Weekly Email from Pastor Terry

                                                    WEEKLY GOOD NEWS EMAIL

First Congregational Church of Hanover, Massachusetts

An Open and Affirming Church of the United Church of Christ

From Pastor Terry

johnterry@fcchanover.org

October 25, 2020 (Access Sunday and Disabilities Awareness Week)

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 1)

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night.  They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither.  In all that they do, they prosper. 

The wicked are not so but are like chaff that the wind drives away.  Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Invocation:

Send your Holy Spirit into our hearts, Almighty God, to rule and direct us according to your will, to comfort us in all our temptations and afflictions, to defend us from all error, and lead us into all truth; that we, being steadfast in the faith, may increase in love and in all good works, and in the end obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. 

Scripture Lesson: Matthew 22:34-46

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: ‘What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?’ They said to him, ‘The son of David.’ He said to them, ‘How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying, “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet’ ”? If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?’ No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

Hymn: They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored:
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love.

We will walk with each other, we will work hand in hand,
We will walk with each other, we will work hand in hand,
And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land:
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love.

All praise to the Father, from whom all things come,
and all praise to Christ Jesus, God’s only Son,
and all praise to the Spirit, who makes us one:
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love.

Sunday Sermon: Final Answer

Hymn: I’ve Got Peace Like a River

I've got peace like a river, I've got peace like a river, I've got peace like a river in my soul.

I've got love like an ocean, I've got love like an ocean, I've got love like an ocean in my soul.

I've got joy like a fountain, I've got joy like a fountain, I've got joy like a fountain in my soul.

I've got peace, love and joy like a river, I've got peace, love and joy like a river,
I've got peace, love and joy like a river in my soul.

Calendar of Events

SUNDAY: The virtual coffee hour is at 11:30. 

Come to our virtual Coffee Hour on Sunday at 11:30! Here's the link.

MONDAY BIBLE STUDY AT 7 PM: Join in at:  https://zoom.us/j/93375349480pwd=OWlkcjRmV2llaEt0M202RUhKRTA4UT09
Meeting ID: 933 7534 9480
Password: 006430

WEDNESDAY: Search Committee

WEDNESDAY HOUR OF FELLOWSHIP AT 2 PM  Join in at https://zoom.us/j/5848654652?pwd=WHlDSnlhWkIwc2FGS0c3VWgwNmMzZz09Meeting ID: 584 865 4652; Password: 531416

EVERYDAY – if you miss seeing someone from church give them a call!

LOTS OF GOOD NEWS

THE THRIFT SHOP reopened this past Saturday and raised over $1000 for the church.  Yea!  

THE SOCIAL MATTERS COMMITTEE meets Thursday night at 7 PM.  Let me know if you would like to join us. 

THE OUTREACH AND SERVICE COMMITTEE gave $500 to the Carolina Hill Shelter in Marshfield, which provides temporary shelter for homeless families. Their services are designed to break the cycle of repeated homelessness experienced by many families. During the three months average stay, families receive life skills training. The shelter provides case management, house search, GED and English as a Second Language classes. Families may be referred to outside agencies for childcare, counseling, furniture programs, and so on. After their families are placed in a new home, the shelter offers follow-up services to assist their smooth transition into local schools and social services.

CHURCH FAIR:  Here are some items available on our virtual Church Fair.  Call Linda (339-933-0224) or email her (garygila@icloud.com) to purchase them. Large Christmas cactus $10; Small Christmas Cactus $7; Pepper jelly $4; Peach jam $4.50. Knitted items will be coming soon.  We will highlight some Fair items weekly

READ THE UPPER ROOM DEVOTIONAL on-line: http://www.upperroom.org/standingorderchurches

YOUR OFFERING: Please consider the following options for your weekly offering: 1) Make an online donation to FCC Hanover on our website https://www.fcchanover.org/give-gift/; 2) Mail your check to FCC Hanover, 17 Silver Street, Hanover, MA 02339; 3) Set up an auto- bill pay through your bankYour financial support and your prayer support are much appreciated.

CELEBRATIONS AND CONCERNS: Please email your celebrations and concerns to John Terry or to the church office. 

Please pray for:

  • Wally Kemp, in rehab
  • Desmon Silva, colleague of Jessie Berry, in rehab
  • The family of Thomas Cadorette, the father of Jayce Hall, who passed October 7
  • The family of Nancy Bezanson, who passed September 29
  • Terry Milley with eye issues
  • Bill O’Donnell, Susan Vetterlein’s brother-in-law, chemo therapy
  • Barbara Winsloe, mother of Deborah Springhetti, in failing health
  • Jaycee Hall, Ruth Hall’s daughter-in-law, with remitting auto immune disease

ATTACHMENT OF THE WEEK - MORE GOOD NEWS

This came from the Massachusetts Council of Churches. Given the great concern for our nation and world I pass this along.

“What happens after Election Day?" a fellow pastor asked during a voting forum. “I understand Christians have differences in opinions, but what do we do after Election Day?” He was visibly upset and frustrated with the way this panel articulated perspectives. This pastor reinforced his concerns by saying, “I have Republicans and Democrats in my congregation! I am sitting here trying to figure out how do we worship together after November 3rd?”
As we come to the end of this election cycle, at the Mass. Council of Churches, we are hearing from many Christians concerned about what happens after Election Day. We are concerned, too. The Church is called to be “the light of the world.” Many pastors serve congregations with various stakes in this election. There are people that view this November as a threat to their life and safety. Parishioners are sitting in pews or virtual chairs, in fears of losing homes, jobs, and businesses. Others think they may lose their health care, their right to have an abortion, or to marry a person of the same gender. There are Blacks churches that are fearful of just being Black in America, the trauma of viewing Blacks dying in real-time, and the disproportionate loss of loved ones in this current pandemic. Several minority church leaders have been dealt a blow from being attacked because of their Asian heritage or afraid to complete the Census in fear of ICE detaining members. This list is extensive, exhausting, and long. This list is hard and cold. It is clearly inhumane. Countless parishioners face these experiences daily.
I keep coming back to that pastor's question, "How do we worship together after November 3," regardless of the outcome of the election? How do we reconcile our communities of faith when there are seemingly overwhelming differences? Leaders have to take the time to pray and seek God who reconciles all. I am meditating on the Greatest Commandment given to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Love is one of the most powerful action verbs. When we love one another, we’re able to get through tough and downright evil times. The power of love can draw people of opposing views together. The Church must remain, or become, an institution of love for the broken, bruised, and battered. We all must choose love to bring people together and unite fractured sectors in our faith community. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left us with these words; “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." This is the hope and glimmer of light every Church leader can hold on to in these dark days.