Worship: December 17, 2017

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Rejoice Always

3rd Sunday in Advent

 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 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. 3

 * Advent Candle Lighting (Joy)

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

All:               Come, let us follow this light into Advent, into the wonder and heart of God’s love.

One:             People of God, come, for the light of joy beckons us together, asking, who are you, what is your great joy?

All:               Come, let us follow this light in our worship.

*Hymn: “Angels We Have Heard on High” …….…..………#113


Left Side:        Come, great spirit of Joy, and fill our hearts and minds today.

Right Side:      Come, miraculous laughter, and help us to rejoice.

Left Side:        Come, enlivening comforter, and give us the courage to proclaim and celebrate all that sparks the divine flame within us.

Right Side:      Come, wondrous light, and lead us on this path toward new life.

Left Side:        Come, for we are ready to hear your words and feel your presence.

Right Side:      Come, for we are your people, longing to be renewed.  Amen.

We Recognize Our Brokenness

Prayer Of Confession

Leader:         Loving God, we confess those times when we have missed the chance to proclaim your glory in all of who we are; to share your generous love and resources so all may have enough; to bear witness through our talents, through the way we live each day, to the kindness of your creation, and the perfection of your care.  We confess that we have made ourselves smaller than we could be, or larger than we should be, and have squandered you in our misguided ways.  Forgive us.  Evoke in us the awe of enthusiastic discovery as we seek out our bliss in response to your wisdom.  Amen.   (A time for silent prayers of confession.)

Assurance Of God’s Forgiveness

Leader:         The great good news is that the glory of God is within each of us, especially when we find ourselves saying “yes” to the gifts God has given us, in service to the world.  People of God, know that you are beloved beyond measure, and do not hide your light of joy, for it is this light that will heal the world.

 Reading Of The Scripture:   Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11 (O.T., pg. 650)


Faith Lesson For All Ages

 Anthem:       “Here Comes the Light”….………Graham

Zion’s Men

We Reflect On New Possibilities

Reading Of The Gospel:   John 1: 6-8, 19-28 (N.T., pg. 86)

Message For This Day

*Hymn: “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”………………#129

Prayers Of The People And The Lord’s Prayer

One:             When burdens limit our ability to be ourselves,

All:               loving Spirit, liberate us.

One:             When the world creates barriers to the fullness of humanity for any,

All:               great Creator, help us to tear them down.

One:             When the powers of empire press hard on your children, excluding some while enabling others to soar in freedom,

All:               kind Redeemer, show us how we might dismantle such systems, freeing all.

One:             And when the voice of joy begins to grow in our souls, and we feel the stirring of the spirit, leading us to new songs, new dance, new invention, new proclamation,

All:               help us not to fear, but to grasp on to these wings of opportunity and allow your light to shine in us and for the world.

One:             Holy One, teach us how to create a world where all may seek their truest joy and none are prevented from sharing theirs.

All:               Help us to make this a more just world, through the glory of all humanity shining in joy and thanksgiving.  (specific prayers of petition)

      (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

Leader:         We dedicate our whole selves anew today.  We will dance!  We will sing!  We will do our jobs and work for peace.  We dedicate our whole selves anew today because in doing so we know we will discover our joy, and God’s glory.  Amen.

We Go Forth To Live Transformed Lives

*Closing Hymn: “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice” ……….#132


Leader:         Go now, people of God, and proclaim the glory of God, dismantle the powers of oppression, challenge the systems of evil; and shake up the structures of exclusion, by being your truest selves, and loving with whole and happy hearts.  Go in peace.

 *Choral Benediction: “While We Are Waiting, Come”…………#92, v. 3

 *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

 Our Traditional Christmas Tea will be held following worship today.

 Shine Love’s Light By Giving Today To The Christmas Fund. Giving to the Christmas Fund helps ministers and others who serve the church obtain necessities of life.  This mission offering will be received today.  Extra envelopes are on the credenza.

 Thank You To All Who Purchased Handmade Items during the Knitting and Crocheting Group’s sale the past two weekends.  We were able to contribute $180 to the capital campaign thanks to your generosity and that of the wonderful, creative people who crafted all the items we had for sale.  The group will begin meetings again on the last Wednesday of the month starting in January.

Thank You To Zion UCC for contributing 323 Christmas cards for the Homewood residents.

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

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

Reminder: if you wish for the person/person’s to receive a card from Zion U CC that you have placed on the prayer list, please give name and address to Lois.

Please Join Us For Another UACT Adult Study Series, “A Closer Look at our Bible.”  We reconvene in January for a series that looks at the Bible from the viewpoint of the different types of writing that we find there. Some of those categories include history, poetry and wisdom writings, Apocalyptic literature, and Gospel. Each is unique and expresses God’s Holy Word in ways that tell the story of God and God’s People.

For instance, have you ever wondered:

  1. How, when and why were the four gospels written?  Why are there differences between them?
  2. Why are there two different stories of creation in the beginning of Genesis?
  3. What in the world is Revelation all about and are we to take it literally?

The sessions will be on January 4, 11, 18, and 25.  There will be a 9:30 a.m. session at Trinity UCC Biglerville, and an evening session at 6:30 p.m. at Zion UCC Arendtsville.  The sessions will be led by UACT clergy.  Please Join Us!  Please let Pastor Kim know of your interest.


Heating System Capital Campaign (As of Dec. 10)
Received one-time contributions $95,126
Monetary value of pledges received $32,700
Pledges received thus far in cash

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




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.

 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.  

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

(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.

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 Budget.  Received for the third quarter of 2017 was $252. Please place donations in plastic bags before dropping them into the bin.  After your yard sales, consider donating unsold appropriate items to the bin.

 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. 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. 20, Choir practice, 7:30 pm

Looking Forward:

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

Dec. 24, No Sunday School

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

Jan. 4, UACT adult series, 6:30 pm

Jan. 7, Communion and installation of new consistory members, 9:00 am

Jan. 7, Confirmation class, St. Paul, Biglerville, 6:00 pm

Jan. 8, Altar Guild training, Sanctuary, 6:00 pm

Jan. 14, Trivia nite, 6:00 pm