On Sunday, December 11th, 2022, we gather for a Worship Service in-person at the Chapel (2700 W 14th Street) and via the Zoom platform (online and by phone) at 11:00 A.M.
To join us at the Chapel, buzz Zion Church (Bob Bucklew) from the Directory at the front of the 2700 Building on the campus of San Sofia apartments or enter from the accessible ramp from the rear parking lot. When you arrive, call Bob at 216-375-5323 to open the parking lot gate.
For the online link and phone info to join the worship service via Zoom, please scan down below…
PLEASE NOTE: Because of the rise in COVID cases, we request the wearing of a face mask regardless of vaccination and booster status while in the Chapel common areas.
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT, BEVERLY WURM
Beverly began a part-time position… She will be keeping some limited Office Hours at church/home. The days and hours are:
Monday – 9am – 1pm
Wednesday – 10am – 2pm
Thursday – 9am – 1pm
Beverly can be reached at: [email protected] or by phone at: 216-273-7561 (church) or 216-310-6810 (mobile).
Our new website address is: zionchurchtremont.org.
Check out our website and Facebook page for updates and news!
The bulletin is attached. You may use it to follow along with us in the worship service or as a Devotional this week.
The Season of Advent
Advent is…the first season of the church year, beginning with the fourth Sunday before Christmas and continuing through the day before Christmas. The name is derived from a Latin word for “coming.”
The season is a time of watchful preparation and expectation for the coming of Jesus in three ways: a celebration of Jesus’ birth at Christmas, watchful expectation and preparation for Christ’s coming into our lives and world today, and for the final coming of Christ “in power and glory.”
Gaudete Sunday (/ɡaʊˈdɛtɛ/ gow-DET-eh) is the third Sunday of Advent in the liturgical calendar of Western Christianity, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, Lutheran Churches, and other mainline Protestant churches such as the United Church of Christ. It can fall on any date from 11 December to 17 December. The term is derived from the Latin opening words of the introit antiphon (a verse from a hymn, psalm, or anthem that is sung as the ministers enter to begin the eucharist – appropriate to the liturgical season or occasion), “Rejoice (Gaudete) in the Lord always.” The theme of the day expresses the joy of anticipation at the approach of the Christmas celebration and joyful anticipation of the Lord’s coming. In the early tradition of Advent, the season was forty days, mirroring Lent, and a period of fasting. Gaudete Sunday was a day to break the fasting and celebrate, for Christmas is drawing near. This theme reflects a lightening of the tone of the traditional Advent observance – which in earlier centuries was penitential (sorrowful, contrite, repentant). It was appropriate for the clergy to wear rose-colored vestments on this day instead of the deeper violet vestments that were traditionally used in Advent. This Sunday was also known as “Rose Sunday.” This custom is not required in the United Church of Christ, but it is observed by some congregations including Zion Church. This custom is reflected by the practice of including a pink or rose-colored candle among the four candles of an Advent wreath.
Advent Wreath Candle-lighting
To help proclaim that God’s new world is at hand, we are sharing four candle lighting litanies for personal, family-based, or congregational use during the holy season of Advent. The Candle-lighting liturgy for the Advent wreath ties into the worship theme, “Stand as a Signal.”
Isaiah is our anchor text for this Advent worship series. But Psalms gives us the mood, theme, or even soul. “How I rejoiced when they said to me, ‘Let us go to “stand as a signal.”
Feel free to use these litanies in whatever ways you see fit this Advent — proclaiming all the while Stand as a Signal.
Advent Sundays with Zion Church
- Sunday, November 27th, 11:00am – First Sunday of Advent
- Sunday, December 4th, 11:00am – Second Sunday of Advent – Holy Communion
- Sunday, December 11th, 11:00 am – Third Sunday of Advent/Gaudete Sunday/Rose Sunday
- Sunday, December 18th, 11:00am – Fourth Sunday of Advent
- Saturday, December 24th, 6:30pm – Christmas Eve
- Sunday, December 25th, 11:00am – Christmas Day
OUR ADVENT DEVOTIONAL – E.E. CUMMINGS AND THE JOYFUL POETRY OF ADVENT
The word “Advent” means “arrival” or “coming.” It’s a four-week season of waiting and preparing for Jesus to be born, watching and listening for God coming into the world even now. For God is love, and love, as E.E. Cummings put it, “is the voice under all silences.”
Poetry can help tune our ears and eyes so we can listen, and watch, and wait. Poems can push us to think new thoughts and feel new feelings, to hear new songs we might otherwise miss. In this Advent devotional, we let scripture and Cumming’s poetry be our guides, together pointing us to-ward weekly practices that can deepen and enrich our senses of the season – a perfect way to pre-pare for the rejoicing of Christmas day.
Copies of the Advent Devotional along with a Supplementary Booklet of the Poems and Artwork of E.E. Cummings – and a set of four Advent candles – are available through Zion Church – a gift for you from Pastor Scott and Bob Bucklew.
The Scripture Readings are:
The readings from the Hebrew Scriptures continue to follow the book of Isaiah in this Advent season. The prophet turns to hope of return from exile in these verses in chapter 35. Before the “voice cries out in the wilderness” in 40:3, the prophet notes the wilderness and desert rejoice and blossom because of the glory of God. The prophet encourages the people to have courage because God is coming to deliver them, to lead them out of exile to home. Isaiah uses images of people with physical disabilities, including those who are blind, deaf, mute, or paralyzed, to symbolize spiritual limitations. In the time of Isaiah, people with disabilities were often excluded from the greater community, unable or not allowed to participate. The prophet uses these images to show that the limitations have been removed from the people. As twenty-first century readers, we need to focus on the liberation from the limitations of societal participation, for that was the image Isaiah was invoking, not a miraculous curing. All will be called to God’s Holy Way. Those who are unclean—those who will not keep God’s ways—will fall away, but all others will follow God’s holy way into liberation.
Response – Luke 1:46-55
An alternative to the psalm is Mary’s Magnificat in these verses of Luke 1. Mary, echoing the Song of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2, responds to God working in her life and sings of God doing wonderful, mighty things for all the people. God’s justice flips over the tables, fills those who are hungry and sends those who are rich away empty. God’s justice brings down those who are powerful and lifts up those who are lowly. For those who are in places of privilege and have all the resources they need, this will not be good news, but for those who are oppressed and marginalized, God has come to help them. This is in accordance with the promises God made to their ancestors and to the people forever.
The text in James 5 encourages the believers to be courageous and be patient, for the day of the Lord is near. James warns the believers not to grumble against one another, because God takes notice of everything. Earlier in the letter, James warned against judgment because God is the ultimate judge, and God is drawing near, so James repeats this warning. This reading concludes with James reminding the faithful of the endurance and suffering of the prophets before them.
John the Baptizer wonders if Jesus is the one to come, or if they were supposed to wait for another in these verses of Matthew 11. John, who was in prison at the time, sent word through his own disciples to Jesus questioning if he was the Messiah. Jesus’s response to the messenger was simply to tell John what he witnessed: those who are disabled are included and have good news, those who are dead are raised, and those who are sick are healed. In Jesus’s day, disabled people could not work, they could only beg. Good news was brought to those who had been left out, as they would not be left out of God’s reign. Perhaps John and others were still expecting a Messiah who would bring about a worldly kingdom, wearing the robes of kings or perhaps the powerful voice of a prophet commanding leaders, but Jesus was at work among the poorest, most vulnerable people. John the Baptizer may have been the greatest prophet to be born, but the least in the kingdom of heaven would be greater than he—John could not envision a kingdom not of this world.
The Sermon/Reflection is “Turning Despair Into Joy” by the Rev. Scott Rosenstein, based on the reading of Matthew 11:2-11.
Our Worship Service is also available through the Zoom platform on Sunday, December 11th, 2022, at 11:00 A.M. (Eastern Time).
To join with a PC, Laptop, or Smart Phone (iphone or android), use the link below:
or enter into your browser:
To join with a regular phone or landline phone, dial:
Then follow the prompts and enter:
Meeting ID: 825 9810 6998 #
Passcode: 204984 #
If asked for a Personal ID, just dial #
Please join us this Third Sunday of Advent/Gaudete Sunday/Rose Sunday to give thanks to God either in-person at the Chapel or via Zoom!
216-273-7561 – church (new phone number)
216.577.1514 – mobile
Bulletin Cover Image:
Advent 3 Candle Drawing, Stushie Art.
Church bulletin covers and other art by artist Stushie. Unique crayon and digital worship
A Scottish pastor, mistering in East Tennessee