5/24/20 – “Called Upon to Be One”

Posted on : May 22nd, 2020 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

“Called Upon to Be One”


Having listened to me speak for several weeks now, you have probably figured out that I am from a southern state.  I was born and raised in middle Tennessee and spent the first half of my life living in southern states.  Did you know that in the south we use a pronoun that is not found in the rest of the English speaking world?  Of course, I am referring to the word “you’all.”  In our southern dialects, this can either be a singular pronoun or a plural pronoun – it works whether I’m speaking to one or to a crowd!

This is a bit like the phrase you see above on the UCC symbol.  At the bottom of the oval, you see the words that come from Sunday morning’s scripture lesson {John 17:11}: “That they may ALL be One.”  We will explore what Jesus is teaching through this phrase. Here the word “one” is not meant to be used in a “singular” sense as in one individual but in a “plural” sense as in a group of people coming together to work on a singular cause, mission, or purpose.  We might even call it an “inclusive” pronoun!

As we hear people in this pandemic say, “We’ll get through this together,” this is the plural sense of “That they may all be One.” Here’s one quick example.  A woman living in a large apartment complex that houses many senior residents knew that she could go and buy groceries or pick up medicine for some of her senior neighbors, but she knew she couldn’t do this for ALL of her senior neighbors. However, she realized that others like her in the complex could join her efforts. All that was needed was an organizer. So, she posted a sign up in every building of “Residents looking TO help and residents looking FOR help.” By the end of the week every request had an assigned helper.  A sense of community that never existed in that massive housing complex exists now!

Jesus realized there was much ministry to do and the best way to do all the ministry that God called us to do is to work together – to be one powerful force for good in the world.  As we recover from these unprecedented times, it will take ALL of us working as ONE to move forward.

This is the rally call to always ask ourselves:  who else could I invite to join me in this mission or this ministry?  The more hands and feet and hearts that are engaged in the work together, the more amazing and dramatic the impact will be!  Why not try it and see?

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!


Joe McGowan, Guest Preacher


John 17:1-11
“The Power Found in Working Together!”

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “God, the hour has come; glorify me so that I may glorify you, since you have given me authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given to me.  And this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God, and the Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, God, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed. “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them.  And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy God, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.


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Topic: Worship Sunday May 24, 2020
Time: May 24, 2020 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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