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December 16, 2012 Theme: Love
Our Covenant We strive to be a joyful, welcoming Christian Community. We seek to be faithful in a world torn by suffering, injustice, oppression, and war, We are inspired by God, Christ’s ministry, and the examples of other faithful people. We join together in worship and song, fellowship, study, and mission, to embrace the risks and challenges of continuing Christ’s ministry. We struggle to live out our faith in the world by furthering justice and peace, witnessing to the truth, and proclaiming God’s love and mercy for all people.
As a covenant community we are committed to the belief that all people are created equal before God. In affirmation of the inclusive love of Christ Jesus, we welcome persons of any race, gender, age, sexual orientation, ability and economic circumstance to full participation in our community life and ministry. We strive to reflect these beliefs in the language and content of our worship and in our lives together. Sunday, December 16, 2012
Childcare for infants and toddlers is available downstairs. Preschoolers and 9th-12th graders go directly downstairs to classes. 7th-8th graders go to chapel to help with Bible Village. Grades K-6 leave after the “Time for Children" to the chapel and then go to their workshops: K-1 to Science (in the rainbow room), 24 to Theater (in the Tent room), 5-6 to Games (in Linden AB). All children 1st grade and under must be picked up in their classrooms by a family member after class. Children in 2nd grade and older will be dismissed to Fellowship Hall. PRELUDE Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
ANNOUNCEMENTS CALL TO WORSHIP Alecia Sharback Leader: Let us light the candles of faith. People: Come, Lord Jesus Come. Leader: A candle of hope, where despair stands guard. People: Come, Lord Jesus Come. Leader: A candle of peace, for tempest-tossed days. People: Come, Lord Jesus Come. Leader: A candle of love to inspire our day. People: Come, Lord Jesus Come. Leader: A candle of joy to lift our spirits. People: Come among us Holy One, as we sing. *OPENING HYMN #126 (Black)
Angels, from the Realms of Glory
OPENING PRAYER Call to Prayer Leader: Lift up your hearts. People: We lift them up to the Lord. Leader: Let us pray. Unison Prayer Like a tune in our heads, that won’t let up, Like a long-lost friend who finds us, Like a healing we cannot explain, Like the words of a prayer that binds us,
Like hope that won’t bow to despair, Lord Jesus, come again, to remind us That we are your people. Help us to prepare for your arrival, as we pray… Silent Prayer Lord’s Prayer Prayer Response
Lo, How A Rose E’re Blooming Michael Praetorius (1571-1621)
TIME FOR CHILDREN (Children will go to Bible Village after the lighting of the third candle of the Advent Wreath.) ADVENT WREATH CANDLE LIGHTING (Led by members of the 2013 Confirmation Class) Advent Liturgy We have lit two candles – for hope, and for peace. Today we light the third candle – the candle of love. With this flame we signify the love of God that surrounds and fills us at all times, but that we recognize in a special way in the Christmas story. There is no greater power than love. It is stronger than rulers and empires, stronger than grief or despair, stronger than death. We love, because God loves us. Lighting of the Candle of Love Prayer Loving God, we open ourselves to you this Christmas season. As these candles are lit, light our love with your imagination. Show us the creative power of hope. Teach us the peace that comes from justice. Magnify your love within us. Prepare our hearts to be transformed by you that we may walk in the light of Christ’s love. Amen. CHILDREN’S HYMN (#526)
We Are Marching In The Light Of God
SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM Baptized today is Lucie Elizabeth Salerno, daughter of Kirby & Heather Salerno. Welcome and Questions
Congregational Response We promise to this child and to her parents our love, support and prayers. Baptismal Prayer Act of Baptism Congregational Response Give to this newly baptized child strength for life’s journey, courage in time of suffering, the joy of faith, the freedom of love, and the hope of new life, through Jesus Christ, who makes us one. Amen. ANTHEM
SCRIPTURE LESSON Luke 3: 1-14 SERMON
John Ness Beck (1930-1987) p. 56
Tough Love Has Its Place #3 in series on Love
MORNING PRAYER Concerns and Celebrations Call to Prayer Leader: The Lord be with you. People: And with your spirit. Leader: O Lord, show your mercy upon us. People: And grant us your salvation. Leader: O God, make clean our hearts within us. People: And take not your Holy Spirit from us. Leader: Let us pray. Pastoral Prayer Congregational Response Spirit of the Living God Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. OFFERTORY Anthem
In the Bleak Midwinter
Harold Darke (1888-1976)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise God, all creatures here below, Praise God above, ye heavenly host, Creator, Christ, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Vom Himmel hoch, da komm’ ich her Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706) *You are invited to stand.
Welcome to all who are here for the first time. Please fill out the blue “Welcome” card in the pews to receive weekly emails or newsletters. Please turn off your cell phone before attending the service. Please ask an usher if you would like a copy of the sermon, or need a hearing device. Copies of the sermons are also available on the sermon link at www.needhamucc.org, our church website.
Worship Leader: Alecia Sharback Deacons: Robert Kennedy and Kathy French Ushers: Mike Normile, Janet Jankowiak, Stan Normile, Bob Everts, Jim Conroy Altar Guild: Mary Barber Flowers: Connie Kaufman Flower Delivery: Martha Lamb The flowers on the altar are given by the Lofvers/Bradley family to the Glory of God and in loving memory of friends and relatives of who have entered into eternal life this year: Daniel J. Scott, Jr., Kathryn Baker, Roy Ennis, Catherine Rachael Westergaard, Zeta Vogel, Robert Vogel, Kevin Burke, Pam Washek and Tina Scharback. Announcements CHRISTMAS FLOWER OFFERING ENVELOPES AVAILABLE NOWWe are collecting donations in memory of loved ones for the poinsettias that decorate the church at Christmas time. Christmas Flower Offering envelopes will be available in the church pews or the church office. Please return envelopes to the office by December 18. After the Christmas Eve services,
many of the plants will be given to people in our congregation who are sick, homebound or in need of a little extra attention. REHEARSAL STARTS TODAY! Christmas Pageant Information: The pageant is coming! Every year we put on a Christmas pageant with over 100 costumed characters. Practices are Dec 16 and Dec 23 from 11:30am-2pm. On Dec 24, dress rehearsal is at 2pm and performance is at 4pm. Fair Trade Coffee, Tea and Chocolate for Sale at Coffee Hour after church for as long as supplies last. Buy delicious products for your holiday needs and support a good cause at the same time. Today! Archaeology in the Land of the Bible; Sunday, December 16 at 11:30 am in Library What exactly is biblical archaeology? Can it be used to prove the Bible is true? How are objects and ruins excavated? What are some of the most important discoveries found? Nate Ramsayer will lead us into the land of biblical archeology. Lunch will be served. Healing Service- Thursday December 20 at 7pm in the Chapel. Are you feeling lonely or blue this Christmas? Are you tired of hearing Merry Christmas when this will be a hard holiday for you? Have you lost a loved one this year? Come join us for a Healing Service-December 20th. We will light candles, hear a short message from Rev. Susan, and there will be an opportunity for healing prayers. Come bring a friend of any faith, or none at all. “Whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome.” For more information contact Rev. Susan directly, [email protected] Looking to de-stress for the holidays? We are offering a final session of yoga and meditation on Monday evening at 7pm. The 45 minute to 1 hour yoga session, led by Carol Oberle, will be followed with a meditation led by Rev. Heike. Come join us for a peaceful evening of yoga and meditation to help take that final transition into the Holiday season. Alternative Giving Opportunity: As you consider the challenge of gift-giving during the holiday season, you can honor a loved one, family, friend, or teacher by giving an alternative gift, which will help people in our church's partner village in Guatemala to fulfill their dreams of better education and health for their families. You may also purchase a 2013 calendar from Guatemala to support our partnership: $18 each or $15 for more than one. Please stop by the Guatemala Partnership table at Coffee Hour in Fellowship Hall today to find out more, or contact: [email protected] Partner-Family Letters for Guatemala: It's time again for families who correspond with a family in Santa Maria Tzeja to write your seasonal letter, which is due January 1st, if you write in English. And the earlier, the better, to allow our volunteer translators work their magic. Please send your letterto:[email protected] Or you can submit it directly through the
Guatemala Partnership Committee's new website:www.guatemalapartners.org. Hope you'll check it out and send any feedback to Dave Johnson. MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SOMEONE’S LIFE & YOUR OWN Peoplefirst Hospice invites you to join our team to provide friendly visits with hospice patients who reside at Avery Manor in Needham and other locations nearby. Next Inspiring 5 week Volunteer Orientation begins: Thurs. 1/10/13 (6-9 PM) in Newton. There is a Home Study Program also available. Interview & Application Process required for attendance. For more info, contact Marjorie Rochon, Volunteer Coordinator at 617-558-3033 or [email protected] Advent Lunch with Rev. Heike! Our final Advent lunch will be on December 20, 2012 is from Noon to 1 p.m. in the Library. Please call Rev. Heike if you can help set up. APRIL VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL: April 16-19, 8:30am-noon. This April's theme is “God's Backyard: Serving friends, family, neighbors and community” where kids will create crafts, play exciting games, participate in meaningful, community service, sing upbeat songs, and make delicious snacks. The fee is $20 per day for morning activities at VBS from 8:30-noon. Lunch bunch will be offered from noon-1 for $5 per day. Additional children in each family will receive a 50% discount. Register by April 1 for a $20 discount. For more information or to register, call the church office at 781-444-2510 or visit http://needhamucc.org/learn/vbs
Calendar Notes Sunday, December 16 8:00am Men’s Breakfast, Library &Kitchen 9:00am Chancel Choir Rehearsal, Sanctuary 10:00am Worship, Sanctuary 11:30am Christmas Pageant Lunch/Rehearsal, Linden Hall &Sanctuary 11:30am Bible Archaeology w/Nate Ramsayer, Linden Hall 1:00pm Faith Circles w/ Rev. Susan, Reception Room 4:00pm Shepherd’s Staff Choir Rehearsal, Choir Room 5:00pm Junior High Youth Group, Stevenson Hall 6:30pm Youth Leadership Team Meeting 7:00pm Senior High Youth Group, Stevenson Hall Note: There will be no Joyful Noise or Halleluia Choir rehearsal today. Monday, December 17 9:00am Cancer Support Group, Reception Room 7:00pm Yoga and Meditation, Fellowship Hall Wednesday, December 19 7:30pm Music Team Meeting, Reception Room Thursday, December 20 12:00pm Advent Lunch w/Rev. Heike, Library Sunday, December 23 9:00am Chancel Choir Rehearsal, Sanctuary 10:00am Worship, Sanctuary 11:30am Christmas Pageant Lunch/Rehearsal, Linden Hall &Sanctuary 4:00pm All Youth Christmas Caroling 4:00pm Shepherd’s Staff Choir Rehearsal, Choir Room Note: There will be no Junior/Senior High Youth Group meeting tonight. Note: There will be no Joyful Noise or Halleluia Choir rehearsal today.
BLUE CHRISTMAS - HEALING SERVICE Thursday December 20 at 7 p.m., The Chapel Are you feeling lonely or blue this Christmas? Candle lighting and healing prayers led by Rev. Susan. Come – Bring a friend of any faith, or none at all.
CHRISTMAS PAGEANT AND CANDLELIGHT SERVICE Monday December 24 at 4 p.m. & 9 p.m., The Sanctuary At 4pm, the church Christmas Pageant, with 100 costumed performers act out the Christmas story. Enjoy the procession of camels, donkey, rooster, shepherds and angels. The service culminates with Silent Night, sung by candlelight. At 9pm, the church’s candlelight service features lessons and carols of the season. Both services are open to the public. Please visit www.needhamucc.org or call 781-444-2510 for more information.
ANNOUNCING! APRIL VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL April 16-19 8:30 am- Noon
This April's theme is “God's Backyard: Serving friends, family, neighbors and community” where kids will create crafts, play exciting games, participate in meaningful, community service, sing upbeat songs, and make delicious snacks. The fee is $20 per day for morning activities at VBS from 8:30-noon. Lunch bunch will be offered from noon-1 for $5 per day. Additional children in each family will receive a 50% discount. Register by April 1 for a $20 discount. For more information or to register, call the church office at 781-444-2510 or visit http://needhamucc.org/learn/vbs The Congregational Church of Needham 1154 Great Plain Avenue Needham, Massachusetts 02492 Telephone 781-444-2510; Fax 781-444-3580 E-mail: [email protected] www.needhamucc.org The Rev. Susan Cartmell, Senior Minister The Rev. Heike Werder, Associate Minister The Rev. Jamie Green, Youth Minister
Bobby DeRegis, Director of Music Ministries Jannatha Coffin-Malia, Dir of Youth Music The Rev. Dr. Paul Clayton, Pastor Emeritus