We gather for a Worship Service on this Sunday, December 10th, 2023, 2nd Sunday of Advent in person at the Chapel (2700 W 14th Street) 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.
The Sunday Bulletin is attached in PDF format. You may use it as a devotional during the week.
Welcome to Adam D. Petrosino, Our New Music Director/Pianist
We are so pleased to welcome Adam, and his partner, Kiel, to our community of faith here at Zion United Church of Christ of Tremont, Cleveland, Ohio. We’re grateful to you sharing your presence, faith, and musical gifts with us.
Adam can be reached by e-mail at: [email protected] and by phone at 234-205-9397.
Zion’s Administrative Assistant, Beverly Wurm
Beverly will be keeping some limited Office Hours at church/home. The days and hours are:
Tuesday – 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).
We Welcome Our Guest Today – The Rev. Michael Howard
Minister of Faith in Action with the Living Water Association of the Heartland Conference (Ohio & northern Kentucky), United Church of Christ
330-940-2220 x 103 | [email protected]
Michael has been serving as the Minister of Faith in Action, since March 2019. From the wooded knobs of Kentucky countryside, Michael is a teacher, community organizer, and prophetic Christian leader. He has taught and served around the world, including Peru, Brazil, India, and Ethiopia; along with Kentucky, Virginia, and New Jersey. In addition to traditional pastoral ministry, Michael has coached and co-founded a number of community organizations, nonprofits, and small businesses. Michael is an ordained minister in the UCC and has an MPA from Morehead State University and an M-Div from Drew Theological Seminary.
Contact Michael for:
- All things related to Community engagement, outreach/mission, prophetic action
- Help with visioning and organizing community engagement ministries
- Prophetic witness and social justice issues
- MissionInsite questions and interpretation
- Wider church connections and issues
- Advocacy and community forums
- Interfaith relationships
Season of Advent and Advent Wreath Candle Lighting
Advent is the season of preparation for Christmas, but it is an active watching and waiting for the arrival of Christ in our world and in our lives in a new way. We read these passages pointing to the day of judgment and Christ’s return to remind us that we are still actively waiting, alert and awake. Because of the Nativity story, that Christ came to us in a completely unexpected way as a newborn child, so in these days we must be ready for Christ to enter our world, our lives, and our hearts in an unexpected way. How do we live faithfully in times when our faith might be tested? When the world isn’t as we hoped it would be? Where can we find signs of God’s faithfulness in our lives, in the world around us?
Advent means “coming into view.” It is a time of longing, watching, and praying for God’s healing, transformative presence to be ever more vibrantly present in the world. In this sense, Advent is a season in which we focus on that key phrase in the Lord’s Prayer, “thy kingdom come.” As Christians, the good news we strive to live by and declare is that love is stronger than hate, peace more enduring than war, hope more powerful than despair — and the light of God’s love will dispel forever the shadows of shame cast by violence, suffering, sorrow, and contempt.
To help proclaim that God’s new world is at hand “coming into view,” we are sharing four candle lighting litanies for personal, family-based, or congregational use during the holy season of Advent. Feel free to use these litanies in whatever ways you see fit this Advent — proclaiming all the while – HOPE, PEACE, JOY, LOVE – AND GOOD NEWS – “coming into view.”.
Advent Sundays with Zion Church
Sunday, December 3rd, 11:00 AM – First Sunday of Advent with Holy Communion
Sunday, December 10th, 11:00 AM – Second Sunday of Advent – with Special Guest, The Rev. Michael Howard, Faith in Action Minister on the staff of the Living Water Association of the Heartland Conference (Ohio & northern Kentucky), United Church of Christ
Sunday, December 17th, 11:00 AM – Third Sunday of Advent
Sunday, December 24th, 6:30 PM – Fourth Sunday of Advent followed by Christmas Eve Service of Carols & Candlelight
For Advent – Prepare: An Advent Devotional
God is coming into our midst. How can we prepare to welcome Jesus into our lives? In the over-commercialized and over-busy Christmas season, it’s easy for Christians to lose focus on the Advent journey. Prepare provides a four-week resource to help us listen to God’s call to faithfulness in Jesus being made flesh in our world. When we hear that call, how do we hope and pray and change and live differently? Daily, five-minute devotions include an Advent scripture verse, a reflection, and a prayer. Bonus Content: Four Advent candle-lighting services, plus one for Christmas Day, provide special liturgies for lighting the candles of Hope, Love, Joy, Peace, and the Christ candle at the center of the Advent wreath and our lives.
By: The Bethany Fellowes, Cara Gilger – CHALICE PRESS / 2019
Copies of the Advent Devotional along with a set of four Advent candles – are available through Zion Church – a gift for you from Pastor Scott and Bob Bucklew.
Intros to Our Scripture Readings this Sunday:
The Revised Common Lectionary readings begin in the Hebrew Scriptures with the calling of the voice out of the wilderness to the people who were in exile. In these verses of Isaiah 40, the people hear words of comfort from God through the prophet sometimes referred to as Second Isaiah. The people have been in exile for over seventy years, and now, with the rise of the Persian empire, the people will be encouraged to return home from Babylon. The people have suffered more than enough—they’ve suffered too much. What God will do in bringing the people out of exile is restoring everything to how God intended—the high brought low, the low brought high, all the rough places smoothed out. God is leveling the playing field and starting over for the people of Israel. Though they will not remain faithful, God’s word is always faithful—forever. The prophet calls upon the people who remained in Jerusalem to shout to the world that God is bringing the people home. God is like a shepherd leading the people, carrying those most vulnerable—the next generation.
Psalm Response: Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
These verses comprise a song of God’s faithfulness even though the people have gone astray. In verses 1-2, the psalmist speaks of how God has forgiven the people and restored them. In 8-13, the psalmist concludes that for those who are faithful, for those who remain in awe, God will bring all good things together. Poetically, the psalmist imagines steadfast love and faithfulness embracing, righteousness and peace greeting each other in a kiss. Faithfulness springs up from the ground while righteousness reaches down from the sky. God draws forth everything together in goodness and leads the people in the way of peace and righteousness.
2 Peter 3:8-15a
The Epistle reading from 2 Peter may be the latest book in the New Testament, coming as late as the middle of the second century (and not written by Peter). Knowing this, we hear the assurance that Christ will return, though God’s time is not our time. Speaking of the day of God as told by the prophets, the writer envisions the day using the image of the thief in the night (Jesus used that as well in Mark 13), the heavens set on fire and dissolved and the elements of earth melted (the erasing of the line between heaven and earth), and the vision of a new heaven and new earth (as in Revelation 21). The writer urges the believers to wait patiently and remember what Paul wrote to them (meaning the receivers of this letter would be familiar with the letters of Paul at this point). This passage reminds us that scripture brings us assurance, that our waiting is not in vain. For the prophets of old who waited for the Messiah, for shepherds who would not lead the people astray, for a return from exile, to the leaders of the early church struggling to survive decades after the ascension of Jesus and the destruction of the temple—waiting for God is an active practice of faith, and we can learn from them.
These verses are the beginning of the Gospel of Mark. Considered the oldest Gospel account we have, Mark begins the gospel with the quote from Isaiah 40 of the “voice of one crying out in the wilderness,” and immediately associates the verse with John. The Good News begins with John the Baptizer in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The Gospel does not start in the city of Bethlehem, the city of David; nor does it start in Jerusalem, the city of kings and the temple, or even in a quaint village in Nazareth. The Gospel starts in the middle of nowhere. And the people from the countryside and from Jerusalem began to go to John and met him at the Jordan. And this wild man who wears camel’s hair and eats locusts with honey tells them that one is coming after him who is more powerful (so John maybe thought he was powerful, just not as powerful as the Messiah?) What a way to begin a story! The one who is coming after John will baptize with the Holy Spirit. This is the beginning of the Good News—it’s out of nowhere, it’s for everyone, and it includes the work of the Holy Spirit.
Sermon/Reflection: “Tidings of Comfort” by the Rev. Michael Howard, Faith in Action Minister, Living Water Association, United Church of Christ
Please join the Zion Church community to give thanks to God this Sunday in-person in the Chapel!
Pastor Scott Rosenstein
216-273-7561 – church
216-577-1514 – mobile
Bulletin Cover Image:
Advent 2 Candle
by Stushie Art
Church bulletin cover Stushie art unique crayon and digital worship art
A Scottish pastor, ministering in East Tennessee