January 16, 2022

Organ PreludeMy Lord What a Morning! setting by Eugene W. Hancock

Call to Worship                    BOW 423
L: Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us. As we gather in this  place, allow your Spirit to fill our very being.
P: As we worship today, we remember our brothers and sisters who are worshiping elsewhere throughout the world. Inspire each of us to work more faithfully for justice and dignity of life everywhere.
L: Raise our vision above the barriers of color, culture, and creed that separate us. Give us wisdom as we deal with one another. Help us to recognize and to respect different ways, rather than to judge.
P: In the Spirit of Jesus who came not to be served, but to serve, we now must walk in the world. We must reach out our hands with help and open our hearts in love. Awake in us the desire to seek your way of serving you in the world. Amen.

Opening Prayer                                                         Terry Guers (R)
Oh God, we thank Thee for the creative insights in the universe. We thank Thee for the lives of great saints and prophets in the past, who have revealed to us that we can stand up amid the problems and difficulties and trials of life and not give in. We thank Thee for our forebears, who’ve given us something in the midst of the darkness of exploitation and oppression to keep going. And grant that we will go on with the proper faith and the proper determination of will, so that we will be able to make a creative contribution to this world and in our lives. In the name and spirit of Jesus we pray. Amen. (MLK Jr.)

Hymn             They’ll Know We are Christians By Our Love           FWS 2223
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord;
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord;
And we pray that all unity will one day be restored.
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand;
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand;
And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land.

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

We Will work with each other, we will work side by side;
We will work with each other, we will work side by side;
And we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride.
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

All praise to the Father, from whom all things come;
And all praise to Christ Jesus, His only Son.
And all praise to the Spirit who makes us one.

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

First Reading – Isaiah 62:1-5                                                Terry Guers (R)
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch. 2The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. 3You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 4You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. 5For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.

Favorite Hymn                      God of the Ages          UMH 698 v.1 & 4
1. God of the ages, whose almighty hand leads forth in beauty all the starry band of shining worlds in splendor through the skies, our grateful songs before thy throne arise.

4. Refresh thy people on their toilsome way; lead us from night to never-ending day; fill all our lives with love and grace divine, and glory, laud, and praise be ever thine.

Tithes & Offerings – Can be sent to 329 N. 5th Street; Reading, PA 19601  Or online HERE

Offertory:  We Are Singing for the Lord Is Our Light, setting by Hal H. Hopson                       The Lord is the strength of our lives; of whom shall we be afraid?                        Though foes may be near to destroy; the Lord will be our light.
                       We are praying for the Lord is our light, (repeating 3 X)

Offertory Prayer      
Heavenly Lord, each day we witness untold miracles that are a testament of your love. Some spectacular miracles reverently remind is of Jesus’ healing miracles. Other, everyday miracles are quiet and soft like a gentle mother’s whisper filled with beauty and wonder. We prayerfully ask that these gifts be used to  reach those needing to experience the miracle of your love. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen

Prayers of the People  Send Prayer requests to office@holycrossumc.com

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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Second Reading – John 2:1-11
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Message                                    Rev. Mandy Miller

Hymn             Blest Be the Tie That Binds                UMH    557
1. Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

2. Before our Father’s throne we pour our ardent prayers; our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, our comforts and our cares.

3. We share each other’s woes, our mutual burdens bear; and often for each other flows the sympathizing tear.

4. When we asunder part, it gives us inward pain; but we shall still be joined in heart and hope to meet again.

Benediction     

Organ Postlude:  Look Up, My soul To Christ thy Joy, Moravian Hymn setting by Robert Elmore

Hymns and Prayers used under CCLS# 2049575 / Hymns and Prayers for Streaming CCSL #20468685/ Bible readings from New Revised Standard Version.

January 2, 2022

Organ PreludeWhat Child Is This? (UMH 219) Setting by John Rasley

Call to Worship                    WSL 9
L: Sing! Sing to the Lord a new song!
P: for “new every morning” mercies, for “what the Lord has done for you!”
L: Sing! Sing to the Lord a new song!
P: For forgiving the sin that only you and God know about, for grace that is more than sufficient.
L: Sing! Sing to the Lord a new song!
ALL: For every mountain you brought us over, for hardship you saw us through, our souls sing, “Hallelujah, yes, and Amen.”

Opening Prayer         WSL 10
God of Advent, of waiting and hoping, keep our hearts expectant, ready for your coming among us. God of Christmas, of celebration and rejoicing, make our hearts glad with the joy nothing can take from us. God of Epiphany, of hiding and making known, fill our hearts with wonder at the revelation of your glory that we have seen in Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Hymn             We Three Kings          UMH   254
1. We three kings of Orient are; bearing gifts we traverse afar, field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star. O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

2. Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain, gold I bring to crown him again, King forever, ceasing never, over us all to reign. O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

3. Frankincense to offer have I; incense owns a Deity nigh; prayer and praising, voices raising, worshiping God on high. O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

4. Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume breathes a life of gathering gloom; sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, sealed in the stone-cold tomb. O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

5. Glorious now behold him arise; King and God and sacrifice: Alleluia, Alleluia, sounds through the earth and skies. O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

First Reading – Isaiah 60:1-6                                               
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 2For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. 3Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 4Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms. 5Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. 6A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

Tithes & Offerings – Can be sent to 329 N. 5th Street; Reading, PA 19601  Or online HERE

Offertory:  A Star Shone Bright, Setting by Dean McIntyre & F. Richard Garland
     A star shone bright across the plain and calmed the earth so Love could reign,
     “Twas in a child that hope was born, a dream fulfilled!  O happy morn!
     O Son of God, Incarnate Word, O Wisdom’s Light, whom angels heard,
     Come forth again, our hearts console.  O heal our hurts and make us whole.
     From Bethlehem come to our day;  reveal to us your holy way,
     Be born again, Eternal Fire.  O Spirit come, our souls inspire.
     O star shine forth once more this night and flood our streets with heavenly Light
     Till every heart in Christ shall see the glory of eternity! 

Offertory Prayer       WSL 128
O God, we recognize that we have been blessed with great abundance. In offering these gifts, may we be strengthened to proclaim your faithfulness and your salvation this day and always. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

Prayers of the People  Send Prayer requests to office@holycrossumc.com

Second Reading – Matthew 2:1-12
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 6‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’” 7Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Message                                      Rev. Mandy Miller

Communion                           THE GREAT THANKSGIVING FOR EPIPHANY
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, almighty God, creator of heaven and earth. Before the mountains were brought forth, or you had formed the earth, from everlasting to everlasting, you alone are God. You created light out of darkness and brought forth life on the earth. You formed us in your image and breathed into us the breath of life. When we turned away, and our love failed, your love remained steadfast. You delivered us from captivity, made covenant to be our sovereign God, and spoke to us through your prophets. And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ, in whom you have revealed yourself, our light and our salvation. You sent a star to guide wise men to where the Christ was born; and in your signs and witnesses, in every age and through all the world, you have led your people from far places to his light by the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection you gave birth to your Church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.

On the night in which he gave himself up for us, he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:

“Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

When the supper was over, he took the cup, gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:

“Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith.

Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.

Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory, and we feast at his heavenly banquet. Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty God, now and forever.
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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Hymn             The First Noel             UMH   245
1. The first Noel the angel did say was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay; in fields where they lay keeping their sheep, on a cold winter’s night that was so deep. Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel.

2. They looked up and saw a star shining in the east, beyond them far; and to the earth it gave great light, and so it continued both day and night. Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel.

3. And by the light of that same star three Wise Men came from country far; to seek for a king was their intent, and to follow the star wherever it went. Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel.

4. This star drew nigh to the northwest, o’er Bethlehem it took its rest; and there it did both stop and stay, right over the place where Jesus lay. Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel.

5. Then entered in those Wise Men three, full reverently upon the knee, and offered there, in his presence, their gold and myrrh and frankincense. Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel.

Benediction     

Organ Postlude:  God Rest You Merry Christians, All, Setting by Robert Elmore

Hymns and Prayers used under CCLS# 2049575 / Hymns and Prayers for Streaming CCSL #20468685/ Bible readings from New Revised Standard Version.

December 24, 2021

Bell PreludesO Come, Little Children, setting by Michael Helman
    On Christmas Night All Christians Sing, setting by Douglas E. Wagner

Call to Worship                    Abingdon
L: Rejoice and sing.
P: A child is born!
L: Sing songs of praise.
P: Christ is born! Hallelujah. Amen.

Advent Reading
L: This night, is a night to remember. A night when we were not forgotten or alone or abandoned. This night is the night when here and there became one, when past and future combined in a breathless present. This is a night when we are home, in ourselves, in this family, in the God who loved us enough to walk beside us.

Pastor: We gather in the night to proclaim the light. We shrug off despair and embrace hope. We set aside conflict and choose peace. We push away despair by claiming joy. We overcome hate by rising into love. Because this night we know, even in the shadows of our doubts, we know that we are loved. That’s what it means to be home.

L: We light these candles, hoping to become the light, hoping to radiate light by how we live. We light these candles to create a space called home in this place, in our place, in inner places. We light these candles to declare that unto us a Savior is born, who is Christ the Lord. Welcomed home by angels singing and shepherds kneeling. Welcomed home by those like us who have worshiped for thousands of years. Welcomed home again tonight, right here, right now, in us.

Pastor: It’s time to be home.

Hymn             Angels we Have Heard on High                     UMH 238
1. Angels we have heard on high sweetly singing o’er the plains, and the mountains in reply echoing their joyous strains. Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

4. See him in a manger laid, whom the choirs of angels praise; Mary, Joseph, lend your aid, while our hearts in love we raise. Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Opening Prayer         Abingdon                                                       
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, be born in our hearts this night. Shine your light into the darkness of our world, that all the earth might know your glorious presence and that all people might find hope in your love and grace. In your glorious name, we pray. Amen.

Prayer of Confession                         Abingdon
When the shadows of sin and sorrow surround us, shine on us with the light of your comfort and your grace. When the despair of the world overwhelms us, lift us with your promise of hope. When we forget the good news of your presence, cry out with your message of love, that we might hear and remember anew. Christ is born. Christ is with us. We are not alone. In your beloved name, we pray. Amen.

Words of Assurance

Hymn             O Come, All Ye Faithful                      UMH  234 v.1,3, 6
1. O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem. Come and behold him, born the King of angels; O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

3. Sing, choir of angels, sing in exultation; O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above! Glory to God, all glory in the highest; O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

6. Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning, Jesus, to thee be all glory given. Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing: O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

First Reading – Psalm 96                             
1O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. 2Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. 3Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples. 4For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods. 5For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. 6Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 7Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 8Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. 9Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth. 10Say among the nations, “The Lord is king! The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity.” 11Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 12let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 13before the Lord; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth.

Reading – Choir Anthems       Ding-dong Merrily on High                   Kevin’s Carol

Tithes & Offerings – Can be sent to 329 N. 5th Street; Reading, PA 19601  Or online HERE

Chancel choir – Reading:  O Come To Him, Suzanne Patterson

Offertory Prayer       Abingdon                                           
Beautiful Savior, we are so grateful for your birth so many years ago, and we are so joyful to have your presence in our lives this night. In gratitude, we offer our gifts, however humble they might be. Transform our gifts with your glory and grace, that our gifts might become grace and love, and light and hope, for a world in need of you. Amen.

Hymn              Away in the Manger                UMH 217
1. Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head. The stars in the sky looked down where he lay, the little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

3. Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay close by me forever, and love me, I pray; bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and fit us for heaven to live with thee there.

Pastoral Prayer and 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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Reading Choir Anthem                    O Come to Him 

Second Reading – Luke 1:39-55
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Sermon                                                                                   Rev. Mandy Miller

Hymn              Silent Night                             UMH 239        Tom Wettach – Guitar
1. Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright round yon virgin mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.

2. Silent night, holy night, shepherds quake at the sight; glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing Alleluia! Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born!

3. Silent night, holy night, Son of God, love’s pure light; radiant beams from thy holy face with the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, the Lord, at thy birth.

4. Silent night, holy night, wondrous star, lend thy light; with the angels let us sing, Alleluia to our King; Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born!

Hymn             Joy to the World                      UMH 246

1. Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing [and heaven and nature sing], and heaven and nature sing [and heaven and nature sing], and heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

2. Joy to the world, the Savior reigns! Let all their songs employ; while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy [repeat the sounding joy], repeat the sounding joy [repeat the sounding joy], repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

4. He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of his righteousness, and wonders of his love [and wonders of his love], and wonders of his love [and wonders of his love], and wonders, wonders of his love.

Benediction     

Organ Postlude:   Noel, Dacquin


Hymns and Prayers used under CCLS# 2049575 / Hymns and Prayers for Streaming CCSL #20468685/ Bible readings from New Revised Standard Version.

December 12, 2021

Organ PreludeEs ist ein Ros’entsprungen  ( Lo, How a Rose e’er Blooming)  Johannes Brahms

Call to Worship                    Abingdon
L: Let all who love God rejoice.
P: Let all who thirst for justice draw water from the well of God’s salvation.
L: Let all who long for Christ sing for joy.
P: Let all who hunger for righteousness return home to the living God.
L: Let all who seek the Spirit shout aloud.
P: Let all who yearn for mercy fall on their knees before the throne of grace.

Opening Prayer         Abingdon                                                        Paul Davis (R)
God of our salvation, you bring victory to the righteous and comfort to the outcast. As we come before you this day, lighten our hearts with laughter and loosen our tongues to sing your praise. For you alone are the source of our hope; you alone are the fountain of our joy. Be with us now and always. Amen

Prayer of Confession                         Abingdon
Source of compassion and grace, we yearn to embody the joy of your salvation, but we are easily distracted by the demands of the season; we long to taste the wellspring of your mercy, but we are caught up in the frenzy of the holidays. Be our quiet center, that we may find your joy deep within. Be our secret heart, that we may live lives of love wherever we go. In your holy name, we pray. Amen.

Words of Assurance
The one who loves us with a fierce tenderness takes away our guilt and leads us in the ways of life. The one who guides us with justice and mercy restores our fortunes and leads us home.

Hymn             Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus      UMH   196
1. Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee. Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art; dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.

2. Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King, born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring. By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone; by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.

Advent Reading
L: It’s a reunion, every time we go home, every time we embrace those we love, no matter how long it has been. It feels like sunrise, like the clouds are parting and the rain has ended. It is joy, nothing less than pure joy to grab hold of those who are home for us, who make home for us. Whether we wake up to them every day, or travel many miles to see them again, it is joy to go home.

P: The prophet Zephaniah tells us to rejoice at the thought of going home. The prophet tells us to imagine being set free, being unburdened, being released to live, to fully live in the grace and wonder of life itself, surrounded by those who love us like no one else. And then to live like that was our truth even now, even here. It is joy to go home.

L: John the Baptist reminds us, however, that it takes choices to live in this joy. It doesn’t just happen; we choose to make life a joy by how we love others, by how we serve and give and care for others, by how we do the job we do and how we impact the world around us. We build joy as we build a home in this world and the next.

P: We light these candles, the candle of hope, and of peace, and of joy, as a sign that we are on our way home, and we walk with a skip in our step because we can see the destination, and it is pure joy. It is time to go home.

First Reading – Zephaniah 3:14-20                                                  Paul Davis (R)
14Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! 15The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more. 16On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. 17The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing 18as on a day of festival. I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it. 19I will deal with all your oppressors at that time. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. 20At that time I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says the Lord.

Tithes & Offerings – Can be sent to 329 N. 5th Street; Reading, PA 19601  Or online HERE

Chancel Choir Offertory:  A Gaelic Rose ( Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming) Hayes/Shafferman UMH 216
1. Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung! Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as those of old have sung. It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter, when half spent was the night.

2. Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind; with Mary we behold it, the Virgin Mother kind. To show God’s love aright, she bore to us a Savior, when half spent was the night.

3. O Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air, dispel in glorious splendor the darkness everywhere. True man yet very God, from sin and death now save us, and share our every load.

Offertory Prayer       Abingdon                                           
Generous God, the bounty of your love overflows into every aspect of our lives. May the gifts we bring before you this day be a sign of our commitment to share our love with those in need. May the offerings we place upon your Lord’s table symbolize our trust in your power to heal the world through the works of our hands and the ministries of your church. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

Prayers of the People  Send Prayer requests to office@holycrossumc.com

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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Second Reading – Isaiah 12:2-6
2Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. 3With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted. 5Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth. 6Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

Message            Rev. Mandy Miller

Hymn             It Came Upon the Midnight Clear                  UMH  218
1. It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old, from angels bending near the earth, to touch their harps of gold: “Peace on the earth, good will to men [all], from heaven’s all-gracious King.” The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing.

2. Still through the cloven skies they come with peaceful wings unfurled, and still their heavenly music floats o’er all the weary world; above its sad and lowly plains, they bend on hovering wing, and ever o’er its Babel sounds the blessed angels sing.

3. And ye, beneath life’s crushing load, whose forms are bending low, who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow, look now! for glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing. O rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing!

4. For lo! the days are hastening on, by prophet seen of old, when with the ever-circling years shall come the time foretold when peace shall over all the earth its ancient splendors fling, and the whole world send back the song which now the angels sing.

Benediction     

Organ PostludeCold December Flies Away (UMH233) Setting by dale Wood

Hymns and Prayers used under CCLS# 2049575 / Hymns and Prayers for Streaming CCSL #20468685/ Bible readings from New Revised Standard Version.

November 28, 2021

Organ PreludeThou Didst Leave Thy Throne  (FWS 2100)  setting by Robert Graham

Call to Worship                    Abingdon
L: Our promised salvation is at hand.
P: A righteous branch has sprung forth, bringing hope to our world.
L: Our eyes have beheld the goodness and mercy of the Lord.
P: A Son has been given to us, bringing justice and virtue to our land.
L: Our hearts have felt the stirrings of God’s Presence.
P: The Spirit of truth is here to heal us, teaching transgressors God’s ways.
L: Let us worship the God of our salvation.

Opening Prayer         Abingdon                    Larry Kitterman
Righteous One, your glory shines brighter than the sun. We remember your compassion and your faithful love, as we come to worship this day. Lift up our souls to meet the challenges we face, as we seek to bear the fruit of your salvation. May your righteous branch grow within our hearts, that our lives may abound in mercy and steadfast love. And may we be found ready and waiting when the one drawing near comes with power and glory to bring us to you. Amen.

Prayers of Confessions                     WSL 5                          Rev. Mark Moore
Merciful God, always with us, always coming we confess that we do know how to prepare for your advent. We have forgotten how to hope in miracles. We have ignored the promise of your kingdom. We get distracted by all the busyness of this season. Forgive us, God. Grant us the simple wonder of the shepherds, the intelligent courage of the magi, and the patient faith of Mary and Joseph, that we may journey with them to Bethlehem and find the good news of a child born for us. Now, in the quiet of our hearts, we ask you to make us ready for his coming. Amen.

Hymn             I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light           UMH   206
1. I want to walk as a child of the light. I want to follow Jesus. God set the stars to give light to the world. The star of my life is Jesus. In him there is no darkness at all. The night and the day are both alike. The Lamb is the light of the city of God. Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

2. I want to see the brightness of God. I want to look at Jesus. Clear Sun of Righteousness, shine on my path, and show me the way to the Father. In him there is no darkness at all. The night and the day are both alike. The Lamb is the light of the city of God. Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

3. I’m looking for the coming of Christ. I want to be with Jesus. When we have run with patience the race, we shall know the joy of Jesus. In him there is no darkness at all. The night and the day are both alike. The Lamb is the light of the city of God. Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

Advent Reading
Lector: We have endured these past few years and know that there is more to face before us. We don’t know if we have the strength to withstand what might be around the next corner. And we wonder who will stand with us, who will have our back, who will occupy our corner.

Pastor: Who is with us? That is what we begin to wonder these days. Who will light our way and chart our course? Who is on our side, who will welcome us home again?

Lector: Home. The prophet Jeremiah speaks of a branch that will be raised. Jesus spoke of a Son of Man that will descend. Both point to a hope. A hope that calls us home. Our true home, where we’re welcomed and loved and included. Where there is justice and equality and peace. It’s time, this Advent season, time to go home.

Pastor: We light this candle, as a sign of our hope, our strong hope that there is a way to go home. To the home in Christ, and it starts with us, and it starts here, and it starts now. It’s time to go home.

First Reading – Luke 21:25-36                         Larry Kitterman
25“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. 28Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” 29Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. 31So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 34“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, 35like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Tithes & Offerings – Can be sent to 329 N. 5th Street; Reading, PA 19601  Or online HERE

Choir Offertory:  Creation Will Be At Peace, Anna Laura Page

Offertory Prayer       WSL 124         
Gracious God, you provide us with hope in a world often plagued by despair. Receive these gifts that will be transformed into messages and acts of hope to people in out community and across the world. Thank you, God, for this opportunity to be your stewards of hope. In the name of Jesus, the bearer of good news, we pray. Amen.

Prayers of the People  Send Prayer requests to office@holycrossumc.com

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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Second Reading – Jeremiah 33:14-16
14The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

Message               Kingdom Helpers                Rev. Mark Moore

Hymn             People Look East                                UMH  202
1. People, look east. The time is near of the crowning of the year. Make your house fair as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table. People, look east and sing today (People, look east; People, look east): Love, the Guest, is on the way.

2. Furrows, be glad. Though earth is bare, one more seed is planted there. Give up your strength the seed to nourish, that in course the flower may flourish. People, look east and sing today (People, look east; People, look east): Love, the Rose, is on the way.

3. Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim, one more light the bowl shall brim, shining beyond the frosty weather, bright as sun and moon together. People, look east and sing today (People, look east; People, look east): Love, the Star, is on the way.

4. Angels announce with shouts of mirth him who brings new life to earth. Set every peak and valley humming with the word, the Lord is coming. People, look east and sing today (People, look east; People, look east): Love, the Lord, is on the way.

Benediction     

Organ Postlude:  Marche Religieuse, Guilmant/Handel, Whitford

Hymns and Prayers used under CCLS# 2049575 / Hymns and Prayers for Streaming CCSL #20468685/ Bible readings from New Revised Standard Version.

November 7, 2021

Organ Prelude: Land of Rest (based on an early American Melody) Setting by Dennis Elliot (Reading)

Call to Worship                     BOW 548
L: Everliving God, this day revives in us memories of loved ones who are no more. What happiness we shared when they walked among us. What joy, when, loving and being loved, we lived our lives together.
P: Their memory is a blessing for ever.
L: Months or years may have passed, and still we feel near to them. Our hearts yearn for them. Though the bitter grief has softened, a duller pain abides; for the place where once they stood is empty now. The links of life are broken, but the links of love and longing cannot break.
P: Their souls are bound up in ours for ever.
L: We see them now with the eye of memory, their faults forgiven, their virtues grown larger. So does goodness live, and weakness fade from sight. We remember them with gratitude and bless their names.
P: Their memory is a blessing for ever.
L: And we remember as well the members who but yesterday were part of our congregation and community. To all who cared for us and labored for all people, we pay tribute. May we prove worthy of carrying on the tradition of our faith, for now the task is ours.
P: Their souls are bound up in ours for ever.
L: We give you thanks that they now live and reign with you. As a great crowd of witnesses, they surround us with their blessings, and offer you hymns of praise and thanksgiving.
P: They are alive for ever more. Amen.

Opening Prayer         WSL 44                      Donald Wonnie (R)
We give you thanks, our God and Father, for all who have died in the faith of Christ – for the memory of their words and deeds and all they accomplished in their time, for the joyful hope of reunion with them in the world to come, and for our communion with them now; un your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

Prayer over Pledges                                                                    Rev. Mandy Miller

Hymn             For All the Saints                    UMH 711 v. 1,4,6     
1. For all the saints, who from their labors rest, who thee by faith before the world confessed, thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest. Alleluia, Alleluia!
4. O blest communion, fellowship divine! We feebly struggle, they in glory shine; yet all are one in thee, for all are thine. Alleluia, Alleluia!
6. From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast, through gates of pearl streams in the countless host, singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: Alleluia, Alleluia!

First Reading – Revelation 21:1-6a                                     Donald Wonnie (R)
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; 4he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” 5And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.

Tithes & Offerings – Can be sent to 329 N. 5th Street; Reading, PA 19601  Or online HERE

Chancel choir Offertory:  Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Afro-American Spiritual
   Refrain:  Swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home; (repeat)
     S. 1:  I looked over Jordan, and what did I see, coming for to carry me home?
              A band of angels coming after me, coming for to carry me home.
     Refrain:
     S. 2:  If you get there before I do, coming for to carry me home;
              Tell all my friends I’m coming too, coming for to carry me home.
     Refrain:
     S.3:  I’m sometimes up, I’m sometimes down, coming for to carry me home;
             But still my soul feels heavenly bound, coming for to carry me home.    
     Refrain:
     S. 4:  The brightest day that I can say, coming for to carry me home.
               When Jesus washed my sins away, coming for to carry me home.
     Refrain:     

Offertory Prayer      
Almighty God, giver of every good and perfect gift, teach us to render to you all that we have and all that we are, that we may praise you, not with our lips only, but with our whole lives, turning the duties, the sorrows, and the joys of all our days into a living sacrifice to you; through our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prayers of the People  Send Prayer requests to office@holycrossumc.com

Second Reading – Mark 10:13-16
32When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35Jesus began to weep. 36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” 38Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Message                                                                      Pastor Mandy

Communion               THE GREAT THANKSGIVING FOR ALL SAINTS
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you… And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.

Holy are you and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ. By the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection. You gave birth to your Church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.

And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith.

Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again

Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood.

Renew our communion with all your saints, especially those whom we name before you – Names
Marian Adams            11/6/2019
Irene Price                   11/7/2019
Phyllis Cherrie            12/1/2019
Gerry Texter                3/14/2020
Artemus McDonald    3/31/2020
Donald Deist                4/26/2020
Sharon Baumbach      6/8/2020
Ellen Tyre                   6/16/2020
Jane Moyer                  7/6/2020
Nancy  Gibson             7/13/2020
Elizabeth Rasbridge   7/21/2020
John Stanley                9/21/2020
David  Fisher              9/23/2020
W. Thomas Boussum  11/17/2020
William Farrand         12/1/2020
Rebecca Lundgren      12/22/2020
Lucy Riegel                 1/9/2021
George Becker, III      1/17/2021
Gloria  Weber              2/1/2021
Vera Correll                2/17/2021
Betty Dillman              2/24/2021
Margaret McDonald   2/26/2021
Donald Hummel Jr.     4/7/2021
Michelle Gehris          4/17/2021
Grace   Lumley            6/4/2021
Nancy  Coleman          6/14/2021
Margaret Eisenhofer  6/24/2021
Elizabeth Bausher      7/19/2021
Linda Lintz                 9/1/2021
Ben Woods                 9/6/2021
Ruth Greisiger             9/10/202

(At this time you are invited to name out loud those near to you who have died this year)

Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, strengthen us to run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory, and we feast at his heavenly banquet. Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty God, now and forever.    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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Hymn              As We Gather at Your Table              FWS 2268
1 As we gather at your table,
as we listen to your word,
help us know, O God, your presence;
let our hearts and minds be stirred.
Nourish us with sacred story
till we claim it as our own;
teach us through this holy banquet
how to make Love’s victory known.

2 Turn our worship into witness
in the sacrament of life;
send us forth to love and serve you,
bringing peace where there is strife.
Give us, Christ, your great compassion
to forgive as you forgave;
may we still behold your image
in the world you died to save.

3 Gracious Spirit, help us summon
other guests to share that feast
where triumphant Love will welcome
those who had been last and least.
There no more will envy blind us
nor will pride our peace destroy,
as we join with saints and angels
to repeat the sounding joy.

Benediction
May God, who has given us, in the lives of the saints, patterns of holy living and victorious dying, strengthen your faith and devotion and enable you to bear witness to the truth against all adversity. Amen

Organ Postlude:  Postlude on “Deep River”, setting by Percy Wicker MacDonald (Afro-American spiritual)

Hymns and Prayers used under CCLS# 2049575 / Hymns and Prayers for Streaming CCSL #20468685/ Bible readings from New Revised Standard Version.

October 17, 2021

Organ Prelude: O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright, setting by Roger Wilson   (UMH 247) (Reading)

Call to Worship WSL 73
L: We come Broken.
P: This is the story of hope.
L: We come fearful.
P: This is a story of peace.
L: We come cynical.
P: This is a story of liberation.
L: We come empty.
P: Listen for the story of life.

Opening Prayer BOW 556
O Supreme Lord of the Universe, you fill and sustain everything around us. With the touch of your hand you turned chaos into order, darkness into light. Unknown energies you hid in the heart of matter. From you burst forth the splendor of the sun and the mild radiance of the moon. Stars and planets without number you set in ordered movement. You are the source of the fire’s heat and the wind’s might, of the water’s coolness and the earth’s stability. Deep and wonderful are the mysteries of your creation. Amen.

Statement of Faith UMH 883
We are not alone; we live in God’s world. We believe in God: who has created and is creating, who has come in Jesus, the Word made flesh,  to reconcile and make new, who works in us and others by the Spirit.  We trust in God.  We are called to be the church: to celebrate God’s presence, to love and serve others, to seek justice and resist evil, to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,  our judge and our hope. In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Hymn How Great Thou Art UMH 77
1. O Lord my God! when I in awesome wonder consider all the [worlds] thy hands have made, I see the stars, I hear the [rolling] thunder, thy power throughout the universe displayed. Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee; how great thou art, how great thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee; how great thou art, how great thou art!

2. When through the woods and forest glades I wander, and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees; when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur and hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze; Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee; how great thou art, how great thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee; how great thou art, how great thou art!

3. And when I think that God, his Son not sparing, sent him to die, I scarce can take it in; that on the cross, my burden gladly bearing, he bled and died to take away my sin; Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee; how great thou art, how great thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee; how great thou art, how great thou art!

4. When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow in humble adoration, and there proclaim, my God, how great thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee; how great thou art, how great thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee; how great thou art, how great thou art!

First Reading – Psalm 104:1-9
1Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great. You are clothed with honor and majesty, 2wrapped in light as with a garment. You stretch out the heavens like a tent, 3you set the beams of your chambers on the waters, you make the clouds your chariot, you ride on the wings of the wind, 4you make the winds your messengers, fire and flame your ministers. 5You set the earth on its foundations, so that it shall never be shaken. 6You cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7At your rebuke they flee; at the sound of your thunder they take to flight. 8They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys to the place that you appointed for them. 9You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.

Tithes & Offerings – Can be sent to 329 N. 5th Street; Reading, PA 19601 Or online HERE

Offertory AnthemI Sing the Mighty Power of God, Robert Leaf(Reading)

Offertory Prayer WSL 140
Affirming God, we allow the distractions of everyday life to burden our spirits. As a result, we often embrace a mindset of scarcity rather than abundance. Transform our ambiguity of thought to a solid belief in the promises of Jesus Christ. We give these generous gifts because you have given us your Spirit. Glory to God! Amen and Amen.

Prayers of the People Send Prayer requests to office@holycrossumc.com

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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Second Reading –Job 38:1-11, 34-41
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: 2“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me. 4“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 5Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone 7when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy? 8“Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb?— 9when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, 10and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, 11and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped’? 
34“Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so that a flood of waters may cover you? 35Can you send forth lightnings, so that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’? 36Who has put wisdom in the inward parts, or given understanding to the mind? 37Who has the wisdom to number the clouds? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, 38when the dust runs into a mass and the clods cling together? 39“Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, 40when they crouch in their dens, or lie in wait in their covert? 41Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God, and wander about for lack of food?

Message Pastor Mandy

Hymn O Worship the King UMH 73
1. O worship the King, all glorious above, O gratefully sing God’s power and God’s love; our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days, pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.

2. O tell of God’s might, O sing of God’s grace, whose robe is the light, whose canopy space, whose chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form, and dark is God’s path on the wings of the storm.

3. The earth with its store of wonders untold, Almighty, thy power hath founded of old; hath stablished it fast by a changeless decree, and round it hath cast, like a mantle, the sea.

4. Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite? It breathes in the air, it shines in the light; it streams from the hills, it descends to the plain, and sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

5. Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail, in thee do we trust, nor find thee to fail; thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end, our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.

Benediction

Organ PostludeGod, Who Stretched the Spangled Heavens, setting by Dale Wood  (UMH 150) (Reading)

Hymns and Prayers used under CCLS# 2049575 / Hymns and Prayers for Streaming CCSL #20468685/ Bible readings from New Revised Standard Version.

October 3, 2021

Organ Prelude: Children of the Heavenly Father,  Swedish Folk tune (UMH 141) (Reading)

Call to Worship
L: Our Sovereign God, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
P: We gather as your children, connected in Christ.
L: What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
P: We gather as your children, seeking your kingdom.
L: You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet.
P: We gather as your children, ready to be your hands and feet in the world.
All: Our Sovereign God, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Opening Prayer
Wise, nurturing, and welcoming God, Thank you for inviting us into new understandings of your love and for lifting and holding us together in this holy space. As we celebrate World Communion Sunday, we rejoice in the ways that your children are connected through your son, Jesus Christ. Bless our special offering today so that the gifts we present will be multiplied and shared with faithful students around the world. Sovereign God, may your majestic name be praised in all the earth! Amen.

Hymn Tell Me the Stories of Jesus UMH 277
1. Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear; things I would ask him to tell me if he were here: scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea, stories of Jesus, tell them to me.

2. First let me hear how the children stood round his knee, and I shall fancy his blessing resting on me; words full of kindness, deeds full of grace, all in the love-light of Jesus’ face.

3. Into the city I’d follow the children’s band, waving a branch of the palm tree high in my hand; one of his heralds, yes, I would sing loudest hosannas, “Jesus is King!”

First Reading – Psalm 26
1Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. 2Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and mind. 3For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in faithfulness to you. 4I do not sit with the worthless, nor do I consort with hypocrites; 5I hate the company of evildoers and will not sit with the wicked. 6I wash my hands in innocence, and go around your altar, O Lord, 7singing aloud a song of thanksgiving and telling all your wondrous deeds. 8O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell, and the place where your glory abides. 9Do not sweep me away with sinners, nor my life with the bloodthirsty, 10those in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes. 11But as for me, I walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me. 12My foot stands on level ground; in the great congregation I will bless the Lord.

Tithes & Offerings – Can be sent to 329 N. 5th Street; Reading, PA 19601 Or online HERE

Offertory Anthem:  If We Truly Believe,  DonBesig (Reading)

Offertory Prayer Abingdon
Receiving the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, we offer ourselves as a holy and living sacrifice. We present our gifts knowing that you have entrusted us to care for one another. Transform these gifts into blessings of your children’s hopes and dreams as they commit themselves to building your kingdom.

Prayers of the People Send Prayer requests to office@holycrossumc.com

Second Reading – Mark 10:13-16
13People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is too such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

Message Pastor Mandy

Communion THE GREAT THANKSGIVING FOR WORLD COMMUNION DAY
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you ….And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.


Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ….And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith.

Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.

Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood. Renew our communion with your Church throughout the world and strengthen it in every nation and among every people to witness faithfully in your name. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory, and we feast at his heavenly banquet. Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church, all honor and glory are yours, almighty God, now and forever.

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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HymnI Come with Joy UMH 617
1. I come with joy to meet my Lord, forgiven, loved and free, in awe and wonder to recall his life laid down for me, his life laid down for me.

2. I come with Christians far and near to find, as all are fed, the new community of love in Christ’s communion bread, in Christ’s communion bread.

3. As Christ breaks bread and bids us share, each proud division ends. The love that made us that makes us one, and strangers now are friends, and strangers now are friends.

4. And thus with joy we meet our Lord. His presence, always near, is in such friendship better known; we see and praise him here, we see and praise him here.

5. Together met, together bound, we’ll go our different ways, and as his people in the world, we’ll live and speak his praise, we’ll live and speak his praise.

Benediction
L: Our Sovereign God, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
P: We are sent as your children, connected in Christ.
L: What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
P: We are sent as your children, building up your kingdom.
L: You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet.
P: We are sent as your children, ready to be your hands and feet in the world.
All: Our Sovereign God, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Postlude:  Lamb of God, Pure and Holy,  Johann Pachelbel (Reading)

Hymns and Prayers used under CCLS# 2049575 / Hymns and Prayers for Streaming CCSL #20468685/ Bible readings from New Revised Standard Version.