Worship: December 24, 2017 a.m.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Great Reversal: Love

4th Sunday in Advent; Holy CommunionVisitors: 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 third light in the name of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who walks beside us in our Advent journey.

Choral Response:   “My Soul Cries Out with a Joyful Shout”……… …#100, v. 4

* Advent Candle Lighting (Love)

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

All:         What love is this?  How are we to follow?

One:       This love calls from the margins and the center; from suffering and comfort; from oppression and privilege.

All:         We, too,  come from the margins and the center; from suffering and comfort; from oppression and privilege.

One:       Then let us bring our love, and join it to this light of love, and gather in worship to discover the greatest love there is.

All:         Come, let us bring our love to this time and place, celebrating the radical love of God that beckons us together.  Come, let us listen and speak, sing and discern, pray and give, for now is the time to worship.

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


Leader:   A new voice speaks to us today, gracious God, a voice of a young woman daring to say, “Yes” when the powers in her world would expect her to run in fear.  As we gather in worship, help us to hear this voice as the voice in our own hearts, ready to name the truths in our world and claim life abundant, turning away from our fears.  In our worship, Loving One, guide us to the wonder of courageous affirmation, where new life is nurtured, and new beginnings are born.  Help us to become the parents of justice itself, and siblings of radical peace.  Amen.

We Recognize Our Brokenness

Prayer Of Confession

One:       Mary said, “How can this be?” and opened her heart to mystery and grace.

All:         We have said, “We must see it to believe it!” trusting only what we can prove and make logical.

One:       She said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord.”  And gave her life over to bearing the child of God, even though this could mean the end of her life as she knew it.

All:         We have said, “Sorry, can’t today, I’ve got too much work today.”  We have said, “I’m not comfortable signing my name to that – I believe in the cause, but I’m not sure I want to give my name to it.”  We have said, “This one time won’t matter…. who’s going to care?’

One:       She said, “My soul magnifies the Lord!” and understood herself profoundly as a child and image of God.

All:         We have said, “I am just one person and my life doesn’t matter in the big picture.”  We confess, great Creator, that we have not opened our hearts to the in-breaking of your spirit, and have often taken the easy, fearful, apologetic way.

One:       Descend upon us today as you did with Mary, and help us to know ourselves as agents of change and glory.  Forgive us and give us strength, we pray.  Amen.   (A time for silent prayers of confession)

Assurance Of God’s Forgiveness

Leader:   The angel said to Mary that day, “Greetings, favored one!  The Lord is with you.”  Let us hear this greeting ourselves today.  Let us feel in our bodies that each of us, no matter how great or how meek, no matter how young or old, no matter our status or rank, each is favored!  Each of us is loved and full of potential.  And God is with us all, and forgives all.

Reading Of The Scripture:    Romans 16: 25-27(N.T., pg. 155)

Faith Lesson For All Ages

Anthem:   “Sleeping Adonai”……………Sorenson

Soloist: Emma

We Reflect On New Possibilities

Reading Of The Gospel:   Luke 1: 26-38, 46b-55 (N.T., pg. 53)

Message For This Day


*Hymn: “What Child Is This”…………………..#145

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:         We say “yes” today.  We say “yes” to God, and “yes” to the call to bear witness to God’s love and justice.  We say “yes” to being vessels of God’s glory – to becoming the house of God.  We say “yes” today, and dedicate this worship, this offering, our very selves, to sharing the light of love in all ways.  Amen.

The Sacrament Of Holy Communion

 *Prayer of Thanksgiving

People:  Creator of air, of earth, of water, and of fire, we give thanks for all that lives and breathes, embraced by your imaginative love.  Creator of word, of flesh, of thought, and of sense, we give thanks for all the ways you introduce compassion and connection into our world.  Creator of freedom from storms, from slavery, from sin, we give thanks for the covenant of grace that finds a way out of no way.

Leader:   Redeemer of flesh and bone, of heart and mind, we give thanks for Jesus and the path of love made possible.  Renewer of hope and justice, we give thanks for Christ and a love more powerful than death.  Sustainer of all that has come and is coming, we give thanks for the Spirit whose presence guides us.

People:  To our God of new possibilities: of grace given, of love realized, of justice being delivered, we give thanks for the comfort, the challenge and the calling by your Spirit on this Holy day.

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.  Amen.

 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: “Gentle Mary Laid Her Child” …………….#146


Leader:   People of God, we are no different from Mary.  Go into the world and magnify God’s love – share it; nurture it; celebrate it; plant it and water it; give birth to it, and let it grow for all to see!

 *Choral Benediction: “There’s a Star in the East”………………#135

*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

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 UCC 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.)

 New Parking Regulations In Arendtsville. Please note for worship parking.

Arendtsville Borough Council voted on November 8, 2017, to have No Parking on the following streets effective January 1, 2018.

▪  Main Street from High St. east to the Borough Line, which is the Conewago Creek, with a two-hour   exception on the South side in front of Zion UCC.

▪  Gettysburg Street from Main St. to the Borough Line (on Mummasburg Rd.), with a two-hour exception on the West side in front of 43 Gettysburg St. (the laundromat).

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.

 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. 24, No Sunday School

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

Dec. 27, Choir practice, 7:30 pm

Looking Forward:

Dec. 31, No Sunday School

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, Ladies’ breakfast, Apple Bin, 9:00 am

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

Jan. 9, Book Club, Mustard seed rm, 7:00 pm

Jan. 13, 14, Confirmation lock in, St. Paul, 7 pm (Sat.) – am (Sun)

Jan. 14, Trivia nite, 6:00 pm