We were very pleased to celebrate the baptism of Arabella DiLorenzo on Sunday, July 31, 2016. Arabella is the daughter of Nicholas and Valerie DiLorenzo and the granddaughter of Lynda and Frank DiLorenzo and Daniel and Anita Perry. Arabella’s great-grandfather, Deacon Dan Perry, assisted in the baptism.
We will celebrate the baptism of Arabella DiLorenzo this Sunday during worship, the daughter of Nicholas and Valerie DiLorenzo and the granddaughter of Lynda and Frank DiLorenzo and Daniel and Anita Perry. Arabella’s great-grandfather, Deacon Dan Perry, will assist in the baptism.
The music will be fitting for such a celebration. We will sing two hymns from the New Century Hymnal that are deeply moving and modern favorites: Child of Blessing, Child of Promise, and I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry, as well as two cherished hymns from the Pilgrim Hymnal, Take My Life and Let it Be and Jesus Calls Us, O’er the Tumult. Organist John Atwood will play “Take my Life and let it Be” by W. Verburg, “Trio” by F. Couperin and “Fantaisie” L. Couperin.
The lectionary scriptures are not so fitting for a baptism, at least at first glance: Psalm 49, Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23, and Luke 12:13-21. They are all about the apparent meaninglessness of this life that becomes clear to us at the moment of our death. And yet they do not intend to leave us despairing–they lift our vision to a higher meaning, a way of living on earth that has lasting value that no one and nothing can take from us, not even death. We each have the ability to live that life in our own unique way. The church can help us find our path, and we all can help Arabella find hers as she lives and grows among us.
Here are the two hymns we will sing from the New Century Hymnal. Have your hankies ready–these go straight to the heart!
Before describing the service: “WARNING: A Congregational Meeting will take place immediately following the worship service on July 24, 2016 to consider the following question posed by the Diaconate: “Shall the Congregational Church of the United Church of Christ, Bradford, Vermont engage in a series of education and discussion sessions about issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity in the context of the Bible, the church, our society and our circles of family and friends as the first step in a process that could result in the congregation declaring itself Open and Affirming?”
Jesus says in the lectionary gospel passage this week, “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:1-13)
As much as we love to hear that, do we believe it? Do we believe Jesus means us? Do we believe Jesus means everyone when he says everyone? This saying comes in the context of his teaching his disciples the Lord’s Prayer. If we do not know the answers to these big questions, he is saying, ask God in prayer. The 138th Psalm that we will read responsively says, “On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.” I hope that we all will open our hearts to be guided and strengthened by God as we address one of today’s most controversial issues in the warned meeting. Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes, July 24, 2016, and Congregational Meeting
We will take in four new members this Sunday and celebrate them with special refreshments following worship. The lectionary gospel passage is the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42), and the sermon will be based on it, “A Church of Contemplation and Action.” We will read responsively from Psalms 130 and 131 that speak of hoping and waiting for God with a calm and quiet soul, and we will hear selections from Romans 8 that talk about how “those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit,” and “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God.”
Our Diverse Traditions Music Team will be here again to lead us for two of the four hymns we will sing, the beautiful South African freedom song, “Thuma Mina (Send Me, Lord)” and the old time favorite “I Come to the Garden” (or “In the Garden”). Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes, July 17, 2016, New Members Sunday