First United Methodist Church of Schenectady
Worship for the Seventh Sunday of Easter
May 16, 2021
Photo by Sue Learner
It may help to center yourself into worship by lighting a candle, as a symbol of God’s presence with you during the time of worship. You may also want to pay attention to lighting, the position of your body, and the availability of distractions.
“God of then and now, help us be present”
Breath prayers involve breathing in the first phrase, and breathing out the second.
You may wish to simply pray for a moment before starting, or you may wish to pray while listening to the prelude.
“Liebster Jesus, wir sind hier (Blessed Jesus, we are here)” by Charles Callahan
Call to Worship
One: We seek.
Many: We seek peace.
One: We seek.
Many: We seek wholeness.
One: We seek.
Many: We seek hope.
One: We seek.
Many: We seek the Divine.
Hymn #496: Sweet Hour of Prayer
Connecting in Prayer
God of All Time,
You are with us now, as you were in the past, as you will be in the future.
You are our North Star, our guiding light, our map, and our compass.
On you we can depend.
When we find ourselves lost in memories of the past, you are with us,
and can guide us home.
When we find ourselves lost in worries for the future, you are with us,
and can guide us home.
Wherever we are, wherever we go, you are with us.
As you call us into the present now,
may we open our hearts to receive and give your good gifts.
We’ve lived in weird time warps for a long time now.
Time hasn’t been behaving,
and the regular rhythms of life that we depend on have been disrupted.
For some, more possibilities are emerging again,
and it is time to decide what to bring back,
to answer the question “what matters.”
For others, long waits remain before change is possible,
and this limbo retains its power.
There is some unexpected sadness in it all.
Even as the world reawakens,
it does not return to what it once was.
Many we loved are no longer with us.
Much of what we valued has changed
and will not ever look the same.
Be with us Holy One,
and help us,
as we face the present and the future.
Give us courage to meet what is with love,
and to make space for our own sadness and grief.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father (Creator) 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.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Word and Reflection
Behold, How Good by Michael John Trotta
Scripture: Psalm 1
Mission Moment – Rev. Bob Long
United Methodist Economic Ministries, Salem, Maine
“Luv that place n people that work there” … “Friendly people, great quality, great
prices.” So evaluate two shoppers. And a volunteer says: “I love being able to call
these folks family. I am one of the lucky team players at U.M.E.M. We serve a lot of
families and it is truly a blessing to be a part of this experience in life’s journey.”
Faith, love, justice and compassion lived with joy.
The Mission: The United Methodist Economic Ministry in Salem, Maine, exists to be in partnership with rural communities in western Maine to create healthy, sustainable communities within the region. In response to God’s call in Christ to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and care for the homeless (Matthew 25:35-37), the UMEM seeks to promote social justice and provide material, educational, and spiritual support as first steps toward self-sufficiency in this region of severe economic challenge.
The Story: In 1969, the Rev. Charles Reid was assigned to two small, rural churches near Salem, Maine. There he witnessed the need of the hard-working people in the area. Many struggled economically; poverty and the people in its grip were apparent. Although the residents of the community were strong and hardy, many families struggled to meet basic, daily needs like food, clothing, and adequate shelter. With the assistance of their churches and other local congregations, Rev. Reid and his wife Norma moved a building to the current site the Salem UMEM and began a thrift shop, which offered good, used clothes at affordable prices. Norma Reid stocked the accompanying Food Cupboard with items from her own pantry.
Prom Shop: provides gowns and dress suits with quick alterations so outfits really fit and a memorable prom becomes an affordable event. Christmas Shop – where parents get a voucher allowing them to “shop” in privacy for their children’s gifts.
Fuel bank: where a few gallons of heating oil or dry wood is offered.
Food pantry: where embarrassed users are assured that they have come to the right place. The important thing is providing the resources for the family with a warm and affectionate welcome.
In the early 1970’s, summer mission teams began working the ministry during the warm Maine summers to help local families stay safer, warmer, and drier during the harsh Maine winters. The UMEM’s outreach has expanded over the years to include new locations: the Solon Thrift Shop and Food Cupboard in the fall of 1995 and the Howland Thrift Shop which
started serving its neighbors in 2017. Since its inception nearly 50 years ago, the UMEM has continued to provide first-step support for residents of western Maine to promote self-sufficiency as a means to break cycles of poverty. The core of their services continues to be the Food Cupboards, Thrift Shops, and Summer Mission Teams. The scope and nature of outreach continues to evolve to meet the needs within their communities. UMEM strives to create healthy, sustainable communities through respect for and day-to-day connection with the people they serve!
Those who make it work: The Ministry is guided by a compassionate, skilled and engaging Executive Director, Rev. Michele St. Cyr, and six equally passionate and devoted staff who oversee the extensively used Food Cupboard, two Thrift Shops, maintaining of all facilities, coordination of Summer Ministries, emergency assistance to families in the area, seasonal assistance at specific times of the year, and all financial matters for these outreach offerings. The staff is enhanced by many reliable and compassionate volunteers. Salem Economic Ministries also partners with The United Way of Tri-Valley, Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine, The Salvation Army, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission and the Brunswick UMC.
For years, The Rev. Arthur Hagy led teams from former Troy Conference on summer VIM work weeks at Salem. Their contributions were substantial to the ongoing work there. Funds are now being gathered for renovation of the Bunk House, which when completed this summer will be named for Rev. Hagy.
Passing of the Peace
If you are worshiping with others, please pass the Peace of Christ.
Whether you are alone or with others, please take a moment to find God’s peace within, and then to share it with the world. You may want to reach out to speak peace to another during this week.
Hymn #2004: Praise the Source of Faith and Learning
Scripture Reading – John 17:6-19
Sermon: “Like Trees Planted by Streams of Water” by Rev. Sara E. Baron
Photo by Alice Nash
If you wish, you are welcome to use this time to make a donation to the church online, or to put a check in the mail.
The time of offering is not only about our financial gifts to the church, it is about offering our lives to God and the building of the kindom. This is a time for reflection: What is being asked of us? What is being given to us? What are we able to offer? What do we need?
Offertory: “South African Gloria” by William Bradley Roberts
Prayer of Presentation
God of All Time,
With the gifts of our lives and our resources, we seek to build your kindom. Bless all that we offer with wisdom and abundance to be used well. Amen
Hymn #560: Help Us Accept Each Other
May God who is always with you, hold you in the grief you hold now, and may you find yourself able to trust God even in the grief that will come. Amen
“Processional Voluntary in C” by David Lasky