“A hundred times every day, I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other people, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.”
– Albert Einstein
Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship – Psalm 8 – #624, Black hymnal
Opening Hymn: #436 – God of Grace and God of Glory
Today’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 14:22-33
Reflections by Rev. Mason: “Take Heart, Take Courage”
Lay Leader – Tena Brass
Guest Speaker – Donna Fortier from Mobile Hope
For Meditation and Reflection: “By lifting others, we rise”.
Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship: Leader: Blessings on this day
All: Blessed is this day that God has made.
Leader: Say more of your God…
All: God is the Alpha and the Omega.
Leader: Blessings on your lives.
All: Blessed are our lives filled with the Holy Spirit.
Leader: Say more of this Spirit…
All: Holy is the Spirit of our ancestors, the Spirit of our children and
our children’s children.
Leader: Blessings on your hearts.
All: Blessed are our hearts full of love
Leader: Say more of this love…
All: The love of our families, our community, and the love of all creatures.
All: Let us worship together and seek the guidance of God, the joy of Spirit,
and the wonder of Love.
“God is real for me, a mystical, undefinable presence that I can experience but never explain. I experience God as the source of life in the act of living fully. I experience God as the source of love in the act of loving wastefully. I experience God as the Ground of Being in the act of having the courage to be. Jesus is the revelation of this God for me, not because of miracle stories or excessive pre-modern claims, but because he is portrayed as one who is fully alive with the life of God, totally loving with the love of God, and as one who possesses the capacity to be all that he could be revealing the very Ground of Being that I call God. I serve the God that I meet in Jesus, not by trying to convert others to my way of believing, but by seeking to transform the world so that every person might have that God-like capacity to live fully, to love wastefully and to be all that each person can be.”
Christ and the Body of Christ – By John Shelby Spong
From The Once and Future Jesus
Welcome and Announcements – Welcome to this place of worship, which we make special by our presence. Come into this place, where the ordinary is sanctified, the human is celebrated, the compassionate is expected. Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of this time, this life in the presentness of God.
“I believe he (Christ) says it to all of us: to feed his sheep, his lambs, to be sure, but first to let him feed us – to feed us something of himself. In the sip of wine and the crumb of bread. In the dance of sun and water and sky. In the faces of the people who need us most, and of the people we most need. Who knows where we will find him…or whether we will recognize him if we do? Who knows anything even approaching the truth of who he really was? But my prayer is that we will all of us find him somewhere, somehow, and that he will give us something of his life to fill our emptiness, something of his light to drive back our dark.
– Frederick Buechner, Excerpt from his sermon “The Great Dance”
Welcome and Announcements
Responsive Call to Worship:
Leader: This is the day that God has made. People:Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Leader: O come, let us worship and bow down; People:let us kneel before God, our Maker.
“There is no greater moment in life than that when we discover the unique design which has shaped our lives from the moment of birth, save one: The instant we recognize destiny, accept it and then begin to create the rest of our own lives within it using the power of free will. When this threshold has been crossed, nothing can stop our inevitable journey into the highest good for ourselves and all around us. This is healing. This is actualization. This is integration. This is joy. And it is the birthright of every incarnated soul on this planet.” -Jacob Nordby
Welcome and Announcements
Introduction for the day:
Leader: To fulfill the ancient promise of salvation God made a covenant with our ancestors and pledged them descendants more numerous than the stars.
People: Grant that all people may share in the blessings of God’s covenant.
Leader: Through dreams and visions God broadens the horizon and hope of all people.
People: May all people discover the meaning of God’s covenant, even in the midst of trial and exile.
Leader: As Christians we claim a birthright accomplished through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and sealed by the gift of the Spirit.
People: All people share equally in the Christian birthright.
Leader: We claim our birthright by following the teachings of Jesus.
ALL: May all people joyfully respond to God’s call and share in God’s promises. Amen.
For Meditation and Reflection: We come together from our separate lives, each of us bringing our concerns, our preoccupations, our hopes, and our dreams. We are not yet fully present. The traffic, the last-minute cooking, the final details still cling to us. Our bodies hold the rush of the past few hours. It is now time to let go of these pressures and embrace and become aware of the present moment…When you are ready, repeat silently to yourself: ‘Hineini’ or ‘Here I am’. Hineini is used in the Torah to signify being present in body, mind, and spirit. It means settling into where we are and simply being “here”.
Welcome and Announcements – A warm welcome is extended to all. Your presence both enriches us and this time of celebration together.
Reminder -Dave Kirk will be traveling to Wise County to volunteer with Remote Area Medical, a mission that provides medical and dental care to folks who otherwise have no access to such care, and for whom this may be the only time all year they’ll see a doctor. RAM also collects used clothing to distribute, but an unfilled need turns out to be new socks and underwear. If you are able, please consider picking up something to donate – you can leave it in the bin in the breezeway. We’re collecting from now through July 19. Thank you!!
On Sunday, July 2nd we will gather for our monthly potluck at 9:00 am (for breakfast rather than lunch). After our meal of fellowship, we will have a roundtable discussion to share thoughts and feelings about the structure of our worship, and to brainstorm ideas for expanding our outreach into the community. All are welcome!
..collection to support Remote Area Medical event in Wise County, VA
To St. James Members and Friends:
Our member, Dave Kirk, is once again traveling to southwest Virginia next month to volunteer at the Remote Area Medical event in Wise County (known as RAM). This is the 18th year that hundreds of volunteer doctors, nurses and dentists travel to this remote area of Appalachia for a long weekend to provide medical and dental services to thousands of people in the region who have little or no access to medical care. They are supported by an army of volunteers who assist in whatever ways are needed, including helping to provide food for all the volunteer medical personnel. There is also a clothing tent, where “gently used” clothing and shoes are made available. There is a particular need for socks and underwear, since many of these folks have little or no money for undergarments. So we are going to assist this year by gathering NEW UNDERWEAR AND SOCKS, for all ages and genders, which Dave and Caity will deliver. We hope you will assist us in this endeavor. Our collecting efforts will begin this next Sunday, July 2nd, and will continue through Wednesday, July 19th. A large plastic tub will be available in the breezeway between the sanctuary and Fellowship Hall, where you can leave your donations. Thank you if you are able to help us in this worthwhile endeavor.
Reminder: Our Congregational Meeting will be held at around 12:15, after our post-worship fellowship today. All members are cordially invited to attend.
Worship Leader – Rev. Samantha Tuttle
For Meditation and Reflection:
We come together from our separate lives, each of us bringing our concerns, our preoccupations, our hopes, and our dreams. We are not yet fully present. The traffic, the last-minute cooking, the final details still cling to us. Our bodies hold the rush of the past few hours. It is now time to let go of these pressures and embrace and become aware of the present moment…When you are ready, repeat silently to yourself: ‘Hineini’ or ‘Here I am’. Hineini is used in the Torah to signify being present in body, mind, and spirit. It means settling into where we are and simply being “here”.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come again and again. -Rumi
Welcome and Announcements:
Call to Worship – Rev. Close
Opening Hymn: For the Beauty of the Earth – Red hymnal #55
An Expression of Our Faith (in unison) We are a Christian community of faith, with each person traveling a journey of spiritual discovery….a journey to healing and wholeness. We find more grace in faithful searching than in certainty. For us, following Jesus involves selfless love, resistance to evil, and renunciation of privilege. We believe that God is calling us to build a healthy community of faith, to strive for peace and justice, to protect and restore God’s creation, to bring hope to others, to live our lives with compassion and holy boldness. In Jesus we find our approach to God, yet we respect the faithfulness of those whose approach is different. Listening to the Spirit in our midst, we are convinced that God’s plan is for all to be one. All that matters is to Be At One with God. Amen.