December 24, 2017, Worship Bulletin, Prayer Concerns, Announcements

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

Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 24, 2017   10:30 am 


You must be men and women of ceaseless hope, because only tomorrow can today’s human and Christian promise be realized; and every tomorrow will have its own tomorrow, world without end. Every human act, every Christian Act, is an act of hope. But that means you must be men and women of the present, you must live this moment– really live it not just endure it– because this very moment, for all its imperfection and frustration, because of its imperfection and frustration, is pregnant with all sorts of possibilities, is pregnant with the future, is pregnant with love, is pregnant with Christ.     —Walter J. Burghardt

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 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

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: The future. We seek it, we strive to predict each moment of it, we work to shape it, and in the end we tumble end-over-beginning into it, as it turns from “then and there,” to “here and now.”

All: We light the candles of the beginning, the past, the present.

One: And by their light we realize that the future of God’s making is already planted in our midst. The Hope, the Peace, the Joy have grown the light of Love:

All: Our love for God, and all God sees beyond our “now.” And God’s love for us, a light to our hearts warmer than the summer sun.

One: The house that God lives in is made of Love. God chose love and loving and lovers entering this world in the person of Jesus. David’s temple, in all his imagined glory was nothing compared to a young girl’s heart, full of love, full of life, and full of “yes.” On this morning of Love, let us pray…

All: Lord of Love, swell our hearts and burst our lungs with such love as makes rocks sing and trees dance! Pour it into the dry places of our skin, soothe it like liniment on the tired bones of our world. Let warmth be the hallmark of your people, and compassion be the lamp at our feet.

This is your glorious work, your valued vision! Make it large in us, as we give you thanks and praise for a future pregnant with the possibility of your creation restored.

¨  Opening Hymn #119 My Soul Gives Glory to My God Morning Song

¨  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 Ave Maria Caccini, Liebergen

Union Church Choir, Jane Mecham, flute

Ave Maria, Amen.

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..

Gospel Lesson              Luke 1:46b-55

Sermon      Too Big to Fail             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                    Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light arr. Roger C. Wilson

¨   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.

Silent Prayer and Prayers of the Community

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

¨  Closing Hymn #122 Come, O Long-Expected Jesus Stuttgart

¨  Benediction & Sending Forth

¨  Benediction Response Hope Is a Candle Richard Leach

Postlude (please be seated) O Come, All Ye Faithful John A. Behnke

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 Japan, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan and our brothers and sisters at Berea Evangelistic Center 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, still very ill but  has made some improvement.

¨ 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.

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

¨ Teri VanPelt, recovering from knee replacement surgery at home.

¨ Loyal Jones, recovering from a fall and infections at UK Hospital.

¨ Paul Lyttle, friend of the Jacobs’, who underwent surgery due to an infection from a spider bite.

¨ Linda Smallwood, sister of Anthony Smallwood, and all her family as she makes her transition to the wider life.


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.

If bringing finger food for the reception tonight, please consider placing a small card on your plate or tray indicating the ingredients. It’s a loving act of hospitality for those with allergies & restrictions.

Next week: Office is closed the 25, 26 & 27. No choir this week, Gabe will be away. No Bible Study this week. Children’s Church is taking a break and will resume January 7. The 8:00 am morning meditation is taking a break until January 2. Please join us in the new year!

Did you know that our weekly bulletin is published on the website every Friday afternoon? Go to It’s the farthest blue button on the right (cleverly titled “Weekly Bulletin”). You can read the anthem lyrics & prayer responses while you watch the service online if you travel for Christmas!

Christmas Eve  Worship Services at Union Church
* 5:00 pm sounds of the season concert & candle-lit service in the Sanctuary.  We will gather in the Community Room for a potluck finger food reception and fellowship after the service. All welcome!
*11:00 pm service in Cowan Chapel

After Annunciation

This is the irrational season
When love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason
There’d have been no room for the child.


The Risk of Birth, Christmas, 1973

This is no time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war & hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out & the sun burns late.
That was no time for a child to be born,
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome;
Honor & truth were trampled by scorn–
Yet here did the Savior make his home.
When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn–
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.

                                                                              Madeleine L’Engle



Categories News, Weekly Bulletin | Tags: | Posted on December 22, 2017

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Weekend Masses in English

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