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1/7/24 Bulletin


We respect tradition — and we welcome inclusive language about people and expansive language about God. Please pray using words most meaningful to you.

Open and Affirming of ALL God’s Children

“After a long journey, the star hovers, suspended over the wise men’s destination.

Shining Hope, by Lauren Wright Pittman images the joy of this moment

and reminds us to revel in wonder of the journey itself."


January 7, 2024 – Epiphany Sunday

This service will be in-person and on Zoom at 10:00  (Recorded for Facebook and YouTube)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 822 2425 2518

Passcode: 755650


The first pew in front of the pulpit has books and quiet activities for people of all ages.

Please find something that suits you, take it to your pew, and return it after the service.

Silent Prayer

Mysterious One, throughout the ages you have been revealing yourself in new ways, drawing us more deeply into relationship with you. In Christ, you took on flesh that we might recognize your presence with us - weeping with us, eating with us, struggling and dreaming with us.

Keep us open, O God, to the ways you continue to reveal your love in our midst today. Amen


* Indicates points in the service when we stand in body or spirit




Prelude       Creator of the Stars of Night                                             Sarum plainsong/ McCabe 




*Introit       Arise, Your Light is Come! (v. 1)                                               Red Hymnal #167

Arise, your light is come! The Spirit’s call obey;

show forth the glory of your God which shines on you today.


*Call to Worship

One: In our search for deliverance from all that destroys life,

All: God draws us into the heart of Love.

One: Guiding us through lands unknown,

All: God companions us on the journey.

One: With the Holy as our guide,

All: we will encounter Christ enfleshed.


*Passing of the Peace (ASL)


*Hymn       All Poor Ones and Humble                                                       Red Hymnal # 163

All poor ones and humble and all those who stumble,

come hastening, and feel not afraid, for Jesus, our treasure,

with love past all measure, in lowly poor manger was laid.

Though wise men who found him laid rich gifts around him,

the oxen they gave him their hay, and Jesus in beauty

accepted their duty, contented in manger he lay.



Then haste we to show him the praises we owe him;

our service he ever will prize; whose love still is able

to show us that stable, where softly in manger he lies.


The Christ Chile will lead us, the Good Shepherd feed us

and with us abide till his day. Then hatred he’ll banish;

then sorrow will vanish, and death and despair flee away.

And he shall reign ever, and nothing shall sever

from us the great love of our King. His peace and his pity

shall bless his fair city, his praises we ever shall sing.



Then haste we to show him the praises we owe him;

our service he ever will prize; whose love still is able

to show us that stable, where softly in manger he lies.


*Invocation (in unison)

O God of Light and Love, who shines in our hearts as brightly as the Bethlehem star,

we come together to give you praise. You have come to us in the form of a newborn babe,

and our hearts are filled with awe and with joy. We rejoice in your love for us, and we are grateful. Amen


Children’s Message                         


Christian Scripture                                                                                         Matthew 2:1-12      Contemporary Reading -


Special Music       “Picardy”                                            17th century French melody/ G Martin 


Message                                                                                                              Rev. TJ Mack


*Hymn       As with Gladness Men of Old                                                    Red Hymnal # 168

As with gladness men of old did the guiding star behold;as with joy they hailed its light, leading onward, beaming bright;so, most gracious Lord, may we evermore be led to thee.


As with joyful steps they sped to that lowly manger-bed,there to bend the knee before him whom heaven and earth adore;so may we with willing feet ever seek thy mercy seat.


As they offered gifts most rare, at that manger rude and bare,so may we with holy joy, pure and free from sin’s alloy,all our costliest treasures bring, Christ, to thee, our heavenly King.


Holy Jesus, every day keep us in the narrow way;And, when earthly things are past, bring our ransomed souls at lastwhere they need no star to guide, where no clouds thy glory hide.

Prayers of the People – Sharing Joys & Concerns 

Our Father (Creator, Mother) 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. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen


   Lead me Lord, lead me in thy righteousness, make thy way plain before my face.

   For it is thou Lord, thou Lord, only, that makest me dwell in safety.        


Invitation to Offering –  Like the magi who brought gifts to Jesus, we bring our own offerings as signs of gratitude. For that which God has already done for us and for that which God has only just begun within us, let us give thanks.                                                               


Offertory    “Cradle Hymn”                                          Melody, Harmonia Sacra/ Robert Powell  


*The Doxology

     Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise God, all creatures here below;

     Praise God for all that love has done; Creator, Christ, and Spirit, One. Amen


*Prayer of Dedication (spoken in unison)                                                              

Holy One, in a spirit of awe we offer these gifts. For you have led us to Love, invited us to linger in its presence, and promised us that no matter where we go, Love will go with us. May these offerings also be swept up into the embrace of Love to be channeled in the direction of all who hunger for your presence. Amen


*Communion Hymn      As We Gather at Your Table                                Black Hymnal # 332

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.


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.


Gracious Spirit, help us summon other guests to share that feastwhere 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.



Holy Communion Liturgy

(We serve both gluten and gluten-free bread and the fruit of the vine in our cup is grape juice.)


Invitation to the Table

One: Friends, what we are about to do is to celebrate the Joyful Feast of the people of God.


All: When we are able, with the Holy One, to experience the vision of love for God’s Global Village here on earth – then all of creation will come as equal companions to sit at this table.

One: In the meantime, you and I are invited to eat and drink, to be nourished and renewed for the ongoing work of justice, embracing mercy and walking humbly with God.

All: This is an open table at which all are welcome.


Words of Remembering

All: On the night when Jesus was betrayed, he gathered with his disciples in the upper room, where an ordinary meal became an instrument of God. At this table, Jesus broke bread with those who would betray him. At this table, Jesus drank wine with the one who denied him. At this table, Jesus communed with those who would abandon him. At this table, Jesus gave a new commandment.

 At this table, we learn to love one another as God loves us.

One: Jesus took the bread, gave thanks to God, 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, Jesus took the cup, gave thanks to God, gave it to his disciples, and said: “Drink from this, all of you; this is the cup of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many,  for the forgiveness of our failings, and in hope for the new life to come. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.


Blessing the Bread and the Cup

One: Gracious God, pour out your Spirit upon these gifts of bread and wine, that they might be for us the presence of the living Christ. Pour your Spirit upon us also, that we may be one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until we arrive at the heavenly banquet of God.

All: With this one loaf, we who are many, become one. With this one cup, what was before has been renewed.

One: Come, for all things are ready.


Sharing the Bread and the Cup

The bread of life, given for you. Amen The cup of blessing, given for you. Amen


Prayer of Thanksgiving

Our Creator, our Redeemer, our Sustainer – In this holy mystery, you have given yourself to us. We are eternally grateful. Empower us, that we may go into the world in the strength of your Spirit, to give ourselves to each other in the name of Jesus Christ who gave his life for all. Amen



The night has gone and the Light has come! May the light of the Bethlehem star, the wisdom of the Magi, and the hope that the Christ Child brings be with you always. Amen


*Sung Christmas Blessing (sung to Eventide)

Go with us, Lord, throughout this Christmas tide: be our protector, brother, friend, and guide.

Give us your peace and keep us in your care: help us your love and grace with all to share.


Postlude      How Brightly Shines the Morning Star                                        J.C. Bach/ Edwards 


(Please remain seated for the Postlude)


If you are visiting with us today, please sign our Guest Book in the back of the sanctuary. 


Support our Church Financially

Please visit Hancock (Maine) UCC on Facebook or our new webpage

or visit this link to our PayPal account:  

or mail offerings to:

Union Congregational Church, PO Box 443, Hancock, ME 04640 (Attention: Treasurer)


Contact Us

                    207.422.3100                                                                          207.323.6743


 Many thanks to those who make this service possible –

in front of the camera and behind the scenes.


Music Minister – Debbie Riley

Deacons –  Doug Kimmel, Pat Summerer & Vicky Espling

Liturgist –  Vicky Espling

Audio-Video Support – Mike Summerer

Office Administrator – Vicky Espling

Settled Minister – Rev. TJ Mack

The Body of Christ – You


Resources, adapted

enfleshed: liturgy that matters - Silent Prayer, Call to Worship & Offertory Prayers

UCC Worship Ways - Invocation & Benediction

Sung Christmas Blessing by Jan Chamberlain in Gifts in Open Hands – Tirabassi & Eddy


"Permission to podcast / stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE,                   

License #A-738532. All rights reserved.

Arise, Your Light is Come!

Words - ©1992 GIA Publications, Inc.

Contributors: Ruth Duck


All Poor Ones and Humble

Words - ©1928 Oxford University Press

Contributors: Katharine E. Roberts


As with Gladness, Men of Old

Music - ©1944 Royal School of Church Music

Contributors: William H Monk, Sydney H Nicholson


As We Gather at Your Table

Words - ©1989 Hope Publishing Company

Contributors: Carl P. Daw, Jr.

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