Sunday, June 28th

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

UCC Banner (See our church building.)

Society is endangered not by the great profligacy of a few,
but by the laxity of morals amongst all.
-Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

PRELUDE “La Réjouissance” from Music for the Royal Fireworks – G.F. Handel, arr. S. Conrady

The Preparation

If you have a candle, let us light our candles together to remind ourselves that there is light in the darkness and that we can share that light with one another in our own times of darkness and we can share that light of love with the world.

A moment of silence

Welcoming God, you have given each of us an identity to cherish and rejoice in. We thank you for the uniqueness, which is our self. Yet you have made us all of a kind, and you bring us to our true maturity through relationships with one another.    Help us to trust you enough to give ourselves away in love: and in that death of self, may we find life and lasting fulfillment following in the steps of Jesus Christ our Lord.
-Rev. Elsa A. Peters

OPENING HYMN “When Morning Guilds the Skies”  No. 35

  1. When morning gilds the sky,
    our hearts awaking cry:
    May Jesus Christ be praised!
    in all our work and prayer
    we ask his loving care:
    May Jesus Christ be praised!
  2. All those of humankind,
    In this your concord find,
    May Jesus Christ be praised!
    Let all the earth around
    Ring joyous with the sound,
    May Jesus Christ be praised!

Lord God, forgive us:
Lost in ourselves, we dwell endlessly on yesterday’s embarrassment, anger, and grief.
Lost in our domain, it is hard to see beyond yesterday’s fighting, suspicion, and fear.
Lost in our fantasy, it is tempting to live in yesterday’s illusions.
So fill us with the Spirit of Jesus Christ, that we might be lost in the wonder and sanity of your hope for us today. Amen. 

James S. Lowry, Prayers for the Lord’s Day

A moment of silence for personal reflection

We worship a forgiving God, whose mercy is never ending,
whose heart abounds in steadfast love.
God hears your prayers and lifts you to newness of life.
Thanks be to God.

The Message

A Time for Children of all Ages

ANTHEM “Lift Every Voice and Sing” – J.Rosamond Johnson / J. Weldon Johnson (text)

Scripture Reading Matthew 10:40-11:1  (NIV)

40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
11 1 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.   


HYMN “Jesu, Jesu Fill Us With Your Love” No. 17 HS

The Thanksgiving

Choral Call to Prayer “Hear our Prayer” – D. Whelpton

Hear our prayer, O Lord, incline thine ear to us and grant us Thy peace


Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Choral Response to Prayer “Thou will keep Him” – Scottish Psalter, 1615

Thou will keep Him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on Thee.”

Your gifts to the church matter now more than ever! We encourage people to continue to make an offering by mailing to the church. Your generosity in this time makes a big difference.


“Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise God, all creatures here below;
Praise God above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen”.

Welcoming One, bless these gifts with your Spirit
Transform these gifts into the balm that your world needs.
In these gifts, may we welcome in a new world of love. Amen.

-Rev. Elsa A. Peters

The Departure

Holy One…
Call us by name . . .
so that we know,
Call us to you . . .
so that we live,
Call us into the world . . .
so that we care,
Call us to risk . . .
so that we trust beyond ourselves.
You speak / we listen /
and comes life, abundant,
Beyond all that we ask or think. Amen.   

Walter Brueggemann

CLOSING HYMN “O Beautiful for Spacious Skies” No. 440

  1. O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain;
    for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain!
    America! America! God shed his grace on thee,
    and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.
  2. O beautiful for pilgrim feet, whose stern, impassioned stress
    A thoroughfare for freedom beat across the wilderness!
    America! America! God mend thine every flaw,
    Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law!

POSTLUDE “La Réjouissance” from Music for the Royal Fireworks – G.F. Handel, arr. S. Conrady

Music Notes: Today’s anthem was introduced in 1900 as a poem by African-American educator and activist James Weldon Johnson to mark Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, and later set to music by John Rosamond Johnson. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was adopted by the NAACP as a song of faith and freedom. (Source: CBS Sunday Morning)

The hymn preceding the sermon, “Jesu, Jesu”, is in our hymn supplement at the church. We don’t have the license to record and publish this hymn (only photocopy), so we share this recording from another source. The lyrics are shared in the video.

The Prelude/Postlude music is an extract from the allegro movement (fast section) of Handel’s Suite for Royal Fireworks (1749). It was composed at the behest of King George II of Great Britain for the great fireworks display celebrating the signing of the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, which concluded the War of the Austrian Succession on October 18, 1748.