The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Together with Christians around the globe, we are now in the four-week, ancient celebration of Advent. Advent is a time of communal and personal examination, preparation, and hopeful, expectant waiting of the coming of God’s justice in the world.

PRELUDE Shepherd Pipes JOHNSON

*ADVENT PROPHECY  Isaiah 7:11-16 (insert)

LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLES (insert)

*HYMN Watchman, Tell Us of the Night (insert) ST. GEORGE’S WINDSOR

*INVITATION TO CONFESSION

Our God is a welcoming God of refuge, and all are invited to let loose their burdens in this morning’s confession.

*PRAYER OF CONFESSION

God of Interruptions,
we welcome you into our lives, asking that you call our attention to what’s new and urgent alongside what’s old and still worthy of our consideration.
In the vast diversity of your Creation, we understand that advocacy is a complicated thing.
Keep us responsive to the needs of our siblings, all people;
and where we have developed for-granted truths, interrupt us—Let us know that we took them.
Guide us, O God, as we shuffle, bend, and learn, always striving to more faithfully follow the way of Christ, your Beloved, Anointed One. Amen.

(Silent confession.)

CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE:

*HYMN 102 Savior of the Nations, Come, vs. 1 NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILAND

Savior of the nations, come;
virgin’s son, make here your home.
Marvel now, O heaven and earth,
that the Lord chose such a birth.

*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 been reconciled to God, let us now be reconciled to one another.

The peace of Christ be with you.
And also with you.

(The congregation is invited to exchange signs of peace.)

CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE

*HYMN 95 Prepare the Way of the Lord (sing twice) PREPARE THE WAY

Prepare the way of the Lord. Prepare the way
of the Lord, and all people will see the
salvation of our God.

SCRIPTURE READING

JOHN 3:12-17

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.

SERMON

“Descending for Love” Jude Romines

*HYMN 105 People, Look East, vs. 1&5 BESANCON

PRAYERS OF SUPPLICATION AND INTERCESSION

O God, in your lovingkindness:
Hear our prayer.

OFFERING                         The Boy Child of Mary

In addition to the offering plate, you may
give electronically through the Give-lify app
or our website’s donation page.


*DOXOLOGY VENI EMMANUEL

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.

PRAYER OF 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.

Disruptive God, we thank you for discomfort. Life is messy. Truths can be hard to swallow. And sometimes it feels like the more we lean into your Word, the more we notice pain, toil, and suffering.

We are grateful, God, for the ways you alert us, keeping us mindful of the needs of others and the consequences of our actions.

Keep us aware, O God, keep us uncomfortable, so that we may recognize and challenge wrongdoings, seeking justice for all people;

We give thanks to you in all things as we pray, saying:

The LORD’S PRAYER, as we
call it here, can be found on the
back cover of your hymnal.


*HYMN 113 Angels We Have Heard on High GLORIA

*DISMISSAL

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, that we may abound in hope by the power of God’s holy Spirit. Amen.

Let us go forth in the name and Spirit of Christ Jesus. Thanks be to God.

POSTLUDE Old English Carol FEDAK


We’d like to thank those who served in and prepared worship today:

Jude Romines, Preacher
Bill Maul, Music Director
Greg Gardner, Liturgist
Woodland Vocal Ensemble, Special Music

The Longest Night

WELCOME

PRELUDE                      Still, Still, Still                                                                STILL, STILL, STILL

OPENING LITANY

One:     Jesus said, “Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”  And so we invite each other to this time of peaceful worship.  Flee for a while from your tasks;

All:      Hide yourself for a little space from the turmoil of your thoughts.

One:     Come, cast aside your burdensome cares and put aside your laborious pursuits.

All:      Give your time to God, and rest in God for a little while.

HYMN                          Nothing Can Trouble     #820                                         NADA TE TURBE

Noth-ing can trou-ble; noth-ing can fright-en.
Those who seek God shall nev-er go want-ing.
Noth-ing can trou-ble; noth-ing can fright-en.
God a-lone fills us.        (3x)

PRAYER OF LAMENT

Psalm 13, 74 and 79

One:     Do not remember against us the sins of our ancestors; 
let your compassion come quickly to meet us, for we are brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and forgive us, for your name’s sake.
Why should the world say, “Where is their God?”

All:      Sometimes our world seems dark and we feel alone.
We grasp for help, 
often seeking solutions that end up hurting us even more.
Hear our cry, O God of mercy.

One:     How long, O Holy One? Will you always forget me?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I scheme just to survive, my mind in anguish every day?
How long will my enemy rise against me?

All:      Sometimes things fall apart; we are hurt and confused.
We look for guidance and turn to those who lead us astray.
See our dilemma, O Holy One of hope!

One:     Respect your covenant; for the dark places of the land are full of violence.
Do not let the humble be disgraced; let the poor and needy praise your
name. Arise, O God, plead my cause; remember how fools scoff at you all day! 
Do not forget the cry of your foes, in constant uproar, rebelling against you.

All:      We are tempted to trust only ourselves; we are angry and fearful.
We call on you, even demand that you hear our prayers.
For you are the one who created us.

ASSURANCE 

Psalm 46:1–5

One:   God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
            Therefore we will not fear if the earth should change,
            though the mountains shake in the middle of the sea;
            Though its waves roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its chaos. 
            There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the Holy home of the
Most High. 
            God is in the middle of her, she shall not be moved; God will help her quickly.

 SCRIPTURE       John 1: 1-5, 10-14, 16-18   

HYMN                          Wait for the Lord          #90                              WAIT FOR THE LORD

            Wait for the Lord, whose day is near.
            Wait for the Lord; be strong; take heart.  (3x)

LIGHTING OF ADVENT CANDLES AND LITANY OF REMEMBRANCE

One:     We light this Advent candle to remember those persons who have been loved and lost. We pause to remember their name, their face, their voice. We give thanks for the memory that binds them to us this season which anticipates Christmas.

All:      May God’s eternal love surround them.

Sing:    O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel,

            That mourns in lowly exile here until the Son of God appear.

            Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Silent Reflection and Prayer

One:     We light this second candle to redeem the pain of loss: the loss of relationships, the loss of jobs, the loss of health. As we gather up the pain of the past, we offer it to You, O God, asking that into our open hands, You will place the gift of peace.

All:      Refresh, restore, renew us, O God, and lead us into your future.

Sing:    O come, strong branch of Jesse, free your own from Satan’s tyranny;

            From depths of hell your people save and give them victory o’er the grave.

            Rejoice!  Rejoice!   Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Silent Reflection and Prayer

One:     We light this third candle to remember ourselves this Christmas time. We pause and remember the past weeks, months and for some of us, years of down times. We remember the poignancy of memories, the grief, the sadness, the hurts, the pain of reflecting on our own mortality.

All:      Let us remember that dawn defeats darkness.

Sing:    O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer our spirits by thine advent here;
            Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight.
            Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Silent Reflection and Prayer

One:     This fourth candle is lit to remember our faith and the gift of hope which God offers to us in the Christmas story. We remember that God who shares our life, promises us a place and time of no more pain and suffering.

All:      Let us remember the one who shows the way and who goes with us into our tomorrows.

Sing:    O come, Desire of nations, bind all peoples in one heart and mind;
            Bid envy, strife, and discord cease; fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.
            Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

PRAYERS OF THE COMMUNITY

HYMN              O Lord, Hear My Prayer             #471                 HEAR MY PRAYER

            O Lord, hear my prayer. O Lord, hear my prayer.
            When I call, an-swer me.
O Lord, hear my prayer. O Lord, hear my prayer.           
Come and lis-ten to me.

THE BLESSING AND AFFIRMATION OF HOPE  

“First Coming” by Madeline L’Engle 

 One:     God did not wait until the world was ready, ‘til…nations were at peace.

All:      God came when the Heavens were unsteady and prisoners cried out for release.

One:     God did not wait for the perfect time.

All:      God came when the need was deep and great.  God dined with sinners in all their grime, turned water into wine.

One:     God did not wait till hearts were pure.

All:      In joy, God came to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.  To a world like ours, of anguished shame, God came and God’s light would not go out.

One:     God came to a world which did not mesh; to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.

All:      In the mystery of the Word made flesh, the maker of the stars was born.

One:     We cannot wait till the world is sane to raise our songs with joyful voice, or to share our grief, to touch our pain.

All:      God came with love: Rejoice!  Rejoice!

HYMN              Goodness is Stronger than Evil   #750                 GOODNESS IS STRONGER

BENEDICTION

Beloved, the Holy One approaches.
God will lead us out of this present wilderness.
God will lead us out of this momentary desert, where we feel alone and afraid.
God will lead us up out of the valleys and beyond the rough places.
Be strong. Take heart.
Until that time, may our darkness serve as only the backdrop of the approaching promise.
On this winter solstice, be reminded that the light now grows a little warmer.
Go knowing that God is with us, leading us on, leading us home, leading us to light.

Amen.

*Parts of this service have been adapted from the work of Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell at http://rev-o-lution.org and Trinity Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN.

The Second Sunday of Advent

Together with Christians around the globe, we are now in the four-week, ancient celebration of Advent.

Advent is a time of communal and personal examination, preparation, and hopeful, expectant waiting of the coming of God’s justice in the world.

PRELUDE O Come, O Come, Emmanuel Arr. Broud

*ADVENT PROPHECY  Isaiah 11:1-9 (insert)

LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLES (insert)

*HYMN 109 Blest Be the God of Israel MERLE’S TUNE

*INVITATION TO CONFESSION

Beloved companions in this journey of Advent, in this season of expectancy and waiting, we are offered space and encouragement to stop pretending everything is “fine,” and to admit that we sometimes need help. We are invited to drop the often unbearable burden of optimism, the illusion of complete self-sufficiency, and to get real about the enormity of the world’s problems. Only then are we able to choose the more substantive, sustainable and bearable Hope. With boldness and assurance, let us approach our ever-faithful God in this morning’s prayer of confession.

*PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Surprising God, we confess that our sense of anticipation has often been dulled, and we sometimes struggle to accept your wonders, too often not seeing the marvels around us in the people and the happenings we view as commonplace. Move us, O God, from those stuck and isolated places, and send your redeeming Light, that it may shine through us to the needs of others, giving us courage to follow more faithfully the way of your justice as embodied in Christ Jesus, your Beloved, Anointed One. Amen.

Silent confession.

*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE

*HYMN 102 Savior of the Nations, Come, vs. 1
NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILAND

Savior of the nations, come;
virgin’s son, make here your home.
Marvel now, O heaven and earth,
that the Lord chose such a birth.

*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 been reconciled to God, let us also be reconciled to one another.

The peace of Christ be with you.
And also with you.

(The congregation is invited to exchange signs of peace.)

*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE:                

*HYMN 95              Prepare the Way of the Lord (sing twice) PREPARE THE WAY

Prepare the way of the Lord. Prepare the way of the Lord,
and all people will see the salvation of our God.

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.          

SERMON                                                                                                     Paige Huggins

*HYMN 109 Come Now, O Prince of Peace O-SO-SO

PRAYERS OF SUPPLICATION AND INTERCESSION

O God, in your lovingkindness,
         Hear our prayer.

*HYMN 764 For the Troubles and the Suffering PELAS DORES DESTE MUNDO

OFFERING The People Who Walked in Darkness ISAIAH 96

*DOXOLOGY                                                        VENI EMMANUEL

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.

COMMISSIONING+                                        Hannah Rae Melis

Precious Creator, in Jesus Christ you called your disciples and, by the Holy Spirit, made them one church to serve you. Be with Hannah Rae as she embraces the opportunity to follow your call, travelling across the great oceans of Creation to continue studying and respecting your Word. Help her open her heart to meaningful experiences and friendships, always seeking to use her talents to lift up others. And even as Hannah Rae empowers those around her, keep her mindful of the value of slowing down and the importance of self-love and care. Gracious God, let your spirit guide Hannah Rae so that the whole church may be joined in love and service to Jesus Christ, who, having gone before us, is coming to meet us in the promise of your kingdom. Amen.

PRAYER OF 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 give thanks to you in all things, O God, as we pray, saying:

Our FatherMother, 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.

**HYMN 144 In the Bleak Midwinter CRANHAM

*DISMISSAL

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, that we may abound in hope by the power of God’s holy Spirit. Amen.

Let us go forth in the name and Spirit of Christ Jesus.
Thanks be to God.

  POSTLUDE From Heaven Above to Earth I Come Kauffmann

*Please rise in body or in spirit.
+ Adapted from the Book of Common Worship

***
The Session of the Church:
Class of 2019: Mark Taylor, Brett Withers
Class of 2020: Alan Stephenson, Tom Eldridge
Class of 2021: Greg Gardner, Rachel Harley
Melinda Sanders, Moderator

We thank those who served in and prepared for worship today:

Paige Huggins, Preacher
Woodland Vocal Ensemble, Special Music  
Bill Maul, Music Director
Eliza Blades, Liturgist

Stewardship Sunday

We begin and prepare for worship by centering ourselves, remembering the waters of baptism.

In baptism, we are joined to Christ and made members of one body, a people seeking to live faithfully into God’s purpose for us and for all creation.

PRELUDE                                    Now Thank We All Our God

*CALL TO WORSHIP  From Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
The Holy One of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.

*HYMN 712                 As Those of Old Their Firstfruits Brought

*INVITATION TO CONFESSION

Precious and boundless Creator, we come to you fearlessly, armed with the knowledge that relief from our burdens is not a privilege to be earned but an indiscriminate blessing. Emboldened by the teachings of Christ, we recognize that all people—no matter their individual guilts, shortcomings, or obstacles—are worthy of this blessing. In full assurance of faith, we embrace this most basic of human rights. Let us pray.

*PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Holy God, in Christ Jesus you show us how to share freely and fully with others all the resources which come to us from you. We confess our deep tendency to keep for ourselves more than we really need, and to overestimate how much we need. Help us to experience more often the surprising truth that when we share with others what seems preciously scarce to us, we find that everyone has more of what they really need. And give us greater courage and commitment in following more faithfully the way of boundless self-giving embodied in your Beloved, Anointed One. Amen.

(Silent confession.)

*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE:

HYMN 437 You Are the Lord

(Sung once by cantor;
congregation joins second time.)

*ASSURANCE OF GRACE+

“When you start to feel like things should have been better this year, remember the mountains and valleys that got you here. They are not accidents, and those moments weren’t in vain. You are not the same. You have grown and you are growing. You are breathing, you are living, you are wrapped in endless, boundless grace. And things will get better. There is more to you than yesterday.”

Believe the Good News of the Gospel.
In Jesus Christ we are loved and befriended by God.

*PASSING OF THE PEACE

Since we have been reconciled to God, let us also be reconciled to one another.

The peace of Christ be with you.
And also with you.

(The congregation is invited to exchange signs of peace.)

*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE:

HYMN 693 The Gift of Love, verse 3

Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control,
our spirits long to be made whole.
Let inward love guide every deed;
by this we worship, and are freed.

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.                     

SERMON – Meredith Cox

*HYMN 36                                        For the Fruit of All Creation

PRAYERS OF SUPPLICATION AND INTERCESSION

O God, in your lovingkindness,
         Hear our prayer.

OFFERING                              Every Valley Should Be Exalted

There are three ways to give:

  1. Through the offering plate.
  2. Through the “Give-lify” app.
  3. By clicking the “donate” button on woodlandnash.org.

*DOXOLOGY  [LAAST UNS ERFREUEN]

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.
Praise God, all creatures high and low.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise God, in Jesus fully known:
Creator, Word, and Spirit one.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

PRAYER OF 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.

O God,
through Jesus Christ
you richly bless us with all that we need,
bread from the earth and the bread of heaven,
which gives life to the world.
Grant us one thing more:
grateful hearts to sing your praise,
in this world and the world to come.

We give thanks to you in all things, O God, as we pray, 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.

*HYMN 367                            Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

*DISMISSAL

POSTLUDE                                                  Praise to the Lord

*Please rise in body or in spirit.

+ “There is More to You Than Yesterday” – Morgan Harper Nichols

***
The Session of the Church:
Class of 2019: Mark Taylor, Brett Withers
Class of 2020: Alan Stephenson, Tom Eldridge
Class of 2021: Greg Gardner, Rachel Harley
Melinda Sanders, Moderator

We thank those who served in and prepared for worship today:

Meredith Cox, Preacher    
Bill Maul, Music Director
Scott Sauers, Special Music
Liturgist, Elizabeth Welliver

The Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

We begin and prepare for worship by centering ourselves, remembering the waters of baptism.

In baptism, we are joined to Christ and made members of one body, a people seeking to live faithfully into God’s purpose for us and for all creation.

PRELUDE                                           Lord of All Hopefulness

*CALL TO WORSHIP  From Psalm 98

O sing to the HOLY ONE a new song!
for God has done marvelous things.
Make a joyful noise to the HOLY ONE, all earth.
break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
God will see the world with righteousness
           and the peoples with equity.

*HYMN 401                                                          Gather Us In

*INVITATION TO CONFESSION

Our God is a welcoming God of refuge, and all are invited to let loose their burdens in this morning’s confession.

*PRAYER OF CONFESSION

God of Interruptions, we welcome you into our lives, asking that you call our attention to what’s new and urgent alongside what’s old and still worthy of our consideration.

In the vast diversity of your Creation, we understand that advocacy is a complicated thing. Keep us responsive to the needs of our siblings, all people; and where we have developed for-granted truths, interrupt us—Let us know that we took them.

Guide us, O God, as we shuffle, bend, and learn,
always striving to more faithfully follow the way of Christ,
your Beloved, Anointed One. Amen.

(Silent confession.)

*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE:

HYMN 437 You Are the Lord

(Sung once by cantor;
congregation joins second time.)

*ASSURANCE OF GRACE

From the Peace Prayer of St. Francis:

“…O Divine [One], grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

Believe the Good News of the Gospel.
In Jesus Christ we are loved and befriended by God.

*PASSING OF THE PEACE

Since we have been reconciled to God, let us also be reconciled to one another.

The peace of Christ be with you.
And also with you.

(The congregation is invited to exchange signs of peace.)

*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE:

HYMN 693 The Gift of Love, verse 3

Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control,
our spirits long to be made whole.
Let inward love guide every deed;
by this we worship, and are freed.

SCRIPTURE READING                 1 PETER 5:1-5; EXODUS 18:13-25

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.               

SERMON

“I’m Just a Ruling Elder” – Robin Thomas

*HYMN                            Young Joseph the Dreamer (handout)

PRAYERS OF SUPPLICATION AND INTERCESSION

O God, in your lovingkindness,
         Hear our prayer.

OFFERING                                                        The Sacrament

There are three ways to give:

  1. Through the offering plate.
  2. Through the “Give-lify” app.
  3. By clicking the “donate” button on woodlandnash.org.

*DOXOLOGY  [LAAST UNS ERFREUEN]

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.
Praise God, all creatures high and low.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise God, in Jesus fully known:
Creator, Word, and Spirit one.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

PRAYER OF 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.

God of life, we praise you for your abiding presence
from generation to generation,
blessing your people,
strengthening us to lives of service,
empowering us to witness.

We give thanks to you in all things, O God, as we pray, saying:

The LORD’S PRAYER, as most of us here say it, can be found on the back cover of your hymnal.

*HYMN 343                    Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life

*DISMISSAL

POSTLUDE                                                        Festal Finale

*Please rise in body or in spirit.

***

The Session of the Church:
Class of 2019: Mark Taylor, Brett Withers
Class of 2020: Alan Stephenson, Tom Eldridge
Class of 2021: Greg Gardner, Rachel Harley
Melinda Sanders, Moderator

We thank those who served in and prepared for worship today:

Robin Thomas, Preacher  
Bill Maul, Music Director
Rhea Borzak, Liturgist

All Saints Sunday

All Saints’ Day is a time to rejoice in all who through the ages have faithfully served the Holy One. The day reminds us that we are part of one continuing, living communion of saints.


We begin and prepare for worship by centering ourselves, remembering the waters of baptism.

In baptism, we are joined to Christ and made members of one body, a people seeking to live faithfully into God’s purpose for us and for all creation.

PRELUDE

“How Bright These Glorious Spirits Shine”

(During the hymn, you are invited to light a candle or candles on behalf of the saints in your life who have gone before you. When the person in front of you has finished lighting candles, carefully pass the taper to the next person in line.)

*CALL TO WORSHIP Lines from Psalm 113

Praise the Holy One!
Praise, O servants of the Holy One;
 praise the name of the Holy One.

Blessed be the name of the Holy One
from this time on and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
the name of the Holy One is to be praised.
The Holy One is high above all nations,
and God’s glory above the heavens.
God raises the poor from the dust,
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
Praise the Holy One!

*HYMN 326 For All the Saints

*INVITATION TO CONFESSION

With humble hearts and open minds, let us join together as one body through this morning’s prayer of confession.

*PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Holy God, through faithful people in every age you show us how to live by faith in you.

But we often ignore their good example, mistakenly thinking that we can live just as well without them.

Help us realize more fully how much we owe to all those who have gone before us in the life of faith.

Strengthen us by your Spirit, that we might follow more faithfully the way of your justice and lovingkindness embodied forever in Christ Jesus, your Beloved One.

Amen.

(Silent confession.)

*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE:

HYMN 437 You Are the Lord

(Sung once by cantor; congregation joins second time.)

*ASSURANCE OF GRACE

You are not broken, not to the point that you cannot be made whole. God works through all of us, and God is working in you, to bring healing and wholeness. Restoration is always possible. Renewal is always possible. Forgiveness is always available. Love always is present.

Believe in the Good News of the Gospel.
In Jesus Christ we are loved and befriended by God.

*PASSING OF THE PEACE

And since we have been reconciled to God, let us also be reconciled to one another.

The peace of Christ be with you.
And also with you.

(The congregation is invited to exchange signs of peace.)

*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE:

HYMN 693, verse 3

Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control,
our spirits long to be made whole.
Let inward love guide every deed;
by this we worship, and are freed.

SCRIPTURE READING  LUKE 23:43

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.                     

SERMON “Always Remember” Eric Holness

*HYMN 730 I Sing a Song of the Saints of God

INVITATION TO THE OFFERING

OFFERING

There are three ways to give:

  1. Through the offering plate.
  2. Through the “Give-lify” app.
  3. By clicking the “donate” button on the homepage of our website, woodlandnash.org.

*DOXOLOGY  [LAAST UNS ERFREUEN]

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.
Praise God, all creatures high and low.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise God, in Jesus fully known:
Creator, Word, and Spirit one.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

HOLY COMMUNION

INVITATION TO THE TABLE

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING             [INSERT]

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Eternal God,
we give you thanks for this holy mystery
in which you have given yourself to us.
Grant that we may go into the world
in the strength of your Spirit,
to give ourselves for others
in the name of Christ Jesus.

Amen.

*HYMN 732 Rejoice in God’s Saints

(sung to the tune of LYONS)

*DISMISSAL

POSTLUDE                        “Postlude in C Major”

(Please rise in body or in spirit.)

***
The Session of the Church:
Class of 2019: Mark Taylor, Brett Withers
Class of 2020: Alan Stephenson, Tom Eldridge
Class of 2021: Greg Gardner, Rachel Harley
Heidi Hall, Elder Emerita
Melinda Sanders, Moderator

We thank those who served in and prepared for worship today:

Eric Holness, Preacher
Kelli McClendon, Liturgist
Bill Maul, Music Director
Jeff Moles, Music Coordinator
Kim Smith, Offering Taker
Melissa Vargas, Offering Taker

Reformation Sunday

Reformation Sunday is an annual observance of the Protestant Reformation, marking when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door of the All Saints Church in Wittenburg, Germany, on All Hallow’s Eve, October 31, 1517.

We begin and prepare for worship by centering ourselves, remembering the waters of baptism.

In baptism, we are joined to Christ and made members of one body, a people seeking to live faithfully into God’s purpose for us and for all creation.

PRELUDE                                    “How Can I Keep From Singing?”

*CALL TO WORSHIP  Lines from Psalm 65

Praise is due to you,
O you who answer prayer!
            To you all flesh shall come.
            Happy are those whom you choose and bring near.
O God of our salvation,
            you are the hope of all the ends of the earth!
Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs.
            You make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy!

*HYMN 32                           I Sing the Almighty Power of God

*INVITATION TO CONFESSION

Now the righteousness of God has become manifest in Christ Jesus— for everyone, without distinction. In full assurance of faith, let us make our confession before God.

*PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Ever-present God, in every generation you call courageous people to bring change and reform to your church. We confess that the church tunes out voices of reform and we resist the call to change. We often choose comfort over challenge. We see the speck in our neighbor’s eye while ignoring the log in our own. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage. Forgive our accommodations to being less than faithful and coming up short on justice. Lead us forward on the path of faith, as loyal and grateful followers of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Silent confession.

*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE: HYMN 437 You Are the Lord

Sung once by cantor; congregation joins second time.

*ASSURANCE OF GRACE

Let us remember that kindness isn’t inertia, that resistance, while discouraging, doesn’t equal failure. On the grandest scales, momentum is subtle. But it’s there. It’s in the Christ’s breath pushing us forward and turning this world. Keep working your wonders, my friend. They matter.

Believe the Good News of the Gospel.
In Jesus Christ we are loved and befriended by God.

*PASSING OF THE PEACE

Since we have been reconciled to God, let us also be reconciled to one another.

The peace of Christ be with you.
And also with you.

The congregation is invited to exchange signs of peace.

*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE: HYMN 693, verse 3

Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control,
our spirits long to be made whole.
Let inward love guide every deed;
by this we worship, and are freed.

SCRIPTURE READING  PSALM 139: 7-12; JOHN 3:1-13

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.                     

SERMON “Curious Creativity” Emily Martin

*HYMN 301                                                      All Are Welcome

PRAYERS OF SUPPLICATION AND INTERCESSION

O God, in your lovingkindness,
         Hear our prayer.

INVITATION TO THE OFFERING

OFFERING                                           “When Peace Like a River”

There are three ways to give:

  1. Through the offering plate.
  2. Through the “Give-lify” app.
  3. By clicking the “donate” button on the homepage of our website, woodlandnash.org.

*DOXOLOGY  [LAAST UNS ERFREUEN]

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.
Praise God, all creatures high and low.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise God, in Jesus fully known:
Creator, Word, and Spirit one.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

PRAYER OF 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.

Compassionate and ever-loving God, we thank you for all the gifts of life. You are our dwelling place, and underneath all our lives are your everlasting arms. Help us to entrust ourselves to your never-failing love, so that we may live in the confidence, faith, and hope of Jesus Christ that you are at work in us and all things, bringing new life where there is brokenness, light where there is darkness, grace where there is despair. Embolden us to follow the way of Jesus as agents of your healing, peace, and love, and strengthen us as his beloved community, to live the prayer he taught us, saying:

THE LORD’S PRAYER as most of us here say it can be found inside the back cover of the hymnal.

*HYMN 694                                    Great God of Every Blessing

*DISMISSAL

POSTLUDE                                                            “Rigaudon”

*Please rise in body or in spirit.

***
The Session of the Church:
Class of 2019: Mark Taylor, Brett Withers
Class of 2020: Alan Stephenson, Tom Eldridge
Class of 2021: Greg Gardner, Rachel Harley
Heidi Hall, Elder Emerita
Melinda Sanders, Moderator

We thank those who served in and prepared for worship today:

Emily Martin, Preacher 
Jude Romines, Liturgist
Bill Maul, Music Director
Jeff Moles, Music Coordinator
Ashlan Jackson, Offering Taker
Jeremy Bradford, Special Music    

The Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

We begin and prepare for worship by centering ourselves, remembering the waters of baptism.

In baptism, we are joined to Christ and made members of one body, a people seeking to live faithfully into God’s purpose for us and for all creation.

PRELUDE                                                              Todd Moore

*CALL TO WORSHIP  From Psalm 9

I will give thanks to the Holy One with my whole heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
The Holy One is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Holy One, have not forsaken those who seek you.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
nor the hope of the poor perish forever.

*HYMN 10 Sing Glory to the Name of God

*INVITATION TO CONFESSION

*PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Precious Creator, you guide us through lives that challenge just as often as they delight. We admit that we are sometimes overcome by the ambiguity of this world: cruelty and pain can overshadow kindness and wonder, and darkness so often eclipses the light. O resilient and gracious God, in our times of uncertainty and hardship, allow us to lean into faith: faith for ourselves, faith for our siblings, and faith for you. Allow us to strive toward the ways of Christ, embracing faith to advocate for clarity, compassion, and productive action. Amen.

Silent confession.

*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE: HYMN 437 You Are the Lord

Sung once by cantor; congregation joins second time

*ASSURANCE OF GRACE

“I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something [I was told:] that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.”
— Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

Believe the Good News of the Gospel.
In Jesus Christ we are loved and befriended by God.

*PASSING OF THE PEACE

Since we have been reconciled to God, let us also be reconciled to one another.

The peace of Christ be with you.
And also with you.

The congregation is invited to exchange signs of peace.

*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE: HYMN 693, verse 3

Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control,
our spirits long to be made whole.
Let inward love guide every deed;
by this we worship, and are freed.

SCRIPTURE READING  LUKE 18:1-8; 2 TIMOTHY 3:14-4:5

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.          

SERMON “Keeping the Faith” Meredith Cox

*HYMN 42 Your Faithfulness, O Lord, Is Sure

PRAYERS OF SUPPLICATION AND INTERCESSION

O God, in your lovingkindness,
         Hear our prayer.

INVITATION TO THE OFFERING

OFFERING

There are three ways to give:

  1. Through the offering plate.
  2. Through the “Give-lify” app.
  3. By clicking the “donate” button on the homepage of our website, woodlandnash.org.

*DOXOLOGY  [LAAST UNS ERFREUEN]

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.
Praise God, all creatures high and low.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise God, in Jesus fully known:
Creator, Word, and Spirit one.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

PRAYER OF 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.

God of all mercies,
we give you humble thanks for all your goodness
and loving-kindness to us and to all people.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your boundless love
in the redemption of the world by Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.

Give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts
we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips but in our lives,
by giving up ourselves to your service,
and by walking before you all our days
through Jesus Christ to whom,
with you and the Holy Spirit,
be all honor and glory now and forever.

We give thanks to you, O God, as we pray together 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.

*HYMN 619 Praise, My Soul, the God of Heaven

*DISMISSAL

POSTLUDE                                             [POSTLUDE IN G MAJOR]

*Please rise in body or in spirit.

***
The Session of the Church:
Class of 2019: Mark Taylor, Brett Withers
Class of 2020: Alan Stephenson, Tom Eldridge
Class of 2021: Greg Gardner, Rachel Harley
Heidi Hall, Elder Emerita
Melinda Sanders, Moderator

We thank those who served in and prepared for worship today:

Meredith Cox, Preacher
Bill Maul, Music Director
Taylor Davenport, Liturgist
Todd Moore, Special Music  
Jeff Moles, Music Coordinator  
Abby Benson, Offering Taker  

The Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

We begin and prepare for worship by centering ourselves, remembering the waters of baptism.

In baptism, we are joined to Christ and made members of one body, a people seeking to live faithfully into God’s purpose for us and for all creation.

PRELUDE                                             [BROTHER JAMES’ AIRE]

*CALL TO WORSHIP  Lines from Psalm 66

Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
Sing the glory of God’s name;
Give to God glorious praise.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
All the earth worships you;|
They sing praises to you,
Sing praises in your name.
Come and see what God as done:
Bless our God, O peoples,
Let the sound of God’s praise be heard.

*HYMN 35 Praise Ye Lord

*INVITATION TO CONFESSION

*PRAYER OF CONFESSION

God of Stories: We confess that we are often unappreciative
of your fingerprints, scattered across this Earth, engraving our lives with perfect individuality. We confess that it is easy to rely too heavily on preconceptions of experience, influenced by gender, race, sexuality, and culture, to tell us the stories of our peers instead of asking them. Strengthen us, O God, so that we can strive to be like Christ, seeking, affirming, and listening to diverse stories. And honoring the incredible narrative of your Creation. Amen.

Silent confession.

*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE: HYMN 437
You Are the Lord

Sung once by cantor; congregation joins second time

*ASSURANCE OF GRACE^

“Tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light[…] Tell us what it is to be a woman so that we may know what it is to be a man. What moves at the margin. What it is to have no home in this place[…] Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. Language alone is meditation.”

Believe the Good News of the Gospel.
In Jesus Christ we are loved and befriended by God.

*PASSING OF THE PEACE

Since we have been reconciled to God, let us also be reconciled to one another.

The peace of Christ be with you.
And also with you.

The congregation is invited to exchange signs of peace.

*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE: HYMN 693, verse 3
The Gift of Love

SCRIPTURE READING 

EXODUS 1
RUTH 1:1-17

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.                      

SERMON “Stories of Resistance and Solidarity” Sarah Jordan

*HYMN 324 For All the Faithful Women

PRAYERS OF SUPPLICATION AND INTERCESSION

O God, in your lovingkindness,
         Hear our prayer.

INVITATION TO THE OFFERING

OFFERING                                                           [FLUTE DUET]

There are three ways to give:
1. Through the offering plate.
2. Through the “Give-lify” app.
3. By clicking the “donate” button on the homepage of our website, woodlandnash.org

*DOXOLOGY  [LAAST UNS ERFREUEN]

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.
Praise God, all creatures high and low.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise God, in Jesus fully known:
Creator, Word, and Spirit one.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

PRAYER OF 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.

Gracious God, we give you thanks for your abundant love. Whether we realize it or not, and whether we feel we deserve it or not – your beckoning love never fails to surround us and work within us wherever we are. May we embrace and explore what this means for us. In all things, we thank you, God.

We give thanks to you, O God, as we pray together 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.

*HYMN 440 Jesus Lover of My Soul

*DISMISSAL

POSTLUDE                                                         [TOCATTA IN G]

*Please rise in body or in spirit.

***

The Session of the Church:
Class of 2019: Mark Taylor, Brett Withers
Class of 2020: Alan Stephenson, Tom Eldridge
Class of 2021: Greg Gardner, Rachel Harley
Heidi Hall, Elder Emerita
Melinda Sanders, Moderator

We thank those who served in and prepared for worship today:

Sarah Jordan, Preacher   
Hannah Rae, Liturgist
Bill Maul, Music Director
Jeff Moles, Music Coordinator
Becky Goodman, Offering
Sara Staats, Offering  

World Communion Sunday

ANNOUNCEMENTS                 Emily Martin

CALL TO WORSHIP
(Based on Psalm 91)

Leader: The people who dwell in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

People: God is our refuge and our fortress, our God in whom we trust.

Leader: Only God will save us from the snares of life.

People: God covers us with feathers, and we find refuge under God’s wings.

Leader: Because God loves us, rescues us and protect us.

People: And when we call God, God answers, God fills us with life, and we can enjoy God’s salvation.

*HYMN 409 God is Here

*INVITATION TO CONFESSION

God knows our strengths and weaknesses, and calls us to leave our burdens. Trusting in the grace of God to free us and ease our minds, let us make our confession before God.

*PRAYER OF CONFESSION

We are so many people with so many diverse perspectives. Sometimes it is difficult to understand each other’s perspectives. Sometimes we avoid people with different ways of thinking and living because we believe that our path is the only one. But when we join together, we can see beauty and value in all perspectives. Strengthen us, God, so that we can strive to be like Christ, appreciating and affirming everyone. Amen.

*PERSONAL PRAYER OF CONFESSION

*RESPONSE: HYMN 811
           
Make Your Face to Shine

DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS

Christ lived for us, Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For anyone who is in Christ is becoming part of God’s New Creation. The old is finished, gone! Behold! New life has begun.

Friends, believe the good news of the gospel.
In Jesus Christ we are loved and befriended by God.

*PASSING OF THE PEACE

The peace of Christ be with you.
            And also with you.

*RESPONSE: HYMN 397 vs. 3
           
O Look and Wonder

SCRIPTURE READING Matthew 18:15-17, 20-22; Psalm 149:1-6

SERMON “Two or Three” Mark DeVries

*HYMN 532 Sheaves of Wheat

TITHES AND OFFERINGS

*DOXOLOGY

GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING+
[INSERT +]

THE LORD’S PRAYER+

BREAKING OF THE BREAD

COMMUNION

*PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

May this bread and fruit of the vine nourish us so that we may grow in the faith and knowledge that in you, we are one. Amen.

*HYMN 318 In Christ There Is No East or West

*BENEDICTION

God, through your word all visible and invisible things have been created. You are our inheritance and assurance in this life and the one you have promised. Bless us with the grace of Jesus Christ, the only and blessed Sovereign, King of kings and Lord of lords, and giver of faith by your Spirit, in whom we are given all things with abundance and for our benefit. Amen.

*SENDING FORTH: HYMN 765
       
May the God of Hope Go with Us

DISMISSAL

We thank those who served in and prepared for worship today:

Mark DeVries, Preacher
Melissa Vargas, Translator
Bill Maul, Music leader
Scott Sauers, Music leader
Emily Martin, Liturgist


ANNUNCIOS                            Melissa Vargas

*LLAMAMIENTO A LA ADORACIÓN
(Basado en el Salmo 91)

Líder: La persona que habita al abrigo del Altísimo se acoge a la sombra del Todopoderoso.

Pueblo: Dios es nuestro refugio y nuestra fortaleza, el Dios en quien confiamos.

Líder: Solo Dios nos puede librar de las trampas de la vida…

Pueblo: Pues nos cubre con sus plumas y en sus alas hallamos refugio.

Líder: Porque Dios nos ama, nos rescata y nos protege.

Pueblo: Y cuando le llamamos, Dios nos responde, nos colma de vida y nos hace gozar de su salvación.

*HIMNO 409 Dios esta Aqui

*INVITACIÓN A LA CONFESIÓN

Dios conoce nuestras fortalezas y debilidades, y nos llama a dejar nuestras cargas. Confiando en la gracia de Dios para liberarnos y hacernos sanos, hagamos nuestra confesión ante Dios.

*ORACIÓN DE CONFESIÓN

Somos tantas personas con tantas perspectivas diversas. A veces es difícil entender las perspectivas del otro. A veces evitamos a las personas con diferentes formas de pensar y vivir porque creemos que nuestro camino es el único. Pero cuando nos unimos, podemos ver la belleza y el valor en todas las perspectivas. Fortalécenos, Dios, para que podamos esforzarnos por ser como Cristo, apreciando y afirmando a todos. Amén.

*CONFESIÓN SILENCIOSA PERDÓN

*RESPUESTA: HIMNO 811
            Haz resplandecer to rostro

DECLARACIÓN DE PERDÓN

Cristo vivió, murió, y resucitó por su pueblo, Cristo reina en poder y ora por su pueblo. Por eso ahora no hay condenación para aquellas personas que están en Jesucristo, porque cualquier persona que está en Cristo está siendo parte de la nueva creación de Dios. ¡Lo viejo ya ha pasado! ¡Miren! ¡La nueva vida ha comenzado!

Hermanos y hermanas, crean en el evangelio.
Pueblo: ¡En Jesucristo hemos recibido perdón!

*PASANDO LA PAZ

La paz de Cristo sea contigo.

Y tambien contigo.

*RESPUESTA: HIMNO 397 vs. 3
           
Miren que bueno

LECTURA BIBLICA Mateo 18:15-17, 20-22; Salmo 149:1-6

SERMÓN “Dos o tres” Mark DeVries

*HIMNO 532 Una Espiga

OFRENDAS Y DIEZMOS

*DOXOLOGÍA 

GRAN ORACIÓN DE ACCIÓN DE GRACIAS+
[INSERTAR +]

EL PADRE NUESTRO+

ROMPER EL PAN

COMUNIÓN

*ORACIÓN DESPUÉS DE LA COMUNIÓN

Mayo este pan y fruto de la vid nos nutren para que podamos crecer en el Fe y conocimiento de que somos uno en ti. Amén.

*HIMNO 318 Oriente ni occidente

*BENDICIÓN

Dios, por tu palabra fueron creadas todas las cosas visibles e invisibles, eres nuestra herencia y seguridad en esta vida y la que has prometido después. Bendícenos con la gracia de Jesucristo, el único y bienaventurado Soberano, Rey de reyes y Señor de señores, y la fe mediante tu Espíritu en quien nos das todas las cosas con abundancia y para nuestro provecho Amén.

*ENVÍO: HIMNO 765 Canto de Esperanza

DESPIDO

Agradecemos a los que sirvieron y se prepararon para la adoración de hoy:

Mark DeVries, Predicador
Melissa Vargas, Traductora
Bill Maul, Líder musical
Scott Sauers, Líder musical
Emily Martin, Liturgist