• UJCC

Order of Worship December 5, 2021

Updated: Jul 5

UJCC Sunday Worship Service

December 5, 2021 * 2nd Sunday of Advent

Jesus is much more concerned about shaking your foundations, giving you an utterly alternative self image, world image, and God image, and thus reframing your entire reality. Mere inspiration can never do this. -Richard Rohr


We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them. -C. West Churchman


Today we are trying to live stream our worship service on Facebook for the first time! Please bear with us if there are any technical issues. Otherwise, feel free to let us know if you have any suggestions as well!


Prelude

We recognize that some of you may have had a crazy week and need some space or quiet time. So, 5-10 minutes prior to the service, we will play some music that you can listen to while you meditate. You are more than welcome to talk to your neighbors, but please be mindful of others who need this moment of quiet and rest.

Words of Welcome

Around 10:30AM, our service will start. During this time, our worship leader will offer a greeting, introduce special guests, or provide important information for the service. Ultimately, we want to show how much we appreciate you joining us today despite your busy schedule.

Passing the Peace

Passing of the peace may merely seem like a time to greet one another. However, it also serves as a reminder of the peace that we have with God and the peace that we have with each other due to Jesus’ sacrifice. Feel free to greet one another by saying, “The peace of Christ be with you,” and respond by saying, “And also with you.” But you are strongly encouraged to check in on each other and meet new people as well.

Song of Centering Set - "We Gather Together" & "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"

In the same way that we get ready for a date, it is important for us to get ready to hear God’s Word. So, during the songs of centering, we intentionally try to lay aside our busy lives, worries, and distractions in order to focus on God. For if we have too much noise in our minds, this can leave little room for God. Please feel free to sit quietly in meditation, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, sing along, or use your body as you are able.

Call To Worship

In the call to worship, there is a call and a response. God calls us and we are supposed to respond accordingly.

Leader: In these darkening days,

All: we come seeking peace.

Leader: We seek serenity within ourselves.

All: We seek harmony within our families.

Leader: We seek goodwill among our neighbors.

All: We seek a ceasefire among all nations.

Leader: We seek not just the absence of conflict,

All: But the presence of shalom–

Leader: the abiding peace

All: the healing life

Leader: the unrelenting justice

All: that God calls us to in Christ.

All: Let us worship with Divine hope.

Lighting of the Advent Candles

Four weeks prior to Christmas, we celebrate a time called Advent. During Advent, we intentionally try to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. Every week we light one candle until Christmas when we celebrate the birth and life of Jesus Christ. Feel free to read along or meditate on the words below:

Reader: We light this candle of peace,

All: Reflecting on the proclamation of John the Baptist more than 2,000 years ago and working to spread the good news today.

Reader: We light this candle of peace,

All: Working toward and crying out for a world where everyone’s basic needs are met.


Reader: We light this candle of peace,


All: Smoothing the rough ways and making paths in order to end discrimination and persecution.


Reader: We light this candle of peace,


All: Awaiting the arrival of Jesus Christ, light of the world. There are shadows everywhere. Be the light.

Sermon - "Shaking Things Up"

We believe God still speaks to us today through the Bible, people, and many other sources as well. As a result, we listen to Rev. Akiko during this time and try to discern what God is trying to tell us through his message. Feel free to listen, take notes, or meditate on something that stuck out to you. Here is the Scripture text that Rev. Akiko will be reading from today:


Luke 1:8-20

Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, 9he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. 10Now at the time of the incense-offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. 13But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. 14You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. 16He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’ 18Zechariah said to the angel, ‘How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.’ 19The angel replied, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.’


Song of Reflection - "Day By Day"

It is our responsibility to respond to God’s message. So, the song after the sermon gives us a little more time to digest God’s message and think about how we can respond appropriately. So, feel free to meditate on the message, pray, or simply enjoy the music.

Holy Communion

Every first Sunday of the month, we celebrate communion. Communion is a practice that Jesus taught the disciples. It reminds us of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. During this time, feel free to meditate on the following questions as you wait for your turn to receive the elements :

1) What were the best parts of my week? What were the worst parts?

2) What areas of my life do I still need to surrender to Jesus?

3) Did I wrong anyone recently? If so, how can I make amends?

4) Through Jesus, we have hope. How is this hope apparent in your life?

Joys and Concerns

We believe God hears and answers our prayers. Not only that, but we believe in praying together so that we can encourage and support those going through difficult times, or celebrate our many blessings. For we are all God’s family. When one of us suffers, we all suffer. When one of us rejoices, we all rejoice. You are not alone. If you have any prayer requests, feel free to raise your hand until Rev. Akiko calls on you. After each prayer request, Rev. Akiko will say “O God of mercy” and everyone responds, “This is our prayer.” Finally, once all the prayer requests have been heard, Rev. Akiko will close us with a final prayer followed by the Lord’s prayer. If you do not know the Lord’s prayer, it will be up on the slideshow for you.

Announcements

The announcements provide opportunities for us to put our faith into action throughout the week. Please try to see if anything interests you or challenge yourself to try something new. Volunteering is a great way to bless others, but we are often blessed ourselves in the process.

Song of Sending - “Great Is Thy Faithfulness"

The song of sending forth prepares our hearts to go back out into the world. You can use this song as a final opportunity to decide how to respond to the message, pray for God’s guidance, or simply enjoy the music by humming along.

Benediction

Benediction is another word for blessing. It is a short prayer said in order to bless everyone as we get ready to go back out into the world. Feel free to close your eyes and receive the blessing so that you may be strengthened and encouraged.


Recessional - “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus"

This is the final ending song for the worship service. Once the song is finished, feel free to get up from your seat, talk with your neighbors, get some more information in the church entrance, attend small group, or return home.

You are invited to the spiritual practice of returning thanks to God; the offering box is located by the main sanctuary doors. You can also try our online giving option HERE. Thank you and peace be with you!


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