Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
Second Sunday of Advent
December 4, 2016 10:30 am
“Hope is a state of mind independent of the state of the world. If your heart’s full of hope, you can be persistent when you can’t be optimistic. You can keep the faith despite the evidence, knowing that only in so doing has the evidence any chance of changing. So while I’m not optimistic, I’m always very hopeful.” ― William Sloane Coffin Jr.
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 Concerto Grosso in g minor, Grave – Adagio Corelli
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: Hopes and Fears
Voices from Scripture: Isaiah 11:1-10
- 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: Hope. Hope for the weary, hope for the lost. Hope for peace, for justice, for the restored rightness of things.
All: Let us dare to hope.
One: When the darkness encroaches, the very idea of hope can seem facile. To hope can seem to willfully deny reality. But hope is not blind. Hope does not require us to shut our eyes to injustice, or to deny the evils lurking just out of sight. We reach for hope in spite of the darkness. To spite the darkness. We hope because we must, because another world is necessary.
All: Let us dare to hope.
One: As we wander in the wilderness, we hear a voice crying out:
All: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight!
One: Even if we should spend our whole lives in the wilderness, we are still called to be path-clearers. Perhaps we are but the roots of Jesse’s tree, destined never to rise above ground ourselves. But from our labors below the soil shall come forth shoots of justice and of joy. Hope is the rain that falls on the mown grass. It is the showers that water the earth.
All: Let us dare to hope–
One: That this land of mountains and hills may know peace and experience justice for all the people.
All: Prepare the way of the Lord!
Sung Prayer: To the anxious soul impart Hope, all other hopes above; Stir the dull and hardened heart With a longing and a love.
* Opening Hymn #116 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (v. 1,2,4,6) Veni Emmanuel
* 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 Carol of the Advent Farjeon, Dietterich
Union Church Choir
People, look East. The time is near of the crowning of the year. Make your house fair as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table. People, look East, and sing today: Love, the guest is on the way.
Furrows be glad, though earth is bare, one more seed is planted there: Give up your strength the seed to nourish, that in course the flower may flourish. People, look East, and sing today: Love, the rose, is on the way.
Birds, though ye long have ceased to build, guard the nest that must be filled. Even the hour when wings are frozen, He for fledgling time has chosen. People, look East, and sing today: Love, the bird, is on the way.
Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim one more light the bowl shall brim, shining beyond the frosty weather, bright as sun and moon together. People, look East, and sing today: Love, the star, is on the way.
Angels, announce to man and beast Him who cometh from the East. Set every peak and valley humming with the word, the Lord is coming. People, look East, and sing today: Love, the Lord, is on the way.
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 3:1-12
Sermon At the Root of a Radical Hope 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 Concerto Grosso in g minor – Allegro Corelli
* 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.
Being and Becoming One
* Invitation to Communion
One: God be with you.
All: And also with you.
One: Lift up your hearts.
All: We lift our hearts in prayer.
One: Let us give thanks to God.
All: It is right to give God thanks and praise.
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: You have entered this place, O God, and in your holy shadow heaven tangles with earth in the bread and cup, and in the promise of Spirit poured into flesh.
One: Come now, God. As you once came to us in a stable in Bethlehem, come now and be with us in the bread of Christ’s body, in this world that hungers and waits for truth; that hopes with open eyes for the way to clear. With all creation we yearn for our redemption and so sing we all the praises of the angels:
One: Come now, God. As once your Spirit poured forth life upon the earth come now and pour the wine of Christ’s lifeblood for this creation, waiting for renewal.
Women: Be present in our hope in this holy time:
Men: in the silence of power and the power of silence;
Piano side: in the throne rooms of the rich and the shanties of the poor;
Bell side: in overfed communities and in underfed souls;
One: Gather up hope in this bread and cup. Break open the good news of your incarnation: on parched farmlands and frightened cities; in the hearts of the proud and the longings of the lowly.
One: Even when the world rejected Jesus—on the very night he was betrayed—he continued to feed others with strength and vision. He sat with his friends, took bread and blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them saying,
All: “This is my body, given for you. Remember me when you eat of it.”
One: Open us and feed us, O God.
One: After supper, he took a cup, offered you thanks, and gave it to his disciples saying,
All: “This is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for the forgiveness of sin. Whenever you share this cup, remember me.”
One: Redeem and strengthen us, O God.
One: Come now, Holy Spirit. Gather up the good news in this gathering of your people. Come now, God. Where we have eaten the bread of tears nourish us now with the bread of promise given form and purpose in a small child born in our midst. Humanity is waiting, working for life. Make your advent of hope here in our hearts.
Serving One Another
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.
Communion Music Concerto Grosso in g minor—Largo Corelli
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
All: This table: it is hope in our deserts, a well where love springs, a place where lion and lamb, wolf and kid feed in safety. We dwell in thanksgiving and abide in your word made flesh. May the hope of your peaceable kin-dom find a place at every table we set. In Christ’s name: Amen.
From Here to there
* Closing Hymn Wild and Lone, the Prophet’s Voice (opposite) Aberystwyth
* Benediction & Sending Forth
Postlude (please be seated) Fantasy on ‘Hyfrydol’ M. Thallander
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 Cameroon, Central African Republic and Equatorial Guinea and our brothers and sisters at the Berea Evangelistic Center 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, caringbridge.org/visit/determinedruth, 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!
Thanks to everyone who helped with Hanging of the Greens! The sanctuary is lovely. Tomorrow is the last day to donate for Poinsettias. fill out the form online or at the back of the bulletin..
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.
Don’t forget, Wednesday Night Live on December 7th is a potluck!
LBGTQIA Safe Space gathering for sharing and support. Wednesday Dec. 7, 7:00 pm, Wayside Room. This is not a religious group, but a general support group. The group meets every 1st and 3rd Weds.
Cooking for One or Two? Join the Lunch Bunch, Dec 8! Several members cooking for just themselves or one other decided to create a fellowship lunch with the opportunity to share new recipes and swap techniques for good eating. Everyone, young and old, cooking for just a few are invited to lunch on December 8th, 12pm in the Community Room.
RSVP is needed so we can cook the right amount! Please call the church office (986-3725) by December 6th to let us know how many are coming. Bring friends and recipes!
Habitat House dedication December 10, 10:00 am. Liz Laws and her family’s home at 1157 Mason Lake Rd. will be dedicated. All are welcome!
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/
Budget Meeting December 11, after Worship & Lunch (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.
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, 2016. Rehearsals will be scheduled as soon as the group is assembled. Please indicate your interest by December 11!
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.
We will have a few speaking roles for those who would like to take part that way – contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be a rehearsal for readers.
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 email@example.com. Deadline for application is December 18.
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.
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