October 11, 2023-  Much to celebrate, more to pray for

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As you may have seen in postcards arriving to your mailboxes last week, on Nov. 5, the United Church of Underhill will commemorate 50 years as a united church. For half a century, Methodists and Congregationalists have reflected the unity of Christ’s body in word and deed in and beyond the church on the green, and that is a thing to celebrate!

Beginning a week from Sunday, you’ll start to see an historical display “growing” in the sanctuary. There will be places for us to record our memories and share photos and memorabilia by decade, so now is a good time to go through old boxes and digital files, unearthing treasures to share. You can also email photos and reflections to memories@ucu.church, and the team working on the event will be sure they get added to the sanctuary display.

Additional postcards are available at the church if you’d like to send an invitation to neighbors, friends, and family who have been connected to UCU over the years, or who might want to learn more about what goes on at 7 Park St. Our 10:00 am service will run about 90 minutes and be followed by a potluck brunch coordinated by the missions ministry.

But more celebrations are happening even sooner. This coming Sunday, Oct. 15, our worship will include the sacrament of baptism and a reaffirmation of faith. We look forward to marking this important new beginning for several among us, which gives us all the chance to renew the vows we have made as Christians: saying no to the evil around us and yes to new life in Christ.

For evil is surely around us. The news out of the Middle East is stirring up heartbreak, anger, and fear the world over, but especially in the lands called holy by people of many faiths. The psalmist writes, “you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” It is enraging that the ability to dwell in safety is not an option in many corners of the world, yet unless that rage finds peaceful, constructive, and just outlets, safety will not be achieved. 

Statements from church leaders in the Holy Land and Churches for Middle East Peace call for deescalation and humanitarian access for Gaza, a long-embattled territory where people have seldom dwelt in safety. We also lift prayers for the people of Israel who have suffered great and sudden loss of life. The path ahead does not look promising, but still, let us keep prayerful vigil that one day there may be peace.

In peace,

Pastor Jen