Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
October 18, 2020 10:30 am
Nobody gets into heaven without a letter of reference from the poor.
— Reverend James Forbes
From Here to There: We Gather
As the Berea community responds to the governor’s suggestion to avoid gathering in large groups, we worship online to limit the risk of exposure to Covid-19. We’re delighted to welcome you into this virtual circle of God’s healing love and light.
The Call from Letters and Papers from Prison by Dietrich Bonhoeffer Patty Boyce, Reader
In me there is darkness, but with You there is light; I am lonely, but You do not leave me; I am feeble in heart, but with You there is help; I am restless, but with You there is peace. In me there is bitterness, but with You there is patience; I do not understand Your ways, but You know the way for me.” Lord Jesus Christ, you were poor and in distress, a captive and forsaken as I am. You know all man’s troubles; You abide with me When all men fail me; You remember and seek me; It is Your will that I should know You And turn to You. Lord, I hear Your call and follow; Help me.
Passing the Peace at Home
Building the Community: News that Connects Us
Justice Candle The Nobel Peace Prize was just awarded to The World Food Programme “as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon.” But in our country, while we wait as Congress engages in political debate for a relief bill, we are experiencing increasing levels of hunger due to the consequence of COVID.
Today we light the Justice Candle for the Berea Food Bank, Berea Kids Eat, and all the volunteers in our community who work tirelessly to feed our people and prevent hunger.
This week, Berea Food Bank distributed 1295 30 lb. boxes of food to local families. To qualify all you had to do was show up. Union Church was among numerous Churches to pick up and deliver to folks who could not pick up a box in person.
Since March, Berea Kids Eat and Berea Community School have served over 228,000 meals to families throughout the area.
Berea Kids Eats prioritizes local sourcing by working with restaurants and farms to create weekend meal kits for families to enjoy together at home. By working with Native Bagel, Berea College Farm Store, Lazy 8 Farms, and Southfork Farms, Berea Kids Eat has invested over $300,000 of USDA funds directly into the local economy.
In addition, BKE has been working to build community food resiliency. With the support of the National Recreation and Parks Association, Berea Kids Eat provided direct funding to three regional farmers markets to purchase PPE, match Double Dollars funds for EBT and PEBT customers, and provide youth market tokens.
With the support of the Cigna Healthier Kids for Our Future initiative, Feeding Kentucky, and No Kid Hungry, Berea Kids Eat has also secured funding to further develop a mobile meal and education bus with Berea Community School. The goals of the bus are to create a mobile community wellness hub that visits neighborhoods to provide meals, educational opportunities, and health screenings and services throughout Berea.
The Living Word Among Us
Special Music In the Garden Traditional
Casarotti, piano; Bandel, cello; Visokas, violin
Hebrew Scripture Lesson Isaiah 45:1-7 EJ Stokes, Reader
Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped to subdue nations before him and strip kings of their robes, to open doors before him— and the gates shall not be closed: I will go before you and level the mountains, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I surnamed you, though you do not know me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no god. I arm you, though you do not know me, so that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things.
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.
Gospel Lesson Matthew 22:15-22 Steve Boyce, Reader
Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, ‘Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?’ But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, ‘Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax.’ And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, ‘Whose head is this, and whose title?’ They answered, ‘The emperor’s.’ Then he said to them, ‘Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.
Sermon Treasure in Secret Places 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.
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”)
Your contribution is love made visible. Thank you!
Silent Reflection and Prayer
Who is due what? That’s our meditation this week. Jesus enjoins us to give the right things to the right people. So pray with me. Who needs the coin of your loving-kindness? What or who deserves your loyalty? Feeling pulled in many directions, see if you can unify all your commitments into these: to love rightly, live justly, to enact kindness. As you breathe and pray, give away what isn’t helping, and let it go.
Our Prayers for Others
You are very welcome to email or phone prayer requests to the office for the bulletin. Please do so by 10 am Thursdays, and be sure you have permission to share the information.
¨ 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 The Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Saint Maarten, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago; and our brothers and sisters at Berea Church of God in our hearts, and pray for them. Please hold these concerns in your prayers, today and throughout the week.
¨ 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.
¨ Families and Friends in Crises…may God be present to every need and heal every rift and wound and those who care for them.
¨ ¨ Hattie Parks, hospitalized with some health issues.
”Charlie Hoffman and family, at the loss of his Aunt, Barbara Hoffman Merrill
The Barlow family, at the loss of Gabe on Tuesday.
¨ Jeff From and all the family, at his mom’s cancer diagnosis.
¨ Congratulations to Reid and Mandy Connelly, at the birth of their son, Landon Lamar Connelly on October 8, and to grandparents Steve and Thana Connelly!
¨ Our church family members in nursing homes or who are homebound: Alva Peloquin, Loyal Jones, Jennie Kiteck, Mary Miller, Lois Morgan, Barb Smith, Jan Hamilton.
¨ Children in detention centers, that they may be reunited with their families soon.
¨ 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 over 1000 Kentucky residents, and nine Madison County residents, who have died to date from Covid-19.
Prayers of the People Donna Abner, Reader
God, you are mighty, you make a way out of no way, you bind what has been broken, you bring us to the treasures in darkness, and even in the midst of hardship, you guide us to hidden riches. Like a blossom flowering at night you shed your unlikely grace on your unlikely servants and we are so grateful. This week we need your way. This week we ask you to care for people whose way is treacherous and filled with sorrow. Protect all of us who are frail of heart or body. Where we are weakest, strengthen our ability and resolve. Hard as it is, we want to be people of your way. When tempted by tyrants and our own tempers, grant that we might give you what is due, all in the service of your compassionate, just Beloved Community.
This we ask in Jesus’ name, who taught us to reach to you as…
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 Oh God, in Whom All Life Begins Noel
O God in whom all life begins, who births the seed to fruit, bestow your blessing on our lives; here let your love find root. Bring forth in us the Spirit’s gifts of patience, joy, and peace; deliver us from numbing fear, and grant our faith increase.
Unite in mutual ministry our minds and hands and hearts that we might have the grace to seek the power your peace imparts. So let our varied gifts combine to glorify your Name that in all things by word and deed we may your love proclaim.
Through tears and laughter, grief and joy, enlarge our trust and care; so bind us in community that we may risk and dare. Be with us when we gather here to worship, sing and pray, then send us forth in power and faith to live the words we say.
The Sending and Blessing
Postlude “Faces of Union” Music by Denise Fragoso
Come to Coffee Hour after worship! Use this link, Amy Schill is hosting. Let’s visit a bit!!
In Worship Today…
Each week many elements come together to make our worship together rich and deep. We are grateful for those reading, playing and singing; and Marty Hensley, Jeff Hutton, Sayer Kobersmith, Sean Mack and Rina Tanaka, our gifted AV crew.
Many thanks to the Worship Team who crafted this service: Debbonnaire Kovacs, Jennifer Melton and Sharona Nelson.