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January 3, 2021
Epiphany Sunday

Order of Worship
BOLD indicates congregational SPEAKING participation
Gathering as the Body of Christ

Welcome and Sharing of Announcements

Call to Worship  
Liturgist: It is a good day to be here.
People: It is a good day to tell stories.
Liturgist: It is a good day to give thanks.
People: It is a good day to ask for help.
Liturgist: It is a good day to be in community.
People: It is a good day to worship God.
(Hold Fast to What is Good by Rev. Beth Merrill Neel)


Opening Prayer
Holy God, Author of life and Source of all hope, Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier: hear our prayer. We know that the blank slate of a new year seems so promising – We haven’t done anything too awful, not yet. And we know that the blank slate of a new year is also an illusion; Time continues, and our lives flow from one day to the next, from one year to the next. In this time, we know we are sometimes remarkable and generous, bearing light to the shadows, and we know we are sometimes full of despair and selfishness, hoarding light and goodness for ourselves. We invite you on our journeys, O God. We seek your presence with us in the darkness and the light, In our remarkable moments and our awful ones. We seek your presence, and bask in your love, through Christ. Amen.
(Hold Fast to What is Good by Rev. Beth Merrill Neel)

Opening Hymn
We Three Kings 
UMH #254

Scripture Readings
(The Message)

John 1:1-18
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”)
From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.


Liturgist   The word of God for the people of God.
People Thanks be to God.

Message
"Building an Inclusive Community" 
District Superintendent Megan Stow

Message in Music
May My Light Shine
Lynn Shaw Bailey & Becki Slagle Mayo 
Barbara Beatty & Jane Beatty, vocalists, and Mark Beatty, guitarist  


Offertory Prayer
Here, Lord, we put our love into practice. These gifts we offer came from your love for us. Now, let them express our love for you, as they reach out to others with your love for them. Amen. (Robert D. Ingram)


Closing Hymn
Shine, Jesus, Shine
TFWS #2173

The Blessing and Sending Forth
May God be known in the stillness; may the holy be found in our smallness; and may Christ be made known in our ordinary rhythms of love and grace. Amen.


Online Servers
Worship Leader: Bev Welsh
Liturgists: Nancy Burns
Video: Bill Kruger
Our Mission Statement
“God calls us to be disciples of Jesus, building community through service and fellowship and sharing the love of Christ with all.”

Our Openness Statement
“The United Methodist Church of Westford is an open and welcoming community of Christian Faith. Without any exceptions, we welcome anyone who seeks to love and to serve God.”
Please click here for “A Statement of Our Openness”.
Join us for Coffee Time via Zoom!
Sunday, January 3, 2021
11:00 am to Noon

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