Below you will find prayers, songs, readings, and a message to help you experience worship.  You can light a candle to remind yourself of the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Whether you are alone or with others, we hope that you can feel each other’s presence, and the presence of God, as we find creative ways to worship together, even though we are not in the same building.  One good thing about virtual worship is that if you really like a song, you can listen to it again!  Do what you need to do to worship God wherever you are.

Announcements & call to worship

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We come from a world of darkness, into Christ’s world of light. We come from a world of weariness, into God’s strength and hope. From the comfort of our homes we gather to worship. Whether through printed word, or through the gift of technology we are a community. Here we seek connection to God and to each other. Strengthened by the Spirit, we come to awaken our souls and watch for the coming of Christ.  Come, let us worship!

Hymn of Praise                      
Glory to God

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Glory be to God on high.  Peace, goodwill to all the earth.  Let us sing a joyful song to the Christ, the Living Word.  Gloria in excelsis Deo; Gloria in excelsis Deo. 

Love has come to dwell with us.  Light now shines on everyone.  Hope has lifted up our hearts.  Joy has made, in us, a home.  Gloria in excelsis Deo; Gloria in excelsis Deo. 

Prayer of the Day

Let us pray.  Stir up our hearts, Lord God, to prepare the way of your only Son. By his coming strengthen us to serve you with purified lives; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Lighting the Second Advent Candle ~ Peace                     
2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16 & LUKE 1:26-38                                                    

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We live on the brink every day. We stand on the threshold between this world and the next one. We forget that the love we give and live is a sign of eternity, God with us, right now. There is hatred, there is violence in our communities, there is still so much unrest in our hearts, we long for peace. 

Luke tells us that a messenger of God came to Mary and greeted her and said, “The Lord is with you.” What a gift and a promise: Emmanuel, God is with us.

We light this candle with peace in our hearts for the promise of proximity, the nearness of God. God’s presence, in a confused and confusing world, is a peace that passes all understanding.  (Light the second candle in your Advent wreath.)

May the light from this candle overwhelm the world.

May the light from this candle say to all that God’s peace is coming, on earth as it already is in heaven.

Loved children of God, be not afraid, God’s peace is at hand!

Advent Song                  
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

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O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.  Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, O Wisdom from on high, embracing all things far and nigh:  in strength and beauty come and stay; teach us your will and guide our way.   Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

Isaiah 40:1-11

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1Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.  2Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

3A voice cries out:  “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  4Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.  5Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

6A voice says, “Cry out!”  And I said, “What shall I cry?”  All people are grass,  their constancy is like the flower of the field.  7The grass withers, the flower fades,  when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass.  8The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.  9Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”  10See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.  11He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.

Children’s Moment

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Gospel and Message

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Mark 1:1-8

1The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way;  3the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:   ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’ ”
4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Hymn of the Day    
There’s a Voice in the Wilderness

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There’s a voice in the wilderness crying, call from the ways untrod:  Prepare in the desert a highway, a highway for our God!  The valleys shall be exalted, the lofty hills brought low; make straight all the crooked places where God, our God, may go!

O Jerusalem, herald good tidings, ascend to the heights and sing!   Proclaim to a desolate people the coming of their king.  Like flow’rs of the field we perish, like grass our works decay; the pow’r and the pomp of nations shall pass like a dream away.

But the word of our Savior is faithful, the arm of our God is strong, who stands in the midst of the nations and soon will right the wrong.  Lord, feed your flock like a shepherd, the lambs so gently hold; in pastures of peace now lead them, and bring them to your fold.

Thanksgiving for the Word

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Holy God, the Beginning and the Ending, our Hope as we wait, we praise you for joining us to your people of old. We bless you for your prophets who call us to righteousness and promise a new earth with peace for all. For the Word of your covenant, we thank you, O God.

We praise you for the coming of Jesus our Lord, who lifts up the lowly, heals the suffering world, and proclaims your way of mercy and truth. For your Word who is Christ, we magnify you, O God.

Send your Spirit on all who receive your Word. Nurture our faith with your grace, accompany us with your might, and empower our zeal for your justice and joy. For your Word through the church, we praise you, O God.

All praise to you, holy God, today, tomorrow, and forever. Amen.


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Held together in one body by the Spirit of Christ, let us pray for the church and the world, and all who are in need.

Faithful God, Come to your church. Assist all who minister in the church. Show us your way, and awaken all the baptized to the guidance of your Holy Spirit.  Lord, hear our prayer. 

Covenant God, come to the Jewish people.  Be with those who celebrate the festival of Hanukkah. End the world’s anti-Semitism, and bring peace to Jerusalem. Lord, hear our prayer. 

Sovereign God, come to the nations. Inspire governmental officials to strive for peace within their land and between countries. Guide the nations towards cooperative efforts when facing global issues. Lord, hear our prayer. 

Righteous God, come to our country. Teach us how to end discrimination and to value diversity. Bring political parties into helpful conversation with each other. Assist the unemployed, and uphold all people who struggle. Lord, hear our prayer. 

Compassionate God, come to all who are facing the coronavirus. Protect the vulnerable. Heal the sick. Embrace the dying. Sustain medical workers. Prepare a vaccine. End this suffering. Lord, hear our prayer. 

Merciful God, come to all who suffer. Empower us to feed the hungry in our nation and around the world. Gather into your healing embrace those who are afraid, lonely, sick, or struggling with depression. Lord, hear our prayer. 

Come, O tender-hearted God, to each one of us, and receive our silent prayers. Lord, hear our prayer. 

Eternal God, as you came to the saints, come to us.  Bring us with them through our wilderness into the fulfillment of your promises. Lord, hear our prayer. 

Come near to us, O God, and receive our prayers for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

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Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.  Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.  For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever.  Amen.

Sending Song                   
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

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Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us; let us find our rest in thee.  Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art, dear desire of ev’ry nation, joy of ev’ry longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver, born a child, and yet a king; born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring.  By thine own eternal Spirit rule in all our hearts alone; by thine all-sufficient merit raise us to thy glorious throne.


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May God, who gathers us in love, lead you in pathways of righteousness and justice. May God, who knows us more deeply than we know ourselves, lead you in pathways of forgiveness and freedom. May God, who fills us with good things, lead you in pathways of equity and abundance.

The creator of the stars bless your Advent waiting, the long-expected Savior fill you with love, the unexpected Spirit guide your journey now and forever.


Go in peace. Prepare the way of the Lord.

Worship Assistants

Music:  Lori, Ian
Message: Pastor Kristin
Readers: Amy, Leslie, Ally, Zander, Amy, Scott
Children’s Moment: Pastor Kristin

From Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2005 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.  Reprinted and streamed by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS002432.  New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Hymns reprinted and streamed with permission. CCLI#1162147.  Portions of the All Saints Liturgy adapted from Rev. Leslie Mamas, United Church of Christ

Sunday school material used with permission from Spirit & Truth Publishing. God’s Word @ Home: Family Faith Formation.

Advent Candle Lighting adapted from The Salt Project (saltprogect.org) and Discipleship Matters (umcdiscipleship.org).