First Sunday in Advent

Welcome to Woodland! We’re glad you’re joining us this morning. Take a look at this week’s announcements, and be sure to fill out the visitor card at

You’re invited to rise in body or spirit for items in the bulletin marked with an asterisk*, and respond with the congregation for text that is bold. For now, sit back and relax as we begin the service.



As we begin to worship, let us take a moment to center ourselves, remembering the waters of our baptism: 

In Baptism, we were joined to Christ and made members of one body. In the community of the people of God, we have learned of God’s purpose for us and for all creation.

*Call to Worship

The days are surely coming, says the Holy One, 
when I will fulfill my promise to my people. 

Justice and righteousness will fill the land,  
and all will live in peace and safety. 

Candle Lighting

… and justice and righteousness shall be executed in the land. 
Come, Christ Jesus, Come!

*Hymn #104

“O Lord, How Shall I Meet You?”

*Prayer of Confession

Holy God,
we have long awaited the time
when all Creation is filled with your justice,
lovingkindness, and peace.
But we anticipate your coming,
to put right all that is wrong in our world,
with a complex mix of hope, joy, anxiety, and reluctance –
because we realize that we are often complicit
in many of the wrongs that need to be righted,
and fear that our lives will be changed
in ways we do not want.
Help us face with courage and humility
our struggle to be the people you call us to be,
and empower us by your Spirit to begin anew
the effort to embody more fully in our lives
your love for all Creation –
which we see embodied in Christ Jesus,
your Beloved, Anointed One.

Silent Confession

*Hymn 90

Wait for the Lord, whose day is near.
Wait for the Lord, be strong; take heart!

(repeat all x3)

*Assurance of Grace

In this season of waiting, the Good News is this: mercy, new life, hope, and joy are the gifts we receive from our God. 

Thanks be to the God of Advent, who is with us now and always, and who will come again in glory! Amen. 

*Passing of the Peace

Since we have hope in the peace of Christ, let us love one another and rejoice. The peace of Christ be with you. 

And also with you.

The congregation is invited to exchange signs of peace.


Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Gloria in excelsis Deo!


Scripture Reading

For the word of God in scripture, for the word of God among us, for the word of God within us,  
Thanks be to God.


Kendra Ketter Chavis is an ordained minister, speaker and writer. She completed her Master of Divinity degree at Princeton Theological Seminary.

She served as Director of Operations and an Associate Minister at Change Church in Ewing, NJ. Kendra recently concluded pulpit and pastoral care leadership at Memorial West United Presbyterian Church in Newark, NJ.


*Hymn #352

My Lord! What a Morning!


Meredith Cox, special music


Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise God all creatures high and low
Praise God in Jesus fully known
Creator, Word, and Spirit, one.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Holy Communion

Invitation & Thanksgiving

Lift up your hearts, 
We lift them up to God. 
Let us give thanks to God. 
It is right to give God thanks and praise.

(The prayer continues)

we worship and adore your glorious name, praising you forevermore: 

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Indeed, we give thanks to you in all things, O God, saying:

Our Father-Mother, 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 sins, as we forgive the sins of others. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

The Words of Institution

Sharing of the Bread and Cup

*Hymn #357

The Days Are Surely Coming

Dismissal & Postlude