September 4, 2015

September 2015 Worship Notes

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298824_10150443206679478_840423056_nSeptember 6 | 9:30 & 11:00am | Give-a-Meal | Communion
Scripture: Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23; Mark 7:31-35
Message: Ephphatha
Theme: Ephphatha “open up”…Jesus heals the man who was both deaf and mute. The words we speak should be very much connected to the words we hear. Jesus blesses us as we listen and speak. When is it a challenge to hear and speak? How do we ensure that we are listening and speaking with the Spirit?

September 13 | 9:30 & 11:00am
Scripture: Psalm 19; Mark 8:27-29
Message: Name Tag
Theme: Jesus and the disciples were traveling in and out of villages. He asked the disciples who people said he was. There were a few answers. What old and new names, roles, images do we use when we ponder and experience Jesus?

September 20 | 9:30 & 11:00am
Scripture: Psalm 1; Mark 9:33-37
Message: Kids R Us
Theme Jesus hears the disciples arguing and wants to remind them that none of them is greater than the other. In fact, he invites them to think about the last being first and the first being last—and how to welcome children as a measure of health, connectedness, honor.

September 27 | 9:30 & 11:00amr 20 | 9:30 & 11:00am
Scripture: Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22; Psalm 124
Message: Now
Theme: The Esther story—even with some gruesome parts—is about being in the right place at the right time…Esther calling on courage as she is asked to play a role she never imagined and one that she doesn’t feel equipped to play. How can we see where we are needed now and act with more courage and compassion?

August 2015 Worship Notes

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10359208_10152916318849478_3212867295524181348_nAugust 2| 9:30 & 11:00am | Give-a-Meal | Communion
Scripture: 2Samuel 11:26-12:10, 13a; Psalm 51:1-12
Message: My Story
Theme: The story of David and Bathsheba where Nathan points out David’s mistakes in a story that David does not recognize right away. How do we see ourselves in story and learn from them?

August 9 | 9:30 & 11:00am
Scripture: Psalm 130; Ephesians 4:25-5:2
Message: HALT
Theme: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired… Letter to the Ephesians trying to help them figure out how to live in community. Ponder the things we can and cannot do…emotional health; fresh starts

August 16 | 9:30 & 11:00am
Scripture: 1Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14; Psalm 111
Message: Discernment
Theme: Solomon becoming King—young/inexperienced so he asks for a discerning mind to acquire good judgement. How do we cultivate our spirit of discernment? Where is our power?

Scripture: Psalm 84; Ephesians 6:10-20
Message: Armor All
Theme: More support sent to the early church in Ephesus. What it means to be strong, alert, confident in the ways that we live and partner with the Spirit. What happens when you are struggling and/or broken?

August 30 | One Family Worship at 10:00am
Scripture: Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23; James 1:17-27
Message: Following the Rules
Theme: Rules and codes and assumptions that have been handed down—generation to generation. What do we do with them? Which rules are gratefully accepted as inheritance and which do we want to be more intentional about? What about Leviticus!?

Choir Call Fall 2015

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colorfulChoirIf you enjoy singing, we would love to have you join the choir! We rehearse Wednesday evenings, 6:30-8:00pm, and sing for the 9:30am worship service on Sundays, with a warm up at 8:45am. Child care is provided on Wednesday evenings and before the service on Sundays. Rehearsals resume this Wednesday, September 2, and we will sing for the 9:30am worship services beginning on Sunday, September 13. Please contact Barbara Raedeke at BRaedeke@aol.com, or just come to the first rehearsal on August 26. You will be most welcome!

July 2015 Worship Notes

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2015-06-14 20.43.11July 5 | Give-a-Meal | Communion
Scripture: Psalm 48; Mark 6:1-13
Message: Shake the Dust Off
Theme: Jesus and the disciples aren’t welcome everywhere they go. Jesus encourages them not to get stuck or blocked by obstacles others place in their way. He buoys them up so they can move on and keep on!

July 12
Scripture: Psalm 24; Mark 6:14-29
Message: What Should I Ask For?
Theme: Gospel story of Herodias asking Herod for John the Baptist’s head. Herod respected John but was manipulated by Herodias. This story invites us to think about our allegiances and analyze our motives. What do we ask for others? What do they ask of us? What does God ask of us? What should I ask God for?

July 19
Scripture: Psalm 89:20-37; Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
Message: Set It All Aside
Theme Jesus and the disciples are coming and going so that there is no time for them to eat! Yikes. Busy lives. Lists and priorities. What place do sabbath and meditation and renewal have in your life?

July 26 | Guest Worship Leader–Jackie Tyler

June 2015 Worship Notes

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10476399_10153986406894478_7292010207458030510_nJune 7 | One Family Worship | Give-a-Meal | Communion
Scripture: Psalm 138; 2Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Message: Seen and Unseen
Theme: Gratitude for what we can see and what is below our awareness. Focus on the things that are beyond and you will get there. Seek ye first…

June 14
Scripture: Psalm 20; Mark 4:26-34
Message: Seeds—Gathered and Scattered
Theme: Jesus tells stories about seeds sprouting, growing, producing. Patience is needed. Mustard seeds are packed! This all feeds in to a Sunday when we will welcome new members and bid a fond farewell to the Barclay Family.

June 21 | Father’s Day
Scripture: Psalm 9:9-20; Mark 4:35-41
Message: Be Still
Theme Jesus stills the storm as he and the disciples are out in the boat. He was asleep during all of it… the storm did not worry him. Where do we find the gifts of peace? How do we share them?

June 28
Scripture: Psalm 130; Mark 5:21-43
Message: Double Healing
Theme: Jesus heals Jairus’ daughter and the hemorrhaging woman. Where does healing come from? Where does it go? How can we be a part of it? When do we block/deflect/deny it?

Summer Music

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D5317B Essen, Germany, the church choir sings on the occasion of the change of concerts Hochschulchoere

Summer Music

During the summer months when the choir does not sing, we invite members, both adults and youth, to provide special instrumental or vocal music for the 9:30 service. If you would like to share your musical gifts with us over the summer, please speak with Barbara Raedeke or contact her at BRaedeke@aol.com. We are blessed with so many musically talented members here at Parkway, and we hope they will make this important contribution to our worship!

May 2015 Worship Notes

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May-FlowersMay 3
Scripture: Psalm 22:25-31; 1 John 4:7-21
Message: Love Languages
Theme: Jesus talks about his core message—the reason he exists: love. Part of the challenge for us as we lead lives of love is that we are speaking different languages—even if we share a language.

May 10
Scripture: Psalm 98; John 15:9-17
Message: Blessing Assessing
Theme: Jesus is still talking about love… How can we be even more intentional about growing and maturing in the ways we love? How do we engage in appropriate meaningful touch, a spoken message, attaching high value, picturing a special future, expressing an active commitment

May 17: Ascension Sunday
Scripture: Psalm 47; Luke 24:44-53
Message: Witnesses
Theme Jesus and the disciples are together in person for the last time—as he ascends to heaven. He opens their minds to understand the scriptures. He commissions them to go far and wide to teach and preach. He reminds them that they will be given the power they need to do this!

May 24
Scripture: Joel 2:28–32; Acts 2:1-12
Message: Surprised and Bewildered
Theme: As the Holy Spirit comes and allows us to hear one another across all differences, how do we follow up and follow through to close the gaps between people? What can we experience from other times, cultures, traditions that lead us closer to God?

May 31: One Family Worship at 10:00am UNDER THE TREE
Scripture: Isaiah 6:1-8; Romans 8:14-17a
Message: 1-2-3
Theme: The early church was dealing with how to move beyond fear to live further into the presence and mission of the Holy. Today we are One Family and celebrate both sacraments. How do these experiences ground us and set us free to be Christ-like in the world?

Parkway Church Orchestra Resumes Rehearsals April 19

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Church Orchestra Rehearsal April 19

3rd Sundays (April – November)| 6:30-8:00pm | Choir Room (Please note 1 time room change.)

The Parkway Church Orchestra resumes monthly rehearsals this Sunday, April 19 in the Choir Room. (We typically meet in the Heritage room but for this rehearsal only, we are using the choir room.) We are seeking more orchestra instrumentalists to join us. For more information contact Roger Fagerberg at 314-878-7646 | rrfagerberg@hotmail.com for needed information. 

PUCC Easter Journey – The Day After Easter, April 6

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And Peter

by Mary Luti, Interim Pastor, Wellesley Village UCC, Wellesley, MA

 

“Go tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you into Galilee, and you will see him there.” – Mark 16:7

 

And Peter – possibly the two most poignant words in scripture. The disciples abandoned Jesus, but only Peter swore he didn’t know him from Adam. Not even Judas did that. After that night by the courtyard fire when Jesus gazed at him sorrowfully as the cock crowed, a weeping Peter probably half-hoped he’d never see Jesus again, hoped he’d never have to face him in shame.

 

But the risen Jesus wants to see Peter. He singles him out. “And Peter…” I will meet you in Galilee. It’s where they’d first begun. It will be where they begin anew.

 

We have to turn to John’s gospel for the meeting. On the lakeshore, by the light of another fire, they put their heads together and talk. No recrimination. Not one shaming reference to the past. Only declarations of love. It happens by proximity, this restoration. Peter goes to meet his Lord and the Lord is there to meet him.

 

Jesus wants to meet you too. Even if, like Peter, you have nothing to bring to the meeting but stupidity and stubbornness, fear and self-protection, betrayals and cowardice. Even if, as Kate Layzer writes in an Easter hymn, you can’t imagine why anyone should love you, a creature made of earth. Even if every mortal fragment of you shrinks from a rebirth. Jesus wants you to go to Galilee. He will meet you there.

 

By your rising, O Christ, put away all our grieving. Free our hearts from pointless strife. No longer fearful, but believing. Now begins eternal life! Amen.

PUCC Lenten Journey – Easter, April 5

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He Is Not Raisins

by Matt Fitzgerald, St Paul’s UCC, Chicago

 

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.” – Psalm 139:6

 

Hurrah! There will be less elbow room in the pews today!

 

The assumption is that my job will be to make sense of scripture, to reduce the mystery, and to make God understandable. No one has ever put it to me that plainly, but for those who want a modern-minded faith the assumption is implicit. You bring your questions to an expert. I have fallen prey to this reasoning: I’ve preached dozens of sermons that aim to explain, clarify and demystify.

 

One of the reasons I love the people in the Easter crowd is that their arrival stands as a direct refutating of such nonsense.

 

If people came to church to hear reason, Easter would not be the most popular Sunday of the year because there is nothing sensible about the resurrection. Easter ought to leave preachers scratching our heads. We are not able to define or even describe the resurrection.
The first thing preachers ought to admit on Easter is that God has done the incomprehensible.

 

But not the logical. When our daughter was in kindergarten the church gave her Sunday School class purple Easter eggs to take home. The egg contained a slip of paper. She was right in the middle of learning how to read so she seized on the paper’s monosyllabic words eagerly. She read with confidence. “He is…” then she paused, carefully considering both syllables in the third word. “He is … raisins?”

 

“He is raisins” is illogical. “He is risen” is merely incomprehensible. When preachers speak about God we should distinguish between things that do not make sense and things we cannot make sense of. Easter falls into the latter category. We can’t explain it. We shouldn’t try. But we can stand in awe and joy before it.

 

O God, pardon our attempts to reduce you to something we can understand – and coax us into awestruck wonder. Amen.