A More Light Congregation

Bethany Presbyterian Church

This Week in Worship

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Centering Prayer

Life-giving God, we are a blessed people. In this moment of worship, we pray that you might bless us anew. Lead us by your Spirit in the pathways of your overflowing hope, peace, joy, and love. Amen.

Call to Worship

ONE: As the season of Advent begins we celebrate hope.

ALL: We know that through the birth of a tiny and helpless child, God is coming to save the world.

ONE: While we watch and wait for Jesus to arrive, we join in God’s mission by bringing grace and mercy to those who need it most.

ALL: We engage the poor and the poor in spirit, letting Christ’s light shine through us.

ONE: We speak words of comfort and love  to a world in need of healing  as we share our stories of God’s transforming Spirit.

ALL: Together, we are a sign of God’s hope for the world.

Lighting of the First Candle of Advent: Hope

Sharing the word Hope: Kathleen Mitchell

God of surprising grace, when we least expect it you bring fresh new life and redemption.  Give us courage as we share all you will accomplish through Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Response Hymn - Hymn #88

Prayer of Confession

Gracious God, whose coming fulfills the promise of ages, we confess that we may not be prepared to receive you when you come. We may look for a majestic arrival, while you want us to find you in some ordinary manger. We think the signs of your coming will be clear, but you may enter our world in the darkness of midnight. Awaken us to your presence, and to the surprising ways that you will come to us. Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness

Friends, believe the good news! In Christ we have a new covenant, and we are forgiven. Praise be to God! Amen.

Preparation for the Word Hymn #95

December 1, 2019

First Sunday in Advent and Celebration of Holy Communion

Meditation by Reverend Dr. Robin Crawford

"The Expected Hour"

Prepare the way of the Lord

Prepare the way of the Lord

And all people shall see the salvation of our Lord


Matthew 24:36-44


#94 “Now the Heavens Start to Whisper

#89 For You O Lord, My Soul in Stillness Waits

104 “O Lord, How Shall I Meet You”

82 “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”

O come, thou Wisdom from on high, who orderest all things mightily:

To us the path of knowledge show;

And teach us in her ways to go.

Centering Prayer

Come, Lord Jesus, come. We commit this season of Advent to becoming ready for you. Shine your light in those nooks and crannies we keep in the shadows. Sweep the cobwebs from our long-hidden doubt and fear. Repair our torn and wounded places. We long for your arrival. Come, Lord Jesus, come.

Call to Worship

ONE: In this season of Advent, we celebrate God’s peace.

ALL: Jesus Christ, whose birth we await, calls our community to justice  and leads us in the way of peace.

ONE: Our community values relationships.  We live in harmony with one another even when we disagree, and strive to glorify God in everything we do.

ALL: Our community longs for unity.  We work together with others, and live out God’s reconciling love for all the world to see. Together, we are a sign of God’s peace in the world.

Lighting of the Second Candle of Advent: Hope

Sharing the word Hope: George Lynch

God of all people and all nations, you break through the cynicism of our world and offer a vision of the lion and lamb lying down together.  Open our eyes to see the signs of your coming kingdom and inspire us to participate in all you are doing in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Response Hymn - Hymn #88

Advent Prayer

God of peace, we come to you in the midst of a world fraught with troubles.  Open our eyes, Lord, to the light of your presence.  Give us faith to stand against the voices of division and violence.  Remake us into peace-filled disciples, sparking in others a desire to know you more.  In the name of the One who comes to us, we pray, Amen.

Preparation for the Word Hymn #95

December 8, 2019

Second Sunday in Advent

Message by Elder George Lynch


Prepare the way of the Lord

Prepare the way of the Lord

And all people shall see the salvation of our Lord


#87 Comfort, Comfort Now My People

#623 “I’ve Got eace Like a River

#97 Watchman, Tel Us of the Night

O come, Desire of nations, bind all peoples in one heart and mind;

Bid envy, strife, and discord cease;

Fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.


Centering Prayer

Life-giving God, we are a blessed people.  In this moment of worship we pray that you might bless us anew.  Give us ears to hear the melodies of praise that fill the world around us.  And as we hear the songs, teach us to sing, to dance with abandon, to rejoice in the wonders of your grace.  Forgive us when we have passed by signs of your mercy.  From this moment forward, open our eyes to the places where joy is springing up from parched ground.  Lead us by your Spirit in the pathways of your overflowing peace, hope, and love.  Amen.

Call to Worship

ONE: Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,

ALL: who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;

ONE: who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry.  The Lord sets the prisoners free;

ALL: the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.

ONE: The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

ALL: The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!

Lighting of the Third Candle of Advent: Hope

Sharing the word Hope: Pam and Fred Matthews

God of extravagant generosity, in Jesus we discover the depth of your care and the lengths you will go to save us.  Forgive us when we ignore the needy, trample your creation and refuse to share all that we receive from you.  Teach us to love our neighbors, caring for each other in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Response Hymn - Hymn #88

Advent Prayer

God of Joy, we come to you with hearts full of wonder at the wisdom of Mary as she lifts her eyes to you in glory and praise.  Help us to understand how you choose those who are the least likely by the world's standards to be the ones to bring about your good news to the poor, the oppressed, those who are hurting and those who are afraid.  Help us to listen and hear their messages of joy.  In the name of Mary's little baby, we pray. Amen.

Preparation for the Word Hymn #95

December 15, 2019

Third Sunday in Advent

Message by Elder Kathryn Quickert

"There is No Joy in Advent"

Prepare the way of the Lord

Prepare the way of the Lord

And all people shall see the salvation of our Lord


#100 My Soul Cries Out with a Joyful Shout

#102 Savior of the Nations, Come

#93 Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates

O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer our spirits by thine advent here;

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,

And death’s dark shadows put to flight.


Centering Prayer

Lord of all life and all seasons, help us to open our hearts to hear the words of promise and love that you send to us.  May we trust in your abiding love and power.  Prepare us to receive your gift of grace and peace.  Amen.

Call to Worship (Micah 5:2-5b)

ONE: But you, O Bethlehem of Eph'rathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah,

ALL: from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.

ONE:  Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has brought forth;

ALL: Then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel.

ONE: And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord,

ALL: in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.

One: And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; All: and he shall be the one of peace.

Lighting of the Fourth Candle of Advent: Love

Sharing the word Hope: Lyn Hughes

God of transformation, we rejoice that you lift up the lowly and fill the hungry with good things. We marvel at your power to  change hearts and lives.  Fill us with your Spirit this season so that our voices declare your goodness and our lives proclaim your mercy in Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Response Hymn - Hymn #88

Advent Prayer

Gracious God, in this season of Advent, we celebrate God's love, knowing that Christ is coming, to bring healing and wholeness to the world.  When we gather for worship, it is a celebration, and opportunity to rejoice in all that God is doing among us and beyond us.  Our lives are marked by laughter and friendship as we love our neighbors with wide smiles and open arms.  Even when we face difficulty and trouble, we sing a song of faith, confident that Jesus is able to redeem our suffering world.  Together, we are a sign of God's love for the world.  Amen.

Preparation for the Word Hymn #95

December 22, 2019

Fourth Sunday in Advent

Sermon by Reverend Glenda Hope

Prepare the way of the Lord

Prepare the way of the Lord

And all people shall see the salvation of our Lord


Matthew 1:18-25


#106 Prepare the Way, O Zion

#92 While WeAre Waiting, Come

#105 People, Look East

O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel,

that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.


December 24, 2018  

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Call to Worship

ONE: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;

ALL: Those who lived in a land of deep darkness - on them light has shined.

ONE: For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders;

ALL:  And he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

ONE: His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom.

ALL: He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.

(Isaiah 9:2b, 6-7)

Lighting the Christ Candle

Sharing the word Light: Tamra Hollenbeck

Resopnse: Hymn #155

Prayer of Adoration

Loving God, deep in the night, when all the world had locked the doors on love and closed the shutters on hope, you pierced the darkness with Light and a baby’s cry. Never again shall we be alone. No more shall we sit in fear. For Christ, the Light of the World and of our lives, is born. God of angels and babies, open us once again to this miracle, this wonder that you became one with us. Let the angels sings for us; let the star shine for us; let the child smile at us – here and now on this holy night. Amen.

Preparation for the Word Hymn #113

Christmas Candle Lighting

ONE: We who dwelled in darkness have seen a great light;

ALL: And on us this night a great light shines.

ONE: A Child has been born for us.

ALL: And he is named Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Emmanuel.



#133 “O Come, All Ye Faithful

#134 Joy to the World

#145 What Child is This

#122 Silent Night, Holy Night

Raise a song of gladness, peoples of the earth.

Christ has come, bringing peace, joy to ev'ry heart.

Alleluia, alleluia, joy to ev'ry heart!

Alleluia, alleluia, joy to ev'ry heart!

Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Gloria in excelsis Deo!

December 28, 2019  

First Sunday of Christmas

A Celebration of Lessons and Carols

Sermon by Reverend Geoff Browning

Morning Prayer

Wondrous God, open our hearts and minds so we may hear once again the angels’ song, and know that Christ is born for us and for all.  Touch the world with joy this holy day, and fill us with peace and childlike wonder.  Surprise us and bless us with the simple miracle of the birth of the Christ child. Amen.

Call to Worship (Psalm 148:1-6)

ONE: Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights!

ALL: Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host!

ONE: Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars!

ALL: Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!

ONE: Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created.

ALL: He established them forever and ever; he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

First Lesson: Isaiah 9:1-7

Carol #86 The People Who Walked in Darkness

Second Lesson: Luke 1:26-35, 38

Carol #98 To a Maid Whose Name Was Mary

Third Lesson: Matthew 1:18-25

Carol #111 From Heaven Above

Fourth Lesson: Luke 2:1-7

Carol #115 Away In A Manger

Fifth Lesson: Luke 2:8-20

Carol #135 There's a Star in the East

Sixth Lesson: Matthew 2:13-23

Sermon: "Only Those in Darkness Can See a Great Light"

Carol #119 Hark, the Herald Angels Sing

Carol #113 Angels We Have Heard on High

Archive - Advent & Christmas 2019