Sunday Bulletin for September 12, 2021

First Congregational Church

United Church of Christ

3 Gray Road, North Yarmouth, Maine 04097

Organized in 1806

Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost

September 12, 2021 ~ 9:30 a.m.

Living Psalms Book

Psalms in the form of words and art, reborn in the specific contexts of our world, privileging the voices of historically marginalized communities and those acting in solidarity with them.

Living Psalm 19  – A Reinterpretation:  God is Glor-i-ous

El cielo está llamando (The heavens are calling).
They call each of our names without saying a word.
We are invited to listen not only with our ears but our hearts and minds.

Do you sense your name being called?
There is a glorious truth that requires that we listen attentively
and respond to the Whispers of the Spirit.
Does your Spirit perceive what is being said?
Almost un-hearable unless we are still; find inner stillness.

God is glor-i-ous.  Yahweh. Is. Glor-i-ous.

The vault of the heavens proclaims Sophia’s handiwork in each of our lives.
God whispers and pours forth meaning that touches us at our core,
and even the night, not to be left behind, declares that God’s Wisdom is ever present.

Universal truth is present in you.
Have you stopped lately to reflect on what the night is saying?
Do not focus so much on the day that the power and beauty of night eludes you.

There is no verbal communication, nor are there words;
Mystery’s voice is not heard with ears but rather within your heart;
yet that voice is perceived throughout all the earth differently based on who is pausing.
The message is being communicated to the ends of the earth.

In the heavens the Holy One has set a place of relationship and welcome for the Son to shine.
Brightness oozes Love, Kindness and Radiant Smiles like a Beloved under the wedding canopy, and like a confident child of God who lives into the adventure with joy and expectation of the unknown.. It proclaims glory from the heavens, and it links all of us.

Nothing is hidden, transparency flows from the heat of Love.
The Compassion of the Lamb of God is perfect and embracing you just where you are and how you are; just as you are.

Love revives the soul; the utterances of the Sovereign lived as love for humanity are sure,
making wise the simple; the guiding principles of Love, Faith Mercy and Justice of the LORD are right, causing the heart to flutter and celebrate.

The commandment of the LORD is clear, opening our eyes to see what love really is;
We are called to reverence the God in a pure way.

God’s love endures forever; our Sacred Rituals honoring the Wisdom/Sophia are true and righteous altogether.
While some desire gold, there are spiritual tenets that are more desirable, even much finer than gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.

People of God be warned; keeping God’s desire for us at the forefront leads us towards great rewards. It’s not about punishment but enlightenment.
But who among us can detect their errors?

Cleanse me, Light and Love, from my hidden and not so hidden faults.
Keep your people away from the insolent; do not let them control me.
In this, I plead for your help.
You are the only one who shines Light and Love upon me even in the worst of times.
With your Love and Mercy, I shall continue to be human, but I shall overcome my human frailty.  Even though I am not innocent of great transgressions, I trust that you will wrap me in your grace and smile forgiveness upon my soul.

Let the words of mi boca (my mouth)
and the meditación de mi corazon (meditation of my heart)
be acceptable to you, O LORD,
mi roca y redentor (my rock and my redeemer).

Living Psalm 19,  for Pentecost 18 A  was written by the Rev. Justo Gonzalez, II.

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost – Wisdom Calls

September 12, 2021

Prelude                                 Voluntary Opus 6 #3                          Samuel Wesley                                

Sung:  God welcomes all!  Strangers and friends!

                   God’s love is strong!   And it never ends! 

 Words:  John L. Bell, Music: South African traditional,

 transcribed by John L. Bell at the Sunrise Hospice, Themba

                   Text: © 2008, GIA/Iona Community / WGRG

Welcome and Announcements

CALL TO WORSHIP (from Mark 8: 27-30)
Jesus asks the disciples:
“Who do people say I am?”

They answer,
“Some say John the Baptist; some say Elijah;
and others say one of the prophets.”
But Jesus presses them:
“Who do you say I am?

Peter answers,
“You are Christ—God’s anointed one, God-with-us!”
Now Jesus pushes us:
“What about you?
Here, in this moment, in this community,
Who do you say I am?”

Where do we find the wisdom to answer?

*Hymn                                        How Great Thou Art                                CH #33

Words and Music: Stuart K. Hine, 1953, based on a Swedish folk melody   and a poem by Carl Gustav Boberg, 1885

O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder

Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder

Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander,

And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees

When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur

And hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze;

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

And when I think of God, His Son not sparing

Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in

That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing

He bled and died to take away my sin;

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation

And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart

Then I shall bow with humble adoration

And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Holy Wisdom of God You call to us from the depths of our hearts,
where we long for connection with you and with one another.
You call to us from busy streets and neighborhoods,
Where human pain and possibility are most urgent.
You call to us from our sacred stories, where God,

Christ, Spirit create, challenge, comfort.
Guide us, we pray, on an adventure of hope, and
help us see with your eyes the ways which lead to

beloved community where Christ Jesus is at the center.       

Gospel Reading Mark 8:27-38             

Christ calls on us to “lose our life in order to save it”;
To “take up our cross and follow” in the ways of justice and peace.
Like the disciples before us, we are often amazed and overwhelmed by this command. We close our ears to such challenge and
our hearts to such risk.


God’s words and actions are never careless;
In sending Jesus Christ to the world, God offers a model and a companion, a source of ever-flowing love and acceptance and wisdom. In Christ we are forgiven all our failings, and given strength to start again.

Message                                                                                Rev. Nancy J. White

9/11 Remembrance

Leader: We remember today the day of 9/11/2001.

People: Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 

Leader:  We remember innocent lives lost and thoughts of revenge.

People:  And Jesus said:  Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Leader: We remember acts of courage and compassion by so many.

People: No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 

Leader:  We gather to remember but we also gather in hope, for as Jesus said:

People:  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

All:  Together we will sing God’s praise!   


O God of all the nations, we gather on this day of remembrance confessing that as your children, the events of twenty years ago have not made us much wiser or enhanced our willingness to love one another without condition. Walls still divide, fear still separates, and strangers seem stranger than ever. Patient and loving God, look with mercy on your children gathered here today. Nudge us along the narrow way of Jesus, that we might be healed and become healers and helpers and leaven on this good earth you have given us to steward.  Amen.

Rev Dr Ronald M Patterson, Bridge Minister for Plymouth UCC in Ft. Collins CO.

Prayers for 9/11 Services of Remembrance© Copyright 2021 Ronald M. Patterson.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved.

*Hymn                                           Day by Day                                          CH #599

          Words: Attr. Richard of Chichester (13th century), alt.

          Music: Stephen Schwartz, 1971

Day by day, day by day, O, dear Lord, three things I pray:

to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly,

follow thee more nearly, day by day.

Day by day, day by day, O, dear Lord, three things I pray:

to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly,

follow thee more nearly, day by day.  Day by day, by day, by day, by day.

Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer

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 debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

The psalmist declares, “The heavens are telling the glory of God.
Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.”
Let us share our gifts so that we can also partake in telling others of God’s glory!


Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise God, all creatures here below;

         Praise God for all that love has done;                                                        

Creator, Christ, and Spirit, One.  Amen.  

All-knowing God, teach us to use these gifts
to create greater access, insights, and wisdom
for people within and outside of these walls. So be it!

* Hymn                             Come and Find a Quiet Center                      CH #575

                   Words: Shirley Erna Murray, 1989

                   Music: Traditional American melody; arr. Jack Schrader

Come and find the quiet center in the crowded life we lead,

find the room for hope to enter, find the frame where we are freed:

clear the chaos and the clutter, clear our eyes, that we can see all the things that really matter, be at peace, and simply be.

Silence is a friend who claims us, cools the heat and slows the pace,

God it is who speaks and names us, knows our being, touches base, making space within our thinking, lifting shades to show the sun,

raising courage when we’re shrinking, finding scope for faith begun.

In the Spirit let us travel, open to each other’s pain,

let our loves and fears unravel, celebrate the space we gain:

there’s a place for deepest dreaming, there’s a time for heart to care,

in the Spirit’s lively scheming there is always room to spare!

Let us ponder the challenge of Jesus this week:
–Who do we say Christ is in our lives, our community, our world?
Let Holy Wisdom shine through all our pondering,
and lead us to recognize and serve our Risen Savior in all our encounters.


Pastor: Rev. Nancy J. White

Administrative Assistant: Lyn Glassock

Organist:  Peter Dickson*

Organist: Linda Lambrides

Choir Director: David Myers, Jr.

                                                Sexton: Mark R.H. Heath

Treasurer:  Liz McGlinn, CPA, CGMA           

Church Phone: 829-3644

Church e-mail:

Rev. Nancy J. White phone: 207-504-6289

Rev. Nancy J. White email:

Church Website:

Maine Conference Website:

Due to the Corona Virus-Covid-19, this service was held in-person and live streamed on YouTube with all CDC protocols in place.

If you are not receiving church emails and would like to, please send an email to asking to be added to the list.  Like the NYCC FB page and you will be notified of what is happening there, too!