Sunday, July 26, 2020

8th Sunday after Pentecost

Let’s start with three deep breaths and relax….

Opening Prayer

Holy One, we come before you
     with sighs too deep for words.

We come with hearts overwhelmed—
     by the world, by personal relationships,
          and by inward struggles.

We come to praise your name
     and to be reassured of your unending grace.
In this time and place,
     open our hearts to your presence.

Open our ears to hear your word proclaimed.

Open our hands to serve you and the world.

May our lives reflect Christ,
     who walks with us and gives us life.
In the name of Christ, we pray.


let us begin today’s worship

L:        Praise the Lord!
P:        We gather to sing praises to God.
L:        Praise the Lord!
P:        We gather to give thanks
for all God has done in our lives.
L:        Praise the Lord!
P:        We gather to worship our creator, redeemer,
and sustainer.

We Love your Realm, O God #312 vs 1-5

(All candles lit.)

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52(NRSV)
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
31 He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; 32 it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

The Parable of the Yeast
33 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”

Three Parables
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; 46 on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; 48 when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Treasures New and Old
51 “Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” 52 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

The word of God for the people of God!

Sermon     The Kindom of Heaven is Like…        

And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

Hmm what is a scribe?

According to Miriam-Webster; “Definition of scribe
 (Entry 1 of 5)
1: a member of a learned class in ancient Israel through New Testament times studying the Scriptures and serving as copyists, editors, teachers, and jurists”[1]

Hey I guess by definition those of us who read the Gospel and mine it for messages of relevance may be considered scribes.. . I do copy the text, I do teach the text, I sometimes will rephrase a text (edit)… Definitely a Jurist as I apply things I have studied and learned to the readings…

So then we are commanded, as scribes trained for the kin-dom of heaven to take this treasure that is the Gospel and bring out what is old and what is new…

I do not believe I had noticed that challenge before and yet it is what I often seek to do…

The Kin-dom of heaven is like a mustard seed…I remember in the 70’s it was popular to have an amulet, clear, with a tiny mustard seed in it. I am not sure we had any true concept of the power of a mustard seed. If you recall I have used the image of the mustard seed quite literally.  It shows how, if it is allowed too, a mustard seed can become a great bush and definitely becomes a haven for birds as well as other wildlife.

So the kin-dom of heaven planted again by the master sower, Jesus, starts small, a few disciples and a few apostles. “While a disciple is a student, one who learns from a teacher, an apostle is sent to deliver those teachings to others. "Apostle" means messenger, he who is sent. An apostle is sent to deliver or spread those teachings to others. ... We can say that all apostles were disciples but all disciples are not apostles.”[2] In case you have ever wondered about the difference.

 So a small ragtag group of fishermen and some groupies, quickly flourish into many communities and eventually into us here today.  So That parable works. Not only does a mustard bush provide comfort and shelter to any who choose it, the seed, the bush’s produce can add flavor, spice to everyday life.

The Kin-dom of Heaven is like yeast mixed in with flour…MMM makes me think of sour dough.  Sour doughs magic is that it depends upon natural yeast. “These yeasts thrive naturally on the surface of grains, fruits, vegetables, and even in the air and soil. The exact strains of yeast and bacteria will vary depending on the origins of the starter.”[3]

So how is the kindom of heaven like a person who adds yeast to flour?

“The Yeast parable is misnamed. Today, yeast comes in those tidy little packets. What Jesus is talking about is leaven which is a rotting, molding lump of bread. It usually is a negative symbol of corruption. (Matthew 16:6; 1 Corinthians 5:8) It is a "woman" who takes this leaven and "hides" (not "mixes" -- cf. below) it in the flour. Given the cultural perspectives of Jesus' day, all these details make it sound like something potentially sinister and furtive is going on. The only thing more astounding in this parable is that the woman uses "three measures" of wheat, enough to make bread to feed more than 100 people. Another example of a little can make a lot? Yes, but it also indicates that the dominion of God may take hold in hidden and unexpected ways.”[4]

I like to view this as the way we choose to live. How we live as a small community affects and changes the community around us. Example, our community meals which we miss so much.

Just by having a simple meal and sitting with our neighbors around tables can lead to people understanding and internalizing what it means to be Christian. Without preaching a word.  Same thing with the food pantry. People see the service we provide as part of our mission and they want to know more about us. As a matter of fact, some one inquired just this past week.

The same goes for the rainbow flag.  Just by hanging it outside our buildings people know, whether they need it or not, ours is a safe place and a resource for those seeking blessings, understanding, or compassion related to being a member of the lgbtqiaa community. They know if they are feeling lost or in need of support they can call on us as a safe and loving community.

Just working beside someone who knows that one is a member of this congregation, without ever saying anything, can be and is a ministry. We are part of the kin-dom of God here on earth and by living into that, just by living into that, we are touching and changing people weather we realize it or not. We are the leaven in the flour.

The next parable, the kin-dom is like a treasure hidden in a field, that has been found and hidden again and then a person sells everything they own just so they can have the field and the treasure hidden within it. Or like a pearl of great value that one sells all they have to own…

“Our two parables are expressions of the conviction that meaning resides principally in God and in the world to come, and they encourage us to understand everything else in their light. This is consistent with what we find throughout the gospels, wherein Jesus views earth from the vantage point of heaven and interprets the present by projecting himself into the future and then looking back. The world's chief values are not intrinsic but extrinsic; they reside in the God who is above the world and within the world and waiting at its end…

Everyday life is ruled by custom, habit, and routine, and these can all-too-readily cultivate a God-obscuring stasis. Unless one realizes that things are not what they seem to be and that they will not be as they are forever--as the leaven and the mustard seed reveal--one will miss what matters most--the pearl, the treasure--and substitute a god of lesser value and meaning. People can gain the whole superficial world and yet lose their own souls.

Because he believes that one cannot serve God and mammon, or God and anything else for that matter, Jesus proclaims the one thing needful. His teachings consistently reveal that the heavenly trumps the earthly, that the future will trump the present, and that we are surrounded by empty and dangerous distractions. To choose the pearl of great price or to dig up the treasure hidden in a field is to obey Jesus' imperative not to "store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21). Jesus urges us to cast aside all but the single-minded pursuit of what should be our ultimate concern.”[5]

In this time of Coviid and safe distancing and nothing to do but allow the tv to feed us their perspective of a world that is crumbling all around us we can get lost.  We can get lost in the here and now and lose sight of the Kin-dom of heaven which we are working to make here and now.

“I know what you will think when you see today's headlines in the news: more conflict, more confusion, more corona. I know you will not be surprised and I know you will find a way to cope with these realities just as you have been doing for so many weeks now. But before you do it again, let me share another headline you may have missed on the news feed. I think it is important for you to know so here it is: “Somewhere Someone Has Fallen In Love Today.” That's it and if you ask me it is pretty earth-shaking. Even in the midst of all the chaos, two human hearts can find one another, cling to one another, heal one another, and find a depth of joy that no words can ever adequately describe. Love goes on. Love endures. Love sustains us and renews us if we will only let it do what it does best. And that is good news to hear on a day like this.”- Bishop Steven Charleston[6]

There it is, that’s the pearl, that’s the treasure…Love.  Love is the Kin-dom of God. Love is heaven on earth. Somedays we cannot see it for the here and now, other days it is all we seek because of the here and now, and everyday it is what we can express in the here and now.

Finally the kin-dom of heaven is like a net full of fish…that is drawn on shore and sorted…professor Jenifer Kaalund from Iona College says “The net “caught fish of every kind, when it was full they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad” (Matthew 13:47-48). As in the parable of the weeds, Jesus describes the kingdom of heaven as diverse and inclusive. Again, the angels come to “separate the evil from the righteous” (13:49). However, the net contained various kinds of fish. Just as the fish exist together in the sea, we also must live together, exist peaceably, and leave the judgment to God.”[7]

So like last week’s parable we are not to judge but leave that up to the angels of God in the end days…but I also hear something else here.  Have you ever been fishing? Often time the sorting is done right on deck.  You keep what is legal size, you keep your limit and everything else is tossed back to continue to grow.

For those who believe in reincarnation that is an easy concept.

For those who struggle with why some die young and others don’t…maybe this is a comforting concept.

I like the concept in the chronicles of Narnia, in the final battle when the children cross over there are levels of Aslan’s kin-dom.  They keep going further up and further in.

“Lucy looked hard at the garden and saw that it was not really a garden at all but a whole world, with its own rivers and woods and sea and mountains but they were not strange: she knew them all.
‘I see,’ she said. ‘This is still Narnia, and more real and more beautiful than the Narnia down below, just as it was more real and more beautiful than the Narnia outside the stable door! I see… world with in world, Narnia within Narnia…”[8]

The point is, through the many parables of Jesus and those attributed to him we learn what the kin-dom of heaven is like.  It is something to be treasured and to be sought and nurtured.  It is something that can grow even covertly without much effort like leavening. It provides a home and shelter for all living things. And it is made up all of a wide variety.

And when the kin-dom comes. No one will know what it is exactly, till we see it. And when it comes to judging others by what we believe the kin-dom to be, we shouldn’t! It is not in our hands.

For those who hear the ancient concept of hell in the parables. I understand its there. But I also hear this; The angels of God or God itself will sift out that which is evil. Sift out that which prohibits us from entering into the kin-dom, or working towards the kin-dom here on earth as it is in heaven.

I choose to believe that this is a sifting out of things not people.  If all are created in the image of God. If we are all children of the kin-dom then evil is something external to our spirit which can be sifted out allowing us to become whole and holy before God. How that works …not my Job but, my faith is in an all loving God, a God that is pure love, and all that is not love, is not possible in its presence.

Until that day, let us continue to work to bring the kin-dom of heaven here on earth. Let us continue to offer shelter and safe space. Let us continue to offer hospitality and love. Until then, let us be leavening and/or the river against the stone.

Until then, let us remember that someone fell in love today…and that we live in the presence of love every day…Amen.

A call to prayer

This is a unique time in our service. I say unique because it is different every Sunday. Often times we focus on needs, pain, healings we seek for those we care about and those in the world around us. We are also invited to share our praise for the simple to the miraculous we give prayers of thanks.

What are your needs today, who is in need of prayer, feel free to share that in the comment section.
What are you grateful for today, we are all in need of gratefulness feel free to share what you are grateful for in the comment section.

Seek ye First #56 blue hymnal

Let us pray the prayer Jesus taught us

Our Creator, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kin-dom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kin-dom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen

Invitation to the Offering

Christ reminds us that our treasures, our gifts from God,
are most beneficial when they are used for the kingdom of God.
May this be the time when we bring forth our gifts to be blessed by God.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise God, all creatures here below;
Praise God for all that love has done;
Creator Christ, and Spirit, one.

Offering Prayer

Almighty God, there are treasures all around us—
     family, friends, your abiding presence,
          and the love of Christ Jesus.
Bless these gifts we return to you now.
Bless them,
     that others might come to know
          the true treasures of your love and grace.
In your holy name, we pray. Amen.

The office is open for regular hours
We are accepting donations for the kidz cupboard and the food pantry

I am available for one on one virtual visits or phone calls if you need any prayer we will be together again one day, but until then remember you are the hands and the feet of our lord in this world and in this world of no physical contact we can still smile, wave, chat, check in

Enter in the Realm of God #615

Benediction/sending forth
Go forth knowing that you are part of God’s family.
Go forth proclaiming the praises of God.
Go forth in the assurance that Christ is always with us.
Go forth to bring the kingdom of God wherever you are.

Just a note Bible study is on summer leave…

Next Sunday, Aug. 2nd, is Communion Sunday; set a sacred space aside with bread and juice, or cracker and water, whatever you have on hand to make the ritual meaning full

Sunday, July 19, 2020

7th Sunday after Pentecost 7/19/2020

I would like to dedicate todays service to the memories of Lives well lived; Sen. John C. Lewis and Rev. C.T.Vivian both amazing men who blessed the Equality movement with their voices and bodies.

Let’s start with three deep breaths and relax….

Opening Reflection
Psalm 139:1-12 The Message (MSG)
A David Psalm

139 1-6 God, investigate my life;
    get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you;
    even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
    I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
    before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
    then up ahead and you’re there, too—
    your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
    I can’t take it all in!
7-12 Is there any place I can go to avoid your Spirit?
    to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
    If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
    to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
    you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
    At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
    night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

let us begin today’s worship

L: We look at this world, focusing on the pain and confusion,
the fears and hatred which seem to abound.
P: For what can we hope?
L: We wait breathlessly for the goodness of creation
to be made manifest in all the world, for this is the promise of God.
P: God is always with us, guiding, rescuing, healing, restoring us.
L: Get ready, dear friends, the promises of God are true.
P: Lord, quiet our spirits and open our hearts. Bring us hope and peace. AMEN.
Sanctuary #655(Celebration Hymnal)
Gather us in #284 (Chalice Hymnal)
(All candles lit.)

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43(NRSV)
The Parable of Weeds among the Wheat

24 He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27 And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ 28 He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30 Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

Jesus Explains the Parable of the Weeds
36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42 and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!

The word of God for the people of God!

Sermon     Wheat n Weeds  

The old testament reading for today tells a story of Jacob.  Jacob had taken a walk out into the desert and stopped for the night. Then, as happens to most all the prophets, he has a dream.  He dreams of a giant ladder from earth to heaven and angels are going up and down and God stands beside him and tells him I am the God of your ancestors and of your Children. Your children shall cover the world just as dust and “all the families of the earth shall be blest in you.”

We are all descended from Jacob. Each and every human so when Jesus informs his disciples that the good seed are the children of the kin-dom and the bad seed are of the evil one just what is he saying? Does Jesus believe that there are children of the evil one running amuck among the descendants of Jacob? That is pretty harsh, for if each one of us has been created in the image of God, How can there be ones who are children of the quote evil one?.

Again we have a sower, we have seeds, we have good growth and we have weeds.  We are back in the garden!

After reading extensively I admit this parable frustrates and comforts at the same time.  There is language of a harsh judgement for things that block our relationship with God, things that cause evil but then added to that are people. The people who are the children of the evil one. How is this reconciled with an all loving God?  A Jesus of massive forgiveness?

Well one way to reconcile it is to become a scholar and learn that this maybe Mathew writing for Mathew’s community. It is a unique parable, but very similar to one found in mark.

What if I told you this parable was more about patience than anything else?

“Among various interpreters it is widely agreed that the parable alone (without the interpretation) emphasizes patience. The master tells his slaves that they must wait for the harvest for the separation of the wheat and the weeds. For now the wheat and the weeds will coexist. There can be little doubt but that, on a Mathean level, the wheat represents believers or at least true believers (Christians). But it is not so clear what the weeds represent.”[1]

I did find it interesting that this parable is told to the crowd but then Jesus goes into the house to explain it to his followers. The house is where bread is broken, the house is where the faithful gather, the house is the place where the congregation is cared for. This parable is addressing the congregation and the situation at hand for the Mathean community.

Walter Bruggeman asks; “who has not wrestled with the paradoxical character of a congregation, where committed members with perceptive visions about what the church ought to be and to do exist side by side with those who are indifferent or who apparently are motivated only by self-interest? It is not an idle matter, because often the opinions of the latter prevail over the opinions of the former, and the whole congregation is affected. Who has not wanted to be rid of the bad apples that spoil the barrel?”[2]

Well now isn’t that a little black and white? Some members have a right vision and others don’t? We need to pluck those weeds…I mean we want to pluck those weeds… but alas this is not where the parable leads us. The reading is confronted by “a double-edged impact. On the one hand, the nervousness that makes us want to banish recalcitrant members from the church is exposed as foolhardy, if not arrogant. Church discipline has its place…but it has to be tempered with the long look, which leaves ultimate judgement in the hands of the ultimate judge. A zealousness to purify the church, even when some purification might yield a stronger community, is called into question. It is too easily presumes the purifiers have perfect vision and neglects the fact that they will likely uproot wheat along with weeds.”[3]

Thank God the Church has never done anything of the sort…

Unfortunately the church has a history of declaring people heretics, regulating people as sinners and casting aside any one with a different thought or plan. What happens to those people?  Well…I mean why do you think there are so many Christian denominations?

And the Church has been quick to condemn and long to forgive for example

“In February-March 1616, the catholic church issued a prohibition against the Copernican theory of the earth’s motion. This led later (1633) to the Inquisition trial and condemnation of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) as a suspected heretic.”[4]  It wasn’t until 1992 that the pope said that Galileo was right all along.

Even the wisdom of the church is contradicted by the culture around it..

The Congregationalist ordained the first African American preacher in the united states back in the 1700’s

Lemuel Haynes; “Ordained in the Congregational church in 1785, Haynes pastored a church in Torrington, Connecticut for three years. In 1788, Haynes accepted a call to pastor the West Parish Church of Rutland, Vermont (now West Rutland's United Church of Christ), where he remained for the next 30 years. He then moved to a temporary pastorate at Manchester, Vermont, and finally to South Granville, New York, where he was pastor of South Granville Congregational Church.”[5]
Many denominations arose out of cultural needs such as the AME church…

“The AME Church grew out of the Free African Society (FAS), which Richard AllenAbsalom Jones, and other free blacks established in Philadelphia in 1787. They left St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church because of discrimination. Although Allen and Jones were both accepted as preachers, they were limited to black congregations.”[6]

Women’s ordination has been a center for controversy and expulsion from churches for centuries.

  • “1815: Clarissa Danforth was ordained in New England. She was the first woman ordained in the Free Will Baptist faith, possibly by John Colby. The power to ordain a minister is reserved to individual churches in the Free Will Baptist denomination, so there was no policy for or against ordination of women.[1]

  • 1853: Antoinette Brown Blackwell was ordained as a minister in the Congregational Church.[2] The Congregational Church, like the Free Will Baptist Church, leaves decisions on ordination to individual churches. She was ordained on September 15, 1853, and the radical minister Luther Lee gave a sermon entitled "Women's Right to Preach the Gospel".[3][4][5] She was dismissed in July 1854, apparently by her own request because of lack of support from the women in the church. She later became a Unitarian and was ordained as a Unitarian minister in 1863.[6] The Congregationalists later merged with others to create the United Church of Christ, which ordains women.[6][7][7]

In the timeline of women’s ordination in Wikipedia, the timeline starts in 1815 and goes on to 2018 which says this argument and discrimination is still ongoing in the world churches today.

I have spoken of Bill Johnson as being the first openly gay man ordained in a mainline denomination in 1972 (the united fellowship of metropolitan community churches had been established since 1967). Yet it wasn’t until 2003 they were to call for full inclusion of transgender clergy and members.  Still it wasn’t until 2015 that the UCC Pension Board removes "transgender exclusion" from the UCC health insurance policies.

So our denomination has grown and change over the centuries.  Our churches and congregations often disagree. History has used the language of heresies to define those in the wrong thinking of the church. At one time a heretic could be sentenced to death.

Now that is kind of scary.

My exploration of who is right, who is just, may have been a bit misleading as I read in the beginning we must be patient, with each other and with the world.  Yes I make this broader.  Our call is not to judge, it is to be patient. Our call is not to be judgmental, but to be loving.

This call goes beyond the church and calls us to engage the world in just the same way. I have served on interfaith councils and ecumenical councils guess which I found more fulfilling?  The interfaith  council sought to find injustices in the world and how we could better use our resources together to help make the world a better and safer place.

Though the ecumenical council sought to do the same, they often spent hours on discussing our differences and making sure everyone knew the rules of each-others denominations. When I first joined the southern California ecumenical council it had to be deliberated and discussed because I was an openly gay minister coming from an openly gay denomination (at that time I was serving the UFMCC).  Members did leave as I was allowed in.

I believe there are wonderful lessons to be learned from other faiths especially when it comes to the concept of who is right, who is wrong. First let me be clear, if a preacher is teaching and preaching separation and or persecution of people and or cultures or other faiths because they have the absolute truth…No!  I just say no.

“The Baha’i principles completely repeal and do away with the entire idea of heresy, replacing it with the principle of unbounded love: ‘… all the prophets were sent, all the books were revealed, so that the law of love might be promoted. But a few self-seeking people subverted the original aims of the religion of God, changed its pure current and made it an instrument of hatred and rancor and quarrel and sedition’

The Buddha taught that there are 84,000 paths to enlightenment. To call the path of another heresy is unkind and narrow. We should examine our own actions and ask, ‘Are they coherent, consistent and loving?’”[8] 

Which takes me back to the old testament reading of today…according to our own religious beliefs all people are descendants of Jacob.  All of humanity is related.  So the first rule, the Golden rule which happens to run through most faiths is to love one another as you would wish to be loved.

In this time of pandemic in this time of safe distancing we can feel isolated and alone. We can become jaded, frustrated, saddened and pained by the shape the world is in. we can be tempted to judge our neighbors or even ourselves a bit more harshly.

But we need to stop and breathe into this.  We need to give ourselves time to be patient with ourselves and each other. We need to challenge ourselves to find the joy in the simpler things because the more extravagant things in life are just unattainable right now.

This past two weeks we have spoken of the sower and the seeds in two different parables but when it comes to us as individuals right now. We need to seek out the simple, the small, the still. We need nurture our joy.  We need to love ourselves and love our neighbors.

This is not a temporary setback from our day to day. Life has changed. We are now resolved to live and breathe into this for the long haul. We need to stop seeing the pain and look for the beauty.

This is who we are.
We are a Christian congregation.
We are a loving people.
We are a patient people.
We are blessed to live in a beautiful world full of wonders near.
We trust in God.

I believe that Jacobs ladder is more than a dream it is a reality.
Angels are coming and going all around us.
God is right beside us. Proclaiming our worth.

Be still.
Be patient.
Be blest.

A call to prayer

Summer is just about halfway over. Some of us have been able to travel, to spend special time with family and friends; but for others there is a sameness about this season. It brings pressures to work to provide for our families; it reminds us of the many people who are ill and who are unable to enjoy some of the special delights that this season is supposed to bring. This morning we take a few minutes to name our dear ones and situations of pain and loss as we ask for prayers from this congregation. Some people will remain unnamed because of the anguish we feel about their difficulties. But you are with them, every step of the way, even when they don’t feel like you care. You are there with them, offering them peace and hope. Let us turn our hearts to you as we write our joys and concerns in the comment section we will lift them up after this hymn

We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder

We are climbing Jacob’s Ladder
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
We're brothers, and sisters, all
Every rung goes higher and higher
Every rung goes higher and higher
Every rung goes higher and higher
We are brothers, and sisters, all
Every new rung just just makes us stronger
Every new rung just just makes us stronger
Every new rung just just makes us stronger
We are brothers, and sisters, all Yeah,
we are climbing Jacob's ladder Yeah,
we are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are brothers, and sisters, all Yeah
we are climbing higher and higher
We are climbing higher and higher Yeah
we are climbing higher and higher
We are brothers, and sisters, all
We are climbing Jacob's ladder Yeah,
we are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are brothers, and sisters, all

Let us pray the prayer Jesus taught us

Our Creator, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kin-dom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kin-dom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen

Invitation to the Offering

Like a field is ready for harvest, our lives bear the marks of God’s love and care.
May we, who bear the fruit of God’s labor,
Rejoice as people who have been blessed with a bounty not of our making.
With love and thanksgiving, let us bring our offerings to those in need.

Offering Prayer

Lord, we present these tokens of the many blessings you have poured into our lives. Make us people who are unafraid to proclaim your healing mercies. Help these gifts to bring hope and comfort to all those in need. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.

The office is open for regular hours
We are accepting donations for the kidz cupboard and the food pantry

I am available for one on one virtual visits or phone calls if you need any prayer we will be together again one day, but until then remember you are the hands and the feet of our lord in this world and in this world of no physical contact we can still smile, wave, chat, check in

Come to tend God’s garden #586

Benediction/sending forth
Lord, we have listened to your word for us this day. You have planted us in the fertile ground of your Church. Let us continue to express our gratitude for the love that grows within our fellowship by offering our love and care to the world around us. Go forth with Joy to serve God. AMEN.

Just a note Bible study is on summer leave…