We will be worshipping this week in the context of the 15th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01. It might seem strange to have a service of celebration and quiet joy on such a day, but Christ leads us there with his teaching in the lectionary for this week. Luke 15:1-10 has the recurring theme (Sunday’s sermon title), “Rejoice with Me, For I Have Found What Was Lost!” We live in a world that gets lost, as we did on 9/11, and we ourselves stray from the Way of Christ over and over. We can rejoice that Christ rejoices every time we turn back, and welcomes us with his loving, forgiving, shepherding arms. The 51st Psalm is also in the lectionary with its moving, poetic affirmation of the same spiritual truth.
We will celebrate Welcome Sunday with the children helping to wheel the big lectern Bible into the sanctuary as they start up a new school year of Sunday School. The choir will have us rejoicing as it returns for its first Sunday after summer vacation. The Diaconate is hosting once again its fabulous Welcome party after worship with make-your-own sundaes in the vestry, as well as delicious non-sweet foods. Please invite friends, old and new, to join us this week!
We will sing three favorite hymns, the hauntingly beautiful Pues si vivimos (In All Our Living) led by our Diverse Musical Traditions team, and Amazing Grace and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling. The service will include poetry by Mary Oliver and our former member, Thelma Belair.
The choir will sing “This Is the Day” as Introit and “Let Freedom Ring” by Steve Swayne. Organist John Atwood will play Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” a “Prelude” by A. W. Marchant, and “The Heavens Declare by Benedetto Marcello.
Here is a famous version of Schubert’s “Ave Maria:”
Here is Mary Oliver reading her poem, “Wild Geese.”