Sunday Worship Bulletin, July 30, 2023
Veradale United Church of Christ
An Open & Affirming Congregation
Worshiping God in Christ – Welcoming All – Working for Justice & Peace
“No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!”
Sunday, July 30, 2023• 10:30 a.m.
10:20 Gathering and Prelude
Music Potluck Sunday
Recording of “Why Me” Prelude Music
Joe McSwain, AV and Usher
Jerry Brines, Usher
Scotty Patton, Zoom Monitor
Rev. Gen Heywood, Pastor
10:30am Land Acknowledgement
We worship on the unceded traditional territory of the Spokane, Cayuse, Umatilla, Walla Walla, Coeur d’Alene, and other tribes. We acknowledge the history of indigenous genocide, removal, and erasure that continues to this day. We recognize the role that Christian communities played in these injustices, and we recommit ourselves to seeking more peaceful, just, and neighborly ways of sharing this land with all who call it home.
God is waiting . . . all the time! All the time . . . God is waiting!
Passing the Peace of Christ and Welcoming the Light of Christ
*Hymn: “How Great Thou Art”
Marvin Wilson sings the verses and we join in the refrain.
Refrain: Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee, “How great Thou art, how great Thou art.” (repeat)
Hymn: “Amazing Grace” 547 (NCH)
Solo: Jan Young
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.
Prayers of Gratitude
T’was grace that taught my heart to fear and grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.
Prayers of Concern
Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come ‘tis grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.
My God has promised good to me, whose word my hope secures; God will my shield and portion be as long as life endures.
Response: Sing Amen
Diane Smith and All
(Sing Amen) Amen, we praise your name, O, God
(Sing Amen) Amen, we praise your name, O, God
(Sing Amen) Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen,
we praise your name, O, God
A Time of Offering
An Invitation to Share
Special Music: "Higher” composers: Vic Bertis and Julie Wehrman
sung by Vic Bertis a Baha’i friend of Louise Tajuddin
Dedication Hymn: “Holy Ground”
CCLI license #11038266
All: We are standing on holy ground, and I know that there are angels all around. Let us praise Jesus now. We are standing in his presence on holy ground.
Holy One, as distant as the furthest star and as close as our very breath, we are grateful. Bless our offerings of time, talent, and treasure for this church. Bless also our school supplies. May the new school year be one that nurtures students and teachers. Amen.
Listening for God
Message with Young Hearts:
Questions for God.
Judges 6:11-40 As Readers Theater
Narrator: Naomi Hanvey
Angel: Jan Young
God: Marsilius Flumo
Gideon: Marvin Wilson
Someone from the crowd: Diane Smith
Men of the Crowd: Everyone who wants to be counted among the men
Gideon’s Dad: Don Young
Narrator: One day the angel of God came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, whose son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress, out of sight of the Midianites. The angel of God appeared to him and said,
Angel: “God is with you, O mighty warrior!”
Gideon: With me? If God is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the miracle-wonders our parents and grandparents told us about, telling us, ‘Didn’t God deliver us from Egypt?’ The fact is, God has nothing to do with us—he has turned us over to Midian.”
Narrator: But God faced him directly:
God: “Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven’t I just sent you?”
Gideon: Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.
God: “I’ll be with you. Believe me, you’ll defeat Midian as one man.
Gideon: “If you’re serious about this, do me a favor: Give me a sign to back up what you’re telling me. Don’t leave until I come back and bring you my gift.”
God “I’ll wait till you get back.”
Narrator: Gideon went and prepared a young goat and a huge amount of unraised bread (he used over half a bushel of flour!). He put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot and took them back under the shade of the oak tree for a sacred meal.The angel of God said to him,
Angel: “Take the meat and unraised bread, place them on that rock, and pour the broth on them.”
Narrator: Gideon did it. The angel of God stretched out the tip of the stick he was holding and touched the meat and the bread. Fire broke out of the rock and burned up the meat and bread while the angel of God slipped away out of sight. And Gideon knew it was the angel of God!
Gideon: “Oh no! Lord, God! I have seen the angel of God face-to-face!”
God: “Easy now. Don’t panic. You won’t die.”
Narrator: Then Gideon built an altar there to God and named it “God’s Peace.” It’s still called that at Ophrah of Abiezer.
Narrator: That night this happened. God said to Gideon,
God: “Take your father’s best seven-year-old bull, the prime one. Tear down your father’s Baal altar and chop down the Asherah fertility pole beside it. Then build an altar to God, your God, on the top of this hill. Take the prime bull and present it as a Whole-Burnt-Offering, using firewood from the Asherah pole that you cut down.”
Narrator: Gideon selected ten men from his servants and did exactly what God had told him. But because of his family and the people in the neighborhood, he was afraid to do it openly, so he did it that night. Early in the morning, the people in town were shocked to find Baal’s altar torn down, the Asherah pole beside it chopped down, and the prime bull burning away on the altar that had been built. They kept asking,
Crowd: “Who did this?”
Narrator: Questions and more questions, and then the answer:
Someone from the crowd “Gideon son of Joash did it.”
Narrator: The men of the town demanded of Joash:
Men of the Crowd: “Bring out your son! He must die! Why, he tore down the Baal altar and chopped down the Asherah tree!”
Narrator: But Joash stood up to the crowd pressing in on him,
Gideon’s Dad: “Are you going to fight Baal’s battles for him? Are you going to save him? Anyone who takes Baal’s side will be dead by morning. If Baal is a god in fact, let him fight his own battles and defend his own altar.”
Narrator: They nicknamed Gideon that day Jerub-Baal because after he had torn down the Baal altar, he had said, “Let Baal fight his own battles.”
Narrator: All the Midianites and Amalekites (the easterners) got together, crossed the river, and made camp in the Valley of Jezreel. God’s Spirit came over Gideon. He blew his ram’s horn trumpet and the Abiezrites came out, ready to follow him. He dispatched messengers all through Manasseh, calling them to the battle; also to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali. They all came. Gideon said to God,
Gideon: “If this is right, if you are using me to save Israel as you’ve said, then look: I’m placing a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If dew is on the fleece only, but the floor is dry, then I know that you will use me to save Israel, as you said.”
Narrator: That’s what happened. When he got up early the next morning, he wrung out the fleece—enough dew to fill a bowl with water! Then Gideon said to God,
Gideon: “Don’t be impatient with me, but let me say one more thing. I want to try another time with the fleece. But this time let the fleece stay dry, while the dew drenches the ground.”
Narrator: God made it happen that very night. Only the fleece was dry while the ground was wet with dew.
Message: A Time to Test
Our Light moves into the World God Loves
Hymn: “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”
Marvin Wilson sings the verses and all sing refrain.
Refrain: Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.
Benediction and Silent Meditation with Postlude
“Go Now in Peace” Naomi Hanvey on Chimes with Choir
Grow in Christ.
Live with Compassion.