Reverend Ed Sunday-Winters – Service
Hal Parker – Musical Director
Priscilla Bonney-Smith – Flowers
Hymns (Pilgrim Hymnal):
#103 Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
#288 Let Us Break Bread Together
#115 On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry
Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship
One: John the Baptist said, “Prepare the way.” So family of faith, how do we prepare our minds for worship?
All: We silence the inner critic. We let go of busy thoughts. We make space
for God to speak.
One: How do we prepare our hearts for worship?
All: We bless all emotions. We feel what we feel. We open ourselves up to
One: How do we prepare our bodies for worship?
All: We take in the scent, sight, and feel of our surroundings. We breathe
in God’s mercy. We exhale God’s love.
One: How do we prepare our souls for worship?
All: We bring our full selves into this moment. We wear our hearts on our
sleeves. We trust that even now, God is here.
One: Family of faith, what we practice in worship, we must live out in our
daily lives. So prepare the way. Let us worship Holy God.
O Holy One,
you are tender shepherd,
architect of the Way,
beguiling hope of all who go looking for you
deep in their lives.
Surprise us here with
Sweetness, challenge, vision—
Whatever we may need
In this moment to recognize you
and follow you into the future.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Beloved. Amen.
Hymn Pilgrim #103 Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
Advent Candle Lighting Liturgy
Ed: I dream of the first pitch of opening season.
Hal: I dream of a laundry day, where each sock finds its mate.
Ed: I dream of family home for the holidays.
Hal: I dream of good books and homemade meals.
Ed: I dream of sunset drives with the windows down.
Hal: These are beautiful dreams, but I also have urgent dreams.
Ed: I dream of conversations across party lines.
Hal: I dream of more bridges and less walls.
Ed: I dream of more laughter and less fear.
Hal: I dream of more listening and less tears.
Ed: But most of all, I dream of peace like a river.
Hal: Today we light the candle of peace.
Hal: May it remind us that there is another way. Amen.
Scripture Mark 1:1-8
Prayer of Dedication
O Faithful One,
accept these gifts of our hearts and hands.
May they be multiplied and magnified
as the living presence of Christ in the world. Amen.
Invitation to the table: God, who is the only source of peace, calls us to
gather around a table of peace with expectation and faith, that we might
not only taste and see the goodness of God, but also that we might
proclaim to the world the coming of Christ’s reign of peace which has no
end. Let us heed the call, come in faith, and receive the presence of the
One who will make of us a dwelling place, a home of peace and
reconciliation for the world.
Prayer of Consecration
Holy One, you speak to us in silence, yet all languages interpret you.
Because you call us into this community, we are able to become a gift to
one another. We pray for your Holy Spirit to descend upon us and upon
these gifts of bread and wine, that in sharing them we may discern your
presence which becomes our life. We thank you for your anointed one,
Jesus, who through his life, crucifixion, death and resurrection lived fully the promise of redemptive wholeness that is available to all. We celebrate his gifts, we rejoice in your presence, loving God, now and always. Now, grant us your peace.
Blessing of the bread and cup
Through the Broken Bread, We participate in the body of Christ.
Through the cup of blessing, we participate in the new life Christ gives.
The Gifts of God for the people of God
May the presence of Christ, Body and Spirit, keep and preserve you to
Prayer after receiving
We thank you, God, for inviting us to this table where we have known the
presence of Christ and have received all Christ’s gifts. Strengthen our faith,
increase our love for one another, and let us show forth your praise in our
lives; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
Hymn Pilgrim #288 Let Us Break Bread Together
Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer
O God of all, God of shalom, we come before you with hearts seeking to
know and understand the words of the prophets, the words of the angels,
the words of peace that rise around us in this holy season. We pray that you
will open us to the meaning of peace, that you will teach us the way of
peace, that we will indeed understand your will for justice for all of your
world. Help us to be faithful to the call that you have put on our hearts to
live as people of hope.
This joyous season puts many demands on our lives. We pray that you
would slow us down, open our hearts, and our eyes, that we may see the
beauty of the season, feel the joy of hope and peace alive within us and live
our days in celebration.
For so many this season is, however, a season of sadness and pain. In a year like we have never known, many are struggling with illness. To many are need of work, food and shelter. We pray that you will touch all with your healing balm and that you will look with favor and blessing upon them. May we all understand the gift of life that you have given us.
Give us grace and hope to live our days as your people, for it is Jesus’ coming that we celebrate and it is through his name that we lift our prayers, for he is indeed our Christ, the Prince of Peace.
Hear us as we pray,
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
Hymn Pilgrim #115 On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry
Go forth into the world
energized to seek signs of God’s future
especially in the unruly, unkempt, and persistent voices
of Prophets in our midst:
calling us to prepare the way
in our lives and our world
For the Holy One who is coming!