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

Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. With your abundant grace and might, free us from the sin that would obstruct your mercy, that willingly we may bear your redeeming love to all the world, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Lighting the Fourth Advent Candle ~ Love                              
Isaiah 40:1-11 & Matthew 22:36-40  

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Our lists are long, even in this strange mess where we live these days. And we want to do it right, we want to be safe, but we want to be able to enjoy the season. We’ve got work to do to put right what has gone wrong, to heal what is broken, and to mend the relationships. Too many people are wandering in the wilderness, too many people are sitting in the valley of the shadow of death, and too many of our conversations are laced with conflict and hostility.

Matthew 22:36-40 says, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”  He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the greatest and first commandment.  And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Today we stop everything and light these candles: one for hope, one for peace, one for joy, and one for love… (Light the fourth candle in your Advent wreath.)

May the light from these candles overwhelm the world.

May the light and fire from these candles burn away everything that is preventing God’s love from being born among us.

Loved children of God, be not afraid, even now — even now — God’s love is overwhelming the world, on earth as it is in heaven!

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.

O come, O come, O Lord of might, as to your tribes on Sinai’s height in ancient times you gave the law in cloud, and majesty, and awe.  Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, O Branch of Jesse, free   your own from Satan’s tyranny; from depths of hell your people save, and give them vict’ry o’er the grave.  Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

Romans 16:25-27

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25Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—27to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.

Children’s Moment

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Gospel and Message                 
Luke 1:26-38

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26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Hymn of the Day                    

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My soul proclaims your greatness, O God, and my spirit rejoices in you.  You have looked with love on your servant here, and blessed me all my life through.  Great and mighty are you, O Holy One, strong is your kindness evermore.  How you favor the weak and lowly one, humbling the proud of heart!

You have cast the mighty down from their thrones, and uplifted the humble of heart.  You have filled the hungry with wondrous things, and left the wealthy no part.  Great and mighty are you, O Faithful One, strong is your justice, strong your love, as you promised to Sarah and Abraham, kindness forevermore.

My soul proclaims your greatness, O God, and my spirit rejoices in you.  You have looked with love on your servant here, and blessed me all my life through.

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.

O God, Emmanuel, we pray: be with us. Bless our church and our own congregation. Bless also our neighbors of other denominations and faiths, that strengthened by your presence we may support one another in love and together serve those in need.  Lord, hear our prayer. 

O God, bring peace and justice to the countries of the world. Guide our elected leaders toward honest and compassionate policies that serve all the people. Preserve our nation from discord and violence. Lord, hear our prayer. 

O God, Key of David, look with mercy on all who are locked into despair, who fear the darkness, who live brokenhearted. Open windows to those who are isolated. Abide with all who are incarcerated. Give shelter to people without homes and refugees.  Lord, hear our prayer. 

O God, Root of Jesse, nurture our community. Connect us with one another across all barriers, and bring an end to historic prejudices. Bless the work of food pantries and relief agencies, and inspire our holidays with your spirit of benevolence. Lord, hear our prayer. 

O God, send your healing power to all in bodily need. Strengthen medical workers and those with COVID-19.  Guide all world health organizations and governmental officials in the distribution of the vaccines.  Lord, hear our prayer. 

O God, Dayspring everlasting, we remember all who have died and now live in your light.  Gather us to yourself, when we join with all the faithful of every time and land to sing Mary’s hymn of praise.   Lord, hear our prayer. 

We cannot thank you enough, O Emmanuel, for your ongoing presence among us. Remain with us, and receive our prayers, for the sake of the Jesus Christ, our Savior and 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                               
Joy to the World

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Joy to the world, the Lord is come!  Let earth receive her king; let ev’ry heart prepare him room and heav’n and nature sing, and heav’n and nature sing, and heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!  Let all their songs employ, while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy, repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sin and sorrow grow nor thorns infest the ground; he comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found, far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations prove the glories of his righteousness and wonders of his love, and wonders of his love, and wonders, wonders of his love.


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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, Andrea, Camilla, Isabella
Message: Pastor Kristin
Readers: Brittany, Phillip, Paul, Renee, Dick, Inara
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).