WELCOME and ANNOUNCEMENTS
LIGHTING THE PEACE CANDLE Colleen Coughenour, liturgist
We are Indian, black, European, but above all mixed, “mestizo.” We are Iberian and Greek, Roman and Jewish, Arab, Gothic, and Gypsy. Spain and the New World are centers where multiple cultures meet — centers of incorporation, not of exclusion. When we exclude, we betray ourselves. When we include, we find ourselves.
Carlos Fuentes, 1928-2012, Mexican novelist
OPENING READING Christina Rossetti
Open wide the windows of our spirits
and fill us full of light;
open wide the door of our hearts
that we may receive and entertain Thee
with all our powers of adoration.
LIGHTING THE ADVENT CANDLE- Joy
We give thanks for the many ways that joy is made manifest in our lives and in our world. We need the gift of joy to sustain us on life’s journey. May we look for signs of joy in the darkening days of this Advent season. May we be signs of joy for the world. Amen.
Let us prepare ourselves for the word of God as it comes to us in the reading of Holy Scripture. Our hearts and minds are open.
Luke 1:26-38 and Luke 1:46b-55
For the word of God in scripture, for the word of God among us, for the word of God within us. Thanks be to God.
CONTEMPORARY READING Walter J. Burghardt
SERMON Receive the Gift: The Virgin of Guadalupe Rev. Kim P. Wells
RESPONSIVE READING Janet Morley, contemporary
Sing out my soul,
sing of the holiness of God:
who has delighted in a woman,
lifted up the poor,
satisfied the hungry,
given voice to the silent,
grounded the oppressor,
blessed the full-bellied with emptiness,
and with the gift of tears
those who have never wept;
who has desired the darkness of the womb,
and inhabited our flesh.
Sing of the longing of God,
sing out, my soul.
The mission of Lakewood United Church of Christ, as part of the Church Universal is to:
- Celebrate the presence and power of God in our lives & in our world.
- Offer the hospitality and inclusive love of Christ to all people.
- Work for God’s peace and justice throughout creation.
Morning offerings may be brought forward and placed in the plates on the altar. If you would like assistance, please turn to someone seated near you.
Prayer of Dedication Edmund Banyard, adapted
God, we need your blessing
to make us whole, fulfilled people;
but if that blessing should lead us
into strange and difficult paths
we ask that you will strengthen
our faith and our trust
that we may accept what you would do with us
so that blessed,
we may in turn be a blessing to others. Amen.
PREPARATION FOR PRAYER
You are invited to write your prayer requests on the sheets provided in the bulletin and bring them forward and place them in the basket on the altar. Please observe physical distancing.
MORNING PRAYER-SAVIOR’S PRAYER
Holy One, our only Home, hallowed be Your name.
May your day dawn, your will be done,
Here, as in heaven. Feed us today, and forgive us
As we forgive each other. Do not forsake us at the test,
But deliver us from evil. For the glory, the power,
And the mercy are yours, now and forever. Amen.
*BENEDICTION Angeles Arrien, adapted
Gratitude before us,
gratitude behind us,
gratitude to the left of us,
gratitude to the right of us,
gratitude above us,
gratitude below us,
gratitude within us,
gratitude all around us. Amen.
Circle of Concern: Dana Cosper and family following the death of Dana’s mother, Deanna Moore, Ann Quinn who is under Hospice Care, Dave Radens, William Owen-Cowan, Jen Degroot, Carolyn Moore, Maggie Brizendine, Janet Hall, All those suffering from COVID-19 and all healthcare workers, Schools: Students, families, teachers, and staff
Operation Attack OA needs donations of cereal, peanut butter, canned meat, fruit, vegetables and soup, dried beans, and mac/cheese. Donations may be placed on the shelf in the hallway at church.
Anti Racism Demonstrations The church offers a witness against racism with weekly demonstrations along the sidewalk of 54th Ave. S. Make your own sign or use one of the signs at the church. Demonstrations are held Sundays from 4:30-5. In case of rain, the demonstration will not be held that week.
Facebook Live The 10:30 a.m. service is being streamed on Facebook Live.
The Gift of Music LUCC Music Director Hilton Jones has recorded 2 CDs for the LUCC family. One is Christmas Piano featuring favorite songs of this season. The second is Simply Hymns featuring favorite hymn tunes. Both CDs are available at the church. The music is a gift to the congregation. If you would like to make a donation to offset the production costs, you may. See the display in the sanctuary. Enjoy the gift of music from Hilton not just on Sundays but every day!
The Christmas Eve Offering will be used to support the Creation Justice ministries of the church. There are several projects under consideration including reforesting part of the church property, signs for the EV station, and installing solar panels. Caring for the Earth is a priority ministry of LUCC. The Christmas Eve offering will help the church to increase its greening initiatives.
Christmas Eve will be celebrated with an outdoor service at 7:00 p.m. on the church lawn. Music of the season will begin at 6:30. Please bring your own chair if you can. The offering on Christmas Eve will be used to support the Creation Justice ministries of the church.
Lakewood United Church of Christ 2601 54th Ave. S. St. Petersburg, FL 33712
727-867-7961 firstname.lastname@example.org Lakewooducc.org
On land originally inhabited by the Tocabaga