ORUCC Worship Resources for Sunday, January 7th, 2024

Orchard Ridge

United Church of Christ

Sunday Worship Resources

Epiphany Sunday, January 7, 2024

Due to the current increased rates of Covid, RSV and influenza respiratory infections, ORUCC strongly encourages you to wear a face mask this Sunday to protect yourself,

your family, and your friends here at church.

9:00 am: Sunday School for Children & Youth

9:00 am: For Adults:

Baxter Richardson and Ed Janus dialogue:

The Current Tragedy in the Land Formally Known as the Holy Land: A Conversation Between a Christian and a Jew

About Israel and Palestine

10:00 am: Worship

Sermon: Ken Pennings

“Epiphany – God’s Glory Revealed”

Lay Liturgist: Ginny Moore Kruse

Musical Offerings: David Allen

Celebration of Holy Communion

11:00 am: Reception in Friendship Hall

We invite you to remain after worship for a reception

of international Epiphany breads

baked and served by John Leonard.

Find a red bean, trade it in for a crown!

Click here for at-home bulletin

Join our Worship virtually

on YouTube any time after 10 am:

YouTube Link

You will need to refresh the page

after 10 am if you have opened it before

For Children & Youth – January 7th


Nursery Care opens at 8:30. Marie and Leah are ready to play with your little one. 

Sunday School starts at 9 am. PreK-1 children are invited to sing with Julie in the William Johnson room from 9:00-9:15. After the music, Jill and Josie will guide the children in our final Advent story about the Prophets, Mary and Joseph, the Shepherds, and the Magi.

The 2-5 grade classroom will also complete their Advent study. The Magi have now arrived in Bethlehem for Epiphany! The children will hear the story of the Magi and have the opportunity to sniff frankincense and myrrh essential oils. Following the stories, the children will be invited to make a beaded star to symbolize the star the Magi followed. Joanna and Jadyn will guide the children in their learning. 

Looking Ahead….NO SUNDAY SCHOOL 1/14 for the All Church Retreat. Sunday School Resumes on 1/21.


This Sunday, our Sunday school programming will start up again with Echo the Story at 9:00 for youth 6th-12th grade. Susan Watson and Kristin Muckian will be leading this week. TRU Function will practice 10:00-12:00. Kate will be away this Sunday, attending to the memorial for her niece in Albuquerque, NM. 

Looking ahead, Sunday 1/14 is our All Church Retreat at Daycholah Center. Kate will be offering some youth-specific programming on Saturday morning at the retreat. She’s excited for time together with you! We will not have regularly scheduled Sunday school at ORUCC on the 14th, and TRU Function will not have practice. If you would like to sign up for the retreat, there’s still time! Please sign up here.

Another exciting development: Kate has been part of a group discussing the idea of an interfaith GSA (Gender-Sexuality Alliance) group in Madison. Anyone interested is invited to come to a meeting at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Sunday, January 21 at 1:00. Kate will be there–if there are any youth who have interest in sharing their perspectives about what this kind of a group might look like, she’d like to invite you to come along too!  

For Adults

Sunday, January 7, 9 am

Alfred Swan Room (or possibly an adjacent area)

Baxter Richardson and Ed Janus dialogue:

The Current Tragedy in the Land Formally Known as the Holy Land: A Conversation Between a Christian and a Jew

About Israel and Palestine

American Jews find themselves in a very difficult – some would say “untenable” – position as regards the horror in Israel and especially, in Gaza. How do these non-Israeli Jews reconcile the deep Jewish demand for justice and Israel’s expropriation of the Palestinians’ homeland? How do they reconcile the “colonialism” of the Jewish state with their own special status as refugees from horror? On the other hand, are American Christians, whose religious traditions are deeply Jewish, troubled in the same way.

In this 45-minute conversation, Baxter Richardson and Ed Janus will both share perspectives and, if possible, help us understand something that seems to defy understanding. Baxter and Ed will have no answers, only a look at the horrible tragedy of the once-Holy Land. They will be happy to entertain your questions and comments.

Here are some of the questions they plan to put to each other:

·        Do Judaism and Christianity offer us frameworks for understanding and/or optimism?

·        Do American Christians and American Jews view the horror in Gaza and Israel radically differently? 

·        Do American Jews have an unreasonable (unjust) bias towards Israel?

·        What does Ed think about Israel? If Israel is important to him why is that?

·        Is Israel a special case in world history with a permanent “get out of jail card”? Do American Jews believe that?

·        What does Israel mean to Baxter?

·        Does Israel get a pass when it acts like a normal nation? Is it held to a different standard higher than other nations?

·        Justice is a big deal for Jews: Does their support for Israel undermine that in the case of Gaza?

·        Do Jews have different justifications for the slaughter? Does Ed buy it?

·        Why do both Ed and Baxter find moral refuge in tragedy?

For background, watch the PBS documentary “Netanyahu, America and the War in Gaza/Failure at the Fence” which is available streaming on PBS Passport. This documentary aired on December 19 and while it deals primarily with Netanyahu, it examines the underlying conflicts and the failure of the peace process.

Click here for a pdf which may be easier to print


Neighborhood Schools

Last year our congregation was able to donate $4,500 to our 3 neighborhood schools: Anana ElementaryOrchard Ridge Elementary, and Toki Middle School

The schools were able to use these funds to purchase winter clothing and basic school supplies for students in need. The need for these basic necessities becomes clear when we consider the number of students who come from economically disadvantaged households. 

According to the latest statistics from the Department of Public Instruction, over 40% of the students at Anana Elementary live in economically disadvantaged households. At Toki Middle School, the number is 43%. And at Orchard Ridge Elementary, the number is 57%. 

Another basic need within our neighborhood schools is the need for staff. As is the case in many school districts across the country, our neighborhood schools must deal with the daily predicament of not having enough teachers. 

Given the challenges that each school faces, we aren’t asking the principals of our 3 neighborhood schools to submit a video for this year’s compassion offering. They have other pressing issues to attend to. 

Instead, we are asking you to give what you can, and give generously, so that each school can use our donations to address the urgent and important needs of the students they serve. 

Thank you for supporting our neighborhood schools, which have served many of our congregation families past and present. And thank you to all of the ORUCC members who have served and who continue to serve our community as teachers and school volunteers. 

At ORUCC we have a long history of supporting our neighborhood families and investing in education. With this month’s compassion offering, we have another important opportunity to contribute and carry on that tradition.

You can make a donation by check, on the memo line, please write “compassion” and mail to ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711,

or donate online from our website

The link is https://orucc.org/contribute/support/

Office Manager Julie Wombacher

Mon.-Thurs. 8:30am -12:00 pm

608-271-7212 or EMAIL

Senior Pastor: Rev. Dr. Julia Burkey


Associate Pastor: Rev. Kate Mackey EMAIL

Associate Pastor: Rev. Ken Pennings


Children’s Education Coordinator & Music Director: Julie Mazer EMAIL

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