LAKEWOOD UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
A Just Peace Church
An Open and Affirming Church
A Creation Justice Church
December 11, 2022
THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT
SONGS OF THE SEASON 10:15AM
WELCOME and ANNOUNCEMENTS
LIGHTING THE PEACE CANDLE Barbara Donohue, Liturgist
The Chinese character for peace means harmony. It derives from the combination of two words: “rice” and “mouth.” When no one is hungry, then truly there is peace.
PRELUDE Wexford Carol trad./arr. HKJ
* OPENING READING John Harvey
in the beginning
when all was very dark, you said:
‘Let there be light.’
And there was light
and life throughout the universe.
And when the human race
was exhausted, tired and weary,
in the darkness of anxiety,
confusion and sin,
into that darkness you came
as a light in Jesus Christ.
God became a human being among us all.
Once again it is dark.
Not just dark at midnight
but dark in ourselves;
dark with doubt,
dark with fear and uncertainty,
dark with confusing
and conflicting voices in our ears.
Come, Light of life,
lighten the darkness in our lives
with your mighty word of love.
Lighten our hearts with the joy
of your promised coming.
Lighten our world with the hope
that faith in you still brings. Amen.
* HYMN My Soul Gives Glory to My God 119
LIGHTING THE ADVENT WREATH – 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.
Response: Light Our Way Joyce Rupp
Please See Insert
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 35:1-10 and Luke 1:26-56
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.
HISTORIC READING Sojourner Truth, c. 1797-1883
* HYMN My Heart Sings Out with Joyful Praise 106
SERMON Mary, Mary Rev. Kim P. Wells
UNISON READING Clare McBeath
My soul magnifies the Lord
and I dance with God who liberates me,
for she has remembered with love
the whispered song of her shadow.
Surely, from now on my story will be
handed down to all generations.
For One who is Love
has cradled my life in her arms
and beautiful is her name.
Her tenderness enfolds our brokenness
through all generations.
Her voice clamours in shouts of justice,
wrenching free the grip of the abuser.
She gathers the abused to her breast,
her milk nurturing those who seek her,
according to the promise given to
to Sarah and Hagar,
and their children for ever.
ANTHEM The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came Basque Carol
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. 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 Good Christians All Rejoice and Sing trad./arr. HKJ
* Prayer of Dedication Emmanuel Levinas, 1902-1995
To know God means to know what has to be done.
* PREPARATION FOR PRAYER Mary, Woman of the Promise 123
MORNING PRAYERS – SAVIOR’S PRAYER
Eternal Spirit, Earth Maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that ever shall be,
Father and Mother of all people, Loving God in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by all peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and
come on earth!
With the bread that we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and testing, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen.
* HYMN Canticle of the Turning See Insert
*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 It’s Beginning To Look A lot Like Christmas Willson
Circle of Concern: Erik Johnson, Katherine Conover, Danielle Hintz, Colombian Family, Ann Quinn is under Hospice care, Maggie Brizendine, Janet Hall, Tony Larson, Don Ritchie, who is moving, and Yvonne Risen who has already moved. 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/ firstname.lastname@example.org/ Lakewooducc.org
On land originally inhabited by the Tocabaga
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 and All are welcome! The Zoom number is: 270 068 3648. Please Contact Rev. Wells for further Details.
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
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
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.
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.