Sunday Nov. 29th First Sunday of Advent Livestream

November 30, 2020

Please Join Us at 11 AM for Our Sunday Celebration, on Facebook Live, or in Church, With Socially Distancing

November 29, 2020

November 29th, 2020          11:00AM

  • Announcements
  • Greeting /welcome to others:   You can wave “Hello” or “Peace to You” (Due to Covid concerns, Please stay in your own seats)

Lighting of the Advent candle:  The Candle of Hope
Emmanuel, God with us, we pray that you send your light into our hearts at this time.  Live in us and help us live in you so that our work and worship may be filled with your transforming hope.  May our words and actions today rebuild lives and offer hope; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn, Hymnal 107

Gathering Prayer / Call to Worship (Thom M. Shuman)

Leader: In this uncertain season of Advent, we wait.
All: Hoping, hoping God is coming to us.
Leader: In the vagueness of these days, we try to listen.
All: Hoping, hoping the Word will be whispered to us.
Leader: In the weariness of our times, we wait, we listen, we watch.
All: Hoping, hoping the Spirit will be found in our midst.

Call for Reflection (Thom Shuman)
Leader:We try to stay faithful but fail.
We long to care for others but end up focusing on us.
We think we are being safe but know how often we live dangerously.
Yet, God knows our foolishness, and forgives our mistakes, so we can be made new people.  Let us pray, as we say,

Leader: Come, God-who-draws-near-to-us, for we live in fretful times, wondering if we will ever come out of them.
   Come to us, with your grace.
All: Come, God-who-has-walked-these-roads,
for we long to be faithful in these days,
but find it all to easy to be seduced by worry.   
   Come to us, with your hope.
Leader: Come, God-who-carries-life-in-your-breath,
for we try to stay apart for others and ourselves,
but find it easy to listen to those who 
mock us for being so foolish.
  Come to us, with your love.Pause in Silence for Reflection
Assurance of Pardon
Leader: In the midst of all our uncertainty, The Child has come, bringing grace, offering mercy, and wrapping us in arms of love!  Thanks be to God, we are forgiven.  Amen.

Readings:1 Corinthians 1:3-9, Mark 13:24-37

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, or in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Mark 13:24-37

“But in those days, after that suffering,
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will be falling from heaven,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”

Message: “Justice, Hope & Toxic Religion” Shared by Cathy Young 

Prayers of the People

 Lord in Your Mercy    All:  Hear our Prayer

Pastoral Prayer: God of Hope – we lift up all these prayers to you in the knowledge that you are already at work amid the brokenness of our world and that you invite each of us to be a part of your holy work of justice. We offer to you these prayers today – both spoken aloud and those in our hearts – in the hope that together we might be the people you have called us to be, In your holy names we pray your prayer –Lord’s Prayer

Our Father-Mother in heaven,

hallowed be your name. 

May your presence be   

realized here on earth as it is in heaven. 

May we receive the bread that you  provide us.

Enable us to know that our sins have been forgiven,

just as we forgive those who sin against us. 

Strengthen us to deal with trials too great to endure.

Free us from the grip of all that harms us and others. 

For your power of Love reigns now and forever.  Amen.

Invitation to Share:

You gift us, Loving God, not so we will hoard, but would share with others; not that we might accumulate more, but offer gifts to those who have so little.  In the waiting, may we realize the wanting; in the listening, may we hear the brokenness, in the watching, may we see the weariness, and pour out our gifts, our lives, and our hearts on others.  In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Offering Response

Lord, we lift your name on high, Lord we love to sing your praises.  We’re so glad you’re in our lives. We’re so glad you came to save us. You came from heaven to earth to show the way, from the earth to the cross, our debt to pay, from the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky.  Lord, we lift your name on high.

on this pilgrimage of uncertainty,
may we remember God has walked
this road many times before.
as we live through these endless moments,
may we remember Jesus shares hope
with us every day, every day.
in this season filled with isolation from others,
may we remember that the Spirit
knows our loneliness and cradles us in love.
(c) 2020 Thom M. Shuman

  • Closing Hymn:  My Heart Sings Out with Joyful Praise, Hymnal 106

*Please stand, as you are able.

Sunday November 22nd Livestream Justice & Toxic Religion

November 23, 2020

Please join us for our Sunday Celebration at 11 AM Live on Facebook or In Person at the Church.

November 22, 2020

Sermon: Restorative Justice & Toxic Religion

Readings for Sunday, November 22nd, 2020

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

For thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land.

I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD.

I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice. Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.

Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.

And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.

Psalm 95:1-7a

O come, let us sing
   to God;
let us make a joyful noise
   to the rock of our salvation!

Let us come into God’s presence
   with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise
   to God with songs of praise!

For God is a great God,
   and a great Ruler above all gods.

In God’s hand are the depths
   of the earth;
the heights of the mountains
   are also God’s.

The sea is God’s,
   for God made it,
and the dry land,
   which God’s hands have formed.

O come, let us worship
   and bow down,
let us kneel before God,
   our Maker!

For God is our God,
   and we are the people
of God’s pasture,
   and the sheep of God’s hand.

Matthew 25:31-46

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Sunday, November 15th Service and Prayers

November 15, 2020

Newark Valley United Church of Christ

November 15, 2020

Unison Call to Worship: Psalm 147: 1-6

Praise the Lord!

How good it is to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.

The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel.

He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.

He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. The Lord lifts up the downtrodden; he casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre.

Prayer of Confession:

Holy One, we have been distracted by shiny objects: material wealth, power and fame. As a culture we have lost track of Jesus teachings: feed the hungry, heal the hurting, love our neighbors as we want to be loved, tend creation, worship you with all we have. Forgive us, help us to turn from our harmful ways.

Silent personal prayers.

Assurance of Grace

God does not delight in displays of power, nor fame but takes pleasure in those who turn to God and hope in God’s steadfast love.

Prayer for Illumination

Lord, be in our minds and imaginations as we meditate on your Scripture.

Scripture Readings

Mark 10:13-15

Deuteronomy 11:18-21

Luke 18:15-17

1 Peter 2:23-25

Sermon: Wounded Healers

Prayers of the People

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayers


The Lords Prayer

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 forever and ever.

Invitation to Offering

Offering Response                            

Unison Prayer of Dedication

Holy Eternal One, we offer our gifts and the ministries of our daily lives, doing what we can to make your vision of justice, compassion, and well-being on earth a reality for all your children, human and otherwise.  We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Benediction Walter Brueggemann

“The prophetic tasks of the church are

to tell the truth in a society that lives in illusion,

grieve in a society that practices denial, and

express hope in a society the lives in despair.”

Carry the Good News into a waiting world.

Please Join Us for our Sunday, November 15th Celebration at 11 AM

November 15, 2020

Sunday November 15th Sermon Title: Wounded Healers

Theme: Christ came into the world to show that healing and feeding is God’s vision for creation and Christ’s disciples are able to be healers and feeders, even though wounded themselves.

Scripture Readings: Mark 10:15Deut 11:18-21Luke 18:15-171 Peter 2:23-25

Sunday Livestream Celebration for November 8th

November 8, 2020
Sermon Message: Darkness, Judgement and Mercy

Celebrate Sunday, Nov 8th With Us! Prayers and Bulletin

November 8, 2020

”November 8th, 2020 11:00AM Service§ Announcements§

Greeting /welcome to others: You can wave “Hello” or “Peace to You” (Due to Covid concerns, Please stay in your own seats)

§ For Meditation and Reflection: “What does “Jesus is Lord” mean to you?”

Hymn: N29 “Here I am Lord”

Gathering Prayer / Call to Worship (based on 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18, Matthew 25: 1-13, Amos 5: 18-24)Are you awake? Are you alert?Christ is coming into our lives in a new way. Are you watching the signs?Are you interpreting what is happening today?Christ is coming into our lives in a new way. Do you see opportunities for ministry?Do you see the poor, the homeless, the hungry, the needy? Christ is coming into our lives in a new way. Come, let us worship and let us work in the reign of God.Christ has extended the invitation: let us work together in the reign of God on earth.(Source: Rev. Mindi, Rev-o-lution)

Call for Reflection (Thom Shuman) How quickly we forget – our faith, our calling, our hope. All because we try to do everything our way, rather than God’s. But God is quicker to forgive, and to restore us to new life. Let us confess to our God, as we pray, saying:It is never easy to admit how foolish we are, forgiving God. You have chosen us for yourself, and we continue to shelter false gods in our hearts. You promise to be with us in every moment, but we can find little time for you. You send your Word to us, but we are too busy listening to the noise of our culture to pay attention.Have mercy, Eternal One. Speak to us, so we might listen, and in hearing be transformed into your people. Enable us to serve you faithfully and completely, even as did our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon: This is our assurance: God forgives us. This is our hope: God’s love is everlasting. This is our truth: God is with us always.All: We will speak the truth; we will live the hope;we will share God’s mercy. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Readings: Amos 5:18-24, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Matthew 25:1-13

Message: “Darkness, Judgement & Mercy” Shared by Cathy Young.

Prayers of the People

Lord in Your Mercy All: Hear our Prayer

Pastoral Prayer: Gather all these, our prayers, together O God. We pray for all sharing this service and prayer this morning, in person and online, Teach us the love that stays faithful for the long haul, Jesus: the persistence that will not give up, and the grace to trust your faithfulness, even when we cannot see results.We offer our prayers in your name of Jesus, (Source: John van de Laar, Sacredise)

we know You’re here now, and always will be, as we pray..Lord’s Prayer

Our Father-Mother in heaven,hallowed be your name.May your presence be realized here on earth as it is in heaven.May we receive the bread that you provide us.Enable us to know that our sins have been forgiven,just as we forgive those who sin against us.Strengthen us to deal with trials too great to endure.Free us from the grip of all that harms us and others.For your power of Love reigns now and forever. Amen.

Invitation to Share:As we share from our abundance, Loving God, may we empty ourselves of our desires for more, but seek to share grace, love, hope, and wonder with everyone we meet. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Offering Response : Lord, we lift your name on high, Lord we love to sing your praises. We’re so glad you’re in our lives. We’re so glad you came to save us. You came from heaven to earth to show the way, from the earth to the cross, our debt to pay, from the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky. Lord, we lift your name on high.

SENDING: Go now, and follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before us in Christ.Revere the Lord.Serve God in sincerity and faithfulness.Teach those who come after you to trust in God.And may God protect you along the way; May Christ Jesus keep you alert and prepared;And may the Holy Spirit fuel the lamp that guides your path.We go in peace to love and serve the Lord, ……..In the name of Christ. Amen. (Source: Nathan Nettleton

§ Closing Hymn:*Please stand, as you are able.

Newark Valley United Church of Christ32 South Main Street • Newark Valley, NY 13811 Phone: 607-308-1503 • email: “Believing is not a condition of loving or belonging here.”

Worship Leader Cathy Young

Co Moderators John Schwartz and Cathy Young

Due to Covid, we ask that you please social distance, wear a mask, and use hand sanitizer.

Moderators Reflection November 8th, 2020″ We think fear, anger, divine intimidation, threat, and punishment are going to lead people to love. Show me where that has worked. You cannot lead people to the highest level of motivation by teaching them the lowest. God always and forever models the highest, and our task is merely to “imitate God” (Ephesians 5:1) Richard Rohr, CAC

An Invitation to Please Join Us at 11 AM for Our Sunday, November 8th Celebration.

November 8, 2020

Sermon Title: Darkness, Judgement and Mercy

Readings for our Sunday, Nov 8th Service.Amos 5:18-24Alas for you who desire the day of the Lord!Why do you want the day of the Lord?It is darkness, not light; as if someone fled from a lion, and was met by a bear;or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall, and was bitten by a snake.Is not the day of the Lord darkness, not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.Even though you offer me your burnt-offerings and grain-offerings, I will not accept them;and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon.Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps.But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.1

Thessalonians 4:13-18But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Matthew 25:1-13[Jesus said:] “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

Please Join us for our Sunday Celebration with Communion at 11 am

November 1, 2020

Please join the Newark Valley United Church of Christ– in person or online– on Sunday November 1 at 11:00 AM.  We will observe All Saints Day and the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion).  If you are attending in person, please wear a face mask and observe social distancing.  You may bring your own bread or crackers and wine or grape juice.  We also provide bread, gluten-free crackers, wine, and grape juice.  If you are joining us online, please have some bread or crackers and wine or grape juice at hand so that you can participate in the Communion.  If safe and practical, have a candle in a fireproof holder ready to light for the All Saints prayer.
Scripture Readings:
    Psalm 34

    Matthew 5.1-12

    Hebrews 12.1-3

Sermon:    The Cloud of Witnesses