October 17 Worship
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
Hello Union Church Presbyterians,
Worship this Sunday, October 17 will be in-person and streamed on YouTube to view at home. We will share prayers, songs, and reflections.
HOW TO VIEW ON YOUTUBE: YouTube broadcast will begin at 10:25 am.
For ALL devices: https://www.youtube.com/user/NewburghPresby
ORDER OF WORSHIP
Union Church, Newburgh NY
October 10, 2021 10:30 am
TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
FLOWERS today are given by Marylin Mazza to the glory of God and in loving memory of her husband John.
USHERS today are Bob Beams and Theresa Cotanche.
Thank you to all the volunteer ushers who signed up for September and October. Ushers needed for November and December, especially Christmas service. If you would like to usher, contact Dan and Karen Olson.
FELLOWSHIP TIME HOSTS today are Merle Hennessey and Donna Trafagander.
Hosting can be simple. Host with a friend! Use the signup chart in the Fellowship Hall or call the office (845) 562-0954.
REMINDER: PER CAPITA is $38.83 for each member. Union Church greatly appreciates the support of each member paying their per capita. Thank you!
TODAY at 2PM Dr. Jonathan Hall, Music Minister at First Presbyterian Church in Goshen, will present a recital of traditional and contemporary organ works specially selected for the “personality” of the Union Church organ.
FUNDRAISER: Saturday, Oct 30 Chicken Parmesan dinner from 4-7PM. Pick-up ONLY. Dinner includes chicken parm, penne pasta, salad, and bread for $10; dessert for $2. Call the church office 562-0954 to reserve.
SUNDAY SCHOOL: Please complete a registration form and return to the office. For more info, call the office (845) 562-0954.
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD is right around the corner. Packing Party Sunday, Nov 7. Information will be posted on the Union Facebook page. For more info, contact Yvette Pickard
BARN SALE: THANK YOU to all the volunteers who helped makes this year’s Barn Sale a success! The sale made $5,479.
FOOD PANTRY: NEXT OPEN Monday, Oct 25 and Wednesday, Oct 27 from 9:30-11:30 am.
Serving LOTS of people! If you would like to help, contact Kathy or Debby.
ORDER OF WORSHIP
PRELUDE “Lord of All Hopefulness” (tune: SLANE) Arr. Dale Wood
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: We gather in worship of Creator, who has given us the power to be called His children, and the blessing of our place in Creation!
PEOPLE: When I know my place, I respect the place of others—all my relations.
Leader: When we understand that humans are just part of the created universe, we have a better understanding of our place.
PEOPLE: I am part of all Creator has made, and I come to this holy place to praise and worship Him!
INVOCATION (adapted from a Lakota prayer)
Come, let us worship the Creator with hearts open to all peoples,
where pride and prejudice once dwelt. Let us worship Creator with minds open to the wisdom of Native peoples, where listening and respect once had no place.
Let us worship the God of Creation, who made the world in colors, in seasons, in endless variety, who created the diversity of the earth’s peoples in His image.
MESSAGE FOR CHILDREN OF ALL AGES
OPENING HYMN “Be Thou My Vision” Blue #339
CALL TO CONFESSION
We are fragile creatures, like pottery that is easily cracked or broken. But with faith and grace we are put back together. Let us confess our sins together.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Creator God, we know that we have not always acted in the best interests of everyone. We have put ourselves first, even knowing that the first shall be last. We have not respected your precious land and polluted the waterways and the great oceans. We ask you to open our eyes to see all our fellow creatures as you see them. This we ask in your unending source of forgiveness.
(A moment for silent personal confession)
ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS
By the sacred word of our Great Creator, who sees and knows each of us, we are forgiven.
PASSING OF THE PEACE
APOSTLES CREED (from the Choctaw Nation Creed)
I believe in God, Creator of our unique native languages, who gifted us this identity as a distinct people through our native tongues, so that our native spiritual leaders could relay God's love to our people who could not understand that foreign tongue called English.
I believe in Jesus Christ, our relative, who talked of us when he said, “I have other sheep out there, besides those I have here.” I believe in Jesus Christ who knew the pain of our native people who were forced from their homeland and had no place to lay their head. I believe in Jesus Christ as our Chief Cornerstone as we begin to build a new generation of spiritual leaders. I believe in Jesus Christ who does not say “goodbye” in any language but says “I will come again.”
I believe in the Holy Spirit as tongues of fire lighting upon our people to witness to their people and to the world. I believe in the Holy Spirit as our guide and the driving force for our native people to do a new thing as we walk a new journey, toward better lives for all humankind.
HYMN OF PRAISE Many and Great, O God Are Thy Things Blue #271
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Gracious God, as we turn to your Word for us, may the Spirit of God rest upon us. Help us to be steadfast in our hearing, in our speaking, in our believing, and in our living. Amen.
OLD TESTAMENT Job 38:1-7, 34-37 Daniel Olson
EPISTLE Romans 5: 7-11
GOSPEL John 14: 6-7, 11-14
SERMON The Doctrine of Discovery John Redman, CRE
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE & THE LORD’S PRAYER (Adapted from the Cherokee)
We see God in earth, water, sun, air -- everywhere! The heavens are telling the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. How much more we could learn about Him if we would listen -- if we were open to the knowledge that pours into us every minute! Creator is in all He has made. What beauty there is in the opportunity to interact with Him in everything we do. Such a life indeed, becomes a living prayer. We say our prayers in unspoken language and respect whenever we harvest, plant, work, or play. When we see God in all things, we live in reverence with everything around us.We enter now in asking for his healing touch on those we cry out for here:
Gracious God, keep in our hearts all those whose names you already know and who ask for healing in their own quiet ways, and let us join to pray as Jesus taught us, saying:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
OFFERING OF TITHES AND GIFTS
The offering plate is at the rear of the sanctuary and let us all consider what we have been blessed with and how we can best share it with those in greater need, even as we gift our church for its greater work to the Glory of God and the undying Grace of Jesus.
OFFERTORY “O God, Our help in Ages Past” Pastorale on St. Anne
PRAYER OF THANKS
Gracious God, accept our gifts in tribute, that they be put to good and purposeful use in assisting those in greater need even as we seek to serve you and our community and the greater world. This we gratefully pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
HYMN OF PARTING “My Hope is built on Nothing Less” Blue #379
BENEDICTION (Apache Blessing)
May the sun bring you new energy by day, may the moon softly restore you by night,
May the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being, may you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life. AMEN.
POSTLUDE “Head of the Church Triumphant!” Herbert Colvin
INVITATION TO FELLOWSHIP TIME
SERMON TEXT THE DOCTRINE OF DISCOVERY
Indigenous Peoples believe they have held title to their traditional lands or territories from the moment their Creator placed them on that land (time immemorial) and bestowed them with the responsibility to care for it... forever. But then European explorers arrived, planted flags, and laid claim to all they saw. How was that possible?
There were two Doctrines of Discovery. The first was issued by Pope Nicholas V in 1455, allowing the Portuguese to claim lands in Africa and the Eastern Atlantic. And following Columbus’s return from his first voyage in 1493, Pope Alexander VI declared that the lands of the western Atlantic and beyond were available to those who ‘discovered’ them, and further, lands inhabited by non-Christian people were considered “vacant,” and therefore eligible for European ownership. This doctrine was used throughout the centuries beyond ‘discovery,’ and through colonization to acquire and take possession of essentially any native American lands.
This doctrine finally began to be repudiated only in the beginnings of our current century and the Presbyterian Church entertained the idea in 2016, but it took until the General Assembly of 2018 to finally repudiate the doctrine and to this day it has not been repudiated by the Vatican or the government of Canada, where the people we refer to as “First Nations” have been petitioning the government for this action for almost a century.
But the poor treatment of native people went beyond the lofty declarations of the Popes of providing ownership of the land in exchange for converting the native populations to Christianity. It began with the problem that the native populations had an entirely different idea about the lands they inhabited – there was no ownership – it was there to be used and used in a gentle manner, with a reverence for creation. That’s not to say the indigenous people were some gentle utopian societies, because they weren’t. They had long-standing animosities between tribal units and customs. They were also fiercely territorial, often fighting other tribes or even within their own, for dominance over territory, but not over its ownership, just the right to occupy it.
This right to occupy was the root of European and indigenous conflict. Somehow the native peoples saw cutting down all the trees in the forest to make way for fields of tobacco to be more than occupying.
When the six Powhatan tribes of Virginia first encountered the English in the new colony of Jamestown, the natives thought they could have the English assimilate into their own culture by gifts of food and by intermarrying. These natives had heard of the horrendous treatment the Spanish conquistadors brought to their native opponents so they thought another tactic might work. It didn’t, of course.
The entire idea of white exploitation of native peoples is extremely complicated, and it’s been simplified into an us versus them mentality that can’t approach all the reasons but of course this idea of wealth is at the root of it. A case in point was the experience of the Cherokee, one of the so-called Five civilized tribes who had negotiated a treaty of occupation so that they could occupy vast lands in northern Georgia free of white settlement. That worked well, until gold was discovered on that land and the Georgia Gold Rush of 1829 followed, and you can guess what happened then. The Cherokee were quite sophisticated, having their own alphabet and converted to Christianity in the early 18th century, and their own native lawyers argued in the U.S. Supreme Court against the illegal mines and settlements, but the court ruled against them, using the Doctrine of Discovery as a precedent. And not long after, these ‘civilized tribes’ were forced to relocate to what became known as ‘Indian Territory,’ in what is now Oklahoma. Along this Trail of Tears, as it was known, some 60,000 people migrated a thousand miles over several years, with more than one third of them dying along the way, from disease, exposure, or starvation. And those were the tribes that had been cooperating as best they could with encroaching settlement.
Those ‘heathen savages’ as some missionaries characterized the Plains nations, actually had a very complex system of belief and theology, all centered on creation itself. They all believed in a single Creator, composed of many spirits. And their “practice” of religion seemed a bit odd to white missionaries, since the natives’ practice was totally wrapped up in their daily behavior. There were times set aside for prayer, to be sure, but much of their belief system was ingrained into their daily routines from hunting and gathering to preparing meals to moving from one location to another so that the idea of a “day of worship” was equally foreign to their thinking.
We don’t need to go through all the horrors and atrocities committed on all sides to conclude that this is not among our American odyssey’s best achievements, from settlement on native lands to treaties that were continually violated and nullified to forced assimilation at various Indian schools to the fact that many Native Americans continue to be oppressed economically today.
But we can’t turn back the clock on all that has happened so where does that leave us? Let’s look at our Old Testament reading from Job, where God speaks from a whirlwind, or when he asks: “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so that a flood of waters may cover you?” And how different is that than the Lakota Holy Man Black Elk when he says:
“And while I stood there I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together, like one being. And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and broad as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.”
And when we look at the message from the Gospel of John, we hear: “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”
And how does that differ so much from the visions of Black Elk? It really doesn’t, does it? And to continue from John 14: “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
This unity of all things runs right through the belief systems of practically every one of hundreds of tribes and nations, and it brings us back to the message of John, that unity of the Son with the Father, from the time before time began, unto eternity.
And at the core of this unity is … what? Love, that’s right. God’s unlimited Love. Listen to the words of Chief Dan George, who was not only a beloved character actor, but he was also a real chief of his Canadian First Nation. In his book of poems and essays, ‘My Heart Soars,’ he wrote:
“It is hard for me to understand a culture that not only hates and fights his brothers but even attacks Nature and abuses her. Man must love all creation, or he will love none of it. Love is something you and I must have. We must have it because our spirit feeds upon it. Without love our self-esteem weakens. Without it our courage fails. Without love we can longer look out confidently at the world. Instead, we turn inwardly and begin to feed upon our own personalities and little by little we destroy ourselves.”
And the popular notion of Native religious belief has been one of integral unity with nature and Creation, and much of that is true. But what about us? Do we, or you, or I have a unity with nature or its Creator? We most certainly can, and in a way, it borrows something from the native idea that worship is not just a daily or a Sunday ritual, it’s in most everything we do. Just as our seven candles here represent that worship is for all seven days of the week and not just for Sunday, we can carry that with us, just we carry a lit flame out of here after the candles are extinguished. And though we can’t correct the injustices that one culture has imposed upon another, we can most certainly do all that we can to prevent them from continuing. That’s part of our mission through the Love of the Father, the Grace of the Son, and the healing power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
John Redman, CRE
Mobile: (914) 474-0722
44 Balmville Rd, Newburgh NY 12550
Phone: (845) 562-0954 Fax: (845) 562-0955