This Sunday we welcome the Rev. Jeffrey Long-Middleton to our pulpit. From the Lectionary Gospel reading he will be leading us to think about what Jesus said and how we can apply His words as rules for a church to live by, always keeping in mind His assurance that “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
The choir returns from its summer break to sing “Draw Us in the Spirit’s Tether” which is listed as this week’s theme hymn in the Lectionary list found in the September Epistle. Composed by Harold Friedell, this is a melodic and lovely reminder that “when humbly gathered in Thy name, two or three are met together, Thou art in the midst of them …”
The hymns we will all sing are familiar and meaningful to this message: The Church’s One Foundation, Love Divine All Loves Excelling (sung to the tune Hyfrydol), and Rise Up Oh (Men) of God (substituting Church for the word Men).
John Atwood’s pieces on the organ will be Pachelbel’s Toccata and Fugue in B flat Major and his Toccata in E minor , as well as Muzète by Dandrieu.
We hope you can join us!
This Sunday Rev. Michael Caldwell returns to our pulpit and will serve Communion and will center us in on Matthew 6’s section concerning prayer and praying. We all, including our beloved children, know the words, yet are always in need of considering why they are so important for us.
Click on this UCC response to Hurricane Harvey and what you can do in terms of donations and any kits needed. The hard copy of this will be inserted into the Sept. 3rd worship bulletin. Our time of Joys and Concerns will include prayers for all those who were devastated, as well as all the First-Responders and Relief organizations.
The offertory this week, “Élévation” by René Vierne, is perfectly suited to transport us into a time of quiet contemplation of the prayer we have learned. The absolutely charming “Allegro” by João de Sousa Carvalho will bring a smile to our hearts!
Whoever you are and wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome here!
On August 27, 2017 the congregation was swept up in the musical excitement created by this talented duo. This recording is of their final rehearsal of Hovhaness’ Prayer of Saint Gregory.
Click here to hear it.
Shown below is John making last minute revisions to his score. We are so very blessed to have such a musical talent in our midst!
The other pieces in the service were Peeters’ Meditation for the Prelude, Couperin’s Fugette on the Cromorne as Offertory, and Telemann’s La Grace as Postlude. Mr. Pauly played on the hymns and was especially appreciated for his trumpet intro on the final hymn, “God of Our Fathers.”
Filling the pulpit on August 27th is Deacon Marcia Tomlinson, who will lead us in examining the “Who are you” and “Whose are you” questions which face us all. She says, ‘Jesus asked his core disciples, “Who do THEY say I am,” and straight away followed up with the very personal, “Who do YOU say I am?’ Through this week’s Lectionary* scripture readings we’ll be exploring how even the rescue of Moses ties into these “who and whose” questions of spiritual identity and belonging.
Our guest musician this week is trumpeter Josh Pauly. Although he’s often found in a school band room teaching, his performance career has included playing backup to swing style jazz group “Five by Design.” This Sunday Josh will play “Prayer of St. Gregory” by Alan Hovhanes (heard here with harmonium and cornet), and one or two trumpet pieces by Telemann. He will also join in on one or more of the hymns.
And speaking of hymns, one of them is going to be “God of Our Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand” which has that spine-tingling trumpet intro we haven’t heard in many a year!
*The Revised Common Lectionary organizes the Bible into three year-long cycles of readings. Each cycle begins on the first Sunday of Advent. We are currently in Year A which takes us through the Gospel of Matthew. See our EPISTLE for the current month’s listed readings.
What an incredible morning of worship on August 20th with the musical addition of Michael Zsoldas and his so mellow saxophone! Here is the Postlude improv by Michael and our John Atwood on J.S. Bach;s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.”
Click here to get just a sample of what we experienced.
Returning to the pulpit this Sunday will be the Rev. Dr. Michael Caldwell, retired UCC pastor of North Wolcott, VT. He will reflect on our losses, including the loss of a respected interim pastor, through the lens of “God’s Lost and Found.” Using Jesus’ parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin in Luke 15, we will be reminded to imagine that God has a lost and found where we will always find Grace, even in the inevitable grief of our lives.
Some quite extraordinary special music is in store for us this Sunday. Michael Zsoldas, saxophonist will be with us! Michael is Affiliate Artist and teacher at the University of Vermont, specializing in jazz and improvisation. Among his many accomplishments he has been the musical arranger for Oprah Winfrey’s “Trip of a Life Time.” Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes, August 20, 2017
This faith-full Sunday, August 13th, we are delighted that Cass Poulos will again be filling the pulpit. She says:
“What we are told and learn about faith depends upon the teacher. Many of us who are older, may have learned that having faith means we never doubt, never waiver or falter in our walk with Christ. Younger folks may learn that wavering and faltering means we are human. Frederick Buechner, a Progressive theologian, said, ‘Faith is disorderly…intermittent [and] full of surprises.’ Examples of faithfulness in the New Testament vary…so what is a Christian to do? Come to church Sunday and we will explore how Peter might respond.”
Also returning to our morning worship will be flutist Lisa Barfield for the Special Music! She’ll play Humperdinck’s Evening Prayer and C. Franck’s Adagio from Chorale in A minor. (Click on the highlighted titles to hear these lovely pieces)
What hymns of faith-FULL-ness did you grow up singing?
So familiar, yet never failing to penetrate deeply and lovingly into our hearts, When Peace Like a River (It Is Well With My Soul) was written out of grief Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes, August 13, 2017
This Communion Sunday (10:00 a.m.) we welcome back into our pulpit our long-time friend, the Rev. David Pruitt*, who promises to take us on a quick detour from the Lectionary onto the road to Emmaus (Luke 24).
Click below for some wonderful strolling music (which John Atwood will play as the offertory) as you read about this week’s service.
David says: During his time on earth people , at times, did not realize Jesus had been with them until after the fact even though their experience with him had been deeply touching and transforming. One such experience is found in Luke’s gospel when two travelers on the road to Emmaus had spent blessed “quality time” with Christ but did not recognize who they were really being served by until their time together was almost over. This weeks message offers a contemporary experience in which Jesus deeply touches a life at a critical moment through the unusual sensitivity of a simple taxi driver.
Complementing the message will be the line-up of special music and hymns. There is an interesting back story to the hymn
The Church’s One Foundation, written in the 1860s by Samuel John Stone … as a direct response to the schism within the Church of South Africa caused by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as … fictitious! Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes, August 6, 2017
This Sunday we welcome into our pulpit Elisa Lucozzi. Her focal point for her sermon, “The Seed Cracked Open,” is the string of similes from Matthew 13: 31-46. She reminds us:
- “The kingdom of heaven is like 80 strangers holding hands to form a human chain and rescue a family from a dangerous riptide.
- The kingdom of heaven is like the Habitat for Humanity team who shows up to construct a handicap ramp for the neighbor who now finds themselves wheelchair bond.
- The kingdom of heaven is like the firefighter who rushes back into a burning building to rescue a beloved animal companion.
- The kingdom of heaven is like the six-year-old who donates their birthday money to support the local food bank.
As we gather on July 30th, I invite you to bring your gardening tools as we seek to unearth the meaning of one of Jesus’ tiniest and most well known parables – the parable of the mustard seed.”
The children, both with Elisai and later in Sunday School, will also be learning about the Mustard Seed description of faith. Tools and seeds and soil will be involved!
The Special Music will be the shape note “Saints Delight” by F. Price, lyrics from the poetry of Isaac Watts, sung by Bridget Peters, Betsy Alexander and Marcia Tomlinson.
Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes, July 30, 2017