Worship January 24, 2021

Sherri Sinders – quilt, Linda Ediger – banner, Sara Stucky – painting, David Toews – ceramic turtle, Pastor Rose Marie  – poetry book, Randall Kaufman – cross

Spirituality and the Arts 3:   Shall we Dance?

Prelude “Amen, We Praise Your Name, O God” Performed by Jubilate Ringers and Ben Smeaton, percussion

Prayer for Peace & Lighting of Peace Candle

God of Love, We’ve Known Division
God of love, we’ve known division and we’ve seen its awful cost.
We have struggled as a nation, and there’s much that we have lost.
We have been a house divided — and, divided, we can’t stand.
May our nation be united; give us peace throughout this land.

Turn us, Lord, from what divides us — fear that drives us far apart,
greed that leads to great injustice, racist ways that break your heart.
May we seek what brings together — hearts that bear each other’s pain,
care and mercy toward our neighbors, love that welcomes strangers in.

May we all, in conversation, speak the truth and listen well.
May we hear, across this nation, stories others have to tell.
May we learn from other cultures and be blessed by their worldview;
May we serve with one another — loving others, loving you.

You have challenged us to goodness; you have shown a kinder way.
It’s your love that now inspires us as we seek a better day.
May we end our harsh division; may we stop the hate and fear.
Make us one, Lord, as a nation; may we be united here.

                                                – Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, 2020, used by permission

-moment of silence-

Call to Worship[i]       

Laugh! Children of God!

Let tears of joy baptize your eyes and your cheeks.

Give God thanks and celebrate!

It’s great to be alive!

It’s great to be alive!

Dance! Children of God!

Lose yourself in the choreography of the Spirit.

Life is a dance and God is the orchestra.

It’s great to be alive!

It’s great to be alive!

Embrace! Children of God!

Open your arms and feel close to each other.

It is in our openness where life takes on meaning.

It’s great to be alive!

Give God thanks and celebrate!

It’s great to be alive!

-John. W. Howell

[i] Reprinted by permission of the publishers from Touch Holiness, ed. Ruth C. Duck and Maren C. Tirabassi. ©1990 by The Pilgram Press.

 

Opening Praise  (Note the difference between body movements in these.  Both songs are from Africa, the first sung by a (mostly) white high school choir, the second an African worship service.)

Asithi: Amen (South African Hymn)  HWB 64

Sizohamba naye (Swaziland)   STJ 78 Cape town Christian tabernacle choir

Sharing and Prayer  (see top of sermon attached to this email)                                        

The Lord’s Prayer, liturgical dance

Children’s Story        “David dances before the Lord”

Scripture        Exodus 15:20-21; 2 Samuel 6:12-23

20 Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. 21 And Miriam sang to them:

“Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.”

Exods 12 It was told King David, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing; 13 and when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. 14 David danced before the Lord with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. 16 As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart. 17 They brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and offerings of well-being before the Lord. 18 When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts, 19 and distributed food among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people went back to their homes. 20 David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ maids, as any vulgar fellow might shamelessly uncover himself!” 21 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me in place of your father and all his household, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord, that I have danced before the Lord. 22 I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in my own eyes; but by the maids of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” 23 And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.

Sermon   “Shall we dance?” – Pastor Rose Marie (attached to email)

Hymn of Response  I am the Lord of the Dance (Sing & Rejoice 67)

The video is a ballet, almost portrayed as a 100% upbeat celebratory dance. It doesn’t seem to adequately display all of the emotion that go with the words.  I invite you to listen to the music and make some of your own body movements that express the words of this song.

Benediction    STJ 158

From where we are to where you need us,

Jesus, now lead on.

From the security of what we know to the adventure of what you will reveal,

Jesus now lead on.

To refashion the fabric of this world until it resembles the shape of your kingdom,

Jesus, now lead on.

Because good things have been prepared for those who love God,

Jesus, no lead on. Amen.

Postlude Cotuit Federated Church Tambourine Band – When the Saints Go Marching In

Worship service Jan. 17, 2021

Spirituality and the Arts 2: Musical Preferences

 

Prayer for Peace & Lighting of Peace Candle

 

Blessing In The Chaos

To all that is chaotic in you,

let there come silence.

Let there be a calming of the clamoring, a stilling of the voices that have laid their claim on you,

that have made their home in you, that go with you even to the holy places but will not let you rest,

will not let you hear your life with wholeness or feel the grace that fashioned you.

Let what distracts you cease.

Let what divides you cease.

Let there come an end to what diminishes and demeans, and let depart all that keeps you in its cage.

Let there be an opening into the quiet that lies beneath the chaos,

where you find the peace you did not think possible

and see what shimmers within the storm.

—Jan Richardson from The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief

 

-moment of silence-

 

Call to Worship         STS 138

Almighty God, clothe us in the mantle of praise

that we may always rejoice

in proclaiming your glory

and in receiving your blessings,

through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Opening Hymn  Great is the Lord   HWB 87

 

Sharing and Prayer (at the beginning of the sermon) attached to the email)

 

Scripture        Psalm 150

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty firmament![a]
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
    praise him according to his surpassing greatness!

Praise him with trumpet sound;
    praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
    praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with clanging cymbals;
    praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

Children’s Story   “8 Musical Instruments in the Bible”

and “What did King David’s Lyre Sound Like?”

Sermon   “Music Preferences” – Pastor Rose Marie

Hymn of Response  Come, thou almighty King   HWB 41

(You might want to start video at 1:00, which is where the singing starts.)

Benediction    STJ 160

As water falls on dry tea leaves

and brings out their flavor,

so may your Spirit fall on us and renew us

so we may bring refreshment and joy to others.

Worship service January 10, 2021

Prelude           I will follow – Chris Tomlin

Prayer for Peace & Lighting of Peace Candle

-moment of silence-

Call to Worship         Psalm 96          (The Inclusive Bible)

Sing to Yahweh a new song! Sing to Yahweh, all the earth!

Sing to Yahweh, bless God’s Name! Proclaim God’s salvation day after day;

declare God’s glory among the nations, God’s marvels to every people.

Yahweh is great, most worthy of praise; Yahweh is to be revered above all gods.

The gods of the nations are nothing, they don’t exist – but Yahweh created the universe!

In God’s presence are splendor and majesty, in God’s sanctuary power and beauty.

Pay tribute to Yahweh, you tribes of the people; pay tribute to the God of glory and power.

Pay tribute to the glorious Name of Yahweh; bring out the offering, and carry it into God’s courts.

Worship Yahweh, majestic in holiness; tremble in God’s presence, all the earth!

Say among the nations, “Yahweh reigns supreme!” The world stands firm and unshakeable:

Yahweh will judge each nation with strict justice.

Let the heavens be glad; let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar and all that it holds!

Let the fields exult and all that is in them! Let all the trees of the forest sing for joy at the presence of Yahweh,

for God is coming. God is coming to rule the earth – to rule the world with justice and its people with truth!

Opening Hymns  We sing to you, O God                STJ 1

Hymn       Follow on!   (words by W. O.   Cushing, 1878)

Sharing and Prayer (see attached sermon/prayers to this email)

STJ 145  

O God, we pray this day:

for all who have a song they cannot sing,

for all who have a burden they cannot bear,

for all who live in chains they cannot break,

for all who wander homeless and cannot return,

for those who are sick and for those who tend them,

for those who wait for loved ones and wait in vain,

for those who live in hunger and for those who will not share their bread,

for those who are misunderstood, and for those who misunderstand,

for those who are captives and for those who are captors,

for those whose words of love are locked within their hearts and for those who yearn to hear those words.

Have mercy upon these, O God. Have mercy upon us all. Amen.

Hymn of Dedication – I have decided to follow Jesus

Children’s story – “Why we Sing” 

(from the viewpoint of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – the only one on the topic I could find for children, and in this video, theologically not that different from our own)

Scripture        Psalm 100:1-5 (KJV)

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Sermon   “Voices Together Voices Apart”

 

Hymn of Response  Will you come and follow me   STS 39  (1987)

Benediction                    STS 204

Giver of song, we give thanks for songs that surround us in the dark of night, and for songs that waken us when morning breaks.

Give a song to all who need the comfort and reassurance of your presence: those in trouble or in pain, those overwhelmed by the demands of work, those struggling with additions, and those whose past destroys their peace.

Giver of song, sing through us and bring your world to joy and rest. Amen.

Postlude  – I will follow Jesus            STS 40

Worship service, January 3, 2021

“On the Road”          Epiphany

This year’s Advent theme, “On the Road . . . ,” conveys a sense of movement, of traveling from one point to another. In the story of the magi from the East, they literally took to the road and drew closer to Jesus with each passing step. This rich imagery sets the tone for the Advent season as we seek to move our congregations closer to Jesus, wherever we might find ourselves along the road of faith.

Prelude      The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy     HWB 202

Prayer for Peace  & Lighting of Peace Candle             

For those who seek a Savior, we lead them to the stable
to the One who was born

to bring freedom, forgiveness, liberty.
For those who seek assurance, we lead them to the Light
to the One who opens eyes to understanding

God’s word, truth.
For those who seek forgiveness, we lead them to a grace
beyond comprehension,

to wholeness, healing,
peace.                                                                                 -from Faith & Worship

– moment of silence –

Call to worship

Adapted from Isaiah 60:4-6; Psalm 72:12

Leader:            Lift up your eyes and look around:

People:            God delivers the needy when they call.

Leader:            Let your hearts thrill and rejoice:

People:            God will deliver the poor and those who have no helper.

Leader:            The nations will bring gold and frankincense before the Lord.

People:            We shall see and be radiant,

All:                  and we will proclaim the praise of the Lord!

 

Opening Hymn       Arise, your light is come!     STS 30

Scripture        Ephesians 3:1-12

This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you, and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given me by the working of his power. Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10 so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him.

Sharing and Prayer (See Thursday’s email announcement)

 Offering Prayer   As with gladness men of old      HWB 218

Sermon   “Spiritual Poverty”

By Joshua with Alisha Garber, Barcelona, Spain, courtesy Mennonite Mission Network (MMN)

Hymn of response  Jesus, be the center       STS 31

Benediction    Adapted from Isaiah 60:1

People of God, people on the road: arise and shine!

Go forth in the radiance of God:

            for your light has come

            and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

Postlude          Beautiful Star of Bethlehem   STS

Christmas Eve 2020

Call to Worship                                             (Words for Worship #13)

I bring you good news: let your hearts be joyful, let your spirits rejoice.

The newborn child is the Savior of the world, the incarnation of the holy God, come among us.

Those who walk in darkness will see shining light.

Those who suffer the yoke of oppression will be set free.

For a child has been born: authority rests upon his shoulders, and there shall be endless peace. He will establish his kingdom and uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time onward and forever.

Our hearts are joyful, our spirits rejoice, for the child-Christ who has come, lives and reigns forever.

Christmas carol         Joy to the World        HWB 318

Scripture        Luke 2:1-20

            In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

The Christ candle is lit!      Christ is born!

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Christmas carol      Angels we have heard on high            HWB 197

Christmas carol        Away in a manger     HWB 194   (traditional tune)

Story – “A Place for Christmas” by Lynetta L. Smith, in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Magic.

Christmas carol         Silent night     HWB 193 – Light your candles, or turn on your flashlight, etc.!

Benediction Prayer                                                   (Words for Worship #15)

Eternal God, Ruler of all worlds and Shepherd of the stars, your glory is revealed in vastness and in power, yet your greatest name is Love. This is the time we remember your gentleness, hidden in a mother’s hope. This is the time we believe again that love is stronger than fear, that peace is stronger than hate, that darkness will never conquer the light. In this season of God-with-us, we offer our gift of gratitude and we make bold to believe that we are graced with your presence, now and forever. Amen.

Worship service December 20, 2020

“On the Road”          Advent 4

This year’s Advent theme, “On the Road . . . ,” conveys a sense of movement, of traveling from one point to another. In the story of the magi from the East, they literally took to the road and drew closer to Jesus with each passing step. This rich imagery sets the tone for the Advent season as we seek to move our congregations closer to Jesus, wherever we might find ourselves along the road of faith.

Prayer for Peace &   Lighting of Peace Candle

This morning you are invited to think of a place, person, or situation that is in need of peace and hold that in silence before God’s healing love.

– moment of silence –

Call to worship         Adapted from Psalm 89:1-2, 26

Leader: We will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever;

People: we will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.

Leader: We declare that your steadfast love is established forever;

People: your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.

All:          You are our God, and the  Rock of our salvation!

Opening Hymn  O come, all ye faithful  HWB 212

Scripture        Luke 1:26-38

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Hymn    O little town of Bethlehem   HWB 191

Sharing and Prayer (see attached email)

Offering Prayer HWB 388

Grant us, Lord, the grace of giving with a spirit large and free,

that ourselves and all our living we may offer unto thee.

Christmas Story    “An Orange for Frankie”    by Patricia Polacco

Hymn of Response  Carol of the Bells

Benediction

People of God, people on the road: as you go forth, find rest and security in the knowledge that the God you serve is faithful, a God whose promises will be fulfilled.

Worship service Dec. 13, 2020

“On the Road”          Advent 3

This year’s Advent theme, “On the Road . . . ,” conveys a sense of movement, of traveling from one point to another. In the story of the magi from the East, they literally took to the road and drew closer to Jesus with each passing step. This rich imagery sets the tone for the Advent season as we seek to move our congregations closer to Jesus, wherever we might find ourselves along the road of faith.

Prayer for Peace &   Lighting of Peace Candle

Mary’s song – can we sing it on a bleak mid-winter midnight

   while we wait for good news and the violence just gets worse

   and the people keep dying?

Is the Child winning the battle and we just can’t see well enough?

But we can pray – that the hope of the world keeps being born in us and God will do the rest.

Diane Zaerr Brenneman, Words for Worship 2

-moment of silence-

Call to worship

Adapted from Psalm 126:2-6

Leader: The Lord has done great things for us, and so we rejoice!

People: Our mouths are filled with laughter, and our tongues with shouts of joy.

Leader: Those who sow in tears will reap shouts of joy.

People: Those who go out weeping will come home with shouts of joy.

All:         The Lord has done great things for us—we rejoice!

Opening Hymn  It came upon a midnight clear   HWB 195

Scripture        Luke 1:46b-55 “Mary’s song”

My soul magnifies the Holy One,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for you have looked with favor on the lowliness of your servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for you, O Mighty One, have done great things for me,
and holy is your name.
Your mercy is for those who fear you
from generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm;
you have scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
You have brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
you have filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
You have helped your servant Israel,
in remembrance of your mercy,
according to the promise you made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and Hagar and Sarah and to their descendants forever.

Hymn  What child is this (HWB 215) & Helpless and hungry (STS 26) – with lyrics

Sharing and Prayer (see attachment to email)

Offering Prayer         HWB 750

Generous God, we thank you for gifts that belong not to us alone, but to all our human family, since they, too, are created in your image. Let their need become our need; let their hunger become our hunger; and grant to us also a portion of their pain, so that in sharing ourselves, we discover the Christ who walks with all of us. Amen.

Special Music “For everyone born” by Shirley Erena Murray

Children’s Story                “Joy”      

Scripture        John 1:6-8, 19-28

 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.  19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as the prophet Isaiah said. 24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, 27 the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” 28 This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

Sermon           Pastor Rose Marie Zook Barber (see attachment to email)

Hymn of Response  Joy to the world     HWB 318

Benediction    Sing the Story 201

All the broken hearts shall rejoice; all those who are heavy laden, whose eyes are tired and who do not see, shall be lifted up to meet with the Motherly Healer.

The battered souls and bodies shall be healed; the hungry shall be fed; the imprisoned shall be free.

All earthly children shall remain joy in the reign of the just and loving One coming for you coming for me in this in this world. Praise God!

Worship service, December 6, 2020

“On the Road”          Advent 2

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This year’s Advent theme, “On the Road . . . ,” conveys a sense of movement, of traveling from one point to another. In the story of the magi from the East, they literally took to the road and drew closer to Jesus with each passing step. This rich imagery sets the tone for the Advent season as we seek to move our congregations closer to Jesus, wherever we might find ourselves along the road of faith.

Prayer for Peace  &  Lighting of Peace Candle

This morning you are invited to think of a place, person, or situation that is in need of peace and hold that in silence before God’s healing love.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_20200504_101116605-2-1.jpg

-moment of silence –

Call to worship   Adapted from Isaiah 40:3-5

Leader: Listen! A voice cries out in the wilderness:

People: Prepare the way of the Lord!

Leader: Every valley shall be lifted up,

and every mountain and hill made low.

People: Prepare the way of the Lord!

Leader: Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together.

All:        Prepare the way of the Lord!

Prepare ye the way of the Lord” from Godspell

Scripture        Isaiah 40:1-5

Comfort, O comfort my people,
    says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and cry to her
that she has served her term,
    that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
    double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
    and all people shall see it together,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Opening Hymn  “Comfort, comfort, o my people”   HWB 176

Sharing & Prayer (see email attachment)

Offering Prayer         STJ 148

God has shown us the meaning of generosity

in the rich diversity of creation,

in the overflowing love of Jesus Christ,

in the never-ending gift of the Holy Spirit.

God has abundantly blessed us and called us

To be a community that honors each other,

to be servants to others with joy,

to share our love and material possessions.

Let us rejoice in what we have been given

and in what is ours to give.

Children’s Story “Advent in 2 Minutes”

Scripture        Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,

“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
    ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
    make his paths straight,’”

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Sermon – Advent 2  “Prepare the Way” by Rose Marie Zook Barber

(see emailed attachment)

Hymn of Response  Oh, how shall I receive thee    HWB 182

Benediction    (Ruth C. Duck, The United Methodist Book of Worship)

God of grace and glory, we thank you that you judge us not by the perfection of our actions, but by our readiness to live boldly by faith. Help us, as individuals and as a congregation, to trust you and follow where you lead, that in Christ your name may be glorified in all the earth. Amen.

Postlude  

“For unto us a child will be born” words & music by Garrison Doles

For to Us a Child Will Be Born
words and music © Garrison Doles
from his CD
Songmaker’s Christmas

1.
O the nights have grown long in the deepening winter
The gray of the sky giving way to the dark
So I light a candle and wait by the window
For to us
A child will be born

2.
O the measure of winter is stately and somber
The drifting of snow at the foot of a tree
I wait at the end of my lane with a candle
For to us
A child will be born

refrain
He will be called
Wonderful Counselor
He will be called
Prince of Peace
No-o-oel
No-o-oel
No-o-o-o-oel

3.
O the longing of winter is poignant and wakeful
The silence that beds in mysterious hush
We bring our candles abiding together
For to us
A child will be born

4.
O the vigil of winter is still and untroubled
The slumbering world in linens of snow
We bear our candles in watchful procession
For to us
A child will be born

repeat refrain

Worship Sunday November 29, 2020

“On the Road”          Advent 1

This year’s Advent theme, “On the Road . . . ,” conveys a sense of movement, of traveling from one point to another. In the story of the magi from the East, they literally took to the road and drew closer to Jesus with each passing step. This rich imagery sets the tone for the Advent season as we seek to move our congregations closer to Jesus, wherever we might find ourselves along the road of faith.

Prayer for Peace   Lighting of Peace Candle

-Adapted from Louise Pirouet, England, Timeless Prayers for Peace (2003)

O Prince of Peace,

week by week we meet to pray for peace –

peace in Northern Ireland,

peace in Africa,

peace in Jerusalem, 

peace in our nation –

but week by week

war and hatred, violence against other humans increase,

shoots of peace wither and die,

new conflicts erupt,

hope fails.

 

What is wrong with our prayers? we ask.

Aren’t they heard?

 

Week by week we pray for the peace-makers

(‘Blessed are the peace-makers

they shall be called children of God’)

but their efforts are outflanked by fear,

hatred, mistrust, the desire for revenge

among the peace-wreckers,

those who have given up hope,

who are driven to despair.

 

O Prince of Peace,

we believe our prayers are heard.

You have had patience with our human race for millennia,

are we to despair after only a decade or two?

Keep us faithful in our prayers.

Keep us nurturing the small seeds of peace (they are there).

Keep us praying for the peace-makers,

for the many who long for peace,

for the despairing who are tempted to become peace-wreckers.

Keep hope alive, keep us believing,

That at last your will may be done,

Your kingdom of peace come.

 -moment of silence-

Call to worship

Adapted from Isaiah 64:1, 6, 9; Psalm 80:3

Leader:  O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence.

People: Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Leader:  We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 

People:  Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Leader:   Do not remember our iniquity forever.

                                                            

All:      We live in your hope.

Restore us, O God; let your face shine,

            that we may be saved.

Opening Hymn     Hail to the Lord’s anointed         HWB 185

(This is the tune of “Hosanna Loud Hosanna, the little children sing”)

Congregational & Offering Prayer         (HWB 749)

See attached prayer requests (also on announcements sent out Thursdays.)

Add you own prayers.

O God, our offerings proclaim that work and worship are one, that life is undivided. Use our gifts for the church’s ministries of reconciliation, service, and mercy. Amen.

Children’s Story  “Hope”

Scripture        Isaiah 64:1-8 and Psalm 80:1-7

1O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence—

1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth

2as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! 

2before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!

3When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. 

3Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

4From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for you. 

4O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?

5You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.

5You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.

6We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 

6You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.

7There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. 

7Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

8Yet, O Lord, you are our God; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

Sermon – “Where is hope?”          By Pastor Rose Marie (see attached)

Hymn of Response    To us a child of hope is born   HWB 189

Benediction    

People of God, people on the road: keep alert; keep awake—the Lord is coming! Get ready.

Postlude

“There’s a New World Coming”        – sung by Mama Cass Elliot

There’s a new world coming And it’s just around the bend
There’s a new world coming This one’s coming to an end

There’s a new voice calling You can hear it if you try
And it’s growing stronger With each day that passes by

There’s a brand new morning Rising clear and sweet and free
There’s a new day dawning That belongs to you and me

Yes a new world’s coming The one we’ve had visions of
Coming in peace, coming in joy Coming in love

Sunday worship November 22, 2020

Prelude – “For the beauty of the earth” arranged by John Rutter

Prayer for Peace & Lighting of Peace Candle

God who knows all about us, who holds our present and our future, we pray this day that all beings be happy, all beings know joy, all beings know health and harmony, all beings know love and compassion. Work in us and through us to this end, we pray. Amen.

– Adapted from Jim Pym, England, Timeless Prayers for Peace

Call to Worship   

Based on Psalm 107, RSV                       

(Jann C. Weaver, Flames of the Spirit)

Leader: O give thanks to God for all the goodness we are shown! God’s steadfast love endures forever!

People: We come from the east and the west, the north and the south, to give God thanks and praise!

Leader: We once were a wandering people, hungry and thirsty in a desert land.

People: We cried to God to deliver us, and we were led to a new land rich in promise and harvest.

Opening Hymn – For the Beauty of the Earth    HWB 89

Sharing and Prayer – (see Word document attached to email)

Children’s Story

Joshua 24:1-18           

Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God. And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors—Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor—lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac; and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in its midst; and afterwards I brought you out. When I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, you came to the sea; and the Egyptians pursued your ancestors with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. When they cried out to the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and made the sea come upon them and cover them; and your eyes saw what I did to Egypt. Afterwards you lived in the wilderness a long time. Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the other side of the Jordan; they fought with you, and I handed them over to you, and you took possession of their land, and I destroyed them before you. Then King Balak son of Zippor of Moab, set out to fight against Israel. He sent and invited Balaam son of Beor to curse you, 10 but I would not listen to Balaam; therefore he blessed you; so I rescued you out of his hand. 11 When you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, the citizens of Jericho fought against you, and also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I handed them over to you. 12 I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove out before you the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow. 13  gave you a land on which you had not labored, and towns that you had not built, and you live in them; you eat the fruit of vineyards and oliveyards that you did not plant.

            14 “Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

16 Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; 17 for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; 18 and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”

Sermon – “Wade in the Water comes to an end – Reflections on Joshua 24”

by Rose Marie Zook Barber (see attachment to email)

Hymn of Response – We Plow the Fields and Scatter   – HWB 96

Benediction    HWB 721

Almighty God, from whom comes each good gift of life, we remember your loving kindness and your uncounted mercies as we join in grateful praise.

For all your gifts to us and to our human race; for our life and the world in which we live,

we give you thanks, O God.

For the beauty and bounty of the world; for day and night, summer and winter, seed-time and harvest; for the varied joys which every season brings,

we give you thanks, O God.

For the work we are enabled to do, and the truth we are permitted to discover; good things there have been in our past, and for all the hopes which lead us on toward better things,

we give you thanks, O God.

For all the joys and comforts of life; for homes and families; for our friends; for the love, sympathy, and goodwill of persons near and far,

we give you thanks, O God.

For all cultures, wise governments and just laws with which to order our common life; for education and all the treasures of literature, science, and art,

we give you thanks, O God.

For the discipline of life; for the tasks and trials which train us to know ourselves and which bring us to accept on another,

we give you thanks, O God.

For the desire and power to help others; for every opportunity of serving our generation in ways large or small,

we give you thanks, O God.

For the gift of Jesus Christ, and everything which is ours as his disciples; for the presence and inspiration of your Holy Spirit throughout our days,

we give you thanks, O God.

For the tender ties which bind us to the unseen world; for the faith which dispels the shadows of earth and fills the closing years of life with the light of hope,

we give you thanks, O God.

God of all grace and love, we have praised you with our lips for all the richness and meaning that life holds for us. Now send us into the world to praise you with our lives, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

AMEN.

Sing-along Postlude – Praise God from Whom  HWB 118 a.k.a. “606”

Go in peace.