The Union Church in Waban                
Friday, July 13, 2018
This Sunday

Our Summer Worship continues this Sunday at 5:00 p.m. 
These are more informal worship services in Memorial Chapel (just off the sanctuary) where we invite you to come just as you are, whether that be straight from the beach or from the garden.  Worship will be followed by some light refreshments.  If you are interested in helping to lead service, sharing a reflection or playing some music for a service, please be in touch with Pastor Stacy

Sunday Morning, 10:00 a.m. Worship will resume on
September 9, for our Gathering Sunday Service
Have you ever wondered ...
Why we include the Prayer for God's Grace in our
worship liturgy?

Some of us grew up with (if not the actual words than at least the idea), of Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God;" or Cotton Matter's " Judgments of God on Several Sorts of Offenders;"or John Calvin's doctrine of the total depravity of man -- ringing in our ears. Others of us grew up with the idea of original sin telling us that we were born into a sinful state. For many of us, a salient message we received from our religious communities was that human beings are pretty much bad and that we tend to make a mess of just about anything we lay our hands on.

Some of us heard this message from our churches growing up, but it is also possible to look at the headlines of the world today and to draw pretty much the same conclusion. Human beings are making a mess of things. There are far too many examples to point to.

So why start a service of worship putting this full in our face? Is that what the Prayer for God's Grace is supposed to do? Is it supposed to remind us of how bad we are and how much we make a mess of things? Is the purpose of the prayer for God's grace to remind us of our guilt?

No! Not at all.  Worship is to be an encounter with hope and redemption not a place of condemnation.  And that is precisely
why  we begin our worship with the Prayer for God's Grace or in other traditions with what is called the Prayer of Confession. 

The Prayer for God's Grace is about Grace not guilt.

For the great Hope that lies in the absolute apex of our faith, the hinge point of it, the dawning that happened on Easter morning is that yes we are fallible and make a mess of things and yet, -- and Yet!  
We are not bad. We were created by goodness for goodness. That is the core of who we are and that is why God never gives up on us. God recognizes our fallibility and forgives us because God also sees the potential in each and every one of us. For that reason, Jesus came to redeem us and to show us a Way of living in love, joining with God in the healing of the world.

When we confess our failings and receive the assurance of God's Grace, we release all the ways we have fallen short both in what we have done and in what we have let undone. We do so, so that we can let go of the grip of guilt, fear and shame that such failings may have on us. We do so, so that by God's Grace we can work to become the best version of ourselves that we can be. We do so, so that God's persistent, relentless, ever present power of redemption can enter into us and transform us (this is also called sanctification) into God's partners working with God for fullness of life and thriving of humanity. The Prayer for God's Grace acknowledges that God does not need or seek our perfection. Instead, God needs and seeks our participation and a humble willingness to put ourselves in the hands of our loving God.  

Our failings are real. We mess up all the time. But perhaps our biggest failing is when we do not trust in God's love for us. When we hid from God out of fear that we will be met not with forgiveness but with condemnation.  

So let us practice praying the Prayer of God's Grace. Let us continue to create with God a community where we feel safe, where we feel we belong and where we feel loved and at home. Let us practice standing in the midst of such a place and practice acknowledging that each and every one of us is in need of God's Grace. Let us step into the peace that comes when we truly begin to trust that we are a wholly loved and forgiven people so that we may join with Jesus in:

bringing good news to the poor.
proclaiming release to the captives
    and recovery of sight to the blind,
        letting the oppressed go free,
proclaiming the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:19)

"Have you ever wondered...?" 
will be a weekly column this summer where we will provide short answers to questions you may have about why we do what we do in worship.
 To submit a "wondering", please email  Pastor Stacy.  

Faith and Fellowship

From the Church Office

Members Online Directory

In addition to releasing an updated hard-copy version of our church directory (see next article!), we have also added a Members Online Directory feature to our website homepage at that allows you to access the church directory from any PC or mobile device. 

The link below (also available at ) will prompt you to create a UCW member account that allows you to:
  • View an online directory of UCW church members
  • Edit your personal and family member profiles, including contact information and photos.
  • Review, (but not change) your pledging and donations history.
You will be asked to enter your name and email address. If we can find a matching member profile, we'll send you an invite by email allowing you to create your personal account and password.
 Try our new Online Directory HERE   or by clicking on the image below!

Member Directory Access

  Summer is here and that means... 
Time to update the church directory!

Thank you to those who sent in photos for our directory update. There is still plenty of time to get your latest family photo to us for inclusion in the next printing of the new Church directory. 

So snap that picture on the beach or in the mountains, in the garden or arboretum, on your bike or in your favorite rocking chair and send it to the  Aidan  in the church office. Also if your contact information has changed within the last year, please send that along as well.   

Also if your contact information has changed within the last year, please send that along as well.   

"While the directory is helpful when you need to reach someone in the church, it can also be a wonderful prayer practice.  Open the directory and then set about praying each day for each subsequent person/household.  In this way we re-member each other and stay connected even when summer vacations and travels keep us from being physically together."  -- Pastor Stacy     

2018-2019 Stewardship Campaign

Click above to submit an online Pledge Form

I f you have any questions,  please do not hesitate to reach out to    Grant Gund co-chair of  our Stewardship Team.  

(You can also access the online 
pledge  form at .)

From the Wider Community

Join the Eliot Church 
at three summer barbecue
picnics, for homeless families!

474 Centre St.,  Newton Corner
July 15,  August 5  and August 26
Bring nothing, but a willingness to engage with our homeless neighbors
Come at noon, if you want to help set up.
Or stop by for burgers, corn and slaw and conversation from 1-3 p.m.
Contact Josephine McNeil for more information.

For a complete listing, and details of all upcoming events, please 
visit our website, 
Note : Material for inclusion in the Friday e-Blast newsletter should be e-mailed to the office at , by 9:00 a.m. on the previous Wednesday morning.