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1301 - 102nd Street
North Battleford, Saskatchewan, S9A 1G4

Who are we? We are a community of faith, known as Third Avenue United Church, who have adopted and prayerfully put into words and deeds what we believe to be our Mission in this community and in the world, and that is: We seek to love and care for God’s creation through worship and service in Christian community. W E L C O M E
Thank you for worshipping with us today!

Background Music: “Canon of Thanks
Third Avenue United Church Choir

Order of Worship

First Sunday of Advent ~ December 1, 2019
Worship Service:   10:30am

ORDAINED MINISTER:  Rev. Dexter van Dyke
Pulpit Supply:  Cathy Richardson

MUSIC DIRECTOR:   Ilene Wettergreen
Pianist/Organist:  Glenn Goodman


SCRIPTURES READERS:  Members of the Sunday School

Time of Celebration
Preparation for Worship


A Celtic Caim:
Keep shadows without and light within
    let the light shine that we may be renewed.
Keep fear without and justice within;
    comfort, comfort all people.
Keep chaos without and life within;
    may those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.
Keep despair without and hope within;
    may we turn and having turned rejoice.
Come, O Advent God,
    and reveal your promise in us now.

  • (Seasons of the Spirit , Advent - Christmas- Epiphany 2008 - 2009 page 29 modified)

Opening Hymn:“There's a Voice in the Wilderness' ”  # 18 VU

In the days to come the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hill; all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall come and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that God may teach us God's ways and that we may walk in God's paths.”
- Isaiah 2:2-3 alt.

A child or youth says:
With what shall we come to God's house?

Leader: Bring branches of cedar and holly, bring evergreens and a pine tree, hang wreaths and garlands.
All: Make the church fragrant with the smell of living things and our holy play. In acts of hanging greens and listening to the words of prophets and seers let us make our hearts and this space a place of inward and outward preparation for the One who comes to give us second birth.

Advent Candle Lighting:
(This reflection/poem can be read every Sunday as an introduction to the liturgy.)
From light comes life. Deep in expectant earth, a seed stretches. Through the fire-start of imagination, an idea takes root. In a passionate flash, love glows with infant intensity. Safe in the womb, a child senses its season turning and stirs. It is Advent, something coming, vulnerable in its unstoppable desire. God, unquenchable light, may they grow - the seed, the love, the idea, the child.

An Advent Candle-lighting liturgy:
This Christmas, countless millions of people simply can't be at home. Forced out by the shadows of violence and fear, they are searching for safety and refuge. As we light the candles on our Advent wreath, we pray for all who seek to light the way out of poverty and despair.
Voice 1: As winter days dim and bow to early darkness, You, God of light, set watch in the night sky and beckon the wise to follow.
Voice 2: When hope hangs low in the human heart, you, loving creator, kindle compassion, breathing life into the early embers of change and empathy. (Light the blue candle)
Voice 1: We light a candle for hope, sending prayers high into the inky heavens and dreams deep into the human soul.
Voice 2: As Advent dawns, God of all hope, shine your light on the story of the saints who journeyed before us. May the seeds they planted in the world - hope, peace, joy, love - take hold in our hearts and stretch towards the light.
All: We light a candle for hope. May it light the way.

Hymn: “Hope Is a Star”   # 7 VU(verse 1)

Opening Prayer and The Lord's Prayer (# 921 VU)
Holy Presence, source of hope, in our busy and thing filled world May we hear the invitation to be patient, the invitation to not place our trust in the things of this world but in you, the God who is love eternal. May we know and be guided by Love's presence in our Advent preparations and journey. As we begin this year's Advent journey may we find cause for hope in our world and in our lives, as we remember the hopes and dreams of those who have traveled this road before us. May this Advent and Christmas season be a source of renewed hope for us and for others. And now we join to pray as Jesus taught his disciples to pray saying, “Our Father, . . . Amen.”

People of God, consider the doors of the sanctuary and contemplate the doorway to the Christian year on this first Sunday of Advent. Let us mark the entrance to the church building and our hearts and minds as portals for Christ to enter.
All: Come, Lord Jesus! Come, Lord Jesus!

Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the Ruler of glory may come in.
Who is the Ruler of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors! That the Ruler of glory may come in.
Who is this Ruler of glory?
The Lord of hosts, the Lord is the Ruler of glory!
- Psalm 24:7-10

Hanging Garlands/Wreaths
Leader: How shall we make this place a reminder of our need for repentance and the faithfulness and integrity that comes from God our maker and redeemer?
All: Let us hang wreaths and garlands as Hosea speaks the word of God:
Those hanging garlands and wreaths do so during the reading


A Reading from Hosea: 14: 4, 8 - 9
I will heal my people's disloyalty; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them. O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like an evergreen cypress; your faithfulness comes from me. Those who are wise understand these things; those who are discerning know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them. Here ends the reading.

Children's Youth Choir:  “Children Will Run

Time with the Young and the Young at heart:

Prayer of Transformation:
God who is love, God of wonder and surprise, there are times when we can get so caught up in the preparations for Christmas that we lose sight of the story of the birth of Jesus and what it seeks to tell us. We become so stressed by needing to be prepared that we stop preparing ourselves to receive Jesus anew. Sometimes we can become so overwhelmed by the things we think we have to do that we want it all to be over and done, behind us before it has happened. We want to carry on with what we think of as normal ordinary life. We want life to carry on as before as though nothing has changed. As we have need, may we be open to hearing the essential messages of Christmas, as if we were hearing them for the first time; may we turn from the things that distract us and turn toward You, our loving God. May this Advent time of waiting and turning open our hearts, our minds and our souls to the love that would transform us and through us transform the world, to bring the kingdom, the kin-dom that Jesus imagined and proclaimed. Amen.

Words of Assurance:

Halle, Halle, Halle: Sing Twice  # 958 VU {Please Stand}

Lighting the Christmas Tree:
Leader: God, the Holy One of Israel, is a God of comfort and compassion. With the Christmas tree we remember God's everlasting promises to the poor and needy. Isaiah spoke of God's making of the wilderness a place of blessing where water and plants, even pine trees, would manifest God's loving action to save and provide.
All: Let us light the tree as hear God's word.

A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah: 41: 17 - 20
When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive; I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together, so that all may see and know, all may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. The word of the Lord.

Children's Youth Choir:   “The World for Christmas

Hanging Chrismons or Other Symbols of Christ and Faith
Leader: Here in this place we prepare for the coming of the Lord. Here we will remember his Advent, his birth in Bethlehem, weak and helpless as an infant. And here we rekindle our prayer, "Come, Lord Jesus" as we await his coming as the bright and morning star.
All: Hang symbols and signs of Christ - ruler, prophet, priest. Hang stars, crosses, triangles, the "alpha" and the "omega" to remind us of his identity, his story, and of the holy Trinity.

A reading from the book of Revelation: 22: 12 - 14, 17
“See, I am coming soon ... I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. “It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let everyone who hears say, “Come.” And let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.
The word of the Lord.

Hymn:  “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus ” # 2 VU


Gifts of the People


Offertory Music:   [Those collecting offering, please remain at the back until the selection is complete. Thank you.]

Doxology: # 541 VU
Grant us God the grace of giving,,
with a spirit large and free,,
that ourselves and all our living,
we may offer faithfully.


Children's Youth Choir:  “African Alleluia”

Sharing our Joys and Concerns  (if the joy or concern you wish to bring is not your own please seek the agreement of the person to whom it belongs before bringing it on their behalf)

Prayers of the People:  (Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying) # 400 VU

Closing Hymn:  “May the God of Hope Go with Us   # 424 VU

Commissioning - Benediction - Choral Amen:   # 967 VU   (We ask that people remain standing (those that are able) until the Christ Candle is extinguished.)

This service contains materials borrowed from an online site Disciples Ministries The United Methodist Church Hanging of the Greens Service 2019

Please Note

We are asking the Congregation to bring items throughout the next 3 weeks. White Gift Sunday is on December 8, 2019. Please consider a donation of:
  • Warm, thick socks, mitts, toques. Scarves for a Christmas
  • gift to clients at the Lighthouse.
  • A new toy for the Empty Stocking gifts to children in our community.
  • Nonperishable food for the Food Bank
Please check the poster on the bulletin board for items listed as most needed by the Food Bank.

To Lisa Horning, Director of the Community Youth Choir and to the children of the choir for providing wonderful music and worshipping with us this morning

We Are Family

Our gifts for Mission & Service support ministries like Our Place Society in Victoria, British Columbia, which offers programs for those on the margins that make everyone feel like family.
One of the proudest moments of the Victoria Pride Parade was when a young pre-op transgender woman said that she never felt brave enough to walk in the parade until the day she marched with the staff and family of Our Place.
It says a lot about the unique downtown centre for Victoria's most vulnerable that this woman felt included in Our Place's definition of family. It is one thing to preach hope and belonging, but quite another to live it.

Lectionary Reading for December 1, 2019   First Sunday of Advent:  Isaiah 2:1-5;  Romans 13:11-14;  Matthew 24:36-44;  Psalm 122.


“Games Church” at Third Avenue United continues:. Join us on the following Sunday nights in Calvin Hall, December 8. Doors open at 5:15 PM, potluck at 5:30 PM, followed by a family friendly ecumenical church service, and then let the games begin! More dates to follow for the New Year! For further information, please feel free to contact Rev. Shawn at greenpriest@hotmail.ca or 306-481- 5654

Handbell practice on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 7:00 pm. Please join us in the sanctuary.  We always welcome new members.

Senior Choir practice on Thursday, December 5, 2019 will begin at 7:00 pm. And the Christmas Cantata practice will begin at 7:45 pm until 9 pm. We welcome anyone interested in joining us.

If you would like to sing or ring bells with us,
Join Us!

A table with books, pictures to color or draw your own, and crayons are at the back of the Sanctuary for children to use if they wish.

  1. SUNDAY, December 1, 2019  10:30   First Sunday of Advent - “Hanging of the Greens”  Cathy Richardson  Community Youth Choir  Sunday School helps with service  COME JOIN US FOR THIS SPECIAL SERVICE!

  2. MONDAY EVENINGS  YOUTH ACTIVITY CLUB (YAC)   Logie Hall Gym  7:00 - 9:00 pm  All Youth Welcome (12 years and older)  No Fees;   ALL ARE WELCOME!

  3. TUESDAY AFTERNOONS  1:30 - 3:00 pm    Rev. Dexter van Dyke  STUDY GROUP

  4. TUESDAY, December 3, 2019 at 7:00pm  Jubilation Handbell Ringers  We always welcome new members.  Please join us in the sanctuary.

  5. WEDNESDAY, December 4, 2019  7:00 - 9:00  OFFICIAL BOARD MEETING  Board Room

  6. THURSDAY, December 5, 2019  Senior Choir Practice will begin at 7:00 pm. And the Christmas Cantata practice will begin at 7:45 pm until 9 pm. We welcome anyone interested in joining us.

  7. SUNDAY, December 8, 2019  10:30   Second Sunday of Advent - “White Gifts Sunday”  Rev. Dexter van Dyke  Sunday School  ALL ARE WELCOME!

  8. SUNDAY, December 15, 2019  SUNDAY BRUNCH  11:30 A.M. - 1:00 P.M.  ALL ARE WELCOME! (See poster below)