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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.

Order of Worship

Sunday, December 3, 2023
First Sunday of Advent

NEW TIME:  10:45 AM


MUSIC MINISTRY:  Ilene Wettergreen


Scriptures Readers:  

We acknowledge that we at Third Avenue United Church live, work, worship, and play on the traditional lands of Treaty 6 and the homeland of the Metis. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus once again, we remember everything this birth means for our whole world and all people: hope, peace, joy, and love. May we live our lives moving gently in creation, listening, learning, and striving to be people of reconciliation.
     Used with permission from Gathering: ACE 2022-2023; Jessica


Advent Candle Lighting:  (Cody Saril and Clarose Saril)
In a world filled with tragedy and chaos, we arrive weary, wary, and wrung out.
We come to find shelter from our fears, to discover hope as we practise our faith in worship.
We're tired of this marathon of difficulty, longing for relief through a return to what we once thought normal.
We come because the vulnerable Christ child enlightens us with possibility.
On this first Sunday of Advent, we light this first candle symbolizing hope-the assurance that the risen Christ transforms all things in love.
     Used with permission Gathering Pentecost - 2- 2023; Bill Perry

The first blue candle is lit

All Sing:A Candle is Burning” #6 VU
1.  A candle is burning, a flame warm and bright,
a candle of hope in December's dark night.
While angels sing blessings from heaven's starry sky,
our hearts we prepare now for Jesus is nigh

Flickering and fragile, this tiny flame opens us to wonder, to the heart of God, which transforms us as we join together in prayer:
We come to be sustained in life, O God, even as we wrestle. Inspire us to perceive the Way of Jesus as the path of wholeness. Unite us to become a community of faith woven as one by the Spirit. Teach us how to live by loving-kindness, becoming catalysts for hope in the hearts of those we encounter. Amen.
      Used with permission from Gathering: ACE 2023-2024; Gord Dunbar; adapted

1. Call to Worship:
During the Advent-Christmas season, we can feel so far away from God. We can feel distanced from the very reason Jesus was born into this world. The emptiness could be likened to the depth of the night sky before God placed the moon or stars. When these lights came into existence, the sky was suddenly multi-dimensional, ablaze with light and hope. With the salvation offered through Christ's birth, that same hope-filled peace bursts into our lives with the singing of heavenly hosts filling the skies. It is reflected through us and beckons others to come closer and experience what we know in the baby born in Bethlehem.
      Used with permission from Gathering: ACE 2023-2024; Della DeMoss adapted

2.  Opening Prayer:
We gathered this morning, God, waiting, anticipating. But we're not even sure what we are waiting for anymore. Yet we are here, ready to receive, to search, to ponder, and simply to be still in anticipation of something that will happen, that is happening among us now. Make us aware of the holy mystery that surrounds us always and keep us moving toward a deeper relationship with you. Amen.
      Used with permission from Gathering: ACE 2023-2024:Catherine Tovell

3.  Learning Time:

4. HymnAll Earth Is Waiting”  # 5 VU
1.  All earth is waiting to see the Promised One,
and open furrows await the seed of God.
All the world, bound and struggling, seeks true liberty;
it cries out for justice and searches for the truth.

2.  Thus says the prophet to those of Israel,
“A virgin mother will bear Emmanuel.”
One whose name is "God with us," our Saviour shall be,
through whom hope will blossom once more within our hearts.

3.  Mountains and valleys will have to be made plain,
open new highways, new highways for our God,
who is now coming closer, so come all and see,
and open the doorways as wide as wide can be.

4.  In lowly stable the Promised One appeared.
Yet, feel that presence throughout the earth today,
for Christ lives in all Christians and is with us now;
a-gain, on arriving, Christ brings us liberty.

5.  Prayer of Illumination:
In this Advent-Christmas time of giving, we ask for the gift of understanding your word. May it become in us a trust that overwhelms all doubt and fear. In Jesus' name. Amen.
     Used with permission from Gathering: ACE 2023-2024: Elizabeth Stewart

6. Scripture Lessons:

Isaiah 64: 1 - 9
O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence-as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil- to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed. We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. Yet, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be exceedingly angry, O LORD, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.

Responsive Reading Psalm 80: 1-7, 17-19 Part 1 page 794 VU
REFRAIN: “Your face, God, shine on us and give us peace.”

Shepherd of Israel, hear us,
     you who lead Joseph like a flock,
     you who are enthroned amidst the cherubim.

Shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh;
     stir up your might, come and save us. REFRAIN

God of hosts,
how long will you be angry with your people's prayer?
     You have fed us with the bread of weeping,
     and given us tears in plenty to drink.

You have made a mockery of us to our neighbours,
     and our enemies laugh us to scorn.
Let your hand rest on the one at your right hand,
on the one you have made strong for yourself.
     Then we will never forsake you;
     give us life, and we will call on your name. REFRAIN

7.  Reflection:

8. Hymn:O God of Every Nation # 677 VU
1.  O God of every nation, of every race and land,
redeem the whole creation with your almighty hand;
where hate and fear divide us and bitter threats are hurled,
in love and mercy guide us and heal our strife-torn world.

2.  From search for wealth and power and scorn of truth and right,
from trust in bombs that shower destruction through the night,
from pride of race and station and blindness to your way,
deliver every nation, eternal God, we pray.

3.  Give strength to those who labour that all may find release
from fear of rattling sabre, from dread of war's increase;
when hope and courage falter, your still small voice be heard:
with faith that none can alter, your servants undergird.

4.  Keep bright in us the vision of days when war shall cease,
when hatred and division, give way to love and peace,
till dawns the morning glorious when peace on earth shall reign
and Christ shall rule victorious o'er all the world's domain.

9.  Scripture Lesson:

1 Corinthians 1: 3 - 9
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind- just as the testimony of[ Christ has been strengthened among you- so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Mark 13: 24 - 37
The Coming of the Son of Man
“But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.”

The Lesson of the Fig Tree
“"From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near,” at

The Necessity for Watchfulness
But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It 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. Therefore, 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, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.

10. Reflection:

11. Hymn:  “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus # 2 VU
1.  Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free:
from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.

2.  Israel's strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art,
dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.

3.  Born thy people to deliver; born a child and yet a king;
born to reign in us for ever; now thy gracious kingdom bring.

4.  By thine own eternal Spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all-sufficient merit raise us to thy glorious throne.

12.  Prayer of Yearning:
The mountains quake at your presence, O God. The nations tremble at your feet. Rather than rejoicing in our salvation, we have wandered from your path and lost our way. Tear open the heavens and come down, Mighty One, as you did of old. Awaken our world from slumber, and help your people stand in awe at your glory. May your refiner's fire purify us of our transgressions, that we might be reshaped into vessels worthy of your kingdom. Amen.
     From the Abingdon Worship Annual 2023.
     Copyright @2022 by Abingdon Press. Used by permission

13.  Words of Assurance:
We have been enriched in every way through the grace and peace of Christ. When we abide in this grace and live in this peace we are vessels worthy of God's kingdom.
     From the Abingdon Worship Annual 2023.
     Copyright @2022 by Abingdon Press. Used by permission

14.  Affirmation of Faith:The Nicene Creed” VU 920
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God, begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
in accordance with the Scriptures;
On the third day he rose again
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father [and the Son],
who with the Father and the Son
is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism
for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

15.  Invitation to Offering:
We have been enriched and strengthened in so many ways by the gifts of God. Now we have the privilege of sharing God's Word with the world. Our offerings enable our church's witness in this community and a caring outreach around the globe. Let us give as we have been blessed.
     From Led by love Worship resources for Year B Copyright @1996
     by United Church Press; Cleaveland Ohio Used by permission

E-transfers can be sent to: thirdaveunited@sasktel.net
answer to security question is: “payment”

16.  Offertory:Away in the Manger  (tune # 69 VU)
O Christmas is coming, the season is here
Of folks buying presents for friends far and near.
To you God incarnate, our gifts now we bring

17. Offering Prayer:
Loving God, with hope and love, we bring our gifts to you. May our act of giving symbolize hope to the world. As we worship you through the Advent journey, may these offerings be blessed to bring hope for our work here in Third Avenue United Church and your work in the world. Amen.
     Used with permission from Gathering A/C.E 2032/24;Lori Van Santvoot-Jansekovich

18.  Sacrament of Communion:


Hymn:O Come, O Come, Emmanuel verse 1
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lowly exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.

Invitation to the Table
The prophets foretold it: The desert bursts into bloom.
Angelic messengers delivered news.
From that Bethlehem beginning, Jesus spent his life serving others, that all might know the compassionate care of a loving God. Today, Jesus serves us yet again, as we gather at this table prepared for us. Together, we are the Body of Christ.
At this table, we bear witness to our faith.
At this table, God brings wholeness out of brokenness and healing to our world.
Let us break bread together.
Blessings be to you, Creator God, who in the beginning brought light and life to the world and who continues to bring it love and light everlasting.
Your song of wisdom echoes through the ages;
your ancient promise still brings us hope.

Hymn:O Come, O Come, Emmanuel verse 2
O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who orders all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.

Dear Jesus of Advent, you remain a sacred mystery to us.
You have brought Good News for all the people, and we will not be afraid, for you are here.
We are hungry for your love, which surpasses our understanding; we are thirsty for your spirit that never runs dry.
In this meal, nourish our souls and our minds, quench our deepest longings, and forgive our limitations, that we may walk with you every day of our lives.

Hymn:O Come, O Come, Emmanuel verse 5
O come, O Key of David, come,
and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.

The Story Remembered
As we prepare to celebrate Christ's birth, we remember the life that this baby lived. We remember how he broke the bonds of human tradition to show all what the banquet of hope could be, as he ate openly with those who were despised and outcast in his world. And we remember one special meal, the one he ate with his closest friends.
At the end of the meal he took bread, blessed and broke it,
and then passed it to them, saying:
Take and eat. This bread is the body of life, broken by the world.
Eat it in remembrance and in hope.

The bread of life. (The bread is broken)

After that, he took the cup, poured it,
blessed it, and passed it to them saying:
This cup is the sign of the new covenant.
Whenever you drink it, remember me.

The cup of blessing. (The cup is poured)
Remembering the birth of the child in the stable, we remember also his life, his death, and his resurrection.
We remember how he poured his love out to all he met. We look forward to his return and the coming reign of peace, love, and justice. And, in our remembering, we declare the mystery of our faith:
Christ has died and Christ is risen.
Christ will come again!

Hymn:O Come, O Come, Emmanuel verse 6
O come, O Dayspring, from on high,
and cheer us by your 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.

Blessing of the Bread and Cup
Holy God, you poured your Spirit on Mary and she sang words of wonder and hope.
Pour out your Spirit upon us gathered here.
As we eat and drink, may we know your presence. As we eat and drink, may we be opened to new possibilities. May we be strengthened in our time of waiting for peace and justice, so that we will have the courage to follow the Christmas promise. These are the gifts of God for the people of God. All are welcome to share in the feast!

Sharing of the Meal

Prayer of Thanksgiving
God of Christmas promise, God of childlike hope, we thank you for this holy mystery in which you have given yourself to us. In this meal, we have been replenished and strengthened, the light of your love rekindled within us. lead us to lives marked by truth, and help us to boldly carry your light into the world. May we go into the world in peace. Mlay we be beacons of hope as we wait for the day when the world will be changed. May we go from here to speak your love and to walk in your Way, the Way of Jesus. Amen.

Hymn:O Come, O Come, Emmanuel verse 7
O come, Desire of nations, bind
all peoples in one heart and mind;
O bid our sad divisions cease,
and be for us the Prince of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.

     Communion Service by Kim Falls, Bethel Emily P.C. Omemee, ON
     Gathering, Advent, Christmas, Epiphany 2017-18 pg 72-73.
     Used with permission.

19.  Hymn:Hope is a Star Verse 1 # 7 VU
1.  Hope is a star that shines in the night,
leading us on till the morning is bright.
When God is a child there's joy in our song.
The last shall be first and the weak shall be strong, and none shall be afraid

20.  Blessing:
Go out this day blessed by the love of our joyful God who delights in you and your Advent journey. Take the hope God has in you and let it radiate in your soul, warming you and all those you meet.
We will share our hope in this season as a holy gift to God. Amen.
     Used with permission from Gathering A/C.E 2022/23;Gill Le Fevre adapted

21.  Three Fold Amen

Second Sunday of Advent:
        December 10, 2023:
         Isaiah 40:1-11;  Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13;
        2 Peter 3:8-15a;  Mark 1:1-8.

What's Happening

  1. SUNDAY, December 3, 2023  ““Third Avenue Cafe is Open!”   10:00 AM   Join us for coffee, tea or juice and something to nibble on before church

  2. SUNDAY, December 3, 2023, 2023  “First Sunday of Advent  SACRAMENT OF COMMUNION”   10:45 AM   Rev. Jo-Ann Hills  REFLECTIONS”  Sunday School  All Are Welcome

  3. TUESDAY, December 5, 2023  BIBLE STUDY  10:00 AM

  4. TUESDAY, December 5, 2023  HANDBELL PRACTICE  7:00 P.M.  We always welcome new members.  If you enjoy music please join us.

  5. TUESDAY, December 5, 2023  YOUTH ACTIVITY CLUB (YAC)  7:00 - 9:00 PM.  Logie hall GYM  All Youth 12 years and older are welcome

  6. SUNDAY, December 10, 2023  “Second Sunday of Advent”   10:45 AM   Rev. Jo-Ann Hills  “REFLECTION”  White Gift Sunday  Sunday school is collecting;
    • Toys for the Empty Stocking Fund
    • Warm winter clothing for the Lighthouse
    • Non-perishable food for the Food Bank
    Please bring your donations to church on Sunday morning or Donations can be left at the church office Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday from 9:30am - 3:30pm and Friday from 9:30am - 12:00
    All Donations Appreciated

  7. SUNDAY, December 10, 2023  “JOY TO THE WORLD”   Community Youth Choir   3:00 PM   Third Avenue United Church  All Are Welcome

  8. TUESDAY, December 12, 2023  “BATTLEFORDS CAROL FESTIVAL”  6:30 - 9:00 PM.  Church Sanctuary  Proceeds to Battlefords District Food and Resource Center  Join Us for an Evening of Carol Singing complete with Choirs and Musicians

  9. SUNDAY, December 17, 2023  “SUNDAY BRUNCH   11:30 AM - 1:00 PM   ALL ARE WELCOME!


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