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«Fourth Sunday of Easter, Earth Day Celebration April 26, 2015 10:30 am  ...»

“Drawing Done at Arilies Garden” – Minnie Evans

Fourth Sunday of Easter, Earth Day Celebration

April 26, 2015

10:30 am



We are delighted that you have come

to worship with us. We are an Open and Affirming, Just Peace,

Public Church. These phrases indicate our desire and effort to

be welcoming of all, learning and working for a just peace in

our community and world, and always a part of the public life of the Asheville community. And underlying all this is a strong emphasis on worship and faith formation that helps us remember our identity as followers of Jesus. Please feel free to participate in any and all of our ministries that stir your passion.

All of us on staff invite you to come and visit with us - to ask us questions - to find help in knowing all the ministries with which we are engaged. Again, we welcome you - whoever you are and wherever you are on life's journey! -Rev. Joe Hoffman, Senior Minister as you visit our community of faith you will

Photo by Sharon Stepp. Left to right:

Rev. Joe, Yolanda, Harper, Pastor Gary hopefully experience extravagant welcome! A variety of musical styles, from Bach to World music, and an open and loving community. We encourage you to not be an observer, but a full participant. – Pastor Gary, Assistant Pastor and Minister of Arts and Music   Grace and peace to you today and a heartfelt welcome!

I hope that you will find our congregation welcoming and friendly and that you will come often.

At First Congregational UCC Asheville, we feel strongly about supporting anybody who seeks to know more about our church community. All are truly welcome.

“Therefore we ought to support people… that we may be fellow workers for the truth.”—3

John 5:8

Every church has something to offer, and I invite you to learn more about what makes our church family unique. Whether you decide to come to another service, participate in fellowship with other congregants, or simply stop by to talk with me, let us seek God’ s face together so that you can determine if this church could be the right place for you and your family. May you find what you need here today. - Yolanda Adams, Ministry Coordinator.

 you will visit our website, Facebook page, and check out our e-newsletter so you can learn more and get involved! There truly is something for everyone. – Harper Leich, Administrative Assistant.

Jesus Justice Prayer Peace *Indicates to stand in body or spirit Welcome Yolanda Adams Please take a moment to sign in on our red pew pads at this time. If this is your first time visiting, be sure to leave your contact information for us. Please write legibly!

Voluntary “If With All Your Hearts” Mendelessohn (from Elijah) Lea Kibler – flute Call to Worship One: Come, let us dwell in God’s shelter. Let us dwell in God’s work of art.

Come, because Earth is the Lord’s, and God’s Earth is our home.

All: We live in God’s World; we are not alone.

We share this life with the heavens and Earth, With the waters and the land, With trees and grasses, With fish, birds, and animals, With minerals and creatures of every form, And with all our brothers and sisters.

One: God is good and everything God makes is good. God is love and everything God makes is love’s fruit. Let us worship God!

*Hymn #28 “For the Beauty of the Earth” Prayer response “All Things Bright and Beautiful” (tune: Royal Oak) All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small All things wise and wonderful, our dear God made them all Unison Prayer Left: "The Earth... is a sparkling blue and white jewel... laced with slowly swirling veils of white... like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery." (Edgar Mitchell, US Astronaut) All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard of Bingen, Mystic) Right: "O moving force of Wisdom, you encircle the wheel of the cosmos, you encompass all that is, all that has life, in one vast circle." (Hildegard) All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard) Left: "It could be that god has not absconded but spread, as our vision and understanding of the universe have spread, to a fabric of spirit and sense so grand and subtle, powerful in a new way, that we can only feel blindly of its hem." (Annie Dillard, naturalist writer) All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard) Right: "... stardust is not just fairy-tale magic; it is what we are really made of.

.." (Elisabet Sahtouris, Ecofeminist) All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard) Left: "Great Spirit... give me the strength to walk the soft earth, a relative to all that is!... all over the earth the faces of living things are all alike... This is my prayer; hear me!" (Black Elk, Oglala Sioux) All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard) Right: "There is not anything new to be born. It has been within you from the beginningless beginning. It has only to be awakened, to become aware of itself in you." (Zen saying) All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard) Left: "... for in God we live/ and move/ and have our being." (Acts 17:28) All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard) Right: "... When you stand in the presence of the moon, you become a new creation... The elementary particles of your body have absorbed an influence and in that sense they--and you--are brand spanking new, a human being resonating everywhere with moonlight." (Brian Swimme, physicist) All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard) Left: "We shall not cease from exploration/ And the end of all our exploring/ Will be to arrive where we started/ And know the place for the first time." (T. S.





Eliot, poet) All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard) Prayer response “All Things Bright and Beautiful” (tune: Royal Oak) All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small All things wise and wonderful, our dear God made them all A Witness for Earth Connie Toops Celebration in Dance Music - "God of the Sparrow", Instrumental Danced by the Dance Circle: This Dance is in celebration of God's Creation as seen through the 4 elements: Earth (Body), Water(Blood), Air(Breath), and Fire (Spirit).

–  –  –

“Come to Tend God's Garden” *Hymn #568 *Blessing One: As we prepare to leave and embrace the challenges of our lives and our world, let us ask for God’s blessing.

All: May God bless us with wisdom to care for Earth.

May God bless us with love to bring forth new life.

In the name of God, the Maker of the whole world, of Jesus, our new covenant, and of the Holy Spirit, who opens eyes and hearts. Amen!

One: Go in peace and be witnesses to hope. Amen!

Postlude Find us on Facebook for photos, event invitations, news, and links to our enewsletter: www.facebook.com/FCUCC. You can also scan the QR code with your smart phone or device to get to our Facebook page!

–  –  –

Attendance April 5: 225 April 12: 139 April 19: 137 Announcements  Monday Night Bible Study 6-7pm in room E-102. NO BIBLE STUDY the next 2 Mondays.

 Conversations on Faith with Rev. Joe Hoffman: Sunday mornings room 101 at 9:15.

 New Pictorial Directory! Sign up for your family portrait today. Everyone who participates will receive a complimentary 8 x 10 professional family portrait, one printed directory, smart phone app, and online directory. The dates for photography will be Sunday, May 17th and Monday, May 18th.

All appointments are on a first-come, first-serve basis, so make your appointment today. We need everyone to participate to help make this directory complete. Additional quality family portraits will be offered at competitive prices. Thank you for your participation, and smile! Quick Tip for your photos: Wearing solid bright colors is something to keep in mind to help your portraits look fresh and crisp. Please sign up for your photo session by going to our website (www.uccasheville.org) and following the link provided at the top of our homepage. It’s very easy to do! You may also call in your reservation Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm by calling 1-877-896-9667 x 325.

 If you can help volunteer some time to sign people up for the pictorial directory after worship, or

greet and sign people in when they arrive for their photo session, please let Harper know:

admin@uccasheville.org. We can offer you a gift certificate to cover the cost of some portraits.

 Important Vigil for Marriage Equality This coming Monday, the Campaign for Southern Equality will host a vigil in our sanctuary for prayer and reflection on the eve of the US Supreme Court considering marriage equality for the whole country. Please join us if you can. These are historical times. The vigil will start at 5:30pm.

A note about the artwork: I chose Minnie Evans for Earth Day because her art usually depicts people who are completely engulfed by nature or who are possibly human embodiments of nature itself. Part of celebrating Earth Day is remembering that we are part of, and not separate from, the Earth and nature itself. “Minnie Evans was born in 1892. She was an African American artist. Minnie Jones was born and raised in a log cabin in Long Creek, Pender County, North Carolina, to Ella Jones, later Ella Jones Kelly. She and her grandmother moved to Wilmington in early 1893. Minnie left school after the fifth grade to work as a "sounder,” selling oysters and clams door-to-door. In 1908, at the age of 16, she married Julius Evans.

Together, they raised three sons Elisha Dyer, David Barnes, and George Sheldon.

Throughout her life, even in childhood, Minnie experienced visions but did not begin to record them until 1935 when she created her first two drawings. It wasn't until 1940 that she began to gradually create crayon and pencil and ink drawings on small sheets of paper. Later, she added oil painting as a medium to record her visions. Described as visionary and raw (self-taught), her art expresses dreams and visions of religious faith, which she called her guarantee of love. Evans began working as the gatekeeper at Airlie Gardens in 1948. From its gatehouse, she sold her drawings and paintings to interested visitors. Evans got her first gallery exhibition in New York City in 1966. Since then, her work has been featured in the Art Image Gallery in New York City and the Portal Gallery in London. A permanent exhibit of her works at St. John's Museum of Art includes three paintings by this gifted, internationally known artist. Newsweek magazine once described Ms. Evans as "breathtakingly gifted" and a "beautiful dreamer.” A documentary entitled The Angel That Stands By Me: Minnie Evans' Art was produced in 1983. Minnie Evans died in 1987 at the age of 95.” This was copied from a website whose name I didn’t record—forgive me! -Harper (Administrative Assistant) “Untitled” Minnie Evans

–  –  –





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