December 19, 2021

December 19, 2021 – Fourth Sunday of Advent

GOD BRINGS US TOGETHER

Prelude
Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship (responsive- Matthew 1:23)
A young woman will conceive and bear a child,
and the child shall be called Emmanuel,
a name which means ‘God is with us.’

Prayer of Approach (together)
O God, be not distant from our hearts.
Be near to us. Hold us in your presence
as a mother who enfolds her infant within her arms.
So that we, restless children that we are,
may wait and hope for you. Amen.

Lighting of the Advent Candle (together)
Jesus Christ, Love of God made flesh, shine in our lives and in your world with your unending love, Amen.
A candle is burning, a candle of love,
A candle to point us to heaven above
A baby for Christmas, a wonderful birth
For Jesus is bringing God’s love to our earth.

Children’s Story and Lord’s Prayer.
Hymn: Gentle Mary Laid Her Child

GOD SPEAKS THROUGH SCRIPTURE

Responsive Reading: Luke 1: 47-53 (p. 898 VU)
My soul proclaims God’s greatness.
My spirit rejoices in God my saviour.
For you have looked with favour on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed.
You have done great things for me, O Most Mighty.
Hallowed be your Name!
You have mercy on those who fear you,
From one generation to another. R

You took action with a strong arm.
You scattered the proud in their conceit.
You pulled the mighty from their thrones.
You raised the lowly.
You filled the hungry with good things.
You sent the rich away empty.
You come to the aid of your servant, Israel,
for you remembered your promise of mercy,
to our ancestors, Abraham and Sarah,
and to their children in every age. R

First Reading: Micah 5:2-5a
Second Reading: Hebrews 10:5-10
Gospel: Luke 1:39-45
Anthem Soon and Very Soon
Sermon: “A Time for Faith”

GOD CALLS US TO RESPOND
Hymn: All Poor Ones and Humble
Prayers of the People
Commissioning and Benediction
Postlude

A warm welcome to everyone who is joining us for worship. We recognize that we gather in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People and we seek to be good neighbours to the First Nations. May this be a time for you to draw closer to God. The service is posted each week on our website (www.stjamesuc.com).

This Sunday’s bulletin is dedicated to the glory of God
and in loving memory of Douglas Adams by the Family.

Thanks to Michele Ashby, Alistair Hamilton, and Martha Palmer for sharing their gifts of music with us today.

Rev. Peter Smith will be away from December 26th until January 6. If there is a pastoral emergency during this time please contact the Rev. Doug Stewart at 902-735-2102

THIS WEEK AT ST. JAMES
Friday, December 24
7:00 pm Family Christmas Service at St. James
9:00 pm Christmas Eve Communion
Because of the new health restrictions we will need to have assigned seating for Christmas Eve. Please contact the church office by December 23rd at 1pm to reserve your seat 902-863-2001 or office@stjamesuc.com

Your Social Justice Committee wishes you and yours a safe and happy Christmas! At this time of year, our thoughts should turn to those less fortunate than us. Why not make a tradition of giving a “family donation” to any one of the front-line charities in our community? They will usually provide a card, (or you can), stating that a donation has been made in the gift recipient’s name. There are many worthy local charities. Some to consider are:

  • our church’s very own Hot Meal Program
  • Antigonish Community Food Bank Society
  • St Vincent De Paul Society
  • Antigonish Affordable Housing Society
  • Antigonish Emergency Fuel Fund
  • Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre
  • Syria-Antigonish Families Embrace
  • The Naomi Society
    Most of these are easily researched and effortlessly donated to via the canadahelps.org website, which provides you with an immediate tax receipt. “There is no better exercise for your heart than reaching down and helping to lift someone up.” – Bernard Meltzer

The end of the calendar year is quickly coming. Thursday, Dec 30th will be the final date for donations to be received and credited for the 2021 income tax year at St. James. Donations can be dropped off anytime up to and including that day through our secure mail slot. Online donations can be made anytime at http://www.stjamesuc.com

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