UJCC Sunday House Worship Service
November 28, 2021 * 1st Sunday of Advent
The Peace of Christ be with you! You are invited to use the following prayers & order of worship as we lift our hearts to God together!
Today is the First Sunday of Advent, when we light the candle of Hope.You are invited to use the liturgy below as you light this candle; don’t worry if you don’t have a purple candle.Any color is fine!May it be a reminder of the hope we wait for in the birth of the Christ Child
“We cannot experience the full joy of the coming Messiah without experiencing the Waiting.” -Laurie Acker
Call To Worship
We come to prepare the way; The way for Christ – the hope of Christ, the peace of Christ – to enter our world, to enter our hearts. We cry out together in the wilderness: The kingdom of heaven has come near. We come to be part of the light– the light that shines in the darkness. (jh)
Lighting of the Advent Wreath
Reader One: We light this candle in HOPE. [1 purple candle is lit.] We bring this light of hope with us, together, on this journey.
Reader Two: Hope comes from the Child and our hope is dedicated to the Child lying in a manger. Seeking goodness only, for our neighbors and for ourselves, may we kindle God’s light of hope within us. Please join us in unison prayer:
All: Good and gracious God, God of darkness and light, God of hope and fear, help us take one step closer to you, toward the joy of unity with you. In this candle light, show us that the power of hope silences doubts and fears. Take this light, small but mighty, and magnify it within us until our hope chases away all shadows around our church, our community, our nations, and our world. Amen. (jf)
Songs of Centering "Forever" Nathan Nakamura
"Do It Again"
We Humbly Adore and Receive
Children’s Time Marcia Chung
Sermon “From Distraction to Contemplation” Rev. Akiko Miyake-Stoner
Time of Reflection (these prompts are also included in the above reflection video.)
5 For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
In difficult times, what gives you hope? Write it on a post-it and place it on your bathroom mirror to remind you of the hope Christ brings.
In this Advent season, when you find yourself getting impatient waiting in line or at the grocery store, make a commitment to use that time for reflection. What are some things you can reflect upon in those moments? Write that on a post-it too and place it on the dashboard of your car as a reminder to be hopeful in impatient moments.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Take some time for stillness and contemplation. Take some deep breaths; inhale for 7 counts, then exhale for 7 counts.
In a prayer journal or on a piece of paper, write the prayers on your heart. Write down prayers for people, places, and situations that need peace. You can also draw pictures if you’d like. Take some time in prayer, either alone or with another person. Pray for peace in this season of waiting. Pray for the peace of Christ to be evident to those who are struggling. Give thanks for God’s peace that passes human understanding.
Joy is defined as “gladness and deep delight inside our hearts.”
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Look up a few jokes on the internet. Share them with another person. Laugh together. Reflect on what brings you joy. Have a piece of candy or dessert to remind you of the sweet joy Jesus brings. Share a piece with a neighbor or friend.
When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ 37He said to him, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” 38This is the greatest and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’
What are some ways you can show love? Write or draw them on a slip of long paper make a chain with all the ways!
The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ 34Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ 35The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.
What gift can you give the Christ child? How will you prepare your heart for his coming? Pray about this.
Song of Sending "Unchanging" Nathan Nakamura
You are invited to continue your spiritual practice of giving to the church. Please either mail your offering to the church (136 N. Villa Ave., Clovis, CA 93612) or try our online giving option (LINK HERE). Thank you!
Doxology Youth Band
Joys and Concerns & Time of Prayer
You are invited to share your joys and concerns with one another using our usual format:
Person lifting the prayer: “O God of Mercy;” everyone’s response: “This is our prayer.”
After you share your joys and concerns, go around the circle and offer prayer, praying freely or using this format:
“God, I thank you for…” and “God, I ask for…”
You are invited to close together with The Lord’s Prayer.
Postlude "Go Now In Peace" Nathan Nakamura
Worship Resources: (jh) Joanna Harader, “Call To Worship: Prepare The Way,” https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2015/12/call-to-worship-prepare-way.html; (jf) Jack Ferrell “Lighting the Advent Candle,” slightly adapted; from “Love Shines Through: The Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund 2015 Offering Guide” from the United Church of Christ