2019 Fall Worship Series

2019 Fall Worship Series

This Fall our worship series is “Outside My Own Little World”:

It seems the world these days teeters between those who seek to protect “their own” and those who dare to declare that all are worthy of compassion and care. Years ago, Matthew West wrote a song called “My Own Little World.” It resonates perhaps even more today than when he wrote it as an anthem of encouragement to get out of ourselves and our “own little world.” In this series, we will remember why we are a Body together—being the hands and feet of Christ in a frightened and hurting world. We will focus not just on maintaining “the church,” but why it is that the church exists at all. We will reaffirm our personal purpose in this world and who we are together.

Each week, we will notice our own perspective and then refocus to see our place in God’s “kin-dom.”

November 3, 2019

Creation Sunday

A special morning to reflect on our responsibility in a time of climate crisis led by special guest Rev. Dr. Jim Antal!

10:00am Worship & Guest Preaching:  “Defiant Hope”

11:30am  Climate Church Climate World sponsored by the First Church Adult Ed &     Environmental Justice Teams

The earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it; (Psalm 24:1)

Scripture:  2 Cor. 3:1-6

Sermon:  Defiant Hope – Our Faithful Response to the Climate Crisis    Rev. Dr. Jim Antal

Special Music by the First Church Teen Choir!

“I used to think that if we threw enough good science at the environmental problems, we could solve them.  I was wrong.  The main threats to the environment are not biodiversity loss, pollution, and climate change, as I once thought.  They are selfishness and greed and pride. And for that we need a spiritual and cultural transformation…”                ~ James “Gus” Speth

            Of the many churches founded by the Apostle Paul, none was more fractious than the gathering of troubled believers in the pagan city of Corinth.   In the passage we will hear, it’s clear that the Christians in Corinth are questioning Paul’s authority.  You can almost hear the whisper campaign.  “I wonder if he’s made it all up? All that stuff about meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus. . . What gives him the right to tell us what to do? Let’s demand that he prove his authority to us!”  Rather than respond defensively, Paul says to them, “You are my letter of recommendation. You are the best evidence there is that my ministry has not been in vain.”  

In this time of climate crisis, what do we need to compel us to act?  Do we, like the people of Corinth, get stuck on who is speaking to us about climate change, and what authority they have? What instead might inspire us to transform our lives to care for our world in a way that can matter for all of creation?

Jim Antal is a denominational leader, climate activist, author and public theologian. He serves as Special Advisor on Climate Justice to the General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ. Antal’s book, CLIMATE CHURCH, CLIMATE WORLD, was featured on Earth Day in the Chicago Tribune and in Christian Century Magazine. From 2006-2018, Antal led the 350 UCC churches in Massachusetts as their Conference Minister and President.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Look Me In The Eye

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works?” (James 2:1)

Scripture: James 2:14-17     

Sermon:   “Look Me in the Eye”      

How many times have we passed by the opportunities to be in true mutual and reciprocal relationship with people different from us? Becoming involved with the other to the point of love is a messy thing.  Jesus’ radical table ministry was not only politically/religiously messy, it required personal transformation in the ways we relate to each other, and to those considered outsiders.  Today we ask, “who is not at the table, that we can go out and make sure to invite?” And when we do, we may find we need bigger tables!

November 17, 2019
Loving Our Tradition
Come to a service of ritual, tradition and music from the “Red Book.”In this worship service, we honor our rich traditional worship style with prayer, sung responses, and more liturgy. Share in this moving service—if you have missed one of the “old ways” or if you have not experienced this kind of service before.

All Are Welcome.

AAWE Sunday & Thanksgiving Sunday

November 24, 2019

Join us for a Thanksgiving potluck lunch. Then help us decorate our sanctuary for Advent!

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:1-2, 16b

Sermon: Start Living Right Now!

“I could be livin’ right now, outside my own little world” says our inspirational song. This last Sunday of the series, we are encouraged to live and love deeply, to expand our worlds, to expand our relationships. We bless each person for the commitment and pray mightily for the work of the church as a whole.

Join your church family, after worship, for a thanksgiving potluck with all the trimmings. We’ll provide the turkey, potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce. You bring sides or deserts. Bring your favorites!

Please RSVP: by email to office@firstchurchlongmeadow.org; or call the office; or sign up on the Thanksgiving Potluck poster in the hallway.