Raising Our Prayers and Praise ūüé∂ūüôŹ

May God’s liberating love enfold and hold you on this Juneteenth.¬† Hear the words of John Lewis,

Ours is not the struggle of one day, one week, or one year.  Ours is not the struggle of one judicial appointment or presidential term.  Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part.

Thank you to Clarence Rogers sharing his testimony on Juneteenth last Sunday.

If you missed this, please click here to listen.


Thank you to everyone who came to the hymn sing on Sunday.  We filled Syster Hall with delicious food and music!

As part of our hymn sing, I shared that the New Century Hymnal in the pews is now 30 years.  As the hymnal was being developed, the committee went back to the original language the hymn was written.

Wait, did you realize that some of your favorite hymns were translations from another language??

Going back to the original language, the committee sought to translate prayerful.¬† For example, the Christmas Carol, “Of a Father’s Love Begotten”…the original words are closer to “Of a Parent’s Love…”¬† This is a good time to point out that hymns evoke emotions.¬† As I said on Sunday, we don’t always want facts to get in the way.¬† You may still like the word “Father” or that word may cause a shiver to run down your spine.¬†¬†

We are a diverse congregation!

Because our hymnal is 30 years old, it has been a minute since we have revisited this prayer book in our pews, this theological text book that we sing from each Sunday.  In this transition time, it is good to revisit why we do what we do as well as what new hymns might express our faith today.  

On Sundays during July, we will engage a sermon series on hymns and music.

Second, on Tuesday nights OR Wednesday mornings I want to invite everyone to discussion with me about our hymnals.  No one hymn can bear the weight of all our diversity.  No one hymnal can do that either.

Here are the topics:

Please note: each week the topic on Tuesday and Wednesday will be the same.  Yes, feel free to attend Tuesday night one week and Wednesday the next.
Tuesday, July 9 OR Wednesday July 10 ~ Overview and how music is praying twice
Tuesday, July 23 OR Wednesday, July 24 ~ Translated and Updated, talking about inclusive language
Tuesday, July 30 OR Wednesday, July 31 ~ Where do we go from here?  The unresolved and unfinishable work of letting our lives flow on in endless song.

I do pray you will join in the conversations as you are able.  Remember, Tuesday night is at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom only OR Wednesday mornings at 11 a.m. (zoom and Oasis Center).  I believe these conversations will begin to help us as we continue our search for our next Director of Music.  Finally, please remember that we are not hiring someone who can swoop in and solve what we surface in these discussions.  We are shining a light on the work we are called to do as God’s people in these days.  If you have questions let me know. 

Two Services this Sunday ~
June 23

We continue our PRIDE celebration!

Worship at 8:45 a.m. & 11 a.m. ~ 

We welcome back Adam De Sorgo as our guest organist/choir director

8:45 a.m. ~ We gather in the chapel to worship.¬† Pastor Wes will¬†continue the sermon series on Acts 10, preaching on Peter’s invitation to draw the circle of inclusion wide!¬†

11:00 a.m. ~ We gather in the sanctuary or online.¬† Pastor Wes will¬†continue the sermon series on Acts 10, preaching on Peter’s invitation to draw the circle of inclusion wide.¬† The Choir will sing, “Send Us Your Spirit.”

Please join us after 11 a.m.. worship for a special conversation on upcoming elections for the Hospital Board.  A light lunch will be served.  Thank you to Peace and Justice Team for hosting!

Pastor Wes’s Morning Meditations on our¬† ~¬†¬†You can click here to read.


Save the Date! On Sunday, June 23rd at Noon, Peace and Justice Team at a special Fellowship Hour in Syster Hall  to learn about voting procedures for the upcoming SMH Board election in August.  We will share statistical impacts of potential hospital privatization on quality of care and cost. A light lunch will be served, and a free-will donation received.


Voting procedures in many states have changed!  NOW is the time to check your REGISTRATION for whatever state you vote in!  Do it online. Websites below.  (If you vote by mail, you can check on the same site to see that your vote is counted!)

Be sure you’re still registered!  (Vote-by Mail MUST be renewed this year!)
~ Sarasota:  sarasotavotes.gov
~ Manatee:  votemanatee.com
~ Any state, any county:  vote.gov.

New Florida voters:  vote.gov or your county website 

National Voting Dates for your calendar:
Vote-by-mail ballots will be sent out:  September 26th ~ October 3rd 


As we continue the search for our next Music Director, we are inviting people to respond to the survey below.  A paper copy of the survey will be in the bulletin next Sunday, June 23rd.  However, if you would like to respond electronically please email Pastor Wes your responses:

Hymn/Worship Survey ‚Äď Summer 2024

1). We sing 2 hymns, a response, and doxology.  Do you find this number to be (choose one)
_____    Right number                _____    Too Few            _____    Too Many

2). We tend to sing the Lord’s Prayer during Lent, would you like to see this included at other times throughout the Church year?
_____    Yes
_____    No, please keep this tradition for Lent only

3). We currently do not sing the Gloria Patri, would you like to see this reinstated?
_____    Yes
_____    No
_____    I do not know what this response is

4). Regarding singing Christmas Carols, which statement best reflects your perspective:
_____    I would like to sing Christmas Carols throughout December and into January
_____    I would like to sing Advent music only until Christmas Eve
_____    I would like a mixture of Advent music and Christmas Carols throughout December

5). Regarding singing music during Lent, which statement best reflects your perspective:
_____    I see Lent as a serious, sacred time and music should be somber
_____    Because Sundays are not included in Lent, we can sing all kinds of music
_____    Unsure what I think currently

6). Regarding inclusive language
_____    I am okay with changing Thy or Thee to You (e.g. Great is Your Faithfulness)
_____    I am okay with gender neutral language (e.g. Faith of our Martyrs)
_____    I prefer words that I grew up, but prefer new hymns to have gender neutral language
_____    Unsure what I think currently

7). Regarding Summer worship ~ which statement best reflects your perspective:
_____ I would like to continue two services in August    
_____ I would like to have one joint service in August at 10:30 a.m.    
_____    I do not have a preference

We also have compiled our top top 40 and all 400 hymns that were submitted to Pastor Wes.  If you would like a copy, please email Pastor Wes.


June is PRIDE Month.  Thank you to everyone who showed up at Silver Pride on Saturday!!  It was a wonderful event/experience! 

Worship services will include participants from COLLAGE each Sunday in June.  This Sunday, June 23rd, Carolyn Habels will help lead our liturgy!

Please put on your calendar Saturday, June 29 at 9 AM РJoin Project Pride for a vibrant celebration as we join in marching the Grand Flag over Ringling Bridge! Witness a stunning display of unity and pride as we light up the bridge with our colorful presence.  

Ringling Bridge 
920 John Ringling Causeway
 Sarasota, FL 34236


Church Directory…

We are bringing our directory up-to-date.  And we need your help!!
Please go to our Instant Church Directory and verify that your address, phone, and email are correct!

Or please contact the church office to verify.

If you have dropped your landline, gotten a new cell phone number or email, or had any changes in the way the church contacts you.

Finally, if you would like a new picture in the on-line directory, let us know!!

Our hope is to have this project done by September!  Please check today and let us know that the information is correct.


Lord, listen to your children praying. 
Lord send Your Spirit in this place. 
Lord, listen to your children praying. 
Send us love, send us power, send us grace.  


Prayer Circle ~ Thank you to Jane Delgado-Semidei, we have re-established our Prayer Circle ~ a group of members who will pray for you each day.  There are prayer cards in the pews OR you can also find the prayer request on our website. 

Please click here to send a prayer to the prayer circle.


Director of Music Search Team Update ~

The job description for Director of Music was unanimously approved at the May Council Meeting.  


The job description is now posted on our website as well as on the websites of: American Guild of Organists, UCC/Other Denominational Musician Networks, and Music Conservatories (Eastman, IU, Oberlin) We have reached out to Sarasota musicians to share through word-of-mouth as well as past Artists-in-residence. All candidates are required to submit a resume and repertoire for us to review.  

The Search Team will continue the prayerful work to find the candidate who is a good fit with our Covenants, Core Values, choir, congregation, and staff.   Please remember that we are entering the confidential part of the search and are unable to discuss particular candidates or share names.  We pray you understand.
Please hold the Search Team in prayer.  Thank you to Lori White, Jane Hunder, Jeff Smith, Peggye Mezile, Linda Pursley, Gregg Matthews, Diane Miller, Nancy Morris and Pastor Wes.


Sacred Conversations on Race ~ gathers at 3 pm in the Oasis Center and on Zoom on the following date:

June 26 ~ We will be discussing Sho Baraka‚Äôs Book, He Saw that It Was Good.¬†¬†¬†Read Pages 81 ‚Äď the end.

All are welcome!  You can join either in person in the Oasis Center or on Zoom.  Please see Jim Crumel for more information.


Since its founding 50 years ago, Bread for the World has achieved many victories. Through nonpartisan political engagement, Bread has helped strengthen national nutritional programs, drastically reducing hunger in the U.S. and abroad. Below are some of the reasons our church is a Bread for the World Covenant Church:

Bread for the World has worked to ensure SNAP is always available when a crisis hits, like during COVID or country-wide recessions

Bread for the World’s efforts to expand and extend the Child Tax Credit amid the COVID-19 pandemic helped reduce childhood poverty in the U.S. by nearly 45 percent

Bread for the World was instrumental in crafting language for and obtaining passage of the bipartisan Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act of 2022, which helps U.S. global nutrition efforts around the world be more effective.

For more information on how Bread for the World helps to combat hunger and poverty in the U.S. and abroad, please read the following link: https://www.bread.org/our-impact/



Wednesday, June 19
Bible Study, 11 a.m., Oasis Center and Zoom

Sunday, June 23
Early Morning Worship, 8:45 a.m., Chapel
Sunday Worship, 11 a.m. in Sanctuary and online
Peace and Justice Presentation, noon, Syster Hall

A Service to Celebrate the life of Samuel Bryant will be Sunday, June 23rd at 1:30 p.m., Chapel

Monday, June 24

Spiritual Education and Growth, 2 p.m. Zoom

Tuesday, June 25
COLLAGE (LGBTQ+ and Allies) Conversation, 11 a.m., Oasis Center and Zoom
Tuesday Night Bible Study, 6:30 p.m., Zoom

Wednesday, June 26

Wednesday Bible Study, 11 a.m., Oasis Center and Zoom
Sacred Conversations on Race, 3 p.m., Oasis Center and Zoom

Upcoming Services:
A Service to Celebrate the life of Pat Myers will be Thursday, June 27 at 10 a.m. in the Chapel






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