Worship is the heart of the church! Sunday morning worship services are at 10:00 a.m.
Church school for children preschool through grade 8 is offered during the worship time September 8 through May. Children begin in the sanctuary for worship for the first 15-20 minutes, and then are dismissed to their church school classes following the Children’s Time.
The first Sunday of the month is usually a Communion Sunday and Family Sunday, No church school classes are offered on those Sundays. Children are invited to participate in worship with their families. All may participate in Communion, including young children, if their parents believe they have some understanding of the special nature and meaning of Communion.
“When Life Crashes” Psalm 88
Rev. Sean Weston Job 30:16-31
Lyonsville Congregational UCC, Indian Head Park IL 2 Corinthians 4:7-15
June 24, 2018
What is now called the AIDs epidemic reached its peak in the 1980s. I was not alive at that time. I have, however, heard many stories from those who were there. In the early 1980s, there was very little good information about the often-fatal disease. It was seen as a disease that largely affected gay people. The vast majority of the nation, including the government, was indifferent or outright hostile. Plenty of people thought God was ridding the nation of bad people. Pat Buchanan, communications director for President Reagan, said that AIDs was “nature’s revenge on gay men.”
For those affected, it was a time of intense grief. Many of those who had the disease were abandoned by their families, friends, churches. Death left a string of grief behind as people kept losing their loved ones to a slow and painful death. I know of one church in Tulsa that many attended in hospital beds. This experience brought layers of trauma that still affect the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community today.
Almost a decade ago, I heard a story about this time during a sermon that has stuck with me since. During that crisis, a chaplain walked into a hospital room to see a young man dying alone. I’ll call him Spencer. Life had certainly crashed for him. He seemed to have given up all hope. As they talked, the chaplain learned that the man had lost all of his family and friends. He had been shunned by his church. See, once they learned he had AIDs they also learned he was gay. This was, sadly, something the chaplain saw every day. Continue reading
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“Alert But Not Anxious” Exodus 4:10-17
Rev. Sean Weston Matthew 6:25-34
Lyonsville Congregational UCC, Indian Head Park IL
June 17, 2018
The late Rev. Peter Gomes was a highly respected preacher who served at Harvard’s Memorial Church. He writes about a time that he preached on today’s gospel passage at an exclusive girls’ school in New York City. He thought that Jesus’ words about not worrying would help in a place filled with anxiety and achievement. The sermon seemed to go well, he thought, which is usually the first sign that a mess is on the way. Indeed, it was. Gomes continues the story:
“At the reception, the father of one of the girls came up to me with fire in his eyes and ice in his voice, and told me that what I had said was a lot of nonsense. I replied that I hadn’t said it, that Jesus had. ‘It’s still nonsense,’ he said, not easily dissuaded by an appeal to scripture. ‘It was anxiety that got my daughter into this school, it was anxiety that kept her here, it was anxiety that got her into Yale, it will be anxiety that will keep her there, and it will be anxiety that will get her a good job. You’re selling nonsense.’”
My first reaction when hearing this story is to be mad at that man, angry at him for celebrating anxiety, angry at him for encouraging his daughter’s anxiety. It is people like him, I think with anger, that contribute to the mental health crisis that is just under the surface in society. Continue reading
In worship on June 17 we explored Jesus’ invitation to move past anxiety and embrace life in all its ups and downs. Pastor Sean put together a guide for our journey this week.
Check it out here.