We praise you, O God, for this victory wreath that marks our days of preparation for Christ's advent.
As we light the candles on this wreath, strengthen our hearts as we await the Lord's coming in glory.
Enlighten us with your grace, that we may serve our neighbors in need.
Grant this through Christ our Lord, whose coming is certain and whose day draws near.
Prayer of the Day
Stir up the wills of your faithful people, Lord God,
and open our ears to the words of your prophets,
that, anointed by your Spirit, we may testify to your light;
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
First Lesson: A Reading from the Book of Isaiah
Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11
1The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
2to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.
4They shall build up the ancient ruins,
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.
8For I the Lord love justice,
I hate robbery and wrongdoing;
I will faithfully give them their recompense,
and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
9Their descendants shall be known among the nations,
and their offspring among the peoples;
all who see them shall acknowledge
that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed.
10I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11For as the earth brings forth its shoots,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
to spring up before all the nations.
Second Lesson: A Reading from St. Paul's First Epistle to the Thessalonians
1 Thessalonians 5:16–24
17pray without ceasing,
18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19Do not quench the Spirit.
20Do not despise the words of prophets,
21but test everything; hold fast to what is good;
22abstain from every form of evil.
23May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.
Gospel: A Reading from the Gospel of St. Luke
16When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read,
17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
19to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.
20And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.
21Then he began to say to them, Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.
P: The Gospel of the Lord. C: Praise to you, O Christ.
Our partners at Carle BroMenn have asked us to show support for health care workers during this difficult year by writing them cards of thanks and encouragement.
Details on how to write and deliver cards of support were sent out this past week via a special mailing
(check your Spam/Junk mail if you have not been getting email from the church).
Contact the church office if you did not receive the mailing or would like more information.
Poinsettias for Shut-Ins
This year you can buy a poinsettia not to decorate the church, but to brighten the home of one of our own community shut-ins.
You can also designate your gift to recognize someone important in your own life.
Those gifts and commemorations will be listed in the church bulletin posted online for our Christmas Eve services.
Poinsettias are $11 each.
Simply include that amount with your offering mailed to the church with a notation "Poinsettia" and the name(s) of any you want to recognize with your gift.
Poinsettia requests must be received by December 17.
Christmas Cards & Recipes
Remember to get your Christmas card greetings to the church office by December 13.
You can email a document, including pictures if you like, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you only have a paper letter, send it to the church for inclusion,
and we can scan any photos to include in the collective greeting.
Also, get your cookie recipes (one per person, plus an explanation of why it is a favorite)
to Suzanne Kaehlert via email or through the church office.
2021 Offering Envelopes
Offering envelopes for 2021 are here.
If you still do not have yours, stop by the church to pick them up from the bench just inside the door to the administrative alcove.
Envelopes that have not been picked up by December 21 will be mailed.
Charitable Trust Donations
Our recent church conversations look to OSLC's past as a foundation for a God's will-based future.
By designating a donation to the Charitable Trust, we can support that future financially.
The Mission committee is continuing to collect food that will be shared between Safe Harbor and the Midwest Food Bank.
We are collecting the following items: