Category Archives: Music

Palm Sunday (April 9) Broadcast of Pipe Organ Dedication Concert

In September, we had the pleasure of hosting a formal dedication of the Church’s renovated Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ. Larry Votjko, WVIA-FM radio host, was the Master of Ceremonies for a dedication concert featuring music by Bach, Handel, Franck, Pinkham, Rorem, and others, performed by our Director of Music, Carl D. Ruck, and featuring guest vocalists Juliana Child and Jacob Kerzner of the Ithaca College  Choir.

At 2:00 on Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017, WVIA-FM (89.9) will broadcast a recording of that concert as part of its Sunday Concert Hall series. Please tune in!

Past posts about the concert:
September 25 Pipe Organ Dedication Concert


September 25 Pipe Organ Dedication Concert

PLEASE JOIN US at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 25, 2016, for an afternoon of great music. Church of Christ Uniting will host a formal dedication of the Church’s renovated Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ. Larry Votjko, WVIA-FM radio host, will be the Master of Ceremonies for a dedication concert featuring music by Bach, Handel, Franck, Pinkham, Rorem, and others, performed by our Director of Music, Carl D. Ruck, and featuring guest vocalists Juliana Child and Jacob Kerzner of the Ithaca College  Choir.

The concert will be recorded and broadcast at a later date on WVIA-FM (89.9 FM).

Reception to follow in Fellowship Hall.

Download (PDF)


Second Sunday Singers – Wanted

People who enjoy singing with the Choir, but who are unable to commit to Wednesday night rehearsals.  WHEN: The second Sunday of every month at 9:15 a.m. in Fellowship Hall. HOW:  We will rehearse an easy, very singable anthem for that Sunday. WHO:  All voices, male and female, who want to sing with the choir.  See Carl Ruck or Leslie Bullock for more information.


Ithaca Choir Concert a Resounding Success

On Saturday evening, April 9, 2016, COCU hosted a concert by the Ithaca College Choir. The 55-voice group filled the sanctuary with liturgical music from around the globe, and added a few popular songs that had the audience on their feet for a standing ovation at the conclusion of the concert.

There were 197 COCU members and guests in attendance. Family members of several of the choir members traveled to Kingston to hear the concert.

Radio station WVIA-FM (89.9) was in attendance to record the concert and a broadcast date will be announced in the near future. As soon as that date is announced, the information will be shared with the COCU community.

It was especially gratifying to see guests remain in the sanctuary for at least 30 minutes after the conclusion of the concert to take photographs of the stained glass window, explore the sanctuary, chat with COCU members, and express their appreciation to COCU for being gracious hosts.

A special word of thanks is extended to COCU members who assisted in making the event a success. The team who prepared the dinner for the choir, set up tables and chairs, filled “goodie bags” for the bus trip back to Ithaca, and generally jumped in to assist as needed, are a true demonstration of opening the doors to COCU to the community and maintaining a positive presence in NEPA.


April 9 Concert – Ithaca College Choir

PLEASE JOIN US at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, 2016. The Ithaca College Choir will perform a free public concert at Church of Christ Uniting. They will be incorporating the church’s renovated pipe organ in several of their musical selections.

The Ithaca School of Music is one of the premier music schools in the country, attracting talented musicians from around the world. The Ithaca College Choir has performed at Lincoln Center in New York City, Strathmore Hall in Washington, D.C., and other prominent concert halls throughout the U.S. and internationally. The choir is under the direction of Dr. Janet Galvan.

The entire concert will be recorded and broadcast at a later date on WVIA-FM.


March 23 Organ Recital by Carl Ruck

WEDNESDAY, March 23, 2016 11:30 AM – COCU’s Minister of Music, Carl Ruck, will be performing a recital of Lenten organ music at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre. The recital will be recorded and broadcast on WVIA-FM (89.9).

Since the 1920s, St. Stephen’s has offered free Lenten recitals starting at 11:30am, prior to the noon Community Ecumenical Lenten Service. A soup and sandwich lunch is available immediately following the services in the auditorium for $4.00. This series is sponsored by the Downtown Ministerium of Wilkes-Barre.


October Worship

October Worship begins with our World Communion service- reminding us of the faith that unites us to Christians around the world, and ends with Anniversary Sunday which is the annual celebration of our call to be united as Methodists and Presbyterians together.  Our lectionary readings for this late ordinary time in year B come from Job and Hebrews and will inform Pastor Carol’s preaching emphasis on the nature in the world of human sin.

October 4
World Communion Celebration; Peace and Justice Ministry Offering

Scriptures:  Job 1:1, 2:1-10 God allows his faithful servant Job to be tested by Satan; Mark 10:2-16 Jesus is tested by the Pharisees on the question of divorce; Hebrews 1: 1-4, 2: 5-12 Jesus is the reflection of God’s glory even as he shares our human nature.

Hymns:  O God of Every Nation, This is My Song, In Christ there is no East or West

October 11
Columbus Day Weekend but your church is NOT on vacation- so don’t miss out!

Scriptures:  Job 23: 1-9 Job wants God to answer for his suffering; Mark 10: 17-31 The rich man asks Jesus what he must do to be saved; Hebrews 4: 12-16 Scripture judges us.

Hymns:  Immortal Invisible God only Wise, Will You Come and Follow Me? O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee

October 18

Scriptures:  Job 38: 1-7, 34-38 God answers Job’s demand for an audience; Mark 10: 34-44 James and John want special treatment from Jesus; Hebrews 5: 1-10 Jesus is the great high priest who interceded for us with God

Hymns:  Praise to the Lord the Almighty; Blessed Jesus, at your Word; To God be the Glory

October 25

Anniversary Sunday- The Rev. Robert Kazinski guest preacher

Hymns:  Come Sing, O Church in Joy; A Mighty Fortress is our God; Lord You Give the Great Commission


Second Sunday Singers

People are needed who enjoy singing with the choir but are unable to commit to Wednesday night rehearsals.  The Second Sunday Singers meet the second Sunday of every month at 9:15 A.M.  in Fellowship Hall.  The group rehearses an easy, very singable anthem for that Sunday.  All voices, male and female, who want to sing with the choir are welcome.  See Carl Ruck, Leslie Bullock or call the church office at (570)288- 8434 for more information.


February Worship

February 1-Fourth Sunday after Epiphany 

Communion served in pews- Souper Bowl Hunger Offering

Sermon:  Not for Bread Alone

Scripture:  Deuteronomy 18: 15-20 Behaviors for the Promised Land; Corinthians 8: 1-13 Christians model behavior so that others may not come to harm

Hymns:  Morning is Broken; This is My Father’s World; How Great Thou Art

February 8- Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

Scouting Sunday to honor our young people

Scripture:  Mark 1: 29-39 Jesus’ Ministry of Healing; 1 Corinthians 9: 16-23 Paul as Apostle

Hymns:  Great is Thy Faithfulness; We are One in the Spirit; All the Way My Savior Leads

 February 15- Transfiguration Sunday

Pulpit Exchange with the Rev. Scott Loomer

Scripture:  2 Corinthians 4: 3-6 Glory of God

Hymns:  Swiftly Pass the Clouds of Glory; O Wondrous Sight, O Vision Fair;  Jesus Take us to the Mountain

 February 18- Ash Wednesday- Lent Begins

6:00 p.m. Service in the Sanctuary

Communion at the rail and imposition of ashes. The theme is ‘Receive Justification.’  Let’s start off Lent on the ‘right’ foot, by falling on our knees!

February 22- First Sunday in Lent

Sermon:  Defining Moments

Scripture:  Mark 1: 9-15 Jesus shares his identity with disciples; Genesis 9: 8-17 God makes a covenant with Noah and sets a rainbow in the sky.

Hymns:  Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above; Forty Days and Forty Nights;  Lord of the Dance

February 25- Second Wednesday in Lent

6:00 p.m. Service in the Sanctuary

This year our celebration ministry team has decided to have services each Wednesday in the Sanctuary, with light refreshments following the service in Fellowship Hall before choir practice.  As before, they will be 30-45 minutes in duration but each service you will have the opportunity to partake of communion at the rail. Our theme will be THE PARABLES OF LENT. In stories of lives transformed, Jesus invites us to receive the means of grace as we are offered: Justification, the Word, the Treasure, Mercy and Forgiveness.


Remember to deepen your faith journey during Lent by participating in a study session: Adult Class on Sundays at 11:30 p.m. in Luken’s Lounge; Thursday Lunch Bunch at 11:00 a.m.; Circle of Grade meets on Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m.

Thursday Lunch Bunch is looking at ‘questions of faith’ video reclaiming Jesus for our time


December Worship

December 7- Second Sunday in Advent- Communion- The Candle of Peace

Sermon:  Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Scripture:  Isaiah 40: 1-11 God Comforts the People; Mark 1: 1-8 John the Baptist Prepares the Way

Hymns:  Blessed Be the God of Israel 209; Comfort Now My People 87; Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus 82; Creator of the Stars of Night 84; Communion Invitation

December 14- Third Sunday in Advent- The Candle of Joy- New Members Received- Pageant- All Church Brunch

Sermon:  Getting the Message Right

Scripture:  Isaiah 61:  1-4, 8-11 God Delivers the People; John 1: 6-8, 19-28 John’s Baptismal Identity

Hymns:  O Come, O Come Emmanuel 211; On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry 96; O Lord, How Shall I Meet You? 104

December 21- Fourth Sunday in Advent- The Candle of Love- Delivery of our Angel Tree Gifts

Sermon:  Something to Sing About

Scripture:  Luke 1: 26-38 Mary’s Magnificat; Psalm 27 Wait for the Lord

Hymns:  Angels from the Realms of Glory 220; Angels We Have Heard on High 238; The First Noel 245

December 24- Christmas Eve- 7:30 p.m. Wednesday- The Christ Candle Completes our Advent Wreath

Sermon:  New Beginnings

Scripture:  Isaiah 9: 2-7 The People in Darkness See a Great Light; Luke 2 Jesus’ Birth

Hymns: O Come All Ye Faithful; It Came Upon a Midnight Clear; Away in a Manger; What Child Is This?; Break Forth O Beauteous Light; Silent Night; Joy to the World; Peace, Peace

December 28- First Sunday of Christmas- Christ’s Story Continues in Our Stories

Sermon:  Sermon will be given by the Rev. Dr. James L. Harring

Scripture:  Isaiah 61: 10- 62: 3 God Sends a Savior; Luke 2: 22-40 Jesus is Presented in Temple

Hymns:  Hark the Herald Angels Sing 240; Good Christian Friends, Rejoice 224; Joy to the World, the Lord is Come


November Worship

November 2- Celebration of All Saints and Holy Communion

Sermon:  Crossing Over Jordan

Scripture:  Joshua 3: 7-17  Israel crosses the Jordan into the promised land

Hymns:  Come, Let Us Join Our Friends Above 709; My Life Flows On 821; For All the Saints

November 9- Recognition of our Veterans & Annual Meeting of the Congregation after worship

Sermon:  Get Ready, Get Set, Go

Scripture:  Matthew 25: 1-13 Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids; Joshua 24: 1-3, 14-25 Covenant Renewal

Hymns:  O Church of God United 547; Fight the Good Fight 846; Eternal Father, Strong to Save 8

November 16- Stewardship Sunday- Rev. Phyllis Bowers of the United Methodist Stewardship Foundation Preaching

Scripture:  Matthew 25: 14-30 Jesus’ parable of the talents;                  1 Thessalonians 5: 1-11 Salvation in Christ

Hymns:  Heralds of Christ 567; The Church of Christ in Every Age 589; Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service 581

November 23- Thanksgiving Sunday- Celebration of the Reign of Christ the King

Sermon:  Women of the Church- lay speakers Donna Dickinson, Cindy Kazinski, Leslie Bullock

Scripture:  Matthew 25: 1-46 The judgement of the Nations; Ephesians 1: 15-23 Inheritance of the Saints

Hymns:  We Gather Together 131; Now Thank We All Our God 102; Come, Ye Thankful People Come 694; Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven 66

November 30- First Sunday in Advent

Sermon:  Waiting on the Lord

Scripture:  Isaiah 64: 1-9 God will come from heaven;                                 1 Corinthians 1: 3-9 Wait for revelation of Christ

Hymns:  Blessed be the God of Israel 209; Comfort, Comfort Now My People 87; Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates 213