The Service of Worship of the First Presbyterian Church of Ulysses in Trumansburg, December 13, 2020

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Where I was born and where and how I lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.”  D.L. Moody

For Reflection 

“You show your gratitude through your generous offerings to your needy brothers and sisters, and really toward everyone. Meanwhile, moved by the extravagance of God in your lives, they’ll respond by praying for you in passionate intercession for whatever you need. Thank God for this gift, His gift. No language can praise it enough!” 2 Corinthians 9:13b-15

The Welcome, News and Announcements                                 

The Minute for Stewardship                                                        Jeannette Little

The Hymn #697, “Take My Life”

  1. Take my life, and let it be
    Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
    Take my moments and my days,
    Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
    Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

4.  Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;

Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose,
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

6.  Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.

The Introit   

The Call to Worship                                                   Kris Alling                                                                              

Leader: Prepare the way of the Lord;

People: Make a path for our God in the desert.

Leader: Each valley should be exalted;

People: Every mountain and hill be laid low.

 Leader: The crooked shall become straight;

People: Rough places shall become plain.

Leader: The glory of the Lord shall be revealed;

People: All people shall see it together.

Leader: This is the promise of the Lord; People: God’s promise shall be fulfilled.

The Unison Prayer of Confession                                                 

Holy One, help us to remember that with you, all things are possible even in the season of Advent when we hear the exhortation to “let Christ be born in you! Let hope be born, Let truth be born. Let concern for the poor be born. Let close communion with God be born. Let action be born. Let the faith to take up your cross and follow be born in you! And let it lead you in the ways of our Lord.” Help us to live out the faith we claim. Amen.

Our Response # 437

You are the Lord, Giver of Mercy

You are the Christ, Giver of Mercy

You are the Lord, Giver of Mercy.

The Lighting of the Advent Candle                          Kris Alling                                                                          

One: Today we light the candle of hope, the candle of peace, and the pink candle- the candle of joy. This pink candle is also known as the Mary candle. Mary reminds us that we, too, carry this same Joy in our lives as we live in a world that lifts up the powerful over the lowly, the prideful over the humble, and the strong over the weak. As we light this candle of joy, we acknowledge how hard it is to feel joy this year. We acknowledge Mary as a teacher of compassionate services. We acknowledge our shared Incarnate Joy of Christ within us as we continue our journey of Advent.

The Advent Hymn (Verse Three) “Light the Advent Candle”                                                                           

(Please, from the safety of your home, feel free to sing out with gusto.)

“Light the Advent candle, three: Thinking of heavenly harmony, “Peace on Earth,” at the blessed Savior’s birth. Candle, candle burning bright, shining in the cold winter night; candle, candle, burning bright, fill our hearts with Christmas light.”

The Unison Advent Prayer                                                                               

All: Holy God, we thank you for the gift of joy that is found in Christ Jesus. Remind us of this Incarnate Joy within us as we enter into another week ahead. Amen.

 The Scripture Lesson                               Psalm 126 (A Psalm of Ascents)

1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,[a]
    we were like those who dream.
2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
3 The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we rejoiced.

4 Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
    like the watercourses in the Negeb.
5 May those who sow in tears
    reap with shouts of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
    bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
    carrying their sheaves.

The New Testament Lesson  

Matthew 3:4-6

4 Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

The Hymn #97, “Watchman, Tell Us of the Night”

(Please, from the safety of your home, feel free to sing out with gusto.)

1. Watchman, tell us of the night,
What its signs of promise are.
Traveler, over yon mountain’s height,
See that glory beaming star.
Watchman, does its beauteous ray
Aught of joy or hope foretell?
Traveler, yes – it brings the day,
Promised day of Israel.

2. Watchman, tell us of the night;
Higher yet that star ascends.
Traveler, blessedness and light,
Peace and truth its course portends.
Watchman, will its beams alone
Gild the spot that gave them birth?
Traveler, ages are its own;
See, it bursts over all the earth.

3. Watchman, tell us of the night,
For the morning seems to dawn.
Traveler, darkness takes its flight,
Doubt and terror are withdrawn.
Watchman, let thy wanderings cease;
Hie thee to thy quiet home.1
Traveler, lo! the Prince of Peace,
Lo! the Son of God is come!

We Proclaim God’s Word

Prayer of Illumination                                                                                      

The Sermon                

Music for Meditation

We Respond to God’s Word

The Offertory

The Offertory Anthem          

**The Doxology

**The Unison Prayer of Dedication 

The land has yielded its increase, and we have been blessed, O God. For all your good gifts we give humble thanks. Now we would share some of your bounty, use these gifts to feed your flocks and carry your lambs to safety. Amen.

The Joys and Concerns 

The Silent, Intercessory and the Lord’s Prayer

…Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name,    

    your kingdom come, your 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; 

    and lead us not into temptation, 

        but deliver us from evil. 

        For thine is the kingdom, 

    and the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen

We Go Forth in God’s Name

**The Charge and Benediction

**The Sending Hymn #747,  “The Lord Now Sends Us Forth” 

(Please, from the safety of your home, feel free to sing out with gusto.)

The Lord now sends us forth with hands to serve and give,
to make of all the earth a better place to live.
The angels are not sent into our world of pain
to do what we were meant to do in Jesus’ name;
that falls to you and me and all who are made free,
Help us, O Lord, we pray, to do your will today.



Call to Worship reprinted from Cloth from the Cradle; Wild Goose Pub; Invocation adapted and reprinted from The Uncluttered Heart; by Beth Richardson; Unison Prayer of Dedication reprinted from Whispers of God by Lavon Bayler

Many thanks to our Liturgists, Kris Alling and Jeanette Little. Thanks also to our projectionist, Rylan Erickson and our Director and Videographer, Stephen Little .

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