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12/25/2022 Bulletin

Open and Affirming of ALL God’s Children

Refugees: La Sagrada Familia (The Holy Family), Kelly Latimore.

Christmas Day

December 25, 2022

Facebook Live

Silent Prayer

The fullness of joy is to behold God in all.

Julian of Norwich, 1342 – c. 1416

Prelude Pastorale Symphony from “Messiah” G.F.Handel


Introit Arise, Your Light is Come! R #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

All: “I will go there,” said Light.

Leader: Peace looked down and saw war.

All: “I will go there,” said Peace.

Leader: Love looked down and saw hatred.

All: “I will go there,” said Love.

Leader: So, the Lord of Light, the Prince of Peace, the King of Love,

came down and crept in beside us.

*Passing of the Peace (ASL) BC:AD U.A. Fanthorpe

This was the moment when Before Turned into After, and the future's Uninvented timekeepers presented arms. This was the moment when nothing Happened. Only dull peace Sprawled boringly over the earth. This was the moment when even energetic Romans Could find nothing better to do Than counting heads in remote provinces. And this was the moment When a few farm workers and three Members of an obscure Persian sect Walked haphazard by starlight straight Into the kingdom of heaven.

*Hymn Joy to the World R. #134

Joy to the world! the Lord is come; let earth receive her 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 world! the Savior reigns; let earth her songs employ; let fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy, repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

Christ 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.

*Invocation (Open our Eyes – Advent prayer 1 from Cloth For The Cradle)

One: Open our eyes, Lord, especially if they are half shut

All: because we are tired of looking,

One: or half open

All: because we fear to see too much,

One: or bleared with tears

All: because yesterday and today and tomorrow are filled with the same pain,

One: or contracted,

All: because we only look at what we want to see.

One: Open our eyes, Lord, to gently scan the life we lead, the home we have, the world we inhabit,

All: and so to find, among the gremlins and the greyness, signs of hope we can fasten on and encourage.

One: Give us, whose eyes are dimmed by familiarity, a bigger vision of what you can do, even with hopeless cases and lost causes and people of limited ability. (pause)

All: Show us the world as in your sight, riddled by debt, deceit and disbelief, yet also shot through with possibility for recovery, renewal, redemption. (pause)

One: And lest we fail to distinguish vision from fantasy, today, tomorrow, this week, open our eyes to one person or one place, where we – being even for a moment prophetic – might identify and wean a potential in the waiting. (pause)

All: And with all this, open our eyes, in yearning, for Jesus. (pause)

One: On the mountains, in the cities, through the corridors of power and streets of despair, to help, to heal, to confront, to convert,

All: O come, O come, Immanuel.

Special Music Silent Night, Holy Night Franz Gruber/ Mansfield

The Incarnation – Christmas script 1

Narrator A: God looked around and saw the world which God had made a long time ago. And what God saw was upsetting. In one place preachers were talking about peace, priests were talking about peace, prophets were talking about peace. So much talking, but there was no peace. There was only talking to hide the noises of war. God sighed a heavy sigh.

(God sighs)

Narrator B: In another place people were building, building banks and warehouses, building monuments to their own greed, building meat mountains and butter mountains. So much building, while the poor became poorer and the scales of justice were biased to the rich. God sighed a heavy sigh.

(God sighs)

Narrator A: In another place people were doing their own thing, doing their own thing about living, doing their own thing about trusting, doing their own thing about healing. So much doing their own thing, but the truth was that nothing was being done, for all were divided, suspicious and lonely. God sighed a heavy sigh.

(God sighs)

Narrator B: In another place, people were worshipping, worshipping what their hands had made, worshipping what their money had bought, worshipping what their fantasies had imagined. So much worshipping, but no faith and no hope and no God. God sighed a heavy sigh.

(God sighs)

Then God stopped sighing and got angry, and said…

God: I’m fed up. There’s only one answer to this mess – I’m going to destroy the world!

Narrator A: Then God thought for a minute and God began to cry. And through the tears God said…

God: How can I kill those who were born out of my love? I am God, not a man. I will not destroy. I will save the world. I will let the world know that I love it.

Narrator A: So God got to thinking:

God: How can I tell my people that I love them?

Narrator A: God’s first thought was telepathy.

God: I’ll just think about it. I’ll sit down and think about it and if they read my thoughts, they’ll know how I feel.

Narrator A: So God sad down and thought and thought, but people had other things on their minds.

God: So much for telepathy…

Narrator A: said God.

Narrator B: God’s second thought was sign language.

God: I’ll make some signs to show that I love them, then they’ll understand and things will turn for the better.

Narrator B: So God made some signs… like… a rainbow. (pause)

But nobody understood. Then God made another sign by parting the Red Sea to let God’s people escape from slavery. (pause)

And the people were impressed, but nobody really understood. Then God made another sign: God gave them food in the desert. (pause)

And everybody ate, but nobody really understood. Nobody understood any of God’s signs.

God: So much for sign language…

Narrator B: said God.

Narrator A: God’s third thought was telegrams. For these he needed messengers whom he called prophets. And they each received telegrams, some with few words, some with many words. They were to read these to the people.

Narrator B: Words, words, words, words, words.

Narrator A: But, for all the words, nobody understood; or, if they did, they didn’t let on.

God: So much for telegrams…

Narrator A: said God. Then God thought about using the telephone, but when God discovered the cost of long distance calls, God decided not to bother. God sighed a heavy sigh.

(God sighs)

Narrator B: Then God had an idea.

God: I’ll send… I’ll send… I’ll go there myself… but how?

Narrator A: God called a meeting of God’s three selves… the Creator, the Word, and the Spirit.

God: I move the Word goes,

Narrator B: said the Creator.

God: (using a different accent) I second that.

Narrator B: said the Spirit.

God: (using a different accent) Wait a minute!

Narrator B: said the Word.

Narrator A: But there was no minute, for there was not time. So the Word became flesh: tiny and frail flesh, diaper wet and whimpering flesh, bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh, the child of Joseph and Mary.

Hymn O Come, All Ye Faithful R. #132

Oh, come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,

Oh, come ye, oh come ye to Bethlehem;

Come and behold him, born the King of angels;

O come, let us adore him; O come, let us adore him,

O come, let us adore him, Christ, the Lord!

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,

sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!

Glory to God, all glory in the highest;

O come, let us adore him; O come, let us adore him,

O come, let us adore him, Christ, the Lord!

Child, for us sinners poor and in the manger,

we would embrace thee with love and awe;

who would not love thee, loving us so dearly?

O come, let us adore him; O come, let us adore him,

O come, let us adore him, Christ, the Lord!

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning,

Jesus, to thee be all glory given;

Word of the Eternal, now in flesh appearing;

O come, let us adore him; O come, let us adore him,

O come, let us adore him, Christ, the Lord!

Poem – “Star Silver”                                                                                          Carl Sandburg
The silver of one star
Plays cross-lights against pine greens.
And the play of this silver
crosswise against the green
Is an old story…
                        thousands of years.
And sheep raisers on the hills by night
Watching the wooly four-footed ramblers,
Watching a single silver star—
Why does the story never wear out?
And a baby slung in a feed-box
Back in a barn in a Bethlehem slum,
A baby’s first cry mixing with the crunch
Of a mule’s teeth on Bethlehem Christmas corn,
Baby fists softer than snowflakes of Norway,
The vagabond Mother of Christ
And the vagabond men of wisdom,
All in a barn on a winter night,
And a baby there in swaddling clothes on hay—
Why does the story never wear out?
The sheen of it all
Is a star silver and a pine green
For the heart of a child asking a story,
The red and hungry, red and hankering heart
Calling for cross-lights of silver and green.                     

Prayers of the People

In the face of the Gospel, let us ask God for a good Christmas:

… that no powerful nation should tax the poor or uproot them;

… that no unmarried mother should be put to disgrace;

… that no door will be shut on those who need to find it open;

… that shepherds and sheep and all of nature need not be afraid;

… that barbed wire and angry soldiers may not be found in Bethlehem;

… that wise men and wise women might appear in Ukraine, in Russia, in Tigray;

… that children may be protected from those who would abuse them;

… that this Christmas, worship may become a manger and the church a stable,

and the rumor become a reality that Christ has come among us.

And this we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen

*Hymn Hark! the Herald Angels Sing R. #137

Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King; peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!" Joyful, all ye nations, rise, join the triumph of the skies; with the angelic hosts proclaim, "Christ is born in Bethlehem!" Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King"

Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord! Late in time behold him come, offspring of the virgin's womb. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail the incarnate Deity, pleased on earth with us to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.

Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King"

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings. Mild he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die, born to raise all souls on earth, born to give us second birth.

Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King"


Postlude March of the Three Kings Provençal Carol/ Martin

(Please remain seated for the Postlude)

Many thanks to those who helped make this service possible –

in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

Music Minister – Debbie Riley

Worship Planning Partners – Mary Angela & Nick Davis

Deacons & Liturgists – Mary Angela & Nick Davis

Graphics Minister Cynthia Wood

Office Secretary – Vicky Espling

Settled Minister – Rev. TJ Mack

The Body of Christ – You

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


Cloth For the Cradle: Worship resources and readings for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany

The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg

"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

Joy To The World

Words and Music - ©1674 Willow Publishing Pty Ltd

Contributors: Isaac Watts, George Handel

O Come, All Ye Faithful

Words and Music - ©1711 Willow Publishing Pty Ltd

Contributors: John Wade, Frederick Oakeley, Unknown Traditional

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Words and Music - ©2020 Stephen DeCesare / Exultet Music

Contributors: Charles Wesley, Felix Mendelssohn, Stephen DeCesare

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