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Can We Call Evil (& Good & Joy)?

Posted by on Oct 15, 2018 in Environment, Music, Prayers/Litanies, Slideshow | 0 comments

Can We Call Evil (& Good & Joy)?

Here are hymn lyrics by Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder set to the hymn tune: Finlandia.  Tom wrote this about his work: “The lyrics were inspired by the Amos passage particularly, but Psalm 90 and the Mark passage as well.  Most of all it came out of the [10/8/2018] IPCC climate report and the new reality that we have at most 12 years to completely change our society to become the realm of God’s love and justice and well being for all.” You  can also find the music and lyrics here formatted to print as a bulletin insert TOM...

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To Be a Doer of the Word

Posted by on Aug 27, 2018 in Music, Pentecost, Slideshow | 0 comments

To Be a Doer of the Word

Here are hymn lyrics by Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder set to the hymn tune: Tallis’ Canon (composed by Thomas Tallis).  The lyrics are a reflection on James 1:17-27 and were written to be used in Sunday morning worship at the United Church of Strafford, VT on September 2nd, 2018. You  can also find the music and lyrics here formatted to print as a bulletin insert TOM REQUESTS THAT YOU CREDIT HIM AND THAT YOU LET HIM KNOW WHEN YOU USE IT AT: rev.thomas.cary.kinder@gmail.com To Be a Doer of the Word (L.M. Tallis’ Canon) text: James 1:17-27...

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Show the Way

Posted by on Jul 23, 2018 in By Season, Music, Peace & Justice, Pentecost, Slideshow | 0 comments

Show the Way

Here are hymn lyrics by Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder set to the hymn tune: Aberystwyth (composed by Joseph Parry) which is found in many common hymnals.  The lyrics call upon the biblical texts, Mark 6 and Ezekiel 33 and were written to be used in Sunday morning worship at the United Church of Strafford, VT in July of 2018. You  can also find the music and lyrics here formatted to print as a bulletin insert TOM REQUESTS THAT YOU CREDIT HIM AND THAT YOU LET HIM KNOW WHEN YOU USE IT AT: rev.thomas.cary.kinder@gmail.com Someone needs to show the way,...

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Thanksgiving in July/August

Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in Music, Pentecost, Scripture/Readings, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services | 0 comments

Thanksgiving in July/August

In many of our churches the summer months include the vacations of pastors and other worship leaders.  This can make worship planning in general and pulpit supply in particular difficult.  Is it possible to provide your congregation with an inspiring and educational worship experience without a sermon?  YES!  One simple approach is to pick a theme, select Scripture verses and hymns based upon this theme, and weave them together.  Done well, your congregation might not even notice there wasn’t a sermon! Below is a sample service outline...

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Transfiguration: Still Glowing

Posted by on Jan 18, 2017 in Call to Worship, Epiphany, Music, Scripture/Readings, Slideshow | 0 comments

Transfiguration: Still Glowing

Our congregation often begins worship with a spoken call to worship….maybe yours does too.  To enter into Transfiguration Sunday in a different way, you may consider the simple Call to Worship below.  It weaves together Scripture, song and prayer.  The Scripture is from Mark 9:2-8 (Common English Bible translation).  The song is “Bless the Lord,” by John Bell.  See more info about song here.  Others songs could certainly be used. MANY: [SING] Bless the Lord… One: “Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and brought...

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NewSong

Posted by on Oct 23, 2016 in Music, Slideshow | 0 comments

NewSong

Most congregations have a canon of hymns that they know, love and sing often.  I’ll pause while you make a mental list of your congregation’s hymn canon…   …   …   …   … You know though, there are countless hymns and songs in this world that your congregation rarely or never sings.  New hymnals and songs come out every year, of course, but there are also many old songs in your own hymnals and music file cabinets you never sing either.  Maybe, just maybe, some of these are inspiring and could become...

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Worship/Event

Posted by on Oct 2, 2016 in Joys and Concerns, Music, Offering, Prayers/Litanies, Scripture/Readings, Sermons, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services | 0 comments

Worship/Event

Many churches have a Sunday morning or two throughout the year when the congregation hosts both a worship service and a special event.  Maybe your church hosts a Christmas fair, an Easter brunch, a breakfast fundraiser for a mission you support or something else.  In our church, the last Sunday in September is always reserved for day two of our annual Old Fashioned Harvest Market which draws thousands from all over our region. I know from experience that on this particular Sunday our congregation’s attention and energy is divided...

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“Xmas Eve on Fire”

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Advent, Arts, Christmas, Music, Non-Church settings, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services | 0 comments

“Xmas Eve on Fire”

Imagine this: Christmas Eve Snow blanketing the ground Early/family service begins at 5:00 p.m. and the time is now 4:30 p.m. Portable firepit on the front lawn of the church with logs blazing Hot chocolate in vacuum pots on a table nearby Small Christmas tree with a box full of ornaments Families, individuals, couples, whoever, arriving, grabbing a cup of cocoa, hanging an ornament, warming themselves by the fire, giggling with Christmas excitement At 5:05 p.m. booklets with Christmas carols are handed out and people sing their favorites At...

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God’s Heart Like a Beating Drum

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in Call to Worship, Music, Slideshow, Transitions, Violence | 0 comments

God’s Heart Like a Beating Drum

The week of July 3, 2016 was another week of racism and violence in the U.S.  Two black men, Philando Castille and Alton Sterling were shot to death by police officers.  In retaliation, Micah Johnson shot 12 police officers in Dallas, 5 of whom died.  Though weeks like this are becoming common,  these events in particular filled our small rural community with feelings of anger, sorrow, even despair. Come Sunday there was a definite need in our morning worship service to lament and resist the racism and violence while at the same time being...

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VTCUCC AM 2016

Posted by on May 31, 2016 in By Season, Call to Worship, Communion and Baptism, Music, Prayers/Litanies, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services, VTCUCC Annual Meeting | 0 comments

VTCUCC AM 2016

In April 2016, and for the 221st time, the Vermont Conference, United Church of Christ met for its Annual Meeting.  The meeting was held from Friday morning, 4/29 through Saturday afternoon, 4/30 at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, VT.  Our theme was, “Be The  Church” which was borrowed from the national setting of the UCC.  Below you will find the orders of worship for three services that took place during plenary sessions.  Our musicians for these services were Peter and Mary Alice Amidon and our preacher/keynote was Bishop...

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