Looking For Love

First Sunday of Lent 2023

Link to Zoom Service

                   “Look for the Resister”

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!


Gathering Music:     Show Us How to Love 

(by Mark A. Miller)                                     -Michelle Currie

Hearts open, minds awake,

change us now for heaven’s sake.

Leave us not alone in hatred’s wake.

Show us how to love.

Show us how to love.

Show us how, show us how to love.

Confession and Assurance:

Leader: Let us join together in opening our hearts to the love of God. Before we even utter a word, we can be assured God will offer us grace and a way forward. For this reason, we can be honest with what most pains us most about our own thoughts and actions.

Let us pray: Holy and Merciful One,

in this season of discernment, we come bringing our deepest longings, and our failed attempts at satisfying them. We have often looked for love, for acceptance and security, in the trappings of notoriety, popularity, and power

that diminish others in order to gain for ourselves.

People: We yearn for lives that matter,

we desire relationships that thrive,

we want less regret.

Leader: At times we fail to see that you have already given us what really matters: your love and acceptance. You provide opportunities all around us to make a difference in the lives of others. You give us a fresh start each day, inviting us to do better.

In this silence, we bring to you our pleas for openness

to a different way of living.


My friends, be assured by the Psalmist who says,

“I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;

I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

Let us respond together:

All: We open our hearts, our minds, our souls, our vision

to the ways of love created by God, embodied in Jesus, and already moving in us by the Spirit. We are forgiven, loved, and freed. Amen!


Lord’s Prayer

Opening Hymn:  Abide With Me                #836   vs. 1, 2 & 5

Readings:  Psalm 32, Matthew 4:1-11                     -Cris Hudson

A Time for the Young and Young at Heart:    

“The Story of Ruby Bridges” by Robert Coles

Music:  Meditative Instr. ~ Michelle Currie

Welcoming New Members:

Nancy Batchelor, Rob Harriman, Judy Fenlason,

Bruce Fenlason and Dick Bennett                  

Musical call to Prayer:   Michelle Currie

Prayers of the People:

Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison

Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison                             #578

Offertory:  Who Am I  (by Casting Crowns)     -Michelle Currie

Doxology:  Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise God all creatures here below. Praise God above ye heavenly hosts, Creator, Christ and Holy Ghost.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication:

Closing Music:  Live Divine, All Loves Excelling    # 366 

Blessing:  Go forth into the world, looking for love in all the right places, knowing that the God of love walks with you.

Go in Peace…Amen.

Postlude:  Go In Peace

Worship Notes:  Worship series design © Worship Design Studio by Marcia McFee. www.worshipdesignstudio.com.

            Welcoming Our New Members

Rob Harriman grew up in Saco and was raised as a Catholic. He has 2 adult children and 3 grandchildren. As a self-employed builder for 43 years, he is now enjoying being newly retired. One of Rob’s many passions is sailing. Nancy and Rob have been very happily married for almost 17 years.

Nancy Batchelor was raised in the Midwest outside of Cleveland OH. Her family attended a large Episcopalian church. Rob and Nancy have been attending UC for 10 or so years now. Nancy was an ICU nurse before becoming a nurse anesthetist and has been retired for several years now. Rob and Nancy both LOVE the outdoors and animals and have had a small zoo/menagerie over the years.

Dick Bennett– formerly a ‘Connecticut Swamp Yankee,’ continues his 20+ year journey toward earning his Maine Mountain & Coast Badges.  Now aging too quickly, he wonders if he’ll ever get there.  But the Good News is that he’s finding Union Church a generative place to heal and grow.

After works in public education, Dick spent some 30+ years as a UCC country parson. Starting as Chaplain at the University of Connecticut, with a specialty in church crisis work, his primary posts have been in Wolfeboro, Westbrook, and Bridgton followed by several exciting years as a Maine UCC church Interim Pastor.  Long a serious motorcyclist (over 120,000 miles on his beloved BMW K-75), he continues learning to appreciate a slower life while pursuing reading, hiking, & writing (journal work & poetry) as he seeks to deepen his life-long practice of ‘spiritual seeking and creative loitering.’

Dick’s wife, Linda, and daughter, Leah both serve on the Board of ‘Friends of Kenya Rising’ and are making yet another visit to the setting in Kagamaga, Kenya (10 hours north of Nairobi).  Leah works for the Barr Foundation of Boston; Linda is a retired counsellor. While pastoral work has always been deeply rich, and even sometimes too exciting, Dick is not shy in sharing that he owes Linda over 30 years of weekends.  The family has spent over 30 consecutive August’s hiking and hanging out with friends on Monhegan Island.  Dick finds it challenging to be leading a slower life even while his body continues to edge toward its final chapter to be marked by ‘Blessings Yet to be Discovered.’

Bruce Fenlason-Father, husband-both more than 55 years, high school English teacher for forty plus years, part-time auto parts store employee for about 15 years, very occasional sports official, farm hand, river driver of pulp logs, forever a son.  Many, many odd pieces in an extended lifetime.  Even an ‘out of stater’ for half a dozen years.  Been places, done things, walked into Union Church one day to fine a room full of people of peace and joy.  I am very happy to have been welcomed here.  Thank you.

Judy Fenlason- I grew up in Skowhegan and met Bruce while we were in high school there. After we were married, we settled in Skowhegan and raised our daughter Sara there. After Sara left for college, we moved to Biddeford. I worked as a social worker for many years at the Maine Department of Human Services. For the first couple of years, I worked in Adult Protective and Aftercare Services. After that I worked for more than twenty years in Child Protective Services until I left to teach at the Child Welfare Training Institute, part of the Muskie School of Public Service.

My interests over the years have included cooking, gardening, travel, card playing (especially bridge), reading and doing puzzles (both crossword and Jigsaw).  I am looking forward to joining the Union Church. I have found everyone to be very welcoming, and I always feel uplifted when I leave.