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Advent Wreath 2018

Posted by on Nov 13, 2018 in Advent, Arts, By Season, Call to Worship, Christmas, Slideshow | 0 comments

Advent Wreath 2018

“Silent Night, Holy Night” was first performed on 12/24 1818 at St. Nicholas church of Oberndorf.  It was performed by Franz Xaver Gruber (composed tune) and Joseph Mohr (wrote lyrics).  That means that the hymn celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2018!!  To commemorate this anniversary, here  is an Advent Wreath lighting liturgy for all four Sundays in Advent and for Christmas Eve. Advent 1: Hope Word of Hope: Psalm 25:1-10 One: Lift up our souls. MANY: As your beloved, we ask: do not remember our failings. One: But lead us in...

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Convo w/Incarnation

Posted by on Dec 7, 2017 in Advent, Christmas, Scripture/Readings, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services | 0 comments

Convo w/Incarnation

Christmas Eve 2017 is a Sunday which means that many of our churches will have a morning service, and an evening service or two.  It is a busy day and  in some churches, the morning service will be sparsely attended as people wait for the evening services.  If you won’t have time to prepare a sermon, or you want to shorten and simplify the morning service, below is a reading for 2 voices based on John 1:1-14 that could be used in place of a sermon, or elsewhere in the service (it  could be adapted for use  on other occasions).  It is a...

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Dayspring – Reading for 3 Voices

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017 in Advent, Arts, Scripture/Readings, Slideshow | 0 comments

Dayspring – Reading for 3 Voices

Here is an Advent/Christmas Eve reading for 3 voices based on Luke 1:67-79 (Zechariah’s Song).  It weaves together two spoken voices with a sung refrain.  The refrain is from the traditional Appalachian spiritual, “Bright Morning Stars.”  The song has been recorded by many and the sheet music is readily available from a variety of sources.  Here is one place to look: Amidon Music It is a simple arrangement but rehearsal is advance will be important to get the pacing and timing right. Note: I am grateful to scriptureecho.com...

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Light the Candle!!!

Posted by on Dec 6, 2016 in Advent, Arts, Children's Message, Christmas, Prayers/Litanies, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services | 0 comments

Light the Candle!!!

Below is an Advent wreath liturgy written for a Christmas Eve family/early service using Isaiah 9:2-7.  It gives children and adults alike a chance to shout in church and celebrate the birth of the Christ-child.  Fun, simple and meaningful. One: The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. RESPONSE: [SHOUT] Light the candle!! One: [LIGHT PURPLE CANDLE #1] A light has shined on those living in deep darkness. RESPONSE: Light the candle!! One: [LIGHT PURPLE CANDLE #2] You have made the nation great; you have increased its joy....

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Our Joy: Prayers for Advent 3

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Advent, Prayers/Litanies, Slideshow | 0 comments

Our Joy: Prayers for Advent 3

Prayers for the 3rd Sunday of Advent (Magnificat — Luke 1:46-55)  Prayer of Invocation – God of song and silence, speak to us today. God of joy and justice, help us to see how you weave them together, in wombs and rooms, in letters written, and privileges waived. God of surprising power and fierce tenderness, visit us. Fill us with your spirit, and give us voices to sing your praise.  Prayer of Confession – Holy One, sometimes, we admit, we are the ones who need to be brought low, taken down a peg, reminded that the world...

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Nativity: Look Again

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Advent, Arts, Christmas, Epiphany, Sermons, Slideshow | 0 comments

Nativity: Look Again

Most of us have 1 or 5 or 10 of them.   You know crèches…nativity sets…little wooden houses with painted shepherds, magi, doting parents, and the baby Jesus in a manger.  They are an ancient and effective tool that the church uses to tell the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.  We also see them so often during Advent and Christmas that well…maybe…we don’t see really see them at all.  Here are some ways you might use nativity sets in the worshiping life of your church to reclaim them as a tool for telling the...

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Alphabet of Ideas

Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 in Advent, Arts, By Season, Peace & Justice, Prayers/Litanies, Slideshow | 0 comments

Alphabet of Ideas

In the wake of the 2016 US presidential election, Rev. Martha Peck wrote a newsletter article for her church and an accompanying “Alphabet of Ideas for Anxious Times.”  This list could be used: by a mission committee, seeking to expand its reach by a prayer group as a prompt for intercessory prayer. as an art activity—inviting people to illustrate the actions with stick figures or other drawings by individuals/families during the season of Advent The presidential election of 2016 revealed a deep divide between Americans,...

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Christmas Eve: Drama of the Light (for 4 Voices)

Posted by on Oct 8, 2016 in Advent, Arts, Call to Worship, Christmas, Scripture/Readings, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services | 0 comments

Christmas Eve: Drama of the Light (for 4 Voices)

Below is a dramatic reading for 4 voices that was written for Christmas Eve, 2014.  We used it as a call to worship but you could use it anywhere in the service. If your setting allows it, you may consider scattering the four readers around the sanctuary.  You can also have them grouped, perhaps in the back of the sanctuary.  Whatever you decide, make sure the readers speak loudly or have microphones so that all can hear!  Narrator:         In Bethlehem that night there were many lights.  The moon was out.  The stars were twinkling.  And...

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Light of the World

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Advent, Arts, Christmas, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services, Transitions | 0 comments

Light of the World

A Christmas Eve tradition that some in our congregation have observed involves bringing lanterns to worship.  During the singing of “Silent Night,” they light their lanterns and then bring the “light of the world” with them as they leave the sanctuary and travel home.  Over the years this tradition was carried on by fewer and fewer. SAD.  Valuing the tradition and desiring to carry it on, we revitalized it by doing the following: We advertised and announced this tradition (bulletins, newsletters, email updates, worship...

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“Xmas Eve on Fire”

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Advent, Arts, Christmas, Music, Non-Church settings, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services | 0 comments

“Xmas Eve on Fire”

Imagine this: Christmas Eve Snow blanketing the ground Early/family service begins at 5:00 p.m. and the time is now 4:30 p.m. Portable firepit on the front lawn of the church with logs blazing Hot chocolate in vacuum pots on a table nearby Small Christmas tree with a box full of ornaments Families, individuals, couples, whoever, arriving, grabbing a cup of cocoa, hanging an ornament, warming themselves by the fire, giggling with Christmas excitement At 5:05 p.m. booklets with Christmas carols are handed out and people sing their favorites At...

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