December 23, 2018
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Prelude: Noel X Louis Claude D’Aquin
Chiming of the Hour
*Hymn:#107 Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn
Joys and Concerns
Introit: #110Love Has Come
Lighting of the Third Candle ~ Love
One: Today let our hearts join together as we light the candle of Love.
All: We seek God’s love to help us heal a broken world.
One: Love is the strength of a young woman destined to bear the Light of the world.
All: Love is the humility of a young man called to play the unexpected role of an earthly father.
One: Love is protecting the innocent.
All: Love is embodying the hope of righting the wrongs in the world.
One: Today, as we light the fourth candle of Advent, the candle of Love, we remember the path we traveled this Advent season. May our love be fueled with the Hope, Peace and Joy promised through the birth of Jesus Christ child.
All: We are ready for the light!
(The candle of Love is lit)
Advent Response: #85 Light Four Candles(Sung by all.)
Call to Worship
One: Before the majesty of God, we gather to worship; in quiet expectation, we come to hear God’s promises.
All: This is where we belong; here we are warmly greeted. Surely God will feed our deepest hunger.
One: Before God’s strength and power, we bow down; in hesitant anticipation, we listen for God’s judgment.
All: This is our home, where our lives are redirected. Surely God will show us new ways to live.
One: Before the mercy of God, we lift our hearts; in humble imagination, we welcome a new visitation.
All: This day is present with us; we feel it. Surely God is preparing for us a time of joy.
One: Come, let us worship God together!
Prayer of Invocation (in unison)
Let your face shine on us, mighty God. Break through the obstacles that keep us from seeing your way. Melt down the barriers that keep us from knowing the embrace of your love. Remove us from the low-self esteem that keeps us from valuing the overwhelming gift of life that you entrust to us. Speak to us here in life-changing accents. Amen.
Call to Confession
Prayer of Confession (in unison)
Merciful God, when we sense who you are, we are ashamed. How do you tolerate our pettiness? The abundance you have given us has made us proud more than thankful. We act as if our accomplishments were all our own doing. We seldom acknowledge your generosity or let you rule our lives. We go through the forms of worship, but we try to keep you at a safe distance. We fill our lives with status producing activity that blocks out your call and limits our response. O God, we need to change. Will you help us? Hear now our silent confessions as we turn to you, seeking your mercy, forgiveness and grace.
Moment of Silent Prayer
Assurance of God’s Love
Gloria Patri: #581 Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen, amen.
Responsive Reading – Psalm 80:1-7
(Page 665 in the Hebrew Scriptures in the pew Bible)
Reading from Hebrew Scripture – Micah 5:2-5a
(Page 1059 in the Hebrew Scriptures in the pew Bible)
Children’s Message & Lord’s Prayer
(Children will leave for Sunday School & Youth Group)
*Hymn:#129 Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming
Offering of our Gifts
Anthem: How Far Is It to Bethlehem Shaw-Parker
*Doxology:#607 Praise Godfrom whom all blessings flow; praise Christ, all people here below; praise Holy Spirit ever more;
praise Triune Godwhom we adore. Amen.
Prayer of Dedication
Gospel Reading– Luke 1:39-55
(Page 69 in the New Testament in the pew Bible)
Sermon: “My Soul Magnifies the Lord”
Reverend Dr. Diane Monti-Catania
Pastoral Prayer & Silent Prayer
Response: #110 Love is born!
*Hymn: #118 While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
Response: #110 Love has come and never will leave us!
Postlude: Noel X Louis Claude D’Aquin
(* Please stand if able.)
We, the Salisbury Congregational Church, seek to love God with all our hearts, souls and minds and love our neighbors as ourselves.
This Church declares itself to be Open and Affirming to all for participation, membership, leadership and employment regardless of race, ancestry, class, gender identity, physical/mental ability or sexual orientation.
We further declare ourselves to be Affirming of each individual as a child of God, celebrating the total identity of each person.
As a declared Open and Affirming Congregation, we commit ourselves to work toward ending ignorance, fear, hatred, prejudice and discrimination against any person.
No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!
If you are visiting us today, Welcome!
Please sign our guest book and introduce yourself to our Pastor or to one of the Deacons. Fill out a welcome card in the pew to be put on our email list!
Please join us in the Parish Hall for refreshments and fellowship following worship. All are welcome. Today’s hosts are John & Linda Estabrook.
Please see an usher if:
You would like to use a hearing device.
If you would like to bring your child to the Nursery.
Many thanks to:
The Officers of the Church for lighting the Advent candle of Love
Karin Noyes for serving as our lay reader
Becky Belcher & Joe Catania for serving as ushers
Kevin Carroll, Siddhi, Evan Adsit, Marty Sorenson, Franny Yerkes, Terry Roy & family, Petee Robinson, Leonard Kaufman, Dick Taber,Tom Splaine, Laura Hawks, Joe K., Peter & Linda, Paula & Herman, Anne & Bill, Jan & John Hazard.
The family & friends of: John Arnold, Jack Ritchie, Fred Palmer, Harriet Hoffman, Scott Miller.
Today: 11 am Christmas Caroling
Monday: Office Closed
5:30 pm Bell Choir Prelude
6 pm Christmas Eve Service
Tuesday: Office Closed ~ Christmas
Wednesday: Office Closed~ Holiday
Pastor Diane will be on vacation from December 25- January 1. For pastoral emergencies, please call a deacon.
Please mail in your pledge card or drop it in the offering plate during Worship. If you need a new card you can pick one up at the church. You can also pledge online.
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE
Worship on Christmas Eve will begin at 5:30 pm with a Prelude by our Bell Choir followed by worship at 6 pm. All are welcome to join us!
Men’s Ecumenical Bible Study meets on Fridays 7:45am. All men are welcome. There will be no Bible Study on Friday, December 28th.
Women’s Bible Study meets on Thursdays at 4:30pm in the Parish Hall Library. After the first of the year, the study of Genesis will continue. All women are welcome, no previous experience necessary.
We now have conference calling available for those who are unable to attend a committee meeting. It is wireless and connects though your smartphone so you can “attend’ from another location. If you have any questions or would like further information please contact the office or email Kathy at: email@example.com.