Worship on December 22 – Fourth Sunday in AdventDec 23, 2019
As Christmas draws near, we meditate on the courage required of both Joseph and Mary. When Joseph learns of Mary’s pregnancy, he decides to avert a scandal and dismiss her quietly. But when an angel comes to him in a dream, he chooses to trust the angel and act counter to social and gender norms – all so that the world might know love. How might we practice courageous, counter-cultural love? How can we be brave enough to love one another and respond to God’s call in our lives?
Attendance last week, December 15: 8:30 ~ 91; 11:00 ~155
Lessons for this week, December 22: Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25
Lessons for next week, December 29: Isaiah 63:7-9; Psalm 148; Hebrews 2:10-18; Matthew 2:13-23
Lessons for January 5, 2020: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7,10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12
Altar Flowers: The poinsettias in the sanctuary and narthex for this Christmas season were donated by many of our members and friends. You can see the acknowledgments in the Christmas Eve worship bulletins. Do you enjoy seeing fresh flowers on the altar? Flowers may be donated to memorialize or celebrate a special event or person. If you would like to donate flowers, sign up in the Flower Book found in the literature rack in the narthex or contact the church office to place your order.
Welcome to Our Visitors Today: To thank you for coming, please pick up a BLC visitor mug containing some goodies and more information about who we are from the shelf above the literature rack in the narthex. Also, we encourage our members to take a mug to a new neighbor or friend as a way to introduce them to our church.
Children are welcome and encouraged to participate in worship. Our PrayGround, located under the Good Shepherd window in the sanctuary, is designed to help young children interact more fully with worship. If you have a child age 3 or under, we invite you to sit in a pew or on the floor and let your children play out what they are noticing in worship. Soft toys, books, and crayons are provided. This space was created to meet the needs of the youngest among us. If you feel a need for another space for your little one to wiggle, the nursery with a changing table and bathroom, is available for your use. The sound from the sanctuary is piped in, enabling you to hear the service.
Worship includes the weekly celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Gathering regularly around Word and Sacrament is central to our identity as God’s people. Christ comes to us in many ways, but we are assured of His presence in the bread and wine. In the meal of Holy Communion, we receive a tangible reminder of God’s love and forgiveness and become the body of Christ for the world.
Hospitality at the Table of Our Lord: The communion table is the place where we are united in the participation of receiving the sacrament when we gather for worship. It is important that we are gracious hosts at this table, and for that reason we offer grape juice as an alternative to wine so that all people can receive both the bread and cup. By offering gluten-free wafers and a non-alcoholic option for the cup, we are practicing the radical hospitality that Jesus offers to all of us, especially in the form of his own body and blood. If you would prefer to receive juice instead of wine, please let the assisting minister or communion assistant know. If you have any questions, please speak with Pastor Hoffman or Pastor Amy.
In Our Weekly Prayers during worship, we especially remember those who have a new or acute need for prayer. Our monthly Prayer Letter names those with an ongoing need for prayer, including those who are homebound or with long-term health concerns. Copies of the current Prayer Letter are available in the literature rack in the narthex. If you have a name to add to our Prayer Letter, please email email@example.com or call the church office at 223-0634.