Advent 2018


“Comfort Ye” and “Every Valley” from Messiah by G. F. Handel 

Soloist, Anthony McGlaun


Professor Mark Miller, Director of Craig Chapel 

Call to Worship

Dr. J. Terry Todd

One: We gather in this waiting place searching for a sign, a guide, something to tell us that our journey is not in vain. We await a world where truth and wholeness reigns, a world where all things are made new.

All: We wait.

One: We watch the heavens and the earth searching creation for evidence of God’s presence. We find glimmers of it in the laughter of a child overcome with joy. We feel it in hands that reach out to us in love. We sense it in the stars blanketing the night sky – pinpricks of hope in a vast unknown.

All: We watch.

One: We look to the stars and dream of another world. We dream of wrongs made right, of a place without hunger, a place where the naked are clothed and the lonely are set in families. We dream of a time filled with dance and song, a time when every tear will be dried. We dream of a world where last and first have no place.

All: We look to the stars and dream.

Opening Processional

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” 

Words: 9th cent. Latin (v. 1, 6, 7); Henry Sloane Coffin (v. 2) 
Music: 15th cent. French; arr. and harm. by Thomas Helmore

Introduction to the Service

Kelsey Wallace


Reggie Steele

Luke 1:19 (NRSV)

19 The angel said, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.


“The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came” 

Basque Carol
Words: para. Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924)

The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
With wings as drifted snow and eyes as flame
“All hail, all hail, O lowly maiden Mary”
Most highly and most favored, Gloria!

“For now a blessed mother you shall be
All generations praise continually
Your son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold.”
Most highly and most favored, Gloria!

The Angel Gabriel

Dr. Angella Son

Moving Music

“Come, Come Whoever You Are”

By Dale Zola


Hayoung Kang

Luke 1:10-13; 18; 21-22 (NRSV)

10 Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11 Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw the angel, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.

18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.”

21 Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary. 22 When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak.


“It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” 

Words by Edmund Sears
Music by Richard Storrs Willis

v. 1: all; v. 2: faculty and staff; v. 3: students and alumni; v.4: soloist; v. 5 al

It came upon the midnight clear
That glorious song of old
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold
Peace on the earth, goodwill to all
The message from heaven they bring
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing
And ever o’er its babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long
Beneath the angel-strain
Have rolled two thousand years of wrong
And we, at constant war hear not
The love-song which they bring
O hush, the noise, all we of strife
And hear the angels sing.

And you, beneath life’s crushing load
Whose forms are bending low
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow
Look now! For glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing!

For Lo! The days are hastening on
By prophet bards foretold
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold
When peace shall over all the earth
It’s ancient splendors fling
And the whole world
Give back the song
Which now the angels sing.


Craig Dunn

Moving Music

“Camina, Pueblo de Dios”

Words and Music by Cesareo Gabaraín

Camina, pueblo de Dios, camina, pueblo de Dios
Nueva ley, nueva alianza, en la nueva creación!
Camina, pueblo de Dios, camina, pueblo de Dios


“Choose Something Like a Star”

By Randall Thompson

Advent Choir


Brendan Fox and Ann-Marie Brown

Luke 1:28-38; 2:1-5 (NRSV)

28 And Gabriel came to Mary and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

1 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.


“While We Are Waiting, Come” 

Words by Claire Cloninger, music by Don Cason


Dean Melanie Johnson DeBaufre

Moving Music

“Canticle of the Turning” 

Words by Rory Cooney
Music: Star of the County Down, Trad. Irish 

My soul cries out with a joyful shout
That the God of my heart is great
And my spirit sings of the wondrous things
That you bring to the ones who wait

You fixed your sight on a servant’s plight
And my weakness you did not spurn
So from east to west, shall my name be blest
Could the world be about to turn!

My heart shall sing of the day you bring
Let the fires of your justice burn
Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near
And the world is about to turn!

Though I am small my God, my all
You work great things in me
And your mercy will last from the depths of the past
Til the end of the age to be

Your very name puts the proud to shame
And to those who would for you yearn
You will show your might put the strong to flight
For the world is about to turn!

From the halls of power to the fortress tower
Not a stone will be left on stone
Let the king beware for your justice tears
Every tyrant from his throne

The hungry poor shall weep no more
For the food they can never earn
Every table’s spread every mouth be fed
For the world is about to turn!

Though the nations rage from age to age
We remember who holds us fast
God’s mercy must deliver us
from the conqueror’s crushing grasp

This saving word that our forbears heard
Is the promise which holds us bound
Til the spear and rod can be crushed by God
Who is turning the world around!


The Rev. Dr. Heather Murray Elkins

Congregational Song


Words & music by Sinach

You are here in our midst we worship you
You are here healing every life we worship you

You are here turning lives around we worship you 2x
You are here you are working miracles we worship you 2x

WayMaker, Miracle Worker
Promise Keeper, Light in the Darkness
That is who you are

Charge to the Community

Professor Mark Miller, Director of Craig Chapel 


“Walk in the Light”

Words by Charles Wesley & George Elderkin
Music by George Elderkin

Joyful all ye nations rise,
Jesus! The light of the world

Join the triumph of the skies,
Jesus! The light of the world

We’ll walk in the light, beautiful light!
Come where the dew drops of mercy shine bright!
Shine all around us by day and by night
Jesus, the light of the world!

Christ, by highest heaven adored
Jesus! The light of the world

Christ, the everlasting Lord
Jesus! The light of the world

We’ll walk in the light, beautiful light!
Come where the dew drops of mercy shine bright!
Shine all around us by day and by night
Jesus, the light of the world!

6 December 2018

Gathering Music

Call to Worhsip

One: Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem, and put on forever the beauty of the glory from God.

Many: For God will show your splendor everywhere under heaven.

One: Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height; look towards the east, and see your children gathered from west and east

Many: at the word of the Holy One, we rejoice that God has remembered us.

“People Look East” 

Malachi 3:1-2 (NRSV)

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap

“Give Me a Clean Heart”

Philippians 1:3-7 (NRSV)

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel.

“A Good Work”

May the one who began a good work 3x
Be faithful to complete it in you.

I thank god every time I remember you. 3x
Constantly praying, constantly praying constantly praying for you

Luke 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” 

“Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord”


Dean Tanya Linn Bennett


While we wait, we are fed. The Holy Child invites us to this table, every one.
While we wait, we are emptied of all that fills us with falseness and fear.
And we confess together….

Holy One who makes us whole, we are impatient and demanding; we want to know what to expect. We worry and we hide; we are not sure what you will see when the Great Star shines down on us. Gracious One, free us from this trap. Keep us alert. Make us ready for your Great Good News to arrive again.

Passing of the Peace

Great Thanksgiving

L: God is with us.
P: We open our hearts
L: God enters in
P: And we are made well.

In this season of waiting, we are thankful, God, that you are here. You created everything we know. You set light in the skies, and put living things on the earth. You shaped us with holy hands, and breathed your Spirit into us. We turned away from you, but you never left us alone. When we forgot to love you, you always loved us. You got tired of waiting for us to remember you, so you sent Angels to tell us that your Love and Peace and Joy would come to earth, reminding us who and whose we are.


We didn’t recognize the One you sent.  We didn’t know he was Emmanuel, You with Us.  Jesus came to eat with the ones we left outside, to heal the ones we feared, to love the ones we rejected, to tear down the walls that kept us apart.  God with Us. Guiding us with gentle hands or hard words, Jesus tried to show us how we could all be free in your great Love.

Even when we abandoned him, Emmanuel would not leave us.  Before he was taken away, with a love too gentle to judge and too strong to surrender, Jesus gathered us one last time around a table.  He took bread and blessed it and gave it to us and said, “Eat. This is my self given for you. Whenever you do this, remember me.” When we had eaten, Jesus took the cup, thanked You, and said, “This is the cup of grace and forgiveness, new promise for new life.  When you drink this, remember me.”

With wonder and awe at Your amazing work through Jesus Christ, we give ourselves back to You, returning with praise and thanks that You are still here waiting.  We sing out with joy the mystery that is our faith in you and your faith in us.

“Memorial Acclamation” 

Shine your Holy Spirit into all of us here, and on this simple food that becomes a holy feast by your grace and mercy. May it give us courage to be Emmanuel for this time and place. Make us one in Jesus Christ, and one in ministry for the whole world, while we wait for Jesus to come again and eat with us at the table of paradise.

This year, when the star rises in the night sky, may we rise to stand with the wise people at the side of the One you send. Expecting something we could never imagine, and rejoicing that we will be set free once more. All honor and glory is yours, Almighty God, now and forever. Amen.

“The Lord’s Prayer”

Consecration and Serving of the Elements 

Closing Choral Response

“And the Glory of the Lord” 


Dean Tanya Linn Bennett 

5 December 2018

Gathering Music 

Call to Prayer

One: Since the beginning, God has been relentlessly pursuing us in love.
Many: Though our faithfulness ebbs and flows, God’s love endures forever.
One: Taking on flesh like ours, God became one with humanity in the person of Jesus Christ.
Many: God lived and moved and ministered in the margins of power.
One: God incarnate was not what we expected. We did not recognize God in Jesus. Still, we struggle to recognize God with us.
Many:And yet, God continues to dwell in our midst. Thanks be to God.

Sung Evening Confession

“Vindicated” by Dashboard Confessional

I am selfish
I am wrong
I am right, I swear I’m right
Swear I knew it all along and
I am flawed
But I am cleaning up so well
I am seeing in me now the things you swore you saw yourself


John 1:1-5, 9-14, 16 (CEB)

1 In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
2 The Word was with God in the beginning.
3 Everything came into being through the Word,
and without the Word
nothing came into being.
What came into being
4 through the Word was life,
and the life was the light for all people.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.
9 The true light that shines on all people
was coming into the world.
10 The light was in the world,
and the world came into being through the light,
but the world didn’t recognize the light.
11 The light came to the light’s own people,
but they didn’t welcome him.
12 But those who did welcome him,
those who believed in the name,
the light authorized to become God’s children,
13 born not from blood
nor from human desire or passion,
but born from God.
14 The Word became flesh
and made a home among us.
We have seen the glory of the light,
glory like that of a parent’s beloved child,
full of grace and truth.
16 From the fullness of the Word we have all received grace upon grace.

Sung Response

“Come, Come”

Come, Come, whoever you are!

Worshipper, wanderer lover of leaving.

Ours is not a caravan of despair.

Though you have broken your vows

a thousand times,

Come, come again come


Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber (p. 188-189)

It was Jesus who had all the powers of the universe at his disposal but did not consider his equality with God something to be exploited. Instead, he came to us in the most vulnerable of ways, as a powerless, flesh-and-blood newborn. As if to say, “You may hate your bodies, but I am blessing all human flesh. You may admire strength and might, but I am blessing all human weakness. You may seek power, but I am blessing all human vulnerability.” This Jesus whom we follow cried at the tomb of his friend and turned the other cheek and forgave those who hung him on a cross. He was God’s Beatitude – God’s blessing to the weak in a world that admires only the strong.

What is this coming together to live and tell and be made into the story of Jesus if not a melting and being reformed?

We expose ourselves to the brightness of God’s light and it warms us for a while, but eventually we melt. Our resistances and plans and schemes and scars and pride all melt down in times when we are forgiven by friends … and when we embrace that thing we were trying to hide from (in others and ourselves), and when we meet someone else’s need … When all of it is given meaning in the larger story of Jesus Christ, it destroys us, then pours our melted selves back into another form that still bears the marks of how we got there. Then we become something that can bear light, the brightness of which is not diminished, even when divided and borrowed.

Silent Reflection

Sung Response

“Come, Come”

Come, Come, whoever you are!

Worshipper, wanderer lover of leaving.

Ours is not a caravan of despair.

Though you have broken your vows

a thousand times,

Come, come again come

Prayers of the People

God, we lift up to you those who are far from home, those you have gathered from the east, west, north and south, from all around the world, and those lost in the wilderness, lonely and afraid.

Give them a space, a city in the desert, a broad place in which to thrive. Help them to find their way.

God we bring before you the hungry and thirsty, those saddled with financial debt and those suffering the weight of shame, those with empty stomachs and those with hollow hearts.

Plant them in the rich soil of your Spirit, fill their lives with people who will share their hearts, homes, and tables.

God, we lay at your feet the prisoners of this world, the truly guilty and the wrongly accused, those who are incarcerated and the loved ones chained to addictions and depression or trapped in abuse.

Deliver them from their desperate circumstances. Bring them out of the shadow. Shatter their chains and spit their cages in two. Show them where your Spirit lives, for where the Spirit is, there is freedom.

God, we entrust to you those staggering through the storms of life, shipwrecked on the shore of illness, death, grief, and loss.

Quiet the storm to a whisper; calm the waves to a hush. Break through the clouds with hope. Stand with them and help us to stand.

We pray all of these things, confident of your love, grateful for your faithfulness and in awe of all you’ve already done. Amen.


The New Beatitudes by Nadia Bolz Weber (Accidental Saints p. 184-187)

In her book Accidental Saints, Nadia Bolz Weber suggests some new beatitudes. She says, “Maybe Jesus was simply blessing the ones around him that day who didn’t otherwise receive blessing, who had come to believe that, for them blessings would never be in the cards.” So, friends let us imagine Jesus the Christ, standing among us saying:

Blessed are the agnostics. Blessed are they who doubt. Those who aren’t sure, who can still be surprised.

Blessed are they who are spiritually impoverished and therefore not so certain about everything that they no longer take in new information.

Blessed are those who have nothing to offer.

Blessed are the pre-schoolers who cut in line at communion.

Blessed are the poor in spirit. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

Blessed are they for whom death is not an abstraction. Blessed are they who have buried their loved ones, for whom tears are as real as an ocean. Blessed are they who have loved enough to know what loss feels like.

Blessed are the mothers of the miscarried.

Blessed are they who don’t have the luxury of taking things for granted any more.

Blessed are they who can’t fall apart because they have to keep it together for everyone else. Blessed are the motherless, the alone, the ones from whom so much has been taken. Blessed are those who “still aren’t over it yet.”

Blessed are those who mourn. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

Blessed are those who no one else notices. The kids who sit alone at middle school lunch tables. The laundry guys at the hospital. The sex workers and the night-shift street sweepers.

Blessed are the losers and the babies and the parts of ourselves that are so small, the parts of ourselves that don’t want to make eye contact with a world that loves only the winners.

Blessed are the forgotten. Blessed are the closeted. Blessed are the unemployed, the unimpressive, the underrepresented.

Blessed are the meek. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

Blessed are the wrongly accused, the ones who never catch a break, the ones for whom life is hard, for Jesus chose to surround himself with people like them.

Blessed are those without documentation. Blessed are the ones without lobbyists.

Blessed are foster kids and trophy kids and special ed kids and every other kid who just wants to feel safe and loved.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Blessed are they who know there has to be more than this. Because they are right.

Blessed are those who make terrible business decisions for the sake of people.

Blessed are the burned-out social workers and the overworked teachers and the pro bono case takers.

Blessed are the kindhearted NFL players and the fundraising trophy wives.

Blessed are the kids who step between the bullies and the weak.

Blessed are they who hear that they are forgiven.

Blessed is everyone who has ever forgiven us when we didn’t deserve it. Blessed are the merciful, for they totally get it.


“Child of God” by Mark Miller

Worship Notes:
– Call to Worship:
– Prayers of the People: from the PC(USA) UKirk Worship Resource

4 December 2018

Call to Prayer

One: If Jesus is coming
Many: let warfare be ended
One: If Jesus is coming
Many: let violence cease
One: If Jesus is coming
Many: let earth begin healing
All: For he is Messiah, the Prince of Peace

Hymn “If Jesus Is Come”

Scripture Reading: Psalm 27:1,4-5, 13-14

1 The Lord is my light
and my salvation
Whom shall I fear?
the Lord is the strength of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

4 One thing have I desired of the Lord,
that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to enquire in the temple.

5 For in the time of trouble
And I shall hide in God’s tent
in the secret of the tabernacle shall God hide me;
And set me high upon a rock.

13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

Sung Response
“Imagine the People of God”
Imagine, imagine the people of God, imagine the people of God
Believing, receiving becoming God’s love
Imagine the people of God

Imagine, imagine the people of God, imagine the people of God
Caring, sharing God’s love in the world
Imagine the people of God

Seeking the way of Jesus Christ
Trusting the courage to change
Being God’s love with our neighbors and friends
We are your people O God

Imagine, imagine the people of God, imagine the people of God
Believing, receiving becoming God’s love
We are your people, O God

Reading: Mark 13:32-35
32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert[e]! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”

Sung Response “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning” Spiritual

Extracanonical Reading:
from ‘why we can’t wait’ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King
“Time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of people willing to work to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can’t Wait

Silent Reflection 

Sung Response “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning” Spiritual

Prayers of the People


One: Those who wait for the Lord
Many: shall renew their strength
One: Those who wait for the Lord
Many: shall mount up on wings like eagles
One: Those who wait for the Lord
Many: shall run and not be weary
One: Those who wait for the Lord
Many: shall walk and not faint.
Let us leave this place knowing the Lord is with us, now and always.

Sending Forth
TFWS #2184, “Sent Out in Jesus’ Name”

29 November 2018


Call to Worship

One: Now is the time to worry about papers due and tests to take
Many: Therefore I tell you, do not worry.
One: Now is the time of fires and wars, of caravans and tear gas
Many: Therefore I tell you, do not worry.
One: even in the midst of the most worrisome of times Jesus comes once again
Many: To quiet our fears and look beyond the present storms of our lives and world.

Hymn of Welcome

“Now Thank We All Our God” UMH 102 (only v 1-2)


Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Maker feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will God not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Maker knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kin-dom of God and its righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.


The Rev. Dr. Meredith Hoxie Schol


“I Dream of a Church” by Mark Miller

Communion Liturgy for a World on Fire

Provided by abby mohaupt (Drew PhD Student)

Friends, siblings, we are always called by God to feast at God’s table. And today in this time at place, you are invited to gather around this table. This is not Drew’s table, it’s not a United Methodist table, it is certainly not a US-American table. This is God’s table, and we are, each one of us, invited as honored guests.

In our broken and fearful world we are reminded that this table stretches beyond all borders and all walls. Whenever we take this bread and drink this cup, we gather at a table shared with Christians around the world who are also celebrating this meal too: with Palestinians and Colombians and Syrians and Guatemalans and Germans and Kenyans and people of no nation. This table does not ask for citizenship status nor any other status that we could come up with. This is a table where all the languages of our lips and our hearts are spoken and understood. This table has no room for weapons or exclusion, but is ever-extending to make more room for anyone who seeks a place here.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you. And also with you
Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give God thanks and praise

Creating God, source of our being, we give you thanks and praise for you have brought forth bread from the earth and fruit from the vine.
In the beginning you created people in your likeness.
In your likeness, you created people who multiplied and became many–
people of many genders, races, nationalities, and abilities.
You created the world and all that is in it without borders or walls and you called it “good.”
You lovingly called forth the plants and animals–calling each by name.
For this we praise you, saying

Holy, holy, holy, Lord,
God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the Highest!
Blessed is the one
Who comes in the name of God;
Hosanna in the highest.

Jesus, our sibling, born of Mary in a stable in Palestine,
you confronted the powers and principalities of your time,
and welcomed as your friends those who society had cast aside.
For love and liberation of your people,
you risked your life and were executed by the brokenness of empire.
Yet even death could not put an end to the love you embody.
Out of death, you arose to new life to live again among your people.
With joy we celebrate what you have done,
and with dedication we follow you, transformed by your love, as we proclaim the mystery of faith:

Christ has died;
Christ has risen;
Christ will come again.

Words of Institution

On the night that he was arrested by the authorities, Jesus was gathered in an upper room to celebrate Passover, a story of liberation, with his closest friends. He took a piece of bread, blessed it, broke it, and shared it with his friends, saying “Take, eat. This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after supper, he took the cup, saying, “This cup is a new covenant, sealed in my blood, for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink this cup, do this in remembrance of me.”

Every time that we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection, until he comes.

Boundless God.
Pour out your Spirit on this bread and this cup.
These are gifts of our hurting world, symbols of how life must die so that we may live.
Oh, God, we remember each time we eat this bread that even the fragile wheat is loved by you, no matter that wind or rain or fire may threaten and consume it.
And God, we remember each time we drink from this cup that water is life–and that you hover over that water though the waves take over the earth.
These are ordinary gifts from the world you gave to us to care for.
Through these ordinary gifts that sustain us our bodies,
Nourish us and transform us,
That we might remember that we belong to each other and to you.
Through this remembering,
Let us be reconciled to each other and to you.
Through this remembering,
May we tear down all boundaries and walls that we have built,
Through this remembering,
May all peoples in all places and times be united in you as we share this meal
and pray the words you taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven…

The gifts of God for the people of God.

The Table is set….

Prayer after Communion:

O God our mystery, you bring us to life, call us to freedom, and move between us with love. Having been nourished at your table, may we go into your wondrous and diverse world
to tear down walls of exclusion,
to confront powers and principalities,
to live and love boldly in the promise of your resurrection. Amen.


The Rev. Dr. Meredith Hoxie Schol

Sending Forth

“You Shall Go Out” by Mark Miller

28 November 2018

Gathering Music

“Gather Us In” 

Centering Call to Prayer

(Breathe together and repeat three times slowly)

Breathing in: “I stand in awe …”

Breathing out: “… of all creation.”


“Come Out, Come Out” 


Psalm 65 NRSV

1 Praise is due to you,
O God, in Zion;
and to you shall vows be performed,
2 O you who answer prayer!
To you all flesh shall come.
3 When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,
you forgive our transgressions.
4 Happy are those whom you choose and bring near
to live in your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
your holy temple.
5 By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
O God of our salvation;
you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas.
6 By your strength you established the mountains;
you are girded with might.
7 You silence the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples.
8 Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.
9 You visit the earth and water it,
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide the people with grain,
for so you have prepared it.
10 You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
11 You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.

Sung Response

“Many and Great, O God” UMH #148 v. 1

Many and great, O God, are thy things,
Maker of earth and sky. 
Thy hands have set the heavens with stars; 
Thy fingers spread the mountains and plains. 
Lo, at thy word the waters were formed; 
Deep seas obey thy voice.

Extracanonical Reading

“The Prayer of Thanksgiving” (by Walter Rauschenbusch, 1861–1918)

For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thornbush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

“Stockbridge” (by Tess Taylor from Days & Work)

From Wisconsin before it was Wisconsin
a glacier hauled these stones you stand on.

They traveled on its rubble.

They are the glacier’s spit, its lost hag’s teeth,
the path it garbled on its travel.

In 1880, the Stockbridge, last of the Mohicans
were removed to Wisconsin: The white edict

frozen, impassive as a glacier.
This field, the farm, these gabled houses

all rely upon that absence.
Now you bend into the field to clear it.

You think of frozen fist,
of ice-sheets melting. Glaciers lost

in too-warm early weather.
A west wind blows in from Wisconsin.

Each stone you touch is cold as bone.
As if it holds some trace of spirit.

Seed Meditation

Jennifer Maidrand 

“Many and Great, O God” UMH #148 v. 1

Many and great, O God, are thy things,
Maker of earth and sky. 
Thy hands have set the heavens with stars; 
Thy fingers spread the mountains and plains. 
Lo, at thy word the waters were formed; 
Deep seas obey thy voice.

Prayers of the Creatures

Let us offer our prayers to God for the life of the world
and for all God’s creatures in their daily life and work.
God, the beginning and end of all things,
in your providence and care
you watch unceasingly over all creation;
we offer our prayers
that in us and in all your creation your will may be done,
according to your wise and loving purpose in Christ our Lord.
Lord of all life:
hear our prayer.

We pray for all through whom we receive sustenance and life;
for farmers and agricultural workers,
for packers, distributors and company boards,
for soil, seeds, and air,
for all entangled in our unjust system of food production;
as you have so ordered our life that we depend upon each other,
enable us by your grace to seek the well-being of others before our own.
Lord of all creation:
hear our prayer

We pray for all engaged in research to safeguard crops against disease,
and to produce abundant life despite climate change,
among those who hunger and whose lives are at risk.
Prosper the work of their hands
and the searching of their minds,
that their labour may be for the welfare of all beings.
Lord of all wisdom:
hear our prayer.

We pray for governments and aid agencies,
and those areas of the world where there is disaster, drought, flooding,
and starvation.
By the grace of your Spirit,
touch our hearts
and the hearts of all who live in comfortable plenty,
and make us wise stewards of your gifts.
Lord of all justice:
hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are ill,
remembering those in hospital and nursing homes
and all who are known to us.
We pray for all who care for them.
Give skill and understanding
to all who work for their well-being,
and let us labor for their health as well.
Lord of all compassion:
hear our prayer.

We remember those who have died,
whom we entrust to your eternal love
in the hope of resurrection to new life.
Lord of all peace:
hear our prayer.

We offer ourselves to your service,
asking that by the Spirit at work in us
others may receive a rich harvest of love and joy and peace.
Lord of all faithfulness:
hear our prayer.

God of grace,
as you are ever at work in your creation,
so fulfil your wise and loving purpose in us
and in all for whom we pray,
that with them and in all that you have made,
your glory may be revealed
and the whole earth give praise to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Blessing of the Land and Our Labor

God of the Universe,
You made the heavens and the earth,
So we do not call our home merely “planet earth.”
We call it your Creation, a Divine Mystery,
a Gift from Your Most Blessed Hand.
The world itself is your miracle.
Bread and vegetables from earth are thus also from heaven.
Help us to see in our daily bread your presence.

Upon this garden
May your stars rain down their blessed dust.
May you send rain and sunshine upon our garden and us.
Grant us the humility to touch the humus,
That we might become more human.
That we might mend our rift from your Creation,
That we might then know the sacredness of the gift of life—
That we might truly experience life from the hand of God.
For you planted humanity in a garden,
and began our resurrection in a garden.
Our blessed memory and hope lie in a garden.

Thanks be to God,
Who made the world teeming with variety,
Of things on the earth, above, the earth, and under the earth.
Thanks be to God,
For the many kinds of plants, trees, and fruits,
We celebrate.
For the centipedes, ants, and worms,
For the mice, marmots, and bats,
For the cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers
We rejoice,
That we find ourselves eclipsed by the magnitude
Of generosity and mystery.
Thanks be to God.


“God Has Work for Us to Do”

In tending to creation
to water, land, and air
through what we do and what we don’t
to nourish and repair;

God has work for us to do!
God has work for us to do!
Til God’s will is done
And all things are made new
God….has work for us…
Work for us to do!

in seeking the protection
of creatures great and small;
in binding up the web of life
that animates us all:

God has work for us to do!
God has work for us to do!
Til God’s will is done
And all things are made new
God….has work for us…
Work for us to do!

Worship Notes:


Prayers of the Creatures: Adapted from Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000)

27 November 2018

Gathering Music

“Gather Us In” vs. 1 & 3 TFWS #2236

Here in this place new light is streaming, now is the darkness vanished away, see in this space our fears and our dreamings, brought here to you in the light of this day.

Gather us in the lost and forsaken, gather us in the blind and the lame; call to us now, and we shall awaken, we shall arise at the sound of our name. 

Here we will take the wine and the water, here we will take the bread of new birth, here you shall call your sons and your daughters, call us anew to be salt for the earth. 

Give us to drink the wine of compassion, give us to eat the bread that is you; nourish us well, and teach us to fashion lives that are holy and hearts that are true. 

Call to Prayer

One: Come bearing your joy and let us magnify it together. Come bearing your fear and let us find comfort in one another. Come bearing your hunger and let us share the bread of life. Let us seek truth, with faith, on this journey; let us build a world where “last” and “first” have no place. May we dance. May we shelter. May we dream.


The season of advent is upon us. During this season of cosmic hope and expectation, we confess our complacency to you, O God. As storms plague this earth, as governments fail their most vulnerable citizens, and relationships are broken we slip further and further away. Kindle your flame within us God. Stoke the embers of our sleeping hope into the flames of a waking faith. Let us be bridge builders, pain bearers, change makers. May we carry your light into the the most broken corners of this world. In this already and not yet, may we be beacons of hope and transformation in a weak and weary world.

Even in the windswept wilderness of our lives, you are there. There is no place too dark or too broken, you heal all. Ever present and ever loving, you make all new. Amen.


“Kum Ba Yah” vs. 1, 3, 4

(Verse 1)
Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah.
Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah.
Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah.
Oh, Lord, kum ba yah!

(Verse 3)
Someone’s crying, my Lord. Kum ba yah.
Someone’s crying, my Lord. Kum ba yah.
Someone’s crying, my Lord. Kum ba yah.
Oh, Lord, kum ba yah!

(Verse 4)
Someone needs you, Lord. Kum ba yah.
Someone needs you, Lord. Kum ba yah.
Someone needs you, Lord. Kum ba yah.
Oh, Lord, kum ba yah!

“Reality Rides the Current” 

from Jacob the Baker by Noah benShea


“Kum Ba Yah” vs. 1, 3

(Verse 1)
Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah.
Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah.
Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah.
Oh, Lord, kum ba yah!

(Verse 3)
Someone’s crying, my Lord. Kum ba yah.
Someone’s crying, my Lord. Kum ba yah.
Someone’s crying, my Lord. Kum ba yah.
Oh, Lord, kum ba yah!


by Wislawa Szymborska

Island where all becomes clear.

Solid ground beneath your feet.

The only roads are those that offer access.

Bushes bend beneath the weight of proofs.

The Tree of Valid Supposition grows here
with branches disentangled since time immemorial.

The Tree of Understanding, dazzlingly straight and simple,
sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It.

The thicker the woods, the vaster the vista:
the Valley of Obviously.

If any doubts arise, the wind dispels them instantly.

Echoes stir unsummoned
and eagerly explain all the secrets of the worlds.

On the right a cave where Meaning lies.

On the left the Lake of Deep Conviction.
Truth breaks from the bottom and bobs to the surface.

Unshakable Confidence towers over the valley.
Its peak offers an excellent view of the Essence of Things.

For all its charms, the island is uninhabited,
and the faint footprints scattered on its beaches
turn without exception to the sea.

As if all you can do here is leave
and plunge, never to return, into the depths.

Into unfathomable life.

Silent Reflection


“Kum Ba Yah” vs. 1, 3, 4

(Verse 1)
Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah.
Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah.
Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah.
Oh, Lord, kum ba yah!

(Verse 3)
Someone’s crying, my Lord. Kum ba yah.
Someone’s crying, my Lord. Kum ba yah.
Someone’s crying, my Lord. Kum ba yah.
Oh, Lord, kum ba yah!

(Verse 4)
Someone needs you, Lord. Kum ba yah.
Someone needs you, Lord. Kum ba yah.
Someone needs you, Lord. Kum ba yah.
Oh, Lord, kum ba yah!

Prayer of the Day

God, set your Word in us,
like a seed that needs time and darkness to grow,
like a song we can’t get out of our heads,
like a conversation with a good friend.
May what we have read and heard today
surprise us with encouragement
at just the right moment,
comfort us when we feel alone.
When we are distracted by all that clutters our lives—
yesterday’s party,
today’s argument,
tomorrow’s test—
and the struggles that crowd our hearts—
worry for sick loved ones,
uncertainty about our future,
anxiety about global tragedies—
speak to us with your still, small voice,
whisper hope into our lives,
murmur gladness into our hearts,
mutter love into our souls. Amen.


May you dismantle the walls that keep you from the truth. May you never lose your sense of wonder. Go in peace and with hope.


“Send Out in Jesus’ Name” TFWS #2184

Worship Notes:

Prayer of the Day: adapted from the PC(U.S.A.)’s UKirk Resource

Poem: By Wislawa Szymborska. From “A large number”, 1976. Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh