Worship Bulletin – 12/1/19

Worship Bulletin – 12/1/19

McPherson First Church of the Brethren
We invite your active participation in the life of this congregation, as together we continue to grow in grace and seek justice for God’s creation.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

First Sunday of Advent
Hope of the Rose | Origami Flowers
“Where flowers bloom so does hope.” – Lady Bird Johnson

Gathering Music
“Bless’d Be the God of Israel” | #174
“Oh, How Joyfully” | #209
“Good Christian Friends, Rejoice” | #210

Sharing Time
…a time of greeting and sharing those things which inform who we are as a community of faith and how God is moving among us. You are invited to welcome visitors, share joys, prayer requests and announcements.

Advent Candle Lighting | “People Look East”
People look east. The time is near of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today; God, the Child, is on the way.
Furrow, be glad. Though earth is bare, one more seed is planted there.
Give up your strength the seed to nourish, that in course the flower may flourish.
People look east and sing today; Hope, the Rose, is on the way.

Centering Poem | “Hope Appears” | Merilyn Tandukar | adapted for the plains
In the midst of winter, 
when all the world seems grey, the trees have lost their leaves, the grass is brown and dry, 
Hope appears . . .
A small bud encased in its envelope – waiting, a bulb hovering below the frozen surface
in the garden bed, a nest crazily perched in the high limbs of a tree anticipating a Spring
remodel. A keening call of red-tailed hawk as it hunts, the chirruping of a cardinal as it braves the ice and snow.
Hope appears . . .
In the most difficult of times, despite the direst predictions, against the call of prophets;
the life force continues.
And hope appears again and again – true cause for much rejoicing.

Opening Song | “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” | #178

Invitation to Give
Giving Music | “I Wonder as I Wander” | arr. Mark Hayes
Giving Prayer

Special Music | “Comfort Ye My People” with “Every Valley Shall Be Exalted” | G.F. Handel
‘Comfort ye, comfort ye my people’, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem,
and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned.
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord.’
Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40:1-3)
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low,
the crooked straight and the rough places plain. (Isaiah 40:4)

Children’s Time
Following story: Childcare provided for infant thru Kindergarten | Education Building

Prayer Song | “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” | #211

A Prayer of Hope | by Tim Graves (adapted)
We call out to you, “Be the God we dream about and hope for!”
You respond by being the God you are.
We discuss you, define you, hope of you and expect of you. 
But you unravel our expectations and definitions.
We seek to limit and control you by putting you in a box of our making.
You turn our boxes upside down.
We seek now.
You bid us wait, in hope.
We seek obvious salvation.
You send a child of hope.
We seek clear-cut and easy answers.
You give us simply – hope.
Upside down divinity, give us the strength to resist a culture of greed,
of haves, and have-nots.
Turn our eyes away from the gold statues, our idols of selfishness and fear. 
Help us to let go of our expectations of you
so that we might be ready, in hope, to welcome the child who is on the way.

Scripture Focus | Isaiah 2:1-5 and Matthew 24:36-44

Message | “Let us ALL walk in the Way of God!” | Jerry Bowen
After an intentional pause – please rise for the Sending Song

*Sending Song | “To Us a Child of Hope is Born” | #189
*Sending Words
Sending Music
“O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings”
“Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella
“For Unto Us a Child is Born | arr. Susan Caudill

*Indicates please rise in Body and/or Spirit

Bulletin Cover – Christopher Kirchner
Pastoral Staff – Jerry Bowen, Chris Whitacre & Kathryn Whitacre
Organ/Piano – Ellen Gilbert
Worship Choir Director – Becky Snell
Chancel Décor – Advent/Christmas Team
Acolytes – Jonathan & Jaymie Rothrock Family
Sharing Time – Ann Stover
Worship Leader – Kathryn Whitacre
Vocalists – James Bowyer, Bud Taylor, Allan, Deb & Kaitlyn van Asselt
Children’s Time – Barbara Wagoner
Screens – Ira Whitacre
Director/Camera – To Be Determined
Sound – Shane Kirchner
Greeters – Andrew & Colleen Gustason
Ushers – Bruce & Janell Clary; Jim & Lisa Hoffman
Head Usher – Glenn Gayer
Balcony Usher – Mike Goering
Childcare Attendant – To Be Determined

Reminder: The bulletin announcements/weekly newsletter are sent to your email address every Friday with “COB Communications” caption in the address line. You may pick up a paper copy from the stand on the sanctuary level or from the literature rack immediately inside the Education Building front door.