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Pastoral Letter, October 14, 2023

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

To the Saints in San Carlos:

What a week it has been.  Life, of course, goes on here in San Carlos.  Parents work, children go to school, people shop and dine along laurel Avenue, the sun rises, the sun sets.

While the national and international news is deeply disturbing, even more so than usual. For tomorrow’s worship I chose to focus on the account of Paul’s arrest in the Acts of the Apostles.  He was arrested for starting a riot.  Who started it?  In any conflict we always want to know who started it, but there is seldom an easy answer.  There was not then and there is no easy answer to how all our current conflicts started, let alone solutions.  

All the more reason to gather of a Sunday morning to count our blessings and pray for God’s help.

As it is the third Sunday, we will have a council meeting after church.  We will hear progress reports on improvements to our buildings and grounds.  I can report that I am continuing efforts to connect our congregation to the wider church, to other congregations in town and to other UCC and DOC churches in our area.  Etc.!

The Spirit is at work here.  Have a blessed weekend.

Service of Christian Worship

Community UCC, Kalavaria UCC and Chalice DOC 

Churches of San Carlos

October 15, 2023  20th Sunday after Pentecost


Prelude                                  My Lord, What A Morning           Ann Willard


Words of Welcome                                                               Pastor Richard


It’s a pleasure to welcome you all this morning, 

on this beautiful Sabbath of our Holy God.

God is good!  All the time?

All the time!  God is good!  Hallelujah


Fa’atalofa atu male agaga fiafia i lenei taeao fou 

Ole sapati paia ole Atua.

E lelei le Atua!  I taimi uma?

I taimi uma!  E lelei le Atua!  Aleluia



Come, Holy Spirit, fill this place, 

anoint these servants with your grace. 

Inspire and guard them with your might 

and be, Creator, their delight. 


Your sev’nfold gifts we seek this hour; 

your wisdom, knowledge, truth and power. 

May counsel, love, and peace prevail. 

Such gifts from you will never fail. 


Creator, Spirit, hear us sing; 

breathe fire into the praise we bring. 

The mighty Spirit lives in power; 

the church renewed responds this hour.


Opening Hymn                                #6 Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above


Pass the Peace of Christ


Bend, Stretch, Breathe and 


Responsive Reading


Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands; *     serve the Lord with gladness 

Know this: The Lord himself is God; *     he himself has made us, and we are his;     we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise; *     give thanks to him and call upon his Name.

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; *     and his faithfulness endures from age to age.


- Jubilate, from Psalm 100


Passing the Peace of Christ


Invocation, in unison:


Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory 

among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy,

that your Church throughout the world may persevere 

with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reignswith you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.Amen.


Children’s Sermon



Hymn                                   #570 Sweet Hour of Prayer, First Verse


Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.


Most merciful God,we confess that we have sinned against youin thought, word, and deed,by what we have done,and by what we have left undone.We have not loved you with our whole heart;we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,have mercy on us and forgive us;that we may delight in your will,and walk in your ways,to the glory of your Name. Amen.


Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sinsthrough our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, 

and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us ineternal life. Amen.


Sung Prayer Response                 #305 verse 1 Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying


Lord, listen to your children praying, Lord, send your spirit in this place.  Lord, listen to your children praying, send us love, send us pow’r, send us grace!         


We are a praying community.  What is weighing heavily upon your heart and needs prayer?  Please share your prayers with God and this company.


                     Sharing of Concerns   Pastoral Prayer   Lord's Prayer


Exodus 29:42-46

"This is to be your regular, daily Whole-Burnt-Offering before God, generation after generation, sacrificed at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. That's where I'll meet you; that's where I'll speak with you; that's where I'll meet the Israelites, at the place made holy by my Glory.  I'll make the Tent of Meeting and the Altar holy. I'll make Aaron and his sons holy in order to serve me as priests.  I'll move in and live with the Israelites. I'll be their God.  They'll realize that I am their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could live with them. I am God, your God.


Acts 21:27-34

         When the seven days of their purification were nearly up, some Jews from around Ephesus spotted Paul in the Temple. At once they turned the place upside-down. They grabbed him and started yelling at the top of their lungs, "Help! You Israelites, help! This is the man who is going all over the world telling lies against us and our religion and this place. He's even brought Greeks in here and defiled this holy place."

         Soon the whole city was in an uproar, people running from everywhere to the Temple to get in on the action. They grabbed Paul, dragged him outside, and locked the Temple gates so he couldn't get back in and gain sanctuary.  As they were trying to kill him, word came to the captain of the guard, "A riot! The whole city's boiling over!" 

         He acted swiftly. His soldiers and centurions ran to the scene at once. As soon as the mob saw the captain and his soldiers, they quit beating Paul.  The captain came up and put Paul under arrest. He first ordered him handcuffed, and then asked who he was and what he had done.  All he got from the crowd were shouts, one yelling this, another that. It was impossible to tell one word from another in the mob hysteria, so the captain ordered Paul taken to the military barracks. 


The Sermon                                    This Is Our World


Offertory and Closing Hymn:                     #86 Great Is Thy Faithfulness       


Sharing of Joys and Announcements


Sung Response


Lo’u agaga e, sulufa’i naunau mo oe le Alii. Ua tu tasi oe i lo’u loto, oute faamanu ai nei.  Sili oe i penina ma auro, Na o oe e malie ai.  O oe o lo’u olioli, lo’u i’oimata moni.  Na o oe lo’u talita, ma ia mata’u lo’u agaga.  Ua tu tasi oe i lo’u loto, oute faamanu ai nei. Amene.


Benediction and Postlude


Join us for fellowship on the porch and for coffee in

the Callis and Elaine Center next door.


Events of Interest

Ø Evensong via Zoom Thursdays at 3:30 will resume October 19.


Ongoing Prayer Concerns

Ø For the victims of drowning, floods, natural disasters and violence

Ø For the peace and safety of our neighborhood and city

Ø For our sister congregations in the UCC, DOC and city of San Carlos

Ø For our local sheriff and fire departments

Ø Those who are homeless or alone

Ø Doctors, nurses, all health care workers 

Ø Waiters, baristas, cashiers and all those who serve the public

Ø Schools, teachers and children

Ø For the peace of Jerusalem and all of God's people


Keep in touch with us through our Facebook page:

and our Webpage:

Admire the new signage on all of our buildings.

Call us at the church office 650 593 7809

Pastor Richard’s cell phone is 202 422 5598


Resources for active adults:


- Pastor Richard Hyde

Community Church of San Carlos

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