Welcome to ICYMI Worship! ICYMI stands for In Case You Missed It; our ICYMI series gives a brief snapshot of worship each week so that you can worship in your home, on the road, or wherever life takes you.
At Cross of Christ, our basic worship order is based on worship patterns from Hebrew traditions and biblical accounts of the earliest Christians: We GATHER with songs and prayer, We HEAR God’s word, We SHARE a meal of bread and wine, We are SENT into the world to love and serve. Let us know how this format works for you.
TODAY IS THE THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT
“Prepare the Royal Highway”
LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLE
R1 The third candle is the light of joy.
R2 Priest, professor, theologian, and author Henri Nouwen wrote, “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”
R1 Jesus said, “Ask anything in my name and you shall receive, and your joy will be complete.”
R2 When we align our will to that of the Lord, we learn how to live joyfully and freely. We are liberated. We are set free.
R1 And so we rejoice, and joyfully share this good news, that the One first sent to us as the Babe of Bethlehem is our Redeemer, the Messiah promised of old.
R2 As we light three Advent candles, may the joy of Christ fill our hearts with his praise.
C Our joy is in the Lord.
THIS WEEK’S GOSPEL
PASTOR DAVE’S SERMON SNAPSHOT: “Leaping for Joy “
But Mary, and Elizabeth, too, chose to believe. They chose to believe God would bless them and through them bless others. They chose to believe that though they might be seen as lowly or even worse in the eyes of some other people, in God’s eyes they were precious and worthy and important and loved. They chose to believe that God had great plans not just for them and for their children, but for all people.
May we, like Elizabeth and Mary, trust that God knows and loves us – each one of us. May we, like them, give thanks that God has taken away our shame and then respond to God’s love by sharing the good news with others in our words and in our actions and in our invitations and in our welcome. May we see that God is still bringing hope and peace and salvation to us and to all. And may this good news fill us with joy that causes us to leap, to shout, and to share. Thanks be to God. Amen.
SONG OF THE DAY
“Light Dawns on a Weary World”
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
In this season of peace, let us pray with confidence for the Church, the world, and for all in need. Today each petition will end “Lord in your mercy,” to which the congregational response is “Hear our prayer.”
Gracious God, with joy and thanksgiving we journey through Advent toward Christmas, as we prepare to celebrate once more the coming of your Son into our world as one of us. Grant safe travels and happy reunions this holiday season. Brighten family gatherings and worship services with your presence. And bless all those who, for whatever reason, are struggling to find joy, especially those who will gather for our Blue Christmas service this afternoon. Lord in your mercy…
Hear our prayer.
Generous God, we thank you for the gifts of creation, and all that sustains life. Stir us to be better stewards of recourses and opportunities for our generation, and for generations to come. Inspire us to respond to your generosity by joyfully giving what we have to share. Bless those who are supporting our Season of Giving outreach with leadership, prayers, and financial contributions. Lord in your mercy…
Hear our prayer.
Healing God, give relief to the suffering, calm to the , liberty to the captives of any kind of hate or harm, and renewal to the sick and injured. We lift to you our members and their loved ones who have asked for public prayers: members Kay Anderson, Anna Bero; Dennis Bero; Liz Clark; Alma Constable; Fred Corwin; Linda Ernst; Ed Hahn; Phyllis Hahn; Audrey Harris; Ruth Huehnerhoff; Eileen Johnson; Priscilla Kanestrom; LaNita Landru; Jeanne Lawson; Doris Lundquist, Jim Lyon; Bill McConnell, Betty McConnell, Mary Moen, Marlys Paulson; Dick Rehmke; and Marilyn Van Brero; former member John Boyd; family members Carol, sister of Lois Corwin; Spike, son of Wanda Nelson; and Jeff, son of Jerry and Joyce Johnson. We give you thanks for good medical news for young Thomas, friend of Jerry and Joyce Johnson, and ask that you continue to bring him healing and hope. We pray for peace for the sorrowful, including Jerry and Joyce Johnson’s daughter-in-law at the passing of her mother, Marlene. Lord in your mercy…
Hear our prayer.
Hear our prayers, spoken and silent, that we commend to you this day, trusting in your abundant mercy, through Jesus Christ, our healer and our hope.
“Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”
On the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me. Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.
All are welcome to receive Christ’s Body and Blood in the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist.
WELCOME TO WORSHIP – Joy is the theme of the Third Sunday in Advent. The herald angel announced “glad tidings of great joy” to the shepherds on the Bethlehem hillside – the Savior of the world had been born. May our hearts be filled with joy as we continue to prepare to celebrate the coming of the Christ Child, readying ourselves to sing “Joy to the World!” Welcome all.
BAPTISMAL BLESSINGS – for Charlie and Hazel Rogers, son and daughter of David and Elizabeth Rogers, and grandchildren of Mike and Laurie Beck. They will be baptized during our Mosaic worship service this morning. God bless them and their family.
INVITATION TO COMMUNION – At Cross of Christ and throughout the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we practice Open Communion. You will hear the Assisting Minster make this open invitation with the words, “All are welcome at the Lord’s Table. Christ is the host; we extend his invitation to all.” Please be invited to join us. Please also feel comfortable if you decide to not receive Holy Communion today. Most Sundays we come forward to receive the bread and the wine. If you would like to receive Communion where you are seated, please let the ushers who are assisting know your preference. We would be happy and honored to bring the Communion elements to you.
YOUNG CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ARE INVITED TO THE “PRAY-GROUND” – which is back in its familiar location at the back of the transept! This special space in the Sanctuary is designed for our youngest worshippers and their families. Children age 8 and under are welcome to color, play games, enjoy age-appropriate books, and just have their own space in the back of the transept – the southeast corner of the Sanctuary. We LOVE having children in worship! We hope this special place helps make them and their families feel both welcome and comfortable.
BLUE CHRISTMAS WORSHIP TODAY 1 PM – Each December, Cross of Christ offers this meaningful service for those who might be experiencing a challenging holiday season. The loss of a loved one, a serious medical challenge, a change in work status, or just the holiday blues can make us feel like we’re the only ones not having a “holy, jolly” Christmas. We can feel alone, even among other people. We can feel like God is distant. Our Blue Christmas service is a safe, sacred space to be honest with these feelings, and to hear words of hope, that Immanuel – God with Us – is the promise that the Lord will not abandon us even and especially in our down and dark days. We welcome all who might feel a bit blue this year, and those willing to stand with them, to this quiet, peaceful 30-minute service.
ADULT FAITH FORMATION – returns today as we continue our original series for Advent, “Genealogy and Grace: Women of Jesus’ Family Tree.” Today’s leading actresses are Rahab, a harlot who protected the Israelites spies in the Promised Land, and Ruth, for non-Jewish foreigner whose faithfulness to her mother-in-law Naomi and later to her husband Boaz are held up as models of loyalty and virtue in Scripture. Adult Faith Formation takes place between services, from 10:15 to 10:55 am, in the Library, led by Pastor Dave.
CHILDREN’S SUNDAY SCHOOL – is also back in session today. This fun learning time is for children age 4 to 10. Join Miss Kristie in the Youth Room between services.
ROOF TRUSS UPDATE – The construction phase is complete, and the steel has been painted. Next steps include reinstallation of the track lights, as well as speakers and sound system. We expect to be fully finished before Christmas. In the meanwhile, pews and other items are being moved aside for the workers and their equipment during the week, and reset for worship on the weekends. Thank you for your ongoing patience, prayers, and “flexitivity”!
SEASON OF GIVING – As you make your Christmas gift shopping list and consider year-end charitable donations, please considering giving a financial gift to your church. We entered this month considerably behind in giving compared with the same point in the fiscal year last December. While our expenses remain virtually flat, and 65 percent of our giving members have contributed as much or more this year as they did last year, some have not yet been able to give at the same level as the year before. However, quite a few of you have already made a special “above and beyond” gift in response to the “Season of Giving” appeal, helping us to significantly close this financial gap! Thank you! We still have a ways to go, so we ask that if you have not done so already, please prayerfully consider if you are able to make a special donation before the end of the year in support of the mission and ministries of Cross of Christ.
FINAL DAY FOR HOPELINK GIVING TREE – Thank you for brightening the Christmas of some of our neighbors in need by supporting the Giving Tree this year. Today is the final day to return gifts, in order for them to be taken to Hopelink tomorrow in preparation for distribution.
LAST CALL FOR LOST & FOUND – At the end of each year we clean up and clear out unclaimed items in the Lost & Found drawer of the Information Desk in the Narthex, as well as any unclaimied coats and jackets hanging on the rack. Please check and see if you might have forgotten something that has found its way to the drawer. Usable unclaimed items are donated to the non-profit Eastside Community Aid Thrift Store in Kirkland.
LECTORS STILL NEEDED – Thanks to those who have signed up recently to be a reader of one of the lessons during worship. It’s a joy to hear God’s word shared in many voices. There are still some open slots this month. To participate in this meaningful way, go to the Cross of Christ webpage – www.crossofchristbellevue.org – and click on the “volunteer” link. You can also call Office Administrator Judy Giseburt during regular office hours and she will get you signed up. Readings are sent to lectors ahead of time.
OFFERING COUNTER HELP WANTED – Our bookkeeper, Denise Fuentes, is looking for additional help with offering counting. The counters typically meet Monday mornings to count the weekly offerings. If you are interested, please contact Denise at email@example.com.
CHRISTMAS FLOWER DEDICATIONS – If you would like to make a donation for Christmas poinsettias and other flowers, the forms are available at the Information Desk in the Narthex. Donations and forms need to be received by Monday, December 23. Dedications will be listed in the Christmas Eve worship bulletins. Thank you for helping beautify the Sanctuary for Christmas.
GRIEF GROUP MEETS WEDNESDAY – at 10 am in the Gathering Room (202). Pastor Dave brings a devotion and conversation starters to this warm, welcoming, confidential group open to all. Our theme this month is “Christmas Memories.” Special holiday treats will be shared. All are welcome.
NAME TAGS ARE SIGNS OF WELCOME – You’re encouraged to wear your Cross of Christ name tag to worship each Sunday. This simple act helps people get to know one another, is welcoming for guests, and is greatly appreciated by the pastor (who, try as he might, occasionally temporarily forgets names!). Replacement nametags have been made and placed on the racks. If you have misplaced your name tag, or haven’t received one, and a new one is not there for you, contact Office Administrator Judy Giseburt in the office at 425-746-7300 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRAYERS FOR HOMEBOUND MEMBERS – Kay Anderson, Ed and Phyllis Hahn, Doris Lundquist, Ruth Huehnerhoff, Bill and Betty McConnell, Mary Moen, Marlys Paulson, and Marilyn Van Brero.
May the Word of God find a home in our hearts.
May the Son of God be our guide and our path.
May the Spirit of God stir us with holy anticipation
As we wait and watch and work for the Coming King.
“On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry”
By God’s grace, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we are called to
Grow in Faith
Share the Gospel
Serve others, and
Thanks be to God!