Off to a Great Star(t)

Like one star pointing to another, AJ Baratta gives a great lead in to Dr. Jonathan Sloan’s message about focusing on a single word as a way to increase our growth as we keep shining brighter to illuminate the One we truly follow. Based on Matthew 2:1-12

The Service for the Lord’s Day   January 6, 2019   

Epiphany of the Lord



Prelude                                       Partita on “American Carol”                                          J Spong


News of the Church

Please complete the card found in your bulletin to place in the collection plate during Offertory.


*The Greeting and Welcoming of One Another

(There are no strangers in God’s House, just friends we have not yet met.

Greet your neighbor in Christian love and let them know that you’re glad to see them!)


*Praise Hymn                                  “Holy Spirit, Come”


*Call to Worship (Responsive)

Leader:            We gather this morning to seek the Lord;

People:           we follow the light promised by God!

Leader:            For some the journey has lasted a lifetime, for others it has just begun;

People:           still we continue to follow the light which promises all a new beginning.

Leader:            As travelers in life, we strike out in faith: watching and waiting for direction.

We hope that even when we find what we are looking for, it isn’t the end, but rather a remarkable start.

All:                  Let us worship God!


*Hymn                                        “In Your Presence Praise”


*Prayer of Confession (Unison)

Dear Lord, we are all on a quest, looking for truth and love; but often lose our way.  We attempt to follow those we think know the way but are often led astray.  Sometimes the journey seems so long that we find ourselves taking the shorter route, only to discover that it is a rough road.  Help us to look for the signs You have provided; to keep our eyes fixed on You; and to stay the course, no matter how difficult the terrain, for it is only through You that we will find paradise…(Silent time of prayer)


*Assurance of Pardon

Leader:            Jesus was born to give us a fresh start.  His birth foretold an amazing story that the wise seek to discover; and for those who find Him and His forgiveness, the story never ends.

All:                  Thanks be to God!


* The Gloria Patri – Hymn Tune, 581

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.



Children’s Message                                                                                                     AJ Baratta

After the Children’s Message, preschoolers through 1st Graders may continue to Millard Hall for Children’s Church.  All other students are asked to remain in worship.


Message                “Off to a Great Star(t)”                Dr. Jonathan Sloan

Matthew 2:1-12

The Visit of the Wise Men
1 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.


*Hymn #151                                                                             “We Three Kings of Orient Are”                                                                         



*The Apostles’ Creed

            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


Pastoral Prayer



Offertory Anthem                       “Speak, O Lord”               Getty & Townend arr. J Ferguson

Chancel Choir


*Doxology (The Hymnal, #606)


Prayer of Dedication



“Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Ps. 34:8

All who put their trust in Christ as Savior and Lord, whether from this church or another Christian fellowship, are invited and encouraged to share in the Lord’s Supper.  The individually wrapped wafers are Gluten Free so that even those with gluten sensitivities may partake in communion.


The Invitation to the Lord’s Table

The Words of Institution




The Sharing of the Bread and the Cup

Bread (You may partake of the bread when you receive it for

your personal communion with Christ.)

Cup   (Please hold the cup until all have been served that we

may commune together showing our oneness in Christ.)


The Prayer of Thanksgiving (Unison)

Eternal God, thank you for coming to us in Jesus Christ. Renew in us faith and hope that we may welcome Christ to rule our thoughts and claim our love, as Lord of lords and King of kings through Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray: 

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.



*Hymn #150                                                                              “As with Gladness Men of Old”




Postlude                                Festival Prelude on “Llansannan”                                      G Martin



*Please stand, in body or in spirit