December 29, 2013

PRELUDE:  Greensleeves, arr. Richard Purvis

* SANCTUS (pew card)             


Leader:  The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
People:  On those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
Leader:  Jesus Christ is our life and light.
People:  In his name and in his power, let us worship God
Leader:  Grace and peace to you from God our Creator, our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

-- based on Isaiah 9:2

* HYMN No. 146:  Joy to the World! the Lord Is Come

* PRAYER OF CONFESSION  (unison)    

O God, in the beginning you spoke and creation was born, the object of your loving care. In the fullness of time you spoke, and the Word became flesh, Jesus, gift of your love. We wonder at the miracle of creation; we stand in awe before the mystery of the incarnation. Forgive us earthbound creatures, feeble in faith, empty of hope, lacking in love. This year let the miracle and mystery of Christmas happen for us again. We wait upon you with ready hearts, O God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

* KYRIE (pew card)
    * Gloria Patri  (pew card)

ANTHEM:  Love Came Down at Christmas, John Carter

Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, love divine; Love was born at Christmas, Star and angels gave the sign.  Worship we the Godhead.  Love incarnate, Love divine; Worship we our Jesus: But wherewith for sacred sign?  Love shall be our token, Love be yours and love be mine, Love to God and all men, Love for plea and gift and sign.  Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, love divine.

JUNIOR SERMON           

    Lord’s Prayer (pew card)
Prayer Response, Felix Mendelssohn

As bright the star of morning gleams, So Jesus sheddeth glorious beams Of light and consolation! Thy Word, O Lord, Radiance darting, Truth imparting, Gives salvation; Thine be praise and adoration.

* HYMN No. 152:  Angels We Have Heard on High


Isaiah 63: 7-9, Pew Bible, page 605

I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord, the praiseworthy acts of theLord, because of all that the Lord has done for us, and the great favor to the house of Israel that he has shown them according to his mercy, according to the abundance of his steadfast love. For he said, “Surely they are my people, children who will not deal falsely”; and he became their savior in all their distress. It was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

Hebrews 2:10-18, Pew Bible, page 971

It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again, “Here am I and the children whom God has given me.”

Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

Matthew 2:13-23, Pew Bible, page 784

Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”

When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.”

When Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child’s life are dead.”Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the district of Galilee. There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He will be called a Nazorean.”

THE SERMON:  Out of Egypt, Norman Haight                   

    Offertory:  Christmas Welcome, John Ness Beck

Welcome, welcome, Child of Bethlehem; Welcome, newly-born King! There's a crown of stars for your diadem, choirs of angels are singing, "Welcome, welcome, one and all, to the lowly manger stall." Welcome, neighbor, and welcome, stranger, and welcome, all we hold dear. Welcome, glad time of the year!

Welcome, children, and welcome, shepherds, and welcome, animals, too!  Whether young or old, come in from the cold; love is waiting for you.  Welcome, welcome, Holy night, stars and candles shining bright.

May this blessed birth bring us peace on earth, health and wealth and good cheer.  Welcome, all ye who hear, come and draw near for the Season of Christmas is here!

    * The Doxology  (pew card)      
    * Prayer of Dedication

    Apostles Creed  (pew card)

* HYMN No. 171:  Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

    Response:  Fanfare for Christmas, Martin Shaw

Gloria in excelsis deo. (Glory to God in the highest!)

POSTLUDE:  Carillon de Westminster, Louis Vierne


WE WELCOME ELDER NORMAN HAIGHT BACK TO THE PULPIT.  Elder Haight, is a Candidate for Word and Sacrament in the RCA under care of the Classis of Rockland-Westchester.  He is a recent graduate of New Brunswick Theological Seminary this past May, having served for a year as Student Minister at historic Old First Reformed Church of Park Slope, Brooklyn.   He is a resident and native of Peekskill, NY. 

TODAY’S COFFEE HOUR is hosted by Rosa Weed and the Congregational Care Committee in honor of the December Birthdays.  All are welcome to share in this time of fellowship.


Van Drivers: Bill Proschel (AM), Simon Walsh (PM)
Greeters: Nina and Bill Proschel, Dorothea Zelnick
Ushers: Charles D’Oria, Tim Hopper, Molly Mahowald, Christina Schaub and Jerry Good
Childcare: Adriene Toy

VAN SERVICE for Sunday worship, call Gina Lombardo at (917) 767-2923.

2014 offering envelopes are at the church entrance.  If you do not see your box and would like one, sign your name on the clipboard.  A set will be prepared and available for you.

CHILDREN AND WORSHIP will resume next Sunday, January 5, 2014.

PRAYER REQUESTS:  Ruth Bailey, Letty Delgado, Ed Diercks, Dombrowski Family, Edythe Durney, Alfred Gessner, Lisa Gessner, Jenny Hampton, Robert Keller, Hope Kingman, Fritz Kunisch, Ann Martin, John Molino, Josephine Rivera, Janice Serra