Readings for Sunday, July 5, 2020, Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

The mystery of God’s ways is sometimes hidden from the wise and intelligent. Jesus associates with those often excluded from the religious community. Like Paul, we struggle with our own selfish desires and seek God’s mercy and forgiveness. We gather to be refreshed by Christ’s invitation: “Come to me, all you that are weary.” Gathered around word, water, and meal, we find rest for our souls.

Prayer of the Day

You are great, O God, and greatly to be praised. You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. Grant that we may believe in you, call upon you, know you, and serve you, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

First Reading: Zechariah 9:9-12

9Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!
  Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
 Lo, your king comes to you;
  triumphant and victorious is he,
 humble and riding on a donkey,
  on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
  and the war-horse from Jerusalem;
 and the battle bow shall be cut off,
  and he shall command peace to the nations;
 his dominion shall be from sea to sea,
  and from the River to the ends of the earth.
11As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
  I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.
12Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;
  today I declare that I will restore to you double.

Psalm: Psalm 145:8-14

8The Lord is gracious and full of compassion,
  slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9Lord, you are good to all,
  and your compassion is over all your works.
10All your works shall praise you, O Lord,
  and your faithful ones shall bless you.
11They shall tell of the glory of your kingdom
  and speak of your power,
12that all people may know of your power
  and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; your dominion endures throughout all ages.
  You, Lord, are faithful in all your words, and loving in all your works.
14The Lord upholds all those who fall
  and lifts up those who are bowed down.

Second Reading: Romans 7:15-25a

15I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25aThanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Gospel: Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

 [Jesus spoke to the crowd saying:] 16“To what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,
17‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
  we wailed, and you did not mourn.’
18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; 19the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”
25At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Social Ministry Opportunities

Opportunites to Engage In Action for Social Justice

Take Action for Immigrants

Never Again Action NH  is a weekly “Rolling Rally “, physically- distant car caravan held at the Strafford County Jail in Dover, NH. It shows our visible presence and support for immigrants who have been detained and arrested at the jail. Our request is to free the civilly detained immigrants who are at heightened risk of COVID-19 contagion within the jail.

Held on Sundays at 1:00pm to 2:30 pm, meet the car caravan at the Strafford County Courthouse (across from the Jail), 259 County Farm Road, Dover NH 03820. Stay in your car, drive slowly, use your flashers, and stay together. Bring signs and if you make your own signs our message is: “ICE have a heart! Release them!” For additional information contact rosemary.affeldt@comcast.net or visit the neveragainactionnh.org

Take Action for Essential Workers

The value of essential workers has been in the news during the Coronavirus pandemic. Many of these same workers do not receive a livable wage. New Hampshire does not have a minimum wage law unlike the rest of the New England states. NH is tied to the federal minimum wage which is $7.25 per hour. Many of the essential workers make less than $10 per hour.

UVIP, and our sister organization Granite State Organizing Project (GSOP) are working with essential workers for economic justice. We are looking for stories from people who are struggling to make ends meet, be it at minimum wage or more. For more information please contact Gisela Jones at gisela1142@gmail.com or call 603-381-8516.

Here is something else you can do to help improve people’s lives.

HB712 is a family and medical leave bill passed by both New Hampshire chambers. It will be heading to Governor Sununu’s desk this week when the Senate is back in session
We encourage you to call Governor Sununu and urge him to sign HB 712, which would permit workers to take time off to care for a loved one or time to deal with their health without losing financial security. You can google for more information on HB712.

Governor Chris Sununu
Office of the Governor State House
107 North Main St Concord, NH o3301
(603) 271-2121

You can also submit a letter to the editor in support of HB 712

Readings and Psalm for Sunday, June 28, Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

The welcome of baptism is for all God’s children. This baptismal gift sets us free from the power of sin and death. In Sunday’s gospel, Christ promises that the disciple who gives a cup of cold water to the little ones serves Christ himself. From worship we are sent on our baptismal mission: to serve the little ones of this world and to be a sign of God’s merciful welcome.

Prayer of the Day

O God, you direct our lives by your grace, and your words of justice and mercy reshape the world. Mold us into a people who welcome your word and serve one another, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

Readings and Psalm

Jeremiah 28:5-9
Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18
Romans 6:12-23
Matthew 10:40-42

First Reading: Jeremiah 28:5-9

5The prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord; 6and the prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord fulfill the words that you have prophesied, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles. 7But listen now to this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. 8The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms. 9As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes true, then it will be known that the Lord has truly sent the prophet.”

Psalm: Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18

1Your love, O Lord, forever will I sing;
from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
2For I am persuaded that your steadfast love is established forever;
you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.
3“I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
4‘I will establish your line forever,
and preserve your throne for all generations.’ ”
15Happy are the people who know the festal shout!
They walk, O Lord, in the light of your presence.
16They rejoice daily in your name;
they are jubilant in your righteousness.
17For you are the glory of their strength,
and by your favor our might is exalted.
18Truly, our shield belongs to the Lord;
our king to the Holy One of Israel.

Second Reading: Romans 6:12-23

12Do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. 14For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

15What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, 18and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.
20When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. 22But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gospel: Matthew 10:40-42

[Jesus said to the twelve:] 40“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

Readings for Sunday, June 14, Second Sunday after Pentecost

Moses tells the Israelites that they are called to be a priestly kingdom and a holy people. Jesus sends out the disciples as laborers into the harvest. In baptism we too are anointed for ministry, sharing God’s compassion with our needy world. From the Lord’s table we go forth to proclaim the good news, to heal the sick, and to share our bread with the hungry.

Prayer of the Day

God of compassion, you have opened the way for us and brought us to yourself. Pour your love into our hearts, that, overflowing with joy, we may freely share the blessings of your realm and faithfully proclaim the good news of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

Exodus 19:2-8a
Psalm 100
Romans 5:1-8
Matthew 9:35-10:8

First Reading: Exodus 19:2-8a

2[The Israelites] had journeyed from Rephidim, entered the wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness; Israel camped there in front of the mountain.3Then Moses went up to God; the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites: 4You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, 6but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.”
7So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. 8aThe people all answered as one: “Everything that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

Psalm: Psalm 100

1Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!
2Serve the Lord with gladness; come into God’s presence with a song.
3Know that the Lord is God, our maker to whom we belong;
we are God’s people and the sheep of God’s pasture.
4Enter the gates of the Lord with thanksgiving and the courts with praise;
give thanks and bless God’s holy name.
5Good indeed is the Lord, whose steadfast love is everlasting,
whose faithfulness endures from age to age.

Second Reading: Romans 5:1-8

1Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.

Gospel: Matthew 9:35–10:8

35Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
10:1Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. 2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.
5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.

Access to Holy Communion

Pastor Kyle will be providing access to the sacrament of Holy Communion for those who wish to receive it on Sunday afternoons. We have developed a method that we believe will keep everybody safe, while also maintaining the integrity of the sacrament. However, we need your help. Please review all of the information below to help embody safe protocols for your neighbors.

  1. Eucharist will be celebrated at 12:00 and 12:30. each Sunday in small gatherings. These small gatherings will be an extension of our online worship, not a replacement. You can be nourished by the Word and prayers via our online worship, and then come to be nourished by the Lord’s Supper.
  2. You must register for each specific time and day if you plan to attend, so that we can ensure proper physical distancing. Click here to register.
  3. You must bring your own elements- bread and fruit of the vine. Any simple bread or cracker will serve you well. This means that there will be no distribution. The Eucharistic table that Pastor Kyle will preside over will extend to the hands gathered together and all elements present will be consecrated. Rest assured that the fullness of the sacrament is received if you only bring bread.
  4. Masks are required to protect the most vulnerable our community. If you do not have a mask, please contact the church office.
  5. In case of rain, there is an alternative plan to gather in the sanctuary.
  6. The liturgy will last about 15 minutes. You are welcome to stand, or to bring your own chair. No chairs will be provided inside or outside.
  7. The church building remains closed. No access to other areas of the building are permitted. There will be no access to restrooms- please plan accordingly.
  8. When you arrive, you will be directed to pre-determined and marked areas that will ensure physical distancing for all who gather. Please follow Pastor’s instructions, posted signs, and maintain physical distancing.
  9. These gatherings are primarily for access to the sacrament, and not to congregate and socialize with our church community. We provide multiple opportunities for fellowship each week, and invite you to take advantage of those opportunities.
  10. Feed your soul, feed your neighbor. Please consider bringing a nonperishable food donation with you. Pastor will collect them and ensure they go to feed our neighbors.

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Please, consider staying home if you are part of a vulnerable population or do not feel comfortable being present to receive the sacrament. Please be in touch with Pastor Kyle is you have a particular pastoral need.

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If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, please stay home, out of care for our community:

  1. Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days?
  2. Have you had a fever or felt feverish in the last 72 hours?
  3. Are you experiencing any new respiratory symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath?
  4. Are you experiencing any new muscle aches or chills?
  5. Have you experienced any new change in your sense of taste or smell?

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Grace and peace to you, dear church! Please be in contact with Pastor Kyle if you have any questions.

Readings and Psalm for Sunday, June 7, 2020, The Holy Trinity

Though the word trinity is not found in the scriptures, Sunday’s second reading includes the apostolic greeting that begins the liturgy: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. In the gospel Jesus sends his disciples forth to baptize in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. More than a doctrine, the Trinity expresses the heart of our faith: we have experienced the God of creation made known in Jesus Christ and with us always through the Holy Spirit. We celebrate the mystery of the Holy Trinity in word and sacrament, as we profess the creed, and as we are sent into the world to bear witness to our faith.

Prayer of the Day

Almighty Creator and ever-living God: we worship your glory, eternal Three-in-One, and we praise your power, majestic One-in-Three. Keep us steadfast in this faith, defend us in all adversity, and bring us at last into your presence, where you live in endless joy and love, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Psalm 8
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Matthew 28:16-20

First Reading: Genesis 1:1–2:4a

1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. 8God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
9And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. 12The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 13And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
14And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
20And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” 21So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 22God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
24And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. 25God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.
26Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
27So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
2:1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
4aThese are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

Psalm: Psalm 8

1O Lord our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!—
2you whose glory is chanted above the heavens out of the mouths of infants and children;
you have set up a fortress against your enemies, to silence the foe and avenger.
3When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,
4what are mere mortals that you should be mindful of them,
human beings that you should care for them?
5Yet you have made them little less than divine;
with glory and honor you crown them.
6You have made them rule over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet:
7all flocks and cattle,
even the wild beasts of the field,
8the birds of the air, the fish of the sea,
and whatever passes along the paths of the sea.
9O Lord our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 13:11-13

[Paul writes:] 11Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.
13The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20

16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”