Tag: worship

Thursday Thoughts – September 10, 2020

Thursday Thoughts – September 10, 2020

CLICK HERE to read your Thursday, September 10, 2020 Thursday Thoughts.

 

Dear Congregation:

I am grateful for an energetic group of ERUCC members and friends who have committed themselves to getting people to the polls this November.  The UCC encourages its members and congregations to engage in voter registration drives, candidate forums, providing information on how to vote and in this year, the process for obtaining mail-in ballots.

The Rev. Traci Blackmon,  Associate General Minister of Justice & Local Church Ministries for The United Church of Christ, writes:  “For people of faith, the public arena we know as ‘politics’ represents much more than the partisan politicking we see on the news.  It is a means by which we live out the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Scripture reminds us over and over that building right relationship in human community and with God’s creation is an act inseparable from our relationship with God.  So, it is important for faith communities to engage in nonpartisan voter education and empowerment programs that help us reflect on our collective life and work to uplift the common good through the political process.”

No matter your opinion or political affiliation , your voice – your vote – matters and you deserve to be heard.

July 2 Thursday Thoughts

July 2 Thursday Thoughts

CLICK HERE to read the July 2, Thursday  Thoughts.

July 2, 2020

Dear Congregation:

It’s been twelve weeks since we last gathered as a congregation in our sanctuary.  This Sunday, some of us will share worship in the sanctuary and some of us will share worship via the livestream.  Wherever and however you choose to worship, your decision is honored as I hope you will honor the decisions of others.

As you know, reopening the buildings has not been an easy decision.  Besides researching all the science and data concerning the spread of the virus, we have been navigating the emotional toll this has taken on so many in our congregation.  For some of us, gathering at the church for worship has been not only a regular practice but critical for overcoming isolation.  Being with the church family brings meaning and purpose in ways that other group gatherings do not.  I have heard the pain and the heartbreak as week after week went by and we could not gather even as we all admitted we needed more time to consider how to gather as safely as possible.

The reopening team seriously reviewed the scientific data from the CDC and recommendations from the Frederick County Health Department.  These are reflected in how we will be worshipping.  When some of us do gather in the sanctuary this Sunday, we know that this pandemic is far from over.  We are not returning to life as usual or as we knew it prior to the beginning of March.  We will be wearing masks and sitting far apart from each other.  We will not be able to hug or shake hands.  We will not be singing as a congregation nor will we have the senior choir.   We will be surrounded by the smell of cleaning fluids and hand sanitizer.

It will be different.  We will feel the difference not only because of the masks but also, we will feel the physical absence of some of our friends.  And to  reinforce a key element of our path forward, we respect the decisions of one another who choose to come to worship in the building and those who choose to participate at home. Each person must make their own assessment as to how and when they choose to worship.

We will need to continue to be vigilant in keeping connected with one another with all the ways we have been doing that over these past twelve weeks, focusing on what we have learned as a congregation, including:

  • How people have become engaged with worship in ways they never had before.
  • How we came to appreciate the depth of care within our church family.
  • How we needed to invest in new equipment to upgrade the online experience.
  • How we continued to be the church even as we had to figure out new ways to do that.

I am sure there is other knowledge we have gained, and I welcome hearing from you about your insights.

I thank those who  served on the Worship Team throughout these twelve weeks, the AV tech crew, and the church staff.  We know that until there is a vaccine, this virus will have an impact on us, for many months ahead. Patience, flexibility, and faith must be our guides, always erring on the side of safety.

 

 

 

Worship Notes  

Jesus offers a relationship that leads to fullness of life, yet Matthew 11:16–19, 25–30 reports that many resist Jesus’ hospitality. Jesus likens them to two groups of children at play who can’t agree on a game and find fault with all that is offered. Today we will reopen the doors of the church for Sunday morning worship.  As a small group meets in the sanctuary, we know that we will continue to be gathered in many homes across Frederick and the United States as well as Germany. For your worship center, you have a little sparkly thing to add as a reminder of the joy we share as a community in Christ.

Food for Thought:   

           

 

Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor

Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ

15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701

301-662-2762

E-mail: bkdaniel@erucc.org

 

Sunday, June 28 Bulletin

Sunday, June 28 Bulletin

Join us for worship on Sunday, June 28 at 10:30 a.m. at https://boxcast.tv/view/sunday-1030-service-654874 

CLICK HERE for the Bulletin

June 28

Genesis 22:1–14, one of the most dramatic stories in the Bible, when read carefully, seems to have the message of trust in a God of goodness. Many find this story harsh: Abraham hears a command to sacrifice his own son Isaac, Abraham prepares to do so and is stopped in the last second.  Matthew 10:40–42, Jesus’ words provide a simple but difficult charge to those who wish to be disciples: to recognize Jesus and other prophetic voices in the most marginalized people in society, and to choose generosity.

 

The Rev. Carolyn Roberts will be preaching

Sunday, June 14, 2020 Bulletin

Sunday, June 14, 2020 Bulletin

Join us for worship on Sunday, June 14 at 10:30 a.m. at https://boxcast.tv/view/sunday-1030-service-654874 

CLICK HERE for the Bulletin

June 14

Matthew 9:35-10:8 describes the ministry of Jesus and his disciples. There are many in need of Jesus’ healing ministry. Jesus acknowledges that he cannot do this work alone and calls disciples to join him. However, the authority to cast out unclean spirits and cure disease requires that the disciples sacrifice their former lives and any hopes of wealth or prestige.

Thursday Thoughts May 28, 2020

Thursday Thoughts May 28, 2020

CLICK HERE for the Full May 28, 2020 Thursday Thoughts. 

 

Dear Congregation:

I greatly appreciate the resources, prayers, and reflections my colleagues are sharing during these challenging times.  This morning, Michel Caine, Pastor of Old First Reformed UCC, Philadelphia shared this prayer with his congregation.  As he writes, “In light of all the missed or at least postponed rituals and life cycle events, I offer you a Postponement Prayer created by a Reconstructionist Rabbi, Heather Paul:”

“Holy One of Blessing,

I stand before You today

ready to embrace Your unending love

and ready to respond with love in return

 

Today is not the day I imagined

and yet I am still here, standing with You,

understanding that sometimes plans overturn

and all that we yearned for

remains undone.

 

Holy One of Blessing,

my heart breaks for what should have been

and longs for what’s yet to come

Help me find holiness

in this in-between time, waiting.

 

Bless me with savlanut (patience),

tikvah (hope), and koakh (strength).

Sit beside me in time’s waiting room

where I pray the day may soon arrive

when I can stand before You again

ready to welcome a new beginning

 

Blessed are You, Arranger of Time and Space,

Who blesses every season, and Who blesses Your people forever.”

Sunday, May 24 Bulletin

Sunday, May 24 Bulletin

Join us for worship on Sunday, May 24 at 10:30 a.m. at  https://boxcast.tv/view/sunday-1030-service-525168

CLICK HERE for the Bulletin

 

Seventh Sunday of Easter                                                               

Jesus makes clear in Acts 1: 6-14, that the role of a disciple is to be Jesus’ witnesses throughout the world, under the power of the Holy Spirit.  The Gospel lesson, John 17: 1-11, is part of Jesus’ final prayer with the disciples, preparing them for their lives as witnesses to the saving love of God.            

Thursday Thoughts, May 21

Thursday Thoughts, May 21

CLICK HERE to read the full Thursday, May 21 Thursday Thoughts

 

Dear Congregation:
Today is Ascension Day. Ascension Day is the 40th day of Easter and commemorates the ascension of Jesus into heaven 39 days after resurrection on Easter Sunday. You will find the Biblical accounts of the Ascension in Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53 and Acts 1:6-11.

During the 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and his ascension, it is believed that Jesus preached and spent time with the apostles and his followers. Ten days after Ascension Day is Pentecost when we commemorate the coming of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus.

In the beginning of Acts, the risen Lord instructs the disciples to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. This they do for 40 days, recalling Moses on the mountain, receiving the law and experiencing the glory of the Lord. “Lord,” they ask Jesus, “is this the time that your kingdom is going to come?” “No,” Jesus says, “it is not for you to know that. . . . But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses.”

Then Jesus ascends to heaven, and two men in white robes ask the disciples, “Why are you looking up to heaven? He is going to come back!”

There was a time when the Ascension of Jesus was a big deal at Evangelical Reformed Church. In the narthex of our main sanctuary, you can see this photo of the chancel, elaborately decorated for worship in marking the Ascension of Jesus. In reading the bulletins from the ministry of Rev. Kieffer, our pastor from 1910-1946, you find announcements such as this one from 1919, “The annual Sunday School Festival will be held on Ascension Day (Thursday of this week), 7 o’clock. This is one of the most important services of the year and all members of the congregation are invited to be present.”

Sunday, May 17 Bulletin

Sunday, May 17 Bulletin

Join us for worship on Sunday, May 17 at 10:30 a.m. at  https://boxcast.tv/view/sunday-1030-service-525168

CLICK HERE for the Bulletin

Sixth Sunday of Easter                                                                   

The Gospel lesson for this morning is John 14: 15-21. As Jesus promised, God’s presence abides in us through the Spirit – our advocate, comforter, and encourager – and the practice of love. God’s nearness in Spirit blesses us in our witness. The hallmark of this relationship is love expressed in word and deed.  The nearness of God’s presence is underscored by Paul’s address to the Athenians, recorded in Acts 17:22–31. As Paul’s witness proclaims the saving love of God in Christ, a church forms and grows. Even when God’s presence is unrecognized, God in Christ draws near.

As you prepare your worship center for this Sunday, place your heart on your table as a reminder that we are called to be faces of God’s love.     Send a photo of your worship center to Pastor Daniel at bkdaniel@erucc.org    

Sunday, May 10th Bulletin

Sunday, May 10th Bulletin

Join us for worship on Sunday, May 3 at 10:30 a.m. at  https://erucc.org/visit-us/sunday-live-stream/

CLICK HERE for the Bulletin

Fifth Sunday of Easter

In 1 Peter 2:2–10, the readers are thought to have been Gentiles who became followers of Jesus. They are scattered throughout the lands of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas under the rule of the Roman Empire and its culture. This letter aspires to guide and inspire them in their daily lives as they are grown into the ways of being God’s own people, recipients of God’s mercy and inclusion. The language/theme of rocks/stones continues through this passage with Christ being portrayed as both a precious cornerstone for those who trust in him and as a stumbling block to those who don’t. This theme connects in part to today’s gospel reading, John 14:1–14.  Jesus, as part of his farewell discourse before betrayal and execution, speaks words of reassurance to his disciples.                                                                                                                   
For Your Worship Centers on Sunday, have your candle and Bible, and include the heart that came in your packet from the church this week.  Add some fresh flowers from your garden.  You may also consider adding a stone to represent Christ as the cornerstone for our lives and faith.

Take a photo and post it on Facebook or send it to bkdaniel@erucc.org