We Welcome All

We, the Williston Federated Church, declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming, Reconciling congregation. With God’s grace, we seek to be a congregation that includes all persons, embracing differences of sexual orientation, gender, marital status, age, mental and physical ability, as well as racial, ethnic, or social-economic background. We welcome all to share in the life and leadership, ministry, and fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities and blessings of participation in our congregation. (Open and Affirming/Reconciling statement adopted by the Williston Federated Church congregation in 2006.)

September is national suicide prevention month

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month – a time to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic. 

While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, NAMI Vermont is using this month to come together collectively with mental health advocates, organizations, survivors, and community members around the country to raise awareness and have honest conversations around a difficult subject. We want to emphasize the importance of reaching out to those affected by suicide and connecting individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. 

Every year, thousands of individuals die by suicide, leaving behind friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of loss. Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. It is important to ensure that individuals, friends. and families have access to resources they need to discuss suicide prevention. NAMI Vermont is here to help!

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or refer to Vermont Care Partners Intake and Crisis Lines for a local number.

https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Suicide-Prevention-Awareness-Month

https://mailchi.mp/healthandlearning/september-is-suicide-prevention-month-2020-1?e=4ea52abfb9

July is minority mental health month

This Minority Mental Health Month, NAMI is Raising Awareness About Mental Health in Underrepresented Communities

https://www.nami.org/Press-Media/Press-Releases/2020/This-Minority-Mental-Health-Month-NAMI-is-Raising-Awareness-About-Mental-Health-in-Underrepresent

NAMI Releases Three New Videos in the “Strength Over Silence” Series

Jul 01 2020

Arlington, VA — NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, has the goal of raising awareness about mental health care in underrepresented communities. Our culture, beliefs, sexual identity, values, race and language all affect how we perceive and experience mental health conditions. In fact, cultural differences can influence what treatments, coping mechanisms and supports work for us. It is essential for culture and identity to be a part of the conversation about mental health care.
 
In 2008, July was designated as the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month by the U.S. House of Representatives in honor of the leading African American novelist and journalist, who sought to eliminate stigma among diverse communities.
 
In the wake of both the pandemic and racial violence, there’s the potential for an increase in the number of people impacted by mental health conditions. NAMI’s Statement on Racism emphasizes that the effect of racism and racial trauma on mental health is real. While anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background, facing racial discrimination can significantly worsen symptoms. Additionally, background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult. Racism is a public health crisis, and we stand with all the families, friends and communities who have lost loved ones and experienced trauma.
 
To help raise awareness, NAMI is releasing the latest installments of the “Strength Over Silence” video series, highlighting three personal stories featuring courage, culture and community. Yulanda Ming Blackson lives with mental illness and shares her story about mental health and faith in the Black community. Poojah Mehta, a NAMI New York Board member, focuses on amplifying the voices of those in underrepresented communities. And Rosemary Ketchum, the first-ever trans woman to get elected in West Virginia, shares her family experience with mental illness and addresses the need for LGBTIQ+ people to have a voice in the mental health movement.
 
“We want to raise awareness about disparities in the mental health system – and what we can do about them,” said Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., CEO of NAMI. “Mental health conditions don’t discriminate, and neither should our mental health system. We are calling for systematic change and improved access to culturally competent care, so no one feels alone in their journey.”
 
The NAMI community is here to help and provide resources. Together, we can help people from underrepresented populations get the mental health care they need. For additional resources, please visit NAMI’s identity and the cultural dimensions of mental health webpage.
 
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.
Join the conversation at  nami.org | facebook.com/nami | instagram.com/namicommunicate | twitter.com/namicommunicate #NotAlone

worship 6/21/20

 Welcome To All Who Worship Here!

Fathers Day Sunday – June 21, 2020,  9:30 A.M.

GREETING

CALL TO WORSHIP                                                             Ashley Dubois, Lay Leader,

                                                                                              Williston Federated Church

(inspired by Psalm 86)                                                                                                       

One:  We trust in you O God, for you are forgiving and loving and good.
All:     You alone are great and do marvelous deeds, you alone are God.   we need your help.
One: Teach us your way, so we may follow you truly.  Heal us and put us back together, one heart and one mind.
All: For you O Lord, are gracious, and kind, tender and merciful. Amen.

PRELUDE                                                                                                       Carol Schein

WELCOME                                                                                          Pastor Paul Eyer

LITANY OF PEACE FOR FATHER’S DAY

One:  Loving God, we lift this day our gratitude for the loving men who have brought us the precious gift of love and caring.  We give thanks to you this day:


All:  For those who have shown us kindness,
For those who have shown us courage,
For those who have shown us generosity,
For those who have shown us truth,
For those who have shown us compassion,
For those who have shown us faith,
For those who have shown us love.


One: Blessed be the name of all sons and brothers and fathers who reveal a glimpse of your loving presence on earth.  O God, you inspire your people in the ways of kindness that lift our world from its disgrace.


All:  Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer for every son, brother, father, grandfather, who has suffered and endured.

One:  And we lift your hope of healing for all sons, brothers, fathers, grandfathers
who live in mystery as your creation,

All:  May they grow in Father Love to your glory.

One:  Hear our prayer, O God, for this broken world.  We pray for peace this Father’s Day. Amen.

LIGHTING THE PEACE CANDLE                                                   

SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST

ANTHEM                                        “I Believe”                                          by Mark Miller

Video compiled by Marcia McFee and Mark Miller (using Mark’s composition) for opening worship for the “virtual” clergy session of the New England United Methodist Conference on June 11, 2020.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

One: God of those empty of hope and those who are cast out:
All:  into the chaos of every life you enter with love;
One:  when we choke on bitter memories, you hand us the cup of healing;
All:  when we wander down lonely streets,you bring us home to your heart.

HYMN                            “Spirit of the Living God”   (sing twice) Songbook #84 (led remotely by Martin and Donna Sue Hain)

(copyright license CCLI #176957 and #20480319)

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TIME WITH CHILDREN OF ALL AGES

Scripture:           Genesis  21:8-21             Read by Lizzy Pope

 

Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away

The child grew, and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.  But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac.”  The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son.  But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named for you.  As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring.”  So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.

 When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes.  Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, “Do not let me look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept.  And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is.  Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.”  Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink.

 God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow.  He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

 

  

PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION         (Psalm 19:14)         

All:  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer.                           

SERMON                         “Proclaim the Good News?”           Pastor Paul Eyer

CELEBRATIONS AND CONCERNS

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Pastor:  Lord of Life and Love,

Congregation:  Hear our prayer.

SILENT MEDITATION

LORD’S PRAYER

OFFERING

OFFERTORY                                                                                                             Carol Schein

If you’re interested in setting up automatic online withdrawals, please contact Matt Bliss who can invite you to set up an account with our online church membership software, Realm.  When logged in, select the “Giving” menu on the left hand side and the “+ Give” button on the next screen.  Then, enter your giving details and payment information to set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account.  Select one of the pledge accounts (e.g., Pledge Jul 2020 to Jun 2021).  Frequency should be set to monthly on the 15th.  You can follow the same process to make one time contributions too.  If you have any questions, contact Matt Bliss at blisswm@comcast.net.  Or you can complete a hard-copy registration form (posted on the church Facebook page) and mail it to Matt Bliss at the church.  

Credit card contributions can be made on the church website at steeple.org.

PRAYER OF DEDICATION (unison)

We offer our gifts to you, as well as our lives, Loving God, so they might find their way to those who need your grace, your hope, your joy, and your peace in their lives.  Amen.

LIFE AND MISSION OF THE CHURCH

— annual congregational meeting following worship on Sunday, June 21 (via Zoom)

–Vitality Team meeting on Wednesday, June 24 at 10:00 a.m. via Zoom

–Centering Prayer on Thursday, June 25 at 9:00 a.m. via Zoom

–“How We Respond:  congregational conversations about racism” on Thursday, June 25 at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. via Zoom

–online Sunday worship services via Facebook on Sunday, June 21, at 9:30 a.m.

HYMN                                    “Give to the Winds Thy Fears”           Hymnal #129             (sing only verses 1 and 2) (led remotely by Martin and Donna Sue Hain)

(copyright license CCLI #176957 and #20480319)

BENEDICTION/BLESSING

POSTLUDE                                                                                              Carol Schein

Liturgical resources:  The Call to Worship (inspired by Psalm 86) is adapted from  http://calltoworship.blogspot.com/2014/06/22-june-2014.html.  The Litany of Peace for Father’s Day was adapted from a litany from the Discipleship ministry of the United Methodist Church found at  https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/litany-of-peace-for-fathers-day

The Prayer of the Day and Prayer of Dedication are adapted from “Lectionary Liturgies” by Thom Shuman, found at http://lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.com/2014/06/liturgy-for-june-22-2014-pentecost.html

This Week and Beyond at WFC

In addition to prayers offered during our worship services, prayer requests may still be sent to Pastor Paul via email at pastoreyer.gmail.com. These prayers will then be lifted in prayer by the pastor throughout the week.  (If you would like to submit prayer requests to be shared during our online worship service, please send those requests to WillistonFederatedYouth@gmail.com or post them as chat comments during our video live-stream of our worship service on Facebook Live on Sunday.)

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Access to church building – please note

In an effort to ensure health and safety, the Official Board has closed our church building to everyone except the Daycare, their clients, and church staff.  It is understood that other people need to have limited access to the building for a variety of reasons.  We are asking that those who want access contact Tony Lamb at 802-343-1544. 

Access is limited to the North Williston Road entrance.  Those entering are expected to take their temperature before entering and not enter if they have a fever or do not feel well.  They are also expected to wear a mask, to use the hand sanitizer located inside the door, and to “social distance” at all times. They should use the hand wipes on the door knobs when leaving.

As the statewide restrictions are eased we will be engaged in ongoing conversations about how and when (gradually) to open our spaces.

Remember that the building is closed but the Church is open, carrying out ministry in support of God’s work in the world.

For more information contact Tony Lamb at 802-343-1544.

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Stewardship Campaign Continuing— Have You Been Counted?

 Many thanks to those who have returned their Estimate of Giving cards for 2020-21 to the church office or to Barb Bristol, Financial Secretary. Thus far, nearly 40% of those who have already pledged have increased their financial commitment— yet another sign of the exceptional generosity of our congregation during these challenging times!

 Our Spring Stewardship Campaign has not concluded, as a number of members and friends have not yet confirmed their commitments for the coming year.  If you are in this group, please prayerfully consider your support of Williston Federated Church, and confirm your financial commitment for July, 2020-June, 2021 by Tuesday, June 30 (the last day of our fiscal year).  You may do so by returning your card to the church office; by renewing your pledge via Realm, or by calling or emailing Barb (fbbristol@gmail.com; 863-5807). Thank you!

 If you attended last Sunday’s Annual Meeting, you know that increased financial support from the congregation is needed to fulfill all the ministries of the church this coming year. So please give generously. If you have any questions about your pledge, or if you have already pledged and are in a position to increase the amount, please contact Barb directly. Thank you again.

 Apart but Still A Part— Williston Federated Church, continuing to do God’s work near and far.

Your Finance Committee 

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Kids4Peace is offering virtual summer camps for $50 each session, kids grades 6-12.  To learn more, go to k4p.orgfor details, looking under “Summer 2020 virtual edition”,  for these special opportunities to make new friends and deepen skills to build peace.  Some of the camps are only for youths in the United States; others are international. 

Exploring Social Media and Social Justice
Lift Ev’ry Voice: Freedom, Patriotism and Democracy
Life, Animated: Evaluating Meaning and Finding Connection
Protest Art and other Small Crimes
Uncomfortable : Race, Racism and Privilege 
All Power to the People
Facilitation 101–Building Trust and Supporting Dialog
A Virtual Interfaith Road Trip

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DISMAS HOUSE –    Every third Tuesday of the month, our community, Williston Federated Church, has the to plan, prepare and deliver the evening meal to Dismas House in Burlington.
Tuesday, June 16th, the 3rd Tuesday of June, will be the next date for volunteer cooks to participate in this meaningful opportunity.

Please call or email Peet Grobler for details regarding this event:
(802) 881-9007; peetgrobler@aol.com.

Thank you for considering,
Your Missions and Social Concerns Committee, Chairperson, Carol Wyatt.

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Thursday morning prayer (note change in time!): Thursday mornings at 9am there will be a zoom gathering for silent prayer and Bible discussion.  Please check the meeting time every week the time may be temporary.  The session begins with a brief reading and then 20 minutes of silence.  A picture and participants will appear on the screen.  After 20 minutes a bell will ring 3 times.  Then the Bible passage of  the day will be read three times.  Participants will talk of the part of the passage that touched them or had questions or special meaning.  The gathering will end at about 10am with the Lord’s Prayer also known as the Our Father.   The code is 395 928 9957.

Questions call Donna Fellinger 802 355 1700.  

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Catering By Dale FoodtruckCatering By Dale Foodtruck – Beginning Monday, June 15th, and running throughout the summer, Catering by Dale will be parked in the church lot adjacent to the recreation path from 4-5 pm every Monday.  Simply pre order and pay for your meal on their website (http://cateringbydale.com) by noon Monday for contact free pickup that evening.  If you have questions contact Carol Bouchard.

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Need for Masks – If you are someone making masks the Williston Food Shelf could use some for our customers. Any size and shape is fine, just please make sure they’re lined. Thank you so much, Sally Metro!

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Your Church Needs You – The Nominating Committee has begun the process of inviting folks to serve on one of the various church committees for the 2020-2021 fiscal year which begins July 1st. Now, more than ever, I think we are reminded that our church community plays a vital role in our lives and our response to the needs of our community and the wider world. We are asking that you prayerfully consider where God is calling you to serve. Most committees meet monthly and many take a break in the summer. Terms can be from 1-3 years. Committees include: Official Board, Trustees, Pastor Staff Relations, Finance, Education, Membership, Music & Worship, Missions & Social Concerns, Youth Ministry, Nominating and Parsonage. Two other opportunities are Auditor & Recording Secretary. If you have questions, please speak to a member of the Nominating Committee: Rebecca Dubois, Donna Goodheart, Carol Bouchard or Pastor Paul. Stay safe!

Bulletin for 5/10 – Mother’s day

Welcome To All Who Worship Here!

Sunday – May 10, 2020 ~ 9:30 A.M.

Happy Mother’s Day!

GREETING

CALL TO WORSHIP Ashley Dubois, Lay Leader

One: God is our midst, forming us to be God’s own people.
All: Though the way may be difficult, God will be with us.
One: We need not fear.
All: In the Lord we will take our refuge, for God is our strength.
One: Come to the Lord who will surround you with God’s own righteousness.
All: Lord, open our hearts and our spirits so that we may faithfully follow you. Amen.

PRELUDE Carol Schein

LIGHTING THE PEACE CANDLE

SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST

One: Peace be with you

All: Also with you

PRAYER FOR THE DAY (inspired by Psalm 8)

One: O Lord, our Lord,

All: How majestic is your name in all the earth.
One: We pray this day that we may come to a clearer understanding

All: that you have more interest in our character than in our comfort.
One: Where we have need of correction,
All: speak plainly to us and grant us the courage to make the changes
you would bring in our lives.
One: May the love we express for you on this Sunday morning
All: continue throughout the coming week.
One: Strengthen this congregation, we pray,

All: in order that we may become more effective in our ministry, in our service, and in our witness to the community.
One: In the name of the risen Christ,

All: Amen.

ANTHEM “Down to the River to Pray” by Sheldon Curry

(a recording from the benefit concert performed by our Senior Choir – May 5, 2018)

TIME WITH CHILDREN OF ALL AGES

SCRIPTURE Acts 7:55-60 Lizzy Pope

But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died.

PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer. Amen.

SERMON “Courage” Pastor Paul Eyer

HYMN “ Be Still My Soul” hymnal #534

(led remotely by Martin and Donna Sue Hain)

(copyright license CCLI #176957 and #20480319)

CELEBRATIONS AND CONCERNS/ PRAYER REQUESTS

Your prayer requests can be sent through Williston Federated Church Facebook page at Facebook.com/WillistonFederatedChurch to send that request via email WillistonFederatedYouth@gmail.com.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Pastor: Lord of Life and Love,

Congregation: Hear our prayer.

SILENT MEDITATION

THE LORD’S PRAYER (unison)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen.

OFFERING

(mail in your offering or get started with ouronline giving it’s easy!If you’re interested in setting up automatic withdrawals to make your gifts, please contact Matt Bliss who can invite you to set up an account with our online church membership software called Realm.  When logged in, select the “Giving” menu on the left hand side and the “+ Give” button on the next screen.  Then, enter your giving details and payment information to set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account.  Select one of the pledge accounts (e.g. Pledge Jul xxxx to Jun xxxx).  Frequency should be set to monthly on the 15th.  You can follow the same process to make one time contributions too.  If you have any questions, contact Matt Bliss at blisswm@comcast.net. Thank you for your generosity!)

OFFERTORY Carol Schein

*Presentation of Gifts:

PRAYER OF DEDICATION (unison)

Receive these gifts this morning, O God, author of every good gift.
Out of the bounty of our hearts, we respond with faithful generosity and love.
May these gifts become blessings for others as they have been blessing for us. Amen.

THE LIFE AND MISSION OF THE CHURCH (visit us thru ZOOM)

–“virtual” coffee hour/fellowship time via Zoom following worship

today

–Nominating Committee meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, May 12 – 5:00 p.m.

–Official Board meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, May 12 at 7:00 p.m.

–congregation-wide “check-in” on Thursday, May 14 at 7:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. for younger adults)

–online Sunday worship services via Facebook on Sunday, May 17, at 9:30

a.m., featuring video worship leadership from United Church of Christ

conference ministers

CLOSING HYMN “I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry” Songbook #127

(led remotely by Martin and Donna Sue Hain)

BENEDICTION/BLESSING

Liturgical resources: The Call to Worship and Prayer for the Day, and Prayer of Dedication are adapted from a liturgy found in the Abingdon Worship Annual edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © Abingdon Press. The Prayer of Dedication is adapted from a liturgy by John A Brewer, “Worship Elements: May 10, 2020” found at  https://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/4962/worship-elements-may-10-2020 .

This Week and Beyond at WFC

In addition to prayers offered during our worship services, prayer requests may still be sent to Pastor Paul via email at pastoreyer.gmail.com. These prayers will then be lifted in prayer by the pastor throughout the week. (If you would like to submit prayer requests to be shared during our online worship service, please send those requests to WillistonFederatedYouth@gmail.com or post them as chat comments during our video live-stream of our worship service on Facebook Live on Sunday.)

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Faithfulness in Difficult Times— Your Financial Support of Our Church

We hold in our prayers all those, in our community and throughout the world, affected by COVID-19. And we pray for recovery and eventually a vaccine. While our daily thoughts and actions focus on our families, our health, our work and our neighbors, let us also remember that we are part of a faith community. Our church is such a force for good, as demonstrated in so many ways. 

In recent weeks, we maintained our faithfulness as we worshipped and fellowshipped together online, using live stream video (via Facebook) and videoconferencing (via Zoom). The mission of Williston Federated Church continues to be lived out, albeit in different ways. And the church needs to continue to meet its expenses— for staff, utilities, and essential services.  Please continue your financial support of Williston Federated Church. If you have pledged for this year, are you up-to-date? If you give through the offering weekly, but cannot come to church, please continue your giving.

Delivering our gifts as part of the worship service is an important part of our liturgy. But now please consider mailing your support to the church office. Even better, consider making your gifts electronically through your checking account. 

If you’re interested in setting up automatic online withdrawals, please contact Matt Bliss who can invite you to set up an account with our online church membership software called Realm.  When logged in, select the “Giving” menu on the left hand side and the “+ Give” button on the next screen.  Then, enter your giving details and payment information to set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account.  Select one of the pledge accounts (e.g. Pledge Jul xxxx to Jun xxxx).  Frequency should be set to monthly on the 15th.  You can follow the same process to make one time contributions too.  If you have any questions, contact Matt Bliss at blisswm@comcast.net.  Or you can complete a hard-copy registration form (posted on the church Facebook page on March 15) and mail it to the church c/o Matt Bliss.  

Our prayers, individually and collectively, are critical at this time. So are our actions. Our financial support of the church will ensure our ability to serve as a beacon of light in dark times.

Thank you for your gifts of time, talent and treasure,

Your Finance Committee

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Thursday morning prayer:

Note change in time. Thursday mornings at 9am there will be a zoom gathering for silent prayer and Bible discussion.  Please check the meeting time every week the time may be temporary.  The session begins with a brief reading and then 20 minutes of silence.  A picture and participants will appear on the screen.  After 20 minutes a bell will ring 3 times.  Then the Bible passage of  the day will be read three times.  Participants will talk of the part of the passage that touched them or had questions or special meaning.  The gathering will end at about 10am with the Lord’s Prayer also known as the Our Father.   The code is 395 928 9957.

Questions call Donna Fellinger 802 355 1700.  

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From the Finance Committee

Good News in Challenging Times!

Williston Federated Church has received financial support from the U.S. Small Business Administration via the Paycheck Protection Program. The PPP is part of the CARES Act to support our economy during the coronavirus pandemic, and is designed to help small businesses and nonprofits (including churches) that are facing financial challenges. While the program is structured as a loan, part or all of the loan is forgivable provided certain requirements are met. The funds will be used for payroll and for some utilities costs between now and the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

The application for this funding was approved by the Official Board prior to submission of the application, and reconfirmed by the Official Board at its regular meeting on April 14.

Due to the pandemic, the annual Stewardship Campaign, scheduled to begin on Palm Sunday, has been delayed, as has the development of an operating budget for 2020-21. The Finance Committee is working with the Official Board and Pastor Paul to consider best approaches to ensuring the financial stability and integrity of the church moving forward. The faithfulness of the members of the congregation in continuing to support the church financially, to the best of their ability, in these difficult times, is essential. The federal relief is most welcome, but is temporary, as all funds must be spent within eight weeks of receipt.

        The meaningful ministry of our church is more important now than ever.  And your financial support is what keeps this vital ministry moving forward.

If you have questions about the status of your financial commitment to the church, please contact our Financial Secretary, Barb Bristol (fbbristol@gmail.com). Pledge payments and additional donations to the church may be made by check (mailed to the church at 44 N. Williston Rd.) or online via Realm. To ensure a successful close of the fiscal year, we ask that all those who are able fulfill their pledges during the months of May and June. Thank you!

The doors of the building are temporarily closed, but the church is open and running, and requires our continuing financial support to serve our congregation, our neighbors, and the wider world. Together, we will overcome this crisis as we carry forward the work of Christ in the world.

Your Finance Committee,

Barb Bristol

Pastor Paul Eyer

Donna Goodheart

Donna Sue Hain

Mike Moran

Amy Vaughan

Bruce Wyatt

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Here is information about the “Wednesday Wellness” program offered by the Vermont Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  Thanks!

An important and meaningful series of FREE online programs offered by the Vermont Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness takes place each Wednesday at 11:00 a.m.  See the details below: 

Join NAMI Vermont for Wellness Wednesdays! 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Vermont (NAMI Vermont) invites you to participate in their new Wellness Wednesday series! This weekly virtual event will highlight inspirational messages of hope, bring awareness to mental illness, and provide information and resources to our community.  These events are free of charge and open to the public.

For more information about this and other upcoming webinars, including the link to Wednesday’s video presentation, visit https://namivt.org/education/in-our-own-voice/. Or contact us at program@namivt.org. #NAMIWellnessWednesdays 

Audience: Any community member.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS EVENT!!!!

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Your Church Needs You – The Nominating Committee has begun the process of inviting folks to serve on one of the various church committees for the 2020-2021 fiscal year which begins July 1st. Now, more than ever, I think we are reminded that our church community plays a vital role in our lives and our response to the needs of our community and the wider world. We are asking that you prayerfully consider where God is calling you to serve. Most committees meet monthly and many take a break in the summer. Terms can be from 1-3 years. Committees include: Official Board, Trustees, Pastor Staff Relations, Finance, Education, Membership, Music & Worship, Missions & Social Concerns, Youth Ministry, Nominating and Parsonage. Two other opportunities are Auditor & Recording Secretary. If you have questions, please speak to a member of the Nominating Committee: Rebecca Dubois, Donna Goodheart, Carol Bouchard or Pastor Paul. Stay safe!

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INVITATION TO THE WILLISTON FEDERATED CHURCH LABYRINTH

As you look for ways to be physically and spiritually renewed while maintaining appropriate “social distancing,” the labyrinth at the church is an option you might want to consider. Members of the Williston Federated Church have constructed an outdoor labyrinth for the use of friends and community people who may be looking for an opportunity for outdoor meditation or prayer.

The labyrinth walk is outlined by bricks and the walking is done on the grass

path between the bricks. All are invited to take a few minutes to walk the labyrinth at anytime.

This is a ‘seven circuit’ labyrinth. The centuries old practice involves walking

the path to the center, sitting for a while and then following the path back to the beginning.

May your socially-distant spiritual reflections on the labyrinth be a source of inspiration at this time.

Your Financial Support of Our Church

We hold in our prayers all those, in our community and throughout the world, affected by COVID-19. And we pray for recovery and eventually a vaccine. While our daily thoughts and actions focus on our families, our health, our work and our neighbors, let us also remember that we are part of a faith community. Our church is such a force for good, as demonstrated in so many ways. 

In recent weeks, we maintained our faithfulness as we worshipped and fellowshipped together online, using live stream video (via Facebook) and videoconferencing (via Zoom). The mission of Williston Federated Church continues to be lived out, albeit in different ways. And the church needs to continue to meet its expenses— for staff, utilities, and essential services.  Please continue your financial support of Williston Federated Church. If you have pledged for this year, are you up-to-date? If you give through the offering weekly, but cannot come to church, please continue your giving.

Delivering our gifts as part of the worship service is an important part of our liturgy. But now please consider mailing your support to the church office. Even better, consider making your gifts electronically through your checking account. 

If you’re interested in setting up automatic online withdrawals, please contact Matt Bliss who can invite you to set up an account with our online church membership software called Realm.  When logged in, select the “Giving” menu on the left hand side and the “+ Give” button on the next screen.  Then, enter your giving details and payment information to set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account.  Select one of the pledge accounts (e.g. Pledge Jul xxxx to Jun xxxx).  Frequency should be set to monthly on the 15th.  You can follow the same process to make one time contributions too.  If you have any questions, contact Matt Bliss at blisswm@comcast.net.  Or you can complete a hard-copy registration form (posted on the church Facebook page on March 15) and mail it to the church c/o Matt Bliss.  

Our prayers, individually and collectively, are critical at this time. So are our actions. Our financial support of the church will ensure our ability to serve as a beacon of light in dark times.

Thank you for your gifts of time, talent and treasure,

Your Finance Committee

Bulletin for 4/5 – Palm Sunday

Williston Federated Church

United Methodist Church and United Church of Christ – Federated 1899

An Open and Affirming, Reconciling Congregation

Mission Statement

Our church is a community which seeks, welcomes and gathers people to share the Gospel of God’s love, enables people to find fullness of life through Jesus Christ, goes into the world to live lovingly and justly as servants of Christ, and responds actively to human need.

Welcome To All Who Worship Here!

Palm Sunday – April 5, 2020 ~ 9:30 A.M.

GREETING

CALL TO WORSHIP (adapted from Psalm 118) Ashley Dubois, Lay Leader, Williston Federated Church

One: Give thanks! God’s love is constant and devoted to us.

All God’s hope is unfailing in caring for us: through health care workers and researchers; through first-responders and others who help in time of crisis; through teachers offering online lessons, and therapists available around the clock.

One: Give thanks, O give thanks! God is open to all.

All: God hears the cries of those who are forgotten: those who sleep rough in emptied streets; those who are most vulnerable around us; those who have no family to care for them.

One: Give thanks, O give thanks, people of God! God comes to bring us new life.

All: God takes the stone that we have tossed aside and God uses that stone to build the foundation of salvation.

One: This is the day that the LORD has made;

All: Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

PRELUDE Carol Schein

LIGHTING THE PEACE CANDLE

SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST

One: Peace be with you

All: Also with you

(copyright permission: OneLicense.net #733435-A and CCLI # 176957)

PRAYER OF THE DAY

One: When we are so weary we cannot seem to put one foot in front of the other,

All: you take us by the hand, O God of Steadfast Love, so we can join you on a morning walk to hear the songbirds.

One: Even when our fears and frustrations overflow,

All: you teach us how to listen to the hearts which seem to be ignored by everyone, everywhere.

One: When we long to run away from all the worries and uncertainty, O God of Peace,

All: You model for us how to be willing to care for those who suffer. In these moments—and especially in this moment—we turn to you, O God. Amen.

ANTHEM “Rejoice, the King is Coming” by Jon Paige

(performed by Martin and Donna Sue Hain)

TIME WITH CHILDREN OF ALL AGES

SCRIPTURE Matthew 21:1-11

Matthew 21;1-11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately” This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

“Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

 PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION (Psalm 19:14)

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer. Amen.

SERMON “Spread” Pastor Paul Eyer

CELEBRATIONS AND CONCERNS/ PRAYER REQUESTS

Prayer requests can be posted as chat/comments to the video livestream throughWilliston Federated Church Facebook page at Facebook.com/WillistonFederatedChurch or you may send those requests via email to WillistonFederatedYouth@gmail.com. Please remember that if you post your prayer request on Facebook, it can be visible to anyone who visits our church’s Facebook page. And prayer requests shared verbally during our livestream video worship service can be heard by anyone who watches the video of this worship service. If you wish to send confidential prayer requests, address those requests to Pastor Paul at pastoreyer@gmail.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Pastor: Lord of Life and Love,

Congregation: Hear our prayer.

SILENT MEDITATION

THE LORD’S PRAYER (unison)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen.

OFFERING

Mail in your offering or get started with ouronline giving. It’s easy!If you’re interested in setting up automatic withdrawals to make your gifts, please contact Matt Bliss who can invite you to set up an account with our online church membership software called Realm.  When logged in, select the “Giving” menu on the left hand side and the “+ Give” button on the next screen.  Then, enter your giving details and payment information to set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account.  Select one of the pledge accounts (e.g. Pledge Jul xxxx to Jun xxxx).  Frequency should be set to monthly on the 15th.  You can follow the same process to make one time contributions too.  If you have any questions, contact Matt Bliss at blisswm@comcast.net. Thank you for your generosity!)

OFFERTORY

*Presentation of Gifts:

We give thee but thine own, What e’er the gift may be:
All that we have is thine alone, A trust, O Lord, from thee.

PRAYER OF DEDICATION (unison)

O God, may our gifts bring hope and healing, peace and plenty, in your name and in your love. Amen.

THE LIFE AND MISSION OF THE CHURCH

virtual” coffee hour/fellowship time via Zoom following worship today

–online Maundy Thursday worship service via Facebook Live on Thursday, April 9 at 7:00 p.m.

–online Good Friday worship service via Facebook Live on Friday, April 10 at 7:00 p.m.

–online Easter Sunday worship services via Facebook on Sunday, April 12:

at 6:30 a.m., Son-rise Easter Service led by Williston Federated Youth

at 9:30 a.m., Easter Sunday service led by Pastor Paul

CLOSING HYMN “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna” UMC hymnal #278

(led remotely by Martin and Donna Sue Hain)

(copyright permission: OneLicense.net #733435-A and CCLI # 176957)

BENEDICTION

Liturgical resources: The Call to Worship and the Prayer of the Day are adapted from “Liturgy of the Palms for these days (April 2020), by Thom Shuman, found at http://lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.com/, accessed on 3 April 2020. The Prayer of Dedication is adapted from “A Liturgy for worship in a time of pandemic (Lent 5-A)” by Thom Shuman, “ Lectionary Liturgies” found at http://lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.com/, accessed on 26 March 2020.

bulletin for 3/29

Williston Federated Church

United Methodist Church and United Church of Christ – Federated 1899

An Open and Affirming, Reconciling Congregation

Mission Statement

Our church is a community which seeks, welcomes and gathers people to share the Gospel  of God’s love, enables people to find fullness of life through Jesus Christ, goes into the world to live lovingly and justly as servants of  Christ, and responds actively to human need.

Welcome To All Who Worship Here!

Fifth Sunday of Lent – March 29, 2020 ~ 9:30 A.M.

GREETING

CALL TO WORSHIP               Ashley Dubois, Lay Leader, Williston Federated Church

One:  Gracious and Most Merciful God, we gather in our separate  homes–distant physically, but spiritually together in this new way to worship you.

 All:   Lord, help free us from that deep aching need for a sense of normalcy  and instead fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we might wake up and  see You coming to us in new ways.

 One:  Great Physician, like your disciples long ago we cry out:  if only you could have come sooner; if only we had been better prepared; if only we had known, this would not have happened.

 All:   Lord in your mercy, clear our minds from the need for a sense of control over things, so that we might remember in times such as this    you are indeed with us in mysterious ways, still offering abundant life  to all.

 One:  Healer of Nations, in the midst of despair and sadness, remind us of your greatness, so that we might focus our attention on your peace, on your      teachings, and on your Glory.

 All:   Lord in your mercy, help us to let go of fears of the known and unknown, so that we might be unbound and rise again to be your light  to a world in need. AMEN.

LIGHTING THE PEACE CANDLE

SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST

One:   Peace be with you All:      Also with you

PRAYER OF THE DAY (from Psalm 130)

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.  Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!  If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning. Hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.

TIME WITH CHILDREN OF ALL AGES

SCRIPTURE                                John 11:1-45

  John 11:1-45 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Death of Lazarus

            11 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister             Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with     her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus,[a] “Lord, he       whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to          death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through        it.” Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having            heard that Lazarus[b] was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

                    7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to             him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there    again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk             during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10 But those who     walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” 11 After saying this, he told them,   “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” 12 The             disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” 13 Jesus,             however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring             merely to sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 For your sake I am       glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Thomas, who was      called the Twin,[c] said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Jesus the Resurrection and the Life

                    17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus[d] had already been in the tomb four             days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles[e] away, 19 and many of the       Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20 When Martha            heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at             home. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have    died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise           again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and    the life.[f] Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26 and everyone who       lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes,      Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah,[g] the Son of God, the one coming into the    world.”

Jesus Weeps

                    28 When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her             privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she got       up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 The Jews who were with her in the house,             consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they             thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 When Mary came where Jesus   was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my       brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came   with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34 He said,    “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus began to         weep. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not      he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Jesus Raises Lazarus to Life

                    38 Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was      lying against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man,    said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus             said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of           God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I         thank you for having heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for     the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came       out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus     said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

The Plot to Kill Jesus

                    45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did,      believed in him.

 PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer.  Amen.  

SERMON             “Bound”                           Pastor Paul Eyer

A PRAYER FOR HEALING

One:     Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.”           At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the    global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.

All:      Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health             through quality medical care.

One:    Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbors from    helping one another.

All:      Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that             knows no borders.

One:    Jesus Christ, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.

All:      Be with those who have died from the virus. May they be at rest with you in your             eternal peace.

One:    Be with the families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend             them from illness and despair. May they know your peace…

All:      And for all of us, in place of our anxiety, give us your peace.  In the name of the             Great Physician, Jesus Christ, we pray.  Amen.

CELEBRATIONS  AND CONCERNS/ PRAYER REQUESTS

Your prayer requests can be sent through Williston Federated Church Facebook page at Facebook.com/WillistonFederatedChurch to send that request via email to WillistonFederatedYouth@gmail.com.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE                  

Pastor:      Lord of Life and Love,

Congregation:  Hear our prayer.

SILENT MEDITATION

THE LORD’S PRAYER (unison)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever.  Amen.

OFFERING   

(mail in your offering or get started with our online giving it’s easy!  If you’re interested in setting up automatic withdrawals to make your gifts, please contact Matt Bliss who can invite you to set up an account with our online church membership software called Realm.  When logged in, select the “Giving” menu on the left hand side and the “+ Give” button on the next screen.  Then, enter your giving details and payment information to set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account.  Select one of the pledge accounts (e.g. Pledge Jul xxxx to Jun xxxx).  Frequency should be set to monthly on the 15th.  You can follow the same process to make one time contributions too.  If you have any questions, contact Matt Bliss at blisswm@comcast.net.  Thank you for your generosity!)

OFFERTORY

“Leaning In:  A Prayer of Intention” by Christopher Grundy

(pre-recorded music shared with permission © 2018 Christopher  Grundy, all publishing rights reserved. Permission given to congregations to play this recording during worship or education programs, and to stream online.)

                                                                                                                                                       *Presentation of Gifts:                                                                            

We give thee but thine own, What e’er the gift may be:
All that we have is thine alone, A trust, O Lord, from thee.
 

PRAYER OF DEDICATION

O God, may our gifts bring hope and healing, peace and plenty, in your name and in your love. Amen.

THE LIFE AND MISSION OF THE CHURCH (visit us thru ZOOM)

          –“virtual” coffee hour/fellowship time via Zoom following worship  today

—  remote meeting of Music and Worship Committee via Zoom on Wednesday, April 1 at 5:30 p.m.

—  congregation-wide check-in via Zoom on Thursday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m.

CLOSING HYMN “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”  

(led remotely by Martin and Donna Sue Hain)

BENEDICTION

Liturgical resources:  The Prayer for Healing is adapted from “A Coronavirus Prayer” by Kerry Weber, America:  The Jesuit Review, March 30, 2020 issue, found at https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/03/02/coronavirus-prayer?fbclid=IwAR2X3JutwA-U8xeOfrC38ihieWH6m-z5jv7SwG-0G0tJW-ITAZFF9Zcpf4E, accessed on 20 March 2020.  “Leaning In:  A Prayer of Intention” by Christopher Grundy shared with permission © 2018 Christopher  Grundy, all publishing rights reserved. Permission given to congregations to play this recording during worship or education programs, and to stream online.  The Prayer of Dedication is adapted from  “A Liturgy for worship in a time of pandemic (Lent 5-A)” by Thom Shuman, “ Lectionary Liturgies” found at http://lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.com/, accessed on 26 March 2020.