Third Sunday of Advent                                   December 17, 2017


Pre-service Congregational Carol Sing


Welcome and Announcements


Introit:                        “Light A Candle” – Marta Keen


Call to Worship: 

All:      Today is the third Sunday of Advent.

            In just one week it will be Christmas!

All:      There is so much to do; we have to do our shopping,  

            our baking and our decorating.

One:    Yes, there is much to do, but for this hour

            you are to put aside your 'to do list' and 'be'.  Be still.

            Be children of God....preparing for Jesus

            to enter into your lives in a brand-new way.


Opening Prayer - Hymn #18 - Lord, Prepare Me


Advent Candle Lighting - The Shepherds


Sing:  “Oh, What a Wonderful Gift” by Linnea Good (See Insert)


Offertory Anthem:    “This Silent Night” - Mark Patterson


Sung Dedication:       What can I give him, poor as I am?

                                    If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.

                                    If I were a wise man, I would do my part.

                                    Yet what I can I give him – give my heart.


Prayer of Dedication


Sabbatical Blessing (See Insert)


Pageant:         “The Backwards Pageant”

                        by Deborah Laforet

                        © 2017, Used with permission

                        Offered by St. Paul’s Sunday School


            Matthew 2, selected verses

            #We Three Kings (See Projected Lyrics) verse 1 & chorus




            Luke 2:8-18

            #60 O Come All Ye Faithful, vs 1&4


            #38 Angels We Have Heard on High, verses 1&3


            Luke 2:4-7

            #69 Away in a Manger, all verses


            #59 Joy to the World, verses 1&4




*Hymn #58 - Infant Holy, Infant Lowly


*Commissioning & Benediction

One:    Go in hope.

All:      We are pregnant with the Spirit of God.

One:    Go in peace.

All:      We embrace God’s way for the world.

One:    Go in joy.

All:      We rejoice for God’s justice is revealed.

One:    Go in love.

All:      We know God’s love in Christ is for us,

and for all the world.           


Choral Amen:  #431 - Sing Amen


Organ:  Fantasy on “Good Christian Men Rejoice”  - arr. Paul Manz


the Blessing of

Deborah’s Sabbatical


Words of Introduction


Allyson Mitchell-Neufeld (Chair of Worship): 


                 Deborah, we all pray God’s blessings on you and for you as you depart today for this educational leave and sabbatical time of renewal, research, study, and prayer.


All:          As you journey, we ask God to guide you in all you do, in all that you will learn, and for all that you will be eager to return and teach us.


Candace Allen:

(Deborah’s representative from the Ministry & Personnel Team):  


                 May you experience the gift of spiritual growth on your leave time, may your studies and your prayers be fruitful.  May you come back refreshed and excited for all that ministry can yet be in this church!


Deborah: May God’s wisdom and God’s peace and God’s Spirit be with us all as I depart from you for a short season to renew my calling.  I pray that, as we all study and pray during this time, God would lead us to know more and be ever more committed to doing the work of Christ in the world.


All:          We will pray for you and for all our staff and church leaders, that we might all be strengthened and renewed in this time.


Deborah: During my sabbatical time, I will also pray for all of you, and use my time faithfully to renew and strengthen me to serve you.  I look forward to the ways God will use our shared growth in ministry together.


All:          Loving God, please bless Deborah on her sabbatical. Bless the leaders and membership of this congregation during this Sabbatical time.  By your Spirit, empower all to be strengthened in the gifts you give and renewed as servants of God.  In Jesus name, we pray.  Amen.


Allyson:    We send you off with our blessing and our continuing prayers,


Candace:   and we will greet your return with joy.


Sung blessing