Worship Cancellation: February 15, 2015
Grace and peace to you!
Due to the weather forecasts for tomorrow morning, Sunday, February 15, 2015, worship and other Sunday morning activities at Storrs Congregational Church UCC are hereby cancelled. Current predictions call for a storm system with heaviest snowfalls during the Sunday morning period and a total accumulation for our area of 6 to 10 inches, accompanied by dangerous wind chills due to the combination of low temperatures and potentially blizzard-force winds gusting in the 40 to 50 mph range throughout the morning and early afternoon.
In lieu of our own worship gathering tomorrow, I encourage you (and your household, as applicable) to take advantage of one of the two worship alternatives I have offered for you below.
Stay safe and warm!
Yours in the journey,
“Attend” Worship Online at Duke Chapel
The university chapel at Duke University, renowned for its excellent Protestant interdenominational worship with strong preaching and wonderful traditional music, live-streams its worship services over the internet. This weekend’s service features the dean of the chapel, the Rev. Dr. Luke Powery, as preacher; Dr. Powery is a highly-regarded preacher and was a professor in preaching at Princeton Theological Seminary prior to his appointment as Dean of Duke Chapel.
Worship at Duke Chapel begins at 11:00 am Eastern. You may want to tune in a little earlier if you want to catch some excellent prelude music.
Link to the live-streaming video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0NX3oDeYQY
If you want to follow along in the worship bulletin, you can do so by clicking here.
A Time of Prayer & Reflection at Home
Another possibility I would commend to you is to spend some time in prayer and reflection on your own at some point on Sunday, either alone or gathering your household to worship together.
Here is a suggested ordering for your time:
Begin by spending some intentional moments centering yourself in a space of calm and openness to God’s Spirit moving within you.
Then, read out loud these words:
The glory of God shines like a consuming fire.
We have seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
The voice of God thunders like a mighty storm.
Out of the cloud, God speaks: This is my beloved Son; listen to him!
Then pray this prayer:
Great God of dazzling beauty and overshadowing majesty, in Jesus Christ, your beloved, we glimpse the image of your glory. Teach us to listen to him so that we may hear your voice and follow in your holy way; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
Read the scripture reading for the day — Mark 9:2-9 — either aloud or silently:
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified.
Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’
Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
Pause a moment and give thanks to God for the witness passed down to us through scripture.
Now, read and reflect on this observation, courtesy of David Lose:
I suspect that as much as we want an encounter with God, we simultaneously fear the presence of God because we fear being changed, being transformed. What we have, who we are, may not be everything we want, but at least we know it, are used to it, have built a relatively orderly life around it. And so when God comes — perhaps not in a transfiguration as dramatic as Mark describes but in the ordinary hopes, encounters, and tragedies of our everyday life — when God comes and unsettles the orderly lives we’ve constructed we try to put those disruptive experiences back into line by cramming them into a plan.
But maybe, just maybe, there is no plan. Maybe there’s only love. And perhaps our job … isn’t to fit our experience — let alone everyone else’s — into some kind of “divine plan,” but rather to create space for people to experience the wonder and mystery of God. Not a “safe space” necessarily — how could any experience with the God of the Bible be considered entirely “safe”? — but a space into which we will accompany them, neither building booths to make it neat and tidy nor abandoning them, but standing together in the mystery of God and God’s love.
Turn your hearts to prayer for others and all the world-prayers of thanksgiving, and prayers of concern. Pray in your own words, or use this framework:
God of mercy and healing, you who hear the cries of those in need. We pray that you would receive these prayers of your people, so that all who are troubled may know peace, comfort, and courage:
(List your thanksgivings/joys and your concerns, for the church, creation, around world, around our community, people close to you, and all who are in need. Then, conclude the joys and concerns with:)
Life-giving God, heal our lives, that we may acknowledge your wonderful deeds and offer you thanks from generation to generation through Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Teacher who taught us to pray: Our Father, who art in heaven…
Finally, conclude your time of worship with these words:
The Lord bless us and keep us.
The Lord be kind and gracious to us.
The Lord look upon us with favor and give us peace.
For anyone who wants to see what this week’s Sunday bulletin from here at SCC would have contained — to see the announcements and prayer list, for example — you can view it by clicking here.