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Nov. 28-2021 Sunday Worship - Advent I
Rev. Christine Smaller
Rev. Christine Smaller
Sunday, November 28, 2021
Service and Hymns
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November 28th, 2021 Advent 1 – Hope Sunday  

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Leading us today in worship:
Minister:                  Rev. Christine Smaller
Music Director:       Dr. Christopher Burton
Scripture Reader:   Debbie Potts                    
Advent Singers:       Grace Choir
Candle Lighters:     Susan & Perry Hoadley                            

Leader: regular font ~ All: bold font ~ Sung Words: bold italic font  

Please hand sanitize on entry and exit. Use one of the pew cushions if uncomfortable. You are welcome to respond in prayers and to sing the hymns while wearing a mask throughout the entire service.                                                    

Come Thou, Redeemer of the Earth ~ arr. by C. Burton          

Advent Candle-Lighting (Tune: Winter Wonderland)  

Singer 1: Advent’s here – are you ready?
Every year (yes, already)
the cycle comes round,
the Christ to be found.  
All:  Join us in the walk to Bethlehem.

Singer 2: In our lives there can be gloom and sorrow,
Fears, frustrations – yes, they can abound.
But the Christ child is coming (not tomorrow).
In this little One our hopes are found!  

Singer 1: Advent’s here – are you ready?
Every year (yes, already)
this first candle we light,
to guide through the night.  
All:  Join us in the walk to Bethlehem.  

(The blue candle of Hope is lit)  

Candle Lighting Hymn:  VU 7 Hope is a Star - Verse1
1. Hope is a star that shines in the night,
leading us on till the morning is bright.
When God is a child there’s joy in our song.   
The last shall be first and the weak shall be strong,   
and none shall be afraid.    

Welcome & Territorial Acknowledgement  

Call to Worship:
Can you be homesick for something you’ve never known?
We are homesick for a just world,
for peace like rivers,
for the end of suffering.
Yes, we are homesick—
for joy that is contagious,
for nations that feel like neighbours,
and for hospitals that run empty.
We are homesick for the world God promises.
We are homesick, but we are on our way.
God is here. God is still creating.
Let us worship Holy God.  

Opening Hymn: VU 1 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (verses 1,3,5 & 7)
1. O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lowly exile here
until the Son of God appear. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.  

3. O come, O come, great God of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai's height
in ancient times once gave the law
in cloud, and majesty, and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.  

5. O come, O Key of David, come,
and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.  

7. O come, Desire of nations, bind
all peoples in one heart and mind;
O bid our sad divisions cease
and be for us the Prince of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel. 

Prayer for Illumination:
God of the stars and God of our hearts—
our days will pass
but your words will last.

The earth might fade
but your words will last.
Our memories might blur
but your words will last.
The grass will wither
but your words will last.
The sky could go dark
and your words would last.
So as we listen today,
help us to hold onto
what will last.
Help us hold onto you.
Gratefully we pray, Amen.  


1 Thessalonians 3: 9-13  
How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you?  Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.

Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you.  And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you.  And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

Luke 21:25-36 “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.  People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory.  Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near.  So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.  Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth.  Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

The Word of God for the people of God.
Thanks be to God.  

Musical Interlude
O Ancient Love ~ Michael Joncas                       


Hymn:  VU 96 Will You Come and See the Light
1. Will you come and see the light from the stable door?
It is shining newly bright, though it shone before.
It will be your guiding star, it will show you who you are;
will you hide, or decide to meet the light?    

2. Will you step into the light that can free the slave?
It will stand for what is right, it will heal and save.
By the pyramids of greed there's a longing to be freed;
will you hide, or decide to meet the light?  

3. Will you tell about the light in the prison cell?
Though it's shackled out of sight, it is shining well.
When the truth is cut and bruised, and the innocent abused,
will you hide, or decide to meet the light?  

4. Will you join the hope, alight in the young girl's eyes,
of the mighty put to flight by a baby's cries?
When the lowest and the least are the foremost at the feast,
will you hide, or decide to meet the light?  

5. Will you travel by the light of the babe new born?
In the candle lit at night there's a gleam of dawn,
and the darkness all about is too dim to put it out:
will you hide, or decide to meet the light? 

Prayers of the People
We wait in the darkness,
expectantly, longingly, anxiously, thoughtfully.
The darkness is our friend.
In the darkness of the womb,
we have all been nurtured and protected.
In the darkness of the womb
the Christ-child was made ready for the journey into light.  

It is only in the darkness
that we can see the splendour of the universe –
blankets of stars, the solitary glowings of the planets.
It was the darkness that allowed the Magi to find the star that guided them to where the Christ-child lay.
In the darkness of the night, desert people find relief from the cruel relentless heat of the sun.

In the blessed desert darkness
Mary and Joseph were able to flee with the infant Jesus
to safety in Egypt.
In the darkness of sleep,
we are soothed and restored, healed and renewed.
In the darkness of sleep, dreams rise up.
God spoke to Joseph and the magi through dreams.  

God is speaking still.  

Sometimes in the solitude of the darkness
our fears and concerns, our hopes and visions
rise to the surface.
We come face to face with ourselves
and with the road that lies ahead of us.
And in that same darkness
we find companionship for the journey.  

And then, in the darkness
we know that you are with us, O God,
yet still we await your coming.
In the darkness that contains both
our hopelessness and our hope,
we watch for a sign of God’s hope.
For you are with us, O God,
in darkness and in light.  

The Lord’s Prayer:
As a child turns to a loving caregiver who watches over them, we turn in prayer to you O God, who are our heavenly parent, our mother,
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 trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.  

Passing the Peace:
The Peace of Christ be with you all.                         
And also with you.  

Everyone is invited to share the peace of Christ by offering a message in the chat box.  You may also wish to think of someone you would like to pass the peace to this week.  

Music while we share the Peace of Christ:         
Menuet ~ M. Ravel  

Invitation to the Offering:
Family of faith, it does not take long to see that we are not home yet. There are people who are hungry, oceans that are polluted, churches that are fading, walls that are growing. We are clearly not home yet. So until we reach that promised day, until we make it home, giving what we can to make a better world, matters.  When we give our tithes and our offerings, we help build God’s home here.  So with hopeful hearts, let us give.  

Prayer of Dedication:
Holy God,
We are homesick.
We long for the day that you spoke of when swords will be beaten into plowshares, the lion will lie down with the lamb, and justice will roll like waters. Until that holy day comes, take these gifts and use them to build that world here. We are hopeful. Amen.  

Offerings may be placed in the offering plate at the back of the sanctuary as you leave the service.          

Donate online:,  select “Give”
     or contact the office by email:
     or  phone: 519-599-2438 to arrange a cheque pick-up, or an e-transfer
     Mail: Grace UC, 140 Bruce St. S. PO Box 219, Thornbury, ON N0H 2P0

Care, Prayer, Share  

May you know that the God of comfort is with you.
And may you see the God of hope with you.
Open wide our anxious hearts!
We open them to God’s peace.
Let us give thanks and share our joy.
In this space and time, we offer God our love and praise.  

The dawn of hope rests on the horizon
And beams of love reach our doubting hearts.
We celebrate the newness of this season-
Waiting to see how the Christ will appear in our world.
Even in our despair, a glimmer of hope
reaches into our twilight
Beckoning us to breathe and wait…  

Our story tells us that the Christ child
whose birth we anticipate
Will one day sit at tables with strangers and friends,
Building relationships filled with love and grace.    

We see this as he fed the multitude,
Turned water into wine,
And ate with dear ones the night before his death.
He took the bread, blessed it, and broke it.
Eat in remembrance of me, he said.
He took the cup, and in his blessing
Reminded them that when they
sipped from the fruit of the vine
To drink in remembrance of him.  

Jesus.  The Christ.  Emmanuel – God with us.
Light of the World.  The Word of Life.
No matter how we know him
Or what name we call him,
He is our hope, our peace, our joy, and our love.
May the Spirit bless us and these elements as we commune to remember him.  

We eat the bread and drink the cup.  

Prayer of Thanksgiving
For the nourishment of spirit, mind, and body,
For hope that we begin to see,
And for comfort from the Prince of Peace,
We share our gratitude, Gracious God.
Encourage us in these shortened days.
Through the long nights of this season,
May your hope carry us until dawn arrives again.

“Bubble Up”- as numbers in attendance increase... if you choose, you are welcome to sit with others in your bubble giving us greater capacity.   

Closing Hymn: VU 9 People, Look East
1. People, look east.
The time is near of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love the guest is on the way.  

2. Furrows, be glad.
Though earth is bare, one more seed is planted there;
give up your strength the seed to nourish,
that in course the flower may flourish.
People, look east and sing today:
Love the rose is on the way.  

3. Birds, though you long have ceased to build,
guard the nest that must be filled;
even the hour when wings are frozen
God for fledgling time has chosen.
People, look east and sing today:
Love the bird is on the way.  

4. Stars, keep the watch.
When night is dim one more light the bowl shall brim,
shining beyond the frosty weather,
bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east and sing today:
Love the star is on the way.  

5. Angels, announce with shouts of mirth
Christ who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming
with the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east and sing today:
Love the Lord is on the way.

Commission and benediction:

Advent Sung Blessing: 
VU 429 May the Blessing of God be Upon You
May the blessing of God be upon you.
May God’s love light all your way.
May the grace of Christ enfold you
and peace around you stay.
May the Spirit of God dwell within you.
May you live in joy each day.  

Gigue from English Suite #4 ~ J.S. Bach  


RESOURCES USED (all with permission):

Prayers and Liturgies:
-     Advent Candle Lighting Liturgy: Written by Richard Bott. Gathering, Advent/Christmas/Epiphany 2015-2016, page 60. Used with permission.
-     Call to Worship:   Rev. Sarah (Are) Speed, A Sanctified Art LLC
-     Opening Prayer: Rev. Sarah (Are) Speed, A Sanctified Art LLC  
-     Prayer of Dedication: Rev. Sarah (Are) Speed | A Sanctified Art LLC -
-     Pastoral Prayer: Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand (abridged).  Posted by James Hawes, on Sunday Papers.
-     Advent Communion Liturgy (c) Michelle L. Torigian, 2019. Permission to use with attribution.  

Hymns and Sung Responses:
- “Hope is a Star.” Words: Brian Wren 1985. Music: Joan Collier Fogg 1987. Words and music copyright © 1989 Hope Publishing Company One License#608577.
- “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”  Words: from the Latin antiphons for Advent, ca. 9th century; trans. John Mason Neale 1851, et al. Music: 13th century plainsong melody, arr. Healey Willan. Words copyright © The Church Pension fund. Used by permission. Arrangement copyright © Concordia Publishing House. One License #608577
- “Will You Come and See the Light.”  Words: Brian Wren 1989. Music: Traditional Scottish melody; arr. Valerie Ruddle 1993. Words and arrangement copyright © 1993 Hope Publishing Company One License #608577.
- “People, Look East.” Words: Eleanor Farjeon 1928. Music: French folk melody; harm. Martin Fallas Shaw 1928. Words copyright © David Higham Associates. Harmony copyright © Oxford University Press 1928 One License #608577
- “May the Blessing of God Be upon You.” Words: R. Gordon Nodwell 1989. Music: William H. M. Wright 1989. Music copyright © 1995 William H. M. Wright  

Scripture Passage from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission.  

Prelude:  Come Thou, Redeemer of the Earth  arr. by C. Burton
Interlude: O Ancient Love   Michael Joncas
Passing of the Peace:  Menuet   M. Ravel
Postlude: Gigue from English Suite #4   J.S. Bach           
Public Domain