy denied, was the gospel in America. Jesus came to liberate the oppressed, advocating the same thing as Black Power. He argued that white American churches preached a gospel based on white supremacy, antithetical to the gospel of Jesus. Cone’s work was influential from the time of the book’s publication, and his work remains influential today. His work has been both used and critiqued inside and outside the African-American theological community. He was the Charles Augustus Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Columbia University-affiliated Union Theological Seminary until his death.
Word And Worship
Hebrew Scripture Reading Genesis 11:1-9, Sylvia From, Reader
Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” The LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. And the LORD said, “Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore it was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
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.
Lesson from Acts Acts: 2:1-21
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Sermon Rev. David Jones
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.
Offering Music Allegro Spiritoso G. Underwood Union Church Handbell Ensemble
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!
With the violent rushing of so many winds these days, we call out for the Spirit. May it be a real presence for us. May we know it in the people who encourage us and share our challenges and joys. May we reflect it in our actions and share it when we reach out to others. May the Spirit of Love be multiplied, as one candle lighting another, spreading light without diminishing the source. May we receive and reflect the light, grow in the light, and ponder the mystery of the Spirit and the light as we pray the words Jesus taught us.
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 What Love Demands Mark Hayes
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.
2nd time through—please sing “we” for “I,” and “our” for “my.”
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.
Postlude (you are welcome to be seated and enjoy the Postlude)
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 Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Eswatini; and our brothers & sisters at River of Life Foursquare 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.
¨ Tina Parker’s dad, Opal and Iris’ grandfather, Tom Parker, recovering from a stroke.
¨ 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.
¨ Rev. Kent, struggling with long Covid symptoms, and unable to be here today.
¨ Important dates—if we haven’t got yours, let us know. We’ll help you get connected in FellowshipOne Go!
Birthdays: June 6 – Mim Pride, Luke Woodie, Deborah Payne; 7 Adria Sutherland
Anniversaries: June 8 – Richard & Jenny Bromley; 9 – Bob & Jean Boyce
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.
Today is Pentecost!
Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit 50 days after Easter. Pentecost is the birthday of the Christian church. At Union Church, it’s become our custom to wear red to church to reflect the color of the tongues of fire that symbolize the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus was crucified, he told his disciples that the Holy Spirit would come after him:
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:16–18
And 40 days after Jesus was resurrected (10 days after he ascended into heaven), that promise was fulfilled when Peter and the early Church were in Jerusalem for Pentecost: “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:1–4