On Line Worship Service, November 29, 2020

Welcome to this service.

Welcome to the Second Sunday of Advent, December 6! This week ee honor Peace. Along with readings that you will find here, we will meet by Zoom on Sunday, Dec. 6, starting at 9:45 am, for Story Time and live worship.

Click here on Sunday morning to join the worship by Zoom.

Click here if you need more detailed instructions on getting onto Zoom.

You can respond with thoughts about the service or with anything you would like to say by using the comment feature at the end of the post or by emailing us.  You can also bring others into this experience by sharing the link to this service by email or social media.

Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey, you are welcome here and in our church community.

The United Church of Strafford Council

Readings in this post

  1. Prelude
  2. Call to Worship: A Haiku by Herbert Goertz
  3. Advent Reading
  4. Scripture Reading
  5. Offering
  6. Announcements

Prelude 

Our choir sings “Deep Peace,” with Christina Robinson singing the first verse in Spanish.

Call to Worship

This week’s haiku is by Herbert Goertz:

If you know the magic word
all of nature starts to sing;
there is a song in everything.

Reading for Second Sunday of Advent

Today we light the Advent Candle of Peace.
Here is one of the great sayings about peace:
No peace in the world without peace in the nation.
No peace in the nation without peace in the town.
No peace in the town without peace in the home.
No peace in the home without peace in the heart.

That saying is from another time and another religion in
another part of the world. People of all times and places
have longed for peace in the heart and home and world.

On this Sunday of Advent we celebrate that the way of
Jesus Christ is a way that leads to peace. The way of
Christ leads to peace in the heart by bringing us
forgiveness and teaching us to trust and connecting us to
God. The way of Christ leads to peace in the home and
world by helping us be forgiving, compassionate and kind
people, treating the earth and all its creatures with
reverence and respect.

The word Advent means the approach or coming of
something. Long before Jesus, the people of Israel
yearned for peace. The prophet Isaiah foresaw a time
when God would send someone to lead the people there.

Here is what he says in the book of Isaiah, Chapter 9
verses 6 and 7:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and
the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name
shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God,
The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the
increase of his government and peace there shall be no
end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to
order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice
from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of
hosts will perform this.”

Scripture Readings

Luke 1:68-79 

68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a mighty savior[a] for us
in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71     that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
72 Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and has remembered his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
to grant us 74 that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness
before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
by the forgiveness of their sins.
78 By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon[b] us,
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Mark 1:1-5

1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,[a] the Son of God,[b2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

2 “I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”[c]—
3 “a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”[d]

4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

Offering

This congregation is a small but meaningful part of the movement to establish God’s realm of peace, justice and care for God’s creation on earth, actively engaged in serving our community and supporting the wider worldwide movement.

One of the ways we work together and increase our strength beyond our individual abilities is by pooling our resources.  This is hard to do when we are forced apart by the pandemic, so we hope you will take just a minute to use our online donation service.

To make your offering on line, please click here.  (This is a service we are providing through an extremely well established on-line donation company specializing in churches that is recommended by the national United Church of Christ and used by thousands of churches like ours.  To read more about our decision to allow on line donations, click here.)

Announcements

Please note that we are gathering as a congregation by Zoom at 10:30 AM on Sunday mornings to say hello to one another and share our Joys and Concerns and Prayer requests and offer our compassion and support and company for this journey.

We are now streaming live readings and music from our sanctuary on that same Zoom link at 10:15 AM, so just sign on to the Joys and Concerns Zoom link fifteen minutes earlier.

We are also offering a Story Time for children and adults at 9:45 AM at the same Zoom link.

Our Heartfulness Contemplative Training Circle is also meeting by Zoom on Thursdays at 6:00 PM.  This is for anyone who is interested in practicing mindfulness or meditation, or heartfulness and centering prayer.  It is a time for talking about those practices and also more generally about our spiritual life.

You can find links to instructions on how to be part of those Zoom gatherings on the Welcome Page of our website.

If you are not on our weekly email list and would like to be, please email us at unitedchurchofstrafford@gmail.com and we will make sure you receive all our church news with many more announcements than we print here.

You can also see more news on this website by clicking here.

It is extremely important that we stay connected now.  Please reach out by phone or email to neighbors and other members of the congregation, especially those who live by themselves or are struggling or vulnerable.  Our Deacons, Becky Bailey, Kim Welsh and Maggie Hooker, are coordinating our Deacons Fund and our outreach to people in need of support, and Danette Harris, Chair of our Mission Committee, is leading our work with the Food Shelf.  Becky, Danette and Joey Hawkins are on the town committee that is coordinating outreach as well.  If you would like to donate or help please email us or use the comment feature on this page.

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