Bulletin for Sunday, December 10th, 2017

Second Sunday of Advent

Human Rights Sunday


Central United Church is a safe place for all people to participate fully

regardless of race, creed, age, cultural background,

sexual orientation or gender identity.

What if we considered the term God

to be a metaphor for “the whole of the universe”?

How would that impact your reading of this morning’s liturgy?

For thousands of years Indigenous people

have walked on this land, in their own country.

Their relationship with the land was at the center of their lives.

We acknowledge Indigenous People and their stewardship

of this land throughout the ages.

We remember that in this region we live, play, work and assemble on lands

which are, by law, the un-ceded territories of the Wabanaki peoples –

predominately the lands of the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, and Passamaquoddy.

May we learn to live with respect on this land, and live in peace and

friendship with its people.

Un-ceded – means not formally surrendered to another

Those who are able and wish to are invited to stand at the places marked

with an *­ Those who wish to, and are able, are invited to join in the

responses which are printed in bold print.



Gathering Music: Favourites…


Hymn  Bring Many Names  (Tune 268 VU)



A warm welcome is extended to all – especially those

who may be joining us for a first time.  Your presence enriches

this gathering and contributes to the creative evolution of community.

Thanks for the gift of you!


Entry into the Celebration

Come along with me as a sojourner in faith.

Bring along a sense of expectancy,

a sense of high hopes,

a glimpse of future possibility,

a vivid imagination.

For creation is still unfolding.

We are called to pioneer forth toward an ever evolving

future.  As we venture forward may we relinquish our

desire for certainty.

Let us travel light in the spirit of faith and expectation.

May we not betray the trust given to us,

but be prepared to take our place

in the circle of time.  Amen.


Lighting of the Community Candle


We light this flame to affirm that new truth is ever waiting

to break through and illumine our minds.

May we be open to the rich possibilities

such an experience will promise us.


In Praise Of The Wild Tree

by Wayne Curtis Sleigh Tracks in New Snow p. 68


Lighting the 2nd Candle of the Advent Wreath – “Air”

Today, we remember the air and as we do we light

this candle of peace.

Without the air around us,

creation has no breath and no life.

Yet we humans fill the air with

toxic gases and threaten all of life with our quest

for more acquisitions, more things to own and control.


We light this second advent candle…
The candle is lit


And as we do we renew our commitment

to live gently and peacefully,

respecting the air around us.

May it be so.


­Hymn  To a World so Torn and Tortured  (Tune 2 VU)




Readings from our broad Religious Tradition

Traditional Gospel:  Mark 1  4-8 (Inclusive Text, adapted)


­Hymn  Carol of the Refugee Children  (Tune Cradle Song 69 VU)

Minute for Affirm: Human Rights Sunday by Dave Lewis



Reflections and Prayers

As a community, we bring our hopes, dreams, joys and concerns to

this place.  Let us share these with one another.


Sharing of Hopes, Dreams, Joys and Concerns


Listening Response

For each hope, dream, joy and concern, uttered aloud or in silence,

and for each human one denied the freedom to express their truth for

fear of discrimination or condemnation we light a candle of Care

this day.


The care candle is lit


As one heart is lifted

may we share its celebration.

As one heart is burdened

may we share the pain it knows.        (Gretta Vosper/wwg)


May we be enlightened and empowered to make response

meaningfully and appropriately to the reflections and prayers offered.

May all that is sacred within us and around us reveal

the important possibilities awaiting our engagement.


Praying in the Pattern of the Prayer of Jesus (together)

O presence and pow’r within,

Creative impulse and life of all.

May we be filled to overflowing

with infinite love and appreciation for life!

May we sow grace, peace, and justice,

as we pursue that which is right and good.


May we share food and hope needed for today.

May our wrongs be forgiven as we acknowledge them,

and may we endeavor to forgive the wrongs done to us.


May we elude the conceit and despair, the fear and hate,

which can occasionally threaten to consume or overwhelm.


May we not forget that inside each of us and all of us,

lies possibility and potential for wholeness and fullness,

for restoration and renewal. Amen.  


Acknowledging the Offering of Each

Advent is a time of anticipation, expectation and longing for a new

and better day. How we use our time, talent, tissue, terrain and

treasure determines the future shape of our community, country and

cosmos. Each of us has a contribution to make. May we be

awakened to the particular contribution which we especially can

make. May mountains and hills be made low and crooked paths be

made straight by contributions made by you and by me.


­Dedication  How Can I Share My Love (Tune 55 VU)


­Thoughts for today

May what we do be a reflection of who we say we are.

May each day be a new beginning.

Let us begin, again and again,

wondering, cherishing, reflecting and alas acting,

so that at day’s end we can be content in the knowledge

that we have given our very best to life.   



­Hymn  Dream a Dream (v1,2) 158 MV


­As We Go Out…

Let us go in faith to ponder in our hearts

the mystery and wonder of this season…

The Community Candle is extinguished


Gathered together

We wait for the light.

Standing together

We trust in the light.

Praying together

We hope for the light.

Seeking together

We step out with the light.

Singing together

We are blessed by the light.  (Trisha Watts/s)


­Hymn   Dream a Dream (v3,4)   158 MV



Celebrating Makes Cents

Coffee and Conversation



Christmas Service Schedule:

Christmas Eve –  No 10:45am Service

Christmas Eve Service at 6:30pm

New Year’s Eve – Regular Service at 10:45am


Christmas Office Schedule:

The office will be closed from Dec. 23rd– Jan. 1st and reopening regular office hours on January 2nd.

POINSETTIAS will be delivered to a number of people under our congregational care. These poinsettias may be donated in memory of a loved one, or to honour a special person or occasion. The list will be printed in Christmas bulletins. Any extra Poinsettias will decorate the sanctuary for the Christmas season. Please contact Tanya in the office at 857-3186, or provide a note with details & payment in the offering box.

Gifts With Vision catalogues are available today during Coffee and Conversation.

CHRISTMAS MEMORIALS will be printed in the bulletin on December 17th and 24th (Christmas Eve). Please contact the church office, 857-3186, no later than Thursday, December 14 to make arrangements. Memorial donations may be designated for Christmas Poinsettias, Local, Mission & Service, Arts & Music, or the Education funds.

Financial Update 2017

                                                  To November      Budget for 2017

Regular Contributions          $55,838               $62,400

Mission and Service               $17,254                $23,000

Shaping Tomorrow              $2,401                     $1,900

AN IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING 2017 INCOME TAX RECEIPTS: In compliance with Revenue Canada’s Charitable Tax Law, all donations to be credited to the 2017 income tax receipt must be received before the end of 2017.  Due to the office Christmas schedule, the office will only be open Friday, Dec. 29th from 12 noon until 2pm.  The bank deposit will be made at 2 pm. Donations that arrive at the office after that time, including Sunday Dec 31, will be credited to 2018. If you have questions about this please contact the church office, 857-3186.

This is the last Sunday the mitten tree will be in the sanctuary to collect mittens, scarves and hats for children and adults in need. Thank you for your donations to this winter project!

Mandate magazines are available at Coffee and Conversation.

The Drop-in Christmas Party is Dec. 13th at St. George’s Anglican Church from 1pm-3pm and we are all invited! Come and help the homeless and working poor of Moncton celebrate the holiday season.

We are in need of volunteers to host Coffee and Conversation on Sundays. Sign-up sheets are available today or call the office, 857-3186, for more information.

OBSERVER MAGAZINE: The United Church Observer magazine is one of the oldest most recognized and celebrated publications in Canada. This national United Church magazine keeps us aware of the broader church and current events. Subscription price is $25/year.  For new subscriptions or renewals please sign-up at the back table or submit your name to the church office by December 15th at 857-3186 or centralunitedchurch@nb.aibn.com.

OFFERING ENVELOPES:  This year the office will not be ordering new 2018 Offering Envelopes.  If you require more envelopes, please sign up today and you will receive a box from what we have on hand in the office.

If you wish to go on PAR (pre-authorized remittance) which gives you the option to have your church donation automatically withdrawn from your bank account monthly or charging your donation monthly to your credit card, please sign up today.  Changes can be made to PAR at anytime throughout the year.



AST Continuing Education Opportunities Winter Term 2018 –Continuing education benefits everyone, and AST is pleased to offer opportunities throughout the year. You will find a variety of courses online and on campus, as well as summer intensive classes. There are also workshops, symposiums, and lectures to choose from.  Learn something new this winter – have a look at our Winter Term 2018 continuing education options:  http://www.astheology.ns.ca/con-ed/winter-2018.html

The choir at Hillsborough United Church will present the Christmas cantata, “Little Town of Bethlehem” on Thursday, Dec 21st at 6:30pm at the church, 2891 Main Street.  All are welcome!  Bring a friend.  Light refreshments to follow.


Come meet new members of the River of Pride committee, other LGBTQ+ community members and allies during this cordial and social event Thursday, Dec 14th from 5pm to 7pm at Cafe Diem 1035 Main St location. We will have some light snacks and non-alcoholic drinks to share.  Café Diem, a safe and accessible space that offers paint-your-own-pottery, board games, and adult colouring among other things. If you are interested, check our Facebook event (https://www.facebook.com/events/359723967772111/)and see you there!

The Metro Tones Pop Chorus presents their Christmas concert at the Wesleyan Celebration Centre on Friday, Dec 15th, at 7:30pm.  Cost $10.00 and a couple of cans of non-perishable goods



Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 The spirit of the Lord is upon me.

Psalm 126 Sow in tears; reap in joy.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing.

John 1:6-8, 19-28 John testified to the Light.



ORDER OF MINISTRY: The Rev. Dr. James MacDonald



MUSICIAN: Justin Guignard



Some of the resources used in shaping this liturgy:

Some of the resources used in shaping this liturgy:

Curtis, W. 2014. Sleigh Tracks in New Snow. Maritime Christmas Stories. Canada: East Lawrencetown. Pottersfield Press.

Duncan, G. (ed). Shine On, Star of Bethlehem. A Worship Resource for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. Norwich. The Canterbury Press, 2001.

Inclusive Readings. Year B. Brisbane: Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation, 2005.

Vosper, G. 2008. With or Without God. Why the way we live is more important that what we believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.

Watts, T. & G. Lord. Sanctuary. Where Heaven Touches Earth. A Group of Resource for those Seeking Simplicity, Silence, and Nurture. Kelowna. Wood Lake Books, 2005.

Web sites/Other:

Advent 1: “Earth”. Adapted from ‘The Four Elements’ by Dean Salter, UCC. 2006

Andrew Pratt “Christmas is Real”. Hymns&Books blog site. UK.  http://hymnsandbooks.blogspot.com/

Early Christian Writings. http://www.gospels.net/translations/infancyjamestranslation.htm

St Stephen’s Non-Theistic Project. http://stephen.srv.ualberta.ca/publications/non-theistic-liturgy-resources/#sthash.0Sd5KwzN.wLO2Tlw4.dpbs Hunt, Rex A.E. www.rexaehuntprogressive.com/liturgy

Shirley Erina  Murray.”Carol of the Refugee Children”. Direct from the author. Used with permission.