This is one of the biggest Sundays in the church year–Thanksgiving, Reign of Christ Sunday, the last Sunday in the season of Pentecost, and New Year’s Eve–the new church year begins next Sunday, the 27th, with the First Sunday of Advent. In addition, this week we will be celebrating the Wild Game Supper (still tickets available, click here), and the highly successful Church World Service Kit drive of our Board of Mission and Social Action, and the completion of a program on God and Family by Cub Scout Caleb Peters. To top it all off, we will have a warned Congregational Meeting immediately following worship to consider whether to go forward with a study of what it would mean to become an Open and Affirming congregation.
This is one of those Sundays that has an evocative sound track–all many of us need to do is hear “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come,” or “We Gather Together,” or “Now Thank We All Our God,” and we feel an old familiar Thanksgiving feeling come over us, and memories of people and meals come flooding back. We will hear all three this Sunday, plus a Reign of Christ hymn, “Now Is the Time Approaching” (sung to the exuberant tune of “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”), plus the beloved “Fairest Lord Jesus” sung by the choir. Organist John Atwood will play pieces by J. S. Bach (hear it below), William Selby and H. Clough-Leighter.
The Call to Worship will be the joyous and reassuring Thanksgiving Psalm 95, and the Gospel reading will be a traditional Reign of Christ Sunday text, Matthew 25:31-40, that ends with Jesus saying, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” We will think about who is included in God’s family and what we are called to do to, with and for them, and we will celebrate some of the remarkable things we have done as a congregation in the past very active year.
Below is a recording of “Jesus, my Life’s Life” BWV 1107 by J. S. Bach that John will be playing as the Prelude. Savor and give thanks!