Worship: December 3, 2017

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Waiting in Hope

1st Sunday of Advent

Holy Communion

 Visitors: Welcome to our church.  Please sign our 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 loft, and straight ahead.  We also have restrooms downstairs in Fellowship Hall.  Again, exit through the door next to the choir loft, turn left down the hall, and go down the steps. 

We Gather In Awe And Wonder

Prelude: “O Holy Night”……..The Former St. Paul’s Singers


Chime Interlude And Candle Lighting Response

Leader:   We light a candle in the name of the God who spoke the world into existence.

All:         We light a second candle in the name of the King who was, and who is, and who ever shall be.

Leader:   We light a light in the name of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who walks beside us in our Lenten journey.

 Choral Response:   “My Soul Cries Out with a Joyful Shout”…..…#100, v. 1

 *Advent Candle Lighting (Hope)

 One:      (As the Hope candle is lit) People of God, come, for the light of hope beckons us together.

All:         From our solitude, we are called into community; from our brokenness, we are called into wholeness; from our fading, we are called into fullness; and from our wind-swept wandering, we are called to the path of new life.

One:       People of God, come, for the light of hope beckons us together.

All:         Let us take the hand of God and carry this light together.  Come, let us worship.

*Hymn: “Now the Heavens Start to Whisper”……….……#94


All:         Holy Presence, we open our hearts today to the light and the darkening; to the wisdom and the wondering; to the now and the not yet, of your presence.  Guide us into this new season, for we are a people on a journey, often afraid of the unknown – often feeling alone in the wildernesses of our lives.  Yet we know that you are always with us – our great and eternal companion.  Show us the way into the wonderful darkness, and there, help us to discover you anew.  Amen.

We Recognize Our Brokenness

Prayer Of Confession

One:       Loving Creator, as we journey together into this new season, we confess we have succumbed to the many temptations of our empire-driven world.

All:         We are leaves faded from our shallow pursuits of vanity and pride, imagining that external things matter more than an inner life of connection with you and others.

One:       We are tossed in the winds of every whim and fad, afraid of being left behind and left out.

All:         We are surrounded by materialism and greed, yet we are ever hungry for more.

One:       We feel emptiness within us, yet do not recognize this as the yearning of our spirits for connection with you.

All:         Holy One, forgive us our transgressions and form us again, as the potter forms clay.  Shape us into the people of love you have envisioned for your creation. Amen.  (A time for silent prayers of confession)

Assurance Of God’s Forgiveness

Leader:   Whether tossed in the wind or tempted in the throes of life; we are never apart from the grace and forgiveness of God.  Be assured, people of God, that we are not lacking in anything – not even the blessings of new beginnings – for the Light of Hope shines in our midst today, leading our way.  May we follow this light into the darkness of God’s mystery and take God’s hand, knowing we are forgiven and we are beloved.  Amen.

 Reading Of The Scripture: Isaiah 64: 1-9 (O.T., pg. 652)

A Time For Children:   (Our children bring forward the Holiday Toy Bureau gifts. As they do so, we will sing “Gentle Mary Laid Her Child”)……………..#146  

Anthem:   “Will You Make Room?”…………………Gaines  

 We Reflect On New Possibilities

Reading Of The Gospel:    Mark 13: 24-37 (N.T., pg. 47)

Message For This Day

*Hymn: “Comfort, Comfort Now My People”……..#87

 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, and the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen.)

 Our Offering: Our financial offering is one way that our members participate in the mission and ministry of this church. We thank you for your financial support.  For those of you who are visiting, please feel no need to participate in the offering.  This worship service is our gift to you.

Offertory:   “Do You Hear What I Hear?”…… The Former St. Paul’s Singers

*Doxology: “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings” …………….#606

*Prayer Of Dedication

All:         Holy Creator, today we dedicate ourselves anew.  Even in our doubt, we promise our faith.  Even in our fear, we promise our courage.  Even in our comfort, we promise our eternal commitment to seeking justice and peace on earth.  Bless this worship, and this offering, that they may be a reflection of our striving to live in the tension and the promise that are ours as your people.  Amen.         

The Sacrament Of Holy Communion

*Invitation And Prayer of Thanksgiving

Leader:   Maker of bread and wine, of community and communion, of the already and the not yet, we give thanks for these gifts we share together at the table and for the unique ways we receive them and we remember you.

Words Of Institution

Prayer Of Consecration

Preparation of the Elements

 Sharing the Elements (Please note the wine is in the outer ring and the grape juice is in the inner rings.   The round wafers are gluten-free.)  (Please hold each element so we may eat and drink together.) 

Prayer Of Acceptance

All:         Strengthen us, O God, in the power of your Spirit to bring good news to the poor and lift blind eyes to sight, to loose the chains that bind and claim your blessing for all people.  Keep us faithful in your service until Christ comes in final victory and we shall feast with all your saints in the joy of your eternal realm.  Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, almighty God, now and forever.  Amen.

We Go Forth To Live Transformed Lives

*Closing Hymn: “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” ………….#83


Leader:   Step into the world of this season, and take God’s hand, children of God, trusting in God’s wisdom even when our own cannot be found.  Go in the hope of new life that is held in the promise of this light, and go in peace.  Amen.

 *Choral Benediction:   “While We Are Waiting, Come”……………#92, v. 1

*Chime Meditation


*Where noted, please stand if able.


December’s Proverb:  

A person’s pride will bring humiliation. But one who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.  Proverbs 29: 23

 Please Ask A Consistory Member For A Proxy Vote if you are not going to be at the annual meeting on December 10.

Zions’s Knitting And Crocheting Group Will Be Holding A Sale Of Hand-Crafted Items perfect for stocking stuffers, small Christmas gifts, or even as a gift to yourself!  The items will be in Fellowship Hall after church today.  Come down to browse.  Proceeds will go to the capital campaign for the church’s heating system.

 The UCC Christmas Fund Offering will be received on December 17. The offering goes toward assisting retired clergy and lay employees who have served our denomination.  As God has used these faithful people to serve the church, now the church may serve them in return.  As Christ offers us assistance, let us share our gifts.

Volunteers Are Requested To Visit 1-2 Zion members each month. Please let Kim J. know of your interest.

 The Youth And Adults Who Are Attending REACH 2018 to Vassar, Michigan, are hosting a cookie tray fundraiser.  You can order your cookies via this fundraiser and support our cause.  Please sign up on the list on the credenza with the number of dozen of cookies you’d like.  Orders must be received by 12/10 and delivery will occur on 12/17.  Cost is $5/doz.  Any questions, please see Chris.  We have 16 youth and adults from the Upper Adams community planning to attend REACH in 2018.  Thanks in advance for your support.


Heating System Capital Campaign (As of November 28)
Received one-time contributions $84,501
Monetary value of pledges received $32,700
Pledges received thus far in cash

Total cash received ($84,501 + $15,214)=




 (*We will be receiving an additional $4,000 from the Hoffman Trust at the

beginning of December and that will increase the cash total.)

 A Ladies’ Breakfast will be held on Monday, December 11, at 9:00 a.m. at the Apple Bin.

Offering Boxes For 2018 are now available at the rear of the sanctuary.  If you cannot locate yours, please contact Laurie.  In addition, 2018 special offering lists are available for those who do not receive offering envelopes.

Zion’s Financial Data

Income through November – $167,495.84

Expenses through November – $171,694.18

*Deficit – $4,198.34

*This is partially due to the unbudgeted $3,000 cost for a new copier in 2017.

Our Traditional Christmas Tea will be held following worship on December 17.  Homemade cookies, punch, coffee, and fellowship will all be in abundance.  If you wish to bring homemade cookies, please sign up on the appropriate credenza clipboard.

Homewood Auxiliary 2018 Membership Dues are now being accepted until the end of December.  The form to check off your name and confirm your address along with the envelope for the $3 single/$5 including spouse dues will be on the credenza at the rear of the Church.  Please make checks payable to Homewood Auxiliary.  Calendars for 2018 are available as well.  Please contact Angie with any questions about becoming a supporting member of the Homewood Auxiliary.

A John’s Meals Board Meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 19, at 6:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.

Greeter And Bulletin Sponsorship Sign-Up Sheets for 2018 are on the credenza.

2017 Greeters are needed for December 24 (a.m. service)

(Bulletin Sponsorship is $15 per Sunday. Please place your remittance designated for Bulletins in the offering plate.)

 The 2018 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 payment is preferred. Altar flowers are from The Flower Boutique with a florist’s choice $35 arrangement cost.

 The Labels For Education Program is coming to a close.  Only UPCs with the Labels for Education logo will be accepted and redeemed for points into registered schools’ bank accounts.  As of 10/26/17, Zion’s Sunday School Program currently has 20,172 points banked in our account, and has a goal to reach 22,000 for our third and final $250 Visa Gift Card to be used towards Sunday School activities for Zion’s children.  Please drop any labels in the red Labels for Education boxes located in the vestibule upon entering the sanctuary, or on the side table in the main Sunday School room.  The deadline to submit labels for the program is January 2, 2018.  

Mail For Those Who Serve.   Ben Battersby is actively serving in Afghanistan. If you wish to send Ben a card, his address is PFC Battersby, Benjamin / Bravo Troop, 3-73, CAV NKC / APO, AE 09354

Coming Up Next Week:

Dec. 3, Confirmation, St. Paul Lutheran, 6:00 pm

Dec. 4, Hoss’s Community Night Fund Raiser, Gettysburg, 12-8 pm

Dec. 4, Consistory mtg, Zion Hse, 7:00 pm

Dec. 6, Choir practice, 7:30 pm

Looking Forward:

Dec. 10, Congregational annual mtg, 10:15 am

Dec. 10, Christmas Carol, Majestic Theater, 2:00 pm

Dec. 11, Ladies’ breakfast, Apple Bin, 9:00 am

Dec. 12, Book Club, Diveley residence, 7:00 pm

Dec. 17, Christmas cookie social, 10:15 am

Dec. 19, John’s Meals board mtg, FH, 6:30 pm

Dec. 20, What’s Cookin’, Trinity Lutheran, 6:00 pm

Dec. 24, Children sing (a.m.), 9:00 am

Dec. 24, No Sunday School

Dec. 24, Christmas eve service, 7:30 pm