Bulletin: December 19, 2010

GRACE UNITED CHURCH December 19, 2010
Fourth Sunday in Advent

Brenda & “The Pic-Ups”

Welcome
Life and Work of the Church
At this sign * please stand, if able

Lighting of the Christ candle

Advent Candle Lighting
Don and Lorena Rogers

Reader 1: Again we light a candle for hope – hope for ourselves, hope for God’s beloved world.
Reader 2: Again we light a candle for peace – peace in our hearts and peace on earth.
Reader 1: Again we light a candle for joy – joy to the world, joy alive in the depths of our being.
Reader 2 Today we remember that God loved the world enough to give us God’s own beloved son.
Reader 1: Because Jesus was human like us, we can believe we are all God’s beloved children.
Reader 2 May love burn bright among us, so that we may live together as God’s beloved and care for the world God loves.
All: Most loving God, help us know we are loved. Help us treat each other and ourselves with love, tenderness, and compassion. In the name of Jesus, love born among us. Amen.

Hymn: “A Candle is Burning” #6 VU

*Call to Worship (Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19, excerpted from Everyday Psalms, by James Taylor)

LDR: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, amen. As a tulip bulb buried in cold earth senses the warmth of spring,
PPL: as a lilac bud swells with sap, ready to burst into leaf,
LDR: so your people wait for your coming.
PPL: Do not delay, we beg you.
LDR; Thaw our frozen hearts; give courage to risk new shoots.
PPL: Don’t keep us closed in endless winter. We have been locked too long in endless winter.
LDR: No one believes there is life left in us.
PPL: Send some summer into our lives, God. We wait for you.

* “To a Maid Whose Name Was Mary” #14 VU
* Opening Advent Prayer
(adapted from p. 26, VU, praying together, please)
Who are we, O God,
that you should come to visit us?
Yet you have visited your people
and redeemed us in your Son.
As we prepare to celebrate this special birth,
our hearts leap for joy at the sound of your word,
and we are moved by your spirit to
bless your wonderful works.
This we pray through him whose coming is certain,
whose day draws near, even your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

For those Young in Heart
Story “What Does Your Name Mean?”
Song “I Am Walking the Path of Love” MV #221

I am walking a path of love,
I am walking a path of love,
I am walking a path of love,
lead me home, lead me home.

Prayer Circle and …off to your classes.
Choir:
“Welcome the Child of Light”
*words & music by Mark Hayes
Scripture for Today
Isaiah 7:10-16

“Go ahead and ask, Ahaz, try me. You want a sign? I’ll show you one!”
But Ahaz refused, saying, “Go away! I don’t want to play your game”.
“Ahaz, you have no respect for God. You won’t ask? I’ll tell you anyway. A young woman is already pregnant.”
Matthew 1:18-25
“Joseph, I’m pregnant.” “What”?

Sermon
“Witty, Poetic, and Reflective Lingering by the Manger”

Congregational Prayer
Worshiping with our Offerings
Celebration Ringers
“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”
*arr. by Betty B Garee
3Sung Response
“Oh, What a Wonderful Gift”
*words and music by Linnea Good

Chorus: Oh, what a wonderful gift!
Oh, what a wonderful gift!
God gives lives of hope and love,
Oh, what a wonderful gift.

So, as we bring our gifts,
And offer them with pray’r,
May we be people seeking peace
And justice ev’rywhere…
…chorus

Prayer of Thanks and Dedication (in unison, please)

In the spirit of Jesus we bring our gifts to you, O God.
We would give them with a ready mind, a willing spirit,
and a joyful heart. Amen.

*What Child is This” # 74VU
* Commission and Benediction

And now, may the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord cause his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you, and may you know the love of Holy Presence. Amen.

* Choral Blessing

“Go Now in Peace” 2X
Go now in peace, go now in peace.
May the love of God surround you everywhere,
everywhere you may go.