Bulletin 12.04.22

LAKEWOOD UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

A Just Peace Church

An Open and Affirming Church

A Creation Justice Church

10:30 am

December 4, 2022

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

SONGS OF THE SEASON                                                       10:15AM

WELCOME and ANNOUNCEMENTS

LIGHTING THE PEACE CANDLE  Sally Purvis, Liturgist

I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.

    US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1890-1969

 PRELUDE          I’ll Be Home For Christmas             Kent      

* OPENING READING    Every Evening   Thom M. Shuman

* HYMN       Come, O Long-Expected Jesus           122

LIGHTING THE ADVENT WREATH – Peace  

Unison Prayer

We give thanks for the many ways that hope is made manifest in our lives and in our world.  We need the gift of hope to sustain us on life’s journey.  May we look for signs of peace in the darkening days of this Advent season. May we be signs of peace for the world.     Amen. 

Response:                  Light Our Way           Joyce Rupp

                                    Please See Insert

SCRIPTURE LESSONS

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.

                                Isaiah 11:1-10 and Matthew 3:1-12

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.

* HYMN     Isaiah the Prophet Has Written of Old         108

SERMON               Seeking Christ      Rev. Kim P. Wells

UNISON READING          Winter Waiting       Jill Jenkins

            Last leaves drift down now,

            Trees standing bare along the skyline —

            Each branch etched clear against the winter light.

            On the dark fields the furrows turn

            To bare-backed ridges whitened hard by frost.

            Yet deep within this sullen soil

            New life already waits for birth —

            Release to life by the returning spring.

            Regenerating God, harrow our hearts

            Till we become the opened ground

            In which your Spirit’s seeds

            Take root and grow.       

SPECIAL MUSIC                      

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  & COMMUNION OFFERING

Morning offerings may be brought forward and placed in the plates on the altar. 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. If you would like assistance, please turn to someone seated near you.

    Offertory        What Child is This            trad./arr. HKJ 

 * Prayer of Dedication    Based on The New Branch   Heather Pencavel

God says

We’re opening a new Branch

a new Partnership with people.

Safe cities, peaceful communities

the new Branch will see to it.

Its mission will be based on just dealing.

 May we bank on this new Branch.  Amen.

* PREPARATION FOR HOLY COMMUNION   Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming          571

CELEBRATION OF HOLY COMMUNION

                  Invitation         Thom M. Shuman

In this season of bumper to bumper stress,

            with life more crowded than the stores,

                  God welcomes us to a feast of faithfulness,

                  where we may sit in peace and gentleness.

            In these times of rancorous rants and snide remarks,

            with people too busy to offer words of compassion,

                  Jesus whispers of hope for broken hearts,

                  sings carols of justice for all the outsiders.

            In these days of more and more time spent with devices,

            and fewer moments with those who could touch us with joy,

                  the Spirit embraces us with peace that comforts,

            loves us with a passion beyond 140 characters.  

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

            Sharing the Meal    

            Giving Thanks         

 * HYMN      Sing a Different Song             121

*BENEDICTION                                                                   

*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE (please form a circle)   

Lead Us From Life to Death          581

Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth,

            from despair to hope, from fear to trust.

            Lead us from hate to love, from war to peace;

            let peace fill our hearts, let peace fill our world,

            let peace fill our universe.

*POSTLUDE      Sleigh Ride          Anderson

Circle of Concern: Erik Johnson, Katherine Conover, Danielle Hintz, Colombian Family, Ann Quinn is under Hospice care, Maggie Brizendine, Janet Hall, Tony Larson, All those suffering from COVID-19 and all healthcare workers, Schools: Students, families, teachers, and staff

Lakewood United Church of Christ 2601 54th Ave. S. St. Petersburg, FL 33712

 727-867-7961/ lakewooducc@gmail.com/ Lakewooducc.orgOn land originally inhabited by the Tocabaga

                                               Announcements

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

Choir Rehearsals Resume – Rehearsals began today and will continue each Sunday in the sanctuary from 9 to 10:15 a.m.  All are welcome!  For more information, please contact music director Hilton Jones.

Guided labyrinth walks Wednesday mornings at 9:00am – Each week there is a guided labyrinth walk on the outdoor labyrinth at the church. It’s a time of prayerful faith sharing, and a time to listen more deeply to our spiritual lives. In case of rain, the walks are held on Thursday Morning.

Healing Through the Holidays– The holiday season is just ahead. We had our prologue with Halloween. Now we gear up for Thanksgiving, the Christmas season, and New Years. Whew!

This time of year can be fraught – and not only because we are busy celebrating. It can be a time to remember those who will not be with us this year. It is a time to negotiate difficult family relationships. It is a time requiring us to be with people who may have different values than we do. And it is a time when many of the activities and customs don’t necessarily align with what is good and healthy for us or for the earth. There is a lot to consider and to navigate.

The holiday season can also provide a wonderful opening for healing, for reconciliation, for understanding, and for transformation. In a three part discussion oriented workshop, we will look at some of the stresses and opportunities that may come with the holiday season. We will think about ways that this time of year can be a time of healing and restoration instead of a time of depletion and conflict.

This workshop will be held via Zoom on Tuesdays November 29, and Dec. 13 from 7-8 p.m. All are welcome! The Zoom number is: 270 068 3648.

All Church Read – Access a copy of Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan. It’s a very short story. This book is also available as an audio book. Join in a discussion of this beautiful story December 22 @ 6:30 via zoom.

Zoom Link: http://us02web.zoom.us/j/2700683648    Meeting Id: 270 068 3648

Holiday Gift Shop –  During this Holiday season the church is helping to support the Holiday Gift Shop Project at Maximo Elementary School. Please bring toys, jewelry, silly socks, stickers, mugs, coloring books, notepads in fun shapes and books or other gifts to church Sundays through Dec. 11. These will help to stock the Holiday Gift Shop at Maximo where children may select gifts for their families, their friends, and themselves

Baby Time – This is the time of the year to focus on the birth of a baby and the story a baby born in a barn, far away from home. Family Promise of Pinellas County is a faith-based coalition helping families without a house to move toward residential stability. This ministry to families without homes has been supported by LUCC for many years. This year Family Promise has asked that we collect diapers for the families in the program. Please bring donations of diapers- any size, any style- to church.

Christmas Caroling – Sunday Dec. 4 at 12:30 pm. Lunch will be served after the service for all who go caroling.   Share the joy of the season with the homebound

 CHRISTMAS EVE

6:30  Music of the Season

7:00     Service with candlelight and communion. All ages’ welcome!  

Family Promise Needs – Word was received this week that Family Promise, a local ministry to houseless families with children, is in need of the following items:

Milk, Water (small bottles), Paper Goods (paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, plates, cups) Cleaning Supplies (disinfectants, sponges, dish soap, laundry soap.

Please bring items to the church and place them on the shelves behind the curtain in the hallway.

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