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  • John T. Redman, CRE

October 3 Worship - World Communion

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

Hello Union Church Presbyterians,

Worship this Sunday, October 3 will be in-person and streamed on YouTube to view at home. We will share prayers, songs, and reflections. We will be celebrating World Communion this Sunday.

HOW TO VIEW ON YOUTUBE: YouTube broadcast will begin at 10:25 am.


Union Church, Newburgh NY

October 3, 2021 10:30 am




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.

MASKS REQUIRED, regardless of vaccination status.

USHERS today are Jim Alber and Theresa Cotanche

Thank you to all the volunteer ushers who signed up for September and October. If you would like to usher, contact Dan and Karen Olson.


Thank you to all the volunteer hosts. Hosting can be simple. Host with a friend! Use the signup chart in the Fellowship Hall or call the office (845) 562-0954.

FUNDRAISING – SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, Oct 30 Chicken Parmesan dinner.

CHRISTIAN ED: Sunday School begins NEXT Sunday, Oct 10. Please complete a registration form and return to the office. For more info, call the office (845) 562-0954.

FOOD PANTRY: NEXT OPEN Monday, Oct 11 and Wednesday, Oct 12 from 9:30-11:30 am. Serving LOTS of people! If you would like to help, contact Kathy or Debby.

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, Oct 17 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.

POSTPONED: “SPORTS STORIES ON STAGE” at Cornerstone Theatre Arts in Goshen, with Pastor John as Ernest Hemingway, has been postponed for February.


PRELUDE Amazing Grace

CALL TO WORSHIP Adapted from Psalm 8

Leader: O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. PEOPLE: Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes. Leader: When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; PEOPLE: what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Leader: You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet, PEOPLE: all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, Leader: the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,

ALL: O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!


God of the ages, whose care for all your children spans generations and centuries, se come in praise and adoration. From the first moments of creation to where we stand today, you have been our beacon and our guide, leading us as we wandered and carrying us when we fell. Lead us now to come closer to you, in Jesus name, Amen.

OPENING HYMN (RED HYMNAL 651) O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee


We think of ourselves as faithful, but we aren’t always faithful. We think of ourselves as just, but we often are not just. Let us confess our sins together:


O God of creation, you entrust us as stewards; we confess our abuse of what you place in our care. We foul the water by deliberate disposal, the air is choked with emissions we create. We burn the forests through carelessness, the oceans are poisoned with toxins and cluttered with debris. Forgive us our neglect of nature’s delicate balance and have mercy upon us as we renew our commitment to your created order.

(A moment for silent personal confession)


Hear again the words of assurance that Christ is the mediator of a new covenant , so that those who are called may receive the eternal inheritance, by the glory of Jesus, Amen.



HYMN OF PRAISE (RED HYMNAL 434) Hope of the World


Since we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from your mouth, make us hunger for this heavenly food, that it may nourish us today in the ways of eternal life; through Jesus Christ, the bread of heaven. Amen.


OLD TESTAMENT Genesis 2:18-24 EPISTLE Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12

GOSPEL Mark 10:2-16


SERMON Then and Now John Redman, CRE


God of wonders, you speak to your people in so many ways. You speak through the changing of seasons, with crisp air and bright foliage. You speak through little children as they come back to us. And you speak to us through the loving message of Jesus, who was with you from the very beginning and sits with you again as we ask for your continuing guidance and thoughtfulness in these perilous times, through natural and manmade disasters, and we further ask for your healing touch on those we name 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.


Eat this Bread, drink this Cup. Come to Me and never be hungry. Eat this Bread, drink this Cup. Trust in Me and you will not thirst.


Liturgy of the Open Table Read by Theresa Cotanche, James Phillips, Pastor John

Blessing after Communion

OFFERTORY I Will Arise and Go to Jesus Southern Harmony


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 love of Jesus.


Gracious God, accept our gifts in tribute, 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.



POSTLUDE Psalm 19 The Heavens are Telling the Glory of God

by Benedetto Marcello



So those crafty Pharisees once again are out to trap Jesus, and they never seem to learn that they just can’t do it, do they? I’m reminded of those old cartoons of the Roadrunner and Wily Coyote, where no matter what the Coyote does, or what Acme devices he employs, he just can’t capture the Roadrunner.

This time, it’s about divorce. Mind you, as a product of a failed first marriage and its subsequent divorce, I was tempted to do a sermon on something else, or at least omit a few things, but as I analyzed the text, I came to a different viewpoint. But first the Pharisees, who ask Jesus what the law says about it. As usual Jesus answers a question with a question of his own: “What law did Moses give you?”

When the Pharisees counter with what Moses said, about a man writing a divorce notice and sending her away, they neglect to say that the husband must also provide a certificate of divorce that the marriage has ended. This would provide at least some protection for the woman and possibly her children in a time and place when women had few rights in the first place.

But Jesus turns to them saying Moses had to give you that law because you are so hard to teach, meaning, ‘that you never seem to learn,’ then proceeds to remind them of the words from Genesis that we heard today about In the beginning God created male and female so that they could unite and become one flesh and not to separate what God has joined together. At this point, it’s an exit for the Pharisees, since Jesus’ point has been made, and they are no longer of any use in this argument.

But the disciples press Jesus on this issue, and he says a man who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery and the same is true of a woman divorcing her husband. Yes, in the first century and even before, a woman could divorce her husband, though it wasn’t nearly as easy as a man divorcing his wife. So, what else isn’t new? And a woman leaving her husband was very risky both financially and in terms of the culture. Why else would women have endured bad marriages for centuries if not for the financial and social stability they offered over being alone or having to support her children?

But here Jesus is saying it’s adulterous to leave your partner for another you might desire more, that’s his point, and perhaps that narrower view is hard for us to understand today. We live in such different cultures than 2000 years ago, and our attitudes have changed. Indeed, many of those attitudes about divorce in general have changed within our lifetimes, in much less than a hundred years, let alone two millennia. In the other two synoptic Gospels, Matthew omits the whole issue of women being able to divorce their husbands, and Luke says sternly, “Any man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery and any man who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.” That’s the scriptural basis for centuries of Roman Catholic policy on this issue. So how one might look at the issue of divorce really depends on which Gospel you want to interpret, and in Mark’s Gospel, the Pharisees especially view marriage on a contractual basis, for economic utility, and if the contract becomes less economically viable, then it’s all right for the husband let her go.

But then Jesus turns to the disciples’ who are pushing back children and their parents from trying to have Jesus place his blessing on them. Jesus addresses yet another vulnerable population, little children, showing yet again his care for those who are marginalized by the rest of society, especially by the authorities of the synagogue. Again, Matthew and Luke treat this episode matter of factly, but Mark, who is generally thought to be more to the point and less sophisticated than the other two, goes on to say that whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it. Hmm, well we all are the children of God, that we know, but here Jesus wants us to come to a relationship with God as innocent children, like clean slates, leaving our wearying biases and bad habits aside and coming before God, not as rosy-cheeked adorable cherubs, but as those wide-eyed innocents, for whom the whole world is a wonderment.

That’s what a deeply spiritual relationship with God means – discovering almost as for the first time, the wonder that surrounds us, and trying to grasp its meaning for us in our lives, and in our hearts.

I spent some time this past week, cleaning and sorting through various drawers in my office and it was a bit like an archeologist digging down through various strata and layers. Sandy Larson apparently had a hard time with the passwords for wi-fi and the desktop computer, since I found over fifteen notes, post-its, and other scraps of paper, each with the user names and passwords. And deeper down, there were pages and pages of seemingly ancient notes on sermons and activities from Reverend Mason. There are still three, count them three, sets of Rolodex cards –who still uses those? —with directory info, and I just can’t bring myself to throw them out. And along with bags and bags of markers, pens, and crayons, some so old the ink had dried up in them, I even found the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. If anyone wants to try it out, you are welcome to it. I looks like it may be about cats.

But more importantly, I found several copies of this –not just a Vision Statement, but a Mission Statement as well. Remember this?

We are called as members of the body of Christ. Union Church is called to live resurrection with passion in a changing world.

We share Values of

Love for Christ, each other and all people everywhere

Peace within us, around us and across the world

Community and our active place within it

Spirituality that lights our way in strength and hope

Laughter and its power to cleanse our souls.

OUR MISSION is to lead way in the Hudson Valley by making a substantial difference in our community and the world through thoughtful ministry and action, guided by our love.

And then in yet another drawer, I found the same message as a sort of questionnaire, with these two questions below:

How accurate is this statement for today?

Will the path that we are following get us to God’s place?

Anyone care to answer? Well, don’t everybody answer at once, so I will answer for each of you with an unequivocal YES. In my nine, going on ten months here (can you believe that?) I have encountered all those Values, I especially like the one about Laughter, and as for our active place in community, did anybody happen to notice anything going on here yesterday?

And that Mission Statement rings true as a bell.

Then we have this second question: Will the path that we are following get us to God’s place? If God’s place is everywhere around us, we must already be there, right? No, we know that’s not what is meant by that, but what IS meant by that?

God’s place might mean a growing membership, or more donations in the plate, or lower heating bills in the winter, or more people in the pews each Sunday, my own vision is Paul Hill having to direct traffic into a full parking lot each Sunday but wait -- what’s important is what “God’s place” means to you personally in your own faith journey. Each one of us may have or still be struggling to find “God’s place” in our lives but please also understand that we already have a place in God’s life. And know also that I share these thoughts and words with you today by the Love of the Father, the Grace of the Son, and the ever-Healing Power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


John Redman, CRE

Mobile: (914) 474-0722

Union Church

44 Balmville Rd, Newburgh NY 12550

Phone: (845) 562-0954 Fax: (845) 562-0955

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