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

Organ Concert Nov. 12

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.

bevcaldonThe 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.

Sermon, Oct. 29, 2017

(due to a widespread power outage, this sermon upload was delayed)

luth“The Crazy Freedom of Faith”
Rev. Jeffrey Long-Middleton
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC

Galatians 5: 1-6
October 29, 2017

” … For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”  Galatians 5:1

So, what is this about? Why is Paul writing to the good folks in Galatia?

There’s a problem. The men of Galatia are thinking it might be a good idea to get circumcised. There not sure Jesus is enough. After all, Jesus was Jewish. Don’t you first have to become a Jew and then a Christian? And why not cover your bets?

For Paul, the stakes are high. In his mind you would only get circumcised if you were willing to go all the way – observe the law embedded in Judaism. But it is exactly the Law that Christ freed Paul from. Continue reading Sermon, Oct. 29, 2017

Upcoming Worship Oct. 29, 2017

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

Sermon, Oct. 22, 2017

god-shimmer“Keeping the Mystery Alive”
Rev. Jeffrey Long-Middleton
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC

Exodus 33: 12-23
October 22, 2017

” … then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.”  Exodus 33:23″

What does that look like? How did Moses get into the cleft of the rock? Did God point to where God wanted Moses to be and Moses scampered up? Did God pick up Moses? And what about God’s hand? It says God put God’s hand over Moses’ eyes so Moses wouldn’t see God’s face. Well, what does the “hand” of God look like – same size as ours or bigger? I can’t imagine God’s hand being smaller! Oh, what’s the problem with seeing God’s face? It’s not like God is trying to be totally illusive. Right? I mean, God let’s Moses see God’s back. No small thing. But the face, not that. Continue reading Sermon, Oct. 22, 2017