Thoughts from the Organ Bench: December 10, 2023 highlighted the Northern County Chorale Christmas Concert. What a beautiful event to hear and experience the true meaning of this Christmas Season. An "amateur" group of people from North Berkshire County joined together to create a professional and glorious sound. One of the pieces performed was a setting of the poem "The Lamb" by William Blake. The poet speaks to a lamb asking "who made thee?" What a simple and profound question to this creature. He then expands the connection of the existence of the lamb to Jesus who is the Lamb of God. In a simple yet profound musical setting the choir led us into the mystery of the profound simplicity of life and what it means to share the life of Christ. What power music has on the soul and heart! My hope and prayer is that all us "little lambs" can continue to grow into God's Image throughout 2024. Happy New Year!
BY WILLIAM BLAKE
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Little Lamb I'll tell thee,
Little Lamb I'll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
81 Hancock Road • Williamstown, MA 01267 • (413) 458-3467
WilliNet Channel 1303 Sunday Worship 9am and 4pm. Rerun Wed at 10am and Friday at 7pm.
This Week's Internet site is:
**Please scroll down to see the Weekly Bulletin below**
Rev. David Hurst
Music Director /Organist
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born from God. Whoever who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God sent his Son into the world that we might live through Him. God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4: 7-12
Happy Valentine’s Day!
January has past and we are into February. I’m writing this early, because I have been on vacation. I trust that church has gone well in my absence. Many thanks to Barry Grauman for covering the pulpit and all those who have contributed. Many thanks to Take & Eat for their work over the winter and to all who have served our church in so many ways.
Our passage above speaks of love in its greatest form. The love of God in our passage is understood to go both ways. We are loved by God through Christ and knowing this, we are asked to respond. We are asked to love one another, to love and take care of ourselves and to then extend that healthy and caring love to others.
We learn through our passage that God is the source of love, that like the Spirit, love is a gift from our Creator. Love is revealed to us through God’s gift of the Son and knowledge without love is nothing. All love comes through God and builds us up to love our neighbor and even our enemies!
May God bless,
— Remember in Prayer —
A Prayer List is part of the weekly Bulletin. Please email the church (email@example.com) if you would like to make additions or subtractions to keep those on the list in prayer. . . It Works!
All of the First Responders who put their lives in jeopardy to care for all of us. For those working in grocery stores, gas stations, hospitals, nursing homes, health care facilities, food banks… who are working in spite of the danger to themselves. Prayers for anyone who is overwhelmed by this pandemic. Prayers for those who are feeling isolated or afraid. Prayers that God give us the mindfulness to reach out by phone to those who we are not frequently in touch -those on the outer edges of our friendship and family. Prayers for all people as we look to “love our neighbor” as God has commanded.
February 4th In-house Morning Worship 9am
Coffee Hour following Worship
Take & Eat
THANK YOU!! Janet Holmgren, Tom Kirby and crew
February 8th (Th) Deacons Meeting 3:30pm
February 11th. In-house Morning Worship 9am
Annual Meeting following Worship
Mission Committee meeting following Annual Meeting
Coffee Hour following Annual Meeting
February 14th Ash Wednesday
February 15th (Th) Trustees Meeting 4:15pm
February 18th In-house Morning Worship 9am Coffee Hour following Worship
February 25th In-house Morning Worship 9am
Coffee Hour following Worship
Offering Envelopes for 2024 have been distributed. If you were not assigned a set of envelopes but would like them, there are blanks boxes still available. Just fill out the information on the first envelope so that Jean can get your tax information to you.
Memorial Bulletin Sign-up The sheet for signing up to purchase a month of Memorial Bulletins for 2024 is now posted in the SS Room. Please fill in the information for the month that you select.
The cost is $30/month.
March 3rd Take & Eat
March 10th Daylight Savings Time Begins
The Youth: Hooray for Nina, Mia, and Sophia who have just returned from a Leadership Summit in Appalachia. They spent three days in January at the main hub for the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) in Jonesville, a remote corner of Virginia that borders Tennessee and Kentucky. The weekend was filled with devotion and worship, informative lectures, regional music, a service project, and plenty of fun.
They listened to three lectures: (1) responding to persistent poverty with mercy and justice (2) understanding the racial wealth gap in America and (3) advocacy: why data matters. The lectures formed the basis for further discussion on (1) culture and leadership, (2) leadership within communities and (3) leadership and problem solving.
Beyond the lectures and reflection, there was a special visit with Ron Carson of the Appalachian African American Cultural Center. He spoke about the impact of black lung disease in the region, segregation, and his great grandmother’s role in building the only regional school for blacks in 1939. Ron’s mission is to “preserve history and build unity”. To help achieve his goals. he offers anti-racism workshops.
Since the summit occurred over Dr. Martin Luther King Jr weekend, there was also a focus on service: "Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?" (MLK). Throughout the weekend, the weather hovered in the low 20’s and some of the group worked outside with precipitation in all its forms: rain, sleet, and snow. While Virginia might seem like a warm place to us Northerner’s, ASP’s goal of making homes “warmer, drier and safer” became all the more clear.
On the ride home from the airport, a favorite weekend take away was shared: “You have two ears and one mouth!” Listen more than speak. A quick google search revealed this wisdom can be attributed to the Greek philosopher, Epictetus. Nina, Mia, and Sophia had an impactful and informative summit experience and we are glad they are now home safely.
2024 Take and Eat dates: 1/7, 2/4, 3/3, 5/5, 6/2, 7/7, 8/4, 9/29, 10/6, 11/3, 12/1
MISSION REPORT FOR FEBRUARY 2024: The Mission Committee has been collecting items for the Berkshire Veterans food pantry. There have been 2 delivers and they were very grateful for our items. There is a new list on the Bulletin Board in the Fellowship Hall. The container is still on the shelf also. I usually bring it once a month. So, we can still keep filling it up for this month. Thanks to all our members and friends for the generous donations.
Williamstown Food Pantry is still on the first Sunday of the Month. They could use spaghetti sauce, canned vegetables and cleaning products. Paper towels, tissues and toilet paper are needed also.
The Mission Committee will meet after the Annual Meeting to review our Missions and will look forward to the One Great House of Sharing in March. More news in March.
Thank you all again for sharing and giving to our Missions.
--The Mission Committee--
The monthly nonperishable items are still welcome on Sundays. Items may be placed in the wagon or baskets in the back of the church pews for our committee to bring to the pantry every month. If you are able, it is always nice to drop items off when you shop for your family and leave them at the pantry on Southworth Street. All our Missions are important but we especially like providing for our local families and helping our neighbors with this food delivery.
Thank you all for being so generous and caring.
There are also more articles about the Hunger, Disaster and Development on the website for your interest. Just go to One Great Hour of Sharing 2023 or Facebook.com/onegreathourofsharingucc. for more information.
For those that were not able to be at the final service or need additional time to consider their 2023 Giving, you may send in your gifts and pledges to:
Jean Richer 124 S. Hemlock Brook, Williamstown, MA 01267.
2 SECOND CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
81 Hancock Road, Williamstown, MA
Matt Alcombright, Music Director
Rev. David F. Hurst
February 18, 2023
First Sunday of Lent
Then your Light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring
up quickly. Isaiah 58:8
CALL TO WORSHIP Deacon Reader
Leader: O, Lord let us come together to be awakened to your presence. Let us
be joyous in song, and meditative in prayer.
People: For God's love is strong and true. The Lord beckons us to walk with
hope. Even in the sadness of Lent, God fulfills our dreams and aids our
encounters with confidence and honesty.
Leader: God's love is everlasting and bold. His love sustains us even though
suffering is part of our lives.
People: Yet God’s love is gentle, but persistent. His Spirit surprises us with
glimpses of wonder and certainty of God’s grace.
Leader: God's love is so abundant and uplifting, that God’s peace is among us
in all that we do and say.
People: God's love is forever: leading us to find answers to our prayers and
love in our singing.
OPENING HYMN “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” #442
INVOCATION Deacon Reader
Leader: O most Holy and loving God you have come into this world to save us
People: Open us in this season of repentance, to examine our ability to love
and to care for one another.
Leader: Help us reach out from our shyness, from our fear and our darkness.
Let us remember your assurance of your covenants.
People: For God is always; within us and around us.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION [in unison]
O God of glory and mercy, when confronted by temptations, we are easily overcome! They allure us with promises that are hard to resist. We harbor fantasies of what might have been. We hide from the truth of your infinite love. Have mercy upon us, dear God, as we pray to perceive deception when it appears. Enlighten us in this Lenten season, to renew our faith in Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray.
PRAYER OF ASSURANCE
In Jesus Christ God knows and receives us as we are. Listen! Give thanks.
Know that we are loved and forgiven through God’s grace.
People: Hallelujiah. Thanks be to God
JOYS AND CONCERNS
PASTORAL PRAYERS AND LORD’S PRAYER
First Lesson 1 Petert 3: 18-22 p. 1060
HYMN OF MEDITATION “Lord of All Hopefulness" #444
Second Lesson Genesis 9: 8-17 p. 7
Sermon The Covenant of Noah Rev. David Hurst
CLOSING HYMN “Before the Cross of Jesus” #188
Leader: O Lord let our lives be a witness to Christ's love.
People: Let our words bring reconciliation and our thoughts, peace.
Let your touch heal us. May we always be a sign of hope and a beacon
Bulletins for February are given by Jean Richer
In memory of Maggie & Harold Guiden