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.
Grace to you and peace, from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ! We will celebrate the sacrament of Communion tomorrow, this first weekend of July! As we remember Christ’s sacrifice for us and honor our call to serve in response, our scripture invites us to think about giving in new ways. The story of Abraham and Isaac at the mountain altar is one that has disturbed more than a few of us and we can wrestle tomorrow with what may be a comforting way of understanding it. Blessings and peace, Lisa
Grace to you and peace, from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ! Reading the Bible can be a challenging experience, and particularly when there are stories that feel at odds with what we know of God’s love and believe of God’s mercy. This is especially true of this and next week’s lessons from Genesis. So, I invite you to listen to familiar stories with a new lens and to bring your own questions. With Abraham’s “servant Hagar” and their son Ishmael, we especially have a different lens for understanding one of the great religious divides in the world even today. How might we come to a place of wide welcome and greater mercy ourselves with some closer reading? Our burgeoning summer choir is something wonderful to hear, as well! Blessings and peace, Lisa
Grace to you and peace, from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ! Readying to head out to our Pride celebration this morning and reading various articles that recall injustices that continue against people of color in our nation (part of media attention to Monday’s Juneteenth holiday), I am struck. There are ways in which our texts for tomorrow morning are simply celebratory of God’s gracious love. What must it be, though, to maintain patience in waiting to feel security? Some of us are privileged not to have to consider this at all consciously. Others can teach us something about waiting and working for justice to arrive. We will sing “Amazing Grace” in worship tomorrow and will consider how we help to be part of making grace manifest for ourselves and for others. We begin to do that as we celebrate Pride today.
Again, following worship, those of us who are participating in this summer’s Peaceable Kin-dom for school aged children will check briefly (more briefly) in the Fisher Hall. Deacons will meet after that in the Dolly Fisher room.
Chipmunks and harbors and us, oh my! After several years on hiatus, the Congregational Church of Blue Hill is again offering its summer Peaceable Kin-dom program. On June 27-29 from 9:00 – 12:00 a.m., school-age children are invited to participate in a program including stories, games, songs, arts and crafts, and snacks celebrating our unity with all of nature and creation. Children are invited to participate for any or all three days, with no charge. You may contact the church office to register, either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (207)374-2891. Let us know how many of your children or grandchildren will participate, their ages and any allergies, as well as contact information for their parent or guardian, and listen to the stories and songs come home each day! Registration forms will be available from 8:45 each of the three mornings.