December 31 – God’s Long-Awaited Gift

Welcome to Ivy Chapel United Church of Christ. Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

WELCOME 

 PRELUDE  –  Angels from the Realms of Glory 

*CALL TO WORSHIP           

    One:  Sing of God’s glory! 

    All:  Shout to God, all the earth!

    One:  Rejoice!

    All:  Christ is born! 

*HYMN – Joy to the World! – #194

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King;

Let ev’ry heart prepare him room

And heav’n and nature sing,

And heav’n and nature sing,

And heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!

Let men their songs employ,

While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains,

Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow

Nor thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make his blessings flow

Far as the curse is found,

Far as the curse is found,

Far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace

And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness

And wonders of His love,

And wonders of His love,

And wonders, wonders of His love.

*PRAYER OF INVOCATION                                                     

          God, you are with us!  We have heard the promise of the prophets.  We have rejoiced at the melody of angels’ songs.  We have seen your star in the heavens.  We have followed your star to a humble birthplace.  We have come to be with you, because you have come to be with us.  Now, may all hope and joy fill our lives, as we echo your angels, proclaiming, “Glory to God in the highest!  Peace to God’s people on earth.”  Amen.

*RESPONSE – Angels We Have Heard on High –  #206                                  

Angels we have heard on high,

Sweetly singing o’er the plains,

And the mountains in reply

Echo back their joyous strains:

Refrain:

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

 GOD’S WORD – Isaiah 61:10-62:3                                

 SPECIAL MUSIC – Christmas Meditation   

 GOD’S WORD – Psalm 148                                                              

 RESPONSIVE READING – The Savior’s Advent / Luke 2:8-20

 – #639   

 SERMON  – Pastor Dan 

 CHRISTMAS CAROL SING

We will sing the first TWO verses of each selected carol.

 PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE – Pastor Dan 

*HYMN –  How Great Our Joy – #192

*RESPONSIVE BENEDICTION                                                                 

     One:  In a lowly stable, the Son of God is born.

     All:  God Most High comes down to earth.

     One:  No one except God would have imagined doing this! 

     All:  Go, tell it on the mountain  –  Jesus Christ is born!    

*POSTLUDE – Joy to the World!  

December 24 – Fourth Sunday of Advent

Merry Christmas to all from Ivy Chapel United Church of Christ!

Please join the livestream at 10 a.m. Sunday on our YouTube channel. This page will be updated with a link to the recorded service later in the day.

PRELUDE – God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

*CALL TO WORSHIP – Sue Wilson
One: It’s Christmas Eve! Let’s rejoice!
All: God Emmanuel is coming.
One: Soon it will be the night of our Dear Savior’s birth.
All: God will appear in an astonishing way!
One: God will come to earth as a newborn baby.
All: Christ will come to life as a human being – Jesus, born of Mary.
One: The Holy Child is God’s Promised Messiah.
All: Glory to God in the highest!
One: Peace on earth.
All: Christ is born.

*HYMN – It Came Upon the Midnight Clear – #199

It came upon the midnight clear,
that glorious song of old,
from angels bending near the earth
to touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, good will to men,
from heaven’s all-gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
to hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come
with peaceful wings unfurled,
and still their heavenly music floats
o’er all the weary world;
above its sad and lowly plains,
they bend on hovering wing,
and ever o’er its Babel sounds
the blessed angels sing.

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
whose forms are bending low,
who toil along the climbing way
with painful steps and slow,
look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
and hear the angels sing!

For lo! the days are hastening on,
by prophet seen of old,
when with the ever-circling years
shall come the time foretold
when peace shall over all the earth
its ancient splendors fling,
and the whole world send back the song
which now the angels sing.

LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLES

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING FOR THE BIRTH OF CHRIST (in unison)
God Emmanuel, candlelight is an ideal symbol of your love. You are reliable as a steadily burning candle flame. Your light overcomes darkness, God. As a candle gives light in the darkness, you offer light to all people. You are the Savior of the whole world! You do this by becoming a human being, Jesus of Nazareth. People all over the world rejoice at Christmas, celebrating your birth as the Christ Child. For generations, people have marveled over this miracle, and your human birth will amaze people forever. We worship you, Christ Jesus. Amen.

RESPONSE – Infant Holy, Infant Lowly – #211

Infant holy, Infant lowly, for HIs bed a cattle stall;
Oxen lowing, little knowing Christ the Babe is Lord of all.
Swift are winging angels singing, noels ringing, tidings bringing;
Christ the Babe is Lord of all, Christ the Babe is Lord of all.

Flocks were sleeping, shepherds keeping vigils till the morning new
Saw the glory, heard the story, tidings of the gospel true.
Thus rejoicing, free from sorrow, praises voicing, great the morrow:
Christ the Babe was born for you, Christ the Babe was born for you.

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE

*HYMN – Away in a Manger – #213

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes.
I love Thee, Lord Jesus; look down from the sky,
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And take us to heaven to live with Thee there.

PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH AND THE LORD’S PRAYER

READINGS

SPECIAL MUSIC – All Is Well (arr. Larson) – Valerie Waterman, Soloist

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
We rejoice to celebrate Open Communion as the United Church of Christ!
All who desire to receive the bread and the cup are welcome.
Cups in the outer ring on each communion tray contain grape juice. Other cups contain wine.

The Breaking of the Bread and the Pouring of the Cup

The Sharing of the Bread and the Cup

*The Prayer of Thanksgiving (in unison)
God Emmanuel, you are the One whom our very souls adore. Thank you, Christ Jesus, for bringing us together to celebrate your birth. You became a human being in order to get through to us, and we are astounded by your ingenuity. Jesus, we are grateful to you for welcoming us as guests at your table. Each time we accept your invitation, we are blessed. Receiving the bread and the cup from you fills us with hope eternal.
Christ Jesus, may our lives freely and joyously offer to all the world the grace which we receive from you. Amen.

*SHARING THE LIGHT OF CHRIST

*HYMN – Silent Night – #189

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright
‘Round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heav’nly hosts sing, Alleluia!
Christ, the Savior, is born!
Christ, the Savior, is born!

Silent night, holy night!
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

*POSTLUDE – What Child Is This?

December 17 – Special Music for Advent

Let us celebrate in joyful response to God’s grace on this, the third Sunday of Advent. Thank you to today’s musicians Rachel Benitez Borrego, Sarah Reifschneider and Kathryn Kuntzman, and to our narrator, Sarah Wilson, for leading our congregation in this special celebration of The Nativity in Words and Music. This meaningful worship service promises to be a joy and a blessing!

WELCOME

PRELUDE

*CALL TO WORSHIP
One: Listen up everybody! God gives the world the greatest gift!
All: Let’s praise God together!
One: Glory to God in the highest!
All: And peace to all people on earth.

*HYMN – O Come, All Ye Faithful (Verses 1, 2 and 3) – #188

O come, all ye faithful,
joyful and triumphant!
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem!
Come and behold Him,
born the King of angels.

Refrain:
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

God from true God, and
Light of Light begotten,
Lo , He abhors not the Virgin’s womb;
Very God, begotten, not created

Refrain

Sing, choirs of angels,
sing in exultation,
O sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest: [Refrain]

*PRAYER OF INVOCATION
God of Never-ending Love, we rejoice at the amazing promise of your advent. As the Coming Christ, you give birth to hope, peace, joy, and love. Your gifts inspire people to offer gifts at all times.

Come now, God Emmanuel. Bring us to life in the name of Jesus Christ. Show us your dreams for humankind and for life everywhere.

Precious Savior, you are the Maker and the Caregiver of all creation. Your love and compassion amaze us! We gather together this day to worship you. May our lives forever sing your praises! Amen.

LIGHTING THE ADVENT WREATH – The Candle of Joy

RESPONSE – Lo! How a Rose E’er Blooming (Verses 1, 2 and 3) – #196

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming
As men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright,
Amid the cold of winter
When half-spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind:
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright
She bore to men a Savior
When half-spent was the night.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere.
True man, yet very God,
From sin and death He saves us
And lightens every load

PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH AND THE LORD’S PRAYER

The Nativity in Words and Music
Cello:
Rachel Benitez Borrego
Sarah Reifschneider
Kathryn Kuntzman

Narrator:
Sarah Wilson

Reading The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 1:67-75

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Reading The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2:1-7

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Reading The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2:9-13

Angels We Have Heard on High

Reading The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2:15-16

What Child Is This?

Reading The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2:20

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Reading Awe, Wonder and Joy!

Joy to the World!

*BENEDICTION

*POSTLUDE – Patapan

December 10 – Messengers of Hope

Welcome to Ivy Chapel United Church of Christ on this, the second Sunday of Advent, 2023. Advent is a season which offers us time to appreciate more deeply God’s gift of “new life in Christ.” Today, we light the candle of Peace.

WELCOME

PRELUDE – Of the Father’s Love Begotten

*CALL TO WORSHIP – Jo Ann Moody
One: God gathers us for this time of worship.
All: God claims us and promises us life eternal.
One: God renews people with steadfast love.
All: Trust in God who is our strength and life.
One: Give thanks to God, the source of our salvation.
All: We will sing praises and exalt God’s name!

*HYMN – O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (Verses 1, 2, 3 and 4) – #186

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.

Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory o’er the grave.
Refrain:

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
And drive away the shades of night,
And pierce the clouds and bring us light!

Refrain:

O come, Thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heav’nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

Refrain:

*PRAYER OF INVOCATION – Jo Ann Moody
Loving God, we rejoice with anticipation as we look forward to future ways that you will reveal yourself to the world! May the fullness of your living presence be felt by all who are here today. Fill us with your love, Christ Jesus. We give thanks that you have called us to serve within this faith community to make a difference in your world. God Eternal, equip us to carry out the ministries that you would like us to do. Amen.

LIGHTING THE ADVENT WREATH – The Candle of Peace

RESPONSE — Emmanuel — #185

Emmanuel, Emmanuel
His name is called Emmanuel;

God with us, revealed in us;
His name is called Emmanuel.

GOD’S WORD — Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 — Jo Ann Moody

SPECIAL MUSIC — Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming

GOD’S WORD — Mark 1:1-8 — Pastor Dan

SERMON — Pastor Dan

PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH AND THE LORD’S PRAYER — Pastor Dan

*HYMN — Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus — #187

Come, thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

*BENEDICTION — Pastor Dan

*POSTLUDE — Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!

December 3 – Hope

The Advent Season begins. This season is a time of preparation for the coming birth of God’s Messiah. Today we also celebrate communion. If you are worshipping with us at home, please gather the elements before you get settled so you may celebrate with us.

WELCOME

PRELUDE – Good Christian Friends, Rejoice

*CALL TO WORSHIP – Jim French
One: The Holy One is alive today!
All: God is great and greatly to be praised!
One: The Holy One is living within people of this faith community.
All: We marvel at the splendor of God!
One: The Holy One – God Most High – is closer than our next breath.
All: Let us praise God!

*PROCESSIONAL HYMNS
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing – (verses 1 and 3) – #191

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King:
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic hosts proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

Refrain:
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King”

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
[Refrain]

Angels We Have Heard on High – (verses 1 and 4) – #206

Angels we have heard on high,
Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echo back their joyous strains:

Refrain:
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

See Him in a manger laid,
Jesus, Lord of heav’n and earth!
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
With us sing our Savior’s birth.
[Refrain]

Go, Tell It on the Mountain – (verses 1, 2 and 3) – #216

Refrain
Go, tell it on the mountain, Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, tell it on the mountain That Jesus Christ is born.

While shepherds kept their watching O’r silent flocs by night,
Behold, throughout the heavens There shone a holy light.
Refrain

The shepherds feared and trembled When, Lo! Above the earth
Rang out the angel chorus That hailed our Savior’s birth.
Refrain

Down in a lowly manger Our humble Christ was born,
And God sent us salvation That blessed Christmas morn.
Refrain

*PRAYER OF INVOCATION – Jim French
Living God, you promise to be with your people; and you faithfully fulfill this promise. Long ago, you sent your Spirit to live among us, guiding your creation toward a hope-filled future.
This morning, we come seeking your truth, your justice, your mercy.
O God, you are with us now. Help us to sense your closeness and to value your loving presence. May we recognize and welcome and serve you. Come, O God of peace; fulfill your desires for all the world this Advent. Amen.

LIGHTING THE ADVENT WREATH – The Candle of Hope

RESPONSE – Emmanuel – #185

Emmanuel, Emmanuel
His name is called Emmanuel;

God with us, revealed in us;
His name is called Emmanuel.

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE – Dottie Foster

HYMNS
O Christmas Tree – (verses 1, 2 and 3) – #221

Oh Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, your branches are uplifted.
You seem to say that on this day our world’s supremely gifted
The shining of your cadles bright, reminds us Light has come tonight.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, you lift our eyes to heaven.

Oh Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, you shine like stars above us;
And with your beauty silent say, “How greatly God must love us!”
You show us Him who with God’s face, brought to our hearts the gift of grace.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, you lift our eyes to heaven.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, in plainness you were growing
Until we came and brought you here and set your branches glowing.
Your living beauty helps us see how clothed with Christ our lives can be.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, you lift our eyes to heaven.

What Child Is This? – (verses 1 and 3) – #202

What child is this, who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping?

Refrain:
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing
Haste, haste to bring him laud
The babe, the son of Mary
So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh
Come, peasant, king, to own Him
The King of kings salvation brings
Let loving hearts enthrone Him

Refrain:

PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH – Pastor Dan

GOD’S WORD – Psalm 80:1-9, 14-19 – Jim French

SPECIAL MUSIC – I Wonder as I Wander

GOD’S WORD – Mark 13:24-37 – Pastor Dan

SERMON – Pastor Dan

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
All people are invited to Christ’s Table. All who desire are welcome to receive the bread and the cup. The cups in the outer ring on the communion tray contain grape juice. The other cups contain wine.

*HYMN – Live Into Hope – worship booklet, p. 65

Live into hope of captives freed,
Of sight regained, the end of greed.
Th’ oppressed shall be the first to see
The year of God’s own jubilee!

Live into hope! The blind shall see
With insight and with clarity,
Removing shades of pride and fear,
A vision of our God brought near.

Live into hope of liberty,
The right to speak, the right to be,
The right to have one’s daily bread,
To hear God’s word and thus be fed.

Live into hope of captives freed,
From chains of fear or want or greed.
God now proclaims our full release
To faith and hope and joy and peace.

*BENEDICTION – Pastor Dan

*POSTLUDE – Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!

November 26 – Reign of Christ

As we give thanks to God, let this worship be a time to quiet our souls, watching intently for God. A Blessed Thanksgiving to all!

SILENT REFLECTION – Thanksgiving to God – #636

WELCOME

PRELUDE – Let All Things Now Living – Tune: Ash Grove

*CALL TO WORSHIP (based on Psalm 95) – John Weiland
One: Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
All: God cares for everyone.
One: Like a shepherd, searching for lost sheep, God calls to us.
All: God calls out to us by name.
One: God reaches out to rescue all who have strayed.
All: Scattered, weak and injured ones are cared for by God.
One: We are the sheep of God’s pasture.
All: O come, let us kneel before God our Maker.

*HYMN – Rejoice, the Lord Is King! #282

Rejoice, the Lord is King:
Your Lord and King adore!
Rejoice, give thanks and sing,
And triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Jesus, the Savior, reigns,
The God of truth and love;
When He has purged our stains,
He took his seat above;
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

His kingdom cannot fail,
He rules o’er earth and heav’n;
The keys of death and hell
Are to our Jesus giv’n:
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Rejoice in glorious hope!
Our Lord and judge shall come
And take His servants up
To their eternal home:
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

*PRAYER OF INVOCATION – John Weiland
O Breath of Life; you are with us in our going out and our coming in. Wherever we are, you are steadily leading us, God. We are grateful.
Come, Holy Spirit; we need you now. Come in your strength and your power; come in your own gentle way. O Breath of Life; open every heart to your promise of steadfast love. You are a God of astounding faithfulness!
We come this morning, seeking guidance that you alone can provide, God of Life and Breath. Fill us with your holy love and lead us, we pray. Amen.

*RESPONSE – How Majestic Is Your Name – #9

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.
O Lord, we praise your name.
O Lord, we magnify your name:
Prince of Peace, mighty God;
O Lord God Almighty.

GOD’S WORD – Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 – John Weiland

SPECIAL MUSIC – Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart

GOD’S WORD – Matthew 25:31-46 – Pastor Dan

SERMON – Pastor Dan

PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH – Pastor Dan

*HYMN – Our God Reigns! – #290

How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him
Who brings good news,good news
Announcing peace, proclaiming news of happiness.
Our God reigns; our God reigns!

Chorus:
Our God reigns! Our God reigns!
Our God reigns! Our God reigns!

He had no stately form; He had no majesty,
That we should be drawn to Him.
He was despised, and we took no account of Him,
Yet now He reigns with the Most High. [Chorus]

Out of the tomb He came with grace and majesty;
He is alive, He is alive.
God loves us so see here His hands, His feet, His side.
Yes, we know He is alive. [Chorus]

*BENEDICTION – Pastor Dan

*POSTLUDE – Crown Him with Many Crowns

November 19 – Extravagant Opportunity

Welcome to Ivy Chapel UCC! Heartfelt wishes for a blessed Thanksgiving.

SILENT REFLECTION – Summons to Thanksgiving – #589

WELCOME

PRELUDE – For the Fruit of All Creation

*CALL TO WORSHIP
One: Come into God’s presence with thanksgiving!
All: Make a joyful noise to God!
One: Praise God for wonders all around the world!
All: Rejoice!
One: Give thanks.
All: Bless God’s holy name.

*HYMN – We Gather Together – #597

*PRAYER OF INVOCATION
Daring, Adventurous God, we marvel at the enormity of all that you have made and all that you are in the process of making! You are the Creator and the Caretaker of life everywhere.
Faithful God, there are times when life lulls us to sleep. We forget that you are the Giver of every good gift. Give us hearts to praise your unparalleled strength and goodness. Christ Jesus, you teach us to seek your Kingdom and to believe that nothing is impossible for you.
Extravagant Savior, bring us alive in your Spirit; for we long to be part of your daring, adventurous acts of creation! Make us instruments of your compassion and creativity! Ultimately, may we look beyond ourselves toward becoming a blessing to others. Amen.

*RESPONSE – Shout to the Lord! – worship booklet, pp. 80-81

My Jesus, my Saviour
Lord there is none like You
All of my days I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love

My comfort, my shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord all the Earth, let us sing
Power and majesty, praise to the King
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name

I sing for joy at the work of Your hands
Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE

*HYMN – The Greatest Thing – #106

The greatest thing in all my life is knowing You;
The greatest thing in all my life is knowing You;
I want to know You more, I want to know you more.
The greatest thing in all my life is knowing You;

The greatest thing in all my life is loving You;
The greatest thing in all my life is loving You;
I want to love You more, I want to love you more.
The greatest thing in all my life is loving You;

The greatest thing in all my life is serving You;
The greatest thing in all my life is serving You;
I want to serve You more, I want to serve you more.
The greatest thing in all my life is serving You.

RESPONSIVE READING – Thanksgiving to God – #636

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.

Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;

He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;

As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord, O my soul.

SPECIAL MUSIC – Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

GOD’S WORD – Matthew 25:14-30

SERMON – Pastor Dan

PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH – Pastor Dan

*HYMN – Now Thank We All Our God – #592

Now thank we all our God
With heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done,
In whom his world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms
Hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God
Through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts
And blessed peace to cheer us,
And keep us in His grace,
And guide us when perplexed,
And free us from all ills
In this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
The Father now be given,
The Son and Him who reigns
With them in highest heaven
The one eternal God,
Whom earth and heav’n adore;
For thus it was, is now,
And shall be evermore.

*BENEDICTION – Pastor Dan

*POSTLUDE – Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

Now go into the world, rejoicing and giving thanks to God!

November 12 – Light

Welcome to Ivy Chapel United Church of Christ. God loves all people! And we express our love for God by living in ways leading toward “A just world for all.”

Check this space once worship begins at 10 a.m. Sunday for a link to the live worshp service.

WELCOME

PRELUDE – Sanctuary

*CALL TO WORSHIP – Ann Molyneaux
One: We come to this place because we want to know God,
All: who helps us to set aside the past, to walk the path to new life.
One: We come in these moments because we want to know Jesus,
All: who anoints us with the resurrection, who shares our lives with us.
One: We come with these people because we want to know the Spirit,
All: who shapes us for life with God, so we may praise God forever!

*HYMN – Praise to the Lord, the Almighty – #10

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is your health and salvation!
All ye who hear; now to His temple draw near,
Join me in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth;
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen How thy desires e’er have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with his love He befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again;
Gladly for aye we adore Him.

*PRAYER OF INVOCATION – Ann Molyneaux
You have done great things for us, God of great love. You make a way through our brokenness, so hope might be restored; you loosen our grip on fear, so we might take hold of the One who cradles us in the palms of grace. You are doing great things through us, Brother of the poor. You make a way through our doubt, so we may have the faith to follow, as well as to serve by your side; you gather up our tears, turning them into fountains of joy. You will do great things in us, Anointer of our hearts. You make a way through our hardened hearts, melting them into rivers of wonder for all; you touch our tongues, so they tingle with delights, and laughter tumbles out of our mouths. Continue to make a way through us, God in Community, Holy One, we pray. Amen.

*RESPONSE – Precious Lord, Take My Hand – #494

Precious Lord, take my hand,
Lead me on, let me stand,
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn;
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on to the light:

Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.

When my way grows drear,
Precious Lord, linger near
When my life is almost gone;
Hear my cry, Hear my call,
Hold my hand lest I fall –

Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.

GOD’S WORD – Isaiah 43:16-21 ¬– Ann Molyneaux

SPECIAL MUSIC – Revive Us Again

GOD’S WORD – Matthew 25:1-13 – Pastor Dan

SERMON – Pastor Dan

PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH AND THE LORD’S PRAYER – Pastor Dan

*HYMN – Revive Us Again – #95

We praise Thee, O God! for the Son of Thy love,
For Jesus Who died, and is now gone above.

Refrain:
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Revive us again.

We praise Thee, O God! for Thy Spirit of light,
Who hath shown us our Savior, and scattered our night.
All glory and praise To the Lamb that was slain,
Who hath borne all our sins, and hath cleansed every stain.
Revive us again; fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled with fire from above.

*BENEDICTION – Pastor Dan

*POSTLUDE – The Heavens Are Telling – Psalm 19 (Marcello)

Go into the world, rejoicing and giving thanks!

November 5 – Partners in Christ’s Service

A man prays in front of the setting sun.

Our Totenfest observance in worship this morning is an expression of thanks to God for loved ones who have passed on to life eternal during the past year.

Today, we will also celebrate communion. If you are worshipping with us from home, please gather the elements before you begin so you may partake with us. All are welcome at Christ’s table.

WELCOME

PRELUDE – Shall We Gather at the River?

*CALL TO WORSHIP – Jn Wirtz
One: Come; marvel at the splendor of God.
All: This morning, God’s altar serves as a banquet table.
One: Come; accept your invitation.
All: Look, here’s a place card with your name on it!
One: Come; be a guest of the One who sets all people free.
All: All are welcome at the table of this Amazing Savior!

*HYMN – For All the Saints (Verses 1, 2 and 3) – #548

For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
Thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness dread, their one true light.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Oh, may Thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

*PRAYER OF INVOCATION – Jan Wirtz
God of grace, we struggle to trust you in all aspects of our lives. Mistakenly, we seek validation from impermanent, inadequate sources. We confess that we base our identity on human structures, plans, and schemes. We fail to be satisfied with the gifts and purposes which you are giving us.


Deliver us from our inability to depend on you, Faithful God. Lead us to appreciate the ways in which we are uniquely and wonderfully made. Help us to be in community with one another rather than in competition with one another. Guide us, so that we will perceive situations where we may offer your love and care. Move us to respond faithfully where there is real need; for then we truly will be living out your commandment to love our neighbors. Lead us to love you more than anyone or anything else. Renew a spirit of humility and peace within us, we pray. Amen.

*RESPONSE – Ye Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim (Verse 1) – #74

Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim,
And publish abroad His wonderful name;
The name all-victorious of Jesus extol;
His kingdom is glorious, He rules over all.

GOD’S WORD – Matthew 23:1-12 – Jan Wirtz

TOTENFEST – Thanksgiving for Loved Ones

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE AND THE LORD’S PRAYER – Pastor Dan

SPECIAL MUSIC – Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

GOD’S WORD – Joshua 3:1, 7-17 – Pastor Dan

SERMON – Pastor Dan

*HYMN – Speak, Lord, in the Stillness – #157

Speak, Lord, in the stillness, While I wait on Thee;
Hushed my heart to listen In expectancy.

Speak, O blessèd Master, In this quiet hour;
Let me see Thy face, Lord, Feel Thy touch of power.

For the words Thou speakest, They are life indeed;
Living bread from heaven, Now my spirit freed!

All to Thee is yielded, I am not my own;
Blissful, glad surrender, I am Thine alone.

Fill me with the knowledge Of Thy glorious will’
All Thine own good pleasure In Thy child fulfill.

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
All people are invited to Christ’s Table. All who desire are welcome to receive the bread and the cup. The cups in the outer ring on the communion tray contain grape juice. The other cups contain wine.

*HYMN – O Jesus, I Have Promised – #466

O Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
Be thou forever near me,
My Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle
If Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If Thou wilt be my guide.

O let me feel thee near me!
The world is ever near:
I see the sights that dazzle,
The tempting sounds I hear.
My foes are ever near me,
Around me and within;
But, Jesus, draw Thou nearer,
And shield my soul from sin.

O Jesus,Thou hast promised
To all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory
There shall Thy servant be.
And, Jesus, I have promised
To serve thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow,
My Master and my Friend.

*BENEDICTION – Pastor Dan

*POSTLUDE – Just a Closer Walk with Thee

Today’s featured Image by jcomp on Freepik

October 29 – The Compassionate Life 

May our worship on this Reformation Sunday inspire each person participating
to become a messenger of our Savior’s Gospel of grace.

WELCOME

PRELUDE – Simple Gifts

*CALL TO WORSHIP – Pat Winship
One: Rejoice, people of God!
All: We praise God for the gift of life!
One: God is gracious and merciful.
All: God is slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.
One: Our God is a Mighty Fortress.
All: Together, let us praise God!

*HYMN – A Mighty Fortress Is Our God – #1

A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing,
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth His name, from age to age the same;
And He must win the battle.
82ils filled, Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim, We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo! his doom is sure;
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers no thanks to them abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours Through him who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still;
His kingdom is forever!

*PRAYER OF INVOCATION – Pat Winship
God Who Leads; we have not reached the Promised Land. We have not yet seen the fulfillment of all that you have spoken down through the generations. There remains much work to be done as your disciples in pursuit of “a just world for all.”

God Who Fulfills Promises; grant that we may have the vision of Moses, who trusted that your Realm Eternal, your precious Land of Milk and Honey, steadily is drawing near. Grant that we may be blessed with the courage of your prophets to continue working on behalf of your justice, even when these efforts seem futile.

Dear God, we give you thanks for gathering us together this morning. Here in your sanctuary, we vividly sense your closeness. We praise you for guiding us toward loving as Christ loves – toward being willing to sacrifice our own lives for others. Fill us with your Spirit of unselfishness, Jesus. We come to learn from you; for we long to walk in your footsteps. Amen.

*RESPONSE – We Bow Down – worship booklet, p. 93

You are Lord of creation and Lord of my life,
Lord of the land and the sea;
you were Lord of the heavens before there was time,
and Lord of all lords you will be.
We bow down, and we worship you, Lord;
we bow down, and we worship you, Lord;
we bow down, and we worship you, Lord;
Lord of all lords you will be.

GOD’S WORD – Psalm 1 – Pat Winship

SPECIAL MUSIC — Be Thou My Vision – Paul Manz

GOD’S WORD – 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 & Matthew 22:34-46 – Pastor Dan

SERMON – Pastor Dan

PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH & THE LORD’S PRAYER – Pastor Dan

UCC STATEMENT OF FAITH – worship booklet, p. 4

*HYMN – Be Thou My Vision – #400

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought by or by night,
Waking and sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and Thou only the first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

*BENEDICTION – Pastor Dan

*POSTLUDE – Prelude in Classic Style – Gordon Young

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