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"After Sunday worship I feel refreshed and ready to start a new week. Worship calms me and makes me want toW be a more giving and forgiving person."

 

 "I am here to share my soul, body, and mind with our bigger family who shares our worship to God and the entire universe.  This is my worship experience at church."

 

Worship at FCC Essex follows a traditional liturgy, but God still speaks to the world today from these ancient words and rituals as if they were new.  Music and spirit and art and words and silence center us and inform us.  Our style of worship brings comfort, soothes the spirit, challenges the mind, strengthens our love of each other, and empowers us for doing good in the world.

 

We share our church home with Ivoryton Congregational Church.  They worship Sundays at 8:45 am.  We worship at 10:30 am.

 

Other special services of worship are celebrated throughout the year during Advent (Christmas) and Lent, as well as ecumenical events with other churches in Essex and within the UCC.

 

 

January 21, 2018

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

 

Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 62:5-12
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20

On Mark 1:14-20

Time and urgency are at the heart of this passage. In that first chapter, William Abraham writes, "Jesus sweeps through Galilee and takes it by storm….the underlying sense is that God is on the march in the ministry of Jesus" (The Lectionary Commentary: The Gospels). The time is now, Jesus announces: his very first words of proclamation are "The time is fulfilled" (v.15), or, as Eugene Peterson renders it in The Message, "Time's up!"

This isn't the kind of time we keep track of in our calendars, whether on our phones or written in journals: days, weeks, months and years. It's a different kind of time, found in the New Testament but sometimes experienced today, too: kairos, as Fred Craddock describes it, "a time in which the constellation of factors creates an unusually significant moment" (Preaching through the Christian Year B).

Much has been written about the response of the disciples who dropped everything to follow Jesus. Why did they do something so drastic, and how could they up-end their lives so dramatically, and would that really be a good thing for us to do today, that is, if we could "manage" it? ("Up-ending" and "managing" hardly go together.) We can't help putting ourselves in that boat, or on that shore, doing our everyday work, casting our nets and minding our own business, fulfilling our commitments and dealing with the reality of having to work just to survive. Could we measure up to the standard of those disciples, and drop everything, too?



Read this entire reflection here.


To see a sermon, click here