LAKEWOOD UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
A Just Peace Church
An Open and Affirming Church
A Creation Justice Church
November 27, 2022
CAROL SINGING 10:15AM
WELCOME and ANNOUNCEMENTS
FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
LIGHTING THE PEACE CANDLE Sherry Santana, Liturgist
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offence, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.
Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, 1181/2-1226
PRELUDE There’s No Place Like Home for the Holiday’s Allen
* OPENING READING Jim Cotter, 1942-2014
O come, O come, thou wisdom strange
from deep within God’s womb to range
the earth at midnight’s hour of fears
to make us wise beyond our years.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Our God shall leap
with light that rouses us from sleep.
* HYMN O Come, O Come, Emmanuel 116
LIGHTING THE ADVENT WREATH – HOPE
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 hope in the darkening days of this Advent season. May we be signs of hope for the world. Amen.
Response: Light our Way Joyce Rupp
Light our way, light our way, as we journey in the dark-ness. Light our way, light our way, gift us with hope for our world.
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 2:1-5 and Matthew 24:36-44
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.
MODERN READING Peter Hooper, 20th c.
* HYMN Keep Awake, Be Always Ready 112
SERMON Seeking Christ Rev. Kim P. Wells
UNISON READING Kate Mclhagga, adapted
Now is a time of watching and waiting
a time pregnant with hope
at time to watch and pray.
May we watch for the signs,
listen for the messenger,
wait for the good news to slip
into our world , our lives.
Christ our advent hope,
help us to clear the way for you;
to clear the clutter from our minds,
to sift the silt from our hearts,
to move the boulders that prevent us from meeting you.
ANTHEM I Wonder as I Wander Amer. Trad
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 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel trad./arr. HKJ
* Prayer of Dedication Dorothy Mcrae- McMahon
In the face of all our realities:
We are the people who heal each other,
who grow strong together,
who name the trut
who know what it mean
to live in community,
moving towards a common dream
for a new heaven and a new earth
in the power of the love of God,
the company of Jesus Christ
and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Amen
* PREPARATION FOR PRAYER O God of Love, O God of Peace 571
MORNING PRAYERS- SAVIOR’S PRAYER
Fathering and Mothering God, lover of us all, most holy one.
Help us to respond to you
To create what you want for us here on earth.
Give us today enough for our needs.
Forgive our weak and deliberate offenses,
Just as we must forgive others when they hurt us.
Help us to resist evil and to do what is good.
For we are yours, endowed with your power to make the world whole. Amen.
* HYMN All Earth Is Waiting 121
*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE (please form a circle)
Lead Us From Death to Life 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 the Most Wonderful Time of the Year Pola & Wyle
Circle of Concern: Erik Johnson, Colombian Family, Family and Loved ones of Carolyn Moore, 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
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
6:30 Music of the Season
7:00 Service with candlelight and communion. All ages’ welcome!