June 28, 2020

Sunday Worship

 (tap the link to play)

   Grace and peace to you.  I’m Rev. Joe Cailles, the pastor here at Trinity United Methodist Church.  Angie Rader, Trinity’s Director of Music Ministries, and Rev Steve Young, Trinity’s organist, provide today’s music.  All are welcome.

   We continue to celebrate and give thanks to God for Trinity youth.  Today Sean Martino, a just-finished  8th grade at LDMS, confirms his Christian faith. Our final youth to do so this summer.  His mother Krista Martino is reading our scripture passage from the Gospel of Matthew, in which Jesus speaks about welcoming others and the rewards we receive from our hospitality.  

   Last Tuesday, Governor Northam announced that the commonwealth of Virginia would begin Phase 3 of the state’s reopening on July 1.   You’ll remember that in May, the Virginia United Methodist Conference designated Trinity a Stage 3 reopen, which means that we could begin to worship together in person with minimal restrictions when Stage 3 begins.  Now sadly, the Virginia government Phase 3 is different from Virginia United Methodist Stage 3.  The date for the Virginia Methodist Stage 3 re-open has not yet been set, so we continue to worship united in Spirit, if not in the body.  

   Let us worship our One Trinity God together.

PRELUDE                   My Shepherd Will Supply My Need

Dale Wood
 Organ:  Rev. Steve Young

                                                 (tap the link to play)



CALL TO WORSHIP (From Psalm 88)
I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord,
   and proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
Your steadfast love endures forever.
   Your faithfulness is as high as the heavens.
Blessed are those who sing your praise.
   and extol your righteousness all the day.

Lord of hope, when the dark clouds assail,
  you ask us to bear the light of your love and truth.
When fears seem to immobilize us,
  you give us courage and strength to bear your witness.
We thank you for your call to us.
We praise you for your sustaining love for us.
We honor you with our lives and our service to you;
  for it is in Christ’s Name, we offer this prayer.

Sing Jesus Loves Me.
Learn about God’s love and Aloha
Pray the Action Prayer!

(click the link to play
or go to Trinity’s Facebook page) 


ANTHEM                                                                         Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love

Ghana Folk Song
Setting by Joel Raney
Adapted by Tom Colvin
Flute:  Angie Rader, Director of Music Ministries
Piano:  Rev. Steve Young, Church Organist
(tap the link to play)   

Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love,
show us how to serve the neighbors
we have from you.

Neighbors are rich folk and poor,
neighbors are black, brown, and white,
neighbors are nearby and far away.

These are the ones we should serve,
these are the ones we should love;
all these are neighbors to us and you.

Loving puts us on our knees,
serving as though we are true
this is the way we should live with you.


SCRIPTURE    Matthew 10:40-42  read by Krista Martino

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 Jesus says, “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

SERMON                               Love All the People
            Rev. Joe Cailles

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Two weeks ago in worship, Jesus invited us to see all the people. As we Christians go out into our communities and out into the world, we are to see all the peoples as they are, where they are.  We’re especially to see where the pain and the need are in our communities so that the Spirit of Christ can work within us to alleviate pain and provide help and hope.  See all the people

Last week in worship, Jesus invited us to hear all the people. As we Christians go out into  our communities and out into the he world, we’re to listen for Jesus among the voices we hear.  Some voices will always try to negate us or diminish us.  Those are lying voices.  Some voices will never challenge us or make us re-examine ourselves.  Those aren’t trustworthy voices either.   Jesus voice will speak words of both comfort and challenge. Jesus voice speaks of peace and justice and compassion and mercy.  Listen!  Listen!  Listen!

This morning Jesus speaks words of welcome and reward.  “Whoever welcomes you, welcomes me,”  he says.  “Whoever welcomes a prophet, receives a prophet’s rewards.  Whoever welcomes the righteous, receives the reward of the righteous.  Whoever gives even a cup of cold water will not lose the reward.”

Jesus is saying all of this because he is sending his disciples out into the world to see all the people and to hear all the people, and to heal and share the good news of God’s love and mercy.  Jesus is reassuring the disciples that whoever welcomes you disciples, also welcomes me.

Now in today’s world most of us haven’t been going out into the world as much as we used to.  Virginia is set to reopen a bit more this week, and I know some of us are traveling to visit family in the days to come.  I hope you travel well, travel safely and receive a warm welcome on your arrival.

The best thing for us to do this morning is to take Jesus’ words of welcome and reward and turn them around so that they face us.  Jesus is talking about the welcome his disciples would receive as they go out but let’s flip that around and consider the welcome that we extend to others in the name of Jesus.  

Jesus would be saying to us, whenever you disciples welcome another into the church and into the faith, then you are welcoming me.  Whenever you disciples welcome the righteous who are in need of mercy and hope and whenever you welcome the prophets who speak words of truth and power,  you disciples will receive the reward.  Whenever you disciples offer even a welcoming cup of cold water, you will receive the reward.

The challenge in Jesus words is for us to examine our souls and our words and our priorities so tour our church community is welcoming and love in of those we meet.  That’s harder than it seems.

I read two stories this week about welcoming others.  One was a mostly successful church welcoming story.  The other was not.  

Siobhan Garrigain writes of her travels around Northern Ireland visiting a variety of congregations.  Arriving at a Presbyterian church, Siobhan was greeted at the door by two church members, who politely asked her name and the names of all those who were visiting their church.  Siobhan soon saw that those with Protestant names, like Alice and Elizabeth and Barnard were welcomed warmly and shown seats.  Those visitors with apparently Catholic names, Maria, Patrick, and Joseph, were politely informed that they were surely in the wrong church and sent on their way.  

Probably that kind of name scrutiny doesn’t happen in American United Methodist churches today.  But we would do well to consider the warm welcome we would extend to those who are different from us in other ways.    What if someone comes to our church or comes to our neighborhood, and we just know that they voted for the person of the other political party, or we come to find out they have had problems with drugs or alcohol or had a prison record.  What if English wasn’t their first or best language, and we weren’t entirely sure of their immigration status.  Jesus is challenging us to do a checkin with our souls about what walls and boundaries we have with welcoming the other.  He’s pretty clear with us…no welcome…no reward.  

The other church welcoming story has a more rewarding conclusion.  Marissa came to the local church for the first time.  Lots of things had happened in her life, some good, too many bad.  She made some choices in life, some good, too many bad.  Marissa had always felt that the church roof would cave in on her if she came in, but come she did.  Had Marissa known that the church was already full of folks who had made some choices in life, some good, too many bad, maybe she’d have felt more at home.  

Marissa came inside, the roof did not collapse, and she met an older person who said good morning and offered the briefest of handshakes before turning away to a church member to continue a conversation.

Marissa meekly went into the sanctuary and saw that folks already there were especially warm and welcoming to each other.  They clearly loved each other but Marissa sat alone, until a kid wandered over.  The child said, “Hi.”  Marissa said, “Hi.”  The child asked, “Who are you?  I’m Chris. It’s my job to welcome people.  It’s my favorite thing.  Welcome.”  Chris gave a good long handshake.  Marissa felt welcomed, felt as if she had been given a cup of cold water for her soul.
Now I don’t know if Marissa’s story actually happened but it’s a true story.  It feels true. 

Soon and very soon, we will be back together in our sanctuary and we’ll be so glad to see each other and to welcome each other back.  We’ll also have the chance to welcome Marissa or Siobhan and I hope that our welcome will be as genuine and rewarding as Chris’ welcome.  

Jesus speaks about the rewards for welcoming others into the community and into the faith.  The reward is love.  The reward is a community richer in people and experiences and gifts and talents.  The reward for welcoming new and interesting and damaged and hopeful and hurting people into our midst is that they may be the blessing we’ve been waiting for.  They may be the blessing that our community is most in need of.  

Now fair warning, the love and welcome that we extend are not always met with love and welcome in return.  Jesus offered God’s love and met with fear and crucifixion.  We may meet that as well.  But the good news is that crucifixion is always followed by resurrection. 

So much of the world is based in fear these days. Fear of the virus.  Fear of the stranger.  Fear that in order for them to succeed and do well, I will have to suffer and lose out.  Jesus buries the fearful and resurrect us with hope, inviting us to see all the people, to hear all the people, and to welcome all the people so that love abounds, so that the messed up, broken down ways of the world are reordered and recreated, so that all of us who have made some good decisions and too many bad decisions, can become a community of love, for all the people.  

Thanks be to God.  

Sean Martino has just completed the two-year confirmation process at Trinity and has just finished his 8th-grade year at LDMS.

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The Confirmation Questions
Do you desire to do good, to avoid harm,
and to follow the ways of Jesus Christ, our savior?    I do.
Will you faithfully offer your gifts, your time, your talent, your service,
and your witness to Christ while you are part of
Trinity United Methodist Church?      I will.
After studying our ways, our history, and our beliefs,
do you confirm your Christian faith?    I do.
The Confirmation Blessing
The Lord defend you with heavenly grace and by the Holy Spirit continue to
confirm you in the faith and fellowship of all true disciples of Jesus Christ. 

The Confirmation Prayer
    We give thanks for all that God has already given you and we celebrate this confirmation milestone.  As members together with you the body of Christ, we renew our covenant to participate fully in the ministries of Trinity with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness, that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.

Summer is traditionally a time of travel and family visits. We pray with those who are traveling that they do so with health and safety. 

We pray with those facing mortgage and rent challenges in the days to come.

John, Valerie, and Thomas Parker are mourning the death of Paulie Jaskulski, a family friend and mentor.  We pray with all who mourn this day.  We pray in thanksgiving for those who mentor and shepherd us.  

Creator of all things seen and unseen
We pray with all whom you call into the life of the church.
May we know the presence of your Spirit 
to strengthen us, guide us, correct us, comfort us, and challenge us.
We pray for Trinity and the church universal.
(silent prayer)
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

We pray for those around us in our neighborhoods.
May we welcome all whom we meet with the healing hands of Christ,
serving those around us with gentleness, kindness, grace, and love.
We pray for our communities.
(silent prayer)
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

As you lead us out into the wide world,
Let us show the peace of Christ in places of violence.
Let us share the bread of heaven in places of hunger.
Let us offer springs of living water to those whose souls are dry.
We pray for our country and all people in the world.
(silent prayer)
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

In silence, we lift our hopes and needs.
In silence, we listen to your voice.
(silent prayer)
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

And we pray together the prayer Jesus teaches us,
   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, and the power and the glory forever.

God of peace and mercy,
send us into your world with confident joy.
Help us to reach out to others and care for them
as you always care for us. 

Daily Devotions are published Monday-Thursday

Pastor Joe’s statement on Worship at Trinity UMC:

Each day at noon, we Virginia United Methodists are praying for healing in our homes, communities, and in the world.

Email me your prayer joys, concerns, hopes, and gratitudes to be included in Sunday worship.

Thank you for sending your tithe and offering to the church.  Have you considered sending your contributions to Trinity using your bank’s autopay feature?  Some members have found this a convenient way to manage regular contributions.  This method does not cost the church or the giver any additional fee.