December 5, 2020

Dear Friends,

Peace to you this evening. I hope your Advent journey has started off well.

Tomorrow is the second Sunday of Advent, and it’s our annual service of Lessons and Carols. It’s different to do it in a virtual format, of course, but we are grateful for the marvel of technology that draws us together and allows us to worship virtually at this time. Many thanks to Peggy Massello who has worked tirelessly to arrange music and readers for today’s service.

Tomorrow from 1pm – 2pm we are also gathering for an outdoor Wassail Party in the parking lot here at church. We’d love to have you join us! We’ll have warm wassail available and cookies in separate ziploc bags to munch on. We’ve also procured three high-quality, used patio heaters that we will use for outdoor church events going forward. So bundle up, wear a mask and join us for this beloved annual tradition. No need to RVSP. Just come! Thanks to Fran Langewisch and Stephanie Phelan for organizing this event for us.

Below are video links to our virtual worship offerings, along with an order of service - both the Lessons and Carols service and the family service. Also, here's a link to the Common Life posted on our church website.

Our Advent Sunday morning study, “Christmas in the Four Gospel Homes,” resumes tomorrow, focusing on the Gospel of Matthew. Send me an email ( if you’d like to receive the reading ahead of time. We’ll gather from 8:30 - 9:30am over Zoom (Zoom link; Meeting ID: 832 3379 4440 Passcode: 389051).

Thank you for being the body of Christ, friends. You are loved and never alone.
Pastor Jeff
Worship Video, Sunday, December 6, 2020
Family Worship Video Sunday, December 6, 2020

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel


Bagpipe Processional & Hanging of the Greens - Libby and Reed Morris

Call to Worship
To all who feel separated, to all who feel pain, Christ comes to offer deep and lasting peace.
Let us open our hearts to him. Let us open our minds to him. Let us prepare the way.
Christ is coming to heal us and make us whole. Christ is coming to love us and call us by name.
Christ is coming into our midst to build a kingdom of hope, peace, joy and love.
A place where all are forgiven, all are empowered, and all are integral to the body.
This Advent, we give Christ our hopes and fears, our joys and addictions, our gifts and disappointments.
Christ is coming this Advent to make all things new.
Let us prepare the way. 

Hymn No. 106 (recorded in worship in 2018)
Prepare the Way, O Zion

Lighting of the Second Advent Candle - Carolyn Jevelian

Call to Confession
Advent is a season of mystery – of waiting, of longing, of preparing. Yet, even as we wait, God is eager to forgive us and set us back on solid ground. Let us confess our sins this day to our gracious and loving God, first in silent prayer. 

Prayer of Confession
Holy God, we will be honest: this is really hard. It is hard to miss precious time with family and friends. It is hard to keep wearing masks, avoiding public gatherings and spending so much time watching screens. It is hard not to be in the Sanctuary for the Lessons and Carols service, smelling the Wassail brewing downstairs. In the ninth month of the pandemic, we’re losing patience and we’re losing hope and we’re losing grip on our faith. Please help us. Remind us of the Advent good news, your gifts of hope, peace, joy and love, your promise to be Emmanuel, God with us. We confess our fatigue. We confess our selfishness. We confess our idleness. Encourage our hearts, and help us to be your people, to the best of our ability in these dark and strange days. This we pray in the name of Jesus, who is always with us and always coming. Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness
The good news of this Advent season is forgiveness and new life. Let us commit our lives to Christ’s way of hope and peace. Thanks be to the Advent God, who sets us free to love and serve! Amen.

Sung Response - Prepare the Way of the Lord
Prepare the way of the Lord,
Prepare the way of the Lord,
And all people will see the salvation of our God.

Our Common Life 

Service of Lessons & Carols: Be Not Afraid

First Lesson - Ephesians 2:3-5 and Habakkuk 2:20

Bell Anthem - Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence      arr. John Behnke

Second Lesson - Luke 1:67-73 and Isaiah 42:1-4

Singers & Ringers Anthem Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus   

Third Lesson - Luke 1:39-45

Chancel Choir Anthem To a Virgin Meek and Mild Catalonian Carol 

Fourth Lesson - Isaiah 9:2&6 and 52:7-10          
Piano Solo For Unto Us a Child Is Born G.F. Handel, arr. Jeff Bennett

Prayers for Our Advent Journey and the Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever. Amen. 

Congregational Response - The Doxology (Hymn No. 606) 
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; 
Praise God all creatures here below;
Praise God above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication

Hymn No. 105, verses 1-3 recorded in worship in 2019 
People, Look East 

Charge and Benediction*
As you continue the Advent journey, may you carry the peace of your faith with you, letting it live in your heart and sharing it with all whom you encounter, so that all may know the hope and peace that is both coming and already present in this world through One born in a manger.
And now, may the peace of the Lord, which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the love and knowledge of Christ our Lord from now until the end of the Age. Amen.

Bagpipe Recessional/Postlude

Worship Leaders
Rev. Jeff Lehn, Pastoral liturgist
Laura Sherwood, Pastoral Liturgist 
Frank and Rosemary Neuhaus, readers
Langewisch Family, readers
Jennifer Christiansen, reader
Carolyn Jevelian, advent candles
Libby and Reed Morris, Hanging of the Greens
Chancel Choir
Chancel Bells 
Singers & Ringers

First Presbyterian Church of Wilmette
600 Ninth Street
Wilmette, IL 60091-2779
Experience God. Grow Disciples. Transform Lives.