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Sunday, December 3, 2023
First Sunday of Advent


MUSIC MINISTRY:   Ilene Wettergreen



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

Welcome, Time of Celebration: Birthdays, Anniversaries
Announcements: The Life and Work of the Congregation

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.  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

4.  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

5.  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

6.  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.

7.  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
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8.  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

9. 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

10.  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.

11.  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

12.  Three Fold Amen

Scripture Readings, Reflection and Prayer

  • Scripture Lessons:  Isaiah 64:   1 - 9

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

  • Scripture Lessons:  1 Corinthians 1:  3 - 9

  • Scripture Lessons:  Mark 13:  24 - 37
    The Coming of the Son of Man
    The Lesson of the Fig Tree
    The Necessity for Watchfulness

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.

“Archived Videos”

“Live Stream” Broadcast Team:
Kenneth Holliday
Graeme Hoover
Raymond Humenny
Ken Smart

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Note: Don't have a Bible? By Clicking on the button below, you can open a new window in an Online Bible. By entering the BOOK and CHAPTER, you will be able to look up the references in the sermon. Copy and paste will work as long as there is no other words between the book name and chapter number. Try it and Enjoy!