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September 5, 2021 – Escape and Rescue

September 5, 2021 – “creationtide”

Our organist, Tom Pousont, is away this weekend. Our music today features recordings by the Tygerberg Kinderkoor, an internationally-acclaimed children’s choir from South Africa. You may learn more about this extraordinary choir at


 painting by Edward Hicks





We thank you, O Creator,
for the morning sun that awakens the day,
and for the leaves that turns its light into life.
We thank you, for the animals and insects
that turn those leaves into movement and sight and sense.
We thank you, also, for our own living, breathing bodies,
and with all the world’s creatures we sing:
Halleluia! Thanks be to the God!




This is the account of Noah and his family.

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

“So, make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.  Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around.  Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

Noah did everything just as God commanded him.    (Genesis 6: 9-22)


painting by Jan Bruegel the Elder 



Escape and Rescue
Rev. Liza Knapp


We would like for you to grant us an extension,
for we have delayed too long.
We would like for you to bend the rules,
for we have broken them.
But we know, good Lord, that you would like
for us to change our ways.

(pause for silent prayer)

Yours was the first word, O Creator,
and yours shall be the last.
In our lives and in our prayers:
may your kingdom come.


Baba Yetu
(The ‘Lord’s Prayer’, sung in Swahili)


Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me. (psalm 24)

As the flood waters subside,
as the rubble is cleared,
we lift up our prayers

with the ones who were swept away,
with the ones who tried to rescue them
we pray

Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me.

As the cases rise,
as the hospital beds fill,
we lift up our prayers

with the ones who are sick,
with ones who care for them,
we pray

Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me.

As the sea levels rise,
as the storms intensify
we we lift up our prayers

with the earth
and all its creatures
we pray

Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me

As you parted the seas in the time of Moses,
As you guided the Ark in the time of Noah,
Guide us now, in our time, and
show us the way out of no way.

These are the prayers of the people;
let the people say, Amen.

Photograph taken during Hurricane Katrina; the kitten was named, “Survivor”


(to make a donation in support of the ministry and mission of the First Church of Deerfield, please see link at the end of this order of worship)


This Little Light of Mine


God of all the world,
we give thanks for the Earth
and for the diversity of life which flourishes upon it.
We offer these small gifts to you,
aware that you are the source of all our gifts.
May we neither hoard nor squander,
but faithfully tend
and generously share
the abundance of your creation.


(from the Iona community)

Go in peace, and be witnesses to hope.
May God bless us with strength to seek justice.
May God bless us with wisdom to care for the earth.
May God bless us with love to bring forth new life.



The First Church of Deerfield
an inclusive, inquisitive congregation of
the United Church of Christ
and the Unitarian Universalist Association

Rev. Liza B. Knapp, Pastor
Dr. Thomas Pousont, Director of Music Ministry
Tom Mershon, Sexton
Pat Auchard, Office Administrator
Ann Hallstein, Pastor Emerita

If you wish to make a donation in support of our ministry,
text “GIVE” to (413) 307-3730 or click below: