Facing The Darkness

Link to Sermon

Prayer for Autumn Days (Sr. Joyce Rupp, OSM)

God of the seasons, there is a time for everything;

there is a time for dying and a time for rising.

We need courage to enter into the transformation process.

God of autumn, the trees are saying goodbye

to their green, letting go of what has been.

We, too, have our moments of surrender, with all their insecurity and risk.  Help us to let go when we need to do so.

God of fallen leaves lying in colored patterns on

the ground, our lives have their own patterns.

As we see the patterns of our own growth,

may we learn from them.

God of misty days and harvest moon nights, there is always

the dimension of mystery and wonder in our lives.

We always need to recognize your power-filled presence.

May we gain strength from this.

God of harvest wagons and fields of ripened grain, many gifts

of growth lie within the season of our surrender.

We must wait for harvest in faith and hope.

Grant us patience when we do not see the blessings.

God of geese going south for another season, your wisdom enables us to know what needs to be left behind and what needs to be carried into the future. We yearn for insight and vision.

God of flowers touched with frost and windows wearing white designs, may your love keep our hearts from growing cold in the empty seasons.

God of life, you believe in us, you enrich us,

you entrust us with the freedom to choose life.

For all this, we are grateful. Amen

Announcements: Weekly Prayer Retreat, hosted by Nancy Bancroft will meet again Wednesday morning, November 3rd.  You are welcome to join at any time.  Please email her for the link at tnbancroft@maine.rr.com.  This is primarily a private retreat with a short weekly check-in.  If you can’t make the group, you can still retreat using these materials.

From Week One: 

            Joyce Rupps’ prayer/poem Restoring Awareness.

Come, show us how you are dwelling in those places of our lives where we have forgotten to welcome you…

Come, take us to the place where you are moving us toward change and deeper relationship with you…

Come, help us believe in the possibility of resurrecting what has hidden itself from our path of growth…

Come, shake free whatever keeps us from accepting your invitation to be transformed…

Come, strengthen our faith, cultivate our hope, and widen our love…

Come, draw us into the stillness essential for an alive and open awareness of your presence…

Come, keep us mindful of the larger world, one in urgent need of our compassion and dedicated care…

Come, be a healing presence for those who suffer and those for whom we promised to pray…

Come, our minds and hearts are alert, ready to welcome you home…

Week 3:

In the preface to her book, The Cup of Our Life, Rupp says, “Symbols invite us to go beyond our obscured and tired views, to enter the hidden dimensions inherent in our lives and to refresh our awareness of the sacred.”  She then uses the symbol of a cup throughout the book.  In A Perfect Cup, we are the cup.

It is time for me

To see the flaws

Of myself

And stop being alarmed

It is time for me

To halt my drive

For perfection

And to accept

My blemishes

It is time for me

To receive

Slowly evolving growth

The kind that comes

In God’s own good time

And pays no heed

To my panicky pushing

It is time for me

To embrace

My humanness

The Glory Is Fallen Out Of by e.e. cummings

the glory is fallen out of

the sky the last immortal

leaf is

dead and the gold year

a formal spasm

in the  dust

this is the passing of all shining things

therefore we also blandly

into receptive

earth, O let

us descend

take shimmering wind

these fragile splendors from

us crumple them hide

them in thy breath drive

them in nothingness

for we would sleep

this is the passing of all shining things

no lingering no backward-

wondering be unto us O

soul, but straight

glad feet fear ruining

and glory girded faces

lead us

into the

serious steep darkness

Order of Worship

Let us be as open vessels that God’s spirit may enter.

The Community Gathers:  Experience God’s presence in the assembly. Please greet one another with joy and welcome new friends into our community of love.

      You are welcome here…come and worship!       

Focus:  “What makes night within us may leave stars.”

               – Victor Hugo

Gathering Music: Turn, Turn, Turn (by Pete Seeger)  

                                                                           -Michelle Currie


Call To Worship:

One: In all times and all places, your name, O God, is echoed far.

All: Holy is your name.

One: In many sounds and in many languages, your name, O God, is echoed far.

All: Holy is your name.

One: In sorrow and in delight, in despair and in hope, your name, O God, is echoed far.

All: Holy is your name.

One: In darkness and in light, your name, O God, is echoed far.

All: Holy is your name.

One: As the night draws near, and we prepare for rest, your name, O God, is echoed far.

All: Holy is your name.

One: In silence, and in stillness, we bring ourselves into the presence of the Holy One.

Opening Hymn:  Great Is Thy Faithfulness                 #39

Opening Prayer: 

O God of all living things, and of all seasons, we call upon you this day to open our hearts to your love, our ears to your words, our eyes to see the needs of those both near and far, and our spirits to do what is good. Be with us and help us to embrace the beauty of darkness, to turn inward and listen to your voice deep within our spirits, and to feel your presence now and always. Amen.

Lord’s Prayer

Awakening:  A Safe Place To Land (by Sara Bareilles/Lori McKenna)     -Michelle Currie

Scripture: Prayer for Autumn Days, Psalm 139: 1-3, 9-14, 23-24, Luke 1:67-69,76-79                                    -Rev. Lamar Robinson

Sermon: Embracing the Darkness Within      Rev. Paula Norbert       

Meditative Instrumental:  Meditation #2 (by Michelle Currie)

        -Michelle Currie

Musical call to Prayer:  (two times) 

Hush now in quiet peace, be still your mind at ease.

The Spirit brings release, so wait upon the Lord.

Prayers of the People:

Closing Music:  Here I am Lord                                         #69                          

Benediction:   You have received blessing upon blessing from the Holy One. Now go into the world offering hope and peace to all people you meet.

Postlude:  Go In Peace

Recessional: Go in Peace

Go in peace and the peace of God be with you this day.

Go in peace and the peace of God be with you always.

celebrate and share the joy. Celebrate new life.

Go in peace and the peace of God be with you always.

With great thanks always to Michelle Currie, our Music Director and to our Zoom Host and Reader this week.

(Gathering Words from Lynne Frith, Aotearoa/New Zealand)

Pastor’s Contact Info: pnorbert1217@gmail.com, 207-205-4951

Church Leadership:

Moderator: Paul Schlaver

Clerk: Anita Coupe

Treasurer: Debbie Lamb

Mission Chair: Ken Murray

Deacons: Sharon Gaudin, Chair, Eve McPheeters, Nancy Batchelor, Ardis Chretien and Heather Davis, Associate Deacon

Trustees: John Comeau, Chair; Don Chretien, and Rob Harriman

Finance: Peter McPheeters, Chair, Debbie Lamb, Doug Firebaugh, Brad Coupe, and Bob Sherman

Program: Ken Murray, Chair

Music Director: Michelle Currie

Choir Director: Patricia Mulholland

Promotions Person: Anita Coupe

Webmaster: Wonderful Websites

Pastor’s Contact Info:  Rev. Paula Norbert: 207-205-4951; pnorbert1217@gmail.com.