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12/24/23 Bulletin (10 a.m.)


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


December 24, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. – Fourth Sunday of Advent – Love

This service will be in-person and on Zoom (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

God of love, thank you for walking with us, for shepherding us, caring for us: going where we go, lodging where we lodge, dwelling where we dwell. With Mary and with Ruth, fill us with your Spirit of loving-kindness. Help us to take care of each other. In the shadows of hate, abandonment, and fear, let each of us become a candle, a bearer of light and love.

Come, Good Shepherd, come! Amen


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




Prelude       Wintertime Pastorale                             French Canadian melody/ Roberta Raybold




*Introit       Spirit of the Living God                                                                             R. #281

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me,Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.


*Call to Worship

One: Not in the mighty places of power, but in little Bethlehem, in a room out back:

All: The Messiah is coming.

One: Not born in nobility and wealth, but of Mary and Joseph, who pondered and planed wood:

All: The Messiah is coming.

One: Not announced by prophets, priests, and kings, but by two women; the first to know:

All: The Messiah is coming.

One: Nothing will be impossible for God… look among the straw and the stars:

All: The Messiah is coming.


*Passing of the Peace (ASL)


*Hymn       Love Came Down at Christmas                                                                  R. #159

Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, Love divine;Love was born at Christmas; star and angels gave the sign.


Worship we the Godhead, Love incarnate, Love divine;worship we our Jesus, but where-with for sacred sign?


Love shall be our token; love be yours and love be mine;love to God and all folk, love for plea and gift and sign.

*Invocation (in unison)

Your word, Holy God, was written for our instruction. By your Holy Spirit open our ears and fill us with the mysteries of your ancient love; through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen


Children’s Message           Advent Wreath – Godly Play – Advent 4 – Magi and Christmas         


Hebrew Scripture                                                                                        1 Samuel 1:19-28

Christian Scripture                                                                                       Matthew 1:18-25


Special Music       Once in Royal David’s City                                                arr/ Robert Preston


Message                                                                                                              Rev. TJ Mack


*Hymn       Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming                                                                   R. #148

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!Of Jesse’s lineage coming by faithful prophets sung.It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of

winter, when half spent was the night.


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 asavior, when half spent was the night.


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 – Let us bring to God now the offerings of our lives and our labors,

with the prayer that God’s will may be done through them.


Offertory    He Is Born, the Divine Christ Child                         French carol/ Keith Christopher 


*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)  

Accept our gifts as signs of our gratitude for what you give us every day and as honor to your presence in our world; for the sake of those who stand in need. Amen                         


*Hymn       The First Nowell                                                                                       R. #141

The first “Nowell” the angels 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.



Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,born is the King of Israel.


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.




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.




This star drew nigh to the north-west;

o’er Bethlehem it took its rest,

and there it did both stop and stay,

right over the place where Jesus lay.




Then entered in those wise men three, full reverently upon their knee, and offered there, in his presence, their gold and myrrh, and frankincense.





*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                 Pastoral Symphony from “Messiah”                                           G.F. Handel       


(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 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 –  Robin Long & David Wildes

Liturgist –  Myrna Coffin

Audio-Video Support –  Patrice Alexander

Office Secretary – Vicky Espling

Settled Minister – Rev. TJ Mack

The Body of Christ – You



Resources, adapted

Silent Prayer – Magnify: Mary’s Song and the Magnificent Women of Advent

Call to Worship, Invocation, & Offering Prayers – Feasting on the Word Worship Companion

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.

Spirit of the Living God

Words and Music - ©1963 Jubilate Music 

Contributors: Daniel Iverson and Michale Baughen, Daniel Iverson


Love Came Down at Christmas

Music - ©1990 Belwin Sacred

Contributors: Christina Rossetti, Maurice C. Whitney


Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming

Words and Music - ©1946 Augsburg Fortress Publishers

Contributors: Th. Baker, Oscar R. Overby


The First Noel

Words and Music - © OCP Publications

Contributors: THE FIRST NOWELL


2023 Christmas Poinsettias Presented by:


Meredith Akerstein in loving memory of all Loved Ones


 Gary & Jeanne Edwards in loving memory of their

daughter Jennifer; Jeanne’s sister Lynne Josselyn; and Gary’s parents, Pat and Buzz


Lincoln & Debbie Ehrlenbach in loving memory of

 Howard and Katherine Ehrlenbach


Lincoln & Debbie Ehrlenbach in loving memory of

                                                        Roger and Sylvia Gatcomb


Everett & Vicky Espling in loving memory of Loved Ones


Catherine Genn in loving memory of David Wood


Gertrude Haskins in loving memory of all Loved Ones


Bill O’Meara in loving memory of Jean O’Meara


Jenifer Remick in loving memory of Pedro


David Wildes & Cynthia Wood in loving memory of Loved Ones

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