Worship: November 29, 2020

ZION UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

22 Gettysburg Street  Box 538

Arendtsville, Pennsylvania

First Sunday in Advent

November 29, 2020

9:00 am

Here is the link for the live stream service:  Zion UCC Sunday Services Livestream – November 29 2020

Welcome to Zion and a special welcome to our visitors in these days of adjusting to a new normal in worship.  Because of the rising concerns for the spread of the Covid-19 virus, we have chosen to live stream our worship services, suspending in-person worship until we gain a clearer picture of how to gather together in the sanctuary to worship safely.  These are difficult times and even with the hope for a vaccine in the near future, it will be some time before enough people have the vaccine in order to effectively control Covid-19.  We ask for your patience and understanding and your faithful support of the church in these days of a new normal for all of us.  Let us continue to pray and to remain faithful, knowing that our God continues to reach out and to embrace us.  We sometimes need to be reminded that our God promises to be near to us in the most difficult days as well as the days when life seems easy for us.

As you follow along in the bulletin during live stream worship, please participate quietly when you come to the bold print.

PRELUDE:  Meditation on “Veni Emmanuel” based on plainsong melodies.  (O Come, O Come Emmanuel) arranged by John Scriveyner, The Organist by Lorenz Publishing Company – Thanksgiving/Christmas Issue Nov. 1989

TIME OF SHARING

LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLE OF HOPE

Friends in Christ, we have come together in this familiar place

to remind ourselves that we are God’s people.

We’ve brought with us our hopes and fears,

our pain and anger, our gifts and needs.

Let us reach out from the heart to claim the coming day of Peace,

the coming of the Good News we so earnestly seek.

We offer who we are –

to God, to one another and to the world that waits in painful hope.

“The days are coming,” says the Lord,

“when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to my people.”

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust.

“In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line;

he will do what is just and right in the land.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust.

“In those days my people will be saved, and my city will live in safety.”

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust.

Today we light the first Advent candle. It is the candle of hope. Our hope is based on

our trust that God’s gracious promise will be fulfilled. We light the candle in hope,

looking forward to the time when all of God’s people will safely live in God’s city.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust.

Let us pray together, saying:

Gracious Lord, we wait for that time when your promises will be fulfilled. We look forward to all people finding shelter under your Branch. Give us patience and trust as we wait. Help us, O Lord, to share your love and your salvation with others. Amen.

 

GATHERING HYMN “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

O come, O come, Emmanuel,

And ransom captive Israel,

That mourns in lowly exile here

Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

O come, thou Wisdom from on high,

Who orders all things mightily;

To us the path of knowledge show;

And teach us in her ways to go.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

O come, O come thou Lord of might,

Who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height

In ancient times didst give the law

In cloud and majesty and awe.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

O come, Desire of nations, bind

All peoples in one heart and mind;

Bid envy, strife, and discord cease;

Fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

TIME OF CONFESSION

Before the light of God’s presence, we seek to cast off the works of the night.

The wrong we embrace and the evil we condone are revealed in the silence.

God knows our intentions and our inner thoughts.  Let us turn to God for cleansing.

Holy God, we know that there are many ways we have failed to build

A healthy relationship with you and our fellow human beings. We have

ignored your call to be kind and compassionate, to reach out to others with

understanding. As we enter this Advent season, may it be our intention to

serve you with whole hearts and reflect your love by our words and deeds.

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

Confession Meditation: “An Angel to a Shepherd Spoke” – The Organist by Lorenz Publishing Company 1991

 

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

In accordance with God’s promises, we are granted forgiveness when our confession

comes from the heart and is sincere.   This is Good News for those who believe.

Thanks be to God for this magnificent gift of love.

 

THE GIVING OF OURSELVES AND OUR OFFERINGS

“Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” said Jesus, “for you tithe mint and

dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matter of the law, justice and

mercy and faith; these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others.”

(For the time being, we would ask you to mail your offering to Zion United Church of Christ, PO Box 538, Arendtsville, Pennsylvania 17303, or to use the Electronic Funds Transfer option which is available by contacting the church office.  Your ongoing support of the church is deeply appreciated in these days.)

PRAYER OF DEDICATION

We pray for those who benefit from our tithes and offerings. 

Enable them to hear the Good News; help them to grow in faith;

 and sustain them in body, mind, and spirit.

 

VOCAL SOLO:  “There’s a Song in the Air, There’s a Star in the Sky”, Josiah G. Holland

Soloist:  Fred M.

 

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON FOR THE MORNING

Isaiah 64: 1-9

64:1 O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence–
64:2 as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil– to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
64:3 When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
64:4 From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.
64:5 You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.
64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a

filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
64:7 There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.
64:8 Yet, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
64:9 Do not be exceedingly angry, O LORD, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.

EPISTLE LESSON FOR THE MORNING

I Corinthians 1: 3-9

1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus,
1:5 for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind–
1:6 just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you–
1:7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1:8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1:9 God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

GOSPEL READING FOR THE MORNING

St. Mark 13: 24-37

13:24 “But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,
13:25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
13:26 Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory.
13:27 Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
13:28 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.
13:29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
13:30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.
13:31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
13:32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
13:33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.
13:34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.

13:35 Therefore, keep awake–for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn,
13:36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.
13:37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”

 

SILENT PRAYER AND PREPARATION

“Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” – The Singing Church, Hope Publishing Company copyright 1985, page 86

THE MESSAGE FOR THE MORNING

THE LITURGY OF THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

The peace of God be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them up to the Holy One, our God.

Let us give thanks.

It is right to give God thanks and praise.

Eternal God, we trust in you.

We thank you for raising Jesus from the dead,

the first fruit of all who have died.

His ascension into heaven to sit at your right hand we confess,

and His coming again in triumph we await.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

We remember, O Holy and Mighty God, how Jesus on the night He was betrayed,

took bread and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying,

“Take, eat, this is my body, broken for you”.

We remember too how in the same manner

He took the cup and gave it to His disciples saying,

“This cup is my blood, the blood of the new covenant, poured out for you.

As often as you do it, do so in remembrance of me.

     Worthy is the Lamb, the Lamb that was slain,       

      to receive all power and wealth,

          wisdom and might, honor and glory and praise.

Worthy indeed is your Son Jesus Christ, who died so that we might live

and who rose from the dead so that we might be one with Him in your sight.

We pray that our lives may always proclaim the mystery of faith:

Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Loving God, send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts,

that the bread we break may be for us communion in the body of Christ,

and the cup of blessing which we bless may be for us communion in the blood of Christ; that being built up in love we may be strengthened in the unity of the faith

and come to the fullness of the stature of Christ our Redeemer.  Amen.

BREAKING OF BREAD AND POURING OF WINE

The gifts of God for the people of God.

Take them remembering Christ died and was raised for you.

Give Christ thanks and praise.

   In humble and joyous thanksgiving, we will receive the body and blood of our Savior.

 SHARING OF THE BREAD AND WINE

THE SACRAMENTAL BLESSING

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

We give you thanks, O merciful God, for this bread and wine,

the body and blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

May it strengthen us always to be your willing and obedient servants

until that time when life’s journey ends

and we share in the eternal feast of your heavenly realm.  Amen.

 

CLOSING HYMN  “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

Come, thou long expected Jesus,

Born to set thy people free;

From our fears and sins release us;

Let us find our rest in thee.

 

Israel’s strength and consolation,

Hope of all the earth thou art;

Dear desire of every nation,

Joy of every longing heart.

 

Born thy people to deliver,

Born a child and yet a king;

Born to reign in us forever,

Now they gracious kingdom bring.

 

By thine own eternal Spirit

Rule in all our hearts alone;

By thine all sufficient merit

Raise us to thy glorious throne. 

 

COMMISSION AND BENEDICTION

At the dawn of the new age, whenever it may come,

may God find you anticipating, rejoicing, welcoming, serving and loving.

 

CHIME MEDITATION

“Lo, How a Rose”, Michael Praetorius, arr. Roger C. Wilson – Chimes Meditations for Organ by Lorenz Publishing Company 1975

 POSTLUDE

“Preparation for the King” (from “Concerto Grosso,” Op. 6, No. 1), Arcnagelo Corelli, arr. James Mansfield – The Organist by Lorenz Publishing Company, Thanksgiving/Christmas Issue Nov. 1989

 

The Altar Flowers are presented to the glory of God and in loving memory of Bob C. by the family.

During this virus situation, the Office Manager will often be working from home.  Please call the office before stopping by.

 Coming Up Next Week:

November 29                   Live stream Worship with Communion           9:00 a.m.

Poinsettia orders due

December 2                     Bible Study                      Zoom                       6:30 p.m.

Looking Forward:

December 6                     Live stream Worship                                       9:00 a.m.

December 9                     Bible Study                      Zoom                       6:30 p.m.

 

Happy Birthday to Elaine E. who celebrates her 91st birthday on December 1st!

Worship Reminder:  Due to the increased presence of the Covid-19 virus in our community, we are live streaming worship services through the end of the year.  The link for the live stream of the 9:00 a.m. Sunday service will be sent via email, and the service can be watched live at 9:00 a.m. or at your convenience.  There are a couple of outside activities tentatively planned for closer to Christmas, and we will decide whether to proceed with those events by December 13th.   If either you or someone you know is having difficulty understanding how to live stream Zion’s worship service on a Sunday morning, please contact the church office.  We realize this is new territory for a lot of Zion’s members, particularly the older members.  We want to make the service as accessible as possible, so feel free to let us know.  Thank you for your understanding and patience.  Keep praying and keep hoping.

Pastoral Care:  If you would like a visit from George, please contact him and let him know a convenient time.

The Ladies Breakfast Group:  In deference to the mounting number of cases of Covid-19 in Adams County, Zion’s ladies will NOT be meeting for breakfast at the Apple Bin for the next few months.  When we resume, an announcement will be put in the bulletin and in an email blast.  Stay safe!

 Homewood Christmas Gifts:  This year, Homewood is accepting for the residents signed Christmas cards along with UNWRAPPED, UNSCENTED, any brand body lotion and UNWRAPPED cube style tissue boxes.  Residents enjoy seasonal winter themed tissue boxes. Cards with blank envelopes and signed with name/church and a brief message are appreciated. Cards and lotion/tissues can be placed in the labeled bin in the storage closet on the back porch of Zion House (door is always unlocked) until December 6th. Thank you for helping to brighten the Christmas season for the Homewood residents. Any questions, please contact Angie V.

John’s Meals Mac & Cheese:  Your mac & cheese donations for John’s Meals can be placed in the labeled bin in the storage closet on the back porch of Zion House at a time convenient to you.

PCC Advent Cantata:  The Penn Central Conference is creating a virtual Advent Cantata for your enjoyment and possible use in worship.  The director is hard at work, the singers and instrumentalists have been briefed and are receiving their scores, the narrator is practicing, and more than 65 people are studiously creating a transcendent Christmas piece!

You can sign up to receive the Penn Central Conference Advent Cantata at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/77LNGVD

Distribution of files will begin by November 22, in case you wish to use them for the first Sunday of Advent.  If you have any questions, contact Julie Holm at bvfofmusic@gmail.com

Poinsettia Orders:  are due today!

Reminder from Property Committee:  Please remember to turn out the lights when you are leaving the church.  Hallway lights and room lights have been found burning recently.  Thanks for your attention to this.