THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH CANTON CENTER, CT

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1 THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH CANTON CENTER, CT December 2, :00 a.m. First Sunday of Advent

2 ORDER OF WORSHIP CHIMES Bob Oswald WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS Brief announcements from the congregation are welcome. Those wishing to make Announcements are asked to be in the front pews at the start of the announcements period. There will be opportunity to share prayer requests at the time of the Prayers of the Church. If you wish to offer a prayer request in written form, please fill out one of the yellow prayer request cards found in the pews and place it in the offering plate at the time of the offering. Large print editions of the bulletin and Chalice Hymnal are available at the back of the sanctuary. Nursery Room is available in the lower level of the Parish House. Children ages Birth-3 years may visit the Nursery with a parent at any time. *All who are able, please stand. Bold denotes unison voice. PRELUDE Adam Lay Ybounden Philip Ledger CALL TO WORSHIP A season, a journey a watching, a waiting. A hoping, a trusting a believing, a rejoicing. Advent carries us in hope, toward peace, toward Christ. Come, fellow travelers, watchful ones, come and journey toward God. *HYMN 110, Pilgrim (red) O Come, O Come, Emmanuel *GATHERING PRAYER AND THE LORD S PRAYER Gather us in once more, Lord of Advent, and teach us to live as awakened people, compassionate and just, preparing your way in a world of need.

3 Help us to live in faith, to hold everything in hope, to welcome everywhere your peace, to be courageous always for love, so that, like the Christ we follow, we might bear your light in this world. In his name and spirit we pray, Amen. *SUNG RESPONSE LIGHTING OF THE FIRST ADVENT CANDLE: HOPE Advent: a new season begins now. Heather, Scott, Jack & Elizabeth Neumann A new telling of an old story starts today. We listen for its beauty, we open ourselves to its gifts hope, peace, joy, love. Today we light the first candle, named Hope. We remember that we who follow Jesus are people of hope in all things. We dwell again in the ancient vision of God s hope for the world. Isaiah says it this way: It shall come to pass that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established, and all the nations shall flow to it. They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, and neither shall they learn war anymore. This is God s hope for the world. Let it be our hope, too. The first candle is lit. (from Isaiah 2:1-5)

4 Sung response: One Candle is Lit Come surely, Lord Jesus, as dawn follows night, Our hearts long to greet you, as roses the light. Salvation, draw near us, our vision engage. One candle is lit for the hope of the age. MESSAGE FOR ALL AGES Sarah Pradhan Following this, children may go to church school. READING FROM SCRIPTURE Isaiah 40:1-11 SERMON Finding Our Way OFFERING OF GIFTS Invitation Offertory Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion Kenneth Kosche Senior Choir *Doxology *Prayer of Dedication PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH Joys and Concerns Pastoral Prayer *HYMN 107 Pilgrim (red) Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

5 THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION This church practices open Communion; all are welcome to participate, including children, at the discretion of their parents. As the elements are passed, please wait until all have been served and all will partake together. The bread in the small center dish is gluten-free. The cups contain non-alcoholic grape juice. The cup in the center of the tray contains water, for anyone unable to have the grape juice. Invitation As we come to this table, we are gathered in the mystery of faith. As we ready our hearts for the gifts of God, we remember we are one people of God. As we remember the call of Christ, we renew our commitment to follow him. As we receive the Bread of Life and the Cup of Blessing, we rejoice, for they bind us in covenant with God and with all others. Prayer of Preparation and the Lord's Prayer...this we pray in Christ's name, as we also say together: 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 forever. Amen. Recalling the Story: The Words of Institution Sharing the Bread and the Cup Prayer of Thanksgiving To you, O God, who gives us life and new life, we give thanks. To you we turn our hearts and our lives, that we might be bearers of faith, hope and love. Send us now as your beloved, to be bread for each other and light for the world. Amen. *HYMN 103, Pilgrim (red) Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus *BENEDICTION AND RESPONSE We Seek Thy Presence, Lord J.S. Bach Senior Choir *POSTLUDE Prepare the Way of the Lord W.A. Mozart arr. Hal Hopson

6 The First Congregational Church, Canton Center December 2, 2018 WELCOME We re glad you ve joined us for worship today. Please know that whoever you are, wherever you are on life s journey, you are welcome here! If you are visiting today, please help us get to know you better by filling out one of the visitor cards in the pews and placing it in the offering plate. Questions? Please feel free to ask the pastor, or call the church office during the week. The flowers this morning are given by Gail Macbeth in loving memory of Stan, Michael and Kevin Macbeth. POINSETTIAS If you would like to purchase poinsettias today or next Sunday to decorate for our Dec Dec. 24 services. Please fill out a form from the table near bulletin board and return to Jim Potter or the office. A CHRISTMAS CAROL We have tickets left for the December 9th show at 2:00 p.m. at the Riverton Congregation Church. Please see Kristin Oswald for more information or to purchase tickets. TIS THE SEASON FOR SCRIPPING! Our Scrip program is the best way to do your Christmas shopping and support our church at the same time. Every gift card you purchase earns the church money. Visit the Scrip table during coffee hour to find out more about the program and to see the list of over 750 available retailers many local shops, restaurants and online retailers as well. There is surely something for everyone on your list! CHERUB CHOIR Our cherub choir practices will begin this morning in the music room at 11:15 am and continue through December under the direction of Judy Robinson. We will be rehearsing a song to be sung at Christmas. This choir is open to ages 4-3rd grade. Come and have fun!

7 Small-group conversation: THE CHRISTMAS STORIES AND THEIR MEANINGS Things we wonder about in the nativity traditions Thurs., Dec. 6, 10:30 a.m. 12:00 noon with Rev. Brenda Two of our four New Testament gospels, Matthew and Luke, give us nativity stories about Jesus. They are two almost completely different stories. As we look at the traditions about the birth of Jesus that have come down to us, what things do we wonder about, want to think more about? History? Mythology? The blend of both? What questions and insights arise? MISSIONS & OUTREACH COLLECTIONS. Our Sanctuary Christmas Tree is decorated with paper ornaments to help put smiles to those in need of clients of Welmore. Please select a gift to give and return under the tree with your tag attached before Dec. 16. We also welcome you to decorate the tree with hats, gloves and scarves for children or adults. PRIME TIMERS The Annual Christmas Potluck Luncheon will be Friday, December 21 at 11:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall. The Canton High School Chamber Singers will join us for lunch and present a concert. Prime Timers should arrive at 11:00 a.m. with a casserole of their choice. All are welcome! PLEDGES We kindly ask all our members to make every effort to complete your current year pledges before year end. If you would like your 2018 contributions included on your 2018 year end statement, they must be received by Dec. 31. If you need a 2019 pledge form, they can be found on the table near bulletin board. Sunday 2 Monday 3 Tuesday 4 Wednesday 5 Thursday 6 Friday 7 Saturday 8 CE Meeting 8:30 am Missions Meeting 9 am Worship/Communion 10 :00 am Advent Workshop Cherub Choir 11:15 am Choir 6:45 pm Choir & Guest 7:30 pm ACA 7 pm AA 7 pm Sm. Group Conversation 10:30 am Scouts 6:30 pm Handbell Choir 7:00 pm AA 11 pm

8 OUR MISSION STATEMENT We gather as a welcoming community in worship, learning, service and fellowship, to embody Christ s message of love, compassion and justice. Joining faith with action, both within and beyond our church, we strive to build a community that serves all. Pastor: The Rev. Dr. Brenda Pelc-Faszcza Dir. of Music: Mary Lou Keefe Dir. of Faith Formation: Sarah Pradhan Usher: Art Dewey Greeters: The Goodwin Family Ministers: Every Member Sexton: Walt LeGeyt Office Manager: Kristen DiMattia Duty Deacons: Dave Heyer & Darryl Haberern Trustee: Jeff Goodwin God is still speaking!!!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Visit our website at Listen to recorded Sermons and Music from worship services! THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH 184 Cherry Brook Road, PO Box 133, Canton Center CT Church Office

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