Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Last Sunday was a very special day for our Beloved Community, a day when we gathered with tears of joy to celebrate the three years that Rev. Kinder has been our Interim Minister, and to wish him a fond Godspeed on his new journey ahead. We sang, we laughed, we worshiped, we joined together in a Litany of Leave-taking, and most precious of all we came forward one by one to be served communion by Rev. Kinder. After this deeply moving experience for us all we gathered downstairs for a delicious farewell luncheon, preceded by a heartwarming circle of thanks. Presented from the congregation were many cards and a special gift in recognition of Rev. Kinder’s love of nature and hiking. In all ways we wished him a beloved Aloha*. Here is a link to read Rev. Kinder’s July 2nd farewell sermon, “I Am with You Always, to the End of Time” http://bradforducc.org/sermon-july-2-2017/
This Sunday we warmly welcome Cass Poulos to our pulpit. She will have us continue with lessons in discipleship: what does it mean to be a disciple and how do we go about that, anyway?
Jesus encourages us to lay our burden(s) down, to pick up his yoke, learn from Him and find rest for our souls because His way is “easy and my yoke is light” (Matt 11.30). In the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, yoke symbolizes obedience and submission as well as wisdom and justice.
Want to find out how this all fits together? Come to church on Sunday!
William Cowper (1731-1800) said of this Sunday’s opening hymn “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” that the ultimate theme of this hymn is based on the premise and paradox that a sovereign God, unlike earthly rulers, demonstrates welcome, kindness, grace and mercy. All we need to do is have a simple faith that “rests upon God’s word.”
The lyrics of the hymn following the sermon, “Children of God,” were written by John Greenleaf Whittier, a strong supporter of the abolition of slavery. It’s sung to the tune of Welwyn; here is a link to a wonderful prelude based on this hymn tune https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUrJY48LyXM.
Our final hymn of commission will be “Called as Partners in Christ’s Service,” sung to the familiar tune of Beecher by John Zundel. Here is a link to hear the instrumental version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDnKuKR07Oo. Huber originally wrote this for a women’s breakfast at the 1981 Presbyterian General Assembly meeting celebrating the partnership of women and men in service of the church.
The special music this Sunday is a piece of organ music by Nicolas de Grigny. “Duo” is a kind of chase between two voices, each played on the two keyboards. For a delightful preview click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq3xX8ADups. The Prelude has a different Schmieder number based on the same hymn tune. Next week John will have two flutists rounded up to play “Trio Sonata in G for two flutes and continue”. And he is working on having at least one more flute presentation later in the summer!
The Prelude, Offertory, and Postlude are all numbers by J.S. Bach: “Dearest Jesus, we are here” BWV 730 which can be heard at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi2L76tUhsQ , “Jesus my Confidant” BWV 728, and “If thou but suffer God to guide thee” BWV 691.
Filling our pulpit in July will be
16th – Cass Poulos
23rd – Rev. Neil Wilson
30th – Rev. Elisa Lucozzi
Important note: on the 23rd and the 30th we are providing a “neutral pulpit” for a fellow Vermont Conference church. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear a voice from outside of our immediate community and it is an opportunity for that church’s search committee to experience the candidate leading worship and giving a sermon.
* The word “Aloha” has a deeper meaning for native Hawaiians. The kahuna David Bray has stated that to the Hawaiian of old, Aloha meant “God in us.” The word means even more, it is a way of life, it holds within itself all one needs to know to interact rightfully in the natural world.
We are an Open and Affirming Congregation.
Whoever you are, wherever you are on life’s journey,
you are welcome here.