Christmas Eve 4:00 p.m. – Livestreamed and Sanctuary Worship

Christmas Eve Sunset Service
Sanctuary and Livestreamed Worship
St. Paul United Church of Christ, Taylor, Michigan
December 24, 2021, 4 p.m.

 

 

 SILENT PRAYER (Silent reverence is invited)

 PRELUDE “Christmas Songs of Peace,” Sally Sigman, Organist

RINGING OF THE CHURCH BELL

 CALL TO WORSHIP “C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S,” Tracy Hoffman, Music Director

 CHRISTMAS INVOCATION  Reverend Dr. Geoffrey G. Drutchas

*CAROL No. 148  “O Come, All Ye Faithful”

 WELCOME/ ANNOUNCMENTS

 SHARING THE HOPE / LIGHTING THE HOPE CANDLE / Chimes

 CAROL No. 153  “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” (Verses 1,4)

 THE CHRISTMAS STORY Luke 2:1-20

SHARING THE PEACE / LIGHTING THE PEACE CANDLE / Chimes

UNISON PRAYER  Pastors and Congregation

O God, as we listen to your word tonight and the sacred music which  

 affirms its good news, may we be inspired and strengthened to be—more

 completely than ever—the faithful, loving, peaceable people that you

 always meant us to be and which Jesus in the fullness of time sacrificed his

 own life to make possible.  Amen.

 CAROL No. 165  “Once in Royal David’s City” (Verses 1-2)

SHARING THE LOVE / LIGHTING THE LOVE CANDLE / CHIMES

ANTHEM “December Child,” Chancel Choir

SHARING THE JOY / LIGHTING THE JOY CANDLE / CHIMES

CAROL No. 150  “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

MESSAGE “An Incandescent Faith,” Pastor Drutchas

SHARING JESUS CHRIST / LIGHTING THE CHRIST CANDLE / CHIMES

UNISON PRAYER FOR RECONCILIATION: O God, we thank you that you  

 have brought us together tonight to worship Jesus Christ, just as you called  

 so many to his manger side on that first star-lit Christmas long ago. This

 night we acknowledge our sin—those ways that we have departed from

 your ways and purposes for our lives. Open our hearts anew to the way of

 life that your son came to proclaim. Help us to live as loving, forgiving

 people with compassion and respect for others. Strengthen us to be those

 men and women who in your time and in anticipation of Christ’s ultimate

 reign further reconciliation between God and humankind; between the

 rich and poor of the earth; between husbands and wives, parents and

 children; between humankind and the animal kingdom; between nations,

 as well as between science and faith. Keep this vision of unity in our

 hearts with the faith and determination to help accomplish it.  Amen.

 ANTHEM  “Christmas Communion Song,” Chancel Choir

SACRAMENT OF THE LORD’S SUPPER  Pastors Drutchas and Schalm

Prayer of Consecration / Sharing of Communion Elements / Thanks Prayer

*DOXOLOGY

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;

 Praise him all creatures here below;

 Praise Him above ye heavenly host;

 Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Amen.

 SHARING THE LIGHT OF CHRIST (Congregation seated)

CANDELIGHT HYMN “Silent Night, Holy Night” (See insert)

LORD’S PRAYER (Acapella) Choir and Congregation

BENEDICTION  Pastor Drutchas

 POSTLUDE  “Let There Be Peace on Earth, ” Sally Sigman

 Please note: For mutual safety and well-being as we together celebrate
Christ’s birth, all sanctuary worshipers are asked to mask this night.

 CHRISTMAS EVE ANNOUNCEMENTS

AN ‘OPEN’ COMMUNION SACRAMENT is offered at both Sunset (4 p.m.) and Living Nativity (7 p.m.) Christmas Eve services.  All baptized adults who seek to walk more closely with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are invited to share in the communion elements provided by the elders and ushers tonight.  Those livestreaming worship may make use of communion elements—bread and juice—from their home kitchens.

ABOUT THE ‘SHARING OF THE LIGHT’… Battery-operated candles are available for all worshipers with candle-lighting at the service’s close. Our pastor will ignite a large candle from the Christ Candle with the declaration: “Jesus, you are the light of the world—the light which brings us hope, peace, love, and joy!”  You are invited to light your personal candles, singing ‘Silent Night,’ followed by the Lord’s Prayer.  After the benediction, the ushers will dismiss the congregation one row at a time.  You may keep your battery candle or deposit in the narthex bin.

OUR CHURCH FAMILY ROOM, OFF THE NARTHEX, with video monitor coverage of our ongoing worship is open tonight for families with children who may briefly need to step out of the sanctuary during 4 p.m. worship.

SUNDAY SCHOOL WILL TAKE A POST-CHRISTMAS BREAK.  There will be no Sunday School on December 26.  But class resumes the following week, Sunday, January 2.

THE CHRISTMAS FUND ‘VETERANS OF THE CROSS’ OFFERING for Retired UCC Clergy and Lay Persons will be received tonight, Sunday, and online: UCC Christmas Fund, www.stpaulucctaylor.org/giving. Thank you for your generous support. 

THE ANNUAL MEETING OF OUR ST. PAUL CONGREGATION, approving a new budget and electing new Council members, is scheduled for Sunday, January 16, 2022, following the morning worship service.

FELLOWSHIP OF CONCERN: Beverly Sitz, Vicki Simon, Bill Stears, Sally and Glen Sigman, Dave Kulhanek, Hayden Forsyth, Stacy Forsyth, Jacobe Forsyth, Anthony Staten, Romas Family, Rev. Norm and Judy Kirsch, John Kovach, Loretta Kurtsel, Wayne Jones, Frankie Patterson, Jeff and Maria MacZink, Margo Charette, Mark Krause, Barb Gish, Sarah Kenosian, Fred Block, Marion Bolen, Clifford Board, Bob Robinson, Joseph Smith, Jeffrey Britt, Jerry Rossi, Jeff Natzke, Harold Fick, Laverne Roe, Philip and Connie Linne Alberts, Steve Matney, Gunter Berndl, Sue Spears, Carrie Hill, Neil McEachern, Bert Thompson, Kristin Strawsine, Megan and Michael Strawsine-Carney, Earl Shutt, Brian Cox, Cody Van Hulle, Robert Gaither, Debbie Smitt, Dale Rose, Kim Chichowicz, Sandy Newton, and Debra Stavros. In Memoriam: Betty Haggerty who passed away last week in Alma, Michigan with a January 6 service planned at Howe-Peterson, January 4, 1 p.m.