Click here to register for the 9:30 a.m. Outdoor Blessing of the Animals

 

The Reverend Dr. William A. Evertsberg

Kenilworth Union Church Come In! Let us worship God! Bill holds a virtual worship service with a sermon and music. Members have sent pictures of their pets to be blessed, enjoy the short slide show of furry friends.

Kenilworth Union Church

Order of Worship

December 27, 2020 Online

First Sunday after Christmas

A Service for Blessing the Animals

Prelude ¦ Variations on The Friendly Beasts ¦ Robert Powell

Call to Worship ¦ Making the House Ready for the Lord ¦ Mary Oliver

   Dear Lord, I have swept and I have washed but
     still nothing is as shining as it should be
   for you. Under the sink, for example, is an
     uproar of mice—it is the season of their
   many children. What shall I do? And under the eaves
     and through the walls the squirrels
   have gnawed their ragged entrances—but it is the season
     when they need shelter, so what shall I do? And
   the raccoon limps into the kitchen and opens the cupboard
     while the dog snores, the cat hugs the pillow;
   what shall I do? Beautiful is the new snow falling
     in the yard and the fox who is staring boldly
   up the path, to the door. And still I believe you will
     come, Lord: you will, when I speak to the fox,
   the sparrow, the lost dog, the shivering sea-goose, know
     that really I am speaking to you whenever I say,
   as I do all morning and afternoon: Come in, Come in.

Opening Hymn ¦ What Child Is This? ¦ #53
What child is this, who, laid to rest,
   On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
   Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
   While shepherds watch are keeping?
   This, this is Christ the king,
   Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
   Haste, haste to bring him laud,
   The babe, the son of Mary!
Why lies he in such mean estate
   Where ox and ass are feeding?
   Good Christian, fear; for sinners here
   The silent word is pleading.
   This, this is Christ the king,
   Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
   Haste, haste to bring him laud,
   The babe, the son of Mary!
So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh;
   Come one and all, to own him.
   The king of kings salvation brings;
   Let loving hearts enthrone him.
   This, this is Christ the king,
   Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
   Haste, haste to bring him laud,
   The babe, the son of Mary!

Opening Prayer ¦ Andrew Linzey, b. 1952
   Help us to wonder, Lord
   to stand in awe;
   to stand and stare;
   and so to praise you
   for the richness of the world
   you have laid before us.
   God of the universe
   all creatures praise you;
   the sun rising on the lake,
   the birds flying upward toward the heavens;
   the growl of the bear;
   the darting of the swallow;
   the purring of the cat,
   the wide eyes of the tiger;
   the swift legs of the cheetah,
   the dance of the hare;
   the fetching of the dog,
   the descent of the dove.
   God of a thousand ears
   the music of your creatures
   resounds throughout creation
   and in heaven a symphony is made.
   Help us to wonder, Lord
   to stand in awe;
   to stand and stare;
   and so to praise you
   for the richness of the world
   you have laid before us.

Lesson from the Hebrew Psalter ¦ Psalm 50:3, 9–14

   3 Our God comes and does not keep silence,
    before God is a devouring fire,
    and a mighty tempest all around the Lord.
    9 I will not accept a bull from your house,
    or goats from your folds.
   10 For every wild animal of the forest is mine,
    the cattle on a thousand hills.
   11 I know all the birds of the air,
    and all that moves in the field is mine.
   12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
    for the world and all that is in it is mine.
   14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
    and pay your vows to the most high.

Ministry of Music ¦ Creator God, We Give You Thanks ¦ J. B. Dykes and Colin Gibson
   Creator God, we give you thanks
   for those who live in nest or tank,
   in basket, kennel, bowl or shed,
   on sofas, perches, straw for bed.
   Through them we learn of nature’s bond
   with all of life, in field or pond.

   To you it matters not at all
   that they are very large or small,
   or blue, or green, or patched, or pied,
   or feathered, furred or finned outside.
   How dull if all the world was us,
   without a Rover, Fluff or Gus.

   O loving God, we bring our praise
   for these who gladden all our days,
   who show us gratitude indeed
   for milk or water, bone or seed.
   They teach us how to care for those
   without our fingers or our toes.

   Bless all the creatures who depend
   on us to be their special friend.
   At one before you here today,
   we make an Eden world – and pray
   a life of shelter, kindness, care,
   for every creature everywhere.

Blessing of the Animals via Slide Show

Benediction
   Go out as instruments of God’s peace;
   where there is hatred, sow love;
   where there is injury, pardon;
   where there is doubt, faith;
   where there is despair, hope;
   where there is darkness, light;
   and where there is sadness, joy.

   Seek not so much to be consoled as to console;
   to be understood, as to understand;
   to be loved, as to love;
   for it is in giving that we receive,
   it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
   and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Postlude ¦ All Creatures of Our God and King ¦ arr. Barbara Harbach

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Participants:

   William Evertsberg, Senior Minister, Preacher
   Joel Fox, Audio and Video
   Bill Jenkins, Guitarist
   Jennifer Jenkins, Duet
   Max Jenkins, Duet
   Susan Klotzbach, Organist
   Matt Leske, Videography
   Kelsey Sandefur, Soloist

 

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