Sunday, November 27, 2011

First Sunday of Advent Worship 2011: Peace


The Welcome Table
A Free Universalist Christian Missional Community


Following the radical Jesus in deeds not creeds. Join us in service to our community throughout the week. Our Welcome Table of Worship is open to all who welcome all, regardless of belief or denomination, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical abilities, economic status, or political affiliations. We don’t think Jesus would have it any other way.

Free because we are non-creedal. We don’t give theological tests for admission, but encourage you to test us and try us to see if this way is for you. Universalist because we believe God is Love and All who abide in Love abide in God for all time (1 John 4:16). Christian because the generous compassionate way and story of Jesus, while not exclusively so, is our primary pathway opening up to God. Missional because we are sent to serve others more than ourselves. Community because we are made not to be autonomous individuals but to be a people of God.

Invocation
Today is the day which God has made: Let us rejoice and be glad therein.
What does the Eternal require of us?
To live justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.

Chalice Lighting Covenant
This is our covenant as we walk together in life as a people of God striving to make Jesus visible in the world
: In the light of truth, and the loving and liberating spirit of Jesus, we gather in freedom, to worship God, and serve all.

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you As the day rises to meet the sun.

First Sunday of Advent
Introduction: Welcome To A New Kind of Time Zone and The Peace That Brings Us and Keeps Us In Abandoned Places, from Shane Claiborne, Common Prayer

Scripture:
But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.33Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.34It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.35Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn,36or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.37And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.” From Mark 13

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,48for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;49for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.50His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.51He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.52He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;53he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.54He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,55according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” From Luke 1

“To love someone is not first of all to do things for them, but to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say to them through our attitude: You are beautiful, you are important. I trust you. You can trust yourself. We all know well that we can do things for others and in the process crush them, making them feel that they are incapable of doing things by themselves. To love someone is to reveal to them their capacities for life, the light that is shining in them.” Jean Vanier

Lighting The Advent Candle For Peace

One:
The Christ of Peace is coming. Christ is always coming, always entering a troubled world, a wounded heart. And so we light the first candle, the candle of peace, and dare to express our longing for peace, for healing, and the well-being of all creation.

All: Loving God, as we enter this season, We open all the dark places in our lives and memories to your healing light. Prepare our hearts to be transformed by you, That we may walk in your light.

One:
We light this candle knowing full well that peace is elusive, and in some parts of the world, it is almost completely absent. Yet in this season of Advent, we trust that God is never absent from us. God is always preparing something new.

All: And even where there is war and discord, whether between countries, within families, or within our own hearts. God is present, gently leading us to new possibilities.
---Jeanyne Slettom, alt.


Morning Songs: Dona Nobis Pacem, I’ve Got Peace Like A River, Gonna Lay Down My Sword and Shield
Hymn For Advent: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

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

O come, Thou Day-Spring come, and cheer Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel, Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O Come, you Splendor very bright, as joy that never yields to might
O Come, and turn all hearts to peace, that greed and war at last shall cease.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel, Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Sharing Prayers

O God help us to be instruments of Thy peace. Where hate rules let us bring love;
where injury, pardon; where discord, union; where doubt, faith; where despair, hope; where darkness, light; where sorrow, joy. Let us strive more to comfort others than to be comforted; to understand others--than to be understood; to love others--than to be loved. For it is in giving, that we receive, and in pardoning, that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are raised to eternal life
.

Prayer of Confession:
Gracious and Loving God, we acknowledge to you, to one another, and to ourselves that we are not what you have called us to be. We have stifled our gifts and wasted our time. We have avoided opportunities to offer kindness, but have been quick to take offense. We have pretended that we could make no contribution to peace and justice in our world and have excused ourselves from risk-taking in our own community
. Have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and help us to live our lives differently. We long for peace within and without, for harmony in our families, for the well-being of our neighbors, and to love our enemies. Yet we have too often not made the hard choices that love requires. Show us how to walk in your path of faithfulness, hope, and love. Amen.
Words of Assurance:
One fact remains that does not change: God loves all, for all time. This is the good news that brings new life.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

Now we join in saying the prayer Jesus taught for all those who would follow in his way of radical compassion, courage, conscience, and commitment.
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. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Communion
Prayer:
O God, in the loving and liberating spirit of Jesus, we gather at this welcoming table open to all, remembering how Jesus gathered people from all the walks of life, stranger and friend and enemies, gave thanks to you, offered all the bread of life and the cup of blessing and proclaimed a covenant of love for all in your name. We remember too the wonder of his life, as we remember the wonder of all of Creation given unto us and how all are One. We remember the agony of his death, and all the terrors and the tyrannies that oppress people today. And we remember the power of resurrection, the mystery of faith in the everlasting Spirit, the triumph over fear. Help us to remember to practice resurrection everyday, as we remember all those who have given Love the ultimate trust and the last word and who have worked to create the beloved community of renewed and abundant life. Help us to remember with this meal especially all those who are hungry, and may we treat all our meals as sacred and to be shared. Take us, bless us, so that even in and with our brokenness we may serve others. Amen.
Jesus said I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me. And they said, Lord, when did we do this? And he said, You did this for me when you did it for the least of these.
Here is the bread of life, food for the spirit. Let all who hunger come and eat. Here is the fruit of the vine pressed and poured out for us. Let all who thirst now come and drink
. We come to make peace. We come to be restored in the love of God. We come to be made new as an instrument of that love.

Let us Break Bread Together on our knees, let us break bread together on our knees when I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun o Lord have mercy on me Let us drink wine together on our knees let us drink wine together on our knees when I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun o Lord have mercy on me let us praise God together on our knees let us praise God together on our knees when I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun O Lord have mercy on me.
Passing the Plate and Cup of Communion

“We’re Going to Sit At the Welcome Table”
1.We’re gonna sit at the welcome table, we’re gonna sit at the welcome table one of these days halleluia We’re gonna sit at the welcome table, gonna sit at the welcome table one of these days 2.All kinds of people round that table, all kinds of people round that table one of these days halleluia, all kinds of people around that table, gonna sit at the welcome table one of these days 3.No fancy style at the welcome table, no fancy style at the welcome table one of these days halleluia, no fancy style at the welcome table, gonna sit at the welcome table one of these days.

Benediction
Let us go out into the highways and byways. Let us give the people something of our new vision. We may possess a small light, but may we uncover it, and let it shine. May we use it to bring more light and understanding to the hearts and minds of men and women. May we give them not hell but hope and courage. May we preach and practice the kindness and everlasting love of God. Amen


“Shalom Havyreem, Shalom Havyreem, Shalom, Shalom, Shalom Havyreem, Shalom Havyreem, Shalom, Shalom”
“Go Now in Peace, Go Now in Peace, May the Love of God surround you, everywhere, everywhere, you may go.



For more on our community and way, www.progressivechurchplanting.blogspot.com www.missionalprogressives.blogspot.com, www.turleyok.blogspot.com, www.uuchristian.org, www.tcpc.org, www.uua.org, www.ccda.org, www.christianuniversalist.org
 

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