Montague Bulletin December 21, 2014

MEDITATION: “With all my heart I would extol the precious gift of God in the noble art of music… Music is to be praised as second only to the Word of God because by her all the emotions are swayed.”


Reader 1: O God, we light the fourth candle of Advent, the candle of love.
Reader 2: We hear your angel Gabriel and witness the faith of Mary. Fill us with your grace and light.
Reader 1: Mary was a young, strong, spiritual woman. Even though her life was not easy, she heard God's voice and said yes. Her song was a prayer that would uplift those who were downtrodden. Her lyrics shattered the proud and called the world to change. She would bear within her the promised child, Jesus, the Light of the World. This Advent, we respond to God's beckoning to us as well.
People : (all in unison) Revealing God, visit us and fill us with your Spirit. Bring your good news to life within us. Give us courage to carry your light into the injustices and shadows of this world. Amen.
All join together in singing: (tune of Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence) Shine on us, O God of justice; Guide our path through gloom of night; Bear within us Wisdom’s glory; Come to us, O Christ the Light! PRAYER OF INVOCATION (all in unison)
Reader One: Let us pray together: God who makes all things new, we are almost ready. Our hearts are opening. As the time of birth approaches, we pray that your Holy Spirit will come upon us. Even as Jesus was born into the world, be born again in us, that we might help give flesh to that realm of justice and compassion that will have no end. Come, Lord Jesus, Come! Amen.

HYMN: (please stand if able) #110R O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

PRAYER OF CONFESSION (all in unison) O God, help us to look to you for direction in our lives. Too often we chase after idols and distractions instead of holding to the example of our sister, Mary: service and devotion even in the face of uncertainty and fear. We long to entrust our lives to you, and yet we struggle to do so, falling short time and time again despite our best intentions. Help us to rise up when we stumble, trusting in your mercy and promise of redeeming love. We pray this thankfully, knowing that you hear and forgive us, and that we are blessedly cherished by you. Amen.

WORDS OF ASSURANCE The love of God came to us in a child, born to be vulnerable in love to the end. On the cross, love prayed for our forgiveness and died; love defeated sin and death, and arose. By the grace of love incarnate in the Christ child we are saved. Thanks be to God!

GLORIA PATRI 513R (all in unison, please stand if able) Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, it is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Amen.

SCRIPTURE LESSONS Unison Reading: Luke 1:46-55 (The Magnificat), p. 545R Scripture Lessons Hebrew Scripture: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16 p.261 Epistle: Romans 16:25-27 p.144 Gospel: Luke 1:26-38 p.49 Special Service of Music

HYMN (please stand if able) 134R O Little Town of Bethlehem

TIME OF PRAYER Joys and Concerns Pastoral Prayer L: Let us join in prayer. The Lord be with you. P: And with your spirit Silent Prayer The Lord’s Prayer (all in unison) Our Father, 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 debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever Amen. Prayer Response

OFFERING Invitation to Giving Offertory Anthem Doxology #514R (all in unison, please stand if able) Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise God, all creatures here below; Praise God above, ye heavenly host: Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. (Creator, Christ and Holy Ghost) Amen Prayer of Dedication of Gifts and Self: (please stand if able) God’s steadfast love is established forever – like the moon, an enduring witness in the skies. God’s faithfulness is as firm as the heavens – like stars that never grow dim. May God bless this offering that Christ’s light will shine throughout the ages. Amen.

HYMN # 129R It Came Upon a Midnight Clear


BENEDICTION RESPONSE Depart in peace to do God’s will; walk ever in the light; for Christ is with us evermore, to guide us day and night. (Tune of Amazing Grace)
***Thank you to the choir and our wonderful music director and organist for lighting our lives with their inspiring music!***

Please join us at coffee hour immediately following worship
Two NEW things! ONE: We have a Facebook page now. Look us up and “like” us on Facebook to spread the word about our work in the world. And TWO: We are beginning to tape our worship services so they can be shown on local cable television and you can click on a link to see them on your computer at home. Thank You Kathy Lynch for getting us started!! We need your help though. We need a few people who would be willing to be on this outreach team. One more way of breaking down barriers, becoming more accessible, sharing our gifts and building God’s kin-dom!
Pledges: Are you up to date with your pledge?? Call or email Peg Burns to find out. The end of the year is fast approaching and she needs to balance the books.
Choir practice is on Wednesdays at 6:30

***Please fill out the pew card or let a deacon or Pastor Barb (413-949-3391) know if you would like a visit or have a prayer concern.*** 413-367-9467

First Congregational Church of Montague, Trinitarian
December 21, 2014
4th Sunday of Advent LOVE
Pastor Rev. Barbara E. Turner Delisle
Minister of Children’s Education: Rev. Sherril Willis
Music Director: Ann Cenzano
Deacon of the Month: LuAnn Wonsey

PRAYER GARDEN (If you know of someone you would like us to pray for please put their name on a slip of paper and drop it into the offering plate or let one of the deacons or secretary Ann Cenzano know of their name. Names will stay on the list for approximately one month.) Tina Wells, Nicole Cuthbert, Steve M., Janice Daysh, Helen Lambert and Linda Ackerman family, Connie Advent and Christmas Eve Services
Come, hear and see the story of Christmas
December 21, 10am Worship with Advent wreath lighting and Music Cantata, Enjoy the Christmas story told in song by the choir and musicians.
December 24, 7pm Christmas Eve Candlelight Service and Service of Lessons and Carols, includes special music and guest musicians