Announcements & A Word of Welcome
Family: This is the First Sunday in Advent and the beginning of a new journey of faith.
All: Our hope is in the Lord and we await His Return.
(Lighting of the First Purple Advent Candle)
Family: This hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. Amen.
Gathering & Prelude
Prayer of Adoration & Confession
Guide: Almighty Lord of Life and Creator of the Cosmos, You have called us by name and we have responded to Your voice. In this house of praise and prayer, we seek Your presence and yearn for Your favor.
People: Faithful Father, whose words bless our lives and whose ways grant us hope, we turn to You as our Counselor and Comforter, our sacred source of goodness and holiness, of strength and love. We are also weary of our sins and regret our past mistakes; we are sorry for our failings and apologize to You for our imperfections.
Guide: Merciful Majesty, when we choose to ignore Your voice and follow our own counsel, forgive us. When we rebel against Your word and neglect to do good, pardon us. When idolize ourselves and cast aside Your ways, have mercy upon us. Hear us now as we humbly pray.
- Silent Confessions -
Guide: Gracious Lord, Your love sustains us and Your grace restores us. Your Son Jesus bled for our sins and died for our selfish deeds. We will always be indebted to You for grace. We will always be thankful to You for saving us. We place our lives into Your hands and give our hearts to Jesus. By His authority we are forgiven and in His words, we now thankfully pray, saying, "Our Father..." THE LORD’S PRAYER (debts/debtors)
Promise of the Gospel
Guide: Christ taught us about God and showed us how to live our lives. He was sent to save humanity and restore the entire world to God's Kingdom. His truth endures and we are forgiven of our past mistakes. We are returned to God's love and favor. So let rejoice forever, for we are Christ's people and through Him, we are God's favored servants. Amen.
Gloria Patri (sung/unison): Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Amen.
Family Sermon (parents and all children, including Elementary school students come forward)
Prayers for Health and Healing
Pastor: O LORD, You are the most important part of our lives and we have promised to obey You. Today, we seek You with all of our hearts; be gracious to us and hear our prayers.
People: Help us to reconsider our ways and look to You for strength and salvation. Enable us to adhere to Your sacred will and accept Your holy words.
Pastor: Though fear and frustration, pain and perplexity may disturb our souls, we will not forget Your mercy. We give You thanks for the possibilities of prayer; we humbly ask that You heal us, our families and friends, of all that is harmful to our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls. Hear us now as we pray.
Silent Prayers for others and ourselves.
Pastor: The Earth is filled with Your love, O Lord; teach us Your gracious ways. In Jesus' Name, we pray. Amen.
(Healing prayer based on words & phrases from Psalm 119:Heth)
Singing of ‘Jesus, Draw me Close.'
Prayer for Illumination
Reader: Holy Spirit, we have gathered from different places, both near and far, to be with our families at worship. Strengthen us by Christ's mighty words, and inspire us to receive, follow, and apply His ways. In Jesus' Name, we pray. Amen.
The Message & The Apostles’ Creed
Offering & Offertory
Dedication (unison): Lord Jesus, when we ask You to guide and help us, You always answer our needs and prayers. In response to these blessings, we bring to You our tithes and offerings, as symbols of our thankfulness and tokens of our faith. Receive this offering and bless it for the continuing life, work, and mission of Your church in this community and throughout the world. In Your Holy Name, we give and pray. Amen.
Benediction (unison): May Christ boldly challenge our lives and change our ways; may the Father constantly remind us of His love and mercy; and may the Holy Spirit keep granting us grace, so that we may encourage other people every day to glorify the One, Triune and Living God, both now and forevermore. Amen.
Doxology Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; etc & Postlude