The Lakeside Daisy above is a wonderful metaphor for us! Historical, beautiful and dependable. We are the Marblehead First United Church of Christ. Lets get to know each other, worship, and visit a bit over a cup of coffee. Or
May 27, Sunday, 1 p.m. U.S. Senate Chaplain Dr. Barry C. Black, Retired U.S. Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy, will speak on “Reflections on Senate Chaplaincy” in the Hotel Lakeside Fern Room. A complimentary church pass may be obtained between 7:30-10:30 a.m. Sunday, valid until 3 p.m. The pass includes admission to lakeside for guests and auto, but not access to the Grindley Aquatic & Wellness Campus.
June 21, Thursday, 7 p.m. Council.
June 22-23, Friday and Saturday, 9:00-4:00. Our rummage sale.
Church Office Phone 419-798-4612 Rev. Kay’s Home Phone 419-333-0433
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You are welcome to call Rev. Kay at the church or at home anytime.
The avowed purpose of this church shall be to worship God, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to celebrate the sacraments; to realize Christian fellowship and the unity within this church and the church universal; to render loving service toward humankind; and to strive for righteousness, justice and peace.
The United Church of Christ has a long history of working towards eradicating systemic and institutional racism. In 2003
General Synod 24 adopted a resolution calling for the UCC to be an anti-racist church stating that "racism is rooted in a belief of
the superiority of whiteness and bestows benefits, unearned rights, rewards, opportunities, advantages, access, and privilege on Europeans
and European descendants."
In 2008, racial justice advocates within what was then called Justice and Witness Ministries developed the online curriculum Sacred Conversations on Race. The Sacred Conversations Resource Guide was designed to address the needs of local congregations, pastors and laypersons with interest in starting on a journey towards racial justice and reconciliation.
readings for this Sunday:
1. Have you ever had a glimpse of God's majesty and power and awesomeness?
2. What image of God did you grow up with? Has it changed over the years?
3. How does your worship service convey both the transcendence and the nearness of God?
4. When has the light of hope grown brighter in your life and the life of your community, and the world beyond?
5. Where are the times and occasions of that light growing dim? What is our response?
by Kate Matthews
Perhaps the current over-use of the word "awesome" has diminished the power we once gave to the word "awe." We usually say something is "awesome" when we're impressed or enthusiastically approving of or appreciating it, but are we truly struck speechless, or suddenly and painfully made aware of our inadequacy, our smallness, let alone our brokenness and our sin? Hardly.
For this week's observance of Trinity Sunday, our text from Isaiah marvelously brings together a portrait of a majestic and truly "awe-some" God, limited as these words may be, and yet it also portrays a God seeking assistance, or at least seeking an agent to do God's will and to carry God's message, a message that will turn out, in this case, to be one of judgment. We always say we're called to share, to live, the good news, but this text reminds us that God's judgment is, at times, part of that message.
An opportune moment
Scholars don't agree on the significance of the timing mentioned (in verse 1) in setting the scene for Isaiah's vision: "In the year that King Uzziah died..."; however, James Newsome suggests that the powerful king's death explains why "the prophet is roused to activity by the Spirit of God" and "may have been a signal to perceptive persons that changes in the fortunes of the nation were on their way and that, in significant ways, Judah would stand in special need of God's grace in the years ahead."
If we think about it, we stand in need of God's word in every time, in every condition, but in this particular moment, it seems that the people needed to hear a particular word of judgment. Isaiah was chosen, and even volunteered, to fill that role.
Beginning with prayer
We might reflect on this text by drawing on the beautiful prayers of Walter Brueggemann in Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth, where he acknowledges God as "holy...unutterable, dread-filled, beyond us...so unlike us"--and yet, we are called by this same God, "sent" and "authorized...to hard places, to tough times, to resistant circumstances."
In another book, Brueggemann describes the importance of the setting in which this holy and unutterable God sits: "We are here at the core of holiness from which is decreed all that happens everywhere in creation....The throne room of God is the policy room of world government. There is business to conduct. There is creation to manage. There are messages to be sent. The government of Yahweh....needs a carrier."
God, sitting on a throne
That's one way to look at this story: God is sitting on a throne, mighty and adored, ruling the world and attended by fearsome creatures who have to cover themselves and their eyes because they are in the presence of the Holy One. There is sound and size, shaking, smoke, and spectacle, flying seraphs and fiery coals. Now, that's awesome! And yet this God, unspeakably holy and great, asks a simple, practical question: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?"
This is the story Isaiah the prophet provides to justify his call as a prophet. Prophets need call, or vocation stories, just as we do today. When a person presents himself or herself before a church committee, claiming a call to ordained ministry, for example, they had better be sure to have a clear sense of call. They might acknowledge that they've resisted the call, but that's okay. Isaiah and many other prophets did the same.
Who will go for us?
Still, lay and ordained people alike share a sense of a God beyond their words, beyond their imagining, this God who nevertheless has a task, a word, a path for them. This call seems far less like a command or authorization than a question, a wondering, an invitation. Who will go for us?
Isaiah's answer is immediate and clear, but first he faces a woeful recognition of his unworthiness before God: R. Michael Sanders notes that the prophet's reaction doesn't reflect fear for his safety so much as a deep awareness of his sin: "Isaiah seems not so occupied with death as he is with how he has lived life." The mark of a burning coal on his lips, ironically, conveys healing and reconciliation and preparation for the work ahead. We could say that in his "purification" for service, Isaiah experiences transformation.