Worship: December 22, 2019

ZION UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

22 Gettysburg Street Box 538

Arendtsville, Pennsylvania

Fourth Sunday in Advent

December 22, 2019

Welcome to Zion and a special welcome to our visitors. Please sign the guest book! If you do not have a church home, we pray that you will find one with us. We have large-print bulletins available, as well as hearing assistance devices. Please ask an usher if you require either of these. Restrooms are located in the church school building. Go through the door next to the choir and straight ahead. We also have restrooms downstairs in Fellowship Hall. Again, exit through the door next to the choir, turn left down the hall, and go down the steps.

*Where noted, please stand if able.

Congregational response is in bold print. 

PRELUDE

TIME OF SHARING

CHIME INTERLUDE AND CANDLELIGHTING

LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLE OF LOVE

Last Sunday we lit the candle of joy.

We light it and the candles of hope and peace again

as we remember that Christ, who was born in Bethlehem,

will come again to judge the world and bring everlasting peace.

The lights of hope and peace and joy that cannot be extinguished wherever we go.

The fourth candle of Advent is the Candle of Love.

God’s love is a perfect love.

It holds nothing back.

God, in love, gives us everything we need

to live a life of hope and peace.

The Bible says, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,

so that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Jesus shows us God’s perfect love.

This is what love is like:

Love is patient, love is kind and envies no one.

Love is never boastful or conceited, rude or selfish.

Love is not quick to take offense,

it keeps no records of wrongs,

it does not gloat over other people’s troubles,

but rejoices in the right, the good, and the true.

There is nothing that love cannot face,

there is no limit to its faith, to its hope, to its joy.

Love never ends.

We light the Candle of Love to remind us

that Jesus brings us God’s love

and shows us how to love others.

Love is like a light shining in a dark place.

As we look at this candle, we celebrate the love we find in Jesus Christ.

Let us pray:

Thank you, God, for the love you give us.

We ask that as we wait for all your promises to come true,

and for Christ to come again,

that you would remain present with us.

Help us today, and every day, to worship you,

to hear your Word, and to do your will by sharing your love with each other.

We ask it in the name of the One who was born in Bethlehem, our Savior, Jesus.

*GATHERING HYMN # 118 “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks”

TIME OF CONFESSION

Whose way are we preparing? Have our hearts been changed? What

have we been doing while we have been waiting? Have we been offering

good news? Who will bind up the wounded and heal the brokenness?

Forgive, we pray, our misplaced emphasis during this Advent season. Forgive

our frantic ways. Forgive our preoccupation with material things. Forgive our

negative attitudes toward others. Forgive our neglect of the spiritual, and help

us to turn our eyes toward Bethlehem and the world Christ came to save.

And now let us confess in silence those fears that keep us from loving as Christ has loved us.

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

Our words of assurance are the words the angel spoke to Joseph

regarding Mary: “She will bear a son, and you are to name

him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Thanks be to God for this magnificent gift of love.

* HYMN RESPONSE # 288 “Spirit of the Living God”

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Melt me; mold me; fill me; use me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON

Isaiah 7: 10-16, p. 598 (OT)

FAITH LESSON FOR ALL AGES

CHOIR ANTHEM: “Angels Are Making Their Rounds” . . .Choplin

GOSPEL READING FOR THE MORNING

St. Matthew 1: 18-25, p. 1 (NT)

SILENT PRAYER AND PREPARATION

THE MESSAGE FOR THE MORNING

*HYMN # 145 “What Child Is This?”

PASTORAL PRAYER AND THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done

On earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our sins

As we forgive those who sin against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom,

The power, and the glory, forever. Amen. 

THE GIVING OF OURSELVES AND OUR OFFERINGS

During this time when we carefully select and purchase gifts for loved ones, let us not

neglect to give our offerings for the ministry that Jesus came into the world to establish.

OFFERTORY: “Mary, How Could You Have Known?” . . . S. Albrecht/J. Althouse

*OFFERTORY RESPONSE # 717 “For the Life That You Have Given”

For the life that you have given, for the love of Christ made known,

With these fruits of time and labor, with these gifts that are your own;

Here we offer, Lord, our praises, heart and mind and strength we bring;

Give us grace to love and serve you, living what we pray and sing. 

*PRAYER OF DEDICATION

Almighty God, receive these tithes and offerings, that they may be a channel

through which life can abound in those places where our brothers and

sisters struggle to exist in the midst of dead hopes and barren dreams.

*CLOSING HYMN # 147 “The First Nowell”

*COMMISSION AND BENEDICTION

May the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave up the glories of the heavenly places to walk

among us with deeds of self-denying love, give you grace to follow now and forever more.

*CHORAL BENEDICTION # 110 “Love Has Come” v. 1

Love has come: a light in the darkness!

Love shines forth in the Bethlehem skies.

See, all heaven has come to proclaim it;

Hear how their song of joy arises;

Love! Love! Born unto you, a Savior!

Love! Love! Glory to God on high. 

*CHIME MEDITATION

POSTLUDE

The Altar Flowers are given to the glory of God and in honor of the anniversary of Jim & Kathy F. and in memory of George & Carolyn W’s anniversary.

Greeter And Bulletin Sponsorship Sign-Up Sheets for 2019 are on the credenza. v(Bulletin Sponsorship is $15 per Sunday. Please place your remittance designated for Bulletins in the offering plate.)v

Coming Up Next Week:

Dec. 22, Worship, 9:00 am; Sunday School, during Worship, 9:00 am; No Confirmation Class or Sr. High Group

Dec. 24, Christmas Eve service with Communion, 7:30 pm

Looking Forward:

Dec. 29, Worship, 9:00 am; No Sunday School; No Confirmation Class or Sr. High Group

Zion’s Financial Data

Income Through November $162,549.07

Expenses Through November $166,794.31

YTD Deficit ($4,245.24)

Weather Cancellation – If inclement weather causes cancellation of worship, the announcement will be on the church answering machine by 7:30 a.m.

Pastoral Care Needs – If you need to contact George, please feel free to call his home number, 717 334-0069 or email at gpheber@embarqmail.com.   George is also available at the office by appointment only; please contact the church office or George to schedule an appointment.

The UCC Christmas Fund Offering will be received today and on Christmas Eve. The Christmas Fund is used to aid those who have shepherded the Church and are living on the margins in retirement with income supplementation for basic needs such as food, utilities, and medical expenses. It also goes directly to help active clergy and lay employees who are facing unexpected financial needs due to a crisis in their lives. Extra envelopes are in the pews and will be in the Christmas Eve bulletin.

Stocking Stuffers available! – Zion’s Knitting Group has a selection of crafted items – knitted, crocheted, and sewn – available for purchase in the rear of church just in time to fill those Christmas stockings. Proceeds will be given in support of one of Zion’s many projects.

Offering Boxes For 2020 are now available at the rear of the sanctuary.  If you cannot locate yours, please contact Kathy J.  In addition, 2020 special offering lists are available for those who do not receive offering envelopes.

The 2020 Flower Chart is posted in the vestibule.  Please sign up. When Paying For Altar Flowers, please give payment to the altar guild representative for that month. A check made to Zion UCC Altar Guild is preferred. Altar flowers are from The Flower Boutique with a florist’s choice $35 arrangement cost.

Sign up Sheets For Our Spring Sunday School – There are still open positions for the spring. Please see the sign-up book on the credenza in the rear if interested or contact Dana B.

Homewood Donations – 45 bottles of lotion and 66 boxes of tissues were delivered to Homewood for Christmas gifts for the residents. Thank you for your generous donations!

John’s Meals –  John’s Meals received a total of $7512.22 from this year’s Giving Spree!! Thank you to all for your generous donations.

Habitat for Humanity – Saturday, January 4th is Zion’s volunteer day at Adams County Habitat for Humanity’s Biglerville house construction project. Please contact Roger B. if interested in attending to help with inside work.

Job Opportunity – The Census Bureau has local jobs available and will be hiring through March of 2020. In Adams County, they are paying $18.00 an hour. For more information, go to 2020census.gov/jobs or call 1-855-562-2020. Training is provided and hours are flexible.

Upcoming Events at area UCC churches – Emmanuel U.C.C. in Hanover is sponsoring a series of free Community Concerts/Events. On Dec. 22, they will host the 109th annual Carol Sing at 7:00 pm. On January 26 at 3 pm will be One Piano, Four Hands featuring Don H. and Myfanwy J-S. On Saturday, Feb. 22, at 7:00 pm there will be a showing of the classic silent film “The Freshman” starring Harold Lloyd with Michael B.as organ accompanist. On Sunday, March 22, at 3 pm, the Baltimore Mandolin Orchestra comes to town.

Altar Guild – Zion is looking for a few good people to join the ranks of the Altar Guild! Members take turns monthly being in charge of flower sponsorships, paraments, candles, and Communion preparations. If interested, please contact Donna M. for more information