Hilary Plowright
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Home Church 1st Sunday in Advent November 29, 2020 Rev. Karen Hollis

We acknowledge these lands upon which we worship are the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Preparing the Space Around Us

Whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here! Welcome if you are gathering on zoom or if you are worshipping at home with the bulletin. We are one community and all part of the body of Christ. As we enter the season of Advent, I invite you to look around your house or yard for things with which you could make an Advent wreath. It doesn’t have to have coloured candles, just use what you have – maybe some rocks or greenery or driftwood. Set up your Advent Wreath in the worship space in your home before sitting down to worship.

Preparing the Space within Us

Let us prepare now the space within us for a time of worship. I invite you to sit quietly, perhaps with feet on the floor, taking a couple of deep breaths and bring yourself into this moment. Open yourself to the presence of God who is with us and within us . . . as you intentionally open yourself to God, open yourself

One:    The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,

            and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

All:      And also with you    

Introduction to Advent

On this first Sunday of Advent we turn again to the rich symbolism of the Advent Wreath to help us prepare for the coming of Christ’s light in the world. The wreath itself is a circle, with no beginning and no end, to remind us that there is no beginning and no end to God, and that the Love and care God offers us is eternal. Over the four Sundays of Advent we will light four candles, which symbolize in turn: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love; on Christmas eve we will also light the center candle, the Christ candle. The light from the candles, which grows stronger each Sunday in Advent, reminds us that Jesus, the light of the world, is drawing ever nearer.

Advent Candle Lighting   Brian & Dorothy Field

Today we light the candle of Hope. The people of Israel put their Hope in God’s promises and were not disappointed, as again and again, God delivered them from their enemies. Let us remember these stories and our own stories of God’s faithfulness as we acknowledge the struggles and pain of the world around us. Here in this gathering, we light this candle as a reminder that Hope is our faithful witness to the Love that comes to us this season.

Let us pray: O God of Hope, Emmanuel, God with us, we ask you

to send your light into our hearts. Help us to give ourselves over to Hope and be transformed by it; empower us to help others embrace Hope as we prepare for Jesus’ birth into a world in need. Amen.

Light your own Advent Wreath

Hymn: O Come Emmanuel v. 1 & 2     VU #1

1 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.

2 O come, O Wisdom from on high,

who ordered all things mightily;

to us the path of knowledge show,

and teach us in her ways to go. Refrain

Prayer of Confession      BAS

Most Merciful God,

We confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us, that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Amen.

Silent Prayer of Confession

Assurance of Grace

Friends, let us receive the gift of God’s grace. The light emitted from the candle’s flame is a warm, inviting, glowing light, like the light of God’s love. We see in the flame something mysterious, something deeper, let us also find in the flame a connection to God’s grace that glows warmly within us.

Peace of Christ

As we prepare for Christ’s birth in the world, let us practice the peace

He brings by sharing it with one another.

              The Peace of Christ be with you!

              And also with you!

First Reading: Isaiah 64:1-9    Susan Brockley

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence-- as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil-- to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed. We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. Yet, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be exceedingly angry, O LORD, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.

Gospel Reading                                   

One:      God be with you.       

All:        And also with you

One:      The Good News of Jesus Christ according to Mark

All:        Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Mark 13:24-37   Paddy Waymark

"But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. "But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake--for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake."

One: This is the Gospel of Christ;

All:   Praise be to Jesus Christ

Reflection:    Hope    (see attached)           

Silent Reflection

Hymn: O Come, Divine Messiah   CP #95

1 O come, Divine Messiah,

the world in silence waits the day

when hope shall sing its triumph,

and sadness flee away.

Dear Saviour, haste! Come, come to earth.

Dispel the night and show your face,

and bid us hail the dawn of grace.

O come, Divine Messiah,

the world in silence waits the day

when hope shall sing its triumph,

and sadness flee away.

2 O Christ, whom nations sigh for,

whom priest and prophet long foretold,

come, break the captives' fetters,

redeem the long-lost fold.

Dear Saviour, haste! Come, come to earth.

Dispel the night and show your face,

and bid us hail the dawn of grace.

O come, Divine Messiah,

the world in silence waits the day

when hope shall sing its triumph,

and sadness flee away.

3 You come in peace and meekness

and lowly will your cradle be;

all clothed in human weakness

shall we your Godhead see.

Dear Saviour, haste! Come, come to earth.

Dispel the night and show your face,

and bid us hail the dawn of grace.

O come, Divine Messiah,

the world in silence waits the day

when hope shall sing its triumph,

and sadness flee away.

Creed  New Zealand Prayer Book

Let us affirm our faith . . .

You, O God, are supreme and holy.
You create our world and give us life.
Your purpose overarches everything we do.
You have always been with us.
You are God.

You, O God, are infinitely generous, good beyond all measure.
You came to us before we came to you.
You have revealed and proved
your love for us in Jesus Christ,
who lived and died and rose again.
You are with us now.
You are God.

You, O God, are Holy Spirit.
You empower us to be your gospel in the world.
You reconcile and heal; you overcome death.

You are our God. We worship you.

Prayers of the People     Betty Schultze                     

One:    Loving God

All:      Hear Our Prayer

Lord’s Prayer    New Zealand Prayer Book – Jim Cotter

Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver, Source of all that is and that shall be, Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is heaven: The hallowing of your name echo through the universe! The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world! Your heavenly will be done by all created beings! Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come one earth. With the bread we need for today, feed us. in the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us. In times of temptation and test, strengthen us. From trials too great to endure, spare us. From the grip of all that is evil, free us. For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and for ever. Amen


Offering      Christine Blackburn

Let us pray . . .

We give thanks, O God, that you meet us in the stuff of our lives and use our circumstances to show us your love.  We pray that our experience of your love would always move us to service in Christ’s name. Amen.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. Glory to God from generation to generation, in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen.

Hymn: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling                            VU #333

1 Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven, to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation,
enter every trembling heart.

2 Come, almighty to deliver,
let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return, and never,
nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray, and praise thee, without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.

3 Finish then thy new creation;
pure and spotless let us be;
let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee,
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise

Blessing      Iona Community

Light a candle and hold it during the blessing (maybe the candle of Hope from your Advent Wreath). If you are with another person, you’re invited to bless each other, taking every other line.

One:      The Creator’s blessing be yours on your road, on your journey,    guiding you, cherishing you.

N-Z:       The Son’s blessing be yours, wine and water, bread and stories, feeding you, challenging you.

A-M:      The Spirit’s blessing be yours, wind and fire, joy and wisdom,       comforting you, disturbing you.

All:        The Angel’s blessing be yours, on your house, on your living, guarding you, encouraging you. Let us walk together, a community on a journey, sustained in God’s blessing. Amen!

One:      Let us go now in peace to love and serve the Lord.

All:        Thanks be to God! Alleluia!