Wolcott United Methodist Church

Welcome to the Wolcott, VT, United Methodist Church. We are returning to live worship once again on Sunday, September 4. We welcome you to join us either in-person or online. Hope to see you there.

4023 VT Route 15 , Wolcott , VT 05680
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(802) 851-2031

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The United Methodist Church

Service and Robin Genetti's Message for the 16th Sunday After Pentecost, September 25, 2022, at 10:00am

posted on September 25

Wolcott United Methodist Church
16th Sunday after Pentecost Sunday
September 25, 2022
PRELUDE:   Bringing in the Light of Christ
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
CALL TO WORSHIP:
L:   Come and worship!
P:  We will praise the One between, within, and over.
L:  Trust in the One who co-creates the was, the now, and the will-be.
P:  Our hope is in the One who creates expansive love
     calling us to do the same.

L:  Follow the One who never breaks covenant.
P:  We follow the One whose extravagant love calls us
      to co-create justice for the oppressed,
      feed the hungry, unlock prisons,
      and welcome strangers, orphans, and widows.

L:   Praise the One whose justice is grace-full and inclusive.
All:  We praise the Spirit that spans the ages. Amen!  (Written by Tim Graves and posted on LiturgyBits. https://liturgybits.wordpress.com. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/search/label/Proper%2021%20C.)
 
*Opening Hymn:     “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise”  UMH#103
 
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.
 
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
thy justice like mountains high soaring above
thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.
 
To all, life thou givest, to both great and small;
in all life thou livest, the true life of all;
we blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
and wither and perish, but naught changest thee.
 
Though reignest in glory; thou dwellest in light;
thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
all laud we would render:  O help us to see
‘tis only the splendor of light hidest thee.


Opening Prayer (in unison):
Dear Lord, I try so hard to be self-sufficient, to be "rich in spirit." But ultimately my efforts to rely on myself fail. By your grace, I realize just how much I need you. So, I come to you, not full of riches or full of myself, but empty, needy, truly poor in spirit.  And you, Lord, meet me in my poverty. You not only meet my needs, but you pour out blessings upon me. You take my poverty of spirit and give back the riches of your Spirit. You uphold me when I'm weak. You comfort me when I'm afraid. You make your kingdom available to me, graciously reigning over my life.  All praise be to you, dear Lord, because you invite those who are needy into your kingdom so that you might bless them with your inexhaustible riches. Amen.
 
OFFERING:    ”Spirit of the Living God”     UMH#393
 
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. (repeat)
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.
 
Offering Prayer (in unison):
God of justice and mercy, we come to worship you this day as ones who, on the great balance scale of your creation, are more like the rich man in the Gospel story than we are Lazarus. The parable Jesus tells reminds us that the chasm between rich and poor is hard to cross in the life to come, but not so for us this day, as we strive to see God’s kingdom at work in our world. As we offer gifts today, may we do so striving to be those blessed to be a blessing. In Christ’s holy name, we pray. Amen. (Luke 16:19-31)
 
WORD AND RESPONSE
 
Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16 (read responsively)
L:  1 Those who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the almighty, will say to the Lord,
P:  2 “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.”
L:  3 for the Lord will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence
and will cover you with his pinions;
P:  4 under the Lord’s wings you will find refuge.  God’s faithfulness is a shield and a buckler.
L:  5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
P:  6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
L:  14 Because they cleave to me in love, I will deliver them;
P:  I will protect them, because they know my name.
L:  15 When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble,
I will rescue them and honor them.
P:  16 I will satisfy them with long life and show them my salvation.
 
Amos 6:1a, 4-7
1a Woe to those who are at ease in Zion and for those who feel secure on Mount Samaria. . . Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory and lounge on their couches and eat lambs from the flock and calves from the stall, who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp and like David improvise on instruments of music, who drink wine from bowls and anoint themselves with the finest oils  but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!  Therefore they shall now be the first to go into exile, and the revelry of the loungers shall pass away.
 
1 Timothy 6:6-19
Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be blasphemed. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful to them on the ground that they are brothers and sisters; rather, they must serve them all the more, since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved. 
 
False Teaching and True Riches 
Teach and urge these duties.  3 Whoever teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words. From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among those who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.[b] Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, so that[c] we can take nothing out of it, but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
The Good Fight of Faith
11 But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and for which you made[d] the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which he will bring about at the right time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. 16 It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.  17 As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches but rather on God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, 19 thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.
 
Hymn of Preparation:     “God Will Take Care of You”   UMH#130
 
Be not dismayed whate’er betide, God will take care of you;
beneath his wings of love abide, God will take care of you.
 
Refrain
God will take care of you, through every day, o’er all the way;
he will take care of you, God will take care of you.
 
Through days of toil when heart doth fail, God will take care of you;
when dangers fierce your path assail, God will take care of you.  Refrain
 
All you may need he will provide, God will take care of you;
nothing you ask will be denied, God will take care of you.  Refrain
 
No matter what may be the test, God will take of you;
lean, weary one, upon his breast, God will take care of you.  Refrain
 
THE MESSAGE:     “What do you value?”
Have you ever asked someone what is important to them, what they value?  The answers are all over the place; my family, my job, health, money, vacations, my car, the list goes on and on.  He who dies with the most toys, wins is something I have heard many times.  The bible says we should value something quite the opposite

Matthew 6:19-21  Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for
yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  

I am by no means saying that having nice things is bad, it is just when their importance far outweighs God and what God wants for us.
When we are young, we are taught, by the adults in our lives, that sharing, being polite, our reputation and perhaps education were important. 
As we get a little older, we are bombarded by advertisements, movies books and other media what tell us what is valuable.  Your youth, your looks, how big your house is, what year your car is and what the label says in your clothing.

Poor adolescents deal with acne and all their body changes and feel insecure already.  Then they see pictures of “perfect” teens and wonder what is wrong with them.  But who are they comparing themselves to?  The models in the magazines that are airbrushed to look like someone completely different.  I remember as a child the cartoons about the 90-pound weakling.  The picture is of a big muscular man who kicks dirt in the face of the slight man and walks away with the girl.  The poor man now wants to have the body of the other man instead of accepting himself for who he is.  Why is it that we want what we don’t have?  This is obviously a big problem as one of the commandments is not to covet.  Covet means to want something that belongs to someone else. A person who covets may be led to break all most all the other commandments in trying to get what they want.
Galatians 5:19-21.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

These things and ambitions we value too highly become like idols and blind us from our true calling.

Psalms 135:15-18
15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by human hands.  16 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see.  17 They have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths.  18 Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.

Let’s listen to a story from  Luke 16:19-31 that illustrates what happens to someone that has idols and values things not of the Lord.

16:19 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.  16:20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,16:21 who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man's table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores.  16:22 The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.  16:23 In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side.  16:24 He called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.'

16:25 But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony.

16:26 Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.'  16:27 He said, 'Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father's house--16:28 for I have five brothers--that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.'16:29 Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.'16:30 He said, 'No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'16:31 He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
Did you notice in this story the rich man is not named?  Perhaps it is because it could be anyone.

Our great commission in (Matthew 28:18-20) is this “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age’” .
The story from Luke also illustrates that some people will ask for proof or miracles when you are trying to tell you about Jesus being the way to everlasting life.

But do you know what the best proof is – YOU.  In the book of Psalms, David writes in chapter 139 verses 13 and 14: “for it was You God who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I will praise You because I have been fearfully and wonderfully made”.
Are we perfect – no and we will never be, well here on earth.  But are we at least trying to live a life that Jesus is calling us to live?  How is your attitude towards others, or during trials and tribulations?  Do you idolize your wealth, possessions or children?  Do you think you attained all these things on your own?  No, you did not.  Do you live a life in love and gratitude for what God has provided?  Do you give Him the glory?

Have you created a great gulf or divide between you and God?  Is there a disconnect between how we say we live and how you actually live and behave?  The biggest criticism I hear from people who no longer attend church is the hypocrisy they see.  Are you saying we should do one thing and yet doing the opposite?

This message is a call to holy living. It is an invitation to listen to the prophets and the law and to live as though the kingdom was already among us.  Perhaps that has been part of my own issue that I shared with you last time I visited.  Did I let a great divide come between me and my relationship with God?  Was I living for THIS world instead of the kingdom that God is preparing for us?

What gulfs do we see around us; what divides people in our communities? How might we speak into those gaps? Whom do we lift up in prayer as a way of acknowledging those marginalized? What doors do we need to open as a way of becoming more inclusive? How might we pray so that God can direct us to see the truth that surrounds us?  You cannot force or buy our way into heaven.  Through God’s grace and mercy and by accepting Jesus as your Lord and savior is the ONLY way to heaven.

So are you meek and lowly of spirit?  Society leads us to believe these are negative terms.  However, the opposite is true. 

The term “meek” is defined, by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, as being non-violent or strong; submissive; suffering injury with patience; and being without courage or spirit. Society has also accepted this definition to describe people who are meek, viewing them as people who always go with the flow and never cause conflict or stand up for themselves. However, the word meek is seen through a different lens by Jesus, described succinctly in Matthew 5:5 as the personality type that will inherit the earth no less. Then what does it mean to be meek in God’s eyes.  The biblical understanding of meekness is power under control. 

Power under God’s control means two things: (1) refusal to inflate our own self-estimation; and (2) making sure not to assert ourselves for ourselves. Paul captures the first aspect perfectly in Romans 12:3. “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Meek people see themselves as servants of God, not thinking more highly of themselves than they ought to think. To be meek is to accept our strengths and limitations for what they truly are, instead of constantly trying to portray ourselves in the best possible light. But it does not mean that we should deny our strengths and abilities. When asked if he was the Messiah, Jesus replied, “The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.  And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me” (Matt. 11:4-6). He had neither an inflated self-image nor an inferiority complex, but a servant’s heart based on what Paul would later call “sober judgment” (Romans 12:3).s. 

So the next time you see yourself as a 90-pound weakling, remember, the meek will inherit the earth.  Meek does not equal weak.  It matters not what people value; it matters what God values.  What do you value?

The next time someone asks me what do I value most – I pray my answer will be God and our close relationship.  With God all things are possible.  Amen.
 
CELEBRATIONS AND CONCERNS
The Lord’s Prayer
 
*Closing Hymn:    “Take Time to Be Holy”     UMH#395
 
Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
abide in him always, and feed on his word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
forgetting in nothing his blessing to seek.
 
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
spend much time in secret with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like him thou shalt be;
thy friends in thy conduct his likeness shall see.
 
Take time to be holy, let him be thy guide,
and run not before him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
and, looking to Jesus, still trust in his word.
 
Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
each thought and each motive beneath his control.
Thus led by his spirit to fountains of love,
thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.
 
BENEDICTION:
L:  As we leave this place, may our eyes be opened to those who lie at our gates. With the love of Christ within us, may we see the hungry and the hurting, the abused and the forgotten. And may we seek to share the blessings we have been given. In the name of God, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer, may we go out and live the Kin-dom.
All:  Amen.
 
CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE: “Bind Us Together” TFWS#2226
 
Bind us together, Lord, bind us together
with cords that cannot be broken;
bind us together, Lord, bind us together,
Lord, bind us together in love.
There is only God, there is only one King;
there is only one body, that is why we sing.
Bind us together, Lord, bind us together
with cords that cannot be broken; bind us together,
Lord, bind us together, Lord, bind us together in love.
 
This morning we welcome Robin Genetti as our worship leader.
Pastor Mike will return as worship leader next week.
In the meantime, if you need the services of a pastor,
you may call Rev Pat at 802-888-2185.
  
Prayer is not a substitute for action;
it is an action for which there is no substitute."
Arthur Hooper  Gary Hazard,  Sabrena and Josh Ducharme
Linda (Pastor Mike’s Mom’s/Aunt Cathy’s sister) who is struggling with stomach issues
Friend of Mike's Aunt Cathy, who is suffering from cancer
Peggy Kuiee, a friend of Mike’s Aunt Cathy, who is struggling with heart issues
Amanda (friend of Aimee’s sister) who has been diagnosed with cancer
Gary Grant, whose lymphoma has now spread throughout his body
Lee Davis, who has bladder cancer
Laurie's friend, Ruth, for strength to get through a difficult time
Member of Lou’s church who had a stroke but is now making progress
Dot Larrabee as she goes for a follow-up after her recent eye surgery
Kathy’s b-i-l, Bill, who had eye surgery recently
A good friend of Kathy’s who was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer
For the husband of Kathy’s friend Pauline
Chris Kocik, a friend of Mike and Laurie’s, who continues to struggle with her cancer
while continuing with chemo treatments
Aunt K’s great-granddaughter, who has a bunch on her neck and
for wisdom for the medical team to be able to determine the cause.
Hess Family in the conviction of Cole Hess for possessing child pornography.
Howard, 15-year-old who has a condition that causes bone growths which
had to be removed and for success in recent surgery
All of those in Lamoille County who are struggling to find housing
The Binghamville congregation as they struggle with their future
Friend of Mike’s Aunt Kathy, Robert F., who is struggling with cancer
Mark, a friend of Laurie's, who accidentally cut off four of his fingers
which have been re-attached
Neighbor of Sherry's who continues to struggle with husband's dementia
All of those who continue to suffer from covid, including
many in Lou's living complex and the local UMC
Those in Aunt Kathy's living complex who are being forced to find new housing
because their building is being torn down
Families of all of those who continue to lose their lives in mass shootings,
and thanksgiving that our Congress has passed new firearms laws
Loretta, who continues to struggle with effects of Parkinson’s’ and other health issues
Pat’s sister, Nancy, and her husband Bill, as they try to continue to support their son
Jonathan, as he deals with a the end of his engagement and begins a new job
Barb Backus’ niece and her husband, Scott, who are caring for his parents
who are in their 90’s and may be facing placement in assisted living or a NH
Judy, who continues to struggle with health issues
Pat, a friend of Lou’s who has been providing respite care, and is now tired herself
John, a childhood friend of Mike’s, whose mother passed recently
Donna, daughter-in-law of Marilyn, a good friend of Pat and Vernon’s, who has
pancreatic cancer, as she continues to recover from recent surgery
Steve, Tausha and Lisa’s father, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, then had
a severe stroke, and continues to struggle with the effects of both
Elizabeth, who continues to struggle with pain due to cancer which has
spread throughout her body, that she may have courage for the long-run
Art, Pat and Vernon’s friend, who is now back home and
slowly gaining weight and his strength back
Pauline, a friend of Kathy’s, whose husband passed earlier this week
Darrell Adams, who recently passed away due to alcoholism
Regine, an 81-year-old woman, who had a hip replacement last week
All of the children, who are headed back to school, along with their
parents and teachers
Family of Gail Deuso’s sister, Jane, who passed away recently
People of the Ukraine who continue to struggle
Marty, a friend of Laurie and Robin, who broke her shoulder after a fall while skiing
is making good progress with physical therapy
Gloria, Lori Jones’ mother, who had successful surgery this week at the
UVM Medical Center and is safely back home at the Manor
Kim (Linda Martin's friend) who is going to have her surgery for
her kidney transplant this week
Maggie, Barb's sister, who is transitioning in her living situation
from her house to a smaller apartment
Tausha, Pat's niece, whose m-i-l has come to Vermont to live due
to the death of her husband and diminished eyesight and is facing
many changes in her life and is very dependent on her son
Heidi, Linda Martin's niece, who lost her mother to cancer a year ago and is still grieving
Mike’s Mom, Lou, who was diagnosed with a blood clot behind her knee this week
Lou and Pat’s friend, Shirley, who had another stroke this week
Safe travel for Bob, a friend of Kay's, who is still having chemo treatments
and who is moving with his wife to Florida this week
Continued prayers for Linda (Kay and Louise's sister) and Chuckie
Safe travels for Mike and Laurie as they continue their vacation
Kim (a friend of Linda Martin’s) who is having a kidney transplant this week
Young people in Kathy’s housing complex who are the victims of violence from
some of their peers that this violence may be stopped
Family of David Campbell on the passing of Mona Campbell
 

Wolcott United Methodist Church

(802) 851-2031