November 28, 2020

Dear Friends,

Peace to you this evening. I hope you had a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent, the season of waiting, preparing and hoping for the birth of Christ into our weary world once more. This year at fpcw, we’re focusing on the four traditional themes of Advent: hope, peace, joy and love. Tomorrow, we hear the story of the angel Gabriel visiting Mary with the news of a child to be born to her. We zero in on the promise, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

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

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, we’re taking a hiatus from a number of our regular Sunday virtual offerings, including our adult faith formation class that meets at 8:30am. We’ll resume our study, “Christmas in the Four Gospel Homes,” next week. Speaking of next weekend, mark your calendars for an outdoor Wassail Party scheduled for 1pm on Sunday, December 6. More details to come!

I want to ask for your continued prayers for Pastor Laura and her family. Her father, Tom Sherwood, died last Sunday night in Cincinnati from covid pneumonia. He was a lifelong church musician and well-known soloist in the area. You can read his obituary here. We pray for God’s peace and comfort and hope to surround the Sherwood family in this time of grief and transition. We look forward to her being back in the Chicago area in the coming days and resuming her ministry with us.

Thank you for being the body of Christ, friends. You are loved and never alone.
 
Warmly,
Pastor Jeff


People, Look East: A Study on Advent Hymns
We have been graciously invited to share in an Advent hymn study with Highland Park Presbyterian Church on Zoom! Please join us today at 4 pm and if there is interest from both churches, the study will continue through Advent.

This will be a chance to: 
* Share together in preparing our hearts and minds for the Christmas season 
* Listen to the music we are used to hearing during Advent 
* Learn the history and theology underpinning the poetry of the hymns

Class materials and a Zoom link are available here.
Be sure to check the link ahead of time. If you have difficulty, contact David Hogue at hppcilpastor@hppcil.com

Thank you to our friends at HPPC!
(fun fact: both Jeff and Peggy worked at HPPC, although not at the same time!)
Worship Video, Sunday, November 29, 2020
Family Worship Video Sunday, November 29, 2020

Prelude
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Welcome

Lighting of the First Advent Candle The Ritchie Family

Call to Worship
The days are surely coming when God's promises shall be fulfilled.
When our love for one another and for all God's children will increase.
The days are surely coming when God's promises shall come true.
When God will strengthen our hearts in humility and holiness.
The days are surely coming when God's promises are realized in us.
When we will walk the paths of faithfulness and steadfast love.
Friends, let us worship God, tender and just.

Opening Hymn No. 88 verses 1 & 7
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel 

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

Prayer of Confession
Almighty and vulnerable God, always with us, always coming. We confess that we do not know how to prepare for your Advent. We have forgotten how to hope in miracles; we have ignored the promise of your kingdom; we get distracted by the busyness of this season and discouraged by the pandemic. Forgive us, God. Grant us the simple wonder of the shepherds, the intelligent courage of the Magi, and the patient faith of Mary and Joseph, that we may journey with them to Bethlehem and find the good news of a child born for us. Now, in the quiet of our hearts, we ask you to make us ready for his coming. Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness
The good news of this Advent season is forgiveness of sin 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!

Sung Response
Prepare the Way      Jacques Bertier
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

Scripture
Luke 1:26-38
    
Sermon      

Responsive Hymn No. 98
To a Maid Whose Name Was Mary  
             
Affirmation of Faith (drawn from the Iona Abbey, Scotland) - 
We believe that God is present in the darkness before the dawn; in the waiting and uncertainty where fear and courage join hands, conflict and caring link arms, and the sun rises over barbed wire. We believe in a with-us God who sits down in our midst to share our humanity. We affirm a faith that takes us beyond a safe place: into action, into vulnerability, and into the brokenness of our world. We commit ourselves to work for change and put ourselves on the line; to bear responsibility, take risks, live powerfully and face humiliation; to stand with those on the edge; to choose life and be used by the Spirit for God’s new community of hope. Amen.

Prayers of the People 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. 

Call to Offering
On this day, we are invited to participate in the kingdom emerging all around us. May we offer ourselves to God this Advent with glad and generous hearts, freely giving our tithes and offerings to the ministry of our congregation. In lieu of passing the plate, we invite you to give through our church website, our smartphone app, by texting the word “Wilmette” to the number 77977, or by sending a check to the church office. As we gather our gifts together and offer them to God, may we do so in gratitude and praise.

Doxology No. 606

Prayer of Dedication

Sending Hymn No 82
Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Charge and Benediction

Postlude
O Come, O Come Emmanuel/Personet Hodie     arr. Liz Story

Worship Leaders
Rev. Jeff Lehn, Preaching
Lindley Traynor, Call to Confession
Scott McElhenie, Scripture Reading
Sue Sklansky, Call to Offering
Guyneth and Bill Sharp, Hymn Soloists
Nick Lin and Jordan Roulo, Soloists
Peggy Massello, Organist, Director of Music



First Presbyterian Church of Wilmette
600 Ninth Street
Wilmette, IL 60091-2779
847-256-3010
Experience God. Grow Disciples. Transform Lives.