Wolcott United Methodist Church

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, our church has been closed and we have been worshipping "virtually" via zoom. However, internet has now been installed at the Wolcott church and we returned to live worship on Sunday, October 4 at 10:00am, as well as continuing to offer worship via zoom. For the present time, live worship will be held every other week at Wolcott UMC and Binghamville UMC at 10:00am. Worship will continue to be available via zoom every week, as well, and the link can be found here on the website.

4023 VT Route 15 , Wolcott , VT 05680
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802.888.0395

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The United Methodist Church

Service and Pastor Mike's Message for October 18, 2020

posted on October 17

Wolcott and Binghamville
United Methodist Churches

 19th Sunday of Pentecost   
                                                           October 18, 2020
                                                (Live Worship at Wolcott UMC)
GATHERING AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
PRELUDE:  Bringing in the Light of Christ
 
 CALL TO WORSHIP:
L:  We are all called to recognize and join God’s mission of love.
P:  We gather to become more like Jesus.
L:  We learn how grace has met other lives.
P:  We wait for God’s empowering presence to open our eyes.
L:  We engage our neighbors, online and in person.
P:  And God’s love, power, and justice help repair the world.
 
OPENING HYMN:  “Breathe on Me, Breath of God”   UMH#420
 
Breathe on me, Breath of God, 
fill me with life anew,
That I may love what thou dost love,
and do what thou wouldst do.
 
Breathe one me, Breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until with thee I will one will,
To do and to endure.
 
Breathe on me, Breath o f God,
Till I am wholly thine,
Till all this earthly part of me
Glows with thy fire divine.
 
Breathe on me, Breath of God,
So shall I never die,
But live with thee the perfect
life of thine eternity.
 
[Please note:  Due to the difficulty of singing inside
our buildings while wearing a mask, we will no longer
be singing the hymns, but they will be presented in
instrumental form with Pastor Mike on the guitar and
the respective pianist/organists on their instruments. 
You may follow along by reading the words to yourself or
singing softly if you wish or singing on zoom.]
 
OPENING PRAYER:     Psalm 99        UMH#819-820
 
L:  The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble!  The Lord
sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earthquake!
P:  The Lord is great in Zion,
and is exalted over all the peoples.
L:  Let them praise your great and wondrous name!
P:  Holy is the Lord!
L:  Mighty Ruler, lover of justice, you have established equity;
P:  you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
L:  Extol the Lord our God.  Worship at the Lord’s footstool!
P:  Holy is the Lord!
L:  Moses and Aaron were among God’s priests, Samuel also was
among those who called on God’s name.
P:  They cried to the Lord, who answered them,
who spoke to them in the pillar of cloud.
L:  they kept God’s testimonies, and the statutes God gave them.
P:  O Lord, our God, you answered them; you were a
forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
L:  Extol the Lord our God, and worship at his holy mountain.
P:  Surely the Lord our God is holy!
 
OFFERING: “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow” UMH#95, STL#7
 
Offertory Prayer (in unison):
God of our salvation, through Jesus Christ’s self-offering
on the cross, you granted eternal life. We who were far off
have become members of your household. We belong to
you, yet we get caught up in the world that judges others
by what they own. Enable us to love you with our whole
heart. Free us from clinging to our money and possessions. 
Use our gifts and offerings to bring relief to people in
need of physical and spiritual healing. We ask this for the
 sake of Christ, our risen Lord. Amen. (Matthew 22:15-22)
 
WORD AND RESPONSE:
 
Exodus 33:12-23 Moses pleads with God
12 Moses said to the LORD, “Look, you’ve been telling me,
‘Lead these people forward.’ But you haven’t told me whom you
will send with me. Yet you’ve assured me, ‘I know you by name
and think highly of you.’ 13 Now if you do think highly of me,
show me your ways so that I may know you and so that you
may really approve of me. Remember too that this nation
is your people.” 14 The LORD replied, “I’ll go myself, and
I’ll help you.” 15 Moses replied, “If you won’t go yourself, don’t
make us leave here. 16 Because how will anyone know that
we have your special approval, both I and your people, unless
 you go with us? Only that distinguishes us, me and your people,
from every other people on the earth.” 17 The LORD said to Moses,
 “I’ll do exactly what you’ve asked because you have my special
approval, and I know you by name.” 18 Moses said, “Please show
 me your glorious presence.” 19 The LORD said, “I’ll make all my
goodness pass in front of you, and I’ll proclaim before you the name,
‘The LORD.’ I will be kind to whomever I wish to be kind, and I will
 have compassion to whomever I wish to be compassionate. 20 But,”
the LORD said, “you can’t see my face because no one can see me
and live.”   21 The LORD said, “Here is a place near me where you
will stand beside the rock. 22 As my glorious presence passes by,
 I’ll set you in a gap in the rock, and I’ll cover you with my hand until
 I’ve passed by. 23 Then I’ll take away my hand, and you will see my
 back, but my face won’t be visible.”
 
Hymn:  “It’s Me, It’s Me, O Lord”    UMH#352
 
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
1 From Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy. To the Thessalonians’ church that is
in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to all of you.
 
 Thanksgiving to God
2 We always thank God for all of you when we mention you constantly in
our prayers. 3 This is because we remember your work that comes from
faith, your effort that comes from love, and your perseverance that comes
 from hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father.
4 Brothers and sisters, you are loved by God, and we know that he has chosen
you. 5 We know this because our good news didn’t come to you just in
speech but also with power and the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.
You know as well as we do what kind of people we were when we were
with you, which was for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of
the Lord when you accepted the message that came from the Holy Spirit
with joy in spite of great suffering. 7 As a result you became an example
to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The message about the
Lord rang out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia but in every
place. The news about your faithfulness to God has spread so that we
don’t even need to mention it. 9 People tell us about what sort of welcome
we had from you and how you turned to God from idols.  As a result,
you are serving the living and true God, 10 and you are waiting for
his Son from heaven. His Son is Jesus, who is the one he raised from
the dead and who is the one who will rescue us from the coming wrath.
 
Hymn:  “Blessed Assurance” UMH#369
 
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! 
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.
 
Refrain
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long; (repeat)
 
Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above,
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love. Refrain
 
Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.  Refrain

Matthew 22:15-22 Question about taxes
15 Then the Pharisees met together to find a way to trap Jesus in his
words. 16 They sent their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod,
to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are genuine and that you
teach God’s way as it really is. We know that you are not swayed by
people’s opinions, because you don’t show favoritism. 17 So tell us what
you think: Does the Law allow people to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
18 Knowing their evil motives, Jesus replied, “Why do you test me,
you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin used to pay the tax.” And they
brought him a denarion. 20 “Whose image and inscription is this?”
he asked. 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said, “Give to Caesar
what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”
22 When they heard this, they were astonished, and they departed.
 
   Hymn:        “His Name is Wonderful”       UMH#174
 
 MESSAGE:         “Known by Name”

“Hey, Mike!” the guy who called out to me in the grocery store looked familiar
to me. One of the guys I work with on the mountain was near the end of one of
the aisles. I introduced him to my wife. Turned out they had something in
common and I left them to chat about it for a few minutes. I took the cart
down another aisle to pick a up few things and shorten our shopping trip.
 
Moses is on a shopping trip, of sorts. He had smashed the commandments to
pieces and had to head back up the mountain for a redo. Just imagine the
conversation: : “Hey, I am! Remember those tablets you gave me a little while
ago? I sorta broke 'em. Could I talk ya into making a couple of new ones?”
 
Moses knows who he is talking to. Moses knows “I am” could just as
easily crush him with but a breath and yet he bargains with God anyway.
 
Just imagine. We all do it from time to time. “Hey God! I know I said I was
going to go to church this morning but there was this awesome yard sale
on the way! Do you think you could forgive me for not meeting with you
this morning? I could use some of the stuff for the rummage sale....”
 
October is the month most congregations listen to each other make various
presentations from the pulpit regarding stewardship. I have yet to do that.
Most of my stewardship campaign has been to thank you all for your giving.
Although we are not full up on mission shares, we have a two-fold mission here
 in Wolcott: contributing to local missions in various ways and bringing this
historic building back into usable condition for missions in the future.
 
Jesus, who has been roaming in and out of Jerusalem, is being tested by
the Pharisees. They know He has been preaching for people to give up their
worldly ways and serve God. From the prophets Isaiah to Malachi, the
Pharisees have been receiving this very same message but have preferred to
be practitioners of “the law”, those stone tablets that Moses brought back
down off the mountain. They have been hearing and hearing of Jesus
preaching the very same thing as those aforementioned prophets. They
have also been hearing that Jesus is simplifying God's law down to
something that is little more than the essence of that very first
commandment: Love me (GOD) and love each other the same way.
 
I suppose, to the Pharisees, this is some sort of blasphemy but they just can't
do anything with it, because it is, after all , the law, but they are still trying to
trip him up in other areas of the law, so they hand him this coin.
 
I can imagine, that in its' time, that visage of Caesar on that coin must have
 been pretty remarkable, at least to Caesar. The Hebrews and the Romans in
that region probably had some sort of collaborative working arrangement.
The Romans had their tax collectors and they could rely on the Pharisees
and Sadducees to maintain some sort of social order upon the local
populace through their narrowly interpreted religious practices.
 
All in all, it was a pretty good system.
 
Jesus was a problem to this social order, though. His simplification of
the law upset the apple cart, as it were. Time for a mini trial, so the
Pharisees handed him this coin. They had use for this money and didn't
think it was proper for the Hebrews to be paying a tax to Caesar.
 
We all know the response: if it is Caesar's likeness on said coin then
render unto Caesar what is Caesar's.
 
We have various ideas of what Jesus must have looked like, there are images
of all sorts to be seen in various churches. Hanging on the wall, hanging on
crosses, sculptures like the one next to our altar. His disciples knew what He
looked like. Moses wanted to see what God looked like but that was not to be.
After all those conversations, God stuffed Moses into a crevice then reached
out and covered Moses's eyes with a hand as God passed by, permitting
 Moses only a view from behind.
 
It is our privilege to be able to ask things of God, just as Moses did. It is
God's privilege to answer. Paul brings us greetings, lets us know that we are
loved, lets us know that the Holy Spirit moves in and through us. Let us
remember the peace that moves with the Grace of God, Jesus the Son
and the Holy Spirit. In the Holy Name of God we pray, Amen.

 
 CONCERNS AND CELEBRATIONS
 
Prayers of the People
Pastor: We go with hope, O God, with an engaged faith. By paying
attention to your grace already at work in every life. Wherever we
meet those made in your image, we share stories of the grace that
has reshaped our own lives.  As we come to see resonant patterns of
grace, we find you repairing the world’s shattered wholeness.
Lay leader: For a new resolve to listen to the stories of
people made in your image.
People: God, hear our prayer.
Lay leader: With all who are called to become all
love through your son, Jesus.
People: God, hear our prayer.
Lay leader: For those whose loneliness and
isolation call for listening love.
People: God, hear our prayer.
Lay leader: With friends in faith who serve and
witness through deeds and words that heal and free.
People: Savior, hear our prayer.
Pastor: Hear our prayer, O God, and help us embody
your glory and presence – vessels of grace bringing
mercy and justice to your world.
  
The Lord's Prayer
 
THE SENDING FORTH:
Leader: Go into the world, sharing yourself,
and proclaiming God’s lovingkindness, justice, and
peace, in words and deeds that bring life and hope.
Pastor: The Triune God, Creator, Redeemer, and
Living Spirit is with you, today and
every day, forever and always.
All:  Amen.

 Congregational Response:   “Bind Us Together”  TFWS#2226
 
We are led this morning by Michael Thorpe
you may call/text Pastor Mike at 802-355-9574
     
"Prayer is not a substitute for action;
            it is an action for which there is no substitute."
 
Mayerling Anderson   Josh Ducharme   Sabrena Ducharme   Cheri Craig   
Nikki Ducharme   Arthur Hooper   Nathanial McElroy  James and DeeDee Clark   
Angel and Royce Dunn   Janet Lanphear   Lori Jones  Kelly Maxfield   Charmane Raye   
Charles Tinker   Eva Lancaster   Linda Martin 
Craig Lawson(who is now back at home in Alaska for the first time
in 3 years after finally receiving a successful kidney transplant    
Emily (a parishioner of a colleague of Rev. Pat’s in northern Maine –
who is back in Boston with an infection)   
Gary Hazard    Paul (a friend of Sherry Anderson)    
Keith and Tammy Ingalls from Eden, whose 37-year-old daughter,
Tara Stubbs died from cancer - she was a good friend of Nathaniel McElroy 
Mike Hendon and Christine (who has been receiving chemotherapy for a tumor,
which has shrunk substantially)     
Thorpe Family in the loss of Mike’s nephew, Bryan Thorpe   
Greg McElroy’s son-in-law who is continuing to fight the devastating fires in California.  
Bill Drumm (who is suffering from cancer) 
David Becraft (Rev. Pat’s nephew who is in
alcohol rehabilitation and making good progress)  
Esther Greaves (who is back at the Manor but having a difficult
time understanding what is happening)
 Fawn (Barbara Backus’ niece) who is experience a recurrence of her cancer
and her parents, Carol and Bill (who has been at Central Vermont hospital this week
with breathing problems but is back at home and doing much better)
Kim (a friend of Linda Martin’s who needs a kidney transplant)
Jennifer Mink (a friend of Sherry’s whose mother, Martha, died on 10/09)
Howard (a retired clergy friend of Rev. Pat’s who has recently been
diagnosed with an aggressive pancreatic cancer) and his wife, Dee
Family of Rose Fuller who died this week and was like a grandmother 
to Lori Jones     Linda Martin's sister-in-law who has stage 4 cancer

Wolcott United Methodist Church

802.888.0395