Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
New Year’s Day
January 1, 2017 10:30 am
“He who goes about to reform the world must begin with himself, or he loses his labor.”
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!
Seeking the Light
Prelude Chorale Prelude on “Der Tag Der Ist So Freudenreich”BWV605 J.S. Bach
* Call to Worship
One: A new day has dawned, a new year has begun.
All: Arise, shine, your light has come!
One: Open our eyes to your hope, peace, joy, and love:
All: Let us see the light!
* Opening Hymn #164 Arise, Your Light Is Come Festal Song
Examen: If I looked at my self right now, with God’s eyes instead of my own, what would seem different?
Casting out darkness
Hebrew Scripture Reading Isaiah 60:1-6
Prayer of Approach and Confession
One: Too often we are so obsessed with the dark we forget that we can follow the light. We get our thrills from people, places, and things that seek our harm instead of our health, and sometimes we prefer things that harm rather than help others and your creation.
All: Shock us with wonder, O God. Forgive us our trespassing in the dark pathways; pull us into your light.
Words of Assurance
One: Hear the good news of the psalmist’s proclamation:
All: If I say, “surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,”
One: Even the darkness is not dark to God; and the night is as bright as the day.
All: The God who promised never to leave us or forsake us HAS come to us in Jesus Christ,
One: who binds up the brokenhearted,
All: heals all our infirmities,
One: and relieves our burden of sin.
All: So, arise, shine, for your light has come,
One: And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. Thanks be to God!
All: Thanks be to God! Amen!
-from Advent Longing for the Light of Healing, PCUSA
* 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.
Hymn of Grace #417 This Is a Day of New Beginnings Beginnings
Examen: What can I let go of from last year that no longer serves God, others, or myself?
Gratitude for the light
Lesson from the Psalms Psalm 8
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.
A Reflection on the Light Rev. Rachel Small Stokes
Examen: What are the gifts of God I received last year? Where has God been present?
Offering our Gifts of Gratitude
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 Fugue in B Minor, Op. 18 Cesar Franck
* 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.
Embodying the light
* Invitation to Communion
One: People of Advent: the Lord be with you!
All: And also with you!
One People of Christmas, lift up your hearts.
All: We lift our hearts overwhelmed with grace to the One who was born for us.
One: People of the Star, offer your songs of joy and thanksgiving to God.
All: We will sing our praises to the One who has revealed glory and hope born among us.
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 of the Community
One: In that first moment you spoke, Radiant God, and the light of creation dispelled the thick darkness of chaos. You whispered, and your glory filled the skies. You sang, and the dust of the earth was shaped into your image, as you breathed life into us.
One: We could have lived in grace and peace with you for as long as the sun endures, for as long as the moon hangs in the night sky.
One: But we were tempted by the sweet taste of sin, and overwhelmed with temptation’s wealth of cheap gifts and thrills. The prophets were sent to tell of your gifts of joy and peace, but we listened to the world’s news of success, power, achievement.
One: Finally, in that dark time of despair, you sent Jesus, your servant of salvation. Therefore, we will join our voices with the wise ones, as well as the foolish, of every time and place who forever sing of your grace:
Communion Sanctus please join in singing:
Receiving the Gifts of God
Communion Music Chorale Prelude on “In Dulci Jubilo BWV751 attr. J.S. Bach
All who seek the love of God are welcome at this meal and are invited to freely receive from it. We will share the elements today by intinction, dipping the bread in the cup. When invited please come to one of the stations by exiting your pew to the left and returning by the right. If it is not convenient to come forward, the elements can be brought to your seat by signaling to the usher. All the bread is gluten-free, and the chalices are filled with non-alcoholic grape juice.
If it is not your tradition to receive, you are invited to join in prayers for the unity of the Spirit and all people, within your tradition.
After receiving communion, please choose a Star Gift to take with you, as a reminder of God’s working with you throughout the year.
Blessing for Those Who Will Receive at Home
Members who have been designated to carry communion to those who could not be with us this morning are invited forward at this time. The elements from our meal will go with our blessing and prayers for our continued unity in the Spirit. If you would like serve by taking communion to others, you are very welcome to do so and are invited to volunteer.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Examen: What does my Star Gift offer me? How is God leading me forward?
* Closing Hymn #25 O God Our Help in Ages Past St. Anne
* Benediction & Sending Forth
Postlude (please be seated) Chorale Prelude on J.S. Bach
“In Dir ist Freude” BWV 615
Examen: Rest in the warmth of God’s light.
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 Cote d’Ivoire and Togo and our brothers and sisters at Mt. Zion 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.
¨ Judith Singleton, recovering at home from a nasty car wreck
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 next week! 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!
Don’t forget, Wednesday Night Live on January 4 is a potluck!
Look for a NEW newsletter in January! We are working on a new format that we will roll out in the first week of January. It should be more mobile-phone friendly. Because of the holiday, please expect it toward the end of the first week of January.
Rev. Rachel will be in Arizona January 3-9 as part of her Next Generation Leadership Initiative fellowship. She will be learning about personality and leadership this year, and plans to bring back great new tools!
LBGTQIA Safe Space gathering for sharing and support. Wednesday Jan. 4, 7:00 pm, Wayside Room. This is not a religious group, but a general support group. The group meets every 1st and 3rd Weds.
Noodling Around with Theology will resume on Feb. 2
Help Wanted. We have an ongoing need for volunteers to help with Sunday services. Can you be a worship reader, greeter, coffee angel, snack provider, etc.? For details go to the church website, union-church.org and click on “Volunteer” near the upper right corner (or talk to Doug Hindman).
The Sunday bulletin is available at the church website, union-church.org, the farthest right blue button. Read along as you watch