UJCC Sunday Worship Service
January 2, 2022 * 2nd Sunday After Christmas
Hope-for-peace Child, God's stupendous sign,
down-to-earth Child, Star of stars that shine,
This year, this year, let the day arrive when Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive!
-Lyrics from Star Child, by Shirley Erena Murray
You are invited to the spiritual practice of returning thanks to God. You can try our online giving option HERE. Thank you and peace be with you!
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. Otherwise, feel free to let us know that you're here by saying hi in the chat!
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. Please take this time to greet one another in the chat!
Song of Centering - "We Three Kings"
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: Light! Light, light and more light!
Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of God has risen upon you.
All: Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Leader: When Jesus was born in Bethlehem,
wise men came from the East, saying:
Where is he who is born king of the Jews?
All: For we have seen his star in the East,
and have come to worship him.
Leader: The wonderful light of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
All: And also with you.
Children's Time - Hannah Nii (projected)
At UJCC, we love young families and children! So, whenever we have family worship, we develop short, fun, and easy to understand videos that people of all ages can enjoy.
Sermon - "Light! Light! Light! And More Light!”
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. Vickie Healy 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. Vickie Healy will be reading from today:
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
Song of Reflection - "Star Child"
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.
We believe that it is important to remember what Jesus has done in the past, continues to do in the present, and will do in the future by carrying on the tradition of communion that He started with His disciples. All are invited to join us in this practice! When it is your turn, feel free to approach the altar in order to receive some bread and juice. Once you take it back to your seat, you can eat and drink when you are ready. We will also be reading this together:
All: Creator God
Leader: swirling, formless one, hovering over creation and bringing new things to life you speak new worlds into being with language that creates and liberates
All: Eternal God
Leader: living, limitless one inhabiting the vast universe with the rich complexity of your being you reveal yourself to your creatures and invite us to know you
All: Friendly God
Leader: nurturing, welcoming one opening yourself wide to the joy and pain of loving your people you place us in communities and families that echo your true nature
(pause to think about the language we instinctively use for God)
Leader: Holy God
All: We thank you for the ways in which we have known and understood you; we thank you for the metaphors that have opened our eyes to more of who you are; we thank you for the language that has brought the transcendent, timeless, mysterious God within our grasp.
Leader: Holy God
All: We are hungry for more of you. We ask you to reveal more of yourself to us; to take us beyond the confines of familiar habits; to free us from the restrictions and distortions of our language; to expand our understanding of you so that we can love you whole heartedly; we can communicate you faithfully; and we can reflect your full image to a world that needs you. Amen.
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. Vickie Healy calls on you. After each prayer request, Rev. Vickie Healy will say “O God of mercy” and everyone responds, “This is our prayer.” Finally, once all the prayer requests have been heard, Rev. Vickie Healy 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. If you have any prayer requests, please let us know in the chat!
We are blessed that our choir is able to meet virtually and share their wonderful voices with us. Please feel free to enjoy all of their hard work!
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 - "O Come, All Ye Faithful"
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 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.
Postlude - "Joy To The World"
This is the final ending song for the worship service. Once the song is finished, feel free to offer some final greetings in the chat or go about the rest of your day!
Worship Resource: (cj) Christine Jerrett, “Call To Worship for Christmas,” https://christinejerrett.wordpress.com/, slightly adapted