The Mystery of MIRACLES

Link to Sermon

You are Welcome Here….

                                     January 16, 2022

                               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:  Believe in your heart that you’re meant to live a life full of passion, purpose, magic and miracles.                                                                                   Roy T Bennett

          Where there is great love there are always miracles.                 Willa Cather

          Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.                                    C.S. Lewis

Welcome:  Rev. Dr. Nancy Parent Bancroft

Gathering Music:   Down to the River to Pray (Traditional)  -Patricia Mulholland & The Union Church Choir

Call To Worship:

One: We gather this day, and much is visible:

All: Our smiles may show our joy; our eyes may speak of pain.

One: We come to this place, seeking signs of the living God.

All: We may sense something holy here; we may reach out to mystery.

One: Will we see God today? Will our living make God’s love visible?

All: Let us worship God, Holy Mystery, Eternal Love.

Opening Hymn:  It is Well with My Soul         *See Lyric Insert

Opening Prayer:  O God, who is greater than the most powerful forces in this world, enable us to be still and know that You are God.  O Lord, who answers out of the whirlwind of everyday life, breath in us Your Holy Spirit to strengthen, comfort and guide us in the midst of the storm. O still, small voice, speak to us this hour, that we might become your healing presence in our homes, in our communities, in our world. We pray all this in the name of the One who changed water into wine and who calmed the raging sea. Amen.

Lord’s Prayer

Awakening:  Million Little Miracles (by Steven Furtick/Chris Brown/Brandon Lake)  -Michelle Currie

Scripture:   Psalm 36:5-10; segment fromStarlight: Beholding the Christmas Miracle All Year Long by John Shea; John 2:1-11                                                                                             – Stephen Fox

Sermon: You Know that Miracles Do Happen To You             – Rev. Dr. Nancy Parent Bancroft

Music:  Over the Rainbow/Meditative (by Harold Arlen)  -Michelle Currie

Musical call to Prayer:   Michelle Currie

Prayers of the People:

God of miracles,
creation is so much with us,
sights, sounds, tastes, fragrances;
we pause to give thanks for something
in nature that gave us joy this week.   [PAUSE]

Despite our isolation, You have brought people into our lives,
we pause to give thanks
for an experience of joy or peace with others
we had this week.  [PAUSE]

We ask forgiveness for a time this week
where we have disturbed or destroyed
the peace of another person.
We pray for someone
who is on our hearts,
who we know is in need of joy.  [PAUSE]

We pray for a place
in the world that is on our hearts
that needs your peace. [PAUSE]

God of grace,
thank you for hearing our prayers
and answering them.  Amen

Closing Music:  Blest Are They       *See Lyric Insert

Benediction:  For Courage by John O’Donohue

When the light around you lessens
And your thoughts darken until
Your body feels fear turn
Cold as a stone inside,

When you find yourself bereft
Of any belief in yourself
And all you unknowingly
Leaned on has fallen,

When one voice commands
Your whole heart,
And it is raven dark,

Steady yourself and see
That it is your own thinking
That darkens your world.

Search and you will find
A diamond-thought of light,

Know that you are not alone,
And that this darkness has purpose;
Gradually it will school your eyes,
To find the one gift your life requires
Hidden within this night-corner.

Invoke the learning
Of every suffering
You have suffered.

Close your eyes.
Gather all the kindling
About your heart
To create one spark.
That is all you need
To nourish the flame
That will cleanse the dark
Of its weight of festered fear.

A new confidence will come alive
To urge you towards higher ground
Where your imagination
Will learn to engage difficulty
As its most rewarding threshold!

Postlude:  Go In Peace

Thank you to Michelle Currie, Music Director, Patricia Mulholland, Choir Director, the members of the choir, reader Stephen Fox, and our Zoom hosts Patricia Mulholland and Stephen Fox for contributing their time and talent to our service this morning.

It Is Well with My Soul   (Lyrics)

When peace like a river at-tend-eth my way, when sorrows like a sea billows roll

Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well – with my soul – it is well, it is well with my soul.

Lord hasten the day when our faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll

The trumpets shall sound and the Lord shall descend, even so it is well with my soul.

It is well – with my soul – it is well, it is well with my soul.

Blest Are They     (Lyrics)

Blest are they, the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of God.

Blest are thewy full of sorrow, they shall be consoled.


Rejoice and be glad! Blessed are you, holy are you!

Rejoice and be glad! Yours is the kingdom of God!

Blest are they, the lowly ones, they shall inherit the earth

Blest are they who hunger and thirst, they shall have their fill. (chorus)

Blest are they who show mercy, mercy shall be theirs.

Blest are they, the pure of heart, they shall see God.  (chorus)

Blest are they who seek peace, they are the children of God.

Blest are they who suffer in faith, the glory of God is theirs.  (chorus)


Psalm 36:5-10

New Revised Standard Version

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
    your judgments are like the great deep;
    you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
    All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
    and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light we see light.

10 O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
    and your salvation to the upright of heart!

From Starlight: Beholding the Christmas Miracle All Year Long by John Shea


“What has happened to me has been the very reverse of what appears to be the experience of most of my friends. Instead of dwindling to a point, Santa Claus has grown larger and larger in my life until he fills almost the whole of it. It happened in this way. As a child I was faced with a phenomenon requiring explanation. I hung up at the end of my bed an empty stocking, which in the morning became a full stocking. I had done nothing to produce the things that filled it. I had not worked for them, or made them or helped to make them. I had not even been good–far from it. And the explanation was that a certain being whom people called Santa Claus was benevolently disposed toward me. . . . What we believed was that a certain benevolent agency did give us those toys for nothing. And, as I say, I believe it still. I have merely extended the idea. Then I only wondered who put the toys in the stocking; now I wonder who put the stocking by the bed, and the bed in the room, and the room in the house, and the house on the planet, and the great planet in the void. Once I only thanked Santa Claus for a few dolls and crackers, now, I thank him for stars and street faces and wine and the great sea. Once I thought it delightful and astonishing to find a present so big that it only went halfway into the stocking. Now I am delighted and astonished every morning to find a present so big that it takes two stockings to hold it, and then leaves a great deal outside; it is the large and preposterous present of myself, as to the origin of which I can offer no suggestion except that Santa Claus gave it to me in a fit of peculiarly fantastic goodwill.”

John 2:1-11

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good win