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Welcome to Bethel Congregational Church, UCC

We are an Open and Affirming UCC Congregation! Kid-Friendly, too!

YOU are invited to join us in Worship

Sunday at 10am

 

 

THIS WEEK:

Sunday March 19, 2017  10am

Sermon: “Close Encounters with Samaritans: Living Water” - Dr. Sylvia Lee Mann

 

 

Focus Scripture
John 4:5-42
  
So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacobs well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?" Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water."
Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come back." The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, 'I have no husband'; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!" The woman said to him, "Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us." Jesus said to her, "I am he, the one who is speaking to you." 
Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, "What do you want?" or, "Why are you speaking with her?" Then the woman left her water-jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, "Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?" They left the city and were on their way to him.
Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, "Rabbi, eat something." But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." So the disciples said to one another, "Surely no one has brought him something to eat?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, 'Four months more, then comes the harvest'? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."
Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I have ever done." So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there for two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world."
  
All readings for this Sunday
Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 95
Romans 5:1-11
John 4:5-42
  
Focus Questions
1. How are Nicodemus and the woman at the well similar? How do they differ?
2. If "salvation" is healing, what is the role of listening and acceptance in this story?
3. How is this story particularly meaningful during Women's History Month?  
4. What are some of the stories that form who you are?
5. How and where do you find refreshment for your soul?

 

Come a little early to "Meet and Greet" folks, grab some coffee, etc...


 

  

In the face of division and fear, let us resolve to truly "Be the Church"..

 

 

 Please - Plan to join us to have a great Sunday morning, and -  Feel free to bring your family and friends as we continue celebrate the triumph of Love...and contemplate our response

  


 

After worship,  stay for a fellowship - snacks, coffee, tea, etc... something we always enjoy!

  

 

  

   


ONGOING - Bethel Missions Standing Rock Project:

We (Bethel UCC Missions) are planning to send wool socks, blankets, coats to Standing Rock (their list says they want wool...) If you would like to contribute items (or $ for shipping) get in touch. Send us an email (drmann@betheluccontario.org).  We'd like to get this sent soon -They still need it!

So come on to Bethel and drop it off at services...(10am in Sundays).

If you can't bring something in person, you may donate to this cause online. click the link and then scroll down to the Standing Rock Donation....
https://mkt.com/bethel-congregational-church

(Palms will be provided!)

- See more at: http://betheluccontario.org/special_events/#sthash.heK9uxF1.dpuf


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Dr. Sylvia Lee Mann is Bethel's Pastor and  Minister of Music, serves on the faculty of California State University Dominguez Hills (Music and Humanities),and is widely known as musician, artist and inspirational speaker. To learn more about Dr. Mann, visit the church's music site http://bethelontariomusic.com, or her personal site, http://sylvialeemann.com

  

 

Open and Affirming Welcome! Bethel United Church of Christ is a church that does God’s work in the world, nurtures spiritual growth, and helps to build a loving community.No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here. Bethel UCC Ontario is an Open and Affirming congregation.

 


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