A Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
First Sunday of Advent Celebration of the Lord’s Supper
December 2, 2012
Hope is the thing with feathers –That perches in the soul –And sings the tune without the words –And never stops – at all –
Gathering to Worship
Welcome and Announcements
Prelude O Come, O Come, Emmanuel Manz/Curry
Introit Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates Winkworth, Schweiaer
When invited, please sing the refrain
Reading from the Prophets Jeremiah 33:14-16
Advent Candle Lighting: HOPE Members of the Union Church staff
The Advent Wreath tradition reaches back to pre-Christian northern Europeans who lit candles awaiting the winter solstice. By the 1500s, both Lutherans and Catholics had adopted the Advent Wreath as a devotional way to prepare for the coming of Christ, the Light of the World. Each week as we wait through Advent, we light a new candle representing an aspect of the light God intends for all people. This Sunday the candle of HOPE is lit.
When invited with the words “Christ is coming,” please respond:
All: Lift up your heads!
* Opening Hymn Lift Up Your Head, O Mighty Gates Truro
* Prayer of Confession and Assurance
One: We know the signs of our faithlessness – the hurtful words we speak, the pain we give to others the mistakes we make over and over and over. But God is our righteousness, waiting to forgive us, if we will but pray. I invite you to join with me, as we pray,
All: God who comes in every moment, when we could turn to your Word, we read the advertisements, believing their slick promises. When we could rely on you for life, we listen to those who spin truth every way imaginable. When we could prepare for you to come and dwell in us, we empty out our souls and hearts to make more room for temptations.
Forgive us, Advent’s God. Forget our mistakes, as you pour grace into our lives. Restore what is missing in our faith, as you fill us with your justice. Turn our faces towards your Steadfast Love, Jesus Christ, so we might be ready for his coming to us in these days.
[Silence is kept]
One: How can we thank God for all the grace, the joy, the wonder which has been poured out upon us?
All: We will walk the paths of faithfulness and hope, bringing justice and righteousness to all people. Thanks be to God, we are forgiven! Amen.
adapted from Thom M. Shuman, “Lectionary Liturgies” © 2012
* Passing the Peace of Christ
All who come to this sanctuary are welcome companions on this day. Please turn to those nearest you and greet them with words of peace.
Hearing the word
Anthem “Comfort, My People” Ian Callanan
Union Church Choir
Comfort, my people, and calm all your fears; The day of salvation is quickly drawing near. The One you long to see will soon set you free. O come, Lord Jesus, come.
Silence the thunder, silence sounds of war; End all destruction and comfort those who mourn. Your dream draws near; your vision is here. O come, Lord Jesus, come.
Be light in the darkness; be truth for our lives. Be strength for the helpless, the poor and lost who cry. O saving voice, O living choice. O come, Lord Jesus, come.
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.
After Children’s moment our youngest members may return to their seats, go to the nursery in Knapp Hall Room 102 (Nursery is in the back left corner when entering the front of Knapp—ushers will be glad to direct you), or participate in Children’s Church at Knapp Hall.
Scripture Lesson Luke 21:25-36
Sermon “Well, What Do You Expect?” Rev. Rachel Small Stokes
Prayers of the People
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 Kiyosato, Japan and is also rung in the hope of peace for all nations.
Silent Prayers & Prayers of the Community
Our Lord’s Prayer
Offering Our Gifts
Offertory “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” Charles Callahan
* Doxology To God all glorious heavenly light To Christ revealed in earthly night; To God the Spirit now we raise Our joyful songs of thankful praise. Amen.
* Prayer of Thanksgiving
Responding to God’s Love in Communion
Invitation to Communion
One: May the God of Advent be with you!
All: And also with you!
One: Lift your heads and your hearts to God.
All: We lift them to the One who comes with hope.
One: Join in glad songs of thanksgiving.
All: Our voices resound in glad praises to our God.
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 spoke the Word and days came tumbling out, Imaginative Heart: scooping up clay to mold mountains, carving river ways in the valley floors, planting trees in deserts, flinging planets into the universes. Shaping us in your image, you longed to teach us of your justice, to lead us down your paths of righteousness, but our worries took us into sin’s grasp, we fell into the trap set by death. Abounding in love, you sought to restore what was missing in our faith, but we laughed at those you sent to call us back to you. So your Word became flesh, springing forth from the root of Jesse’s own tree, becoming one of us, to claim us as your own. We praise you, for you have not forgotten us, joining our voices with those of every day and place:
Sanctus Please Join in Singing
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest, hosanna in the highest.
One: Blessed is the Teacher who comes to us. Hosanna in the highest! Faithful is who you are, our God, and your steadfast love is enfleshed in Jesus Christ, your Child. When we would wander down the world’s wanton ways, he came to show us the path to right living. When we kept turning the pages of evil’s books, he came to teach us the simple alphabet of grace. When sin and death demanded our loyalty, he went to the cross, trusting in your promises, so we might be raised to new life with you. As we begin our journey to Bethlehem, as we celebrate your coming to us in Jesus, we proclaim that mystery we know as faith:
All: Christ died, for ‘the Lord is our righteousness;’ Christ rose, for ‘the Lord is our salvation;’ Christ will come, for ‘the Lord is our hope.’
One: Pour out your Spirit upon these Advent pilgrims gathered in this place, and on the gifts of the Table. The days are surely coming when the Bread which was broken becomes the healing of our world. Surely, the days are coming when the grace which fills the Cup is poured out for all who long for justice and righteousness. And when we gather at the corner of Steadfast Love and Faithfulness, to feast at your eternal banquet, we will join our voices with our sisters and brothers, forever singing to your glory, God in Community, Holy in One.
liturgy adapted from Thom M. Shuman, “Lectionary Liturgies” © 2012
Serving One Another
All who seek the love of God are welcome at this table and are invited to freely receive from it. By tradition, unfermented grape juice is used in the cup on Sunday mornings. Children and youth are welcome to partake. We will share the elements today by intinction, dipping the bread in the cup. Please allow yourself to be served by the one preceding you as the bread and cup is passed down the row, partaking yourself before passing the elements to the next. If it is not your custom to receive, you are invited to join in prayers for the unity and blessing of all in the manner of your tradition as you pass the elements to the next person.
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. 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 with the Nurture and Care Board members or by contacting one of the pastors.
Walking Forward in Faith
* Closing Hymn O Day of God, Draw Near (next page) St. Michael
*Benediction and Sending Forth
Postlude “Watchman, Tell Us of the Night” Donald Hustad
* Those who wish to may stand
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 Liberia and Sierra Leone and our brothers and sisters at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in your hearts, and pray for them. Please also hold these concerns in your prayers today and throughout the week.
¨ Those in harm’s way in the service of our country
¨ Greg Bolster, brother of Steve, who is suffering painful abdominal complications related to his long-term cancer treatments.
¨ David Spearen, brother of Sandy Bolster, recovering from partial amputation of a leg due to severe diabetes.
¨ Abi Dietz, Berea College senior and friend of Willie Dodson and many others, who was badly injured in a car accident.
¨ Edith Hansen, at The Terrace nursing home
¨ Shirley Dean, on hospice care for lung cancer
¨ Iris Brandenburg’s mother, Leuella Cawood, ill at home in Bristol TN
¨ Ruth Wesley, very ill at home. Cards welcome, to 215 Peachbloom Hill
¨ Hamdy Kemp’s address has changed to 3217 Mist Lake Court, Lexington, KY 40515, and cards are very welcome.
¨ Jean Huffman, at Morning Pointe
¨ Larry Shinn, recovering from a fall
The Coyne family, at the death of John Coyne’s uncle Austin Coyne on Wednesday ¨ morning, at 87, in Rhode Island. He had been struggling with heart issues over the last six months.
¨ Dorothy Chao’s mom, Anne Thomasson, will be 90 on December 5, and would love to receive cards from Union Church friends. Her address is 2001 W. Rudasill Rd., Apt. 8111, Tucson, AZ, 85704-7815
Assisting in Worship
Worship Leader today is Rhonda Edwards.
Advent Hymn Study starts tonight! Sundays at 6:30 pm during Advent (Dec. 2, 9, 16 & 23) Union Church Choir Room Larry Brandenburg will offer a series of studies, will giving us the opportunity to look in depth at five great hymns that are sung during Advent. We will explore the background/historical context of the hymn writers and the biblical/liturgical themes employed. We will learn about and sing the tunes to which they are joined and create and share our responses that arise from this careful study of each hymn.
You do not to have to be a singer to participate! This time is for any and all who wish to deepen their Advent experience and have a shared experience of reflection during the “craziness” of the season. You do not have to sign up. However for those who would indicate their intent to participate, I can e-mail the study materials to them in advance of the first meeting. Child care will be provided upon request.
Budget Meeting December 12! Union Church’s annual budget meeting, at which we consider and adopt the 2013 budget, will be December 12, at the Quaker Meeting House, after Weds. Nite Live, at 6:30 pm.
Woman’s Industrial Christmas help! Woman’s Industrial, directed by Hope Hounshell, is Union Church’s oldest ministry, founded in 1894 (yup, that’s 118 years!). Every year the program gives gifts to the participating women & their children, and vouchers from Save-a-Lot for food. It’s often the only gifts the women receive. If you can make a monetary gift toward this effort, it would be greatly appreciated. The Steering Committee will do the shopping, since they are most familiar with the women’s needs and know their kids as well. You can bring contributions to the office and we’ll get them to the right person — thanks!! Oh—and “like” them on Facebook!
Help needed at the Food Bank: The Food Bank urgently needs help unloading frozen food at 10 am Tuesdays, Dec. 4 and Dec. 18. Boxes, not too heavy, are placed on pallets at ground level from a delivery truck and volunteers are needed to move them promptly to the freezers in Food Bank. Wear gloves. Please call John Payne 986-8100 to say you will come. Large load expected Nov. 27; Park behind the former Darrins’ garage or behind City Hall. Should not take more than an hour at most, and stay as long as you can.
Debbonnaire Kovacs will speak on forgiveness and reconciliation, the internal theme of her new novel, and selling and signing books, at Berea Arts Council on Friday, Dec 7, at 6:30. You should still be able to get to the Christmas program at 7:30!
Potluck Sat. Dec. 8, 5:30 at Tom & Joy Fraziers’ – We will discuss the possibility of a delegation from Union Church with friends to El Salvador June 13 to 23, 2013. Update on El Salvador and CoCoDa projects. Special guest: Ivan Villasboa from CoCoDa. Contact Jenny-Harriet Bromley with questions or comments. 859-623-5007 — email@example.com. Go to www.cocoda.org for more information on the organization. Click the volcano to see about Ivan climbing the largest live volcano to raise money for a CoCoDA scholarship project.
Poinsettias Needed for Christmas! If you would like to bring a poinsettia to church, please do so by Friday, Dec. 14. If it is to be “in honor of” or “in memory of” someone, please get that dedication to the office by noon on Thursday, Dec. 13.
Faith Development Board news: The Christmas Pageant is coming! We have parts for people of ALL ages! We’ll be rehearsing on Wednesday nights after WNL and on Saturday, Dec. 15 and Dec. 22. We will present the pageant during worship on Sunday, December 23rd. If you want to be part of the fun, contact Rev. Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the church office, or just show up at Wednesday Night Live at the Berea Friends Meeting House on December 5th!
There will be no Sunday School on Dec. 23rd or Dec. 30th, due to the Christmas break. We will resume classes on Jan. 6, Epiphany!
Church member Loriel Warren is offering Christmas decorating help and taking appointments for holiday pictures. She has a new digital camera and will be offering great bargains for Union Church members only. Call her at 606-643-5448.
Want a Lapdog? Doug and Nancy Hindman seek a home for a sweet little lapdog. We rescued her but she needs a permanent home. Two year-old black female Yorkie mix. She’s healthy, house trained, weighs 11 lbs, and has all her shots. If you’re at all interested, call us at 985-0022. We can arrange for you to meet her to decide if she’s your dog.
Looking for Book Reports…Share The Wealth of Good Reads Union Church members and friends are great readers and often know of powerful resources in Spirituality, Fiction, Science, and the Arts. If you’re reading something interesting, why not share your find on the Union Church website? All you have to do is list the book title, author and publisher. Comment briefly (500 words or less) and email it to email@example.com. We’ll take care of the rest!