Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the
Church of Christ, Union
Christmas Day December 25, 2016 10:30 am
Let us dance with delight in the Lord and let our hearts be filled with rejoicing, for eternal salvation has appeared on the earth, alleluia! ― Liturgy of the Hours, Roman Rite
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!
* Call to Worship
One: Joy to the world, the Lord has come!
All: We come to warm our hearts around the story.
One: Hark! The herald angels sing,
All: We listen for the good news they bring.
One: There’s a star in the east,
All: So with shepherds and wise ones we rise up and follow.
One: O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
All: And let us unwrap this gift of life that really is life. Let us worship God together!
* Opening Hymn #129 Good Christian Friends, Rejoice In Dulci Jubilo
Prayer of Approach and Confession
One: As we continue to make room for Christ in our hearts this Christmas, let us let go of anything that may be burdening us on this Holy Day—anything that may be separating us from the love of God or from one another. We do this now in our prayer of confession. Let us pray…
All: God of wonder, you surround us with signs of your glory and surprise us with the miracle of your presence, yet we often miss the marvels you place before us. Forgive our dullness and make us alert to the ways you make yourself known, that we might be witnesses to your good news and proclaim your extravagant love; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Words of Assurance
One: Sisters and brothers, here is the good news of the gospel— God’s love and grace was born into the world at Christmas, and it is a love that never ends. Let us sing with confidence as God’s beloved children, forgiven and forgiving…
* Hymn #144 Hark the Herald Angels Sing Mendelsohn
* 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
Hebrew Scripture Reading Isaiah 52:7-10
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.
Lesson from the Psalms Psalm 98
A Christmas Story
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 Brightest and Best trad
Hail the blest morn, see the great mediator
Down from the regions of glory descend.
Shepherds go worship, the babe in the manger.
Lo, for a guard his bright angels attend.
Chorus: Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid;
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.
Cold on His cradle the dewdrops are shining; Low lies His head with the beasts of the stall.
Angels adore Him in slumber reclining,
Maker and Monarch and Savior of all.
Shall we not yield Him, In costly devotion
Odors of Edom and offerings divine,
Gems of the mountain and pearls of the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest and gold from the mine?
Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly with gifts would His favor secure.
Richer by far is the heart’s adoration;
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.
* 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 Prayers and Prayers for 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 #154 Go Tell It On the Mountain Trad.
* Benediction & Sending Forth
Postlude (please be seated)
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 Cape Verde, the Gambia, Senegal, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau and our brothers and sisters at West Side Christian 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.
¨ 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.