Sunday 22 December 2013 ~ Carol Service

(The service will proceed unannounced)

WELCOME AND NOTICES

1st READING: The Prophecy of the Messiah’s Birth ~ Anneke Howie
(Isaiah 9.2,6,7)

HYMN: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
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.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a king,
born to reign in us for ever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring. C/A

ADVENT CANDLE-LIGHTING – June Service
On the first Sunday of Advent we lit the Candle of Hope; a hope expressed by the prophets and continued in the hearts of God’ s people. (The Candle of Hope is relit)

Two weeks ago we lit the Candle of Peace, reminding us of God’s call
to live in loving relationship with the world and with all who share it with us. (The Candle of Peace is relit)

Last Sunday we lit the Candle of Joy, anticipating a New Zealand Christmas – a warm Christmas – as we journey towards Bethlehem,
and remember with joy the birth of the Christ Child.
(The Candle of Joy is relit)

Today we light the Candle of Love
reminding us of the love of God which enveloped the world
in the birth of the Bethlehem Baby,
a love which continues to surround us today.
(The Candle of Love is lit)

OPENING PRAYER

CAROL: O Little Town of Bethlehem (Remain seated)
O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see you lie!
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by:
yet, in your dark streets shining
the everlasting light,
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in you tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary;
and, gathered all above,
while mortals sleep, the angels keep
their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together
proclaim the holy birth,
and praises sing to God the King,
and peace to all on earth.

How silently, how silently
the wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming;
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him,
still the dear Christ enters in. C/A

2nd READING: The Birth of Jesus Announced ~ Jeannette Beaumont
(Luke 1:26-35)

STORY-TIME

3rd READING: The Birth of Jesus ~ Barbara Meier (Luke 2: 1-7)

CAROL: Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
Infant holy, infant lowly,
for his bed a cattle stall;
oxen lowing, little knowing,
Christ the babe is Lord of all.
Swift are winging angels singing,
nowells ringing, tidings bringing:
Christ the babe is Lord of all.
Christ the babe is Lord of all.

Flocks were sleeping, shepherds keeping
vigil till the morning new
saw the glory, heard the story,
tidings of a gospel true.
Thus rejoicing, free from sorrow,
praises voicing, greet the morrow:
Christ the babe was born for you.
Christ the babe was born for you! C/A

4th READING: The Shepherds Go to the Manger ~ Rob Meier
(Luke 2: 8-16)

CAROL: Angels, From the Realms of Glory,
Angels, from the realms of glory,
wing your flight o’er all the earth;
heralds of creation’s story,
now proclaim Messiah’s birth:
come and worship
Christ, the new-born king,
come and worship,
worship Christ, the new-born king.

Shepherds, in the fields abiding,
watching over flocks by night,
God with us is now residing;
yonder shines the infant Light… C/A

We Suspect Angels ~ adapted from Cloth for the Cradle (WGWG)

5th READING: Wise Men are Led by the Star ~ David Beaumont
(Matthew 2:1-11)

CAROL: The Stars Danced, the Angels Sang
The stars danced, the angels sang
the night God came to earth.
The whole vault of heaven rang
to celebrate his birth.
We will dance, we will sing,
we will praise our heav’nly King
at his birth!

Mary, his mother smiled
to see her babe new born.
Shepherds came hurrying,
left their flocks forlorn.
We will dance, we will sing …

Wise men who saw his star,
knew their Lord was here,
came with their offerings,
incense, gold and myrrh.
We will dance, we will sing …

We too will give to him
gifts of love and praise.
Dance for him, sing for him,
rejoice in him always.
We will dance, we will sing … © Barbara Gillard (CoC)

6th READING: From John 1

THE OFFERING
Transform with your love, O God, our homes,
our families, and our friendships .
May your love go to work through our gifts ~
May the light of the Christ come at Christmas;
bringing hope to the disadvantaged,
bringing comfort to the broken hearted,
bringing peace to the troubled,
bringing community to the lonely,
so that your cherished ones
may receive a blessing this Christmas,
and in the new year ahead. Amen.

AN ACT OF REMEMBRANCE

THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

A BLESSING

CAROL: Joy to the World
Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
let earth receive its king;
let every heart prepare him room,
and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the earth! The Saviour reigns;
let us our songs employ;
while fields and streams, rocks, hills and plains
repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy,
repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

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, wonders of his love. C/A

CWS Appeal Week 4: Love. In Sri Lanka, small farmers are finding it much harder to support their families. Where once there was water to share, wells are drying up and streams disappearing. Out of concern for their livelihoods, and in recognition of the hunger that haunts them, MONLAR had mobilised support. They have cultivated a network of groups and farmers to lobby for fairer government policies and stand up against land and water grabs. Together they are putting on the pressure to restore the land to the people while building an economy with an ecology based on love and care for the earth.

NOTICES
A very warm welcome to all who worship with us today. Please join us for morning tea following the service.

THE NEW READERS’ ROSTER is available today– please check to see
if there’s one for you.

CHRISTMAS & JANUARY SERVICES:
24 December 7.30 pm Christmas Eve Service
(Beckenham Methodist Service at 11.30 pm)
25 December 9.30 am Combined Christmas Service

10.00 am Combined Services on: 29th Dec, 5th , 12th , & 19th January

Sunday 26 January 9.00 am Morning Worship

“UNOFFICIAL” WALKS Wednesdays 8th & 15th January: Meet at 9.30am in the South Library carpark, Hunter Tce end. Coffee at “Red”. June 332 8874. There are no walks on Dec 25 or Jan 1!

CRAFTY CRAFTERS resumes on Thursday 16th January. Beverley 332 7786.

THE PARISH OFFICE re-opens on Thursday 23rd January 2014.
KEEP AN EYE ON THE WEBSITE: www.stmartins.org.nz

STOP PRESS: ST MARTIN’S CHURCH FAMILY BBQ 26th January 12 noon at Sue & Peter’s 106 Southampton St. More details later.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK & BEYOND: Sun 22nd Lyall; Mon 23rd Graeme; Wed 25th Isobel; Thu 26th Noeline (90); Tues 31st Jack; Thu 2nd Chris W.

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