Hilary Plowright
Slideshow image

Hybrid Church 

December 17, 2023 

Coming in as the Third Sunday of Advent 

Going out by way of the Fourth Sunday of Advent 

Rev. Sally Bullas 

Musician: Dorothy Dittrich 

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

Whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here! 

Welcome & Announcements 

Whether you are gathering in person, on zoom or worshipping at home with the bulletin, welcome! We are one community, one in the body of Christ.  


One:  The grace of Christ Jesus, the love of God,    and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 

All:  And also with you 

Lighting the Candle of Joy  

One: Arise and celebrate, good news of deep joy is here! 

All: The warm glow of the Divine lightens our hearts. 

One: Here we are together. We are not alone. We gather on this third    Sunday in Advent with gratitude and overflowing generosity,    blessed multiple times by our give-away God. We are witnesses to joy. 

(the candles of Hope, Peace, and Joy are lit) 

Testimony of Joy 

David Soy shares an experience of delight, generosity, and joy and what such meant for him and others. 

And Our Response 

All: The Joy of Christ is good news, unexpected and surprising in its overflowing. 

And We Pray 

One: God-who-lights-up-life give us joyful, generous, and courageous hearts. As we lean on your love may your joy well up in us so that our joy may overflow and flourish, witnessing to a life of constant gratitude, full of grace, cathartic hilarity, and goodness. 

Hymn: Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You                                    VU #232 
1 Joyful, joyful, we adore you, God of glory, life and love; hearts unfold like flowers before you, opening to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness, drive our fear and doubt away; giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day. 

2All your works with joy surround you, earth and heaven reflect your rays, stars and angels sing around you, center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea, chanting bird and flowing fountain, sound their praise eternally. 

3You are giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blest, wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest! Source of grace and fount of blessing, let your light upon us shine; teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine. 

4Mortals, join the mighty chorus which the morning stars began; God's own love is reigning o'er us, joining people hand in hand. Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife; joyful music lifts us sunward in the triumph song of life. 

Opening Words        (From “Gathering,” Bill Steadman, adapted)

One: We are a people open to anticipation and ready for a celebration. 

All: Behold, the birth of the Christ child is expected! One: We are a community of faith that remembers the message of    hope, peace, joy, and love that God shared with us all. 

All: Behold, the birth of the Christ child is near! 

One: We are a community inspired to live lives of service and of     wholeness. 

All: Behold, the birth of the Christ child will change who we are… 

Response: Hope is a Star      VU #7 vs 3 telling the world that the Savior is born.       

3Joy is a song that welcomes the dawn,                                            

When God is a child there's joy in our song. The last shall be first and the weak shall be strong, and none shall be afraid. 

Opening Prayer                                                  (From Advent Unwrapped) 

One: We are a people who dream, who long for joy. 

All: We are thankful for the gracious gifts of God. 

One: We know that God does great things in our midst. 

All: We are thankful for the gracious gifts of God. 

One: God has given us neighbours, near and far, to love. All: We are thankful for the gracious gifts of God. 

One: As we gather and grow, give and receive… 

All: We give in thanks for God’s unfailing love. 

As a Shared Ministry—We Covenant in Joy: 

   We, Christ Church Gabriola, followers of Jesus Christ in a          shared Anglican and United Church ministry, covenant as a community with You: 

               to LEARN AND GROW together 

  by developing our faith through scripture studies, prayer and other spiritual practices 

  by exploring the Christian tradition and a range of  theological studies 

  by informing ourselves about issues of social and ecological justice by using respectful communication by examining issues from multiple perspectives by offering to the wider community opportunities to safely engage in conversations about matters important to life, faith and the world. 

Passing of the Peace 

One: The Peace of Christ be with you. 

All: And also with you. 

You are invited to turn to those directly around you and share Christ’s peace. Those on Zoom, please unmute and share with one another. 

Reader: By the gift of your Spirit, calm and quiet our souls that we may hear your Word today and be lifted up to walk with you. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen 

Gospel Reading       Reader: Nancy Hetherington Peirce 

As is your custom, please stand or sit for the reading of the gospel.  

Reader: God be with you.   

All: And also with you 

Reader: The Good News of Jesus the Christ according to Luke

All: Glory to you, Christ Jesus. 

Luke 1:46-55 

And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord,    and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.    Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me,    and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel,    in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.’ 

          Reader: This is the Gospel of Christ.    

          All:      Praise be to Jesus Christ        

Reflection: “A Fulfilling Promise!” 

H ymn: Arise Your Light is Come                                   VU #79 

1Arise, your light is come!  The Spirit’s call obey;   show forth the glory of your God,  which shines on you today. 

2Arise, your light is come!   Fling wide the prison door;   proclaim the captive’s liberty,  good tidings to the poor. 

3Arise, your light is come!   All you in sorrow born,  bind up the broken-hearted ones  and comfort those who mourn. 

4Arise, your light is come!  

The mountains burst in song!   

Rise up like eagles on the wing;  

God’s power will make us strong.” 


Doxology                                                                                VU #218  

We praise you, O God, our Redeemer, Creator;                             vs 1 in grateful devotion our tribute we bring.   We lay it before you; we kneel and adore you; we bless your holy name, glad praises we sing. 

Offering Prayer          (From “Gathering,” Jim McKean, adapted)

One: Giver of the perfect gift, we place before you our gifts in tribute,   thanks, and hope for a new tomorrow.   

All: May these gifts be used to transform a hurting world,    bringing comfort for all who are in need.  Amen. 

Prayers of the People        Tim Leadem         

One:  We pray to God of Love and Joy, 

All:  Hear Our Prayers 

The Prayer of Jesus                                                                  

One: O Divine Womb, birthing forth the river of blessing which runs   through all,  

All: Soften the ground of our being, and hallow in us a space for   the planting of thy presence.  

One: In our depths, sow thy seed with its greening-power that we might be midwives to thy Reign.  

All: Then, let each of our actions bear fruit in accordance with thy       desire.  

One: Impart to us the wisdom to bring forth the gifts of the earth and      share them daily according to the needs of each being,  All: And restore that which has been usurped by injustice to its  

            rightful owners, as we restore to others that which is not our      own.  

One: Do not let us be seduced by that which would divert us from our       purpose but make us sensitive to the moment at hand.  All: For from thy fertile soil is born the creativity the life-               energy, and the dance, from birthing to birthing.  Amen.  

(An Aramaic version as rendered by Mark Hathaway (www.visioncraft.org)  based on the work of Neil Douglas-Klotz) 


Hymn: Of the Father’s Love Begotten                                     VU #61  vs 1-4

1Of the Father's love begotten, ere the worlds began to be, Christ is Alpha and Omega, Christ the source, the ending he, of the things that are and have been, and that future years shall see, evermore and evermore. 

2At his word the worlds were framed. He commanded, it was done: heaven and earth and depths of ocean in their threefold order one; all that grows beneath the shining of the moon and burning sun, evermore and evermore. 

3O that birth for ever blessèd! When the Virgin, full of grace, by the Holy Ghost conceiving, bare the Saviour of our race, and the babe, the world's redeemer, first revealed his sacred face, evermore and evermore. 

4This is he whom seers in old time chanted of with one accord, whom the voices of the prophets promised in their faithful word; now he shines, the long-expected; let creation praise its Lord, evermore and evermore. 

Lighting the Candle of Love:  

One: Love abundant overflows, pouring into our midst: (a)Rise, take heart, and love deeply. 

All: The glow of God the Divine Lover lightens our hearts. One: We are together and never alone. We witness to God’s deep love and tender compassion for the whole world. Our witness is love.               

(the candle of Love is lit) 

Testimony of Love: 

Shelagh Huston shares an experience of deep tenderness and compassion and what such overflowing meant for her and others.  

And Our Response 

All: God’s love comes to ground, and like an arc, large to hold, embrace, heal, and restore. 

And We Pray 

One: God-who-never-ceases-to-love, kindle our hearts that we may burn anew with your love. Bless us with the flame of lively living and believing. Take our words and release them to speak of you; take our minds and broaden them to reflect your overflowing love; take our hearts and set them alight with your desire for goodness. 

In the name of the One full of love.  

Response: Hope is a Star                                                          VU #7 
4 Love is a flame that burns in our heart.    

  vs 4 Jesus has come and will never depart. When God is a child there's joy in our song. The last shall be first and the weak shall be strong, and none shall be afraid. 

Thank You 

A Covenantal Blessing 

As a Shared Ministry—We Covenant in Love: 

We, Christ Church Gabriola, followers of Jesus Christ in a shared Anglican and United Church ministry, covenant as   a community with You: 

    to SERVE our community and the world  by living in love and justice, and by working for the well-being of the earth and its inhabitants by serving the island community through offering our own resources, collaborating with other agencies,and drawing on our connections with the wider  community 

    by listening and responding to a changing world,  recognizing its needs so we know how to serve 

 We covenant as a community in Christ’s name.  

Allelujah and Amen!