Grace to you and peace, from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ! It’s an old story and in some ways may feel like it remains a world apart from our own circumstances. In other ways, this and nearly every other story from scripture has echoes in our own lives. That is why we continue to claim these stories’ relevance to our lives. While Joseph’s being sold as a slave and ending up in the court of the pharaoh may not seem like something we can understand, his faith and his forgiveness can be lessons for our own journeys. Let’s explore this together.
Grace to you and peace, from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ! I often quote the unnamed source who said “coincidences are God’s way of remaining anonymous” (often credited to either Einstein or Doris Lessing), but usually prefer the term serendipity or providence for the way that occurences align well. I look forward to worship tomorrow when Derek Van Bever will open up the Word for us and I get to be there! Our choir has prepared a beautiful anthem, and in the way of serendipity, a song I had stumbled on this week carries part of the message that Derek will share. While today’s Blueberry Festival may tire out many, I hope that many of us will join together in worship, as well. Attendance has been very high this summer, and the Spirit is fresh among us! See you in church!
Grace to you and peace, from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ! I am grateful to you for your understanding as I am in CO for the funeral for a dear family friend this week (leading the service for a family who were members of my father’s church). I know that we all welcome Clair Maxwell, who again will be at the organ for us while Ann is on vacation. Thank you, Clair! My thanks also go out to Jeannie Warren who will be sharing a wonderful message with you from a book I have longed to share with you for some time. My thanks also to BJ Harris, who will step in as deacon on duty and lead you in your prayers. Ours is a mighty and faithful congregation! Come, and worship God together! On another note, I know that many of you will want to attend the memorial service for our dear friend Ruth Anne Beach. This will be held Saturday, August 19th at 11:00 a.m. in our sanctuary, with refreshments to follow in Fisher Hall. Please ask Lisa Groo if you are able to help with the reception. Blessings and Peace, Lisa
Grace to you and peace, from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ! I look forward to seeing many of you at the performance of Handel’s “Israel in Egypt” tonight at the culminating event of the Blue Hill Bach Festival and am excited to be singing with the choir. It is an energetic work! More than to this, I look forward to seeing you in worship tomorrow morning! Our hymns will be accompanied by Clair Maxwell on organ, and he will accompany me for an anthem as well as provide a prelude and postlude. It should be a celebratory day. A favorite line of scripture lies in the text for tomorrow and is one that has crept into my thoughts often since being here on the peninsula. “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it,” says Jacob after dreaming of a stairway to heaven with angels traveling up and down. Just where is it that we find and know the holy in our lives? How might we become “aware of it” more consciously and so be sustained more fully? This is the gift of gathering in worship and you are invited!
Worship at Home Materials: We will be offering worship in-person as well as on Zoom this coming Sunday. Coffee & tea are available after the church service. We ask that if you have not yet been vaccinated you attend worship via Zoom.
p. 703 NCH Psalm 119: 105 – 112
A Reading from the Hebrew Bible Genesis 25: 19 – 34
A Reading from the Gospels Matthew 13: 1 – 9, 18 – 23
Grace to you and peace, from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ!
And greetings from me, Derek, Pastor Lisa’s backup this for this week’s worship service, while she is on vacation.
Ann and I have been back-and-forth with each other this week, planning Sunday worship, and we look forward to welcoming everyone who can make it in person, as well as those who plan to join us via Zoom. Ann and the choir will offer a full slate of music, and we will explore two provocative Scripture passages together. Our Hebrew Bible reading is from the beginning of the Book of Exodus, which tells us of the courage displayed by two obscure Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah (who deserve to be far better known!) Our Epistle reading is from Paul’s Letter to the Romans (7:15-25a), in which Paul helps us understand how faith can awaken in us the ability to overcome sin and to open up to God’s leading.
While we will be taking a hiatus from our dreaming sessions tomorrow, we will nonetheless remember the blessing we enjoyed last week in our coffee hour presentation by Tracey Hair, executive director of H.O.M.E. In addition to briefing us on the many challenges facing the homeless among us in Maine, she also shared her inspiring life story and her ambitious work. If you missed it, you can catch up with one of us or visit their website, to get a better sense of how God’s work is being carried out by these special people.
We look forward to our gathering tomorrow, and we wish Lisa a refreshing and restorative summer break.