Livestream Link: https://www.facebook.com/
Lesson: 1 John 4:7-12, 17-21
Message: “The Church is the loving alternative to the ways of the world”
I want to open this up by acknowledging how difficult the last few days have been. As we continue to wait for the results of our national election, we continue to dwell on what these results will mean for us in the days to come. For everyone, this is a stressful time. Take a breath, take care of yourself, check in with your neighbors and loved ones and see how they are doing. We continue to be physically separated and yet crave and need that connection right now. Please contact me if you’re at the end of your rope and need someone to talk with.
One of the things that’s most difficult about this election has been what votes represent. Regardless of the results, it’s difficult to see how close this is, and how much we are at now at odds with our neighbors. This election has, in large part, focused on stoking fear. It’s disheartening to see such a large percentage of white evangelical Christians buying a strategy aimed at creating divisions between people and rallying supporters to fight those that they are afraid of. But make no mistake, the heart of the Christian faith is not fear, but love. There is nothing Christian about xenophobia.
The early Christian community lived in a political climate that was at least as fraught as the one in which we live. People were separated from one another by tribe and race. They had different languages and customs. They lived in an empire that maintained control over the populace with deadly violence. Yet, the heart of what Jesus preached was love, because love casts out fear. Love is our only hope of truly connecting with one another and seeing that we are made to live in God’s image.
This Sunday we’ll take a look at a familiar text from 1 John, highlighting the ways that God is love. May this be for us a reminder of our community’s mission: to shine a light of love that is an alternative to the way that the world works, and a faith that is deeper than that which is inspired by fear.
We continue with our Sunday morning worship using both Zoom and Facebook Live. Please reach out to Chris for Zoom log in at Chris@newtonchurch.org
Zoom Link: UPA Sunday Morning Worship
Facebook Livestream Link: https://www.facebook.com/
Please share this information with anyone who might be interested in tuning in. We cannot share the Zoom links publicly (to keep from being Zoom bombed), so please share it person to person rather than posting it on Facebook/Twitter, or other public social media. It’s fine to share the Facebook link broadly and publicly.
Grace and peace,
Prelude: Prelude on the First Tone” Boyvin
Meditation: “Prelude on the Fifth Tone” Jullien
Postlude: “Shield of God” Vaughn Williams
This week we will have a lesson via Zoom. Sunday at 10 am. Pre-k to 5th grade are welcome to join. Zoom link is below.
Please join us for a game, lesson and some fun as we talk about Jesus
Celebrate the Love at UPA
As our four weeks of emphasis on Stewardship continues, in our online worship we heard from Yasmin Dalton. We heard of how the Dalton family, at a time of searching for a worship home, were encouraged by Caryn Bean to try the UPA, which she described as a warm, welcoming, and supportive community. Yasmin expressed the many ways they have been engaged in the activities of the UPA over the last year and a half. They were impressed by the way differences in background and in each individual’s faith journeys are embraced, the care that people have for one another, and mutual participation in mission activities. “We are continuously feeling the love.” What an affirmation for so many of us of what we experience as part of the UPA community!
Also this week our “Stewardship Letter” was mailed to the congregation. This is our encouragement to participate in our pledge campaign to support our operating budget for 2021. Pledges give us our primary source of funding for our programs and ministries, operating of the church building, and our outreach. These pledges of support allow us to commit to staff salaries and other expenses to keep our loving community strong. We ask that you consider your pledge and return your pledge card or enter your pledge online at www.newtonchurch.org/pledge.