Christmas Eve Worship Service
Hello Union Church Presbyterians,
Worship this Christmas Eve will be in-person and streamed on YouTube to view at home.
We will share prayers, songs, and reflections.
YouTube broadcast will begin at 4:55 PM, https://www.youtube.com/user/NewburghPresby
ORDER OF WORSHIP
December 24, 2022 5:00 PM
USHERS today are Bob Beams and Karen Olson.
LIVING NATIVITY: We had over 60 guest visitors to our second annual Living Nativity, complete with animals. Thanks to our Magi, Bob Beams, Carl Schiller and Merle Hennessy, and our shepherds Erin Hennessy and her friend Jerod, and Maddi Hennessy as Joseph and Annie Schiller as our Mary. The Goodnow Family Farm of Gardner once again provided charming animals, Bella the cow, Fiona the donkey and the two scene-stealers, Latte and Stitch the dwarf Nigerian goats. Best of the Season to all.
JOSHUA TREE: THANK YOU to all who helped purchasing Christmas gifts for the children at Project Life. From all of us on the Board of Deacons, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and healthy New Year too.
CHRISTMAS DAY: The church will be closed Christmas Day. Worship & Music Committee voted to change the previously announced meditation hour.
HOLIDAY OFFICE HOURS: The church office will be CLOSED Mon. Dec 26, Fri. Dec 30, and Mon. Jan 2.
PHOTO DIRECTORY: Outreach will begin taking pictures of individuals and families during Fellowship Hour after services for the new photo directory.
FOOD PANTRY has been selected again to receive $1 from every reusable Fight Hunger Bag sold during January at Hannaford at 2636 Rt. 32 in New Windsor.
FOOD PANTRY OPEN MON, JAN 2 and WED, JAN 4 from 9:30-11:30 AM. Serving LOTS of people! If you would like to help, contact Kathy or Debby.
PLEDGES: As of DEC 17, we have received 27 pledges in the amount of $70,810.
If you have not received your pledge card in the mail, contact the office.
ORDER OF WORSHIP
If you have individual prayer requests, please write them on prayer cards in the pews and bring them up or give them to an usher during the prelude.
**Kindly stand if you are able
PRELUDE “Chorale Prelude on "Greensleeves” Richard Purvis
WELCOME and ANNOUNCEMENTS
LIGHTING THE CHRIST CANDLE Jeff, Jillian, and Gabrielle Bousche
CALL TO WORSHIP (adapted from Psalm 98)
Leader: O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things. His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory. PEOPLE: The LORD has made known his victory; he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations. Leader: He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. PEOPLE: Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises. Leader: Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody. PEOPLE: With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD.
Gracious LORD, be the God of our Christmas celebration. We rejoice with shepherds over the good news of Jesus' birth. We join in the praises of angelic choirs, saying: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among men.” May peace and joy ring in our hearts and reverberate through our communities tonight in the name of Jesus, Amen.
**OPENING HYMN “O Come, All Ye Faithful” Red #173
TIME FOR CONFESSION
Instead of our usual prayer of confession, I offer this meditation by Helen Jesty, entitled
“Let the Bells Jingle”
Let the bells jingle but make time for the tears to fall.
Eat, drink and be merry but do not go hungry in that inner place.
Rest, reflect and remember. Be true to yourself.
Many of us can’t play happy families at this time of the year.
December is for a difficult diagnosis as well as dreaming of a white Christmas.
December is for divorce as well as decorations.
December is for death and dying as well as discos and dancing.
December is for distances that separate us from people,
even those in the same room.
Disappointments in December are especially hard to bear.
Sometimes the light no longer shines in the darkness.
The desolation swallows us up and we die a little.
Yet a kindly word, a bird in flight, a tree alive with hoar and hips
can drown out despair and kindle determination to move on.
Dig down deeper than the tinsel to the place where hope is found.
Maybe, just maybe, the flickering flame will be fanned gently into fire
(Let us have a moment in silent personal confession)
By the mystery we call faith and the magical wonder of this night we know that we are forgiven, Amen.
**HYMN OF PRAISE “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” Red #170
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Holy God, Word made flesh, let us come to this word open to being surprised. Silence our agendas and banish our assumptions. Confound our expectations; penetrate the corners of our hearts with this word. We know that you can, we pray that you will, and we wait with great anticipation.
OLD TESTAMENT Isaiah 52:7-10 Dan Olson
GOSPEL John 1:1-14
A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE “He became flesh and lived among us” John Redman, CRE
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
And Lord we pray for those in our own hearts whose names you already know, for their own healing and comfort, in your name and that of our redeemer Jesus Christ, who taught to pray, saying:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS
We can hoard the gifts with which you bless us, God of generosity, or we can share them with others. May what we offer in these moments be the very blessing, the very hope, the very peace others need. This we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
OFFERTORY “Gentle Mary Laid Her Child” arr. by Paul Manz
PRAYER OF THANKS
Lord God, we thank you for these gifts. During this joyous season may we find ways to honor you by giving of our treasure, our time and our talents to glorify you as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
On this most special night of nights, may we all join in the hope, peace, love, and joy of this season and bring it into our lives throughout the coming days and months and in each of our lives together. Amen.
CANDLE LIGHTING AND CLOSING HYMN “Silent Night” Red #164
Benjamin will play the first verse as everyone lights their candles one from another.
As we continue lighting, we sing the first verse.
With all candles lit, the lights will dim, and we will sing the second verse.
We will repeat the first verse as we exit quietly.
Please extinguish your candles and deposit them in the receptacle in the foyer.
John Redman, CRE
Mobile: (914) 474-0722
44 Balmville Rd, Newburgh NY 12550
Phone: (845) 562-0954 Fax: (845) 562-0955