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 FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
“Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”
LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLE
R1 The first candle is the light of hope.
R2 The poet George Herbert once wrote: “He that believes in hope dances without music.”
R1 The psalmist declared, “I put my hope in the Lord all day long.”
R2 Hope is more than wishful thinking. Hope is the Spirit of God dwelling within us, reminding us we are never alone. Hope is our active commitment to be God’s faithful people, whether we walk an easy path or struggle through rocky times.
R1 As we light the first candle of Advent, may God stir hope in us.
C Our hope is in the Lord.
THIS WEEK’S READINGS
THIS WEEK’S GOSPEL
PASTOR DAVE’S SERMON SNAPSHOT: “High Hopes”
The hope God planned for his people – for all people – was coming not in the form of a place or a political system, but in a person coming to redeem and restore. Coming to save and set free. Coming to bring light.
Light has probably always been associated with hope. We have sayings that reflect this. “A light at the end of the tunnel.” “Bringing someone into the light.” “A glimmer of hope.”
In the coming of the light of the world, God was rekindling the kind of hope both the Psalmist and the Apostle Paul wrote about, hundreds of years apart. Hope that is steadfast. Hope that is sure. Hope that is built on something – on SOMEONE – trustworthy and solid.
The entire season of Advent, and this first week in particular with its focus on hope, reminds us that our hope and our confidence are in God, and in God’s promises, and in God’s Son, who came to bring us light, who came to be our hope. In this may we be assured. In Him, may we place our confidence. Now and forever. Amen.
SONG OF THE DAY
“Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn”
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
In this season of hope, 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 prauyer.” Thy will be done.”
God of hope, breath your Spirit once more upon your Church, that we might be inspired to put our full faith in you alone. Walk with us as we move into an unknown future, believing that you have a plan for us and for all of creation that ultimately will bring light to all. Lord in your mercy…
Hear our prayer.
God of all seasons, as we enter into this beautiful season of anticipation, help us keep alert to the signs on the inbreaking of your kingdom all around us. Stir us to share the good news of the coming of Christ with others who have yet to hear and accept it, through what we say, what we do, and how we demonstrate your love and grace as a community of believers. Lord in your mercy…
Hear our prayer.
God of compassion, bless those who bless others through their work and their volunteering. Be with medical care givers, those who attend to the needs of the elderly, advocates for the oppressed and those who feel like outsiders, and for all who strive to be your healing hands and your gentle but clear voice of righteousness. Lord in your mercy…
Hear our prayer.
God of healing, grant hope to all who turn to you in times of struggles, sickness, and sorrow. Soothe the afflicted, comfort the distressed, and heal the sick, especially our members and their loved ones who have asked for public prayers: members Kay Anderson, Anna Bero; Dennis Bero; 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 Spike, son of Wanda Nelson; Jeff, son of Jerry and Joyce Johnson; Marlene, mother of Jerry and Joyce Johnson’s daughter-in-law; and Thomas, young friend of Jerry and Joyce Johnson. Comfort those who grieve, including Sandra Volkman’s son Steven and all who mourn the passing of his partner, Angela. 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.
“In Christ Alone”
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.
ROOF TRUSS UPDATE – We’ve returned to the Sanctuary as almost all of the steel has been installed on our trusses. There is still work to be done – some finishing tasks, painting, reinstallation of lights and speakers, and a good clean-up – before we can reset pews and chairs, the altar, baptismal fount, and all the rest of our furnishing. For now, we remain “flexitive” and grateful that the project is moving along so well. We expect to be fully finished before Christmas!
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” – The Pray-Ground isn’t back to its usual space, but a space has been created as we welcome 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 area in the Sanctuary today. We LOVE having children in worship! We hope this special place helps make them and their families feel both welcome and comfortable.
SEASON OF GIVING – In this time of year, as we prepare to celebrate the greatest gift of all, God sending us his Son, Jesus Christ, we celebrate in part by giving gifts to family and friends. This is also the season when will be solicited to make Christmas and year-end financial gifts in support of many worthy causes. This year your church asks you to consider a special gift in support of our shared ministries and mission. While about 65 percent of members are giving as much or more this year when compared with last, and expenses have been held in check, we are lagging behind in giving overall by about $20,000 as we have reached the halfway point in our fiscal year (May 1 – April 30). Would you prayerfully consider what you are able to do to help fill this gap? Your gift to Cross of Christ is a wonderful way to show your gratitude to God this Season of Giving. Thank you.
ADULT FAITH FORMATION – A new original series for Advent, “Genealogy and Grace: Women of Jesus’ Family Tree,” begins today. Adult Faith Formation takes place between services, from 10:15 to 10:55 am, in the Library, led by Pastor Dave. Come join us!
CHILDREN’S SUNDAY SCHOOL TODAY – All kids age 4-10 are invited to join Miss Kristie for a fun time of learning from 10:15 to 10:55 am, in the Youth Room.
LECTORS NEEDED! –It’s a joy to hear God’s word shared in many voices. 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.
CHRISTMAS FLOWER DEDICATIONS – If you would like to make a donation for Christmas poinsettias and flower, dedication the forms are available at the Information Desk in the Narthex. Thank you
THE HOPELINK GIVING TREE – This year as we have done for many years, we will have a Giving Tree with gift tags for disadvantaged girls and boys. By taking a tag and bringing back a new unwrapped gift to place under the tree, you are helping to make a special Christmas for someone in our community. The Giving Tree will be in the Narthex beginning today, and gifts can be donated until Sunday, December 15. Your generosity has brightened Christmas for countless children over the years. Thank you!
BELLEVUE YOUTH CHOIR FUNDRAISER AND CONCERT – Most every Monday and Wednesday, Cross of Christ, the rehearsal home of BYC, is filled with music made by young choristers from our community. What a joy to hear them sing! And you can do just that at their winter concert, “Heaven and Earth.” Works by Gwyneth Walker and John Rutter, Christmas classics, and an audience sing-along will joyfully welcome you and your family into the holiday season this Saturday, 3 pm, at Lindberg High School, Renton. You can also support BYC by making dinner tomorrow an act of giving. Chipotles at 1328 156th Ave NE, is donating 33% of sales from 4 to 8 pm to BYC. Let your cashier know you are a fan of BYC!
WELCA BIBLE STUDY LEADERS THURSDAY – Pastor Dave helps Circle Leaders prepare to lead this month’s Bible Study from 10 to 11:15 am in the Conference Room. Bring your Bibles, your copy of the December “Gather” magazine, and your note-taking supplies.
HOLIDAY POPS CONCERT SATURDAY – The Larks are hosting a trip to the Seattle Symphony for the Holiday Pops concert with the University of Washington Chorale under the direction of Jacoma Bairos, conductor. The concert is this Saturday at 2 pm and the cost is $47 per person. A signup sheet is available at the Information Desk in the Narthex. For more information please contact Heidi Fine or Sharen Stoll.
ADVENT SMORGASBORD NEXT SUNDAY – Following one combined worship service at 10 am, join us for our Annual Advent Smorgasbord in the Fellowship Hall. This fun and festive Cross of Christ tradition features food, fellowship and hospitality with traditional Scandinavian flair. There is a form at the Information Desk in the Narthex to reserve your place and to sign up to bring a potluck item (salad, main dish, dessert). Whether you bring a classic smorgasbord dish like pickled herring or cucumbers, Swedish meatballs, or salmon gravlax, or a potluck favorite such as deviled eggs or Jell-O salad, together we’ll have a feast to share. You can also choose to make a contribution for the purchase of ham and turkey. For more information, contact Linda Capron (425-898-0263, firstname.lastname@example.org). Valkommen!
OFFERING COUNTERS 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.
THANK YOU FROM CFH – Many thanks to the Cross of Christ congregation for supporting the recent supply drive for Congregations for the Homeless. The men appreciated the warm socks, hygiene and grooming supplies, pillows and all the donated items. The supplies were delivered to the CFH Day Center and to the rotating shelter for this month. The rotating shelters consists of twelve churches each providing housing and meals for one month. Cross of Christ houses and provide meals for the men for the month of May.
EMERALD CITY RINGERS CONCERT DECEMBER 14 – Cross of Christ’s “Artists in Residence” ECR invites you to “Wizards in Winter,” a holiday handbell concert for the whole family, at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, Renton. The concert begins at 4 pm. A suggested donation of $12 for adults, $8 for seniors or students, $5 for a child, or $30 per family helps support the beautiful music of ECR, which rehearses most every Sunday afternoon in the Fellowship Hall.
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.
“O Come, O Come Emmanuel”
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!