Sunday Schedules

(Scripture notes from Season of the Spirit and Pulpit Resource)

The classic hymn, “Silent Night,” first made its debut on Christmas Eve, 1818, at the St. Nicholas chapel in Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. The melody by composer Franz Gruber is instantly recognizable from the first few notes, and the original text by Joseph Mohr has been translated from the original German into over 140 languages. In 1914, just four years shy of the 100th anniversary of “Silent Night,” the soldiers fighting World War I along the Western Front held a ceasefire in some areas out of mutual respect for the holiday. Members from opposing sides exchanged gifts and stories with one another, played games, and sang Christmas carols together, including the beloved hymn “Silent Night.” Today, churches all over the world gather together each year on Christmas Eve to join hands, light candles, sing “Silent Night,” and participate in a timeless tradition of inimitable ritual power.

Sunday Services at ERUCC during the month of December will focus on this special hymn.

December 2                     First Sunday of Advent   

God’s steadfast love invites us to enter Advent by trusting and living out the realm Jesus proclaims. Luke 21: 25-26 describes part of Jesus’ final week in Jerusalem. The setting is the temple and Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple. We will begin lighting the four advent candles as we move towards Christmas. This morning communion will be served to you as you are seated in the pews. The Senior Choir will be singing. The Rev. Carolyn Roberts will be preaching.

December 9                    Second Sunday of Advent

Make ready! John the Baptizer, in Luke 3: 1-6, implores those gathered at the banks of the Jordan River – and those gathered in churches this Sunday – to remove any obstacles that are hindering openness to the renewed ways of peace and justice that God has promised to reveal through the Child to come. In Philippians 11, Paul gives thanks for the Christians in Philippi. Paul is grateful to God, who began this “good work.”

God’s prophets call us to prepare the way – in our lives and in our communities – for the gift of God’s saving love in Jesus the Christ. Spirit and Young Spirit will be singing. Following worship, we will be holding our annual congregational meeting.

December 16              Third Sunday of Advent
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The scriptures for today invite all to find hope in relationship with God and move with God into another way of living. Luke 3: 7-18 continue John the Baptizer’s exhortation in the wilderness around the Jordan River. He bids us to look forward and re-orient our lives to the radical, justice-seeking ways of God’s reign. In Isaiah 12: 2-6, the prophet declares that joy is to be found in “wells of salvation,” freeing us to “shout and sing for joy.”

The Senior Choir will be sharing a cantata this morning along with special music by one of our bell choirs during the Offertory.

Thursday, December 20         Longest Night Service Main Sanctuary

The purpose of this service is to provide a setting where people can come together and acknowledgment that for many this is a difficult time of the year. The service includes scripture, meditations, hymns, prayers, and the lighting of candles.

December 23                        Lessons and Carols
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As the Advent season draws to a close, we celebrate our annual lessons and carols service with our college students reading the scriptures. Special music will be shared by our bell choirs and children’s choir. The Senior Choir and Young Spirit will be singing.

Monday, December 24          Christmas Eve Services
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5:30 p.m. Children’s Service (Main Sanctuary) 7:30 p.m. Family Candlelight & Carol Service (Main Sanctuary) 10:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Communion Service (Trinity Chapel)

December 30
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Luke 2: 41-52 tells the story of Jesus’ family pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Passover and is the only story of Jesus’ childhood. Colossians 3: 12-17 describes spiritual growth in terms of how Christians live in relationship with others.  The service will conclude with the “Letting Go and Letting God” ceremony. This is a time when the congregation will be invited to write down on a piece of paper those things which each person wants to let go of from the old year of 2018, receive God’s grace and move into the new year with divine blessing and hope. The dissolving pieces of paper will be placed in a bowl of water at the front of the chancel. We will also share in healing prayers.

The Senior Choir will be singing.

January 6                        Epiphany Sunday
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The traditional reading for this week is Matthew’s story of the visit of the wise ones in Matthew 2: 1-12. It is a story unique to Matthew’s gospel, and sits in stark contrast to Luke’s infancy narrative. Isaiah 60:1–6 uses the image of light as a show of God’s glory. That light, says Isaiah, will attract people from far and near. They will bask in the radiance, be filled with rejoicing, and will offer gifts to proclaim God’s praise.
We will be sharing communion by the method of intinction. There will be two stations or places in the front of the sanctuary where you can go to receive the bread and then dip it into the cup of grape juice. Before or after you have communed, you are invited to at the chancel rail this morning to receive healing prayers.