Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the
Church of Christ, Union
First Sunday of Advent
November 27, 2016 10:30 am
The Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, a Palestinian Christian leader in Bethlehem, has said “in this land we have too much religion, but not enough faith.” While it can definitely be a force for conflict perpetuation and violence, it can also be an animating force for good. The question that comes to my mind is the one often posed by my friend Chris Seiple of the Institute for Global Engagement — “Can the best of faith defeat the worst of religion?”
—Todd Deatherage , Telos Foundation
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
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: A Cry for Peace
Voices from Scripture: Isaiah 2:1-5
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: Peace. How easy to say, how difficult to practice. How fragile is that syllable amid war and rumor of war..
One: “Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers,” says the psalmist. But for too many in our world, the walls form a prison. On too many, the towers cast the shadow of death.
One: This has been our work. Death, not life, has been our dominion. We have dealt in ignorance, and apathy, and fear.
One: Even now, we are building towers from the bones of the oppressed. We are building walls to hide the face of God.
One: Our mouths form the words of peace, even as we sow discord. We seek our own comfort, and call it peace.
One: We hide our swords in the corncrib, and call them plowshares. We forget to invite all nations to the mountain of the Lord.
All: It is time to wake up!
One: Today, in spite of all we have been, in spite of all we are, we light the candle of peace. (Lights candle.) Today we lay aside the works of darkness. Today we defy our worst selves, and declare our determination to light the way.
One: Today our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem–Jerusalem built as a city that is bound firmly together.
One: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, “Peace be within you.”
One: For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.
All: Let us come into the light!
Sung Prayer: All your creatures strive for life, Suffer hurt in angry strife,Seek compassion, find release In the covenant of peace.
Liturgy Written by Carrie Jadud, Worship Board
¨ Opening Hymn Down By the Riverside trad.
- Gonna lay down my sword and shield Down by the riverside, Down by the riverside, Down by the riverside.
Gonna lay down my sword and shield down by the riverside
Ain’t gonna study war no more.
Refrain: I ain’t gonna study war no more, I ain’t gonna study war no more, Study war no more.
I ain’t gonna study war no more, I ain’t gonna study war no more, Study war no more.
- Gonna talk with the Prince of Peace …. Refrain
- Gonna make Peace around the world …. Refrain
* Prayer of Approach and Confession
* 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 Veni Jesu Veni Jesu amor mi. Luigi Cherubini
Union Church Choir
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.
Gospel Lesson Matthew 24:36-44
Sermon The Great Awakening 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 Noel Suisse L.C. Daquin
* 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 #122 Come, O Long Expected Jesus Hyfrydol
* Benediction & Sending Forth
Postlude (please be seated) O Come, All Ye Faithful J. 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 Republic of Congo, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe and our brothers and sisters at Kirksville Christian Church in your hearts, and pray for them.
Please also hold these concerns in your prayers, today and throughout the week:
¨ 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, caringbridge.org/visit/determinedruth, which you can visit for updates.
¨ An unspoken prayer for the Doring-Zook family
¨ Prayers for all our family and friends who will be entering 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.
¨ Elizabeth Barrett, suffering seizures.
¨ Dottie Blackburn, suffering from severe sciatica.
¨ Blake & Rachel Cathron, with a very sick baby, Gideon.
¨ 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.
Alternative Giving Market Success! The Mission and Service Board would like to thank everyone that made the Alternative Giving Market such a success. All the volunteers and nonprofits/organizations that gave their time, and everyone who assisted with set up and clean up. The results were just about $5200 in giving to over 20 different organizations, so we couldn’t have asked for a better event! MSB will be meeting in December to discuss matching these donations, which will go up to $5000. Your gift truly makes a difference and we appreciate your time and thoughtfulness in giving alternatively this holiday season!
Worship helpers. Worship Board seeks greeters and lay leaders to keep our services welcoming and inspiring. No experience necessary. Go to the Union Church website and select “Volunteer” (near the upper right corner) – or call Doug Hindman at 582-5806.
Hanging of the Greens TODAY! Music, Hot Chocolate, and Decorating 2:00 pm! many hands make light work! There are tasks to be done inside and out, for every ability. Come on and let’s beautify on the first Sunday of Advent!
Noodling Around with Theology…at Noodle Nirvana Dec. 1! “The Word Made Flesh” Exploring incarnation in Jesus and beyond. Interested in deepening your “TQ,” theology quotient? First Thursdays are for you — and you can enjoy some neat noodles at the same time! The class will meet at Noodle Nirvana (315 Chestnut St), 8pm. You can purchase food, or just come for the discussion.
Danish-American Christmas Celebration December 4, 5:30-7:45, Acton Folk CenterThe Folk Circle is really happy to present the 24th Danish American Christmas Celebration for kids of all ages. Program includes Santa’s workshops, songs and music, food and refreshments, Santa Lucia processional and much more. Free admission, donations accepted.
December 6, 6:30 pm – Want to learn? Want to visit with others who can’t get our much? Are you a little nervous about how to best meet with others? Help is on the way! Carla Gilbert will conduct a one-hour session on visiting others in our church and community. Just come at 6:30 on December 6 to Rev. Rachel’s office at Union and learn more about helping and loving others.
Share YOUR Music Sunday Dec. 11 Mark Your Calendars! Sounds of the Season Musical Service! This service will feature the musical offerings of many of our talented church folks! This is a fun event that will feature lots of congregational participation and you WILL NOT want to miss it! Want to participate? See Gabe or register online union-church.org/the-arts/share-your-music-registration/
Want to help make our sanctuary beautiful for Advent & Christmas? Poinsettias! We’ll order and pick up poinsettias for you! Please click & fill out the form to order, pay for & designate them in memory or in honor of someone and have their name
printed in the bulletin. After the holidays, take your plants home to enjoy.
Please order by December 5 for timely delivery. We’d love to have a abundant splash of holiday color to honor the “reason for the season. “ Order online at union-church.org/deck-the-halls-order-poinsettias-now/
Help Wanted: there is a need for volunteers to provide transportation for vital medical appointments and necessary household needs. If you would like to help with this vital service to others, please let us know in the office during business hours, or Mary Lou Wiese at 260-571-4959.
New opportunity School Fundraiser Dec. 2-4, at Churchill Company. The Berea Festival of Trees is a new annual holiday fundraiser that features a glitter-ing display of beautiful trees supported by local businesses, individuals, and community groups to showcase their brands, give back to the community, and have fun!
Family friendly activities and toasty drinks and wintry treats will delight kids and grownups alike! The trees are silent auctioned throughout the event, with all proceeds benefiting low-income,
Appalachian women. Together, we are making more than holiday magic –we are making a difference.
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 email@example.com 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.
Cold-weather Clothing Drive to benefit Kentucky Refugee Ministries: With ongoing war and economic crises leaving many Syrian families displaced, we believe it is our responsibility to help where we can. As the coldest months are approaching, families who have been resettled in Kentucky are in need of weather-appropriate clothing. Please consider donating new or gently-used winter clothing items! We will be delivering the clothing items directly to families with the help of Kentucky Refugee Ministries.