All posts by marcia

Sermon Nov. 26, 2017

“Sheep or Goat?”
Rev. Jeffrey Long-Middleton
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC

Matthew 25:31-46
November 26, 2017

“All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”   Matthew 25: 32

There is nothing new to say today. We have all heard these words before. Right? Indeed, that may be a problem. It may be difficult to hear them anew. They have become so familiar that we read them without hearing them. So let me take a moment to put these closing words of the 25th chapter of Matthew in their broader context. Continue reading Sermon Nov. 26, 2017

Upcoming Worship Nov. 26, 2017

In To Kill a Mocking Bird, Harper Lee gives us something to ponder: 

Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hand of (another)… There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.” 

Pastor Jeff’s sermon this Sunday, based on Matthew 25: 31-46 is titled “Sheep or Goat?” referencing the phrase, “… he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”

But, what is the back story of this being called Christ the King Sunday in the liturgical calendar? Continue reading Upcoming Worship Nov. 26, 2017

Sermon, Thanksgiving Sunday Nov 19, 2017

“Fairness in the Kingdom of God”
Rev. Jeffrey Long-Middleton
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC

Matthew 25:14-30
November 19, 2017

For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”   Matthew 25: 29

There’s a great deal in the Bible that isn’t fair. We might have some questions for God. What do you do with this? In Exodus 34:7 God is describing God’s character to Moses and says: keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” Sounds very loving, caring and kind, but God isn’t done. “…yet by no means clearing the guilty, but visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” Poor kids. They had nothing to do with the sin they are being punished for. Some of them weren’t even born when the sin was committed! Is that fair? No. Is it true? Yes. Continue reading Sermon, Thanksgiving Sunday Nov 19, 2017

Upcoming Worship Nov. 19 Thanksgiving Sunday

-thanksgiving-scriptures-thanksgiving-signsPastor Jeff says the sermon for Thanksgiving Sunday will be developed from the Matthew 25:14-30 and the key focus will be that Thankfulness should not be limited to what we have received, but should include what we are called to do.  

The service will also be a musical offering of thanks and thanksgiving, ranging from the delightful Shaker “Simple Gifts,” to the Netherlands’ folk tune we know as “We Gather Together,” to J. S. Bach’s intricate interweave of “We All Believe in One God.” Continue reading Upcoming Worship Nov. 19 Thanksgiving Sunday

Dec 9 Giving Tree benefit holiday fair

giving fair

December 9, 2017

10:00am-3:00pm

Bradford Congregational Church vestry

Come support the Bradford Public Library and other local non-profits at a holiday fair like no other.   Local nonprofits will sell products and services and accept donations.  Purchase a donation gift card in a loved one’s name to give as a non-traditional gift. Find out about our Reverse Advent Calendar challenge and have a wonderful lunch made for you by the Bradford Conservation Commission.

Sermon, Nov. 12, 2017

“Ready?”
Rev. Jeffrey Long-Middleton
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC

Matthew 25:1-13
November 12, 2017

Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
— Matthew 25: 13

I don’t expect Jesus anytime soon. I live my life under the assumption that I will be dead before Christ comes again. I’m not saying that’s how we ought to live. I am telling you that is how I live. You see, I have life insurance. It’s meant to help my family pay the bills when I am gone. Well, who needs life insurance if the return of Jesus is immanent? So this whole thing about having enough oil seems rather arcane. What about you? Any life insurance? Continue reading Sermon, Nov. 12, 2017

Upcoming Worship, Nov. 12, 2017

Pastor Jeff says: There are two ways to look at Advent. The first and probably most common way is to see it as a past event – you know, shepherds keeping watch by night, a choir of angelic hosts, the manger and all the rest. This is an important and proper way of commemorating Advent. The second way to view Advent is to see it as a future prediction of Christ coming again, of remembering the promise that God is not done yet. Continue reading Upcoming Worship, Nov. 12, 2017

Sermon, Nov. 5, 2017

“The Crazy Kingdom of God”
Rev. Jeffrey Long-Middleton
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC

Matthew 23:1-12
November 5, 2017

The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.”
— Matthew 23:11 & 12

Do you believe it? Ever humbled yourself and then been exalted? Ever been the servant of all so you could be the greatest of all? Crazy, right? That’s not how the world works. Sure, we all know the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It’s a great suggestion but most of the time we find the Silver Rule far more effective in the real world – “Do it unto others before they do it unto you.” Right? It is hard to live out the teachings of Jesus when we live in a world that so often lives as if the Kingdom of God has no barring this side of heaven. Do you get promoted if you are the servant of all? Do they even get noticed you if you are humble? Continue reading Sermon, Nov. 5, 2017