Sunday Worship Service ~ December 5, 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Happy Second Sunday of Advent!  Sunday morning in-person worship begins at 10 a.m. 

OPENING SONG: “What the World Needs Now” by Jackie DeShannon

CALL TO WORSHIP

The Son of God has come into the world.
HE HAS BROUGHT US HOPE AND LOVE.
Let us hope, so the world may know our hope;
LET US LOVE, SO THAT LOVE MAY ABOUND.

UNISON PRAYER

LORD OF LOVE ~
FILL MY HEART WITH LOVE,
AND LET ME LOVE WITH ALL OF MY HEART.
LET MY THOUGHTS BE YOURS, LET MY WORDS BE YOURS,
LET MY LOVE BE YOURS, LET MY VOICE BE YOURS,
THAT ALL WHO HEAR ME MAY HEAR
YOUR VOICE IN MINE.  AMEN.

WORDS OF ASSURANCE: John 3:16

 God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

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 trespasses,
As we forgive those
Who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom,
And the power,
And the glory forever.
Amen. 

CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER
(Note: Add your own prayers at the beginning or end)

Lord Jesus, help us to be servants of love.  Lead us to those who feel unloved, and teach us to love as you have loved us.  Help us to conquer our feelings of apathy, dislike, aversion and hate and replace them with your divine light.

We ask for swift healing for Suzanne C.’s broken arm; knit her back together and ease her pain.  Bless Baby Will and his parents with continued good news.  We also ask healing for Baby Cecila, who is in the hospital with an aorta that is too small.  Guide her doctors as they make decisions regarding her treatment.  Be with Krista P. as she battles infection, and drive this illness from her system.

Bless those struggling with cancer, especially Liz S., Dannie M., Laura S. and Tracy S.’s brother Paul.  Blanket them with love, support encouragement and healing.

We pray for others in our church family who are going through times of need:  for Pat, Vivian, Jim, Joanna, Sue, Janet, Joan, Karen, Lois, Mary, Kathleen, Lily, Ken, Harriet, Diane, Laurie, Paul and Ruth; for all members of our extended family who are suffering; for this nation and for the world.

We come to you now in silent prayer …

Lord, as you know what is written in our hearts, attend now to our spirits, we pray in your name, Amen.

SUNDAY SERMON (Print Only This Week)

A big thank you to Ed G. for leading the service last week while I was away ~ and to the Sullivans for picking up the tree and the trustees for installing the creche!  I had a great time in Hawai’i, where “Mele Kalikimaka” is the #1 Christmas song and everyone gets a warm holiday greeting because it’s always between 70 and 80 degrees.

As most of you know, I’m not on social media, I don’t own a cellphone, and I don’t check emails while I’m away.  You may be jealous, or ask how I can do this, but for this sermon the point is that I went ten days without hearing any news.

Then I came home and read that there is a new COVID variant and that schoolchildren were killed in another mass shooting.  These are reruns of bad things that shouldn’t be happening.  And the first thought that popped into my mind is that what the world needs now is love, which is also a song (see above).

And then I thought about how much people are looking forward to Christmas, and how some of this year’s Christmas songs are about how we really need Christmas, and that Christmas can’t come too soon, and that we especially need Christmas this year after all we’ve been through.  But now I’m starting to think that we don’t need Christmas.  We don’t need Advent.  We need Christ, who is love incarnate.  And although we want it and long for it and enjoy it, we don’t need a day when we all give each other gifts and have a big meal, but we do need to love and be loved.  And the proof is in all the people who don’t look forward to Christmas because they have dysfunctional families or because they’re alone or because they are poor and can’t afford any gifts.  For such people, it’s not the most wonderful time of the year, but the most depressing.

Christmas doesn’t have to be depressing or stressful or loud.  It gets that way when we put all of our marbles, or money, or cards (whichever metaphor you prefer) on Christmas Day, on the celebration, on the decorations and gifts and gatherings and food.  Because as Paul writes, without love, we are nothing.  Or as the Doobie Brothers sing, “Without love, where would you be right now?”  The answer is “nowhere.”

Without love, we’re not saved.  Without love, we’re not redeemed.  Without love, we have nowhere good to go after we die.  Without love, there’s no point.

But we ARE loved.  We DO have love.  God is constantly beaming an endless supply of love down on us and telling us, “Dude, you are SO LOVED!”  (Can you tell I was just in Hawai’i?”)  The Hawaiian word for love is aloha ~ the same word as hello and goodbye.  Life begins and ends with love.  Before we are born and after we die there is love, and there’s love in-between.

BUT ~ and this is a BIG BUT (don’t giggle) ~ love is not about us being loved and wanting and receiving more love and returning this love to God in an endless cycle, although on paper (or computer) it sounds like exactly what God wants.  God says ~ both directly and through Jesus ~ “if you love me, feed my sheep.  If you love me, show it by loving others.”  John takes it a step further and writes that those who say they love God but don’t love others are liars.  Ouch!

At last count, there were 7.753 billion people on earth, and all of them are worth loving, and most of them are capable of love.  There’s enough love to go around, so when Jackie DeShannon sings that “it’s the only thing that there’s just too little of,” she doesn’t mean that there’s too little love in existence, but that too little of it is shared, because we’re too distracted, or tired, or stingy.  And even though this is a huge problem, increasing the amount of love in the world is a very realistic task.

Since I’m a minister, you would think I’d be good at loving, but some days I’m not; I realize, usually too late, that I’ve said or done something that had no love in it at all.  To me, loving others starts with a good night’s sleep, a cup of coffee, and time ~ in other words, not cramming my schedule full of so many things that any new thing, even a good thing, seems like an interruption.  In the story of Mary and Martha, Mary had time to listen, but Martha did not ~ probably because she was cooking everything at once and lost sight of the fact that she and her sister actually had a good plan for their visitor: one cooks while the other entertains.  She could not love in that moment because she was too stressed.  And in a famous seminary experiment that recreated the story of the Good Samaritan, aspiring ministers walked by an injured person on the road because they were late to class, while others who were not late stopped to help.

Love requires a generous heart.  If you’re not sure whether or not you have a generous heart, try going a day without complaining about anything or anyone.  (It doesn’t count if you don’t talk to anyone that day!)  Then the next day, put love in every sentence you speak or write.  (You don’t have to say the word “love,” just be loving: kind, patient, restrained.)  Drive like you love everyone.  Shop like you love everyone.  Speak like you love everyone.  Focus on the best qualities of others.  Look for a positive side to every story.  If there isn’t one, find a counter-balance.  In doing so, you’ll be imitating Christ as well as John Wesley, who says, “First, do no harm.  Second, do all the good you can to all the people you can in all the ways you can.  Third, stay in love with God.”

The world is definitely hurting right now, yearning for Christmas when what it needs is Christ.  There are two ways to solve this.  First, Christ could be a little more obvious, which I think may be asking a bit too much considering what he’s already done.  Second, we could be Christ to other people.  This Advent, let’s dig deep, not into our wallets but into our hearts, to share the love we already have from God: a light brighter than the sun; a gift that’s more precious than silver, more costly than gold; a blessing that begins to multiply the moment it’s given.  Amen.

OFFERING

 Please use this time to make a donation to our church.  As you write out your checks, please enjoy The Piano Guys’ piano and cello version of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”

OFFERTORY PRAYER

Lord Jesus, we thank you for loving us as we do.  You look deep into our hearts and find something worth dying for.  Help us to use these gifts in the service of your love.  Amen. 

BENEDICTION

 As we go forth, may we be vessels of God’s love, that He may overflow through us to the world around us, and that they may know we are Christians by our love.  Amen.

  Blest Be the Tie That Binds

Thank you to Ed Gross for leading today’s service!  Thank you for worshiping with us.  May you feel the blessing of God this week!

Sunday Worship Service ~ November 28, 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Happy Advent!  Sunday morning in-person worship begins at 10 a.m. 

OPENING SONG:

CALL TO WORSHIP

How shall we prepare this house for the King?

WITH BRANCHES OF CEDAR, THE TREE OF ROYALTY.

How shall we prepare this house for the Christ?

WITH GARLANDS OF PINE AND FIR,

WHOSE LEAVES ARE EVER LIVING AND GREEN.

How shall we prepare this house for the Savior?

WITH WREATHS OF HOLLY AND IVY,

TELLING OF HIS PASSION, DEATH AND RESURRECTION.

How shall we prepare our hearts for the Son of God?

BY HEARING THE WORDS OF THE PROPHETS,

WHO FORETOLD THE SAVING WORK OF GOD.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,

That whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST!

UNISON PRAYER

AS WE AWAIT THE GREAT FESTIVAL OF CHRISTMAS, LET US ADORN OURSELVES WITH JOY.  LET US REJOICE, IN OUR CAROLS AND HYMNS, THAT GOD’S PLAN IS NEARING FRUITION.  LET US CELEBRATE JESUS’ VICTORY OVER SIN AND DEATH.  LET US CHERISH GOD’S PROMISES AND WALK IN HIS LIGHT.  AMEN.

WORDS OF ASSURANCE 

A day, certain and on its way, and we feel it approaching. Slowly first, then in a quickened pace like a promise on its way to being fulfilled.   

THE LORD’S PRAYER

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 trespasses,
As we forgive those
Who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom,
And the power,
And the glory forever.
Amen. 

CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER
(Note: Add your own prayers at the beginning or end)

Lord Jesus, fill up with hope during this Advent season: hope for our daily lives, the hope of salvation, and the hope of your return.  May the entire world be filled with such hope that it turns the course of history.  Shine your light upon troubled lands and into troubled hearts, so that all nations and persons might find your peace.

We continue to pray for baby Will as he recuperates at home.  Bless Will and his parents with continued good news.  Be with Krista P. as she battles infection, and help the doctors to discover the cause and proper treatment.

Bless those struggling with cancer, especially Liz S., Dannie M., Laura S. and Tracy S.’s brother Paul.  Blanket them with love, support encouragement and healing.

We pray for others in our church family who are going through times of need:  for Pat, Vivian, Jim, Joanna, Sue, Janet, Joan, Karen, Lois, Mary, Kathleen, Lily, Ken, Harriet, Diane, Laurie, Paul and Ruth; for all members of our extended family who are suffering; for this nation and for the world.

We come to you now in silent prayer …

Lord, as you know what is written in our hearts, attend now to our spirits, we pray in your name, Amen.

SUNDAY SERMON:  Ed Gross, Lay Servant & Assistant Lay Leader

Hello and welcome to the first Sunday of Advent. Today we light the first candle representing Hope. Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Going a little deeper, it’s a feeling of trust. We have trust in the promises of God; that God will save us from sin. The Israelites were waiting to be released from exile and for the return of their King. What are we hopeful for? We are hopeful for the waiting to end. God has delivered our savior now we wait for his return. We focus on God’s faithfulness. We practice the lighting of candles as a symbol of light winning over darkness. Advent is a time for preparation, we have a few weeks to prepare for the coming of the Lord.

Today I’m sure that everyone is hopeful for an end to the pandemic and return to normalcy. And I agree but we’re hoping to see God’s fulfilling promise that he would send us a savior, forgiveness, and salvation. We’re hoping for a wonderful Christmas season. A great Christmas day. A wondrous epiphany. It wasn’t until 12 days later after the birth of Christ, Jan 6th this year, that we realized that baby Jesus is our savior. Our scripture today from Jeremiah says that God will send a king who will do what is right and just throughout the land.

So, we prepare the way and Hope to see God’s promise. The Three Kings are on their way. The journey is long and there’s lots to do to prepare before they arrive.

Christmas day is coming, 28 days away, we have to prepare. Don’t worry though, it’ll all go well as in Peter says, “leave all your worries with him because he cares for you.” Christmas time is a time of peace. Remember to bring the peace even if things don’t go your way. Isaiah 9 says, “A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Take time to pray, get powered up by the Holy Spirit, He is our source of Peace. Christmas day will come, our savior is born and with him comes gifts, food, football, songs, the tree, the travel, the traditions, friends, family… It’s hard to keep things from getting out of control. Be mindful of the distractions and when they feel overwhelming, sit quietly by the candlelight and reflect.

Take a minute to think of your favorite things about Christmas, your memories, what you look forward to, family arriving, Santa, gifts, love, giving… For me, the smell of pine trees, tradition of Christmas tree chopping, sleeping by the tree as a kid, excitement, special movies, Polar Express, March of the Wooden Soldiers, It’s a Wonderful Life, Yule log. I was filled with excitement impatiently waiting for the frenzy of unwrapping and eating that was to come. Now it’s Christmas Eve service and Silent Night by candlelight. It’s more about the giving now. As soon as Thanksgiving is over, it’s game on for Christmas!

So now we’re at the start of Advent today… We have 4 weeks to prepare for the coming. We’re counting the days; we’re waiting for the arrival of our savior. What comes is forgiveness, salvation, and a new beginning. We have hope and trust while we’re waiting. Now we have to prepare our homes, our hearts and ourselves. In our call to worship we talked about garlands of pine, evergreen trees, wreaths of holly. We add candles, lights, ornaments, stockings, poinsettias, special scents, singing snowmen, etc…

In our hearts, we pray. Read the Bible stories, like Isaiah 9, Luke 2:8 says, “There were shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields taking care of the flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared before them and the glory of the Lord shown over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David’s town your savior was born, Christ the Lord!” In Matthew 1 says, “A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel which means God is with us!”

So now we’re ready to get started. We hope for salvation in the coming days, we know that our savior is on the way and we will greet him with joyous celebration. Amen.

OFFERING

 Please use this time to make a donation to our church.  As you write out your checks, please enjoy this song of the season!

OFFERTORY PRAYER

 Thank you Lord ~ for the promise of new birth and redemption, the love you showed to Mary and Joseph, for entering this world as a child and for showing us how to walk in your light.  Help us to use these gifts to honor your kingdom.  In your name we pray, Amen.

BENEDICTION

 May the Lord fill you with hope this Advent season, brightening your lives with grace and mercy and peace.  May God’s Spirit be upon you now and always.  Amen.

  Blest Be the Tie That Binds

Thank you to Ed Gross for leading today’s service!  Thank you for worshiping with us.  May you feel the blessing of God this week!

Cookie Sale!

Now that Thanksgiving is over, me want to talk to you about cookies.  Me love cookies!  And me would really love it if you were to bake cookies for our church’s Cookie Sale on December 11 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) or help on that day to sell cookies that me can eat (and maybe give away).  Please see Mary Munkenbeck or sign up on the sheet in Fellowship Hall.  Me also invites you to church this Sunday, December 5, for the First Sunday in Advent!

Welcome to the Sayville United Methodist Church!

IMG_3614The Sayville United Methodist Church is a community of faith that celebrates the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Our church welcomes people of all ages and stages of faith.  We offer many Bible studies as well as programs for youth, senior citizens and everyone in between. We are located at 164 Greene Avenue in Sayville, NY, at the intersection of Greene Avenue and Montauk Highway, across from Dunkin Donuts.  Parking is available in the lot across the street on the Greene Avenue side.  The church also has a small lot reserved for our seniors and others who may need assistance.

Main Street entrance.To the left is our annual Clamfest, part of Sayville’s Summerfest. On this day, we get together to raise funds for local and global outreach. To the right is the Main Street view.

You are invited to join us Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. (9:30 from July 1 through Labor Day Weekend).   Our average attendance is 100.  Be sure to pick up a visitor’s packet while you’re here!  Feel free to call us at (631) 589-0624 or email us at umcsayville@optonline.net with any further questions!  May God bless you this day!