Worship: December 2, 2018

Sunday, December 2, 2018

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

Announcements

Chime Interlude

*Advent Candle Lighting (Hope)

 One:      (As the Hope candle is lit) As we enter the Season of Advent, we think about new life and promises kept.  As we light the candle of hope, think of the sight of promises kept.  Watch the flame ignite and consider the way our hearts are drawn to the light.  In that light, is contained the hope of the world.

*Call To Worship

One:       To God, we lift up our souls.

All:         The reign of God is near!

One:       God teaches us the way, and guides our paths.

All:         The reign of God is near!

One:       God strengthens our hearts; and helps us to abound in love.

All:         The reign of God is near!

One:       God’s justice and righteousness spring forth in our lives.

All:         Come, Lord Jesus.  We are ready!

One:       Come, let us worship.

*Hymn: “While We Are Waiting, Come”… ………………#92

*Invocation

Leader:   God of love and faithfulness, we thank you for all of the ways you come near to us.  We have glimpsed your vision for creation as it breaks forth in our midst.  Sometimes we see you transforming the world in powerful ways, like a roaring sea or a brightly shining sun.  Other times, we can only glimpse you in leaves beginning to sprout, or branches beginning to spread.  As we gather this day, we offer you our budding hopes so that your love might help them to grow.  Amen.

We Recognize Our Brokenness

 Prayer Of Confession

One:       Let us now confess our brokenness before God.

All:         We confess, O God, that we have not always been people who held on to hope.  We have given into pessimism and despair.  Instead of nurturing new life, we have torn it down.  We have wandered away from your path to follow our own.  You have broken into our midst time and time again.  We would have seen you.  But it was easier just to close our eyes.   (A time for silent prayers of confession and reflection.)

Assurance Of God’s Forgiveness

One:       Hear the good news.  God does not remember our brokenness, our failings, the ways we have wandered away.

All:         God’s love is steadfast, and God’s hope is never-ending!  God remembers us!  Thanks be to God!

Reading Of The Scripture:   Jeremiah 33: 14-16 (O.T., pg. 694)

Faith Lesson For All Ages:   Holiday Home Bureau Toys

Anthem:   “Celtic Advent Carol”…….……….…Martin

Reading Of The Gospel:   Luke 21: 25-36 (N.T., pg. 80)

 We Reflect On New Possibilities

Message For This Day

 *Hymn:   “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”………………..#88, vs 1-4

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.

Offertory

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

*Prayer Of Dedication

The Sacrament Of Holy Communion

 *Invitation And Prayer of Thanksgiving

Leader:   Come, all who listen for hope.  Here is a place where you are welcome.  Here is a place where you can rest in the heart of love.

All:         We come to this table, knowing our need for it.

Leader:   Holy One, you shaped creation and placed your grace within us.  Your song of hope has rung out from ancient days beckoning us to listen and join in.  A young woman named Mary opened her heart to your song.  She heard the promise that she would give birth; she heard the promise that this child would transform the world – and she believed.  In the stillness of this Advent season we wait and prepare, as our hearts echo an ancient cry:

All:         O come, O come Emmanuel.

Leader:   We prepare for Emmanuel, God with us.  We remember how this child, born in a stable lived a life of healing, mercy, and wisdom.  We remember a special meal shared with friends.  Gathering them together, Emmanuel spoke with boundless love.  In the blessing of the bread, Emmanuel asked them to share the bread of life.  In the blessing of the cup, Emmanuel asked them to share the cup of promise.  Then, Emmanuel asked us always to remember.

All:         We remember your life, your words, your love.

Leader:   As we share this bread and cup, strengthen our hope in the promises of this season, and give us the courage to live in the way of peace.  Amen.

 Prayer Of Consecration

Distribution Of 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

 *Blessing

One:       Into the waiting time we go,

All:         open and ready for the days ahead.

One:       Into the listening time we go,

All:         attuned and attentive for voices of hope.

One:       And into the seeing time we go,

All:         alert to the unfolding presence of love.

 *Choral Benediction: “Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates”……#93 vs 1

*Chime Meditation

Postlude

*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

The Christmas Fund For The Veterans Of The Cross And The Emergency Fund has been a tangible expression of God’s love and light in the world.  Year after year, United Church of Christ members and congregations have reached out in kindness, compassion, and gratitude to those who have faithfully shepherded our Church in the past and who now find themselves facing unexpected financial needs.  Please support the Christmas Fund Offering to be received on December 23.

Please See Donna for a proxy vote if you are not going to be at the annual meeting on December 9.

Need A Unique Gift Or Stocking Stuffer for a friend or family member?  We have just the thing!  Zion’s needle workers will have a table of hand-made items for sale in the back of church on December 2 and December 9 (if supplies last!!).  Let our creations gladden hearts this holiday season.  Proceeds raised will be given to one of Zion’s mission projects.

Our Traditional Christmas Social will be held following worship on December 16. Homemade cookies, punch, coffee, and fellowship will all be in abundance.  If you wish to bring homemade cookies, please sign up on a clipboard on the credenza.

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.

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Arendtsville, will be having its annual Christmas Cantata on Sunday, December 9, at 7 p.m.  The program is free and light refreshments will be served in the Social Room following the program.

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 October – $149,486.93

Expenses through October – $157,337.19

Deficit – $7,850.26

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.

2018 Greeters are needed for December 23 and 30.

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

 Coming Up Next Week:

Dec. 2, Children’s Aid Society donations due

Dec. 2, Christmas cards for Homewood due

Dec. 2, Confirmation, Trinity Lutheran, 6:00 pm

Dec. 5, Prayer and Study, Mustard seed rm, 6:30 pm

Dec. 5, Choir practice, 7:30 pm

 Looking Forward:

Dec. 9, Annual congregational mtg, 10:15 am

Dec. 9, “Reaching for God” youth group, Zion, Arendtsville, 5:00 pm

Dec. 10, Ladies’ breakfast, Apple Bin, 9:00 am

Dec. 10, Hoss’s Community Fund Raiser, Gettysburg, 12 – 8 pm

Dec. 11, Book Club, Diveley Residence, 6:30 pm

Dec. 16, Worship with Christmas pageant, cookie social

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

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

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

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