BULLETIN DECEMBER 13, 2020

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Wappingers Falls, New York
December 13, 2020 * Advent 3B

Please silence all electronic devices                                                              *Please stand if you are able

GATHERING

PRELUDE
At Home:    O Come, O Come Emmanuel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKu0or0t8Uw 

WELCOME & ANNOUNCEMENTS
OPENING PRAYER
Rejoice in the coming of God the Savior, for there is good news on the way.
Good news for the down-trodden and weary?  Good news – peace is coming.
Good news for the broken-hearted?  Good news – joy is coming.
Good news for those captive and imprisoned?  Good news – freedom is coming.
Good news for the hard of heart?  Good news – thunder in the desert tells of God’s coming.
Good news is on the way!

*HYMN GtG 611  Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3RhvVfCOII 

During this time that we cannot sing, you are invited to focus on
the meaning of the lyrics, perhaps finding a new depth to favorite hymns.

LIGHTING THE ADVENT WREATH                                1 Corinthians 1:2b-3, The Voice
As people who are united with Jesus, the Anointed One, you have been set apart for service.
You are all called into community to live as saints
 with all who invoke the name of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed.
I pray that God our Creator and the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, will shower you with grace and peace.

We watch and wait for Christ’s coming!
We light candles of hope, peace, joy, and love, remembering the promises of God with prayer.
We light this candle in hope.              (The first candle is lit.)
We light this candle for peace.           (The second candle is lit.)
We light this candle in joy.                 (The third candle is lit.)                         1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, The Voice
Celebrate always, pray constantly, and give thanks to God no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. (This is God’s will for all of you in Jesus the Anointed.)

God of Hope, God of peace, God of joy, you are our salvation; we trust in you and are not afraid.
Lead us to draw water with rejoicing from the springs of salvation.
God of promise, God of joy, into our darkness, come.  Amen.
Handbell Anthem       O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

CALL TO CONFESSION
We have all sinned, not one of us is clean; but there is mercy for those who call on the name of the Lord.
Trusting in God’s grace, let us confess our sin.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
God our Maker, we confess that we are not ready to meet you.
You send your Spirit to release us, yet we remain captivated by sin.
You stand among us in Christ Jesus, yet we claim we do not know you.
Forgive us, and restore us.
Make us holy; make us whole.
Keep us safe and sound until the day of your coming.
SILENT PRAYER

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS
Every valley is lifted up; every mountain, made low. 
Now the glory of the Lord is revealed, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!  Thanks be to God. 

*SHARING OF THE PEACE
The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
(Please share with one another a gesture, offering peace from your seat.)
GLORIA PATRI
Glory be to God, creator, redeemer and Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be.  Amen.

HEARING THE WORD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Holy God, our hope and strength, by the power of your Spirit,
 prepare the way in our hearts for the coming of your Word,
 so that we may see the glorious signs of your promise fulfilled; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

FIRST LESSON                      1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

HYMN  GtG 96                     On Jordan’s Bank, The Baptist’s Cry https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIr21lLgFpg 

SECOND LESSON               John 1:6-8, 19-28
The Word of the LORD.  Thanks be to God!

SERMON       Let Us Light Candles: A Candle of Joy

SILENT MEDITATION

RESPONDING TO THE WORD

OFFERING OF OUR GIFTS AND OURSELVES             2 Peter 3:8-15, Luke 1:35-38, 1 Corinthians 1:4
All things in heaven and earth belong to God, who is coming in glory to reveal a new creation. 
God Most High, receive the gifts of our lives as an offering of gratitude for your grace.
Overshadow us with your Holy Spirit and let it be with us according to your word,
 for nothing is impossible with you.  Let us offer our lives to the Lord.  Amen.
Doxology        Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Christ, all people here below.
Praise Holy Spirit evermore,
Praise Triune God, whom we adore.  Amen.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
If you would like to share your joys and concerns with the congregation, please call or email the church office.
Almighty God, you have promised to hear when we pray in the name of your Son.
Therefore in confidence and trust we pray:
Enliven the church for its mission that we may be salt of the earth and light to the world.
 Breathe fresh life into your people.  Give us power to reveal Christ in word and action. 

We pray for the world.
Lead us and every people into ways of justice and peace, that we may respect one another in freedom and truth.
  Awaken in us a sense of wonder for the earth and all that is in it.  Teach s to care creatively for its resources.

We pray for the community.
God of truth, inspire with your wisdom those whose decisions affect the lives of others,
 that all may act with integrity and courage.  Give grace to all whose lives are linked with ours.
May we serve Christ in one another, and love as he loves us.

We pray for those in need.
God of hope, comfort and restore all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit.  May they know the power of your
 healing love.  Make us willing agents of your compassion.  Strengthen us as we share in making people whole.

We remember those who have died and those who mourn.
We remember with thanksgiving those who have died in the faith of Christ,
 and those whose faith is known to you alone.
Give comfort to those who mourn.  Fill the emptiness of their loss with your never-ending peace.

We pray for ourselves and our ministries.
Lord, you have called us to serve you.
Grant that we may minister in your name, with your love in our hearts, your truth in our minds, your strength in our wills; until, at the end of our journey, we know the joy of our homecoming
 and the welcome of your embrace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

*HYMN GtG 143  Angels from the Realm of Glory!
At Home: O Worship the King: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAyKmYD2Zg8 

*CHARGE AND BENEDICTION              Isaiah 40:3, Mark 1:3
May the God of peace make you holy and the power of the Spirit
 sustain you until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Go.  Prepare the way of the Lord!
*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE     Amen!

POSTLUDE
At Home:  Watchman Tell us of the Night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX53vVJNSXA 

Please exit one row at a time, keeping six feet of distance between household groups, following all instructions.
Andrzej and Pastor Margery will be the last two out of the sanctuary.
Please walk directly to your car.  There will be no fellowship time today.
Please call the church office with your prayer or pastoral care requests.


Announcements

Advent–Christmas–Epiphany Devotional & Discussion:  As is our custom, we will make available a devotional for members of the congregation who would like to deepen their spiritual lives during these holy seasons.  We will also gather weekly, by way of Zoom meeting, to discuss the ideas and suggestions in the text on Tuesday nights at 7 PM from December 1, 2020 – January 5, 2021.
This year, we will use an online resource published by Presbyterians Today, called “Let Us Light Candles.”  The resource can be accessed at this link: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/today/advent2020/  Please contact Pastor Margery with questions or if you would like us to mail you printed copies.

The Food Pantry – our last date to be open will be the 3rd Saturday of December.
Christmas Baskets will be distributed on Saturday 12/19/20 11AM – 12 Noon ONLY.  No delivery.
As of January 1, 2021, the Food Pantry will suspend operations.  Alternate arrangements will be made for all recipients to transfer to another pantry.  Please contact Kathy Sorce or Pastor Margery for more information.

The Free Community Dinner provides take-out meals on the 1st & 3rd Saturday of each month.
Our next Free Community Dinner To-Go is on Saturday, December 19th.  Join us for a festive meal!

Covid-19 Update:  Session has voted to close the building until it is safer to gather.

Bell Choir: Rehearsals are held weekly after worship.

Prayer Requests:
You may email us at fpcwf2800@gmail.com or leave a voicemail message at (845)297-2800.
We will send out an email list during the week.

Pastoral Care:
If you would like to receive pastoral care, please call the church office at (845)297-2800 or call Pastor Margery directly at (914)539-5323.  Pastor Laurie is available 3-5 PM on weekdays. You can reach her at (845)632-1124 or by calling the church office.
Pastoral care will be offered by appointment only, either outdoors or in the church dining room, fellowship hall or sanctuary, to accommodate for social distancing.
Please let us know how else we can support your spiritual needs.

Offering of Our Gifts and Ourselves:
Thank you for continuing to honor your pledges during this time.  Whether you bring it to worship, send a check to the church office by mail or make your contribution using online banking, it is important that we maintain our ability to pay our bills as we continue to navigate this disruptive time as a church community.  Thank you for your generosity!