June 28, 2020

Posted by St. Paul United Church of Christ, Taylor on Sunday, June 28, 2020

Click below to listen to Audio only of Sunday Service:

Sarah Laughs (at left) as angels prophesy to Abraham

‘Faithful Mirth’ Order of Service / Fifth Sunday of Pentecost
Live streamed and Sanctuary Worship
St. Paul United Church of Christ, Taylor, Michigan
June 28, 2020


PRELUDE  “When We All Get to Heaven,” Organist Sally Sigman



Pastor: The peace of Christ be with you.

   Congregation: And also with you!

OPENING PRAYER  Reverend Dr. Geoffrey Drutchas


SOME SABBATH ZINGERS  Pastor Cheryl Schalm

MORNING SCRIPTURE  Genesis 21:5-8; Luke 6:20-23, Pastor Drutchas

MESSAGE  “Lighten Up!” Pastor Drutchas

ANTHEM  “I’ll Fly Away,” Brenda Murphy


PRAYER LITANY Pastors Drutchas, Schalm, and Congregation

Pastor: We believe in God who made us in his image.
Response: We live, we love, we laugh because we are like him.

Pastor: We believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Lord and Savior.
Response: He had the last laugh on death and the devil when he rose from the dead.

Pastor: We believe in the Holy Spirit, co-equal and co-eternal, with the Father and Son.
Response: Our Counselor, our Guide, our Motivator--our fount of joy!

Pastor: Forgive us, Lord, when we take ourselves too seriously, when we don’t claim the happiness
that is rightfully ours as your children, when we forget that you will have the last laugh in this world.
Response: Restore to us the joy of our salvation, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

LORD’S PRAYER (debts, debtors) / BENEDICTION

POSTLUDE “There’s Something About That Name,” Tracy Hoffman
“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!  There’s just something about that name!  Master, Savior, Jesus!
Like the fragrance after a rain.  Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!  Let all heaven and earth proclaim:
kings and kingdoms will all pass away, but there’s something about that name!”



As Facebook live streamed services continue, so do sanctuary services.  It’s no longer necessary to call in advance to let us know you’re coming.  However, for everyone’s safety we maintain all health-safe precautions, including masking.  Next week communion will be offered utilizing individually pre-wrapped communion elements for those in the sanctuary, as well as members who wish to follow the service over the radio or via Facebook from their cars in the church parking lot.  Those worshiping at home via Facebook are encouraged to use bread and juice from their own kitchen. Thank you set-up crew and ushers for today’s health-safe service!  Concerns or suggestions?  Please contact Pastor Geoff Drutchas or Council officers Michele McNeely, Tim Ruffner, Jim Poet, Dan Case, or Jane Dykowski.

DON’T WE ALL NEED A SENSE OF HUMOR in these troubled times?  Pastors Drutchas and Schalm hope you’ll enjoy this morning’s “Faithful Mirth” Service.

THE LATEST SUNDAY SCHOOL BLOG can be found on the stpaulucctaylor.org website under the Christian Education tab.  Today’s lesson is about a Super Duper Picnic. Pastor Schalm, who is assisting in this morning’s ‘Faithful Mirth’ service at 10 a.m., will be leading class today via Zoom at 12 noon.  All parents/Sunday School children interested in participating should contact Pastor Schalm by 11 a.m. for information on joining.

DON’T MISS THIS WEEK’S ALL-CHURCH VIDEO on the ‘Rock Hard in Faith’ Facebook page sharing photos of personal celebrations and funny moments meaningful to us.  It can viewed on Facebook immediately after today’s service.

OUR TUESDAY MORNING ‘PARTY LINE’ BIBLE STUDY GROUP will be meeting telephonically this week at 10:30 a.m., reading and discussing the Book of Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 20.  If you like to join this group, please contact Pastor Drutchas at the church office (313-291-1221).

THIS IS THE LAST SUNDAY FOR YOUR SPECIAL GIFT TO THE ‘STRENGTHEN THE CHURCH’ OFFERING which helps our wider United Church of Christ family provide assistance to struggling sister congregations.  Your ‘Strengthen the Church” offering can also be mailed to our church office.

BLOOD DONORS ARE URGENTLY NEEDED FOR THE RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE on Tuesday, June 30, 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge at 23263 Goddard Road, located just east of the Taylor fire station.  The Lodge’s air-conditioned space allows for necessary social distancing.  There must be at least 59 days since your last donation. It is also important to sign up for appointments ahead of time, either online at www.redcrossblood.org, where the Taylor Masonic Lodge is listed, or via phone call to Beth Harris (313-549-7043) at the Red Cross  All presenting blood donors will receive a $5 Amazon ecard.

LAST CHANCE TO ORDER YOUR ST. PAUL LOGO T-SHIRT OR HOODIE!  Don’t miss out!  Wearing a tee-shirt or hoodie with St. Paul’s emblem is a great way to show St. Paul solidarity.  Order forms are available online on the St. Paul web site and Facebook.  All purchased items will be distributed at the St. Paul Church picnic on July 26.  All proceeds above expenses support the Dorcas Society’s retreat fund.

BRAVO FOR YOU!  YOUR CONTINUED PATIENCE WITH OUR LIVESTREAMED SERVICES is appreciated.  Last week’s livestreamed service from the St. Paul sanctuary had sound throughout but a frozen image during “message” time!  These technical problems were once again due to the limits of Facebook broadcasting-- unfortunately, not correctible from our St. Paul end.  As such problems arise week-to-week, church members are encouraged to listen to the audio that is posted on the St. Paul Church website or to download the printed Sunday sermon.  Our tech team remains committed to bringing the best quality livestreamed service to you possible under sometimes difficult circumstances.  Say a prayer and keep fingers crossed for a clear, uninterrupted livestreaming this morning!

‘BREAKING FREE’ WILL BE THE GATHERING THEME FOR OUR VIRTUAL SUMMER ST. PAUL 2020 VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL (VBS).  While VBS will look a lot different this year as a safe home-based program, it will still be a great learning and growing opportunity for all St. Paul children and friends.  Provided in advance for pickup at church on July 13, will be a VBS packet that include all ‘Breaking Free” lessons for July 20-23, plus color materials, craft and activity projects, songs, and snack ideas.  Each online VBS session will offer a daily story/message.  St. Paul Music Director Tracy Hoffman will lead our young participants in a lively song.  Also joining the Zoom sessions, Ms. Sheri Herkimer and Ms. Deborah Case will be highlighting very special craft and snack ideas. Our VBS Zoom-based lessons will be welcoming a college basketball player, a professional soccer player, and an athletic trainer. Besides sharing pointers on playing their particular sport, each of these “Breaking Free “guests” will talk about the importance of faith amid life’s disappointments, hope despite setbacks, and value of patience and perseverance in coming back strong. We can look forward to a great time in faith together.  During VBS week, all Zoom lessons will be offered at 7:00 p.m.  Lesson packets will be prepared for Monday, July 13 pick-up only for those who enroll a full week ahead.  All families interested in participating should contact Pastor Schalm by July 6 at cschalm@stpaulucctaylor.org or text/call her at 734.255.0935.

THE SEMI-ANNUAL MEETING AND ALL-CHURCH PICNIC WILL BE COMBINED this year on Sunday, July 26.  Both the meeting and worship service will be held outdoors under a big-top tent with church members asked to bring their own lawn chairs.  Although the Semi-Annual meeting proceedings will be short, reports will be shared and a Church By-law revision resolution will be presented.  Pastors Geoff Drutchas and Cheryl Schalm will be leading the prior morning worship with church members maintaining responsible social distancing.  After the worship service and the final adjournment of the meeting, church members and friends will be joining in a “Tailgate Picnic.”  In lieu of a buffet, everyone will be asked to bring their own picnic meal.  Individually wrapped ice cream will be offered as part of this year’s ice cream social.  As presently planned, there will be music in the air, health-safe activities and, perhaps, the reappearance of the Clown Maybelle.  Church members and friends are encouraged to mark their calendars now for a mid-summer day for worship, meeting, and fun fellowship.

NEXT SUNDAY (4th OF JULY WEEKEND) OUR CONGREGATION WILL CELEBRATE COMMUNION. Those attending the Sunday service in the sanctuary will be greeted as they arrive by our church elders who will present them with individually wrapped communion elements.  These communion “kits,” including both wafer and cup, were first used for the Pentecost ‘Road Rally’ Service in the church parking lot.  Church members will open them following prayers of consecration by Pastors Geoff Drutchas and Cheryl Schalm later in the morning service.  These communion “kits” will also be available to those who, alternatively, wish to follow the morning service via radio or Facebook from their parked car.  Others sharing in the morning service from home via Facebook are invited to set aside bread and juice from their own kitchen to be used at communion time.  The prayers of consecration will include those home-prepared elements as well.  In the communion theology of the United Church of Christ what always matters most is the reverent spirit and penitent heart seeking God’s grace in which the sacrament is celebrated and received.  May we rejoice in the opportunity that God’s ministry provides us to partake of this sacred meal together wherever we find ourselves that morning.  If you have any questions about communion for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend please feel free to call Pastors Drutchas or Schalm, or one of our presiding elders—Barbara Schulz, Mark Ennis, and Christine Schwab.

JUST A FRESH REMINDER ABOUT OUR ‘HEALTH-SAFE’ GUIDELINES FOR SANCTUARY SERVICES as we continue to do our part as a congregation to keep Covid-19 in check:

  • Attendance at the 10 a.m. Sunday morning service will be capped at 40 persons.
  • Attendees are asked to come early, beginning at 9:30 a.m., to maintain best “traffic flow.”
  • Only the main double front doors to the church will be used for coming and going.
  • Beyond the sanctuary, the rest of our church will remain closed to activity: no nursery or Sunday classes will be available on site.  Likewise, no coffee hour will follow the service.
  • The lavatory off the narthex near the front entrance to the sanctuary will be available with hand- sanitizer and sanitizing hand-wipes available for pre-use and post-use clean-up.
  • The family room and balcony will be closed to all use, except for sound-techs assisting with worship.
  • There will be designated seating throughout the sanctuary to maintain requisite, consistent social                 distancing even as we come together.
  • Cushions, hymnals, and any printed literature have been removed from pews where church members will be seated to eliminate or minimize hand-to-surface contacts.
  • Ushers will be greeting worshippers outdoors and inside the sanctuary to both seat and dismiss everyone, thereby maintaining best and safest traffic flow.
  • Couples and same household family members who arrive together will be seated together. However, family members from different households are asked to maintain physical distancing even if in the same pew.
  • All attendees should mask and remain so throughout the service for everyone’s greater benefit.
    (A cloth or disposable mask can be provided if you do not have one.)
  • Please bring hand-sanitizer for your personal use.
  • Sanctuary windows will be open to enhance ventilation, along with air conditioning and fans to boost air circulation.
  • Our Music Director Tracy Hoffman, Organist Sally Sigman, and selected choir members will be providing music for the service.  Although those in the pews may hum along with any hymns, there will be no congregational singing in the pews to minimize any health hazards.
  • In keeping our practice for all recent Facebook live-streamed broadcasts, our worship service will strive to maintain its half-hour plus format.

All of these health and safety precautions for Sunday services are very much in keeping with how many churches across the state and nation are thoughtfully seeking to reopen their doors to our shared life in Jesus Christ.  For all of us at St. Paul, there’s a learning curve: we’ve never had to coordinate services like this before.  As we go along, adjustments will undoubtedly be made.  Please be patient!  Also, we ask you to keep our congregation and our ministry leadership in your prayers as we look ahead and move forward as faithfully, safely, and creatively as possible.

A POPULAR QUESTION FOR THOSE ACCUSTOMED TO A MORNING OFFERING PLATE:  How do I make sure that St. Paul Church receives the tithes and offerings that I want to share?  In these complex times, the answer remains simple:

  • If you are attending the newly re-started sanctuary services, you may deposit your donation in the pedestal offering box at the center of the church narthex.
  • If you are following Sunday services live streamed on Facebook, you may drop your check made out to St. Paul Church in the U.S. Mail. Although postal delivery has somewhat slowed, everything sent still finds its way to church.
  • Whether you are attending services in the sanctuary or on Facebook, your best, most convenient option may be electronic giving. You’ll find an easy 1-2-3 guide to electronic giving enrollment on the St. Paul Church web site.  Treasurer Dan Case is also available to walk you through sign-up.

For any questions about donations, please call the church office, Monday through Friday.  As we maintain our church ministry in this difficult time for us all, all your prayers and financial support are appreciated.  At St. Paul we are simply encouraged to give and share as we are able. Thank you.

LARGE PRINT ‘DAILY BREAD’ DEVOTIONALS FOR JUNE-AUGUST 2020 are now available to St. Church members.  Please contact the church office (313-291-1221) to make arrangements to pick up a copy.  Pastor Drutchas and Parish Nurse Kathy Williams can also drop off this most recent devotional offering scripture readings and daily prayer for use at home.

OVER THE PAST TWO MONTHS OUR CONGREGATION HAS DISTRIBUTED ALMOST TWO HUNDRED MASKS.  DO YOU NEED A MASK TOO?  One of the very best ways that we can protect one another from the spread of Covid-19 is through personal masking.  Along with regular hand-washing and social distancing of six feet, masking will continue to be important as our local community opens up to more daily activity.  Most home-sewn masks reduce the possibility of viral spread through coughing and sneezing by at least 50-60 per cent which provides a significant, even if not perfect foil, for the Covid-19 virus.  Every time we halt viral spread in its tracks, it’s a victory for public health and our mutual well-being.  St. Paul Church members Susan Bennett has joined Patrick Ferguson and Sharon Leonard in crafting masks for Pastor Geoff Drutchas to distribute.  Many are bright and colorful and definitely “high fashion.” Are you in need of a mask?  Please contact the church office to arrange a mask drop-off at your front door, or request one when you arrive for Sunday morning service in the June weeks ahead.

THROUGHOUT THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK OUR MINISTRY TOGETHER CONTINUES.  Pastors Drutchas and Schalm, as well as Parish Nurse Kathy Williams, are still not able to visit hospitals and nursing homes consistently as because of precautionary lock-downs at all medical and rehab facilities and restricted or limited access.  But they are delivering masks and other items to households as needed on a front-porch, drop-off basis.  Day-by-day our pastoral staff also remain in touch with church members through Facebook, the church web site, and one-on-one telephone calls.  Please let your pastoral staff know by telephone, text, or email about any specials needs that have arisen for yourself or your family where your church family can be helpful.  Pastor Geoff continues at his church office every day and can be reached there on the church telephone line.  If he’s on another call at that moment, he will return your call at his earlier opportunity.  Meanwhile, as part of our ministry together, you are also encouraged to reach out to fellow church members through personal phone calls and mailed cards.  It is important that we remind each other that we are not alone but part of true network and care-ring of faith.

PROVIDING 24/7 SERVICES TO HOMELESS MEN AND WOMEN DURING THE PANDEMIC, ChristNet needs your help in providing breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for 20+ ChristNet guests.  Individually wrapped breakfast, lunch, and snack items, including breakfast cereal boxes and bowls, muffins or pastries, puddings, juice boxes, and small cans of soda, are especially appreciated.   Also donations of liquid Tide are welcomed: guests launder their clothes on site using an available washer and dryer.  All donations can be dropped off at the rear of Fellowship Hall for delivery to the ChristNet center.  Please contact Pastor Drutchas at the church office (313-291-1221) to drop off items.

THE FISH & LOAVES PANTRY REMAINS IN NEED OF YOUNGER VOLUNTEERS who can help with food unloading, sorting, and shelving on Mondays and Fridays, 7:30-10 a.m., plus enrollment and drive-thru distribution to clients on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Due to the pandemic, all food is being individually packed for clients with all social distancing precautions taken.  Also, new client enrollment and appointment scheduling is by telephone only.  To volunteer, please contact the Fish & Loaves via web site or by calling 313-992-6284. For more information, you may also call Pastor Geoff Drutchas at the church office (313-291-1221).

LET’S PRAY FOR THOSE PROVIDING EMERGENCY ‘FRONTLINE’ SERVICES as police officers, nurses, physicians, medical staff, EMS workers, and firemen during the ongoing pandemic.  We want to especially remember church members and friends: Kim Arndt, Wendi Wioncek Ashby, Rick Barnosky, Jennifer Babin, Rhonda Wioncek Berndt, Dana Wioncek Barlage, Chelsey Eisenga, Josh Eisenga, James Hubert, Debbie Lyles, Amy McGahey, Ciera Mack, Marcie Magnuson, Sam Martin, Michelle Mellin, Brenda Murphy, Inez Kurtsel Ogonowski, Amber Ostrowski, Rebecca Ostrowski, Samantha Pedersen, Eric Poet, Trudy Clark Schiller, Rachel Tank, Emily Wangbickler Baggett, Jillian Wangbickler, and Sarah Wangbickler.

MAY WE KEEP IN PRAYER the following church members and friends: Darlene Babin, Bettie Slusher (Beaumont-Taylor), Tom Williams, Shirlen Powell, Robert Black, Frank Patterson, the Bolen family, Nancy Raab, Neil MacEachern, Judy Nieman, Colleen Baca, David Cowper, Morgan Schalm, Harold Fick,  Sheryl Schwab, Kyle Hard, John Sharp, Bob Smarr, Doreen Thompson, Cassidy (Wangbickler) Congelierre, Kari Cappello (anticipating the arrival of a second child), and Donna (Badarak) Wiggins.