Category Archives: guest preachers

All Saints message from Bishop Suda Davadhar

November 1, 2012
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As we open our calendars to November, it indicates that we are observing “All Saints Day.” This is celebrated in most of our churches.
Though there are many definitions of a “saint,” one of the definitions that I appreciate and celebrate is, “A saint is an agent of change.”  Though there are countless numbers of people to whom we give credit in our personal faith journeys, one on my list is Archbishop Oscar Romero.  Archbishop Romero was a prophetic voice of the voiceless people who suffered injustice in El Salvador.  He was assassinated for his Christian witness as he was celebrating the mass. As we think about his ministry and his Christian witness, may we pause over a prayer composed by Bishop Ken Untener, who included it in a reflection titled “The Mystery of the Romero Prayer.”
A Future Not Our Own (also known as ‘The Long View’)
It helps, now and then, to step back
and take the long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of
the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete,
which is another way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No programme accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for God’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.”
Though one could develop several sermons out of this prayer/poem, one of the messages I get in the context of All Saints Day/Sunday is that we who have tried to bring about change in our personal and Christian lives might not have seen the end results of our ministry and mission, but we have been blessed with an “opportunity for God’s grace to enter and do the rest.”
As I have reflected on and processed what I have heard in my conversations and dialogues with some of you in my district visits and in other places, the life and witness of Archbishop Romero challenges all of us by saying, “We are prophets of a future not our own.” The saints in our lives and Christian journeys stimulate us to do our part as baptized Christians at every moment of our lives, not worrying about the results.  Yes, it is a human tendency to say at certain moments, “Why should I work hard if someone else is going to reap the results of my hard work and sacrifices?”  However, the saints we know challenge us to move beyond that stage and ask a deeper question, “Being the recipient of God’s grace in my own life, how can I impart it upon others through my Christian witness?”
As we thank God for blessing us with countless numbers of saints along the way in our personal and faith journeys, may we also be in prayer and ask, “How can I be a saint – an agent of change – in my own context?”
Kindly remember that “God loves you all and so do the Devadhars!”
In Christ’s Love,
Bishop Suda Devadhar


October 28, 2012 Order of Worship

Chilmark Community Church

October 28, 2012

Prelude: Invention 7 J.S. Bach
Gathering and Announcements
Introit:  #328 “ Surely the Presence “
Call to Worship   Psalm 34:1-8 (19-22)   p.769 (no musical response)
*Hymn  #117  “O God Our Help in Ages Past”
Children’s Moment
Confession  (unison)O Holy One, we call to you and name you as eternal, ever-present, and boundless in love. Yet there are times, O God, when we fail to recognize you in the dailyness of our lives. Sometimes shame clenches tightly around our hearts, and we hide our true feelings. Sometimes fear makes us small, and we miss the chance to speak from our strength. Sometimes doubt invades our hopefulness, and we degrade our own wisdom.Holy God, in the daily round from sunrise to sunset, remind us again of your holy presence hovering near us and in us. Free us from shame and self-doubt. Help us to see you in the moment-by-moment possibilities to live honestly, to act courageously, and to speak from our wisdom.Silent prayerMusical Amen
Proclamation and Praise:

Job 42:1-6, 10-17Mark 10:46-52

Discussion  :  Pam Goff, discussion leader

Dear Lord, teacher and healer, you heard the cry of the blind beggar when others would have silenced him.Teach us to be persistent in prayer and give us courage to ask plainly what we need from you, that we might live whole lives that serve you and others. Amen.
*Hymn  #454  “Open My Eyes That I may See”
Concerns and Celebrations:

God of mercy and healing, you who hear the cries of those in need, receive these petitions of your people that all who are troubled may know peace, comfort, and courage.

Silent Prayer:

Life-giving God, heal our lives, that we may acknowledge your wonderful deeds and offer you thanks from generation to generation through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Offering*:Hymn 95 “Praise God From Whom All Blessing Flow”

Prayer of Dedication (unison):

God of love and goodness, we bless you as those who have been the recipients of blessings too numerous to count. We boast in you as those who have been carried in your arms through the rough and troubled times of our lives. We pray this morning that the gifts we give and the lives we live might magnify your love and goodness, and that through our lives, your name might be exalted! We praise you with all our voice! Amen.

*Hymn   451 “ Be Thou My Vision”
Benediction  (unison) God be with you till we meet again. Amen
Postlude: Machs mit mir, Gott Johann Walther ______________________________________

Organist:  Carol Loud

Worship Leader:  Emily Broderick

Next Week’s Lessons: Lamentations 1:1-6;Psalm 137 (UMH 852);2 Timothy 1:1-14; Luke 17:5-10

*Stand if you are able


Order of Worship, Sept. 23,2012

Chilmark Community Church
September 23, 2012
Family Worship
Prelude: Prelude in C major, J.S.Bach
Gathering and Announcements
Peace be With You
And also with you.

Call to Worship   Psalm 1  p. 738, no musical response

*Hymn  660 Verses 1&4
Children’s Moment

After a moment of silence let us bring our selves into prayer:
Prayer of reconciliation  (unison)
God of unsearchable mystery and light,
your weakness is greater than our strength,
your foolishness brings all our cleverness to naught,
your gentleness confounds the power we would claim.
You call first to be last and last to be first,
servant to be leader and ruler to be underling of all.
Pour into our hearts the wisdom of your Word and Spirit,
that we may know your purpose and live to your glory. Amen.

Lessons and Commentary
Proverbs 31:10-31
Hymn 445 “Happy the Home”  vs. 1&4
James 3:13-4:3; 7-8a
Hymn 2171 “Make me a Channel of your Peace”
Mark 9:30-37
Hymn 430 “ O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee”

Concerns and Celebrations
Unison Prayer
God of salvation,  who sent your Son to seek out and save what is lost, hear our prayers on behalf of those who are lost in our day, receiving these petitions and thanksgivings
with your unending compassion.

Silent Prayer

Redeeming Sustainer, visit your people and pour out your strength and courage upon us, that we may hurry to make you welcome not only in our concern for others, but by serving them
generously and faithfully in your name. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer

*Hymn 95 “Praise God From Whom All Blessing Flow”
Prayer of Dedication (unison)
God of wisdom and light, as we offer our gifts this morning, we pray that you will help us grow hearts of generosity and not selfishness, compassion and not resentment, contentment and not envy. Help us to see the abundance you have given us, and help us to focus on what we have instead of what we don’t have; on abundance and not scarcity. Help us to see we are rich in your love and grace and in so many other ways. Thank you for all your gifts. Amen

*Closing Hymn and Benediction  :Hymn 431“Let There Be Peace on Earth”
Let us Pray:
O God, Wisdom of the universe, you bear the pain of your people. Grant us the gift of wisdom, that we may discern your way and live justly and graciously amid the struggles of this world. Amen.

Postlude: Fughetta in A, Charles Burney
Organist:  Carol Loud
Worship Leader: Emily Broderick
Next Week’s Lessons: Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22; Psalm 124 (UMH 846);James 5:13-20;Mark 9:38-50

*Stand if you are able

THE BREAD ALSO RISES by Rev. Dr.Rebecca Pugh

The Bread Also Rises

A Sermon For The Chilmark Community Church

Rev. Dr. Rebecca Pugh, Clergy

August 5, 2012


Children’s Sermon:


We are going to be reading John’s Gospel: the story of a time when the people followed Jesus, asking him to whip up more miracles for them. He has already turned the loaves and fishes into a feast for 5,000, and they want him to do it again. But he says, watch yourselves; be careful; keep track of your hungers and see them for what they are.


I have a story for you, told to me by a member of our church in Ipswich this week. It seems that a lady had a parakeet, and it died. She took it to the vet, and the vet, without needing much analysis, told her that the parakeet was indeed dead, and she should bury it. But she said, “No, it’s been my pet for a long time. I really like it. Can’t you do anything?” And the vet said, “No, not now; it’s dead.” But the lady begged him for more work to be done on the parakeet. So the vet finally agreed. He opened the door to the back room, and a technician came out, with a silver tabby cat on a leash. The cat walked up to the parakeet, sniffed it, pushed it to the other end of the desk, and then walked away. Then, out of the same back room door, another technician came out, with a Labrador retriever on a leash. The Labrador bounded up to the parakeet, sniffed its feet, sniffed its head, and then lay down and panted. The vet turned back to the lady. “Sorry lady. Your bird is dead.” “Ok,” she said. “How much do I owe you?” “Five hundred dollars.” “Five hundred dollars to tell me that my bird is dead?” “Well,” said the vet, “It was going to be fifty for the office visit. But with the cat scan and the lab report, it’s five hundred.”


Sometimes we start with a simple problem, and we make it really complicated. Like the lady with the dead bird, sometimes we do not need a lot of help to understand a situation, but we want it to stay complicated, so we go looking in strange places. This is a similar situation to what Jesus is talking about in John’s Gospel. Sometimes we get all mixed up, he says. Sometimes we feel sad, but we think we are hungry. Sometimes we feel lonely, but we think we are thirsty. It gets all jumbled in our brains, and we go out looking for the wrong cures, when the answer is straightforward. What we really want is comfort, and love, and food in our body just when it’s hungry.


Sermon for All Ages:


John 6: 25 ff

The next day the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there. They also saw that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberius came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set the seal.


This is a sermon about hope. I would like to thank your minister Arlene for inviting me to fill in for her while she is away. It is an honor to be here.


The Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch (1450 – 1516) has a painting hanging in the Prado in Madrid called “seven deadly sins” and he depicts a man, sitting in a tidy room, on a chair with a pillow in his painting segment called “sloth”. He has a fire in the fireplace, a dog at his feet, music playing outside his window, even a nun, coming to his doorstep to pray the Rosary with him. But he sleeps. He has 100 beautiful things waiting. But he sleeps and waits. Alas, he is sleeping still, 500 years later.


Sometimes I think we get stuck waiting for happiness, or fullness, and we do not realize the joy that is around us. We can get so distracted that we miss our chance to be free.


In a similar way, in Dante’s Inferno, the people who suffer from spiritual hunger are depicted by Dante as stuck under the surface of a large stinking swamp. They explain, “We were sad in the sweet air which the sun made cheerful, for within us was morose smoke.”1


Jesus says, as John’s Gospel remembers it, “Don’t do that. Don’t get stuck in appetites or moods or resentments. Don’t look in all the wrong places for joy. Rather, look right where you are. You don’t need new possessions, new purchases, and new foods. All you need, to borrow Dante’s words, is the sweet air, which the sun made cheerful.


The context of this verse is this: Jesus has fed the 5,000, and the people are looking for more. They realize that he is a man of miracles, and they follow him tenaciously. Jesus, then, as John presents him, draws a line for them. Be careful, John describes Jesus saying. Don’t mix up your belly and your brain. Don’t mix up your short-term longing with your long-term trust.


John’s Gospel is rich with these distinctions between the material body and the spiritual plane. John presents Jesus as the holy golden man, never hungry after the resurrection as he is in Luke’s Gospel, never crying in fear or pain on the cross as he is in Matthew’s Gospel, but rather so pure and powerful that he needs nothing, transcends everything, and perfectly manages his life. John even quotes Jesus from the cross as saying, ‘It is accomplished’, his salvation is worked out, rather than the “why have you forsaken me” that we hear from the other Gospel writers.


I have been working with a manuscript from Krister Stendahl, who was the Lutheran Bishop of Stockholm in the 1980’s and spent every summer right across the bay here on Nantucket, who talks about the Jesus of John’s Gospel. According to John, Jesus is powerful beyond measure. He’s not afraid of anything. He’s never tempted. He never asks for help. He never blows up or knocks over a table. The Jesus of John’s Gospel, in other words, is far away from the human man that we find in the other gospels. He’s powerful and strong and shielded, by his holiness, from the mutability of human emotion.


And so it is no wonder that John describes Jesus here, reminding the people to turn away from the perishable thoughts and hungers, and towards the imperishable. The Jesus of John’s Gospel is great at that model of aiming for perfection, without coddling the human frailty. He wants us to be great at turning toward the joy.


In this perfection that John’s Gospel points us to try for, Jesus says there are really two kinds of food: the kind that perishes, that is the sort that nourishes our bodies. And there is the kind that doesn’t perish. That is the sort that nourishes our souls. He says sometimes, we go looking for the perishable foods, even when it’s our souls that are hungry. Be careful about that, he says. Keep a good boundary. Know when your body is hungry, and know what the other signals come from, and mean.


Sometimes we get mixed up, we feel hungry when we are really sad; we feel thirsty when we are tired. And we make bad decisions.


I titled this sermon, “The Bread Also Rises”, thinking of Ernest Hemmingway’s novel, “The Sun Also Rises”; a good Paris novel to consider while your minister is away in Paris. Hemmingway writes his novel beginning in the gay city of France, and then moving to the bull fights in Spain. The characters are unhappy. Jake Barnes longs for love, and can’t have it. His body is injured in the war, and though he can do sports and many things, he cannot physically love another person. Brett Ashley, on the other hand, has so much physical love that she is cynical from it, and also unhappy. The two of them long for each other, but live isolated. Hemmingway borrows a passage from Ecclesiastes to title his book: “The earth abiedeth forever; the sun also ariseth, and goeth down, and hasteneth to the place where he arose”. Hemmingway told his publisher that he intended the novel to be about the earth abiding forever. The characters are lonely, but not lost. They are hungry, but they yet have a chance at fullness.


It is like the figures from Dante’s inferno: the sweet air is just above them, and they can’t quite smell it, because of the filmy swamp surface that they are just beneath. But they remember the sweet air. They long to have just one day again, up there breathing in the sunlight.


It is like the man in the Bosch painting: he is sound asleep, even though there are many happy things waiting to cheer him if he would just wake up: a fire, a dog, music, even a friend with whom to pray.


In other words, you may not need a cat scan, a lab report, but a simple turning toward joy. In that sense we may find that the bread, though it falls some of the time, also rises up to cheer us. And that rising bread takes forms ordinary and extraordinary; forms we might never expect.


In conclusion, I would like to sing a song that our youth group at home is fond of. Sometimes they sing it for the church. It is called, “Now I walk in Beauty”, and it is a song from the Native American community.


Now I walk in Beauty.

Beauty is before me.

Beauty is behind me, above, and below me.


Thanks be to God.

1 Described by Norris, Kathleen. “Plain Old Sloth”. Christian Century, January 11, 2003.

Fond Farewell for now from Helen

Early last Sunday,  while Arlene was busy preparing for the service at Chilmark,  (one which would feature the Jim Thoma Spirituals Choir), I was boarding the seven a.m.  ferry to Woods Hole.  It was a beautiful morning.  The heat that had assaulted the preceding days with ninety degree temperatures had broken.  When the boat began to pull out of the slip,  I stood against against the rails of the outer-deck, grateful for the sense of tranquility that graced my departure. Leaving this island is never easy.   As i gazed fondly at the wooden boats moored in the harbor, and then lifted my eyes to behold  the steeples rising above the treetops, I could not help but think about how much my life has been transformed by this mystical and enchanted landscape. How many gifts it has to offer.  How many secrets it is waiting to disclose.  Secrets that are necessary for our personal evolution.     (And to think i only came here for a weekend – twenty five years ago – to see a fellow i had a crush on  perform in a Shakespeare play. It was a production of Twelfth Night in the ampitheater.  i had never been to the island before, and arrived in black fishnets and a black sequin beret, expecting to hail a cab to the ampitheater, which i presumed to be a large colleseum like construct with vendors selling penants, bags of granola, and theatrical souvenirs… i never got the guy.  In fact, he never even noticed me among the six or seven in the audience.   But I was offered an even more remarkable  relationship with the island itself.  With Martha.  What a romance.  As we all know, she is a temptress, a narcissist, bewitching, beguiling, and capable of casting spells.   If Martha  wants you, she doesn’t let you go.  As long as you worship and adore her, she will always find you a couch to sleep on, and a reason for you to stay on).    With that in mind,  i must now have Faith, and Trust,  that even the ostensibly bad things that happen on the Vineyard  – such as this recent mishap – are likewise part of a greater plan – one designed for the ultimate benefit of all, however that might make itself manifest  – and despite the need for massive dosages of ibuprophin.   The island seems to dispatch many fairies, woodland nymphs, and benevolent spirits, to bless our lives and perform its magic,  but it likewise seems to have an inexhaustible supply at its command of various nebishes, jinksters and pranksters to execute its more fiendish mischief.


This last week at Arlenes was really restorative.  In many ways – like the love and concern i received from various parisioners at the church, it defies my ability to articulate – and truly remains one of the gifts disclosed by the disastor.  Sometimes things need to be cracked – if not broken – for the light to get in.  And i am humbled, for,  despite  whatever intelligence i might portend, i am utterly mystified by the power of the love, the understand and the compassion i was given – which helped heal and transform my body and spirit, on a cellular level.   The nurturing, acceptance, and support i received still stupified and causes me to stop in my tracks.


I do know that i am no longer the battered, bedraggled and bruised scruff muffin that relocated to Arlene’s a week ago.  i was shaken and rattled – both on a physical and emotional level – which many of you bore witness to, and helped me through.  God has a remarkable sense of synchronicity – and it seemed as if you were dispatched into my life at various junctures throughout this debacle.  Running into Ann Dietrich at the Post Office, or Julie at The Chilmark Community Center, for example, at times when i was “on the verge” of breaking.  Or Ted and Judy while I endeavoring to pound out the notes to a song I had orginally intended to play at the service – though the accident prevented me. “In the Arms of The Angel.”


Now, enriched by the acceptance, love, and support I received,  I must dwell in the hope that my body continues to heal and mend so that i am as good as new.  I am not sure if that’s how it can be at my age,  but let’s see…let’s hope…let’s pray.  With God, all things are possible.  And may I continue to remember the healing love from Laurie and Don and Pam and Clark and Judy and Ted and Julie and Arlene and Dr. Lorna, and Ann and Virginia,  when i return to the city – May the memory provide as much of a sanctuary that heals and gives strength,  as was lavished upon me since the accident occurred.


I am especially grateful for this last weekend.  I had only intended to stay “a few days”  at Arlene’s and certainly did not want to violate any boundaries in that regard, or overstay my welcome.  At the outset i thought i would leave midweek, though as Wednesday, then Thursday approached, I was still a wreck inside,  frazzled.  i was afraid that a if i head back to New York and something  bad happpened,  anything – the slightest inconvenience, it could make me snap. lose it.  go beserk –  in a way that would only hurt myself.  That’s what people who are by themselves do in the city:  they hurl themselves in front of garbage trucks, or busses, or on the tracks of an oncoming subway train. Sometimes it just gets to be too much.   I guess the word for me mid week was fragile.  i never really left Arlene’s side; i was like a baby duck, in that regard.  Despite my vehement independence, I guess can sometimes be very self adhesive.  Or let’s say i made pretend to leave her side,  but was always on the radar screen.  i seldom ventured out, and don’t know that i have ever spent that much time in doors.  i guess its what i needed. Arlene’s place offers a home for the intellect, for the artist, for the stomach, and for the weary.   The heat wave – proved a blessing, for it not only dissuaded me from leaving at the end of the week (tempertatures in the city hovered around one hundred and ten degrees), but it  aslo persuaded me during these final days, to get into the water.   I took the bus to ocean park,  both friday and again saturday.  While elsewhere others sweltered,  i stood in the cool turquoise waters of the Nantucket Sound.    The water is shallow so the sun beats down and heats it to a merciful temperature.  It felt good,  and once my body was tempered, i sat down, near waters edge so that I was submerged. i did hand exercizes in hope of improving mobitlity and range of motion.   i was grateful to have found my way back to the gifts of the island – in terms of the sky, the sea, the sands, the sun.  I have to be reminded that what the island offers (and what i return for) has a far greater power than whatever destructive forces were at work when the accident occurred – and it is that relationship – the one with the island, that i must take care of and hold central.  That is the one that nurtures. enkindles.  affirms the existence of the soul and its need for a relationship with God –  an unspoken trust demonstrated, likewise in the relationships i have developed with the parishioners at the church.  It is not about class, politics, economic standing, or some imaginary – illusory stratasphere of importance.  The transluscent aqua waters of Ocean Park were there for me – much more so than Lucy Vincent.  Those things are always tricky.  Especially in the summer.


As I remained leaning against the ferry’s railings, felt the breeze through my hair,  and beheld the island, growing further in the distance, i was grateful for having been able to see the island in its greenery, so lush and verdant.   It was just enough.  Too much, and you have to deal with the summer people.  Clam bakes on the beach that I am not invited to.  Raw oysters.  Not that i ever liked clams, or oysters, for that matter.  The most they ever offered was the opportunity to use the word “unctuous.”  But the idea of not being invited…


Somehow being with arlene also refunded my sense of self respect.  she somehow recalibrated the barometer by which i measure my own self worth.   this morning when i boarded the ferry, i did not feel like a ruffian, or a waif, or a wayward derelict who once might have shown promise but somehow missed the mark.  i  went out on the deck, glanced at the white clapboard houses sprinkled along the starboard shores,  and  thought, “oh its chilly.  let me put on a my sweater.”  so clean.  so simple.  so lovely.



I am not sure why exposure to certain elements can make me feel so substandard.  ( Sometimes i get confused to see where others are in life and how they are living at my  age.  I can easily feel less than.  As if i missed the boat somewhere along the way.  Like i should run out this minute and get a pedicure and a designer dog).   Somehow, Arlene sets a good standard, a good meridian. It is not about occupying  some exalted realm of  superlatives, if that makes any sense.   It is about  Good.  Its  not about  the best.  It does not imply some vertically inclined hierarchy where the unfortunate are consigned to occupy some low level synonomous with shame.  It is not determining one’s sense of self worth and importance according to how many pair of Ugg boots one has or the type of cheese preferred with whatever sort of cracker. (Even though we all know extra sharp cheddar by far exceeds any competitor…) In Arlene’s world it is simply about goodness, which in itself is an absolute.   Like many of those i have encountered at the church,  who seem to appreciate who i am, (and don’t rub in what i am not), Arlene sees whatever inherent goodness there is – and seems to believe that  i am priceless “as is.”


Good is good enough…


i am in awe of the congregation that attends the white clapboard chapel at nine Menemsha Crossing.   Everyone figured so predominately in what was a very difficult and challenging experience, physically and emotionally.  Looking back, how much transpired in a few short weeks.   We lost phyllis.  The organ was delivered.  Billy arrived.  Helen hurt her hand.  Lobster rolls.  Ian helps with the blessing of the fleet.


We are the fleet.


I know that at the outset of this last visit had intended to play “In The Arms Of The Angel” at the worship service.  Instead, I feel like the accident delivered me into the arms of them.


God Bless…


June 10,2012 Order of Worship

Chilmark Community Church
June 10, 2012
Prelude:  Little Prelude in F J.S.Bach

Gathering and Announcements

Introit  #658 “This is the Day the Lord has Made”

Call to Worship   Psalm 138 p. 853 (No musical response)

*Hymn  77 vs., 1&2

Children’s Moment

Prayer of Reconciliation (unison)
Let us in silence be mindful of what distances us from God.
Your hand is upon your people, O God,
to guide and protect them through the ages.
Keep in your service those you have called and anointed,
that the powers of this world may not overwhelm us,
but that, secure in your love, we may carry out your will
in the face of all adversity. Amen.

Special Music   Helen Stratford

Proclamation and Praise    Reader:  Dr. Lorna Andrade
1 Samuel 8:4-20; (11:14-15)
2 Corinthians 4:13 – 5:1
Mark 3:20-35
Response to the word :
Unlike earthly kings, you, O Lord, are ever steadfast and faithful. You sent us your Son, Jesus the Christ,
to rule over us, not as a tyrant, but as a gentle shepherd.
Keep us united and strong in faith, that we may always know your presence in our lives, and, when you call us home,
may we enter your heavenly kingdom where you live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

Report from Annual Convention   Marilyn Hollinshead

*Hymn  103  “Immortal Invisible”

Concerns and Celebrations
Unison Prayer
God of mercy and healing, you who hear the cries of those in need, receive these petitions of your people that all who are troubled may know peace, comfort, and courage.
Silent Prayer for those we’ve named and those in our hearts.
Life-giving God, heal our lives, that we may acknowledge your wonderful deeds and offer you thanks from generation to generation through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

*Hymn 95 “Praise God From Whom All Blessing Flow”
Prayer of Dedication (unison)
Father God, these gifts that we give to you are like seeds that your church will sow in the world. We will marvel at how they take root and grow, but will remember that while we sow and nourish these, you alone are the giver of the growth and the harvest. Help us to be conscious of where we invest the seeds of our lives: in our families, in our church, in our communities, and in places around the world we will never see, but where you will likewise bring growth and harvest. And when the harvest day comes, gracious God, help us to remember that all good gifts have their start in your generous giving. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen. (Mark 4:26-34)

Sung Benediction   verse 1 #664  “Sent Forth by God’s Blessing”
Postlude : Adagio Corelli
Organist:  Carol Loud
Worship Leader:  Emily Broderick
Next Week’s Lessons:  1 Samuel 15:34 – 16:13: Psalm 20;
2 Corinthians 5:6-10, (11-13), 14-17; Mark 4:2

May 20, 2012 Order of Worship

Chilmark Community Church
May 20, 2012

Prelude: Invention #9 Bach
Gathering and Announcements

Introit: hymn  2128 “ Come and Find the Quiet Center” verse 1

Call to Worship   Psalm 93 p.813 (no musical response)

*Hymn  312 “Hail the Day that Sees Him Rise”

Prayer of Reconciliation  (unison)
Risen and ascended Christ, you surround us with witnesses
and send us the Counselor who opens our minds to understand your teaching. Holy Father,  bless us with such grace that our lives may become a blessing for the world now, and in the age to come.  Draw us together and into your presence this day. Amen.
Silent prayer    AMEN

Children’s Moment

Proclamation and Praise
Acts 1:1-11
Ephesians 1:15-23
Luke 24:44-53

Discussion  :  Dan Cabot leader

*Hymn  541 “See How Great a Flame Aspires”

Concerns and Celebrations
We offer our prayers on behalf
of our neighbors whose needs are known to us.
We pray both for the sisters and brother we know
and for those who are strangers.

Prayers of the People, concluding with:

Unison Prayer
Open our minds to understand the scriptures, O God,
so that when our separation from you cripples our hope,
we may discover the freedom of your forgiveness;
when suffering and death overtake our lives,
we may know the joy of the risen Christ;
and when we feel abandoned, we may comprehend the power of the promised Spirit. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer

Musical Amen

Offering  “ Oh, for the Wings of a Dove” Mendelssohn
*Hymn 95 “Praise God From Whom All Blessing Flow”
Prayer of Dedication (unison)
Everliving God, your eternal Christ once dwelt on earth, confined by time and space.  Give us faith to discern in every time and place the presence among us of him who is head over all things and fills all, including our offerings today.

*Hymn 544 “Like the Murmur of the dove’s Song”

Benediction  (unison)
May the presence of God the Creator give us strength;
May the presence of God the Redeemer give us peace;
May the presence of God the Sustainer give us comfort;
May the presence of God the Sanctifier give us love.  Amen

Postlude:  Machs mitmir, Gott” Johann Walther
Organist:  Carol Loud
Worship Leader:   Emily Broderick
Next Week’s Lessons: Acts 2:1-21; Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
Romans 8:22-27; John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

*Stand if you are able

Faith of a cancer patient

Shared by a woman fighting serious cancer.
In closing I want to share with you something I read from time to time.  It encourages me as I walk through this cancer journey.   I bet it will encourage you as well.
This is a list of statements written by Bible teacher Priscilla Shirer.  Say the word “Today” before each statement…
-I love the Lord my God with my whole heart, soul and mind(Mark 12:30)
-I walk by faith and not by sight.(2 Corinthians 5:7)
-The Lord is on my side.  I will not fear what man can do to me.(Psalm 118:6)
-I am competent not in my own abilities but because He has made me competent by His Spirit.(2 Corinthians 3:5-6)
-I abide in Christ, He abides in me, and I bear much fruit.(John 15:5)
-I have the mind of Christ, therefore I act in a way that is consistent with His actions. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
-He will never leave me nor will he forsake me. (Hebrews 13:5)
-I do not look with disdain upon my weaknesses.  I use them as an opportunity for God to display His powerful strength (2 Corinthians 12:10)

Order of Worship, April 15, 2012

Chilmark Community Church
April 15, 2012
Prelude: Little Prelude in E flat minor J.S. Bach

Gathering and Announcements

Introit :  Hymn 328
Call to Worship: Psalm 133 (UMH 850)

*Hymn  548 “In Christ There is No East or West”

Children’s Moment

Confession :  Let us , in the silence of our hearts, acknowledge  all that separates us from God, …………………
Light of the world,
shine upon us
and disperse the clouds of our selfishness,
that we may reflect the power of the resurrection
in our life together. Amen.

Proclamation and Praise (See Below for commentary)
Acts 4:32-35
Hymn 2222 “The Servant Song”
1 John 1:1-2:2
Hymn 206  “I want to walk as a Child of the Light”
John 20:19-31
Hymn 384 “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” vs. 1,2

Concerns and Celebrations
God invites us to bring our doubts and fears,
our joys and concerns, our petitions and praise,
and offer them for the earth and all its creatures.

Prayers of the People, concluding with:
Receive these prayers, O God, and transform us through them,
that we may have eyes to see and hearts to understand not only what you do on our behalf, but what you call us to do
so that your realm will come to fruition in glory. Amen.
Prayer for the church:
Spirit of promise, Spirit of unity, we thank you that you are also the Spirit of renewal.  Renew in the whole Church that passionate desire for the coming of your kingdom which will unite us in one mission to the world.
The Lord’s Prayer

*Hymn 95 “Praise God From Whom All Blessing Flow”
Prayer of Dedication (unison)
Loving God, you bring the gift of Resurrection and a redeemed life through the locked doors of our hearts. Sometimes we react with joy, sometimes with fear, sometimes with doubt.  Bless these gifts we give as an extension of your hands reaching out to the world through us, and may those we can’t see and may never meet be touched because we gave from our hearts. In the name of the risen Christ, we pray. Amen. (John 20:19-31)
Musical offering: “Your Raise Me Up” Helen Stratford

Benediction (unison)
The Lord did not abandon Thomas to his unbelief, nor will the Lord abandon us to ours. God hears our cries for help and answers. God knows how we struggle to believe what we can’t see or touch. Let us know that our Invisible God makes forgiveness visible to our hearts and souls. Let us see God at work in our lives from this day forward. Let us trust our spiritual sight more each day. Amen

Postlude: Andante Telemann

Please join us for “coffee”  in the fellowship hall after the service.
Organist:  Carol Loud:
Worship Leaders:  Emily Broderick & Virginia Mc Clure
Next Week’s Lessons: Acts 3:12-19;Psalm 4; 1 John 3:1-7;
Luke 24:36b-48

Emily read several introductions from  Conversations, The Message Bible” by Eugene H. Peterson.  Here are just two of them.

“The arrival of Jesus signaled the beginning of a new era.  God entered history in a personal way, and made it unmistakably clear that he is on our side, doing everything possible to save us.   It was all presented and worked out  in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  It was, and is, hard to believe–seemingly too good to be true.

But one by one, men and women did believe it, believed Jesus was God alive among them and for them.  Soon they would realize that he also lived in them.  To their great surprise they found themselves living in a world where God called all the shots.. had the first word on everything; had the last word on everything.  That meant that everything, quite literally every thing, had to be re-centered, re-imagined, and re-thought.”  p1481

Re. John 20:22

“The phrase “breathed into them; is the identical phrase used in Genesis 2 when the Lord God breathed life into Adam, who at once became a “living soul:.  ….The same Spirit that moved over the chaos and became articulate in the (creation)…now moves in the disciples so that they can continue the creation work of Christ, “the firstborn over all creation”…That same Spirit moves over the chaos of our lives as well, bringing form out of formlessness and fullness out of emptiness, resulting in a new creation.”