WORSHIP IN SEPTEMBER
Acting Like Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles (after the Gospel of John) tells how the Christian faith took root as a community in Jerusalem, but then spread far beyond—to Greece and Rome, north Africa and throughout modern-day Turkey. The book also tells of the challenges the early Christians faced as they tried to live faithfully under the Empire and also kept their communities together. Their stories speak to our time, too.
Acts of the Apostles and the Cost of Discipleship
September 22 – “O The People You’ll Meet!”
When the “Way of Jesus” started to spread beyond Jerusalem, it really spread—all the way down to Ethiopia. The “Jesus Way” also included all kinds of people—just like now. To take the journey of faith, we must be open to where that journey leads (like Philip on the road to Gaza) and to whom we meet along the way (like the Ethiopian Eunuch who is working for Candace the Queen). (Acts 8:26-35) A great story—and a good one for the day when our Initiates start their journey to adulthood.
September 29 – A Person-to-Person Faith
The Ethiopian Eunuch asked Philip to baptize him—“here’s water, why not?” (Acts 8:36-39) That meant Philip had to get in the water with him, hold him and baptize him—crossing all kinds of boundaries of race, religion, ethnicity and orientation. That’s what our faith calls us to do, too.
WORSHIP IN OCTOBER
Love Means Action
October 6 – Love Beyond the Borders
St. Francis and Pet Blessing Sunday
“And the man went down the road as happy as can be.” The story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch parallels that of Francis of Assisi who reached across all kinds of borders to offer God’s love for the poor, people of different faiths (e.g., Muslims) and people whose illnesses made them unclean (e.g., lepers). He also reached across the boundaries of creation, embracing wolves, preaching to the birds, and knowing God’s love in all creatures. We’ll do the same!
October 13 – Love Means Being Changed
A man named Saul thought he knew what God wanted. For Saul, that meant hunting down Christians and hauling them off to Roman prisons. But that wasn’t what the God of all life wanted, not then, not now. One day Saul saw God in a new light, literally. It changed his life, which meant he had to find a new way to live, a way that gave life to others. (Acts 9:1-3)
October 20 – Love Means Being Human (but loving like God)
After his conversion, Paul travels far and wide with another apostle named Barnabas. They preach the good news, heal the sick, care for those who are outcast. Amazed by their power, their listeners declare them gods, adorn them with wreaths, and want to worship them. Yet God doesn’t call us to be gods. God calls us to be human beings, who try to love other human beings as God so loves.
October 27 – Love Means Challenge
Reformation Sunday – Wear Red!
Meanwhile, back in Jerusalem, Peter has a very weird dream of a sheet filled with all kinds of creatures that he’s supposed to eat, even though his tradition tells him it’s all unclean. (Acts 10) He also meets and eats with a Gentile Roman, another unclean thing to do. Our faith often calls us to do unexpected things. Three members share their stories of unexpected re-formations.
WORSHIP IN NOVEMBER
November 3 – Love Means Committing to the Impossible
All Saints Day – Wear Red!
A woman helps start a new church. A slave girl is healed. A jailer is protected by his prisoners. That’s how the United Church of Philippi got started! (Acts 16) Like the White Queen of Wonderland, the early Christians had to believe in six impossible things before breakfast— every day. We do, too. (The Festival Choir’s offering of the Fauré Requiem is this afternoon at 2:00, too.)
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.