December 10, 2017, Worship Bulletin, Prayer Concerns and Announcements

Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union

Second Sunday of Advent

December 10, 2017   10:30 am 


As long we think about John like that – preaching in his own country two thousand years ago – his preaching remains distant and very far away. Let us try to get to that wilderness and also John’s word nearer home, so that it can cut us to the bone. Let us speak about the wilderness in which we live. And let us think not only of sin but of the world we are accustomed to.          —Joseph G. Donders

From there to Here

Hymn Sing Choose Your Favorites!

Welcome & Announcements

Welcome to this service of worship!  During the service, you are invited to rise in body or in spirit, standing or sitting, at points in the service marked “ ” .”

Please sign in using the pew folder, passing it back down the row so all can greet one another by name, and place the sheet in an offering plate. We’re glad you’re here!

Reading from the Prophets Isaiah 40:1-11

Handbell Introit

The incarnation of Christ is the mingling of the divine, with all that the world brings and bears. The single “singing” handbell, like the in-breaking light of Christ, shines with but also through the music that surrounds it, an auditory meditation for our Advent season.

¨  Advent Wreath Lighting

One: We have lit the light of beginning. Let us now remember our past in the light of Isaiah’s reminder:

All: “Every valley shall be lifted up.”

One: The hope and promise of Immanuel is that the valleys of violence shall be filled, and the mountains of terror torn down. Peace in the land, and Peace for all people. The trembling of children, hungry for both justice and bread, will be gentled and comforted by loving arms. And those who hear the voice in every time and place prepare the way.

All: And still today, God presses for peace, and calls on those who know the pain to make the path easier.

One: A voice cries in the wilderness,

All: And the Lord gathers the light to shine on our path.

One: Let us pray…

All:   O herald of Christ, bring the light of peace and hope to us. By that light may we see our way. May peace in our bodies and souls pave the way for peace in our cities and nation. May we thread our way through the twin temptations of despairing passivity and the hubris of thinking we can make such peace without your greater wisdom. From past to present, may the light of Christ, the light of the World, come to us for Peace

¨   Opening Hymn #116   O Come, O Come, Emmanuel Veni Emmanuel

Verses 1,3,5,7

¨  Passing the Peace of Christ

All who come to this sanctuary are welcome companions on this day! You are invited to turn to those nearest you and greet them with words of peace and joy. 

The Living Word among us

Anthem Comfort, Comfort Now My People Michael Larkin

Union Church Choir

“Comfort, comfort, now my people, tell of peace!” so says our God. Comfort those who sit in darkness mourning under sorrow’s load. To God’s people now proclaim that God’s pardon waits for them! Tell them that their war is over: God will reign in peace for ever!

For the herald’s voice is crying in the desert far and near. Calling us to true repentance, since the Kingdom now is here. Oh, that warning cry obey! Now prepare for God always! Let the valleys rise to meet him, and the hills bow down before him.

Straight shall be what once was crooked, and the rougher places plain! Let your hearts be true and humble, as benefits his holy reign! For the glory of the Lord now on earth is shed abroad, and all flesh shall see the token that God’s word is never broken! “Comfort, comfort, now my people; tell of peace!” so says our God.

Children’s Moment                                as the children return to their seats we sing:

May God’s presence guard, protect and guide you.   God bless you, God bless you. Our savior’s loving arms be ever ’round you.  God bless you, God bless you.

Following the Children’s Moment, children kindergarten through 5th grade are invited to Children’s Church in Cowan Chapel. They are also welcome to stay in the service if they prefer. The Children’s Worship Center in the back of the sanctuary has toys, books, and drawing materials for children (or parents) who would like help staying present in the service. For children preschool age & under, care is available in the Nursery, downstairs in Room 104 off the playground.

Musical Meditation Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth Ian Fraser, et. al.

Bradley Villanacci, saxophone, LaRee Jacobs, piano

Musical Meditation The Snow Lay on the Ground Larry Sue

Pearl Marshall and Laura Nagle, handbells

Gospel Lesson Mark 1:1-8

Sermon Peace in the Valley Rev. Kent Gilbert

GIfts Given for Love to Flow

Our gifts help sustain this particular community of caring by sustaining the building, pastors and staff, and all the materials that make our ministry of healing, justice, and teaching available to all in need. In addition, a good portion of our contributions flows out to aid to those in need via many external agencies.

This can now be done online or by text to 859-448-3403 (Example: Text “$50.00 Offering” to contribute to the ongoing ministries, or add “youth,” or “missions” or designation of your choice to benefit one in particular.

Your contribution is love made visible. Thank you!

Offertory                    Handbell selection

Union Church Handbell Ensemble

 Doxology  To God all glorious heavenly light; Old Hundredth

To Christ revealed in earthly night; To God the spirit now we raise Our grateful hymn of thankful praise. Amen.  

Praying it Forward

Ringing of the Peace Bell

The Union Church Peace Bell was created by Jeff Enge in honor of Union Church member Carl Eschbach (1904-1998).  A twin bell hangs in Berea’s sister province in Japan and is also rung in the hope of peace for all nations.

Sung Prayer O Come, Emmanuel Robinson and Rohe

David Duffee & Debbonnaire Kovacs

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer our spirits by thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice ! Rejoice ! Emmanuel  Shall come, shall come.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high, and order all things, far and nigh;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And cause us in her ways to go. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come, shall come.

O come, Desire of nations, bind all people in one heart and mind;
Bid envy, strife and quarrels cease; fill the whole world with living peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come, shall come.

Our Lord’s Prayer

One: Our Maker, our Mother, and …

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 forever.  Amen.

From Here to There

Introduction and Invitation to Membership

Union Church is a vital and growing family of faith, a home to those committed to the way of Christ’s sacrificial love and service. All who feel led to join will be received in joy, and are welcome to come forward during the Closing Hymn. Thanks be to God for these ministers among us.

¨  Closing Hymn #120 There’s a Voice in the Wilderness Ascension

¨  Questions of the Congregation and New Members

¨  Covenant of Welcome

And we, the members of this church, renewing our own covenant    to God and to each other, do now heartily welcome you to our fellowship, promising to watch over you in love, and praying that  you, and we, may be true witnesses for Christ, a light in the world, and continue to increase in usefulness and joy in his service.

¨  Benediction & Sending Forth

¨  Benediction Response           Hope Is a Candle           Richard Leach

Postlude (please be seated)   Go, Tell it on the Mountain arr. Richard Elliot

Especially in our prayers

Each week we join millions of Christians who pray for one another through the ecumenical prayer cycle and, locally, the Berea Ministerial Association’s prayer cycle.  Let us hold the people of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam and our brothers and sisters at Wallace Chapel in our hearts, and pray for them.

Please hold these concerns in your prayers, today and throughout the week. Prayer requests to be printed may be sent to the office anytime before 10:00 am Fridays.

¨ Our church family members in nursing homes, or who are homebound:  Ruth Butwell, Edith Hansen, Nancy Hindman, Mary Miller, Alva Peloquin, Gloria VanWinkle.

¨ Jackie Perman, mother of Kelly Madden and grandmother to Colin and Cadence Perman, critically ill.

¨ Neighbors and friends in fear of ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) raids in our area, and for DACA students and their families. May we all strive for a safe and respectful path forward to be good neighbors.

¨ Rev. Rachel’s cousin, Jeff Small, father of two small kids, who had a heart transplant, and hopes to go home this week.

¨ Dan Rohrer, who is suffering from a severe liver disorder.

¨ Teri VanPelt, recovering from knee replacement surgery at Rockcastle Health & Rehab Center.

Join the church today! Union Church is a vital and growing family of faith, a home to those committed to the way of Christ’s sacrificial love and service. All who feel led to join will be received in joy! New members are received every second Sunday of a month. YOU are welcome here!

Today after worship — lunch and budget meeting. Why Come to a Budget Meeting? The budget of Union Church is the very core of our ministry. It’s often not thrilling, but it is a theological document that tells you where our values are and how we’ve decided to act those out.  As the gospel of Matthew reminds us, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Please attend this meeting to help decide where our hearts will be for 2018. Copies available in the vestibule. Lunch menu: beef chili, vegan sweet potato & black bean chili, chips, salad & ice cream. Donations cheerfully accepted.

A Light in the Darkness through Music: For many of us, the holidays seem like a stressful time. We have the shopping, the gift wrapping, the baking, the visiting, etc. It all seems pretty chaotic, right?  The holidays feel like this endless journey that is tedious for us to get through, but the end result is a joyous time.

Throughout this Advent season, the music program will help guide you through this journey.  The Union Church Choir and Handbell Ensemble have carefully crafted music and sounds that will help create this journey.  Each Sunday in Advent, members of the Handbell Ensemble will begin the service with one singular singing bell surrounded by random ringing.  When the technique is done, the singing bell creates this continuous, gorgeous sound that sings out a singular note with the warm, rich overtones that the bell creates.  This sound represents the light.  Random ringing is a technique that is easily described as what it’s named; random ringing of bells.  This randomness is going to try and cover up the singing bell, but you will still hear the singing bell under the chaos. Each week, the number of random bells will decrease, and more of the light will shine through. Finally, ending on Christmas Eve, we will hear how the light shines through singing bells.  Listen as we go through this journey of music and light in the darkness.

 Christmas Caroling for All on December 13. At a special Wednesday Night Live, we will gather a little early at 5:30 to eat, then fill up the town trolley and cars to carol to some of our church friends around town. We will gather back at the church afterwards for cookies and hot drinks. Please bring a plate of cookies to share.

All Y’all Christmas Pageant next week during worship. All who attend can have a part in our “mystery box” pageant. Come find out who you will play—a villager, an innkeeper, maybe Mary or Joseph! ALL ages invited.

Decorating party next Sunday.  Let’s finish decorating the sanctuary for Christmas after services next Sunday, Dec 17.  We’ll put up Christmas trees and refresh the window greenery.  Christmas music and good cheer guaranteed. Right before the….

Classic Chorale Concert next Sunday, at 2:30 pm. Carols and Lullabies, Carols of John Rutter, “Magnificat” by Ruth Watson Henderson, accompanied by harp, guitar and marimba. $5 adults.

Dancers of all abilities and skills are enthusiastically invited to help us dance in the light on Christmas Eve. Dancers begin the service with slow and lovely music as we light the worship candles for the service. If you would like to join (no experience necessary), contact Carla Gilbert (859-985-1144 or 859-358-2962) or Maggie Park. (330-277-7738). The service will begin at 5:30 pm (gathering sounds-of-the-season music at 5) on December 24. Rehearsals will be scheduled as soon as the group is assembled. 

Upcoming Events

Dec.13—Christmas Caroling at WNL! 5:30—8 pm

Dec. 17—Christmas Pageant at worship!

Dec.17—Classic Chorale Concert,  2:30 pm

Dec.20—Longnight Service, 7 pm

Dec. 24—Advent worship service, regular 10:30 am time

Christmas Eve Services

  • 5:00 pm (sounds of the season gathering music). The service begins at 5:30, Potluck finger-food supper follows the service
  • 11:00 pm service in Cowan Chapel






Categories News, Weekly Bulletin | Tags: | Posted on December 8, 2017

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