Responding to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

At the beginning of Tom’s sermon on December 6, he mentioned Ahmad Majid and his family, which includes his pregnant wife, along with a small group of refugees from Syria.  This past summer Anemona Hartocollis, a journalist with the NY Times, joined this small group of desperate people as they traveled from Syria to find sanctuary.  To read a full account of their story please click this link:  http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/22/world/europe/syrian-refugees.html?_r=1

The Missions and Social Action Committee of our church has attended a couple of informational sessions to see how the people of the Upper Valley can be of help.  A group of several churches and synagogues is forming and researching ways to assists families in need.  On January 31, the Missions and Social Action Committee will be providing the sermon for the morning centered on the topic of our response to this refugee crisis.  Please feel free to talk to Holly Young, Lucia Button, or Tina Towle, or you can also contact Ginny Moore at 802-222-9675 or via e-mail (VirginiaMJMoore@gmail.com) if you would like more information or would like to help out.

Children on first Sunday of Advent

On November 29, the first Sunday in Advent, the children brought in evergreen branches to place around the Advent candles. They also sang “Light One Candle” with the choir, then helped with an Advent reading, and finally, lit the first Advent candle of hope.

Click the arrows under the photo to scroll through the album.

The children enter with the greens
The children enter with the greens
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Upcoming Service Notes: December 6, 2015

The Second Sunday of Advent is the Sunday of Peace, and much about this service will be designed to help you feel peace within the beauty and comfort of Advent.  Members of the Board of Mission and Social Action will light the Advent Candle with the children’s help.  We will read reassuring words from the Prophet Micah (5:2-5a) about our security in God, a passage that ends “and he shall be the one of peace.”  We will hear one of the most beautiful passages in all the Bible, the Benedictus of Zechariah, the Father of John the Baptist, that ends:

“By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes: December 6, 2015

Advent Music by Chanticleer

Here is an extraordinary men’s choir singing two extraordinarily beautiful Ave Marias.  The first two videos feature Franz Biebl’s Ave Maria: the Chanticleer album recording followed by a rougher video recording of the group performing it live.  The third is Ave Maria…Virgo Serena by Josquin des Prez.  If you do not know these, prepare to return to them again and again!

 

Sermon, November 29, 2015

Hope: The Refiner’s Fire     Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder
The Congregational Church of the United Church of Christ,
Bradford, Vermont
November 29, 2015   First Sunday of Advent, Sunday of Hope
Baruch 5:1-9; Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 3:7-18

The Book of Malachi has some mysteries about it. The word Malachi means “messenger” but we do not know if that was the name of the author or if the book’s title comes from the verse that says, “See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me.”

Nor can we be sure whom the prophet had in mind as the messenger. The Gospels link the passage to John the Baptist. It is easy to see why.
Continue reading Sermon, November 29, 2015

Upcoming Service Notes: November 29, 2015

We are entering Advent this Sunday, which may be the most beautiful and beloved season of the church year.  This is especially true if we include the Christmas Eve service, but each Sunday in Advent is full of music and rituals and readings designed to fill us with the Advent blessings of hope, peace, joy and love.

Advent is a season to savor, and this First Sunday of Advent will offer many opportunities to feel moved. Early in the service the children will bring in greens to decorate the Advent candle table.  The children and adult choir will sing Light One Candle as the Anthem, and then they will light the candle of Hope together.
Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes: November 29, 2015

Advent Music by Emmylou Harris

Here are two additions to our Advent music collection, both from the album Light of the Stable by Emmylou Harris.  The first is a fun seasonal song from the remastered and expanded release of the album, the second a beautiful contemporary carol from the original version.  The album is more for Christmas than Advent, with many carols that Emmylou blesses with her gifts of arrangement and voice.