First Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2022 11:00 am
Westport Presbyterian Church—The Phoenix is Rising!
(Video will be posted LIVE on the church’s FB page at 11am and then cross-posted here. If the video doesn’t load properly here, you should be able to click on the Watch on Facebook link and watch as a guest, even if you don’t have Facebook)
PRELUDE: Sleepers, Wake—J. S. Bach, transcribed by Myra Hess
RESPONSIVE CALL TO RETURN TO OUR SOULS
Leader: The night is far spent.
People: The Day of the Lord’s arriving draws near.
Leader: The Light of the World is coming, People: The Light that enlightens our deepest darkness,
Leader: The Light Shining into places that have long been totally unlit!
People: Each of us now has an opportunity to become light.
Leader: We wait between darkness, dim awareness and increasing light!
People: A holy space!
Leader: Advent is here!
People: A holy time!
Leader: Advent has begun!
Lighting of 1st Candle of Advent
HYMN: O Come, O Come Emmanuel (stanzas 1-5) #88 GtG
RESPONSIVE PRAYER OF CONFESSION AND COMMITMENT
Leader: Sometimes, we are learning that we have to hold hands,
People: Light one candle, and walk forward into the darkness,
Leader: Even when we don’t know what the next step will bring.
People: Walking by faith is not easy,
Leader: And we are sometimes frightened, discouraged or just plain tired.
People: But faith will take us places where we never thought we could go.
Leader: No one knows just what we are becoming,
People: But we know one thing for sure!
Leader: There is no turning back for people who are following People: The one whom we name Light of the World!
–adapted from a reflection by Rev. William Barber—Freedom, Justice and Moral Revival Leader in North Carolina
SUNG RESPONSE: While We Are Waiting, Come #92 GTG
BIBLE READINGS: Luke 21:25-36 Matthew 24:36-44
ANTHEM: Magnificat—text, Mary Louise Bringle; music, Norah Duncan IV
MESSAGE: Cosmic Portents!—Earthly Laments!—Advent’s Messages—Heaven Sent!
HYMN: Arise, Your Light Has Come #744 GtG
PRAYER: Merged Advent Prayer, Matthew 25 Prayer, Lord’s Prayer
SUNG RESPONSE: He Came Down #137 GtG
OFFERTORY: Blest Mary Walks Amid the Thorn—German folk carol, arr. Todd Marchand, Emma WitbolsFeugen, mezzo soprano
RESPONSIVE PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Pastor: It is through weakness and vulnerability that we learn empathy and compassion
People: And discover our souls.
Pastor: Under the greatest adversity there exists the greatest potential for doing good,
People: Both for oneself and others.
Pastor: The quality of human life on our planet is nothing more than the sum total of our daily interactions with one another.
People: Each time we help, or harm, we have a dramatic impact on our world.
Pastor: There comes a time when we need to stop just pulling people out of the river.
People: We need to dedicate ourselves to going upstream
Pastor: And find out why they are falling in.
People: Compassion is the radicalism of our time.
—The Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu
O come, Thou Dayspring, from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
POSTLUDE: Prepare the Way, O Zion (Bereden Väg För Herran, Swedish melody)—Lani Smith
- Thanks to all who pledged so far in our 2023 Pledge Drive. We have received pledges of $98,660 to date. If you have not pledged yet, now is the Kairos time (God’s moment!). We are still aiming to reach a goal of $115,000. We are thanking you for your generous support.
- Next Saturday, Dec 3 we will decorate the church for Christmas. Come join us for an event we haven’t made happen since 2019.
- Thursday, Dec. 8 at 6:00 p.m. is a ZOOM Forum/Dialogue on Anti-Racism and Police Reform, led by Micah Rose Emerson, Stan Morgan, Rev Scott, Karen Daniels and Brother John Anderson. Ask Rev Scott for the link. 75 minutes includes four 5 minute “Focus Talks” by our presenters, followed by 55 minutes of dialogue.
- Calling all bakers and helpers! Our HOLIDAY COOKIE SALE returns Saturday, Dec. 17 from 11:30-2:30 pm. We need volunteers who are willing to bake a few dozen cookies and/or work a shift on the day of the sale! Sign up if you can help! The sale is a fundraiser to support the church’s Westport Concert Series. Also pick up a flyer and help us spread the word!
- We will have an ADVENT CHOIR SERVICE on Sunday, Dec. 18. Want to join the choir for this special service? Contact our music director Emily Davidson. Practice will be after the church the 2 Sundays prior.
- WESTPORT SHOWERS WINTER CLOTHING DRIVE. We need to restock our winter clothing items for our clothing closet. We especially need Men’s Coats (Large & Extra Large), gloves, hats, warm socks, tennis shoes, backpacks & blankets.
- We are involved in the STEPTOE LIVES coalition, an effort to preserve and honor the history of Black Westport—the historic African American community that became strong just west of the church, around St. Luke’s Hospital and Embassy Suites and to the west of there. The most immediate effort is to change the name of 43rd Terrace back to its original name, Steptoe Street. We meet again on Thursday, Dec. 1 if you are interested. Zoom meetings.