- Rev. Sandra Larson
June 14 At-Home Worship & Activities
Updated: Aug 10, 2020
Pick what works for you!
AT-HOME WORSHIP & ACTIVITIES
Union Church, Newburgh NY
Humor Sunday June 14, 2020
We are glad that you are joining us today and hope you feel God’s blessings. If you do not have a church home, we sincerely invite you to be a part of the Union Church fellowship.
Food Pantry operates every other week. Next: Mon. and Wed. June 22 and 24 from 9:30-11:30 am. Serving LOTS of people! If you would like to help, contact Kathy or Debby.
In-Active and Active Elders Please consider being equipped to serve the Lord’s Supper to homebound folks and other times. Pastor Sandy will offer at-home training. Union already has one trained elder. Training is not a huge time commitment. When Sandy led training sessions for New Brunswick Presbytery, participants said they enjoyed the process and learned interesting new things.
Contact Pastor Sandy.
TODAY—VIRTUAL Fellowship Time from 11:30-Noon
Use mobile phone or computer with video if possible, since seeing each other will be beneficial to us all. Phone with audio only is EASY so, please attend. We can encourage each other and laugh a bit.
Then enter Meeting ID and Password. See email for information.
THOUGHT FOR REFLECTION
“Humor is the prelude to faith, and laughter is the beginning of prayer.” —Reinhold Niebuhr Say what?
“A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.” —Laura Ingalls Wilder Really?
ORDER OF WORSHIP
PRELUDE This Little Light of Mine Click Here
CALL TO WORSHIP
Come in and altar your life. Praise. Pray. Praise. Pray. THNIK.
The 11th Commandment: Thou shalt Laugh
Come with your heart open to worship and give thanks to God.
It is all too easy to identify with the boy who prayed to God for a bicycle, but he already knew God does not work that way. So he stole a bike and then prayed for forgiveness. Like two-year-olds, we think, “I can do it MYSELF!” Lord help us to rely on your Spirit for wisdom and guidance (…silent prayer)
HYMN The Butterfly Song Brian M. Howard
Wesley’s Wuppets Copyright © Mission Hills Music
If I were a butterfly, I'd thank you Lord for giving me wings If I were a robin in a tree, I'd thank you Lord that I could sing If I were a fish in the sea, I'd wiggle my tail and I'd giggle with glee. But I just thank you Father for making me.
CHORUS For you gave me a heart and you gave me a smile You gave me Jesus and you made me your child And I just thank you Father for making me.
If I were an elephant, I'd thank you Lord by raising my trunk If I were a kangaroo; You know I'd hop right up to you. CHORUS
If I were an octopus, I'd thank you Lord for my fine looks But I just thank you Father for making me. CHORUS
If I were a wiggly worm, I'd thank you Lord that I could squirm If I were a fuzzy, wuzzy bear, I'd thank you Lord for my fuzzy, wuzzy hair. CHORUS
If I were a crocodile, I'd thank you Lord for my great smile But I just thank you Father for making me. CHORUS
MESSAGE FOR ALL AGES
Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH Father Abraham STANDING*
Sing with gusto and do actions. *You can do this. Even seated if necessary
DOXOLOGY (praise HYMN) Father, I Adore You Click here
Sing with the video as a round if you’d like to have fun with it.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE and LORD’S PRAYER in Ebonics Lord, inspire everyone with joy even in the midst of difficulties. We especially pray for Gerri and Len who is in rehab at Wingate Healthcare in Fishkill after having fallen at home. We also pray for Mary Jane M, Dorothy W., Gloria F., Gloria S., Donna T., and others who are self-isolating due to health or age. We pray for Margaret and Don who are doing their blueberry thing. And Lord, inspire hope for hope and reasons to smile in all who are ill, grieving, refugees, or suffering from poverty or mental health challenges, and all of us who are eating too much junk food (silent prayer…)
We prayer in the name of Jesus who might have taught us to pray this way if he was talking to people in Newburgh City today:
Yo, Big Daddy upstairs (Our Father who art in Heaven) You be chillin' (Hallowed be thy name) So be yo' 'hood (Thy Kingdom come) You be sayin' it, I be doin' it (Thy will be done) In this here 'hood and yo's (on earth as it is in heaven). Gimme some eats (Give us this day our daily bread) And cut me some slack, Blood (And forgive us our trespasses) So's I be doin' it to dem dat diss me (as we forgive those who trespass against us) Don't be pushin' me into no jive (And lead us not into temptation) And keep dem Crips away (But deliver us from evil) 'Cause you always be da Man (For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever) Word up! (Amen)
ANTHEM All God’s Children Got a Place in the Choir Youth Choir
SCRIPTURE LESSON Genesis 18:1-15, 21.1 NRSV
The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, “My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.” Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” Then one said, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?” The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. He said, “Oh yes, you did laugh.”
The Lord dealt with Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as he had promised. Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the time of which God had spoken to him.
SERMON A Child’s Bible Book Report Rev. Sandy Larson
HYMN We Are Walking in the Light of God
Click here for African version
Sing along in English (repeat title—sung slowly, then fast) Dance and walk if you’d like: “We are walking in the light of God, We are walking, we are walking…”
OFFERING: An advantage of virtual worship: A teenager who’d dropped in for worship greeted the Pastor after the service and said, "Church was cool! Especially when the dude next to me passed a plate of money!" For online donation click here or send checks to Union Church, 44 Balmville Rd, Newburgh NY 12550
HYMN Take Time to Be Funny Tune: Take Time to be Holy Click here for accompaniment
Take time to be funny, rejoice in the Lord. Let laughter explode and have fun with God’s Word. For laughter is healing, gives strength to the weak God loves to see smiles, for they lift the meek.
Take time to be silly, it’s good for the soul. Too many are somber, grabbing control. Let go and let God’s love wash over your soul Heavenly transcendence can be your life’s goal.
Old Sarah and Abram – a child they lacked. But God’s angels promised and she birthed Isaac In Hebrew that’s “laughter”, go check if you want. Genesis Seven-teen is where it is found.
For humor is holy, it sanctifies life, Replenishes hope and oft softens advice. It undercuts sorrow, deflates haughty pride. So smile and hang on, and rejoice in life’s ride.
BENEDICTION based on Philippians 4
Be glad in the Lord always! Again, I say, be glad!
Focus your thoughts on all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just,
all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise.
Practice these things, and the God of peace will go with you.
CHORAL RESPONSE The Lord Bless You and Keep You Union Chancel Choir
For Reflection: What parts of the Bible would you want to add to the Child’s Book Report on the Bible?
Activities: 1. Grab a string for a ‘clothes line’ that you can hang across a room or put up on a wall. Use clothespins or tape to hang Bible sayings or story titles of passages you find meaningful. Fill the clothesline! Use colorful markers if you have them.
Optional: Draw pictures on the sheets for your clothesline.
2. Would you rather…
have seen the Red Sea being parted or Jesus walking on water?
know what type of fruit Adam & Eve ate or know what Jesus wrote in the sand when people wanted to stone the lady who’d committed adultery?
have dinner with Moses or Paul?
be able to feed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish or heal someone’s blindness?
spend one hour in heaven or one week with Jesus on Earth?
have a plague of boils or a plague of water that turned into blood?
be thrown into a furnace or a lion’s den?
eat like Daniel (vegetables only) or Elijah and the widow (bread only)?
live as long as Methuselah (969) or Jesus (33)?
have the strength of Samson or the wisdom of Solomon?
3. Parodies of traditional hymns: When the Rolls are Back in Walmart, I have Decided to follow Jesus, Maintaining Space 6 Feet Allowed, Don’t Gather Together
Click here: https://youtu.be/aGGGObo5eyY
Sandy, Interim Pastor
Union Church 44 Balmville Rd, Newburgh NY 12550
Phone: (845) 562-0954 Fax: (845) 562-0955
SERMON A Child’s Bible Book Report Genesis 18 Sandy Larson
In the beginning (which occurred near the start), there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, 'The Lord thy God is one,’ but I think God must be a lot older than that. Anyway, God said, 'Give me a light!' and someone did.
Then God made the world. He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren't embarrassed because mirrors hadn't been invented yet. Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden... God musta been their driver because nobody else was around to give them a ride. Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel. Pretty soon, all the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.
Noah was one of the next important people. Noah was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a huge boat and put his family and all kinds of animals on it—even skunks. He asked other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check. I think Mrs. Noah should get an award for congeniality—having to take care of a huge floating zoo.
For a while, people must not have done anything exciting. Then God promised Abraham and Sarah that they’d have a child—but they kept getting older and older without having a kid. Read the story in Genesis 18, My grandma says the story is fantastic, but I’m not sure if she means it’s a great story or that it’s too good to be true. Finally, Abraham and Sarah had a son, even tho Sarah had thought having a child at her age was a joke, SO they named him Isaac, which is Hebrew for Laughter. Isaac didn’t do much of anything, I guess. But he had twin sons. I’m not sure why Jacob became more successful than his brother, Esau, just because Jacob tricked Esau into trading his birthmark for pot roast. I guess that’s one of those funny mysteries of the Bible. Jacob had 12 sons with four different mothers. Joseph was his favorite son, so Jacob gave Joseph a really bedazzled parka. His jealous brothers threw him in a pit. He got out and hid in Egypt until he could trick his brothers with love. Love is definitely BIG in the Bible. Altho the adventures and surprise endings might be why the Bible is so popular.
Another important Bible guy is Moses. Moses led the Israel Lights to escape slave labor for the nasty king, Pharaoh. Pharaoh didn’t seem vary fair to me—he had lots of slaves.
Moses told Pharaoh, ‘Let my people go.’ When Pharaoh ignored Moses, God sent ten plagues to Egypt to show that God considered this a legitimate ask. The plagues included about a trillion frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and…no cable. God hadn’t invented Corona viruses yet. Pharaoh pretended to let the slaves go, but had his army chase them. The Israelites cross the Red Sea thanks to some awesome pyrotechnics. They went on a forty yearlong hike across the desert to Canaan. God fed the Israel Lights with manicotti and God gave them the Top Ten Commandments.
The Top Ten don’t seem like they’d be popular, but people have been lip-synching them ever since. The Top Ten include: don't lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor's stuff. Covet means that you want one of your own, but you can’t have it—like ‘don’t covet your dad’s microbrew.’ Oh, one more rule: Humor thy father and mother. Whenever I do something bad, I can see the point in that regulation.
One of Moses' best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies and guerilla strategies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the border wall fell over on top of the town without them having to shoot a single bullet. Honest to Gosh—the Bible says the border wall just crumbled. Women did not do much back in those days. But Joshua’s troops got help from a prostitute. I think that’s some kind of lady lawyer. Anyway, Matthew says she was an I-don’t-know how many greats, great grandmother of Jesus.
After Joshua came David. David got to be king by using a slingshot to kill a big burly giant. David was really young, but he was smarter than mean old Goliath—so don’t let anyone convince you that older is always wiser. David became king and did some pretty awesome things and some of the other things he did would have been impeachable if it were in America.
David is credited for writing the 150 Psalms in the Bible. Some people say the Psalms were composed by other people in David’s honor. The Psalms are really good at expressing feelings—all the way from red-hot anger to deep sadness to total joy and praise. They usually end by remembering that God will watch over things so it will be OK. The angry Psalms can be really reassuring sometimes—especially when there’s a mean bully at school.
David had a son named Solomon. Solomon’s songs about his girlfriend are in the Bible, but we did not learn about them. I guess you have to be older for those. Solomon must have been good at winning girls, tho, because he ended up with about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says Solomon was wise, but having so many wives and pets to take care of doesn't sound smart to me. I bet he had a lot of slaves like Pharaoh, except he was one of the Bible heroes, so maybe he just didn’t get much sleep.
After Solomon, there were a bunch of major league prophets. I guess they really wanted to hear God’s coaching advice in those days. Maybe we could find a few good prophets to help solve what’s going on now, too. One of the prophets was Jonah. Jonah tried to avoid his mission from God to tell the biggest, baddest enemies of his country that God would give the archenemies another chance to be good. Jonah thought he could get out of this mission by going in the opposite direction in a ship run by men from another country. But he caused trouble on the journey and the sailors finally threw him overboard. Jonah got swallowed by a big fish and then got barfed up on the shore of the enemy city. He was mad at everybody, even God. But Jonah decided he had to deliver God’s help to those nasty Ninevites—even if it saved them.
Some minor league prophets with funny names tried to teach people important lessons from God, too. Many of them did crazy, awesome performance art to get people’s attention. But they must have had good social media back then because almost nobody paid attention to the live action prophets.
After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The New. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. That is so cool. No wonder he liked sheep.
Jesus gave speeches and became the talk of the towns he visited. Sometimes, even more people came out to hear him than went to football games. Maybe they didn’t have football yet? Jesus told thought provoking stories about trees and flowers and birds that really mean people. People say he told lotsa stories about a pair a’ bulls, but I find the stories about bulls. I’d like to know what Jesus said about bulls. Most of Jesus’ stories are about people who do stupid things. The stories are exciting! Always with a surprise ending. Jesus also had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Democrats. He always seemed to win debates because most of the time his opponents just went away. Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst friend he had was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so terrible that they named a vegetable after him. I don’t know any kid who likes asparagus.
Jesus was a great man—so brilliant that his students couldn’t really understand what he tried to teach them. He seemed mega-smart, like my math teacher or Gandhi. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount. Maybe they were a baseball team, but I don’t think Jesus was pitching for batting practice. He was really passionate about what he was saying and doing—like your life depended on it.
But the Democrats and the pushy Pharisees were mad at him for changing rules, I think. They put Jesus on trial with Pontius the Pilot as the judge. I didn’t think they had airplanes back then, so maybe the Pilot was not very in touch with what was really going on. Pilot didn't stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead. Maybe he had a compulsive cleanliness thing. I’m not sure who decided to get rid of Jesus, but they did.
Anyways, Jesus died like a criminal, even though he wasn’t. He helped two criminals who were also being killed—even when he was dying himself. Jesus died and was put in a cemetery tomb—but then he popped out again and scared some of his women followers half to death. Then he visited the rest of his closest followers and went to Heaven. But the bible says that Jesus will be back at the end of the Aluminium. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution. The Aluminum will probably be the most exciting thing…ever.
My favorite part of the Bible is the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost can do pretty near everything. Maybe that’s why my granddad used to say Holy Smoke when something fantastic happened. I think the Holy Ghost might have had something to do with all the fantastic things that the Bible tells about. We are supposed to study the Bible to learn how to live. I think I have a lot more studying to do. My Sunday school teacher seems to think that she knows all the answers, but I bet the Holy Ghost even keeps her guessing on a few things.
The stories about Jesus’ followers and how Paul is such an inspiring leader are also in the New Testament. But this book report is supposed to be 1700 words long and this is already 1750 words long. So, I recommend that you read this book—especially because you can read it one part at a time. You don’t have to read it all at once, cuz we already know more or less how it comes out in the end.