Welcome to the last Sunday of Advent for 2021!
This Sunday we light the Advent Candle of Love.
The light of the candle of Love joins the circle of light emitted by the candles of Hope, Peace and Joy.
The light of Hope has brought us the light of Love.
Hope comes round to Love. Love comes round to Hope.
Hope, Peace, Joy and Love join in a circle dance of faith…
And in the centre of that dance waits another candle, waits for the Holy Night when it’s light shall join the dance.
In the centre of the Advent wreath is the Christ candle.
In the midst of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love is Christ.
Reminding us that, in the midst of all the busy-ness of this season, there is Christ.
In the midst of all our living, there is Christ.
In the midst of creation, there is Christ.
As we prepare for Christmas, we prepare to open our hearts and imaginations to God in our midst.
As we journey towards the Bethlehem birth of Christmas Eve, we journey into the love of God; we remember that we are not alone. We live in God’s world.
We invite you to various worship services this week.
Sunday, December 19 at 10 a.m. with the Choir as part of the service.
Sunday, December 19 at 7 p.m. Blue Christmas (In-Person and on ZOOM)
Thursday, December 23 at 6 p.m. Messy Christmas on ZOOM
Friday, December 24 – Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. (with a special prelude at 6:30) – In-Person and on ZOOM
Sunday, December 26th at 10 a.m. There will NOT be an in-person service. There will be an online ZOOM communion service.
Here is the link for all our ZOOM gatherings: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7538449219
or by phone: 204-272-7920
Meeting ID: 753 844 9219
In this time of constant change, please remember that TMUC has mandatory masks and that everyone attending (unless under 12 years of age) must show proof of full vaccination or proof from the Government of Manitoba that there is a medical reason for the person not to receive a vaccine for COVID-19.
TMUC continues to share God’s gifts of food and resources within our community. We thank you for all the additional gifts of food, toys, and money that are so generously given to the Transcona Food Bank, this Christmas season. The last Food Bank of this year will be on Thursday Dec. 23.
While we have returned to in-person worship, we are continuing with our weekly email of worship resources.
The Prayer List is distributed separately and allows us to remember specific people with our prayers. If you want to receive the Prayer List, or add a name (with their permission), please be in touch.
Thanks again to everyone for engaging with us on this COVID-19 journey. We are grateful to share ministry with you and really appreciate your efforts to stay in touch and to continue to care about TMUC with your prayers and your financial support. Donations on PAR (note: the PAR program now accepts monthly credit card donations as well as automatic monthly bank withdrawals), CanadaHelps through www.canadahelps.org, e-transfers to the church’s email address: email@example.com, and cheques mailed to the church are making a difference. Thank you.
Even though we cannot be together in one place, let’s continue to be a community at prayer together. If you are not in the Sanctuary with us on Sunday at 10, please think about the gifts we have in our lives, and needs of our world, and then pray the Lord’s prayer (you can pray silently, or out loud).
And, sometime, when you want to have a longer worship time, we are including some words and videos for your use.
As we share this week’s TMUC worship service, we are called again to listen to our faith community’s words of reconciliation:
We are gathered for worship and work in Treaty One territory, which is the traditional land of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dené peoples and the homeland of the Metis Nation. For thousands of years Indigenous Peoples walked this land and knew it to be the centre of their lives and their spirituality. We respect the Treaties that were made on these territories, we acknowledge the harms and mistakes of the past, and we dedicate ourselves to move forward in partnership with Indigenous communities in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.
Advent 4 – The Candle of Love
Introit: “Hope is a Star”:
Come, Holy Spirit!
Come to awaken our faith,
to inspire our hope
to embolden our love
and to let Christ live in us!
Come, Holy Spirit!
Today’s opening hymn is “People Look East”:
Candle lighting – the candle of love:
In a world of uncertainty.
Love is a star that shines.
In our lives of uncertainty,
Love is a star that shines.
Love is Advent’s fourth gift.
We are called to share God’s gift of love
Esther and Emmett talk about a symbolic story:
Esther&Emmett – Dec 19
Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.
Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:
for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and has remembered his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness
before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
by the forgiveness of their sins.
By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.
Carol offers a reflection:
Carols Reflection – Dec 19
Let us pray:
You are nowhere, You are everywhere;
Wherever we are, we are in Your Presence,
Wherever we go, You are already there.
God, awaken our Advent faith
so that we again know God-with-us,
in the midst of our humanity,
in shepherd’s field, in stable and manger,
in grocery aisle, in arena stands,
in church pew, in office workstation,
in snow-covered field,
in airport waiting area…
You are there, You are present in
the ordinary, in the sounds and silences,
You are present as whisper of grace,
as act of compassion, as new creation in our world.
God, we open ourselves to Your Spirit,
open ourselves in wonder, in awe, in thankfulness and in Love.
In love, we also open ourselves to the hopes and struggles experienced throughout this world.
We pray, God, for the global population now confronted with the Omicron variant. We pray for global access to vaccinations. We pray for all people to do what they can to protect themselves and to protect everyone else.
God, give us patience and courage as we continue to seek a way through this pandemic.
God, we pray for all those who are experiencing severe weather – flooding, windstorms, drought. We pray for support and aid for all those who have had to abandon homes.
We pray that nations and individuals embrace new lifestyles and practices to reduce our impact on climate change.
We pray for all who seek shelter from the cold of winter. We pray for all who provide shelter, and meals and welcome to others.
We pray for all who are coping with physical, emotional and mental challenges and crisis. We pray for healing. We pray for all those providing medical aid, for those providing care and support.
We pray for all who live in situations and places of violence, war, conflict and oppression. We pray for people to be free to live in peace, to live in safety and with dignity for all.
We pray for this world and it’s people, God. We pray for us to learn to live with understanding, respect, mutual sharing and support and compassion, affirmation of the diversity that is the blessing of our humanity.
God, may the spirit of Christ, the spirit embodied and expressed in the life of Jesus, inspire all of us in our living.
In Christ’s name we pray. AMEN
Our closing hymn is “Angels We Have Heard on High”
May God bless you and keep you.
May God’s face shine upon you.
May God grant you peace and joy.
Be in the peace of Christ, this day and always. Amen
We keep you in our prayers,
Jeff and Carol