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“Truly this man was God’s Son!” —Mark 1:39

Sunday, July 27

The Lord’s Day

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Minute for Mission:

Metropolitan/Urban Ministry


It’s Saturday morning at Laurelton United Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York. A handful of people are spread out around plastic dinner tables in the fellowship hall. A few are chatting; one is looking through today’s paper; another is intent on his pancakes. The kitchen nearby is buzzing with activity. A woman is flipping pancakes on an electric griddle while a young man runs full plates to guests at the table.

Three young women are talking about their new cat. They show off pictures like proud parents. One says, “I’ve never felt comfortable at a church, but I feel comfortable here.” Two men arrive and shout warm greetings to folks around the table. A young man comes in and hugs the woman in the kitchen. He sits down next to an older woman waiting at the table with another hug. It seems like they’ve known each other for years, but it’s only been eight Saturdays.

This is Laurelton’s Saturday café. The idea started with a session discussion about how we could use our assets (a building, heat, Internet, a kitchen) to welcome our neighbors in a new way. The first week we served five members of the congregation, but before long we were serving 15 people a week, most of whom hadn’t been connected with Laurelton before. Two years later, we serve 35 people a week, many of whom come every Saturday.

You can see community growing around the table: folks of different ages, from different places and backgrounds, sharing stories, joys, and sorrows; people rediscovering neighbors they haven’t seen in years; new relationships forming and deepening. It is simple, intergenerational, and holy. The congregation is reconnecting with the neighborhood, and God is doing something new in our midst. How might God be leading you toward your neighbors today?

Sam Picard, pastor, Laurelton United Presbyterian Church

Let us pray

God of love and surprises, as you bring a tree with shelter enough for all from the tiny mustard seed, you also bring great ministry from humble beginnings. Help us to follow you in our daily lives, trusting you not only to redeem us but also to guide our steps by your loving purpose. Amen.

Sunday Lectionary and Hymns

Gen. 29:15–28
“Praise My Soul, the King
of Heaven”
HB 31, PH 478, 479

Ps. 105:1–11, 45b or Ps. 128
“Seek Ye First”
PH 333

Rom. 8:26–39
“Like the Murmur of the
Dove’s Song”
PH 314

Matt. 13:31–33, 44–52
“Be Thou My Vision”
HB 303, PH 339

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 67; 150
First Reading Joshua 24:1-15
Second Reading Acts 28:23-31
Gospel Reading Mark 2:23-28
Evening Psalms 46; 93

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