OOS 12-18-22

OOS 12-18-22

Centering in Solstice: An Intergenerational Worship Service

Led by Rev. Eric Cherry

As the winter solstice approaches let’s embrace an invitation to pause in the midst of the hectic rush and give the gift of rest, joy, and peace to ourselves and our congregation. The service this morning will be participatory and include ritual elements for remembering universal lessons from the cycles of the seasons and the richness of winter holiday traditions.  Be sure to be with us.  

Soul Matters Theme: Wonder

Thank you to our Worship Volunteers: Our Worship Partner: Renee Bucklin; our Ushers and Coffee Angels: Jan and John Searles.

Welcome and Announcements

Chalice Lighting by Rev. Joan Javier Duval

Prelude: The Winter House by L.Orsa

Opening Words

(1) Ringing of the Chimes

Opening Song:  Jingle Bells

Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go
Laughing all the way

Bells on bobtails ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight


Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh, hey

Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh

*Unison Affirmation
Love is the spirit of this church
And service our mission
This is our great covenant
To dwell together in peace
To seek the truth in love
And to help one another

Joys and Sorrows

Piano Interlude:  The Light of Winter by P. Duffy

Prayer: Giving of Gifts as Symbols
(2) placing of a yule log
(3) placing of a Creche
(4) placing of a Menorah

Sung in Response: #221 Light One Candle

1 Light one candle for the Maccabee children with thanks that their light didn’t die. Light one candle for the pain they endured when their right to exist was denied. Light one candle for the terrible sacrifice justice and freedom demand. But light one candle for the wisdom to know when the peacemaker’s time is at hand. 

(Chorus) Don’t let the light go out, it’s lasted for so many years. Don’t let the light go out, let it shine through our love and our tears. 

2 Light one candle for the strength that we need to never become our own foe. Light one candle for those who are suff’ring the pain we learned so long ago. Light one candle for all we believe in, that anger won’t tear us apart. And light one candle to bring us together with peace as the song in our heart. (Chorus) 

3 What is the mem’ry that’s valued so highly we keep it alive in that flame? What’s the commitment to those who have died when we cry out they’ve not died in vain? Have we come this far always believing that justice would somehow prevail? This is the burden and this is the promise and this is why we will not fail. (Chorus) 

Stewardship Testimonial – Amy Crawford

Call for the Offering:  Westminster’s Share the plate for December is Community Music Works. Community Music Works Mission is to create a cohesive urban community through music education and performance that transforms the lives of children, families, and musicians. Their model is centered around the teaching, mentoring, program design, and performance activities of our musicians-in-residence, the MusicWorks Collective. Community Works Students live predominantly in Providence’s South Side neighborhoods, receive instruments free of charge, and participate in a variety of activities, including lessons, studio classes, and workshops. CMW was founded on a commitment to social justice. To donate click www.westminsteruu.org/donate.

Offertory:  Jewish Vintage by K. Schoonenbeck

Giving of Gifts as Symbols (continued)
(5) Flowers
(6) Seeds
(7) Pine Cone
(8) Teddy Bear
(9) Evergreen
(10) Bird
(11) Holly
(12) Book
(13) unicorn
(14) angel

A Blessing of Our Gifts

Song:  #402 From You I receive

From you I receive, to you I give, together we share, and from this we live. 

Lighting of Candles Representing Our Common Values
(15) inner circle – candle of hope
(16) inner circle – candle of new awareness
(17) inner circle – candle of faith
(18) inner circle – candle of change
(19) inner circle – candle of truth
(20) inner circle – candle of struggle
(21) inner circle – candle of love
(22) inner circle – candle of growth
(23) inner circle – candle of peace
(24) inner circle – candle of charity
(25) inner circle – candle of spirit

A Blessing For Our Common Values

Song:  #55 Dark of Winter

1 Dark of winter, soft and still, your quiet calm surrounds me. Let my thoughts go where they will; ease my mind profoundly. And then my soul will sing a song, a blessed song of love eternal. Gentle darkness, soft and still, bring your quiet to me. 

2 Darkness, soothe my weary eyes, that I may see more clearly. When my heart with sorrow cries, comfort and caress me. And then my soul may hear a voice, a still, small voice of love eternal. Darkness, when my fears arise, let your peace flow through me. 

Ringing of a Solstice Bell
(26) – RInging of the Bell

Lighting of Candles Representing Human Feelings
(27) outer circle – candle of anger
(28) outer circle – candle of fear
(29) outer circle – candle of joy
(30) outer circle – candle of loneliness
(31) outer circle – candle of contentment
(32) outer circle – candle of excitement
(33) outer circle – candle of grief
(34) outer circle – candle of comfort
(35) outer circle – candle of anxiety
(36) outer circle – candle of desire
(37) outer circle – candle of love
(38) outer circle – candle of the gift of humanity

A Blessing For Our Human Feelings

Final Candles
(39) outer circlecandle of the gift of solstice
(40) outer circleshalom candle

Closing Hymn: #400 Shalom Havayreem

                      Shalom, havayreem! Shalom, havayreem! Shalom, shalom! 

L’hitraot, l’hitraot, shalom, shalom. 

Closing words by Rev. Kendyl Gibbons

Carry the Flame