During this season of Advent, you are invited to prepare yourself for an encounter with Jesus. Please take time before the worship service to silently reflect and pray. To aid you in this time of preparation, you may use the printed reflections and prayers. Please be considerate of others as we seek to create a space for contemplation and reflection during the season.
“I wait on the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord,
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
“Active waiting means to be present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present to it. A waiting person is someone who is present to the moment, who believes that this moment is the moment.”
Prayer for the Week
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Meaning of Advent
“The season of Advent, a season of waiting, is designed to cultivate our awareness of God’s actions—past, present, and future. In Advent we hear the prophecies of the Messiah’s coming as addressed to us—people who wait for the second coming. In Advent we heighten our anticipation for the ultimate fulfillment of all Old Testament promises, when the wolf will lie down with the lamb, death will be swallowed up, and every tear will be wiped away. In this way Advent highlights for us the larger story of God’s redemptive plan.”
from The Worship Sourcebook
ORDER FOR WORSHIP
FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT
PRELUDE Nathalie Wang, organist
SALUTATION AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
* PASSING OF THE PEACE
* GLORIA PATRI(pew card)
* CALL TO WORSHIP Elizabeth and Patrick Mahowald
You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep.
For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers.
The night is far gone, the day is near.
Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Come, let us wait upon the LORD.
For the light of Christ is a light for our feet and a lamp for our path.
* HYMN No. 161 Once in Royal David’s City
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
O God, we live as if the light had never defeated the darkness in the world or in us. We confess that we ignore the Christ you sent to be among us, to be in us. We have forgotten the promise of your kingdom and we get distracted by all the busyness of this season. Forgive us, God.
(Silent personal prayers for confession)
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
This is God’s Word of grace:
We are accepted, we are forgiven, we are loved.
SUMMARY OF THE LAW
Herein is the wisdom of God for the people of God.
May God grant us the grace and the courage to live in this way.
Advent Candle Lighting
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; the one who follows me will not walk in darkness but have the light of life.”
Come and lead your people into the way of salvation.
Isaiah 9:2 reads, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined.”
We light this candle as a sign of the coming light of Christ.
(Lighting of the first candle)
Come, Lord Jesus, our light and our life.
Until that day, let us walk in the light of the Lord.
ANTHEM: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming Michael Praetorius
Prayer of Illumination
Lord God, may your Word be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
Speak, O Lord, for your servants are listening.
Isaiah 2:1-5 p. 550
Romans 13:11-14 p. 923
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
SERMON Walking in the Light Rev. Blaine Crawford
* CONFESSION OF FAITH: Apostles’ Creed (pew card)
OFFERING OURSELVES AND OUR GIFTS
Offertory: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel translated by John M. Neale
Patrick Mahowald, guitar
Simon Walsh, flute
* The Doxology (pew card)
* Prayer of Dedication
SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
* Remembering with Love and Hope (pew card)
Mystery of the Faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
Words of Institution
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Lord’s Prayer (pew card)
* HYMN No. 135 Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
If you are in need of prayer, you are invited to the front of the sanctuary at the conclusion of the service. One of the elders of the church will offer prayers for you.
We thank Nathalie Wang for serving as our organist today. Nathalie studied organ at the Royal Academy of Music in London at the Juilliard School of Music. She has performed in recitals in Shanghai, London, Denmark and New York.
WCC LUNCHEON & PROGRAM – Saturday, December 10th, 1:00 P.M. COTH Thespians will perform at 2:00 P.M. All women are invited.
BLUE CHRISTMAS SERVICE - Friday, December 16th, 7:30 P.M.
Are you anticipating a Blue Christmas? For many, “the most wonderful time of the year” is anything but. Join us at Church on the Hill in the sanctuary for an inspirational service of song, meditation, comfort, and hope. This will be an ecumenical service with Grace Episcopal Church of Whitestone and First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone.
CRAWFORD HOLIDAY PARTY - Saturday, December 17th, 3:00-6:30 P.M.
Blaine and Brittnee Crawford invite the congregation to the parsonage for a holiday open house. Drop in as you are able--there will be plenty of food and holiday cheer!
White Christmas Service - Sunday, December 18th, 11:00 A.M. Tableau of the Nativity of Christ. Bring your White Christmas gifts to be presented.
AUCTION 2017- Saturday, January 7th, in Gessner Hall. If you have small, easily transportable items to donate, WE WILL PICK UP YOUR DONATIONS. We do not take very heavy items or large furniture. Call the Church Office or Emerson Chen (917) 881-1868.
Remember the following individuals in your daily prayer.
Helga Brenner-Khan, Rosemarie Dappio, Allegra DeMelo, Lynne Johnson, Marie Mark, Ann McCaffrey-Amalfitano, James McCreary, Eva Munoz, Joan Pearson, Keith Pearson, Edie Petry, Dorothy Reid, Kook Ryo, Debra & Greg Sparrow, Mary Ann Sullivan