Welcome to the Red Lodge Community Church Worship With Us December 10, 2023 Worship Leader: Rev. Teressa L. Clark
If you are joining us in person, the service is at 10:00am Sunday School
Mission: Red Lodge Community Church, United Church of Christ, welcomes all people to gather for worship, fellowship and to study God’s Word. We seek to be servants of our Lord in the care of all people.”
Land Acknowledgement: We acknowledge, with humility, that the land upon which we worship today was once the land of the Apsaalooke People, those who we now know as the Crow People. Their stewardship and relationship with the land is the stewardship and relationship that we hope to honor with the mission of this church.
GATHERING MUSIC WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS RINGING OF THE BELL PRELUDE
CALL TO WORSHIP (responsive) One: Siblings in Christ, come together for the family reunion, for the Holy One has brought us together. All: From far and near, we gather to wait for the big arrival, the birth of God’s son.One: Do we wait with our eyes cast downward, with our spirits low, and our hearts sad? All: We wait in joyful expectation for Immanuel, God-with-us. Let every heart prepare him room.One: Siblings in Christ, come together for the family reunion, for the Holy One has brought us together. All: Let the babies leap for joy in God’s presence. Let the children lead the way. Come, let us worship!OPENING PRAYER (unison) Immanuel,God-with-us,DayspringofJoy, youmakeyourpresenceknowntoday. Your spirit dwells in the electric joy passing between us when we come together. Ineverygreeting,ineverykindword,ineveryreunionofthesaints. Meet us where we are in any despair or sadness, grief or sorrow, andsurroundourpainwithnever-ceasingjoy. May we find space for both joy and sorrow in our communal experience, in our family reunion. Amen. HYMN- O Come All Ye Faithful Chalice #148 PASSING OF THE PEACE TIME WITH CHILDREN ADVENT CANDLE LIGHTING Person A: Into a hopeless world, Immanuel will be born, God with us, hope for all. And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Person B: Today, we light the candle of hope, because in God’s presence, we find hope. Lightthefirstcandle. Person A: Into a violent world, Immanuel will be born, God-with-us, Prince of Peace. And the Prince of Peace tells us when we become peacemakers, we will be called Children of God. Person B: Today, we light the candle of peace, because in God’s presence, we find peace. Light the second candle. Person A: Into a sorrowful world, Immanuel will be born, God-with-us, Dayspring of Joy. This is good news of great joy for all people. Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Person B: Today, we light the candle of joy, because in God’s presence, we find joy. Light the third candle. ADVENT PRAYER Immanuel, God-with-us, Dayspring of Joy, we rejoice because in Jesus we find an everlasting joy calling us into abundant life. When we were downtrodden and discouraged, you gave us a vision for the possibilities. When we were depressed and unmovable, you relieved our minds and gave us rest. When we were apathetic and uncaring, you sent us projects to capture our imaginations. When we were escaping big feelings with big addictions, you intervened and we sobered up. When we thought we may never laugh again, the echoes of joyful praise never let us go. And for those who are discouraged and sad still, you are here among us, reminding us joy will come again. Because you have felt it all before and you know all we experience, we have joy. Amen.
SCRIPTURE Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, to provide for those who mourn in Zion-- to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. For I, the Lord, love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants shall be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my whole being shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.
One: The word of God for the people of God. All: Thanks be to God.
ADVENT HYMN Choir SERMONRev. Teressa L. Clark PRAYER OF THE PEOPLE God of grace and peace, we are thankful for the joys of the creation that we are called to care for. We thank you for our Church and our community’s outreach in love to those in need. We are grateful for family and community gatherings, new life, and the healing of those who have been ill and had procedures. We are thankful for our Church leaders and congregation in this time of transition as they present us with new ideas and support each other. We pray for those hurting in our church family and the wider world… Those who have health issues,.. those living with mental health challenges,.. those affected by domestic abuse and broken relationships,.. those affected by our local housing crisis, ...the homeless and under-housed, …those in eldercare, …those affected by natural disasters, …mass shootings,.. the wars in Ukraine and Israel/Palestine,… and refugees as they face uncertain futures. .. Lord, we pray that you will be with all in their time of need. We pray for those who are homebound or in care facilities. Lord, we pray that You guard the hearts and minds of those grieving with the kind of peace that can only come from You We offer these prayers in the name of the one who is our anchor and our peace, in Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. LORD’S PRAYER OFFERTORY DOXOLOGY PRAYER FOR THE OFFERING (unison) Immanuel,God-with-us,DayspringofJoy, we approach the time of offering as cheerful givers. Ourheadsareliftedandourheartsarefull, becausewedonotgiveoutofcoercionorguilt, but in the confident joy that you will continue to provide for us and for our community. Amen. AFFIRMATION OF JOY(responsive) One: Siblings in Christ, let us proclaim the joy of our faith: When we thought we had lost everything, that we would never be joyful again-- All: God was with us, and God never gave up.One: When we couldn’t exercise enough, socialize enough, or eat healthy enough to feel better-- All: God was with us, and God accepted our condition.One: When we lost loved ones and could not imagine joy without their presence with us every day-- All: God was with us, and God collected all our tears.One: When we drifted away to shallow thrills and easy bumps of breezy feelings-- All: God was with us, drawing our gaze to a better way, to meaningful joy.One: And when we forget the good news of great joy for all people proclaimed long ago-- All: God is with us, calling us back to Christmas. This is the joy of our faith. HYMN - Joy to the World Chalice #143
CHARGE AND BENEDICTION Friends of God and pilgrims along the journey of faith, make space for joy alongside any grief or sadness you may feel this season. Journey on in boldness, for the joy of the incarnated Christ does not leave your side. May you go forth in the confidence God is with you and so is your family of faith. Amen.
SENDING SONG- Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee V. 1 Chalice #2
THIS WEEK: Monday, December 11 1pm Staff Meeting 7 pm Cantata Rehearsals
Tuesday, December 12
Wednesday, December 13 9am Coffee Klatch & Prayer Zoom combined 1 am HbH Practice 1:30pm Choir Practice/Cantata Rehearsals Thursday, December 14 5:30 pm Church Council Meeting
Friday, December 15 3:30 Girl Scouts
Saturday, December 16
************************************************************************************************************** Sun, December 17 10am Worship 4th Week Advent: LOVE Sunday School Worship Leader: Lori Floyd, Lynell Krucekberg
Next Week’s Volunteers Liturgist: Don Kinney Deacons: Helen MacKay & Kiyoko Carlson Christian Education: Zina General Tech: Jay West Coffee Hour: Audrey Clark & Leah Gallagher
Participating in Today's Worship Worship Leader – Rev. Teressa L. Clark Liturgist - Mark Sechler Acolyte - Pianist – Dr Lynell Kruckeberg Choir- Marty Clague, Director, Russ Born, Martha Brown, Julia Childs, Jo Ann Eder, Lori Floyd, Libby Gardner, Steve Hanson, Sharyn McKenzie, Allan Schuyler, Mark Sechler, Karen Simmons, Lanny Hilderman, Kathy Munson Homebrewed Harmony - Marty Clague, Russ Born, Steve Hanson, Jim Howe, Don Redfort, Mark Sechler