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  • Rev. Peter Surgenor

September 6 Worship

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

Hello Union Church Presbyterians,

Worship this Sunday, September 6 will be hosted on Zoom. We will share prayers, songs, and reflections. We will be celebrating Communion. Please have a cracker/bread of your choice and juice/beverage on hand to join in this sacrament.

Full service video:

The Zoom meeting will open at 9:45 am to allow folks to connect and greet each other. If you have a camera, you will have the option to share your face and smile—be prepared. You can also have a cup of your favorite morning beverage at hand.

The worship will include some familiar elements (although recorded rather than live) as well as live leadership of prayers, scripture reading, and the sermon.


Union Church, Newburgh NY

September 6, 2020 10:00 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.

We will be celebrating Communion this Sunday. Please have a cracker/bread of your choice and juice/beverage on hand to join in this sacrament.


Food Pantry open every other week. Next: Mon. Sept 14 & Wed. Sept. 16, 9:30-11:30. Serving LOTS of people! If you would like to help, contact Kathy or Debby.

Virtual Coffee Hour: Begins immediately after worship. If you have joined worship on Zoom you don’t need to do anything more. If you are joining us for fellowship time only use mobile phone or computer video. Questions? Call James at (301) 335-8677

Choral Music will precede the worship service beginning at 9:45 as people ‘tune in’ to the zoom service.


PRELUDE Air on the G String Bach


CALL TO WORSHIP Psalm 149 Libby Syzmanowicz

Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song,

Sing his praise in the assembly of the faithful.

Let Israel be glad in its Maker;

let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.

Let them praise his name with dancing,

making melody to him with tambourine and lyre.

For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;

The Lord adorns the humble with victory.

Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their couches.

OPENING PRAYER Libby Syzmanowicz


Merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart and soul and mind and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. In your mercy, forgive what we have been, help us amend what we are, and direct what we shall be, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.


God, the source of all mercy, has sent the Holy Spirit amongst us for the forgiveness of sins, the equipping of the saints and the fine tuning of our hearts. Know that you are forgiven, know too that you, with all of humanity, need to use the grace of forgiveness to be an energy of change. Amen.


HYMN Bind Us Together, Lord



New Testament Matthew 18:15-20 Libby Syzmznowicz

Old Testament Exodus 12:1-14 Rev. Peter Surgenor

SERMON What Binds Us Together Rev. Peter Surgenor

Text at the end of bulletin


You can support the work of Union Church by mailing donations to 44 Balmville Rd, Newburgh, NY 12550 or visit to donate online.





God, who makes us with the Earth

God, who gives us to the world

God-with-us in our struggles:

Hear our fears and needs

Hold our hand as You walk beside us

Advise, encourage, and guide us.

We pray for the world:


Hear our fears and needs

Hold our hand as You walk beside us

Advise, encourage, and guide us.

We pray for the Church:


Hear our fears and needs

Hold our hand as You walk beside us

Advise, encourage, and guide us.

We pray for ourselves


Hear our fears and needs

Hold our hand as You walk beside us

Advise, encourage, and guide us.

Hear us as we pray together the prayer Jesus taught:

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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

ANTHEM Let Us Break Bread Together


All who embrace the significance of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper and

all who seek to understand are invited to receive this sacrament


We give you thanks and praise, eternal God, our creator. You have given us life and second birth in your Spirit. You call each of us your "beloved," claiming us for all eternity. Even when we go astray, you welcome us home. Always, your love is steadfast—embracing us in our brokenness, and even with our feeble faith. Gracious God remind us of your never-failing grace given to us through Jesus. We thank you for so graciously pouring out your love for us. Lord, strengthen us by the power of Jesus Christ so that we may share that joy and hope with everyone we meet.

We give you thanks for Christ—for his teachings, for his death and for his resurrection promise. May we re-discover your Holy Spirit in the breaking of bread so that we may be joined anew to Christ, receive new life, be his loving people and draw together in closer fellowship. It is right to give our thanks and praise. Amen.


On the night Jesus was betrayed, he took bread and gave thanks. He broke it and gave it to his disciples saying, “This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Then, after supper, Jesus took the cup, and gave it to his disciples saying. “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Remembering all God’s mighty and merciful acts, we take this bread and this wine from the gifts that God gives to us every day; and we celebrate the presence of Jesus Christ.


Jesus said, “I am the bread of life, those who come to me shall not hunger,

those who believe in me will not be thirsty.”

This is the body of Christ, given for you.

Jesus said: “I am the vine and you are the branches.

In me there is life, cut off from me nothing.”

This is the cup of the new covenant.

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING (silent or aloud)

Lord, we thank you for this meal shared in the Holy Spirit with Jesus Christ who makes us strong and brings abundant life anew. Illumine our hearts with the radiance of Christ’s continuing presence, so that our lives may show his love in all we do. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.


CHORAL BENEDICTION The Lord Bless You and Keep You


SERMON Bind Us Together Rev. Peter Surgenor

New Testament Matthew 18:15-20

Old Testament Exodus 12:1-14

As we celebrate Labor Day weekend, I realize that this is a marker point in our annual cycles. We mark the beginning of school; we mark the end of our summer schedules and know that fall is right around the corner.

There are marker points in all our lives.

My family – 1960. Move from suburban Boston to rural Western New York. There are five of us with birthdates spanning 16 years. This move to a changed all our lives and provided adventures galore that always start to be told when we are together.

Some marker points are so painful that they are hidden or kept secret. Even when this happens a look back shows an unexplained change in behavior or residence or community story.

We have been following the progress of the Israelites in Egypt in recent weeks. And the Moses story is such an epic saga that we either see small bits, or the whole arc of the story. In remembering the arc, we sometimes forget the importance of our lesson from Exodus this morning.

This passage is a marker point for the people of Israel. It marks a change in the relationship of the people with God and with Pharaoh. It starts out simply and it is easy to glide past the dramatic words of verse 13. “The blood over the door of your house (from those sacrifices) will be the sign to the angel of death to skip your house as the first born children and animals will find death this night.”

God is changing the arc of the story – with a reminder of Pharaoh’s attempt earlier when Moses was born (don’t let the male children live!). And the people of Israel remember this important marker point with great ceremony today.

When Passover is celebrated – the youngest child asks with great importance – “Why is this night special among all nights?” An innocent question which brings out a rehearsal of the very detailed story of the Israelites escaping from Egypt. Passover is a sign of God’s grace toward people who are not always worthy of grace.

The story goes on for over 40 years as we read it, but this is the marker point. The moment the story changes, the moment which brings out old tales of the experience.

So, here is a question. If 2020 is a marker point in our history, how will it be remembered? What stories will be told? How will people marvel at our creativity and resilience? Will it be a time remembered for positive change or as one of those quiet “don’t mention” moments?

The passage from Matthew gives us a few hints about taking advantage of this potential marker moment. The first four verses get us all wrapped up in legalistic and community habits. But verse 17 holds a key. “Don’t get wrapped up in finding a resolution to a disagreement or slight.”

Instead using the words of Eugene Peterson as he translates this passage, “Start over again, confront the one who has hurt you with the need for repentance and again offer God’s forgiving love.” Start over again to include outsiders in the community of faith.

Today it is important to remember that Jesus and his disciples were gathered together for a Passover celebration. That marker moment which reached back through history to the message to Moses in the Exodus passage this morning.

They were engaged in celebrating an important marker moment even as Jesus invokes a new marker moment – The Last Supper. Remembering Passover but pointing toward something new. So, we celebrate our own Faith Marker Moment today in an unusual way.

Verse 20 is that important reminder – “when two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” 75 persons in a sanctuary is not the key (that is really a holdover from the Israelite focus on the temple and a minion (required no for worship).

So, we are 2 or 3 gathered together (some in pairs) in this new medium. I hope that this marker moment in our lives of faith will remembered as an important turning point. We are bound together by these marker points of Faith – Passover, Communion, our 2020 experience.


Rev. Cathy Surgenor Rev. Peter Surgenor

(845) 216-4328 (914) 907-9685

Union Church

44 Balmville Rd, Newburgh NY 12550

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

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