Worship Bulletin: 12/24/23

Worship Bulletin: 12/24/23

Welcome to Worship at the McPherson 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 24, 2023 @ 10:15 a.m. 4th Sunday in Advent – LOVE

Music of the Season | Ellen Gilbert, piano

Gathering Music | “Christmas Medley” | arr. Ron & Linda Sprunger
Dan Masterson, piano; Ellen Gilbert, organ   

Video Welcome

Sharing Time | Joys & Concerns | LeRoy Weddle

Centering Music | Of the Father’s Love Begotten” | arr. Paul Wohlgemuth
Worship Choir

Opening Responsive Litany | “Prayer of Love” | New Kilpatrick Parish Church, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Loving God – may we find you in the out of the way places of this season
those places where our thoughts rarely meander
those beginning moments rather than the end moments

May we wander into the promise-nursery
where the desire of hope and the growing of longing come together
and create a beginning place
long before stable – and child – and gifts – and incarnation come to be

May we wander into the before moments – the dream places –
where you spin a vision – a desire to love us in the flesh – love us fully as one of us –
love us as love must – in the face to face – hand to hand – word to word –
in the glory and the dust – the heat and the pain of the humanity of us all

May we linger in the chaos of beginning while everything else prepares for the ending
let us meet here in the first investment of the promise quietly unfolding –
unaware in the less spoken of places – the lesser named spaces

And may we discover heaven on new ground – the divine engagement –
the creative imagination that wonders what love’s skin will be like
and what You are about to become

Opening Song | “The First Noel” | #199
Laila Samland, soloist. Congregation sing on verses 2, 4 and 5

Story for the Children | Barbara Wagoner

Video Invitation to Give
Give online or send a check made payable to “McPherson Church of the Brethren,” 200 N. Carrie, McPherson, KS 67460

Musical Offering | “Morning Star” | arr. Dan Masterson
Ellen Gilbert, organ; Dan Masterson, piano

Scripture Focus | Luke 1:26-38

The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 
27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 

28 The angel went to her and said,
“Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 
30 But the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give|
birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the
Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and
he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered,
“The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 
36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 
37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”
Then the angel left her.

♫Special Music | “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” | from The Piano Guys | arr. Nelson, Schmidt and van der Beek
Bruce Wagoner, cello; Ellen Gilbert, piano

Message | “God Makes All Things Possible” | Jerry Bowen

♫Sending Song | “O Little Town of Bethlehem” | #191

Sending Words

♫Sending Music | “Angels We Have Heard on High” | arr. Steven Strite
Worship Choir

Tonight: 6:15 – 6:30 pm    Gathering Music – Christmas Eve Service
6:30 – 7:30 pm    Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
Dec. 31           Morning New Year Worship with Communion
Jan. 07            Morning Epiphany Worship with Anointing

Videography and Editing: Eric Goering
Music Coordinator: Ellen Gilbert

Choir Director: Becky Snell
Technical Crew: Eric Goering, Ryan Goering, Shane Kirchner, Steve Lolling & Chris Whitacre
Chancel Decoration Team: Jill Brax, Colleen Gustafson, Michele Johnson, Shane Kirchner & Lara Schoming