If you are visiting us for the first time, please allow us to extend our warmest greetings. We are an open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ. We look forward to having you join us in worship.
We are open for in-person Sunday Worship services for those who are fully vaccinated and masked. We strongly encourage those who have not yet been fully vaccinated to continue joining us via Zoom.
This Sunday….We celebrate the sacrament of Communion this morning, with the breaking of the bread and blessing of the cup. Because of the current Covid status, and given the relative difficulty in making use of pre-packaged elements, I encourage each of you to bring your own bread to partake of during the service. As you gather this symbol with which to participate, you may bring any morsel that will travel well with you to the church–a cracker, pita, a piece of bread. As we continue to prepare our hearts for God’s coming still and again into our midst, our participation as one Body may be a part of welcoming the Light.
How we make ourselves ready and a sense of urgency to do so is at the heart of our Gospel lesson this week. John the Baptist, that odd, wilderness dwelling prophet, offers strong words to those who sought his guidance, words in which we also may hear both admonishment and great hope. Join us as we come together to celebrate in worship and in praise. Members of our choir with the addition of chimes bring a holiday feel to our music offerings, and we hope that the congregation will welcome as many as three masked singers to lead us in our hymns and carols.
This Sunday... This week marks a traditional, celebratory holiday for many of us as well as the beginning of what may be a contemplative season. Advent begins on Sunday, November 28th when we light the first candle on the wreath in our sanctuary, remembering that the light of hope, love, joy and peace has come and is coming into our lives. We invite ourselves to anticipate with expectation the birth of Jesus in our lives in new ways. First, though, we pause to offer thanks for our many blessings. While for most of us this thanks giving takes the form of a feast, others mark the day with quiet prayers and acts of mercy in the form of charitable giving. Others combine this with honoring the indigenous peoples who inhabited our nation before the arrival of European colonists. In all that we do this weekend, I pray for your safety, for your peace, and with gratitude for the many ways in which I am blessed to be among you.
This Sunday... “Give thanks, give thanks, give thanks thanks! Thanks be to God!” Surely lines of Handel’s “Messiah” are not how each of us greet the coming holiday, and you may not hear the melody in your head. Still, as we approach a day set aside for Thanksgiving, we may pause in the midst of things to be grateful for the gifts we know as members and friends of this church. How are your spirits lightened by community when circumstances in our world dismay or confuse? How do you know greater strength when you know the ways in which God both upholds the righteous and challenges the comfortable? Let us celebrate and also remember with thanksgiving our connections as people of faith.
This Sunday... I looked in my study this week for the section of my library devoted to texts about women in the Bible, knowing that the scholarship is limited to relatively very few verses, to relatively few women. Hannah is one whose significance is great and whose value to us is not only that she births a great man. Why do we still read this story and how can we read it today to know something of our own experiences and our own possibilities in faith? Her experiences of suffering are familiar in many ways to many people, though her response to them may not be. As we gather for worship, in response to the ways we know we are blessed, we also gather in response to the ways we know we seek support; we tie our very real, human concerns with eternal promises and present help. Join us as we seek together a hopeful and helpful future.
This Sunday... Henry David Thoreau poses an interesting question. He wrote, “How do we measure the cost of things? The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” We read today a story in which Jesus refers to the widow who gives her “mite” in offering at the temple, so that we may learn what it is to give. In this season of thanks giving, we will begin to focus on the way that gratitude manifests in our lives, and becomes, in fact, our living. Join us in the sanctuary or on Zoom as you are most comfortable, as we also celebrate Communion together. If you are worshipping at home, please do gather the symbols of the bread and the cup so that we may partake together.
This Sunday…We are meant to be different. In some ways, we might say “it is that simple,” but there is nothing simple about the commandment to love. The lectionary this week leads us to read about the relationship between a woman and her late husband’s mother, and also to read how Jesus summarized all the commandments. Then, we are asked to be different because of it. We are commanded to be different because of living in a world not only of contracts and collective bargaining, but of covenantal love. It is our choice and our privilege, and it is not easy. Living “in the world but not of the world” takes the strength of community committed to being in covenant together, and how we do so in our church and in the rest of the world sometimes requires of us more conscious development of our talent to love. Join in worship, in prayer and in song, as we grow together in faith.