August 18th in worship and around town

Dear Church Family, for the week of August 18th
10th Sunday after Pentecost
Sunday morning worship is at 10:00 a.m.

Pastor Jeff tells us: I enjoy what the lectionary refers to as “ordinary Sundays.” These are the Sundays that come either after or between the special seasons of the Christian year — seasons like Advent and Lent. On these “ordinary Sundays” one often finds passages of scripture that are passed over during the high holy days of the year. And we have had a run of rather disturbing scripture passages of late. Last week we looked at the harsh words of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 1:1, 10-20). They were not very soothing and I am very sure Isaiah did not mean them to be anything but disturbing. Well, this week we have another troubling passage — Luke 12:49-56. They are words that come directly from the mouth of Jesus and while we might like to think that Jesus has only comforting words to share with us, this is not the case. Here are the words for the sermon on Sunday: Luke 12:51 “Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!”  He goes on to speak of sons divided against fathers and daughters against mothers. So what are to make of this Jesus who rather than bringing families together, tells us He has come to drive them apart? What good can come out of division? Why would Jesus speak such words and what import do they have for us?


Title: “The Jesus Who Divides”

Text: Luke 12:51 “Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!” 

Lectionary readings for this coming week: (Year C) August 18-24

    Isaiah 5:1-7
(how long will God abandon his beloved vineyard?)
Hebrews 1129 – 12:2
(scrap your sins and keep your eyes on Jesus)
Luke 12:49-56
(wait, wait, Jesus came to “cast fire upon the earth”?)
Psalm 80:1-2,8-19
theme hymn: O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

Organist John Atwood says: This week’s music features Danelle Sims, flutist, accompanied by the harpsichord. Three pieces are by J. S. Bach; the third is by Charles Gounod using one of the Bach preludes for harpsichord accompaniment. The instrumental music will be soothing.   Next week (25 August) the Seven Stars Baroque Ensemble will play a Suite of three pieces by Marin Marais, court violist to King Louis XIV. The ensemble consists of the director, Chris Rua, two recorder players, Viola da Gamba player, and harpsichordist.

Prelude: “Arioso in E-flat”                       J. S. Bach
Special Music: “Arioso in A-flat”                     J. S. Bach
Offertory: “Siciliana”                       J. S. Bach
Postlude: “Ave Maria”       J. S. Bach and Charles Gounod

Pastoral Concerns: Pastor Jeff Long-Middleton 978-273-6399
Emergency Assistance: Care Coordinator Carole Taylor 802-222-4590

Pastor Jeff’s office hours
Sunday afternoons and all day Mondays
978-273-6399 is his recommended number to use at any time;
calls to 802-222-4610 are only answered when he is in the parsonage, but you may leave a message

Vermont Conference Podcast!

Last Summer Revs. Josh Simon (Essex Junction) and Sally May (Malletts Bay, Colchester) created a new podcast: Faith in Vermont. This winter Rev. Kevin Goldenbogen (Charlotte) joined the team. Our latest podcast is a short promotional of the Vermont UCC using 30 second interviews at the Vermont Conference Annual Meeting focused on the theme of the gathering and the question “What in God’s Name is Happening in Vermont?” Take a minute to listen to what congregations from around the state are doing and thinking. As well, you can hear our other podcasts that include the themes of introducing Sally & Josh and why we wanted to do this project, hearing from youth who have grown up in a UCC congregation, immigration, climate change, white privilege and racism in Vermont.

Click here to hear the podcasts

Something New at Bradford Congregational!

We are excited to let you know that beginning on Sunday, September 5, 2019, there will be a youth group at Bradford UCC! The youth group is for kids 12-18 years of age and will be led by Patrick Peters. The group will meet during regular Sunday School hours (10:30-11:00) and will also meet once a month for Youth Night. On Communion Sunday, the youth group will meet 9:00-9:50, then participate in the rest of the regular service.  As part of this group, the kids will participate in community service opportunities, mission projects, leadership opportunities, and field trips. 

During youth group time on Sunday mornings, the kids will be exploring the Bible and work on making connections to what is written in the Bible to what is happening in our community, state, country, and the world. By making these connections, the kids will gain a deeper understanding of the stories in the Bible and ultimately come up with their interpretations of what the Bible is trying to teach them. 

We are very excited about this new adventure at Bradford UCC and can’t wait to start this group with our amazing kids. In order for Patrick to adequately plan for this group, please let us know if your child will be joining us. If you have any questions at all about the youth group, please feel free to contact Patrick at or 802-222-9679. 

The Christian Ed Team

Angela Colbeth, Valerie DiLorenzo, Kim Frydman, Bridget Peters, & Patrick Peters

Around Town:

 Needed: at the Bradford Food Shelf: there’sstill summertime left … condiments, pickles, chips, individual servings of yogurts and jellos are so welcome. The basket by the church’s kitchen door is for food donations. Thank you!

FEATHERS, FUR & FLOWERS ART SHOW Signed, archival prints by photographer M L Gitchel at the Local Buzz, Downtown Bradford, VT thru September 5th. Stop by and see her work.

Conversational French 4pm at Bradford Public Library every 1st and 3rd Thursday

August The Bradford Public Library will commemorate the memory of long-time trustee Shirley W. Conrad by setting aside the month of August in her honor. A display of Shirley’s paintings and photographs of her life will be on display in the Library’s Reading Room during the month.

Aug 17 join the Cohase Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, August 17th from 10 AM to 3 PM on our Annual Farm Tour.! This free event is a great chance to meet the farmers and animals that call the Cohase region their home.  Visit with: goats, cows, pigs, piglets, horses, mini-ponies, bunnies, guinea hens, chickens, turkeys, cattle and a variety of other farm animals! Learn about dairy farming, cattle ranching, cheese production, vegetable farming, egg production, soap making and more! This is a self-guided tour so visitors can visit all the farms or just the ones of interest.  Participating farms include Robie Farm in Piermont, NH; StoneFen farm in Pike, NH; Birch Ridge Farm in Bradford, VT; Grafton County Farm in North Haverhill, NH and Hillbilly Heaven Goat Farm in Newbury, VT.   Click the link for a downloadable map a description of participating farms

Aug 18 3pm Rev. Kelly Donahue will speak about the history of the Christian denomination within which the Old Goshen Church was once affiliated. The program will be at the Old Goshen Church located at 4308 Goshen Road, Bradford, Vermont. The church was built in 1832 and has not been modernized. It is on the Register of Historic Places and its architecture is unique and is worth the trip to learn more about its history and architecture.

Aug 23-24 our church annual Yard Sale in the vestry

Sept 4 6:30pm at The Space On Main. Conversation about the Bradford Teen Center * The Hub *
What is it? • Who does it serve? How will it help? How can you get involved? Please come join your friends and neighbors in a conversation about this new project. Learn what’s happening, share your ideas! Refreshments will be served

Sept 8 3-4pm at Bradford Academy West Newbury based photographer Ian Clark shares his photo journal of steam locomotives from across the country. Bradford was a railroad town when steam engines were popular. So popular, in fact, Bradford had two stations in town, one called the Bradford Station on Depot Street and, the other the Piermont Station just east of the junction of Route 5 and 25.


Links to just some of the other Bradford Congregational pages: is our website is where you can read past sermons is where you can read our monthly e-magazine: The Epistle is for Game Supper updates is for adult ed series is the start of the Programs: Music section is to access the Annual Report is Pastor Jeff’s welcoming message