Sunday Worship Service
December 31, 2023
Prelude: Improvisation – James Washington, pianist
Wise Words from John Gaul
Hymn: “Away in a Manger”
Opening of the Word
Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the Lord,
and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth!
Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!
Yes, the world is established;
it shall never be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.”
Invitation to Prayer:
O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our maker.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Amen.
O Lord, our heavenly Creator, whose great love holds a forgiveness for all who desire and seek it: we thank thee for thy gracious assurance that thou art always near and ready to forgive. Pardon and deliver us from all our sins; confirm and strengthen us in all goodness and truth, and bring us into everlasting life; for thy mercy’s sake. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
O Lord, open thou our lips:
And our mouths shall show forth thy praise.
*Praise ye the Lord!
The Lord’s name be praised!
Scripture Reading: Exodus 20:8-11; John 8:1-11; Arcana Caelestia no. 10730 (Swedenborg)
Music for Meditation: Original Arrangement by J. Washington
Spiritual Message: Out with the Old, in with the New! – Rev. Dr. Devin Zuber
Affirmation of Faith (unison)
Great Spirit, Christ, the Compassionate One, Light of the World, You are that which sustains and nurtures our spirit. You draw us closer to Heaven and to each other. Your Divine Love and Wisdom flows into every living soul. You dwell among us and warm every human heart. We acknowledge our need to be fed by your Sacred Spirit, to share in the beauty of life, and to build a Holy City on Earth by giving of ourselves, yet knowing that all that is good and true flows into us from You. Amen.
Prayer of the People/Pastoral Prayer
Invitation to the Offering
Prayer of Dedication
Hymn: “Joy to the World” – Vs. 1 & 4
Closing of the Word