Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster

October 25, 2020

“Together We Are Whole,” by Pi Luna —

Prelude— The Fiddle & The Drum, by Joni Mitchell

Lighting the Peace Lamp—This morning we light the Peace Lamp with words adapted from a prayer by Ted Loder:

Eternal God,
grant us an ease
to breathe deeply of this moment,
this light,
this miracle of now.
Beneath the din and fury
of great movements
and harsh news
and urgent crises,
make us attentive still
to good news,
to small occasions,
and the grace of what is possible
for us to be,
to do,
to give,
to receive,
that we may miss neither our neighbor’s gift
nor our enemy’s need.

—Ted Loder, “I Need to Breathe Deeply”, Guerrillas of Grace, p. 22

Welcome— Welcome here this morning. A reminder before we start that sharing and prayer requests can be emailed to Leslie throughout the service at It’s good to know that we have all set this time aside. Here we pause and quiet our spirits. Here we gather together before God. We open our minds and hearts to one another and to the Spirit of God.

This morning, we especially welcome our two guest speakers: Titus Peachey from East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church in Lancaster, and David Rensberger from Atlanta Mennonite Fellowship. We’re so glad you’re here!

On this last Sunday of October, we will once again be considering how to be “Peacemakers of Faith in Politically Polarized Times”. 

Call to Worship— Let’s continue now with our call to worship:

This morning, 
may we watch and listen for
the One who saw signs of God at work 
in salt and yeast,
pearls and seeds,
travelers and tax collectors,
foreigners and fishermen.
May the Spirit open our eyes with these signs,
and our ears with the summons
to follow to something more
of justice and joy.

—Ted Loder, “I Need to Breathe Deeply”, Guerrillas of Grace, p. 22

Gathering Song— My Soul Cries Out, STS #124, sung by CMCL on April 21, 2019

Children’s Time Invitation— Come and See, HWB #1
Children’s Time— Julie, Jackson & Graham Denlinger Bushong

Offering—Thank you for your continued support of your congregation. Many of you are giving at this time in so many creative ways. Our budget supports our staff, our building, our congregational care, and our outreach commitments. We are grateful that this community can be a place to seek and give mutual aid and to reach out beyond our community, too. Thanks, so much for being the church, and giving to the work of the church.

God of grace,
we know you want justice rolling down like water.
Accept these gifts from our hands – 
we cast them upon the waters of your love,
a generous ever-flowing stream 
feeding the hungry and
helping those in need.
Accept these gifts for the work of your church.  

Carol Penner (

Sermon— This morning’s “sermon” will be two guests reflections — by David Rensberger and Titus Peachey

Introduction of David Rensberger— David Rensberger is retired professor of New Testament at Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Ga. From Pastor Susan David and Sharon Rensberger are well-known to me from years at Atlanta Mennonite Fellowship (AMF). I remember the Rensbergers showing up at AMF for the first time when I was a young pastor, in my 20s and fresh out of seminary. I recognized David’s name as an author I had read and cited in my seminary work, and am still proud of myself for bravely continuing on with my sermon that morning, anyway! I am so grateful that my life’s path intersected with the Rensbergers, and grateful that David is sharing some of his story and wisdom with us this morning, as well. It’s just too bad that we’re not all meeting in person so that you could all enjoy some of Sharon’s cooking at an after-church potluck!

Scripture— Genesis 12:1-3 and Hebrews 11:8-10

Reflection by David Rensberger, will be shared live on Zoom

Song of Response— Seek ye first the king of God, HWB #324,
          Beth Graybill, Maren Morgan and Stock Weinstock

Introduction of Titus Peachey— From Legacies of War website: “Titus and his wife Linda [Gehman Peachey] were the directors of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) aid program in Laos from 1980-1985. Titus returned to Laos in 1994 to help coordinate the beginning of the humanitarian demining project in Laos, working alongside the Mines Advisory Group and the Lao Committee for Social and Veterans Affairs. He is the recently retired Director of Peace Education for MCC U.S.” He is an educator and advocate of conscientious objection and war tax resistance. Titus and Linda attend East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church here in Lancaster.

Scripture— Luke 4:16-19

Reflection by Titus Peachey, East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church

Song of Response— My Soul Cries Out, Goshen College

Sharing Time—  Email your prayer requests, or pictures or reflections to They will be sent out by email by Monday morning.

Sharing Time Prayer 

O God,
You are always with us
in surprising guises.

We meet you – 
Jesus of the flesh – 
in worker and friend,
stranger and pilgrim,
the needy and the needed,
the questioner and the questioned.

When we meet you this week,
may we deepen trust, 
deepen life, deepen justice
and deepen joy.

And when you meet us, 
help us live our lives
with presence and power,
with love and humility,
with courage and dignity.

Adapted from “Midday prayer”,
Daily Prayers with the Corrymeela Community, p. 6


Closing Hymn— For the month of October, we’ll be using “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” as our closing hymn. Sung by the St. James Compline Choir (used with permission of conductor William Wright). Thanks to CMCLers Beth Graybill and Stock Weinstock (and I think Maren Morgan, too!) for singing in this and sharing it with us!
          To see the singers as you listen, click here.
          To see the sheet music so you can sing along, click here.

Benediction— Let’s close now with this prayer of benediction (adapted from one by Ted Loder):

God of love and challenge,
Send us into this week
in power and gladness
and with great courage
to live out in the world
what we pray and profess,
that, in sharing,
we may do justice,
make peace,
grow in love,
enjoy ourselves,
other people,
and your world now,
and you forever.

—Ted Loder, “Draw Me to Yourself”, Guerrillas of Grace, p. 83


Worship Leader: Leslie Homer-Cattell
Sermon: David Rensberger & Titus Peachey
Children’s Time: Julie, Jackson & Graham Denlinger Bushong
Tech Host: Karen Davis