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December 4, 2022
10:30 AM ET

Prelude

Calvary Brass

Welcome and Announcements, Poem, and Chime

Rev. Cynthia Good

Opening Words and Candle Lighting

Rebecca Cadigan, worship leader
The Cadigan Family, candle lighting

Worship Leader: Over a hundred people, from the ages of two to eighty years old, were asked the question, “What are you afraid of?” From the voices of different generations, hear their answers:

Not being enough.
Not making enough of a difference.
Falling down.
That we will forget we belong to one another.
Climate change.
My child having to learn gun violence drills at school.
Spiders.
Not having someone to take care of me; not having someone who knows my stories.
My mental health slipping.
Ending up alone.
Nightmares.
Stopping short of following God all the way.

Today we light the candle of peace, because we so desperately need God’s peace in the midst of all we fear.

May this light be a reminder that Christ is coming. God was with generations before, God is with us today, and God will be with us tomorrow. Even now, God is on the way. Amen.

Music Response: From Generation to Generation

(click the music to enlarge)

Call to Confession

Fear can be a good thing. It can help us be attentive while driving down the highway. It can alert us to possible accidents. It can motivate us to do our best.

However, fear can also be harmful.
For so many of us, fear of the other, fear of failure, or fear of the unknown has led us to make sinful choices in our lives—choices such as building walls or tearing others down.

Today, in confession, we ask for mercy and pray for guidance. As we confess, we come before an entirely merciful and loving God who says to us, “Do not be afraid.” Let us pray:
Patient God,
you know just how often
we make decisions from a place of fear rather than love. You know just how often
we allow fear to take the place of logic,
fanning unhealthy fires in our lives.
You know just how often
we tuck your words, “Do not be afraid”
on dusty shelves and in the back of closets,
stubbornly holding onto our own point of view.
Forgive us for giving fear the microphone.
Silence the voices of scarcity, shame, and rejection, which spark and feed so much of our fear,
to recenter us in love.
With hope we pray, amen.

Words of Forgiveness

Family of faith,
even when we forget God’s words,
God does not forget us.
Even when we lose our way,
God does not lose us.
Even when we fall short or make mistakes, God forgives and holds onto us.
We are known, forgiven, and loved. Thanks be to God! Amen.

Passing the Peace

The peace of Christ be with you. And also with you.
Please greet your fellow worshipers. On Zoom, please unmute and say hi; on Facebook, write a comment!

Hymn: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, verses 1-4

(click the music to enlarge)

Scripture: Luke 1:26-38 from The Inclusive Bible

Six months later, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a young woman named Mary; she was engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. Upon arriving, the angel said to Mary, “Rejoice, highly favored one! God is with you! Blessed are you among women!”

Mary was deeply troubled by thee words and wondered what the angel’s greeting meant. The angel went on to say to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God. You’ll conceive and bear a son, and give him the name Jesus – ‘Deliverance.’ His dignity will be great, and he will be called the Only Begotten of God. God will give Jesus the judgment seat of David, his ancestor, to rule over the house of Jacob forever, and his reign will never end.”
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have never been with a man?”

The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you – hence the offspring to be born will be called the Holy One of God. Know too that Elizabeth, your kinswoman, has conceived a child in her old age; she who was thought to be infertile is now in her sixth month. Nothing is impossible with God.”

Mary said, “I am the servant of God. Let it be done to me as you say.”

With that, the angel left her.

The word of God for us. Thanks be to God.

Music: The Angel Gabriel

words by Sabine Baring-Gould, music Basque carol arr. by Charles Pettman
Calvary Choir; Sue Paro, music director

Children’s Time

Terry Rice

Song: Away in a Manger, verse 3

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray;
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And fit us for heaven to live with thee there.

Scripture: Isaiah 11:1-10 from The Inclusive Bible

Then a shoot will sprout from the stump of Jesse;
from Jesse’s roots, a branch will blossom.
The spirit of YHWH will rest upon you—
a spirit of wisdom and understanding,
a spirit of counsel and strength,
a spirit of knowledge and reverence for YHWH.
You will delight in obeying YHWH,
and you won’t judge by appearances,
or make decisions by hearsay.
You will treat poor people with fairness
and will uphold the rights of the land’s downtrodden.

With a single word you will strike down tyrants;
with your decrees you will execute evil people.
Justice will be the belt around this your waist—
faithfulness will gird you up.
Then the wolf will dwell with the lamp,
and the leopard will lie down with the young goat;
the calf and the lion cub will graze together,
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear;
their young will lie down together.
The lion will eat hay like the ox.
The baby will play next to the den of the cobra,
and the toddler will dance over the viper’s nest.
There will be no harm, no destruction
anywhere in my holy mountain;
for as water fills the sea,
so the land will be filled with knowledge of YHWH.

On that Day, the Root of Jesse will serve as a symbol to the peoples of the world—nations will flock to you, and your home will be a place of honor.

The word of God to us. Thanks be to God.

Music: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming

14th century German melody, arr. by Audrey Snyder
Calvary Choir

Thoughts

District Superintendent We Chang

Hymn: Here I Am

(click the music to enlarge)

Sharing of Prayers and Prayer of the People

We invite you to use your chosen words for God: Father, Mother, or…

Our Creator, 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 trespasses as we forgive those who trespass 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.

Affirmation of Faith

We believe in a God who knows our fears. We believe in a God who says, “Be not afraid.”
We believe in a God who kicks off her shoes and wades into the muck of our lives with us.
We believe in a God who stitches herself to our heels, and invites us to dance.
We believe in a God who hemmed stars into the night sky so that we can find our way home,
and who sends us friends with open doors, so we can find our way to love.
We believe in a God who finds us in our fear and does not leave us alone.
Thanks be to God for a love like that. Amen.

Offering

We invite you to donate to the Parish Fund, which Rev. Cynthia uses for emergency needs of our members and neighbors. Donate by using the Love Offering envelopes in the pew racks or by mailing a check to the church and noting that it is for the Parish Fund. If you have a financial need, please contact Rev. Cynthia; all disbursements are kept private.

Doxology: Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine, verse 3

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Communion

Hymn: With Joy Draw Water

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Benediction

Postlude: From Heaven Above to Earth I Come

Friedrich W. Zachau
Sue Paro, organ

 

The Advent liturgy is from A Sanctified Art (sanctifiedart.org).