Bulletin 1/2/2022

GATHERING MUSIC

WELCOME and ANNOUNCEMENTS

LIGHTING THE PEACE CANDLE Sally Purvis, liturgist

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the
oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that
you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

Bishop Desmond Tutu, 1931-2021

PRELUDE

OPENING READING: Midwife of Our Lives Iona Community

God of power and presence,
you are the midwife of our lives,
always drawing us on to be born again,
encouraging, exhorting, calming,
containing even death.
You pull us, kicking, into life,
breathe spirit into us.
We thank you for the gift in our breath,
the love that we make,
the hope that we cherish,
the grace that encompasses our darkest day.
In smallness and splendor, in storm and serenity,
we celebrate your care and creativity.
We rest in you, as trustingly as any baby.

MUSICAL REFLECTION

SCRIPTURE READINGS
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.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-13, Colossians 3:12-17, and Matthew 2:1-12

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.

MUSICAL INTERLUDE

MODERN READING: The Work of Christmas Howard Thurman, 1899-1981

SERMON Following the Light into the New Year Rev. Kim P. Wells

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH Allan Boesak, b. 1945

We are called to proclaim the truth. . . . And let us believe:
It is not true that this world and its people are
doomed to die and to be lost.
This is true: I have come that they may have life
in all its abundance.

It is not true that we must accept inhumanity and
discrimination, hunger and poverty, death and destruction.
This is true: the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life,
the poor are hearing the good news.

It is not true that violence and hatred should have the last
word, and that war and destruction have come to stay forever.
This is true: death shall be no more, neither shall there
be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore.

It is not true that we are simply victims of the powers of
evil who seek to rule the world.
This is true: the Lord whom we seek will suddenly
come to the temple; and the Lord is like a refiner’s fire.

It is not true that our dreams of liberation, of human dignity,
are not meant for this earth and for this history.
This is true: it is already time for us to wake from sleep.
For the light is far gone, the day is at hand.

MUSICAL INTERLUDE

MISSION STATEMENT
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 OFFERING and COMMUNION OFFERING

Morning offerings may be brought forward and placed in the plates on the altar.

Offertory

Prayer of Dedication Jeffrey S. Nelson, adapted

In Jesus, God has shined the light of love on us all. In the warm glow
of God’s light, our path is illumined and we leave this place enabled
to look up and see the need of those around us. For this great gift,
we give thanks! Amen.

PREPARATION FOR COMMUNION

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.

CELEBRATION OF HOLY COMMUNION

Invitation

Communion Prayer- Savior’s Prayer

Our Creator in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen..

Blessing the Bread and Cup

In the beginning, God made the world;
Made it and mothered it,
Shaped it and fathered it;
Filled it with seed and with signs of fertility,
Filled it with life and with song and variety.
All that is green, blue, deep and growing,
God’s is the hand that created you.
All that is tender, firm, fragrant and curious,
God’s is the hand that created you.
All that crawls, flies, swims, walks or is motionless,
God’s is the hand that created you.
All that speaks, sings, cries, laughs, or keeps silence,
God’s is the hand that created you.
All that suffers, lacks, limps or longs for an end,
God’s is the hand that created you.
The world belongs to God,
The earth and all its people.
When the time was right, God sent the Son.
Sent him and suckled him,
Reared him and risked him;
Filled him with laughter and tears and compassion,
Filled him with anger and love and devotion.
Unwelcomed child, refugee and runaway,
Christ is God’s own son.
Skilled carpenter and homeless wayfarer,
Christ is God’s own son.
Feeder and teacher, healer and antagonist,
Christ is God’s own son.
Lover of the unloveable, toucher of the untouchable,
forgiver of the unforgivable,
Christ is God’s own son.
Loved by the least, feared by the leaders;
befriended by the weak, despised by the strong;
deserted by his listeners, denied by his friends;
bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh,
writing heaven’s pardon over earth’s mistakes,
Christ is God’s own son.
The Word became flesh,
He lived among us, he was one of us.
When the world could wait no longer,
The carpenters took up their tools,
They made a cross for God’s own son,
Fashioned from wood and skill of human hands,
Fashioned from hate and will of human minds.
He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,
For us he grieved.
He was nailed to the cross by human hands,
Bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh.
He died declaring God’s forgiveness.
He rose on the third day, transforming death.
He ascended into heaven, that he might be everywhere on earth.
He sent the Holy Sprit as the seal of his intention.
He sets before us bread and cup, and invites us to his table.
This is the place where we are made well again.
And all will be made well.
For God sent the Son into the world not to condemn the world,
But that the world through him might be saved.
Hear us, O Christ, and breathe your Spirit upon us and upon this
bread and cup.
May they become for us your body,
vibrant with your life,
healing renewing and making us whole.
As the bread and cup which we now eat and drink are
changed into us,
may we be changed again into you,
bone of your bone,
flesh of your flesh,
loving and caring in the world.

Sharing the Meal

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.

*POSTLUDE

Circle of Concern: Amaiya Washington, Dana Cosper and family following the
death of Dana’s mother, 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

Announcements

Communion This is a Communion Sunday. We are using prepackaged individual communion servings. Please know that everyone is welcome to participate in communion. Young people are invited to participate at the discretion of the adult(s) who have brought them. The Communion Offering will be received. This offering is used to help people in the church and the community with basic needs such as rent and utility assistance, bus passes, prescriptions, etc. There has been a heavy need for these funds. Please consider how you can help the community through this offering.

Facebook Live The 10:30 a.m. service is being streamed on Facebook Live.

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 Join in the anti-racism demonstrations Sunday afternoons from 4:30-5:00 on the sidewalk along 54th Ave. S. in front of the church. All are welcome!

Labyrinth Walk There will be a guided labyrinth walk after church this morning. Please gather by the labyrinth to the west of the Memorial Garden. This is a way to deepen your intentions as the New Year begins! All are welcome.

For the safety and comfort of all, please wear a mask. Thank you!

Lakewood United Church of Christ 2601 54th Ave. S. St. Petersburg, FL 33712
727-867-7961 lakewooducc@gmail.com Lakewooducc.org
On land originally inhabited by the Tocabaga

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