Worship: December 16, 2018

Sunday, December 16, 2018

3rd Sunday of Advent:  Joy

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



Chime Interlude

*Advent Candle Lighting (Joy)

Reader 1:         (As the Joy candle is lit) The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.

Reader 2: Those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them has light shined.

Reader 1: A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

Reader 2: And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest on him.

All:           Our delight shall be in the fear of the Lord!  Our joy is in the coming light!  (We light the candle of joy.)

*Call To Worship

One:         The prophets taught the promises of God.

All:           We have felt the weight of despair as each day added another reason to forget what hope feels like.

One:         The prophets taught the joy of God.

All:           We have felt the rush of sadness as grief came over us.

One:         We come together because we know that the act of worship prepares us to encounter promises in the midst of despair.

All:           We come together because we know that the act of worship prepares us to encounter joy in the midst of grief.

One:         Come, let us worship.

 *Hymn: “While by the Sheep” ………………(opposite side of pageant program)


All:           We come before you now, the one true God, who formed our hands and skin, and chose to take on the form of hands and skin so that we might draw ever nearer to the promise of abundant life.  We are on the path to meet you, and we will ever rejoice because we know you are near.  Amen.

We Recognize Our Brokenness

Prayer Of Confession

One:       O promised Christ:  We are a world at war.  Our peace depends on your coming.  We are a sinful people.  Our pardon depends on your coming.  We are full of good intentions but weak at keeping promises; our only hope of doing God’s will is that you should come and help us do it.  Lord Christ, Word made flesh, our world waits for your peace, for your pardon, and for your grace.  Even so:  come, Lord Jesus.

All:         Amen.   (A time for silent prayers of confession.)

Assurance Of God’s Forgiveness

Leader:   Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.  Your sins are pardoned.  The penalty is paid.

All:         Thanks be to God!

 Reading Of The Scripture:   Philippians 4: 4-7 (N.T., pg. 187)

Faith Lesson For All Ages

Anthem:   “Advent Prayer”…………….…Liebergen

Reading Of The Gospel:   Luke 1: 26-38 (N.T.  pg.  53)

We Reflect On New Possibilities

Message For This Day: Our Children’s Christmas Pageant

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, for ever.  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.


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

*Prayer Of Dedication

All:         God, the work of our hands and the healing of our  hearts belong to you.  May this offering be the gift you seek, the presence you desire; and may it teach us to further the loving touch of your grace in the life of the world.  Amen.

 We Go Forth To Live Transformed Lives

*Closing Hymn: “Joy to the World”…. ………….…….#134


 *Chime Meditation


*Where noted, please stand if able.      


 December’s Proverb:

Do not quarrel with anyone without cause, when no harm has been done to you. Proverbs 3: 29

One Of The Unique Aspects Of The Christmas Fund is that the funds provide direct financial assistance to individual UCC clergy, lay church employees, and their surviving spouses/partners—the funds do not support programs or institutions, but people. With your continued generosity, individuals will receive the support of the Church in their time of need.  Donation envelopes for the December 23 Christmas Fund offering are available in each pew.

Our Traditional Christmas Social will be held following worship today.

A John’s Meals Board Meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 18, at 6:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.

Stained Glass Artwork Fundraiser. An opportunity exists to purchase chances to win a beautiful stained glass piece of artwork crafted by Chris. $10 donations for each chance will be accepted before and after church until December 23 when the winner will be drawn.  All donations from this project will be used toward the general fund.  Please contact Kim or Chris for questions or more information.

We Have All Known The Power And Promise Of Prayers – especially when others pray for us in times of need. It has been decided to send cards to people for whom we are praying; ones who are not Zion members.  So if you are placing someone on the prayer list, if possible have the address ready so it can be communicated via the prayer chain.  Obviously this will not be possible or desirable in every case.  Lois will be sending the cards.

 Zion’s Financial Data

Income through November – $162,185.00

Expenses through November – $171,756.93

Deficit – $9,571.49 

Offering Boxes For 2019 are now available at the rear of the sanctuary.  If you cannot locate yours, please contact Laurie.  In addition, 2019 special offering lists are available for those who do not receive offering envelopes.

Homewood Auxiliary – Dues and donations are now being accepted for the Homewood Auxiliary. $3 single/$5 couple.  Forms and envelope are on clipboard at rear of the church. Questions: contact Angie.  Thank you for your support for Homewood Auxiliary.

John’s Meals. Please make donation checks for John’s Meals payable to “UACT-John’s Meals,” and they may be mailed to UACT, PO Box 593, Arendtsville, PA 17303 or placed in the offering plates. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

The 2019 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.

 Sign up Sheets For Our Spring Sunday School are now available in the hallway outside the art room and in the sign up book on the credenza. See Jessica with questions.

 Greeter And Bulletin Sponsorship Sign-Up Sheets for 2019 are on the credenza.

Greeters are needed for December 23, 30 and the entire month of January.

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

Community Aid Clothing Bin is available in the Zion House parking lot for clothing donations along with shoes, accessories, draperies, and bed linens. We receive funds each quarter based upon the weight of items deposited in the container, and those funds are used toward the Mission BudgetFor the second quarter of 2018, Zion received $400.  After your yard sales, consider donating unsold appropriate items to the bin.

Single Serve, Microwaveable Cups Of Macaroni And Cheese are being collected to benefit John’s Meals.  The cups need not be a brand name (like Kraft); store brand is fine.  We are aiming to provide 200 cups each month and they may be placed in the cupboard in the rear of the church. The 18-pkg boxes of single-serve Mac and Cheese is also a good donation. It is cheaper and easier to store (boxes).  Any questions, please see Chris.  As always, thank you so much for your faithful support of this ministry.

Coming Up Next Week:

Dec. 16, Worship with Christmas pageant, cookie social

Dec. 16, Confirmation, Trinity Lutheran, 6:00 pm

Dec. 17, Consistory mtg, Zion Hse, 7:00 pm

Dec. 18, John’s Meals board mtg, F. H., 6:00 pm

Dec. 19, What’s Cookin’, Trinity Lutheran, 6:00 pm

Dec. 19, Choir practice, 7:30 pm


Looking Forward:

Dec. 23, Worship with communion, 9:00 am

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

Jan. 8, Book Club, Mustard seed rm, 7:00 pm

Jan. 9, End-of-year reports due

Jan. 13, Worship with communion and consistory installation, 9:00 am

Jan. 13, Church chat, 10:15 am

Jan. 13, “Reaching for God” youth group, Zion, Arendtsville, 5:00 pm

Jan. 14, Ladies’ breakfast, Apple Bin, 9:00 am

Jan. 16, What’s Cookin’, Trinity Lutheran, 6:00 pm