Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship 7:00 and 11:00 p.m.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR CHRISTMAS EVE

Tonight, we welcome children and youth to our Christmas Eve Services…

Special pew packets with Christmas coloring materials are available for young children in the Narthex.  Please ask any usher for a packet.

♥ Holy Communion is open to all guests and visitors.  At St. Paul United Church of Christ we observe and practice “open communion,” which means that adult and confirmed guests and visitors gathering with us for Christmas Eve worship can freely share in the sacrament without regard to personal church affiliation.

Our congregation encourages everyone receiving the communion wafer and cup tonight to silently commit themselves anew to walk more closely with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Children and youth who have not yet been confirmed in faith are invited to participate in part of tonight’s communion service.  Grapes are provided for them in the center of the trays containing the consecrated grape juice for adults.  Please assist your child in retrieving a grape from the tray.  Communion wafers and cups are reserved for adults who have already made their first communion as adults or confirmed Christians.

Children under the age of twelve are invited to share in the Light of Christ using battery-operated candles available from the ushers before the start of the service.  To avoid safety hazard to others in the pew, parents are asked to keep their own light candle firmly in hand. 

The Usher’s Room and our new “Family Room” off the Narthex is available for parents with crying or fussy children.  Please feel free to rejoin your fellow worshippers in the pews after calming or quieting your child.

The location of rest rooms…

Restrooms are available near the east and west lobbies of the church.

To reach the east side rest room, exit from the sanctuary through the arched doorway on the right side of the pulpit.  Follow the short hallway to the St. Paul sculpture courtyard.  Turn right.  The lavatory is two doors down the hallway on the right.  This is a handicap accessible restroom with changing table.

To reach the west side rest room, exit from the sanctuary through the arched doorway on the left front of the sanctuary adjacent to the Christmas tree.  Continue through the church office to the west lobby.  The two lavatories are on the far end of the lobby.

A handicap accessible restroom with changing table is available at the rear of the sanctuary just before the entrance to our new “Family Room.” 

 ASSISTANCE TO THOSE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

♥ Those with wheelchairs are encouraged to make use of the special area reserved for you at the rear of the sanctuary with easy exit access to the front door and the wheelchair ramp.  In case of a fire emergency, an usher will assist you in exiting from the sanctuary and building.

♥ Worshippers using oxygen are asked to briefly retire to the usher’s room off the narthex at the end of service as the sharing of the Light of Christ begins to avoid all hazardous contact between a lit flame and an oxygen container. 

♥ Large print orders of service are provided for the convenience of worshippers.  Request one from the greeters and ushers before the start of the Christmas Ever service.

♥ Assistive listening devices are available from the ushers for your use.  Turn to channel 105.5.  Please return the assistive listening devices to the ushers at the end of the service.

♥ Cell phones and pagers should be turned off or set to vibrate.

 

Silent Night, Holy Night

Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright

round yon virgin mother and child, holy infant so tender and mild,

sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace!

Silent night, holy night, shepherds quake at the sight,

glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing alleluia;

Christ, the Savior, is born!  Christ, the Savior, is born!

Silent night, holy night, wondrous star, lend thy light;

with the angels let us sing, alleluia to our King;

Christ, the Savior, is born, Christ the Savior, is born.

 

♥ Christmas Offering received – The Christmas Fund Offering, one of the four special UCC mission offerings will be received anytime during the month of December.  Gifts to the Christmas Fund help provide pension and health premium supplementation to low-income retired ministers.  Special red offering envelopes marked ‘Christmas Fund Offering’ are available in the pew racks for your donation use. 

2017 Offering Envelopes are now available for pickup in the Parlor.  Ushers can assist you in locating your boxed envelopes.   Please note:  to be recorded for 2016 tax credit purposes contributions must be received in the church office no later than December 29th. 

Fellowship of Concern and Prayer List

Your prayers are requested for the following church members and friends:  Megan Barnosky, Nancy Cady, David Cowper, Morgan Dowell, Phill Felske, Sharon Ferguson, Pat Herkimer, Ollie Hilliker, Rev. Norm Kirsch, Sylvia Matney, Zachary Miller, Shirlen Powell, Shirley Robinson, Allen Rook & family (Fish & Loaves), Glen Sigman, Sally Sigman, Janet Staffeld, Kevin Staffeld, Peggy Staten, Leah Wagner, and Al Whited.  

 

Reading our Christmas Cards as we light our Advent and Christmas candles tonight

Helen St. Louis  (Hope); Eileen Vernor Drutchas  (Peace); Brenda Murphy  (Love); Barbara Schultz  (Joy); and Pastor Cheryl Schalm  (Christ Candle)

 

                           

St. Paul United Church of Christ

24158 Goddard Road, Taylor, Michigan 48180-0190

Rev. Dr. Geoffrey G. Drutchas - Senior Pastor

Pastor Cheryl Schalm - Minister of Christian Education

Mr. Mark Ennis - Director of Music

Mrs. Sally Sigman - Organist

Ms. Cindy Romas - Administrative Assistant for Member Services

 

Christmas Eve                                                                                        December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship

7:00 and 11:00 p.m.   

 

   SILENT PRAYER (Silent reverence is invited) 

   PRELUDE  Sally Sigman, Organist

   RINGING OF THE CHURCH BELL

 *PROCESSIONAL HYMN No. 148 “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” Mark Ennis, Hymn Leader

 *UNISON INVOCATION  Reverend Dr. Geoffrey G. Drutchas and Congregation

   O God, we thank you for the gift of your son Jesus Christ, making possible our

   redemption and salvation.  Encourage us to do our part to bring goodwill and

   peace to our families, our churches, our schools, our neighborhoods and the  

   world.  Now let your Spirit put us in touch with you, the living God, through the  

   words and music we hear tonight.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

 *CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE  Amen, Amen, Amen.

   WELCOME/ PASSING OF PEACE/ ANNOUNCEMENTS

   ANTHEM “Listen, Children, Hear the Angels Sing!” Christmas Ensemble (7); “Do You Hear What I Hear?”  Kaitlyn Barbee, soloist (11)

   THE CHRISTMAS STORY  Luke 2:1-21 (adapted by Eugene Peterson, The Message), Pastors Cheryl Schalm and Geoffrey Drutchas

   HYMN  No. 144  “O Little Town of Bethlehem”      

   OUR ADVENT CANDLES: WHAT JESUS BRINGS

   Children and youth are invited to come forward to share in candle lighting.       

   Hope for Our Lives * Peace for Our Lives  * Love in Our Lives * Joy in Our Lives

   HYMN No. 170  “How Great Our Joy!” (7)

   ANTHEM  “Echo Christmas Joy,” Chancel Choir with Ken Ferry, Trumpet (11)              

_____________________

*Congregation standing

   OFFERTORY INVITATION/ OFFERTORY/ *DEDICATION OF GIFTS

   LIGHTING OF THE CHRIST CANDLE

   ANTHEM  (7) “Mary Wrapped a Present,”  Mark Ennis, Soloist;  (11)  “Angels’ Carol,”Chancel Choir 

   SERMON  “Every Christmas Card a Prayer,” Pastor Drutchas

   SPECIAL MUSIC (7)  “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas,Soloist; (11) “Count Your Blessings,”  Ken Ferry, Trumpet 

   SACRAMENT OF THE LORD’S SUPPER  Pastors Drutchas and Schalm

     Prayers of Confession and Consecration (found in the pew racks)

     Distribution of Elements

     Prayer of Thanksgiving

*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)--with Guitar Accompaniment (11), Chris Chavez

  LORD’S PRAYER  (debts/ debtors)  acapella   

  BENEDICTION