Coming together for worship at United is like finding water in a dry and thirsty land. That’s why we do so, not only on Sunday mornings but midweek, too!
Like a stream in the desert, worship can refresh and renew us. Each week it offers us God’s new life and hope, for ourselves and for this world. At United, worship is the center of our life together, from which everything else flows: outreach, education, care, among others.
Whether on Sunday mornings, midweek, or other times, worship at United offers that new life in different ways. Sometimes – especially in the Sunday 8:30 AM service and the midweek contemplative services – worship is like the deep, still waters that God promises in the 23rd Psalm. In the later Sunday service, worship can be like a living stream, offering life in all kinds of ways. Similarly, like on Mardi Gras and Fiesta Sundays, worship is a river, full of life and surprises.
At United, we believe all of us – regardless of age – need the living waters of worship. That’s why children and younger youth join in the first part of the late service each Sunday and why Children’s Ministry always begins with prayer and song. It’s also why we offer a number of “intergenerational” services for all ages throughout the year.
We hope you’ll join us in worship at United. Together may we be renewed by the waters of life God offers us each week.
Worship in October
A Desert Faith for a Desert Time
As people of faith in the high desert of Northern New Mexico, we have two deep sources of strength
and hope. One is the Bible, a book filled with stories and teachings that are rooted in the dry lands of the Middle East. The other is the dry land in which we live. But we also know that deserts are not limited to geography. They can instead be defined by the circumstances of our lives, be it a pandemic or racial injustice, climate change or refugee crises.
This fall, we draw upon both the Bible and our desert landscape to deepen our Desert Faith. We invite
you to join in—and bring a friend to outdoor worship or share the virtual service with them. Perhaps they need a desert faith in their time as well
Worship This Month
No Place to Hide (and so we are found)
“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” a rich young man asks of Jesus. (Mark 10:17-31) Maybe it was a trick question his friends dared him to ask the new teacher. Maybe he was bored and wanted to show off his prestige at Jesus’ expense. Or perhaps, as odd as it was for a twenty-something to be worried about eternity, he really wanted an answer. Perhaps his young life, with all its wealth and power, felt like a desert. But Jesus’ answer telling him to give up his possessions proved to be too much of a desert, and he walked away even more empty. Deserts offer no place to hide, writes Terry Tempest Williams, and “so we are found.” I’d like to think that finally happened for the young man–and can happen for us, too.
Lessons from the Desert:Dependency
“They that dwell in the secret place of the Most High,” proclaims Psalm 91, “shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” The mighty Saguaros of the southwest offer many secret places for other creatures to hide and abide. Cactus wrens build nests in the crook of their arms, using the cactus spines to keep snakes and bobcats at bay. Other birds use the Saguaro “shoes” (holes in the cactus). Yet even these giants of the desert are dependent on other desert plants. A baby saguaro often grows under a palo verde, relying on the tree’s shade as protection from the sun. Desert places and times remind us of our dependency on others, on the rest of creation and on the Creator.
Riparian Faith Communities-Reformation Sunday
Whenever the Bible speaks of joy and rejoicing, there’s generally water involved. Psalm 126 sings of the people’s return from exile and compares their joy to “the watercourses of the Negev.” Isaiah 35 proclaims that God will cause the desert to bloom and waters to spring forth in the desert. Throughout both Hebrew and Christian scripture, offering water to others is an offer of life itself. On Reformation Sunday, we celebrate the ways God renews our life as a congregation. Being a river in the desert, a watercourse in the Negev, a “riparian faith community”—good images for being a church in this desert time.