First Congregational Church, UCC
Wolfeboro, NH
Worship
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Advent 1: Hope
As we move through these weeks of Advent, I encourage you to setup an Advent wreath at home-- simply four candles will do! Each Sunday, we will invite you to light a new candle on the wreath.

As a reminder, we are having a "choose your own adventure" Advent, and there are a number of devotionals to choose from!

Advent Equity Challenge:
Join us for a different kind of Advent devotional this year- an Advent Equity Challenge! Each week will consist of 4 short assignments to watch, read and listen on the topic of racial equity that can easily be accomplished during the week. Thoughtful and brave conversations will happen over Zoom on Sunday mornings (11/29, 12/6, 12/13, and 12/20) from 9:00-10:00 a.m. (Zoom link will be in the "Weekly Happenings” e-mail that came out last night, also the same link that we use for Fellowship!). If you can’t attend on 11/29, but would like to know more, contact Krista Marschner (Kristafccw@gmail.com).

#WolfeboroAdvent2020
A collaborative challenge with All Saints Church, we invite you to engage in an active Advent by reading a piece of Scripture each day, reflecting upon it, and sharing via your favorite social media. We ask that you share in one (or more) of three ways:
  • Listening: Share a link to a song that the daily reading stirs
  • Reading: Share a brief written memory or thought
  • Visualizing: Share a photo or short video
Whatever your response is, do share it with the hashtag: #WolfeboroAdvent2020
on your site(s) and feel free to post on your congregation’s site(s) as well.

A Family Advent:
Christian Nurture has put together Advent bags for our families and youth. They include some fun activities, and a daily Advent challenge especially for our youth and children. If you haven't picked up a bag yet, the team will be in the church parking lot TODAY (11/29) from 10-11am for curbside delivery!

Printed Resources:
These Days and Draw Near (from the Still Speaking Writers Group)
You can pick-up a hard copy of these in a plastic container tucked inside the covered stairway by the parking lot doors at church. Or be in touch with Krista and she will mail you one.
Isaiah 40: 1-11

Comfort, comfort my people!
    says your God.
Speak compassionately to Jerusalem,
        and proclaim to her that her compulsory service has ended,
    that her penalty has been paid,
    that she has received from the Lord’s hand 
double for all her sins!

A voice is crying out:
“Clear the Lord’s way in the desert!
    Make a level highway in the wilderness for our God!

Every valley will be raised up,
    and every mountain and hill will be flattened.
    Uneven ground will become level,
    and rough terrain a valley plain.

The Lord’s glory will appear,
    and all humanity will see it together;
    the Lord’s mouth has commanded it.”

A voice was saying:
    “Call out!”
And another said,
    “What should I call out?”
All flesh is grass;
    all its loyalty is like the flowers of the field.

The grass dries up
    and the flower withers
    when the Lord’s breath blows on it.
    Surely the people are grass.

The grass dries up;
    the flower withers,
    but our God’s word will exist forever.

Go up on a high mountain,
    messenger Zion!
Raise your voice and shout,
    messenger Jerusalem!
Raise it; don’t be afraid;
    say to the cities of Judah,
    “Here is your God!”

Here is the Lord God,
    coming with strength,
    with a triumphant arm,
    bringing his reward with him
    and his payment before him.
 
Like a shepherd, God will tend the flock;
    he will gather lambs in his arms
    and lift them onto his lap.
    He will gently guide the nursing ewes.



Mark 1: 1-15

The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, God’s Son, happened just as it was written about in the prophecy of Isaiah:

Look, I am sending my messenger before you.
He will prepare your way,
a voice shouting in the wilderness:
        “Prepare the way for the Lord;
        make his paths straight.”

John the Baptist was in the wilderness calling for people to be baptized to show that they were changing their hearts and lives and wanted God to forgive their sins. Everyone in Judea and all the people of Jerusalem went out to the Jordan River and were being baptized by John as they confessed their sins. John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. He announced, “One stronger than I am is coming after me. I’m not even worthy to bend over and loosen the strap of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

About that time, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. While he was coming up out of the water, Jesus saw heaven splitting open and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down on him. And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.”

At once the Spirit forced Jesus out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among the wild animals, and the angels took care of him.

After John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee announcing God’s good news, saying, “Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!”



Please remember to send in your offering, as you are able.
We are still checking mail at the post office, and our counters are still making deposits. Many of our expenses continue.