December 24, 2017 - Fourth Sunday in Advent




PRELUDE                                                                               Sean Cotty                                                                                                        



* SANCTUS (pew card)                                                       

* CALL TO WORSHIP                            Patrick Mahowald                                           

The mighty God summons the earth

from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.

Our God comes and will not be silent.

God calls, and we respond to his love.

The heavens declare God’s righteousness.

We sing of God’s glories!

Offer up to God your thanksgiving.

And our God will hear us, save us, and stay with us forever.                                                                                                          

* HYMN No. 145                        Of The Father's Love Begotten

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.

We light this candle as a sign of the coming light of Christ.

“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.” (Isaiah 9:2)

“I will lead the blind by a road they do not know, by the paths they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I will do.” (Isaiah 42:16)

"The LORD says to his servant, 'I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.'" (Isaiah 49:6)

“Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,

and your healing shall spring up quickly;

your vindicator shall go before you,

the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.” (Isaiah 58:8)

Come, Lord Jesus, our light and life.

Until that day, let us walk in the light of the Lord.


Almighty God,

you who shaped out of nothing all that is,

forgive us for returning empty-handed.

You who called forth light,

forgive our preference for the dark!

You who sent John to be a voice crying,

forgive our unwillingness to say anything at all!

Create in us clean hearts, O God.

(Silent Prayers of Confession)

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Amen.



Herein is wisdom.

Glory be to God.

* Gloria Patri (pew card)


ANTHEM:                And The Glory Of The Lord                  G. F. Handel                                        

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, 

and all flesh shall see it together: 

for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.                                                 


Lord’s Prayer (pew card)

Response: Hear Our Prayer, O Heavenly Father                                                                          

Hear our prayer, O Heavenly Father,

for the Redeemer's sake. Amen.

* HYMN No. 143            For Ages Women Hoped and Prayed

Prayer of Illumination

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

ever faithful to your promises

and ever close to your church:

the earth rejoices in hope of the Savior’s coming

and looks forward with longing

to his return at the end of time.

Prepare our hearts and remove all

that hinders us from feeling the joy and hope

that his presence will bestow,

for he is Lord for ever and ever. Amen.


Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11                                                               p. 603               

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24                                              p. 961

This is the Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

SERMON             The Magnificent Swap Rev. Blaine Crawford

* CONFESSION OF FAITH:                                                            

Belgic Confession, Article 17

We believe that our good God,
by marvelous divine wisdom and goodness,

seeing that Adam and Eve had plunged themselves
into both physical and spiritual death
and made themselves completely miserable,

set out to find them, though they, trembling all over,

were fleeing from God.

And God comforted them,
promising to give them his Son,

born of a woman,

to crush the head of the serpent,
and to make them blessed.


       Offertory:                                                   Hans Leo Hassler

Dixit Maria (Gabriel Came to Mary)

Gabriel came to Mary, the blessed one,

And Mary in silence heard the message of God.

Mary stood in great awe.

Gabriel came to Mary the blessed one,

and Mary heard the message of the Lord.


Then Mary answered Gabriel,

"Behold the handmaid of the Lord

according to his blest word.

May it be done unto me,

According to his blest word."

* The Doxology (pew card)                                                  

* Prayer of Dedication

* HYMN No. 133                      O Come, O Come, Emmanuel


Response:                Sevenfold Amen                                                                                         




Christmas Eve Candlelight Service - today, 8:00 pm, followed by a wassail hour in Gessner Hour.  

Cookies needed for this evening. - Will you give a box of home-baked cookies for the wassail hour after the Candlelight Service? Bring it to the kitchen before the service. Thank you.

Christmas Morning Communion Service – tomorrow, Dec. 25, 11:00 am

Church Office and Building will be closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, except for worship services and the Women’s Shelter.  We will re-open on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

2018 Offering Envelopes are at the entrance of the church.  If you do not see your box and would like one, put your name on the sign-up sheet.

Weekly Calendar  

No Bible Study until Jan. 16. Pastor Blaine and the class will be exploring the book of Ruth.

No Yoga Class until Wednesday, January 10.

No Prayer Group on Thursdays until January 4.

Prayer List

Rosario Calco, Jose, Gracinda and David Cerqueira, Rosemarie Dappio, Dombrowski family, Joan Dwyer, Angela Edward, Rosemarie Graffeo, Rev. Jin Han, Lynne Johnson, Robert Keller, Kathy Kissane, Jason Knese, Ginny Marsico, Ann McCaffrey, Denise Moran, Stacey Muller, Joan Pearson, Keith Pearson, Megan Peters, Kook Ryo, Debra & Greg Sparrow