September 19, 2021
Lighting of the Peace Lamp—
Where is the face of God to whom I can pray?
The answer is simple.
That naked one. That lonely one.
That unwanted one is my brother and my sister.
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
Welcome—Good morning, everyone and welcome. Here we are, some together here, some on our old friend ZOOM, some connected to us but not able to be with us. Today was to be our first day back in the sanctuary but, like the rest of this precarious world, we continue to be asked to shift and change and accommodate and be patient. And so we will, acknowledging the respect we have for science and the care we have for our immediate and extended community.
We gather this morning on Peace Sunday. Peace Sunday? That name makes me uncomfortable in some ways; maybe for some of you as well.
Militant anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers…peace Sunday?
Stolen voting rights …peace Sunday?
Men dictating what women can and can’t do….peace Sunday?
Rallies supporting insurrection….peace Sunday?
We also gather to reflect on our new Fall theme…”I’ve been meaning to ask”. This will focus on our finding our way back to each other by asking real questions:
Where are you from?
Where does it hurt?
What do you need?
Where do we go from here?
Might this be our way to find peace in this difficult world? To look our neighbors in the eye – our neighbors across the street and across the world – and ask these questions?? To really listen. To be present for each other, to try to understand. Let us hold these words by Jan Richardson as we enter our service this morning:
Blessing in the Storm
I cannot claim
to still the storm
that has seized you,
the waves that wash
through your soul,
that break against
your fierce and
But I will wade
into these waters,
will stand with you
in this storm,
will say peace to you
in the waves,
peace to you
in the winds,
peace to you
in every moment
that finds you still
within the storm.
Children’s Gathering Song—Come and See, Sung by CMCL on Jan 26, 2020
Children’s Time— John-Michael Contiglia-Pickens
Offertory—Circle of Life, CMCL ensemble
Offering—Thank you for your continued support of your congregation. 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.
These words by Reshad Feild:
Dear God: Help us learn to turn to each person as the most sacred person on earth, to each moment as the most sacred moment that has ever been given to us. This moment will never happen again, because no two moments are alike. Are we then, perhaps, awake a bit more? Perhaps breathing together with you? Amen
Scripture—Read by Ken Kulp
They dress the wound of my people
as though it were not serious.
‘Peace, peace,’ they say,
when there is no peace.
Mark 4:35-41, Jesus Calms the StormThat day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Announcements & Introduction of Visitors—
Closing Hymn—The Peace of the Earth be with You, VT #838
We have only begun
To imagine the fullness of life.
How could we tire of hope?
–so much is in bud.
We have only begun
To imagine justice and mercy,
There is too much broken
That must be mended,
Too much hurt we have done to each other
That cannot yet be forgiven.
We have only begun to know
The power that is in us if we would join
Our solitudes in the communion of struggle.
So much is unfolding that must
Complete it’s gesture.
So much is in bud.
by Denise Levertov
Sermon: Susan Gascho-Cooke
Prelude & Offering: Marty Kelley & CMCL Ensemble
Children’s Time: John-Michael Cotignola-Pickens
Tech hosts: Dave Cattell (via phone)