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GRACE COVENANT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

December 4, 2011

Loving God & Our Neighbors in the Heart of the City

WELCOME TO GRACE COVENANT!


We are an historic Presbyterian congregation offering traditional worship and multiple ministries for persons of all ages.

Please join us after worship for fellowship in the Social Room.


Thank you for turning off your cell phones, pagers, cameras, and other electronic devices during worship, and for leaving food and beverages outside the sanctuary. Interim Pastor: Director of Music: Administrative Assistant: Bookkeeper: Sexton: Child Development Center: Interim Director 1627 Monument Avenue Richmond, VA 23220 Phone: 804.359.2463 Fax: 804.278.6298 www.grace-covenant.org info@grace-covenant.org Brint Keyes Christopher Martin Vanessa Strait Martha Rubin Willie Alford Nicole Williams

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Radio: WLES 590 AM www.wlesradio.com

Hearing Aids, Large Print Hymnals, and Bulletins are available each week from the ushers.

PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP


A voice cries out: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken." - Isaiah 40:3-5 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home. Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. - 2 Peter 3:11-15a The authentically hopeful Christmas spirit has not looked away from the darkness, but straight into it. The true and victorious Christmas spirit does not look away from death, but directly at it. Otherwise, the message is cheap and false. Instead of pointing to someone elses sin, we confess our own. In our sins we have been a long time [Isaiah 64]. Advent begins in the dark. - Fleming Rutledge, The Bible and The New York Times (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1999), 28.

A SERVICE OF WORSHIP
December 4, 2011 The Second Sunday of Advent 10:55 a.m.

WE GATHER TO GLORIFY GOD


WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS Please fill out the communication card and place it in the offering plate during the offertory. PRELUDE In Sweet Jubilation Dietrich Buxtehude
(1637-1707)

Please stand for these parts of the service.

CALL TO WORSHIP Lighting of the Advent Wreath Jack & Cherry Corley, Grace Bible Class

Gracious God, You alone are the ground of all hope, and only in You can we find true peace. Let Your peace reign both in our world and in our hearts, that we may be peacemakers, and blessed to be your children. Through Christ, the Prince of Peace, we pray. Amen.

HYMN 13 (Blue Hymnal)

Prepare the Way

Bereden vg fr Herran

PRAYER OF CONFESSION Lord Jesus, Emmanuel, Our only certain hope and sure salvation, We confess that we have sinned against You and against neighbor. You come from heaven to rescue us, But we turn aside and place our hope in ourselves. You bless us with undeserved love and mercy, But we take Your gifts for granted, and seek other treasures. You consummate the Gospel, and command us to shed it abroad to all peoples, But we place it on the shelf, and take no thought of the souls that desperately long for Your grace. Lord, have mercy upon us, and forgive us our sins. Deliver us from selfish hearts; Make dry and tasteless in our mouths the things of this world that do not nourish; And ignite in our spirits an ardor for You That we might love You, serve You, rejoice in You, and obey You, Attending Your perfect will, and filling the world with Your love That all might know and rejoice in the knowledge that You are come Emmanuel! For it is in Your humble, holy, and glorious Name that we pray. Amen. ASSURANCE OF PARDON CHRISTMASTIME ALLELUIA James Chepponis based on Adeste fideles

(All sing the Alleluia after the organ introduction)

Christmastime Alleluia, music by James Chepponis 1997 by GIA Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Reprinted under OneLicense.net #A-715262.

WE GIVE THANKS TO GOD


OFFERING ANTHEM My Dancing Day
Chancel Choir

Gerald Near

(b. 1942)

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day: I would my true love did so chance To see the legend of my play, To call my true love to my dance: Sing O my love, This have I done for my true love. Then was I born of a virgin pure, Of her I took fleshly substance; Thus was I knit to mans nature, To call my true love to my dance. Sing O my love, This have I done for my true love. In a manger laid and wrapped I was, So very poor, this was my chance, Betwixt an ox and a silly poor ass, To call my true love to my dance. Sing O my love, This have I done for my true love.
- traditional English carol, 1833

DOXOLOGY 592 (Blue Hymnal) Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen. PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

Old Hundredth

Pete Sizemore

WE HEAR THE WORD OF GOD


PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION Pete Sizemore

OLD TESTAMENT READING

Isaiah 40:1-11

Holy Bible, p. 634 OT

Leader: This is the Word of the Lord. People: Thanks be to God. CHILDRENS SERMON EPISTLE READING 2 Peter 3:8-15a Leslie Hartman Holy Bible, p. 227 NT

GOSPEL READING

Mark 1:1-8

Holy Bible, p. 37 NT

Leader: This is the Word of the Lord. People: Thanks be to God. SERMON HYMN 148 (Red Hymnal) AFFIRMATION OF FAITH Preparing for the Lords Coming Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence The Apostles Creed B. Brinton P. Keyes Picardy

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

GLORIA PATRI 579 (Blue Hymnal) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen, Amen. SACRAMENT OF THE LORDS SUPPER DISTRIBUTION OF THE ELEMENTS PASTORAL PRAYER AND THE LORDS PRAYER

Greatorex

Our Father 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.

WE GO FORTH IN GODS NAME


HYMN 12 (Blue Hymnal) BENEDICTION CHORAL RESPONSE POSTLUDE Rejoice! Rejoice! Veni Emmanuel Robert Hobby People, Look East Verses 1, 4 & 5 Besanon

(b. 1962)

Please join us in the Social Room following worship for refreshments and fellowship.
The flowers are given to the glory of God and in memory of those family members we miss so much during the Advent Season by the Rubin Family.

Pray for: Ben Gordons surgery tomorrow Those in need of healing: John Valentine, recovering from spinal surgery; Erika Tabor, recovering from foot surgery; Sudie and Carol Woods sister Bettie, undergoing chemo; Bill Correll, in hospice care; Stella Schlieser; Susan Farrells grandmother, Mary Lou (Uh-Oh) and father, Jim; Svetlana Chicus mother, Estera, with lymphoma; Evelyn Turner; Peter Albertis; Rosie and George Turner; and Nela Bostian Steve Satterfield and Ainura Aitmurzaeva as they negotiate her travel to the US Those facing vocational challenges: Erika Tabor; Carlos Juara; Wayne Casey; and Logan Moorheads daughter-in-law Sharie Leslie Hartmans community garden ministry, and John Lootens away on travel Our Session, that they may faithfully lead this congregation by humbly following Gods Word; and for the Mission Study Team, that they may discern, together with the congregation, Gods will for GCPC Our Child Development Center, as they interview candidates for Director Beth Lloyd Daniel Reas, Stuart Chapman, William Bridenstine, David Russell, Chris Pais, and Mike Child, serving in our nations Armed Forces The people of Egypt, Libya and Syria as they seek peaceful ways forward for their countries; and the people of Haiti, Japan, New Zealand and Turkey, as they continue to recover from natural disasters Missionaries we support: Elizabeth Gee back in US from Indonesia (fighting cancer); Valentin and Svetlana Chicu in Moldova; The Zobule family in the Solomon Islands, facing employment uncertainty; Beth Baleke in Uganda For the families of Metropolitan Richmond: For single-parent families, adoptive families, foster families, families going through divorce; and for households that are communities of friends.

NEW COFFEE URN The coffee maker in the Fellowship Hall has had a long and successful career here at GCPC. However, it is in need of replacement and the Men's Group is raising funds to purchase an equally sturdy and reliable replacement. They have already raised $2300 but need another $800 before they can begin serving better coffee than ever - hopefully before the December 18 Candlelight service! Would you consider making a donation to finish this project? Simply write a check to the church and indicate "new coffee pot" in the memo line. If you have questions, please contact Christof Meyer at (562) 556-7188 (mobile) or christof_meyer@me.com. May God richly bless you for your sacrifice.

STARRING... Our very own Cameron Baird (daughter of Katherine and Brian Baird) has won the lead role of the Cat in the Hat in Fox Elementary Schools production of Seussical the Musical, based on the books by Dr. Seuss. Performances will be held at the school Thursday, December 8 at 10:00 a.m., and Friday, December 9 at 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Admission is free. Please come to enjoy a wonderful musical and support Cameron!

WORSHIP SUPPORT FOR TODAY (December 4): Opener Hank Downing; Greeters Carol Wood, Bob Copeland, Elizabeth Russell; Nursery Worker Lewis Rosebro; Elementary Sunday School Teachers Janet Chenoweth and Sudie Wood; Worship Kits Kaete Unterzuber; Fellowship Hour Carol Wood WORSHIP SUPPORT FOR NEXT SUNDAY (December 11): Opener Jake Savage; Greeters Megan Meyer, Marcia Manning, Cherry Corley; Nursery Worker Jo Garber; Elementary Sunday School CHRISTMAS PAGEANT; Worship Kits Kaete Unterzuber; Fellowship Hour Sallie Leys FELLOWSHIP HOUR The time following our Sunday worship is a unique opportunity for members, friends and guests to enjoy fellowship and grow in shared faith. Its made more special by the refreshments that we offer, and members take turns providing those refreshments, which is a relatively easy and rewarding way to support a ministry of the church. Please consider serving in this ministry. You may sign up using the sheet on the piano in the Social Room, or on the counter in the Glass Office. If you have any questions, please contact Everett Reveley at Everett.reveley@gmail.com or 703/400-6316.

ANGEL TREE The Angel Tree is a wonderful way to provide gifts for an underprivileged child who otherwise might not receive any gifts this Christmas. The Tree in the narthex is decorated with tags that provide a childs age, sex, and clothing sizes. Simply take a tag (or two) along with a clear plastic bag (found under the tree), purchase your gifts accordingly, put them in the bag with the tag, and put the bag on the stage in the Fellowship Hall. We all have been blessed with so much; let us share our abundance with those whose lives are filled with want.

HANGING OF THE GREENS: Join in on the fun on this Saturday, December 10, at 8:30 a.m. to decorate the Sanctuary. You will leave with the Christmas spirit!

PEOPLE Group will gather at the beautiful home of Will Madden located at 3 Glebe Close at Westminster Canterbury, THIS SATURDAY, December 10, at 6:00 p.m. Additional information is available on the PEOPLE Group flyers that are around church and your bulletin insert. Mark your calendars and plan to attend this wonderful evening of fellowship. An enjoyable time will be had by everyone who attends. Please bring an appetizer, main dish, salad, side vegetable or dessert to share. Its time to order Poinsettias and Christmas Greens! If you would like to purchase a Poinsettia or give toward Christmas Greens, in memory/honor of a loved one, please return the enclosed insert with your payment by TOMORROW, Monday, December 5. The Poinsettias and Christmas Greens will decorate the Sanctuary for the Candlelight Service and the Christmas season. NO LATE ORDERS WILL BE TAKEN. CHRISTMAS PAGEANT: Please mark your calendars for Grace Covenant's annual Christmas pageant starring our toddlers, elementary students, and youth. A few grown-ups may even appear! The pageant will take place next Sunday, December 11, during the Sunday School hour in the Fellowship Hall. This delightful tradition is not to be missed, and teaches our young people the true reason for Christmas. This year's annual pageant is a traditional Nativity Story, with focus on the Wise Men and their hopes for a world Savior, as well as on the Shepherds, who receive a revelation from heaven.

This Tuesday, December 6 at 12:00 noon, all are welcome and invited to attend the PW Holiday Luncheon. Before lunch, the J.R. Tucker High School Choir, "Sounds Unlimited, will present a concert in the Sanctuary. Come out and enjoy the sounds of the season! Following the concert will be a luncheon in the Fellowship Hall. Cost is $4.00
*Hostess-Circle #2 Coordinating Team meets at 10:30 a.m. Any questions please contact Suzanne Sizemore at 288-7757

Join us this Wednesday, December 7, at 6:00 p.m. Menu: Brunswick stew, corn bread, salad bar, bread pudding with lemon sauce. Wednesday Night programs are from 6:30-7:15 p.m. every week in the Fellowship Hall. This weeks program will begin the small group discussions of the Mission Study. Although the Congregational Surveys are still coming in, over 100 have been returned and will be the basis for discussion. Our last WNL for the 2011 year will be Wednesday, December 14, and you will not want to miss it!

5 Cents a Meal Offering: On the first Sunday of every month we highlight our 5 cents a Meal offering. 75% of this offering goes towards the PCUSAs national hunger relief program. The other 25% goes to local causes chosen by the Mission Committee. While we highlight this offering on the first Sunday of the month, you are welcome to make donations any Sunday simply use the marked yellow envelopes in your pew. You may also donate money in the specially-marked cans at our Wednesday night suppers. Thank you for your participation in this important mission.

THIS WEEK AT GRACE COVENANT


Sunday, December 4 8:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m. 9:15 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 10:55 a.m. 12:00 noon Monday, December 5 12:00 noon 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 6 10:00 a.m. 12:00 noon 3:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 7 4:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 7:15 p.m. Thursday, December 8 9:30 p.m. Friday, December 9 5:45 p.m. Saturday, December 10 8:30 a.m. 10:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m. Sunday, December 11 8:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m. 9:15 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 10:55 a.m. 12:00 noon Second Sunday of Advent Handbell Rehearsal Mission Study Team Prayer Sunday School Classes Worship Service Fellowship Hour Mens Luncheon Mission Committee Meeting Handbell Room Vanguard Room Social Room Various Rooms Sanctuary Social Room Vanguard Room 1704 Park Avenue

Staff Meeting Room 213 PW Holiday Luncheon Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall Care Team Meeting Room 213 Administration Committee Meeting Finance Committee Meeting Carol Choir (ages 3-K) rehearsal Junior Choir (grades 1-5) rehearsal WNL Supper and Program Fellowship Committee Meeting Chancel Choir rehearsal Mothers Together Community Group 2107 Maplewood Avenue Choir Room Choir Room Fellowship Hall Fellowship Hall Choir Room

Hanging of the Greens Chancel Choir Rehearsal Choir Room PEOPLE Group 3 Glebe Close/West Minster Canterbury Third Sunday of Advent Handbell Rehearsal Mission Study Team Prayer Childrens Pageant Worship Service Fellowship Hour Handbell Room Vanguard Room Social Room Fellowship Hall Sanctuary Social Room

2011 Officers
Our Elders serve the church as leaders. Our Deacons lead the church in service. Please feel free to approach them with any questions or feedback about Grace Covenants ministries. CLERK OF SESSION: Everett Reveley ELDERS: Jean Appich (11) - Christian Education Brian Baird (11) - Evangelism (M) Maurice Bell (13) - Finance/Stewardship Kent Cardwell (12) - Missions (M) Cal Gray (11) - Property (M) Matt Hartman (13) - Worship; Evangelism Cheryl Jacobs (12) - Worship (M); Administration Catherine Kerns (13) - Christian Education; Evangelism Caroline Leith (11) - Worship Katie McCullough (13) - Administration (Co-M); Mission Dana McKnight (11) - Finance/Stewardship (M) Christof Meyer (12) - Discipleship Tom Miller (12) - Christian Education (M) Everett Reveley (12) - Finance/Stewardship Robert Rosebro (13) - Property DEACONS: Pat Aldridge (11) - Cards and Prayer Ministry Betty Appich (11) - Deacon Support Pat Ball (12) - Flower Deliveries Cherry Corley (12) Susan Farrell (12) - Visitation, Transportation Nikki Hazlegrove (13) - Meal Deliveries Jim McCullough (13) - Deacons Fund Julia Poppell (11) - (Secretary) Visitation Dawson Watkins (11) - (Moderator) Visitor follow-up Carol Wood (13) - Visitation and Prayer Ministry Sid Yates (12) - Ushers (M=Moderator)
MISSION STUDY TEAM:

John Nevin (Moderator) Matt Johnson (Co-Moderator) Brian Baird Matt Hartman Catherine Kerns Christof Meyer Everett Reveley Brint Keyes (ex officio)

SERMON NOTES
Preparing for the Lords Coming B. BRINTON P. KEYES