July 17, 2016

July 17, 2016

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

Gathering Music and Lighting of Altar Candles

For Meditation and Reflection: The Color Purple by Sam Carl

I am the color purple
The color of twilight as it fades to black.

I am the color purple
A mysterious perfume that melds to my skin.

I am the color purple
Lavender and vanilla—the scent of calm.

I am the color purple
Wine before spilled and faded to red.

I am the color purple
Royalty in my own sanctuary.

I am the color purple
Pride for my people.

I am the color purple
Because I am who I am.

An introduction for worship… Last Sunday [cf Acts 9:1-31] we recalled how Saul became Paul when he saw the light of the transcending meaning of the teachings and actions of Jesus of Nazareth and went through a radical conversion and change. But we might recall that Jesus himself went through a conversion in response to John’s call to a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of debts… cf Luke 3:3]… an act of repentance that meant “a new way of thinking and acting.”

And we might also recall that in his mission statement in Luke 4:18,19 that proclaimed the New Age of Jubilee and that it was not a Jews only reality by citing the radical actions of the Spirit in the lives of a Canaanite widow and an official in a Syrian military occupation… persons considered unclean in the Jewish tradition. And while narratives about clean and unclean are far more explicit in Matthew 15:1-28 and Mark 7:1-23, stories which illustrate the conversion of Jesus when he clearly experienced the reality of others… it is a reality touched on in Luke 4:31-37 when Jesus heals those with unclean spirits… and it’s all important background for today’s reading in Acts 9:32-10:45 when Peter is converted to a new way of thinking…

Opening Hymn: No. 394, In Christ There Is No East or West

Today’s Reading: Acts 9: 32-10:48
[cf pp 10-11 in colorful folder]

Reflections: Realizing and Acting on NEW & DIFFERENT TRUTHS

Reflective Hymn: No. 388, Help Us Accept Each Other

The Offerings and Offertory Music

Prayers of Joys and Concerns & The Lord’s Prayer…
…a version by Jim Colter

Life-Giver, Pain-Bearer, Love-Maker
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of all.
Loving God in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo throughout the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by all peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings.
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope
and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we give and absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From the trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For You reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and forever.

Closing Hymn: No 402, De Colores

A Parting Word of Blessing… attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr – 1943

God, give us
grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
courage the things that should be changed,
and the wisdom to distinguish one from the other


In what might very well be considered a trilogy that began today on the radical egalitarian nature of the Jesus Movement we will be considering the following narratives for the next two Sundays…

Sunday, July 24: – Acts 11… picks up on today’s narrative when Peter faces criticism and is challenged for being open & affirming… and defends this understanding of mission as essential in life of the Jesus MOVEMENT… and David Weintraub will reflect on just how essential this principle is in being a ‘Church of Christ’ today…

Sunday, July 31 and Acts 12… in which witnessing to and being affirming about all that is involved in being an egalitarian movement of justice and radical inclusiveness can get us into trouble with the legal authorities… [cf Acts 12:4]… a continuing possibility if our mission reflects that of Jesus of Nazareth… something that Patti Nelson will reflect on as our worship leader…

Led by THE SPIRIT into a JESUS MOVEMENT based on the Justice & Mercy Principles of The NEW AGE OF JUBILEE…

we continue to gather in worship as an inclusive community, an open & affirming community of faith that transcends any distinctions based on gender, sexual orientation, nationality, race, or religion…

and with a formal worship that flows into a living worship of love and support for one another as we pursue ways to reflect God’s reign of mercy, justice, and peace in our community and throughout the world…

Along with a continuing search for ways to celebrate the goodness of life together…

and always reaching out to draw others, with total inclusiveness, into this communal experience…