First Presbyterian Church of Byron
December 1, 2019 First Sunday of Advent
Rev. James Renfrew, Pastor Elder Shannon Thompson, Clerk of Session
Laurence Tallman, Music Director Elizabeth Weber, Organist Emeritus
PRELUDES “Holly and Ivy” (arr. J.Leavitt)
CHORAL INTROIT #95 “Prepare the Way of the Lord” (round)
WELCOME & ANNOUNCEMENTS
THE 1st ADVENT CANDLE – Gathering Up the Straw of Hope
From “Straw for the Manger”, Presbyterians Today, 2019 Advent Devotional
“Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?” [Matthew 25:37]
On this first Sunday of Advent, consider what gives you hope. Who took notice of you when you felt discouraged or alone in the world? What was done for you?
Now think about your neighbors. For many, it is the season of magnified loneliness and despair. How might you, your family and the church be the flesh and bone of Christ in your neighborhood and beyond?
Make Christ known through the sign language of kindness – it’s the language that all people of every nation and tribe can understand.
As we light this candle, reflect on what you choose to do and how it affects you, your family, the church and the community at large.
CALL TO WORSHIP
At the dawn of creation, that’s when God knew that a Savior would
be needed, that’s when Jesus’ story begins.
I thought the story begins with the baby born in Bethlehem?
According to John’s Gospel, Jesus, the Word of God, was in God’s
mind before anything else, before God even shaped the sun, moon
That goes back a very long time!
It also means that God was also thinking of you all those aeons ago,
knowing that you would need his Word, even in this present
God is wiser than I ever imagined!
Today we celebrate a new beginning in the coming of Jesus Christ.
And also my new beginning! Amen!
*LET’S SING! #14 “For the Beauty of the Earth”
CLEARING THE WAY
On this day when we imagine and anticipate a new beginning, we want to be honest about some of the new beginnings that didn’t work out: slow starts, wrong turns, dead ends, and getting hopelessly lost. We could draw up a long list of all of these, but on this day we are not discouraged, because you have an abundance of grace to share in Jesus. He is coming, and we can’t wait! Amen.
THE ABUNDANCE OF GOD’S LOVE AND CARE AWAIT US
God knows all about you and me, everything! But even with that knowledge about your mistakes and failings, God is excited for your new start and offers you an abundance of grace to get you underway in this new chapter of your life. It’s time and we’re ready! Amen!
*GLORIA PATRI #581
CHORAL ANTHEM “Welcome Christmas” (T.Geisel /A.Beck)
(Lights – Jordan Sloat, Mission Associate)
TIME WITH CHILDREN “Straw”
WE SHARE THE PEACE OF CHRIST
The peace of the Lord be with you. And also with you!
LET’S SING! #95 “Prepare the Way of the Lord”
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE / LORD’S PRAYER (with piano)
We share our prayers of adoration, thanksgiving, confession,
intercession, supplication and new commitment.
Please stand, if you can, so everyone can hear you!
OFFERTORY “Twas in the Moon of Winter Time” (traditional)
WE THANK GOD
We thank you, O God, for this new start. It’s not just for me, it’s for many others. May our offering help others along the Way! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
SCRIPTURE READING John 1:1-13
“In the beginning was the Word …”
MESSAGE “ A New Beginning, Your Beginning”
WHAT WE BELIEVE MATTERS
What we believe appears to be no more substantial than a pile of straw. Wishes, hopes and dreams … do they really amount to anything? A wish has no cash value. A hope produces no votes. A dream is just an illusion. But as people of faith these are the very things that build power for change. Each heart linking with another builds momentum, purpose and possibilities. Advent is a new beginning, this we believe, and we are so ready! In Jesus’ name! Amen.
*LET’S SING! #90 “You Shall Go Out with Joy”
*BLESSING #417 “Lord Jesus, Think On Me”
POSTLUDE “O Tannenbaum” (arranged by V.Guaraldi)
Today 9:45 AM Advent Sunday Worship
10:45 AM Hanging of the Greens, includes a free
meal, and a family Advent craft. Don’t be a Grinch! All Are welcome!
Tuesday 6:30 PM A Time to Sew (1st & 3rd Tuesdays)
Wednesday 7:00 PM Choir
Saturday 10AM-7PM Bell Ringing for Salvation Army at
Tops in LeRoy.
Next Sunday 9:45 AM Advent Begins! Sunday Worship
Prayers: Sgt. 1st Class Abigail Keller, David’s daughter, in Iraq. Lt. Leanna Paine now an Air Force nurse; her husband Matt Paine is also in the Air Force. Jean Roda at Wedgewood, Ruth McCracken at home, Melissa Marquez (doctor care), Barbara Renfrew in rehab, John Pike at Strong.
We have Children’s Activity Bags for children of all ages, including babies. These are especially handy when children prefer to remain with parents, or when Sunday School is not scheduled. Please leave them in the pews, so we know which ones to clean and refresh.
Accessibility: Dedicated parking spaces. Large print bulletins are available each Sunday. Restrooms are handicapped accessible. There is a wheelchair space in the rear pew. Lift at the side entrance is available to take you to all three levels. Let us know what else you might need!
Sunday School announcement: Do you like the last piece that Larry or Liz plays at the end of each service? So much that everyone remains seated to enjoy it! Now, each Sunday we will be bringing Kids Club and Sunday School children back to the sanctuary in time to hear it. No need to find your children after worship because they should be right here with you!
- “A Time to Sew” meets on Tuesday, December 3rd, 6:30 PM and it’s also our Women’s Christmas Party! Come to sew, come to watch others sewing, come to enjoy the gathering whether you care to sew or not! Our sewing group meets on 1st and 3rd Tuedays, 6:30 PM.
- Bell-ringing for Salvation Army at the LeRoy Tops, 10 AM until 7 PM. Sign-up list on back table.
- Birthday for Baby Jesus Party for children, Saturday, December 14, 1:00 PM. It’s also the time when we prepare for a special Worship program for children the next day. Do you have any young angels available?
- Children’s Christmas Story Presentation, choreographed, costumed, and narrated by Faline Tyler, December 15, 9:45 AM. All children welcome, practiced and unpracticed!
- Christmas Caroling, Friday, December 20, 6:30 PM. Please bring a flashlight so you can read the words to our songs. Cookies and Cocoa will follow at the church.
- Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24, 5:00 PM. Lots of Christmas music to enjoy!
- Please turn in your 2020 Estimates of Giving in the offering plate or in the church office as soon as possible. Thank you!
- Looking for Christmas gifts – consider a church cookbook, 200 Tastes for 200 Years for $7or an ornament that commemorates the 200th Anniversary for $5. Samples are on the back table – see Robin Glazier if interested.
- North Bergen Presbyterian Church offers a Food Pantry on 3rd and 4th Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8:30 PM, and 3rd and 4th Saturdays 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM. Our own Jordan SLoat volunteers there on Wednesdays. Stop in and say “hello” to him, our man on the forefront of mission.
The Giving Manger
(author unknown, thanks Patty Welch))
Christmas is coming.
Do you feel prepared?
Do you feel the joy
Of a Christmas shared?
This little manger
Is empty, it’s true.
Waiting for good deeds
To be done by you!
Lay a piece of straw
To the manger bed.
Having done a deed
With nothing said.
Then, when Christmas Eve
Is finally here.
It’s soft bed of straw
Should have appeared.
Ready to receive
The baby newly born,
Giving cause to celebrate
On Christmas morn!
… was the Word!
First Presbyterian Church,
Byron, New York