Welcome to our asynchronous online worship. Such is the reach of God’s kin-dom that, whether you watch now or at a later time, we all participate in a community where we can hold each other in prayerful love.
Participating in our worship today are: Althea Spencer Miller, Tsz Him Lai and Caitlin Tremper , Jennifer Quigley, Kellie Turner, Mark Miller, Martha Vink, Soren Hessler.
Call to Worship
Rev. Dr. Jennifer Quigley and Rev. Soren Hessler
ALL: Let us sing together a troubling, exhilarating hymn
ONE: It has troubling parts!
ALL: Imperialistic, heterosexist, idealistic, otherworldly
ONE: Is that all?
ALL: It is grounded, remembering, communal, and Transcendent
ALL: It sets gore and hope, crisis and sanguinity, discord and peace, cynicism and vision in one vehicle.
ONE: So why sing this hymn?
ALL: Because together we are a stew, U. S. Gumbo – Multiple; French Bouillabase – simmering and fractured; Cameroonian Ndolé – bitter and briny, Malaysian Asan Pedas – sour and spicy; Jamaican Mannish Water – made for love; and Jewish Cholent – lasting; North African Tajine – Everywhere! This is who we are. Singing this hymn together we variegate, dishevel, and re-weave Christian history, beloved community, tensions, disagreements, and recall our common vocabulary of hope, peace, transformation, a divine future, all the fullness of the kin-dom of heaven.
We will sing together, under the canopy of the faith of Jesus, because of and despite ourselves!
Tsz Him Lai and Caitlin Tremper
We turn to you, O God, in perilous times. Gathered, synchronously and asynchronously, we are connected by our faith in Christ. We are disparate but connected strands doing the work of weaving and creating an image of possibility in Christ. We are the articulation of a hope as well as its realization, even for a moment, this moment.
By this time together may all our hearts be attuned to our Christian connection. At times our connection may be uncomfortable, discomfiting, annoying, resistible, ignorable, distasteful yet always real and unavoidable. There are stones in the complacency of our compartmentalized existence. There is the visual stone when we look across the aisles of our antagonisms and realize that the unlovable one on the other side is our sibling in this motley family that is Christ’s. Another is the prayer of Jesus that, “We all may be one.”
May our connection be suffused with Love. Encourage us in our journey to be Lovers of love, to love each other, to care for others even if only because we belong to you. Be with us in our precipitous and rewarding journey of faith, that we may be your glory, in the name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen.
Matthew 13:31-32 and 24-30 (NRSV)
31 Jesus put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; 32 it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
24 Jesus put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27 And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ 28 He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30 Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”
“Radicalized by Jesus: Of Birds and Weeds”
Dr. Althea Spencer-Miller
Rev. Kellie Turner, DMin Student (Original Composition)
Radicalized: A Benediction
Dr. Althea Spencer-Miller
We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness
Radicalized by Jesus to bear, care, dare,
Radicalized by Jesus for life, faith, hope, love
Radicalized, Can you see me?
Radicalized: I see you
Radicalized: We see each other – anew!
“Who You Are” words by Lindy Thompson, music by Mark Miller
Who you are is yours to know
Who I am is mine
How you are is how you’re loved
Truth engenders wholeness
Self and soul align
May you boldly speak your name
I will tell you mine,
I will tell you mine.
Benediction: adapted from sayings by Thich Nhat Hanh