Sunday Worship Bulletin, Sep 3 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!” September 3, 2023 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 10:20 Gathering and Prelude Wayne Shull, Music Director Charlie Salt, AV and Scripture Reader Joe McSwain, AV and Usher Jerry Brines, Usher Kelly Cuilla, Candle lighter Scotty Patton, Zoom Monitor ___________, Fellowship Set-Up Naomi Hanvey, Fellowship Clean-up Rev. Genavieve 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. Worship begins God labors...all the time! All the time... God labors! Welcoming the Light of Christ Hymn: “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning” 369 (NCH) Keep your lamps trimmed and burning (repeat 2x more) for this work is almost done. Sisters, don’t grow weary. Brothers, don’t grow weary. Children, don’t grow weary, for this work is almost done. It’s our faith makes us happy (repeat 2x more) for this work’s almost done. Sisters, don’t grow weary. Brothers, don’t grow weary. Children, don’t grow weary, for this work is almost done. We are Climbing Jacob’s ladder (repeat 2x more) for this work is almost done. Sisters, don’t grow weary. Brothers, don’t grow weary. Children, don’t grow weary, for this work is almost done. Every round goes higher, higher (repeat 2x more) for this work’s almost done. Sisters, don’t grow weary. Brothers, don’t grow weary. Children, don’t grow weary, for this work is almost done. Community Prayer 105 (Sing Book) Ferry our prayers across the water, kindle our hopes a lighthouse flame. Amazing grace is most amazing, praying for those we cannot name. Prayers of Gratitude Ferry our prayers across the water, kindle our hopes a lighthouse flame. Amazing grace is most amazing, praying for those we cannot name. Prayers of Concern Ferry our prayers across the water, kindle our hopes a lighthouse flame. Amazing grace is most amazing, praying for those we cannot name. Prayers of which no words can express Ferry our prayers across the water, kindle our hopes a lighthouse flame. Amazing grace is most amazing, praying for those we cannot name. Lord’s Prayer Response: 812 (NCH) Amen. Amen. Amen. A Time of Offering Dedication 780 (NCH) Praise God from whom all blessing flow. Praise God all creatures here below. Praise God for all that love has done; Creator, Christ, and Spirit, One. Amen Dedication Prayer Holy One, we make these offerings with grateful hearts. Bless all we are, all we have, and all we do that your realm will be made real in our lives. Amen. Listening for God Message with Young Hearts Ecclesiastes 1:16-2:26 from The Message Translation I said to myself, “I know more and I’m wiser than anyone before me in Jerusalem. I’ve stockpiled wisdom and knowledge.” What I’ve finally concluded is that so-called wisdom and knowledge are mindless and witless—nothing but spitting into the wind. Much learning earns you much trouble. The more you know, the more you hurt. I said to myself, “Let’s go for it—experiment with pleasure, have a good time!” But there was nothing to it, nothing but smoke. What do I think of the fun-filled life? Insane! Inane! My verdict on the pursuit of happiness? Who needs it? With the help of a bottle of wine and all the wisdom I could muster, I tried my level best to penetrate the absurdity of life. I wanted to get a handle on anything useful we mortals might do during the years we spend on this earth. Oh, I did great things: built houses, planted vineyards, designed gardens and parks and planted a variety of fruit trees in them, made pools of water to irrigate the groves of trees. I bought slaves, male and female, who had children, giving me even more slaves; then I acquired large herds and flocks, larger than any before me in Jerusalem. I piled up silver and gold, loot from kings and kingdoms. I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and—most exquisite of all pleasures — voluptuous maidens for my bed. Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all. Everything I wanted I took—I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task—my reward to myself for a hard day’s work! Then I took a good look at everything I’d done, looked at all the sweat and hard work. But when I looked, I saw nothing but smoke. Smoke and spitting into the wind. There was nothing to any of it. Nothing. And then I took a hard look at what’s smart and what’s stupid. What’s left to do after you’ve been king? That’s a hard act to follow. You just do what you can, and that’s it. But I did see that it’s better to be smart than stupid, just as light is better than darkness. Even so, though the smart ones see where they’re going and the stupid ones grope in the dark, they’re all the same in the end. One fate for all—and that’s it. When I realized that my fate’s the same as the fool’s, I had to ask myself, “So why bother being wise?” It’s all smoke, nothing but smoke. The smart and the stupid both disappear out of sight. In a day or two they’re both forgotten. Yes, both the smart and the stupid die, and that’s it. I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind. And I hated everything I’d accomplished and accumulated on this earth. I can’t take it with me — no, I have to leave it to whoever comes after me. Whether they’re worthy or worthless — and who’s to tell? — they’ll take over the earthly results of my intense thinking and hard work. Smoke. That’s when I called it quits, gave up on anything that could be hoped for on this earth. What’s the point of working your fingers to the bone if you hand over what you worked for to someone who never lifted a finger for it? Smoke, that’s what it is. A bad business from start to finish. So what do you get from a life of hard labor? Pain and grief from dawn to dusk. Never a decent night’s rest. Nothing but smoke. The best you can do with your life is have a good time and get by the best you can. The way I see it, that’s it — divine fate. Whether we feast or fast, it’s up to God. God may give wisdom and knowledge and joy to his favorites, but sinners are assigned a life of hard labor, and end up turning their wages over to God’s favorites. Nothing but smoke—and spitting into the wind. Matthew 25: 31-40 The Message Translation “When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.’ “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ Message: Work that Gives Meaning Silence Sharing Holy Communion Hand sanitizer passed around. Pastor: Friends in Christ, we gather at our many tables mindful of the presence of God’s Spirit that is here with us. We seek to honor the request of Jesus given in the scripture. Of all the teachings Jesus gave to our ancestors, this he asked them and us to do for him to remember him. When Jesus and his friends sat together at a Passover meal, Jesus took bread; giving God thanks and praise, he broke the bread. He gave it to his friends saying, “Take this all of you and eat of it. This is my body that is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” After the meal had ended, Jesus poured out the cup and again he gave God thanks and praise. He gave the cup to his friends and said, “Take this all of you and drink from it. This is the cup of the new covenant. Do this as often as you drink of it in remembrance of me.” Let us pray. All: Loving God, you are with us in the easy times and the difficult experiences. We thank you with humble hearts. Let your presence be felt among us. Come, Holy Spirit come. Bless this bread and this cup and all who have gathered in your Spirit. Refresh us and renew us as Christ’s body in the world today. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen. Silence as all who want to receive come forward. We will break bread and share a common cup or you can receive the packaged bread and drink. You may want to take home one of the packaged communion cups for family or friends. Prayer of Thanksgiving All: We thank you, God, for your presence at all our tables where we remember and experience the presence of Christ. Help us to live more fully the way of Christ. Strengthen our faith, increase our love for one another, and let us show forth your praise in our lives, through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen. Announcements Our light Goes into the World *Hymn: “Now in the Days of Youth”350 (NCH)verses 1 and 3 1. Now in the days of youth when life is filled with choice, when hope and doubt touch every hour, when all thoughts find a voice, we turn, O God, to you for guidance and for grace. In all our days, in all our ways, help us to seek your face. 3. Teach us to love in truth, to give and to receive with joyful and with open hearts, with all that we believe. To seek another’s good, to honor what is right, to let our will and our desire be held in holy light. Benediction and Silent Meditation with Postlude Be Yourself. Grow in Christ. Live with Compassion.