Organist John Atwood’s prelude for our worship on December 17th will be Johann Michael Bach’s delightful arrangement of In Dulci Jubilo, which means “In Sweet Rejoicing.” Johann was the first cousin once removed and father-in-law of J.S. Bach.
In Dulci Jubilo was composed in the early 1300s by a German mystic who, the legend says, heard angels sing the words … and then joined them in a dance of worship. Continue reading Upcoming Worship Dec 17, 2017
Cellist Phyllis Shea will be our guest musician for the morning worship service on December 17th.
She has been improvising on the cello for fifteen years, playing harmony and bass lines with local musicians. She plays every week at the Colatina Exit and Salt Hill in Hanover, and she frequently plays at Peyton Place, the Greenhouse, First Night venues, and other places.
Phyllis lives in Bradford and works at Oxbow High School as the school nurse.
For this Sunday the Prophet Isaiah reading is from chapter 40, verses 1-11 (read them here). Listen with your heart for the comfort, listen to the call to hear that voice in the wilderness, listen to the assurance that “he will feed his flock like a shepherd.”
Those familiar with Handel’s Messiah know these verses very well as a good portion of his epic oratorio comes from the promises revealed to Israel (and us!) through Isaiah and the good news (Gospel) of their fulfillment. Continue reading Upcoming Worship Dec. 10, 2017
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