Sunday, October 4, 2020

World Communion Sunday

October 4, 2020
Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost


As I prepared this bulletin, I will admit that I am looking forward to the time when our congregation can regather in the church building to share in the singing of hymns and gather at the Table—in-person—but we’re not there right now. While we can’t be present at the Table together, I do truly believe that Jesus is still present with us in our communing, wherever we find ourselves. Until that time comes, we can, I believe, hold on to the promise that Jesus never leaves us nor forsakes us (Heb. 13:5). Rev. Debbie Scott


Organ Prelude


Welcome and Announcements                                       John Strawbridge


Choral Introit “Hear Our Prayer, O Lord” (Whelpton)

Hear our prayer, O Lord; incline Thine ear to us and grant us Thy peace. Amen.


Call to Worship

L: From north and south, from east and west, we come:
P: God’s people called to the Table, where simple grace nourishes us.
L: From down the street to across town, from single households to apartment dwellers:
P: God’s people are called to community, where we live and serve one another.
L: From every class, every race, every status; from little ones with sippy cups to elders with overflowing hearts:
P: God’s people are called to witness to God’s hope, to offer peace to a shattered world.


Opening Hymn “O God, As We Pause Carolyn” Winfrey Gilette

(“Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise”)

1. O God, as we pause from our usual ways,
as millions stay home, as we count passing days,
may we learn what matters — what really has worth.
May we seek your reign as we live here on earth.

2. May we find your blessings in small, common things;
may we learn the joy that community brings.
In loving our neighbors, in stopping to pray,
may we know your presence in each passing day.

3. As greed and injustice are being laid bare,
may we build a nation that’s loving and fair.
God, give us the courage to change what we can,
to work for the justice that’s part of your plan.


Contemporary Word “It Is Impossible”
By Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling, BWC (9/27/20)

It is impossible to perpetually demean a group of people and then pretend that those very people will be respected within that society.
It is impossible for persons to witness consistent maltreatment and then claim it to be hidden from the naked eye, nonexistent by the rational mind, or unacceptable by the discipled heart.
It is impossible to establish an ethos of equality built upon a corpus of legal, philosophical, theological, psychological, biological and medical pedagogies of inequality.
When you continue to treat certain lives as worthless because of who they are, you give permission for persons in and out of power to misuse, abuse, ignore, intimidate, discriminate against and kill those who have been invalidated.
You give permission for them to be raped in custody, beaten while questioned, ignored while standing on line, mistreated within systems, violated by laws, held in contempt while explaining that their lives are not contemptible, and murdered while protesting being murdered, all with impunity.
Arguments will be made to substantiate the abuse because, after all, the persons being mistreated or harmed are “others” — substandard beings, who through their very existence have brought it upon themselves.
It is impossible to produce justice for persons who have been chronically and consistently abused when that nation’s legal system is but a facade, a subterfuge, a well-crafted game to continue the denial of personhood inscribed in the founding documents negation.
It is impossible to argue that persons created in the image and likeness of the God of all creation and pronounced “very good” by that God are inherently unworthy, uncivilized, unholy, ungodly and unequal to every other being created in the image or likeness of that same God.
It is impossible to arrive at a new destination by continuing to travel in the same wrong direction. At some point a change of course is required. At some point, the system will have to scream “RECALCULATING” and chart a new path.
It. Is. Time.
The people cry out that it is past time.
We cannot continue to travel down this road of degradation and claim to be creating a more perfect Union.
It is impossible.
It is time to:
Then the impossible will be possible.
***With thanks to our bishop


Sharing Joys and Concerns
Pastoral Prayer
Lord’s Prayer


Choral Response Cares Chorus                                     TFWS 2215

I cast all my cares upon You
I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet
And any time I don’t know just what to do,
I will cast all my cares upon You.


Gospel Lesson Matthew 21:33-43 J.B. Phillips New Testament

Jesus tells a pointed story:
33-40 “Now listen to another story. There was once a man, a land-owner, who planted a vineyard, fenced it round, dug out a hole for the wine-press and built a watch-tower. Then he let it out to farm-workers and went abroad. When the vintage-time approached he sent his servants to the farm-workers to receive his share of the proceeds. But they took the servants. beat up one, killed another, and drove off a third with stones. Then he sent some more servants, a larger party than the first, but they treated them in just the same way. Finally he sent his own son, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ Yet when the farm-workers saw the son they said to each other, ‘This fellow is the future owner. Come on, let’s kill him and we shall get everything that he would have had!’ So they took him, threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard returns, what will he do to those farm-workers?”
41 “He will kill those scoundrels without mercy,” they replied, “and will let the vineyard out to other tenants, who will give him the produce at the right season.”
42 “And have you never read these words of scripture,” said Jesus to them: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?’
43-44 “Here, I tell you, lies the reason why the kingdom of God is going to be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its proper fruit.”
The Word of God for the people of God….Thanks Be To God


Sermon “Vineyard Stewards Acting Like Bad Grapes”      Rev. Debbie Scott


Invitation to Offering

On-Line giving


Offertory “What Does The Lord Require?” (Routley)


What does the Lord require for praise and offering?

What sacrifice of praise or tribute did you bring?

Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.


Rulers of earth, give ear! Should you not justice know?

Will God your pleading hear while crime and cruelty grow?

Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.


Masters of wealth and trade, all you for whom men toil,

Think not to win God’s aid if lies your commerce soiled.

Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.


All who gain wealth by trade, for whom the worker toils,

Think not to win God’s aid, if greed your commerce soils.

Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.


How shall our lives fulfill God’s law so hard and high?

Let Christ endue our will with grace to fortify.

Then justly, in mercy, we’ll humbly walk with God.



Offering Prayer

L: Jesus prayed that we might be one. One in spirit. One in mission in union and communion with each other and with You.
P: On this World Communion Sunday, give us eyes to recognize your reflection in the eyes of Christians everywhere. Give us a mind to accept and celebrate our differences. Give us a heart big enough to love your children everywhere. We thank you for setting a table with space enough for us all! Amen.


Closing Hymn “One Bread, One Body”                         UMH 620

Refrain: One bread, one body, one Lord of all, one cup of blessing which we bless.
And we, though many, throughout the earth, we are one body in this one Lord.

1. Gentile or Jew, servant or free, woman or man no more.
One bread, one body, one Lord of all, one cup of blessing which we bless.
And we, though many, throughout the earth, we are one body in this one Lord.

2. Many the gifts, many the works, one in the Lord of all.
One bread, one body, one Lord of all, one cup of blessing which we bless.
And we, though many, throughout the earth, we are one body in this one Lord.

3. Grain for the fields, scattered and grown, gathered to one for all.
One bread, one body, one Lord of all, one cup of blessing which we bless.
And we, though many, throughout the earth, we are one body in this one Lord.



L: Go out from this worship, from this place of peace, to serve a hurting world.
P: We go, knowing that the God of peace will be with us.
L: Go where there is disunity among Christians, and bring God’s reconciliation.
P: We go, knowing that the God of peace will be with us.
L: Go where there is injustice and brokenness, to bring God’s way of peace.
P: We go, knowing that the God of peace will be with us. Amen!



Choral Benediction “Hallelujah, Amen” (Mason)

Hallelujah, Amen.


Ringing the Bicentennial Bell


Organ Postlude


FOOD FOR THOUGHT: from Diana Butler Bass

Those who believe religion and politics do not mix, understand neither.
-Albert Einstein
Taking the Bible seriously should mean taking politics seriously. The major voices in the Bible from beginning to end are passionate advocates of a different kind of world here on earth and here and now . . . In a democracy, politics in the broad sense does include how we vote. But it also includes more: what we support in our conversations, our contributions, monetary and otherwise, our actions. Not every Christian is called to be an activist. But all are called to take seriously God’s dream for a more just and nonviolent world.
― Marcus J. Borg
When it is finally ours, this freedom, this liberty, this beautiful
and terrible thing, needful to man as air,
usable as earth; when it belongs at last to all,
when it is truly instinct, brain matter, diastole, systole,
reflex action; when it is finally won; when it is more
than the gaudy mumbo jumbo of politicians:
this man, this Douglass, this former slave, this Negro
beaten to his knees, exiled, visioning a world
where none is lonely, none hunted, alien,
this man, superb in love and logic, this man
shall be remembered. Oh, not with statues’ rhetoric,
not with legends and poems and wreaths of bronze alone,
but with the lives grown out of his life, the lives
fleshing his dream of the beautiful, needful thing.
-Robert Hayden


Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on October 2, 2020

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