WORSHIP IN FEBRUARY
WORSHIP IN EPIPHANY—How Do We Know?
An “Epiphany” is when the light comes on and we see something new. We see ourselves or this world in a new way. We see God in a new way. But how do we know for sure? How do we know it’s God’s work we’re seeing or God’s call we’re hearing? What does God want from us? What does God want for us and for this world? There are lots of voices claiming to know God’s intentions—for us, our nation, our world. How do we know what’s real or what’s really God? In worship, we’ll explore how people have sought that answer in the past and how we can now. Join in!
Hearing God’s Call
The Gospel of Matthew makes it sound so easy. Jesus walks along the Sea of Galilee, sees some men fishing, and calls them to follow him. “Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.” (Matt. 4:12-23) Perhaps for some people, God’s call is that clear. For the rest of us, knowing what God wants us to do or which way to go can be more challenging. Three United members share their experiences of being “called by God” (or not).
What Does God Want?
“What does God want?” asks the Prophet Micah. He then answers his own question, but his answer is not what we’d expect. (Micah 6:1-18) Jesus offers the blessings of the Beatitudes and they too are not what we’d expect. (Matt. 5:1-12) No wonder Paul says God chooses what is foolish (I Corinthians 1:18-31) because neither Micah nor the Messiah make any worldly sense. And that’s the point. A good reminder for the day of the church Budget Mtg. (We share Communion in both services.)
If Not Us, Then Who?
“You are salt, you are light,” Jesus tells his followers. “Don’t keep hiding under a bushel.” (Matt. 5:13-20) “Choose the fast of compassion and justice,” proclaims Isaiah. (Isaiah 58:1-12). If we don’t talk about and share with others what it means to be a person of faith and a follower of Jesus, others will define Christianity for us and for this world. Are we sure we want that? How do we take our light from out under the bushel?
What Do We Choose?
Before they enter the Promised Land—a land Moses will never know—he sets before his people two choices: Life or death, blessing or curse. (Deuteronomy 30:15-20) Ultimately those are the only choices that matter. They still are. But what does it mean to “choose life” in our time?
Also, we receive new members into the United Church community Sunday, Feb. 16. If you’re interested, please speak with Talitha (email@example.com). Thanks! (If you’re interested in membership, but that date doesn’t work for you, please let us know that, too. Thanks.)
Mardi Gras Sunday: One Song at a Time!
How do you make it up a mountain? One step at a time. How do you make it through a dark valley? One step at a time. Peter, James and John learned that when they hiked with Jesus up the mountain to his transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-9). Maybe they also learned companions can help us take the next step. And maybe they sang, too :-). One song at a time can help us get up the toughest mountains and darkest valleys. A great story for Mardi Gras Sunday! The Andy Kingston Trio leads the way in this musical morning for all ages!
Ash Wednesday – February 26
“Something Like Easter”
12:00 Noon and 7:00 pm
(Childcare—both services; older children invited to share in worship.)
The traditional Hebrew scripture for Ash Wednesday is the Prophet Joel’s day of judgment and his call to repentance. As writer Frederick Buechner says, to hear the texts of Lent and your answers to the questions of Lent is to begin to hear something not only of who you are but of both what you are becoming, and what you are failing to become.”
“It can be a pretty depressing business all in all,” Buechner admits, “but if sackcloth and ashes are at the start of it, something like Easter may be at the end.”
Sunday services are held at 8:30 AM and 11:00 AM. Holy Communion is celebrated every Sunday at 8:30 and the first Sunday of the month at the later service (11:00 a.m.). Adult forum is held at 9:45 AM. Childcare available.