Sunday Service 1.17.2021

This post includes the bulletin, the sermon, and the music for the service.

GATHERING MUSIC       Medley: God’s Eye Is on the Sparrow, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, Precious Lord Take My Hand

WELCOME and ANNOUNCEMENTS

There will be a congregational meeting to take action on the budget on Sunday Jan. 31.  The time is yet to be determined.  The meeting will be held on Zoom. 

LIGHTING THE PEACE CANDLE                         Claire Stiles, liturgist

Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon. It is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1929-1968

PRELUDE Medley: Roll Jordan Roll, Hold On, Steal Away

OPENING SENTENCES                                 Dr. M. L. King, Jr., adapted

In the final analysis, says the Christian ethic, every person must be respected because God loves them. The worth of an individual does not lie in the measure of their intellect, their racial origin, or their social position. Human worth lies in relatedness to God. An individual has value because they have value to God. Whenever this is recognized, ‘whiteness’ and ‘blackness’ pass away as determinants in a relationship and ‘son/daughter’ and ‘sister/brother’ are substituted.

SCRIPTURE LESSON

Let us prepare ourselves for the word of God as it comes to us in the reading of Holy Scripture. Our hearts and minds are open.

Amos 5:21-24

For the word of God in scripture, for the word of God among us, for the word of God within us. Thanks be to God.

A Reading of the address ‘The American Dream’ by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Christy Martin

This address by Dr. King was given at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, an historically Black university, on June 6, 1961.  It was selected for this Sunday because of the themes which tie in to the presidential inauguration this week.  Christy read an abridged version.  She shared with the congregation that her grandparents were present when Dr. King gave this commencement address.

Here is a link to Dr. King delivering the original speech:

Sharing From the Congregation

The congregation discussed the questions:  What is your dream for America?  What needs to happen to realize that dream?  What can you do to make that dream a reality?

LITANY OF RE-DEDICATION    

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a strong voice for peace. This is what he said:

“Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts.   Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. Sooner or later, all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”

To this dream, we re-dedicate ourselves.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in the power of love. This is what he said:

“When I speak of love. . . I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. . . We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation.”

To this dream, we re-dedicate ourselves.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream of justice and peace for all people. This is what he said:

“Justice for black people will not flow into society merely from court decisions nor from fountains of political oratory. Nor will a few token changes quell all the tempestuous yearnings of millions of disadvantaged black people. White America must recognize that justice for black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society. The comfortable, the entrenched, the privileged cannot continue to tremble at the prospect of change in the status quo.”

To this dream, we re-dedicate ourselves.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an advocate for the oppressed. This is what he said:

“We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy, for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers and sisters.”

To this dream, we re-dedicate ourselves.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was committed to the full expression of democracy. This is what he said:

“The problem of race and color prejudice remains America’s greatest moral dilemma. When one considers the impact it has upon our nation, internally and externally, its resolution may well determine our destiny. How we deal with this crucial situation will determine our moral health as individuals, our cultural health as a region, our political health as a nation, and our prestige as a leader of the free world. The shape of the world today does not afford us the luxury of an anemic democracy. The price that America must pay for the continued oppression of the Negro is the price of its own destruction. The hour is late; the clock of destiny is ticking out; we must act now before it is too late.

To this dream, we re-dedicate ourselves.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in the moral principle of love. This is what he said:

“To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can be done only by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives.”

To this dream, we re-dedicate ourselves.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of action. This is what he said:

“We must move past indecision to action. . . If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”

Let us re-dedicate ourselves to the long and bitter – but beautiful – struggle for a new world.

MUSICAL OFFERING            We Shall Overcome

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of Lakewood United Church of Christ, as part of the Church Universal is to:

  • Celebrate the presence and power of God in our lives & in our world
  • Offer the hospitality and inclusive love of Christ to all people.
  • Work for God’s peace and justice throughout creation.

MORNING OFFERING      

Morning offerings may be brought forward and placed in the plates on the altar.

Offertory                      Medley: Go Down Moses, There Is a Balm in Gilead, Deep River

 Prayer of Dedication                                    Dorthy Walters

Moment to moment we ask, what is happening? The sound of shattering everywhere, is it the world, fragmenting at last, or our own hearts cracking, the final break-up of ice?

MUSICAL CALL TO PRAYER       There’ll Be Peace in the Valley

COMMUNITY PRAYERS – SAVIOR’S PRAYER

Peshita Syriac-Aramaic translation

O Birther! Father-Mother of the Cosmos, focus your light within us—make it useful. Create your reign of unity now; Your one desire acts with ours, as in all light, so in all forms. Grant what we need each day in bread and insight. Loose the cords of mistakes binding us, as we release the strand we hold of others’ guilt. Don’t let surface things delude us, but free us from what holds us back. From you is born all ruling will, the power and the life to do, the song that beautifies all; from age to age it renews. Amen.

*BENEDICTION

*POSTLUDE                      Life Every Voice and Sing; Lead Me, Guide me

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