When we come together this 1st Sunday of Advent and sing “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” we will be participating in a sacred Advent ritual more than a thousand years old. It takes us back to monastic life in the 8th- or 9th-century. For the week leading up to Christmas, they would sing a sequence of Latin “O antiphons” (an antiphon is a short chant like a refrain based on scripture). The purpose of these O antiphons was to concentrate the mind on the coming Christmas with a sequence of scriptures. Each day was a different O antiphon, climaxing with this one. Click here for a lovely rendition of the Latin original.
Yet there’s more to this particular antiphon than just its advanced age. Continue reading Upcoming Worship Dec 3, 2017
Pastor 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
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
November 5th is Communion Sunday and Pastor Jeff is basing his sermon “The Crazy Kingdom of God” on the lectionary scripture Matthew 23: 1-12.
The Communion hymn will be one of our congregation’s favorites, “Let Us Break Bread Together” and by clicking here you will be treated to a wonderful sight and sound presentation of it. Continue reading Upcoming Worship Nov. 5, 2017
The 1st Congregational Church of Haverhill, NH will showcase its newly repaired Holtkamp 1895 tracker organ at a concert on Nov. 12 at 3 p.m.
The organist will be Beverly Caldon, music director/organist at the United Church of Christ in Keene, NH. Caldon holds a master’s degree in choral and organ from the University of New Hampshire and has taught organ as a faculty member at Keene State College.
The concert is free and open to the public. A free-will offering for the maintenance of the organ will be collected. There will be a reception in the Parish Hall following the concert.
For this Sunday, Pastor Jeff says: Here’s a “yes” or “no” question to think about as we approach Sunday. Is following the dictates of one’s conscience the only way to steer one’s life with integrity? “Yes” or “No.”
And as we think about our personal response …
This year is the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation. For the back story on that there is a very good production by PBS which you can view by clicking here. It’s called Reluctant Revolutionary because when Luther tacked his list of complaints on the cathedral door it was not to spark a schism in the church but to help it get back on track.
Every year on Reformation Sunday (last Sunday in October) we sing “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” Continue reading Upcoming Worship Oct. 29, 2017
Enter into the fascinating world of sermon preparation this week as Pastor Jeff shares his outline:
Moses is allowed to see the glory of God but not the face of God. Why? Is it possible for human understanding to contain God’s fullness? If not, then, a degree of mystery seems necessary for faith.
PURPOSE: To convince the congregation that God is never possessed by the scope of human vision. Continue reading Upcoming Worship, Oct. 22nd, 2017
Sermon Title: “Dressing for the Occasion”
Read Matthew 22:1-14
A party is being thrown – a wedding, actually. All the invited guests have something better to do so they don’t show up. Did that stop the father of the bride? No. He told his slaves to go out and get anyone they can – good and bad, rich and poor. It didn’t matter. But wait. There is a problem some slob showed up in a tee shirt and shorts. Not okay. So the father has him thrown out and then Jesus says at the very end of the story, “Many are called but few are chosen.” With the sermon titled “Dressing for the Occasion,” what would you preach about?
This is the question Pastor Jeff is asking us to consider this Sunday, October 15th when we gather to worship at 10 a.m.
The final hymn of this week’s worship service will be the old revival “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder.” Click here for a rare ukulele version to play as you read the back-story of how this hymn came to be. Continue reading Upcoming Worship, Oct. 15th, 2017
Wakantanka Taku Nitawa
“Pressing On” is the title for the sermon this coming Sunday by our Interim Pastor Jeff. He’ll be basing it on the reading from Philippians concerning breaking with the past.
A joyous highlight of the service will be the time when we all share in speaking the Liturgy of Blessing of the Interim ministry of Pastor Jeff. Continue reading Upcoming Worship, October 8, 2017
World Communion Sunday
On this World Communion Sunday, in solidarity with the World Church, all those who are able are invited to receive the bread and the cup by coming forward. (Deacons will serve those who wish to remain in the pews.)
Rev. Michael will preach part two of “How the Kingdom Comes” focusing on Jesus’ command “… you are the salt of the earth.”(Matthew 5:13) Part one focused on verse 16, being the light that shines, which can be found if you click here.
The choral introit this week is “Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life,” set to Ralph Vaughan Williams’ flowing tune of The Call. Click here for the lovely music video production by Blackfriar Media. Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes, Oct. 1, 2017