This Sunday we have a guest preacher and I will be the worship leader. Our guest will be Rev. Henry Pascual, originally from the Philippines, who now lives and ministers in the United Church of Christ in New Jersey. We’re hosting Rev. Pascual because he is being considered for a pastoral position in one of our UCC churches here in the Berkshires. A “neutral pulpit”, as it’s called, helps the search process along as a committee gets to hear a possible candidate as they seek to discern who their next pastor should be. It’s a joy to be able to assist another congregation in this way. And we get to hear and listen to someone new.
Our Gospel lesson will be Luke 16:19-26 which is the story of poor Lazarus begging for scraps of food from the rich man’s table. The rich man ignores Lazarus until they both die and their roles are reversed. Lazarus rests in the arms of Abraham while the rich man is tormented in Hades. Now it’s the rich man who wants help. But Father Abraham explains that the chasm between them cannot be crossed. Jesus tells what even for him was an old folk tale to challenge his hearers—then and now—to cross chasms of injustice, pride, hate, and fear while there is still time. Jesus embodied such ‘boundary crossing’ love and as disciples we are to follow. Our Epistle, 1Timothy 6:6-10 focuses on the problems caused by wealth and the ‘traps’ money causes for those with wealth. I will be intrigued to hear what Rev. Pascual has to say about these passages and themes. His sermon is titled, “Tearing Down the Gate of Indifference”.
I will share a Children’s Message about learning to share. I have a visual way of demonstrating the problems we get ourselves into when we always want ‘more’. And my solution involves a tasty treat for each of us. Charlie Fitzhugh will be our guest pianist and our Chancel Choir will lead us in our hymns.
Following worship our Peirson Intern, Jim Day, will gather with all those interested in the old library room—our new conference room, just beyond the church office—to discuss our patchwork Communion Table covering project. This table covering will consist of small strips of material donated by each of us sewn together and accompanied by our stories about our material. This Covering will be a colorful and bright way to visualize how our lives are stitched together by the love of God into something whole and beautiful—a way to visualize the stitching together and healing of the chasms in our world. Plan to join Jim for the discussion.
Also after church Ann Roche and I will be gathering with our older youth—5th grade and older—for an outing to Donna Turner’s home on Cheshire Lake. We will share in some kayaking and maybe hike up to Cheshire Cobbles for the view! Bring a bag lunch and appropriate clothes.
Finally, our on-line Go Fund Me project that is raising money for a new concrete pad for our Pantry Delivery entry is going well. We have $1,950 of our needed $3,500. The actual work will begin next week. If you share the posting about this on your Facebook page more folk in the community (our friends) may make a small donation, and that’s how this works. Many small stitches create the future. Peace.