December 11, 2016, Worship Bulletin, Announcements, Prayer Concerns

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

Third Sunday of Advent       

Share Your Music Sunday!

December 11, 2016          10:30 am  



Let a joy keep you.

Reach out your hands

And take it when it runs by,

As the Apache dancer

Clutches his woman.       

I have seen them

Live long and laugh loud,

Sent on singing, singing,

Smashed to the heart

Under the ribs        

With a terrible love.

Joy always, Joy everywhere—

Let joy kill you!

Keep away from the little deaths.         — Carl Sandburg (1878–1967)   

From there to Here

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!

Hymn Sing                       Choose Your Favorites

Prelude     He Is Born       arr. C. Dobrinski

                  Union Church Handbell Ensemble  

Hebrew Scripture Reading

Each week in Advent we begin with waiting and listening. Voices of the world speak in many voices and we pair these with wisdom from the ancient, still-speaking word of the prophets.

      Voices of the World:  Longing for Joy          

      Voices from Scripture: Isaiah 35:1-10

      Voice of Prayer:         Savior of the nations, come

                 Light of God, here make thy home!

                 Marvel now, O heaven and earth

                 That the Lord chose such a birth.        

Lighting of the Advent Candles

One:     In justice will be our joy.

One:     Blessed are we, who call upon the Eternal.
Blessed are we, who claim kinship with the heavens, the earth, the seas, and all that lives within them;
Blessed are we, who are given a sacred opportunity:
            to seek justice for our sisters and brothers who are pressed down by the                 world;
            to provide food for those who are hungry;
            to free those who are imprisoned;
            to rekindle flames for those whose lights have dimmed.

All:      In justice will be our joy.

One:     Dios levanta a los agobiados.
Dios ama a los justos.
Dios protege a los extranjeros que viven entre nosotros.
Cuida de los huérfanos y las viudas,
pero frustra los planes de los perversos.
Dios reinará por siempre.

            (In English: Led by God, and in fellowship together, let us lift up those whose backs are bent in labor. Let us cherish those who do what is right.
May we look after those who journey in a land not their own.
May we take care of the orphan and the widow.
Let us joyfully frustrate the plans of those who seek only their own profit.
Let us remember always that the Eternal will reign today, tomorrow, and forever. Alleluia!)

All:      In justice will be our joy.                                          based on Psalm 146

(Candles are lit)                                                  

Sung Prayer:       Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart: Such a joy as none can move, Such a love as none can part, Such a heart as joys in love.     

* Opening Hymn  The Desert Shall Rejoice (opposite)   Sterling

Prayer of Approach and Confession

Musical Meditation         Huron Carol   trad.

                  Greta Combs, recorder and rain stick

Words of Assurance

*  Passing the Peace of Jesus 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 Word in our Midst

Anthem    Creation Will Be at Peace      Williams, Page

                  Union Church Choir, accompanied by UCHE and Jenny Bromley

In the holy mountain of the Lord all war and strife will cease; in the holy mountain of the Lord creation will be at peace.

The wolf will lie down with the lamb, the cow and bear will feed, their young will play together and a little child will lead. The leopard and goat will graze, the lion will feed on straw. They will war no more .                  

Children’s Moment                     

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, or are welcome return to their seats or visit the Children’s Worship Center, where there are 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 off the Community Room.   

Special Music       The Christians and the Pagans           Dar Williams

                  Robert Rorrer, soloist

  1. Amber called her uncle, said “We’re up here for the holiday, Jane and I were having Solstice, now we need a place to stay.” And her Christ-loving uncle watched his wife hang Mary on a tree, he watched his son hang candy canes all made with Red Dye No. 3. He told his niece, “Its Christmas Eve, I know our life is not your style, ” She said, “Christmas is like Solstice, and we miss you and its been a while.”

        So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table, Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able, and just before the meal was served, hands were held and prayers were said, sending hope for peace on earth to all their gods and goddesses.

  1. The food was great, the tree plugged in, the meal had gone without a hitch, till Timmy turned to Amber and said, “Is it true that you’re a witch?” His mom jumped up and said, “The pies are burning, ” and she hit the kitchen, and it was Jane who spoke, she said, “It’s true, your cousin’s not a Christian, ” “but we love trees, we love the snow, the friends we have, the world we share, and you find magic from your God, and we find magic everywhere, “

                 So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table, finding faith and common ground the best that they were able, and where does magic come from? I think magic’s in the learning, ’cause now when Christians sit with Pagans only pumpkin pies are burning.

  1. When Amber tried to do the dishes, her aunt said, “Really, no, don’t bother.” Amber’s uncle saw how Amber looked like Tim and like her father. He thought about his brother, how they hadn’t spoken in a year, he thought he’d call him up and say, “It’s Christmas, and your daughter’s here.” He thought of fathers, sons and brothers, saw his own son tug his sleeve, saying, “Can I be a Pagan?” Dad said, “We’ll discuss it when they leave.”

                 So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table, finding faith and common ground the best that they were able, lighting trees in darkness, learning new ways from the old, and making sense of history and drawing warmth out of the cold.

Gospel Lesson                  Matthew 11:2-11

Sermon     A Will to Joy         Rev. Kent Gilbert

Sermon Response            The Family of Woman and Man         George Fouke

                  Andy Blyth,  soloist

  1. Some of us were born near the North and South poles where the low temperatures are mean: Most of us appeared in more moderate zones, somewhere in between. Wherever we happened to squeeze out, whatever the name of that land. All of us are members of the family of woman and man.

CHORUS All of us are members, all of us are members, all of us are members of the family.   And I bid you to remember as you carry out your plan that all of us are members of the family of woman and man.

  1.    Some are the color of peaches and cream, some of pumpkin pie, some are the color of banana nut bread, some of Russian rye. Whatever colors we happen to be, it’s plain as the back of my hand, all of us are members of the family of woman and man.
  2.    Some of us are shaped like cucumbers,  Some of us are shaped like pears,  some are smooth, like dolphins and eels, some are hairy like bears.  Whatever our shape or texture, whatever our cosmetic plan, all of us are members of the family of woman and man.
  3.    We are living on this planet  in a mysterious universe; our lives are bound together for better or for worse. The years ahead seem dark indeed, but they’ll  of us are members of the family of woman and man.

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              Coventry Carol           trad.

Sharona Nelson, Merry Kay Winter, Debbonnaire Kovacs, Robert Rorrer

Lullay, Thou little tiny Child, By, by, lully, lullay. Lullay, Thou little tiny Child. By, by, lully, lullay.

O sisters, too, how may we do, for to preserve this day; this poor Youngling for whom we sing, By, by, lully, lullay.

Herod the King, in his raging, charged he hath this day; his men of might, in his own sight, all children young, to slay.

Then woe is me, poor Child, for Thee, and ever mourn and say; for Thy parting, nor say nor sing, by, by, lully, lullay.

*  Doxology            Old Hundredth

To God all glorious heavenly light;  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.

Silent Prayers and Prayers for the Community  

Musical Prayer                        For Everyone Born   Shirley Erena Murray

                                                                                    Gina Chamberlain, soloist

  1. For everyone born, a place at the table, for everyone born, clean water and bread, a shelter, a space, a safe place for growing, for everyone born, a star overhead….

Refrain: and God will delight when we are creators of justice and joy, compassion and peace: yes, God   will delight when we are creators of justice, justice and joy!

  1. For woman and man, a place at the table, revising the roles, deciding the share, with wisdom and grace, dividing the power, for woman and man, a system that’s fair… Refrain
  1. For young and for old, a place at the table, a voice to be heard, a part in the song, the hands of a child in hands that are wrinkled, for young and for old, the right to belong…Refrain
  2. For just and unjust, a place at the table, abuser, abused, with need to forgive, in anger, in hurt, a mindset of mercy, for just and unjust, a new way to live…Refrain
  3. For everyone born, a place at the table, to live without fear, and simply to be, to work, to speak out, to witness and worship, for everyone born, the right to be free, and God will delight when we are creators of justice and joy, compassion and peace: yes, God will delight when we are creators of justice, justice and joy!

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 #110        Now Bless the God of Israel   Forest Green

*  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

Postlude (please be seated)         Carillon on a Ukrainian Bell Carol  G. Near


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 Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali , Mauritania and Niger and our brothers and sisters at Calvary Baptist Church in your hearts, and pray for them.      


Please also 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.

¨ The healing of families, communities, and our nation and world, wracked by violence and murder, may we be agents of transformation.

¨ Refugees around the world.

¨ Prayers of solidarity and support for those made most vulnerable by the recent elections. May the people who follow Jesus follow him to the stranger, the outcast, the foreigner, and the destitute.

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

¨ Dot Kindel, recovering from a fall

¨ For Ruth Butwell, recovering from heart valve replacement and a stroke. Ruth has a Caring Bridge account,, which you can visit for updates.

¨ Prayers for all our family and friends who will be spending the holiday season with the painful absence of someone they love, or with a deep loneliness. Our community has suffered many losses and we weep with those who weep. Prayers that we may all reach to those in need with loving arms.  

¨ Maddie Fresca, who just turned 2, has had seizures since having a stroke the night she was born. Her seizures now seem to be medication resistant.

¨ In Celebration of Bodhi Curtis Hammond, born November 29 to Ashley and Heather Hammond! May God’s blessings fill him and his new family!


You Matter! Please Sign the Register, Check in on Facebook/Twitter and try a nametag! It’s hard to get to know people elsewhere, but we don’t want it that way at church.  Let’s all try to get to know each other better.

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!

Budget Meeting today,  after Worship & free lunch after church: lentil soup, rolls, and finance! (approx. 12:30 pm) We will review, discuss and vote upon approval of the 2017 Budget.. Copies will be emailed (and hard copies made available after Sunday service & at WNL) in advance of the meeting.

Today is Share YOUR Music Sunday Sounds of the Season Musical Service!  Thank you to all involved!

Christmas Caroling for All. At a special Wednesday Night Live on December 14, 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.

Impromptu Christmas Pageant Returns! At morning worship on Sunday, December 18, everyone, young and old and in-between, who comes to worship will have the opportunity to don a costume and join in the Christmas tableau! No rehearsal needed and costumes provided.

No Childrens’s Church, all ages can enjoy the Pageant—or participate!

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), sign up online or call the office. The service will be from 5pm to 6:30pm December 24. Rehearsals will be scheduled as soon as the group is assembled. Please indicate your interest TODAY!

Sweat suits needed for Liberty Place: Liberty Place, a long-term residential recovery center for 108 women located in Richmond, again seeks Union Church members’ help in providing Christmas gifts for its residents. 

Wanted are new sweatsuits and a pair of socks in a gift bag (not a wrapped box) for each resident. Last year Union Church members gifted about three dozen women.

If you are interested in taking part please contact Dodie Murphy at 859-200-7277 or as soon as possible. She will get you a resident’s size and first name. If you prefer to give money and have someone shop for you that is okay too.

Thank you, in advance, for any help you can give to this endeavor.

In These Fields will be performed on Friday, December 16, 8pm, at Arts Place (161 N. Mill Street, Lexington) in Lexington.   A new play by two acclaimed artists will be performed in a special one-night only event on Dec. 16.  In These Fields is a folk opera by singer/songwriter Sam Gleaves and novelist/playwright Silas House. The play, which explores the importance of food in our history and culture, covers 175 years in the American South. 

Doors will open at 7:30 and tickets will be available only at the door. $20 general admission. $10 for students with a valid college ID. 12 and under are free. A large portion of the proceeds from this performance will be donated to the Hindman Settlement School to feed children during their child-specific programming.  

The cast includes House and Gleaves along with award-winning actors and musicians Adanma Barton, Carla Gover, Jason Howard, and Deborah Payne.  Special opening music will be performed by Tyler Hughes.

Peace Camp, Summer ‘17. Several churches and community groups in Berea are working on a summer 2017 community peace camp using the national Peace Village curriculum for children ages 6-13. Camp will be July 24-28. The Steering Committee seeks a Camp Director to work with community partners to plan and run the camp. Helpful skills are organization, ability to recruit and supervise staff, and productively respond to problem solving opportunities. The Camp Director will be a contractor and receive a small stipend. Interested persons can send a resume and references to Kim Kobersmith via email at Deadline for application is December 18.





Categories News, Weekly Bulletin | Tags: | Posted on December 9, 2016

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