John 1:1-18

Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

CYCLE OF PRAYER: St. Mark’s, Bridgeport; St. Mark’s, Bridgewater; St. John’s, Bristol; For soup kitchens and food pantries

VIGIL LIGHT: The Vigil Light burns this week in anticipation of the bright hope of the New Year.

NEW YEAR’S EVE: There will be two services: 8:00 am and 10:00 am.

THE GIVING TREE: Thanks to all who contributed to the Giving Tree. The lap blankets have been delivered to Autumn Lake and Nancy Pratt has taken the children’s clothing and toys to the Children’s Connection.

BOOK BUNCH: The next book club meeting is January 16, at 7:30. The book selection is The Whole Town’s Talking by Fanny Flagg. The selection for the February 20, meeting is Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf. Please contact Debbie Ross at DRoss56@aol.com for more details.

BACKPACK CLUBS: You too may join the CT Food Bank in its regular support of Backpack Clubs in the Norwalk Public Schools. Barbara Felter as the point person. Barbara wants everyone to know how much Wolfpit School appreciates your generosity. Most of the items you have donated provide breakfast for needy children. Items may be left in the basket near the pulpit.

Items needed:
Juice Boxes
Milk Boxes (same style, like Parmalat, etc.)
Single Serve Cereals
Fruit Snacks
Fruit Cups
Instant Oatmeal Packets (not cardboard cans)
Granola Bars
Chef Boyardee Ravioli Cups w/pull tops
Macaroni and Cheese Cups w/pull tops
Single Serve Chips/Popcorn

AUTUMN LAKE: The Christ Church Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long at Autumn Lake on December 27, was greatly appreciated by the 25 residents who participated. Thank you Ryan and Daniel Helwig! The residents really enjoyed seeing the young people participate in the service.

A BIG THANK YOU to Mother Laura Queen who has graciously filled in as our supply priest several times over the past few months. This Sunday, December 31 will be her last scheduled Sunday for a while. Please make plans to join us Sunday morning as we say “see you soon”. We will welcome our new supply priest on January 7, Fr. Joe Parish, who will be with until we find our permanent Missional Priest.

CHRIST CHURCH LADIES’ BRUNCH – JANUARY 7, 2018: There will be a brunch for all the women of the church at Shorehaven Country Club immediately after the 10:00 AM church service. The cost is $15.00 per person. Please reserve a spot with Bunny Zamm, (203) 853-3004. Make checks payable to Christ Church.

THIS WEEK AT WORSHIP:
Organist: Betty Belcher
Altar Guild: Ruth and Lou Lovallo
Usher: Ed Zamm
Lector: George Helwig
Intercessor: Ginny Deering
Presider: The Reverend Laura Queen

Old Testament Reading
Isaiah 61:10-62:3
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its shoots,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
to spring up before all the nations.
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
until her vindication shines out like the dawn,
and her salvation like a burning torch.
The nations shall see your vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will give.
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

Psalm 147
Laudate Dominum

[1 Hallelujah!
How good it is to sing praises to our God! *
how pleasant it is to honor him with praise!
2 The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem; *
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted *
and binds up their wounds.
4 He counts the number of the stars *
and calls them all by their names.
5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power; *
there is no limit to his wisdom.
6 The Lord lifts up the lowly, *
but casts the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; *
make music to our God upon the harp.
8 He covers the heavens with clouds *
and prepares rain for the earth;
9 He makes grass to grow upon the mountains *
and green plants to serve mankind.
10 He provides food for flocks and herds *
and for the young ravens when they cry.
11 He is not impressed by the might of a horse; *
he has no pleasure in the strength of a man;
12 But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him, *
in those who await his gracious favor.]
13 Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem; *
praise your God, O Zion;
14 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; *
he has blessed your children within you.
15 He has established peace on your borders; *
he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
16 He sends out his command to the earth, *
and his word runs very swiftly.
17 He gives snow like wool; *
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
18 He scatters his hail like bread crumbs; *
who can stand against his cold?
19 He sends forth his word and melts them; *
he blows with his wind, and the waters flow.
20 He declares his word to Jacob, *
his statutes and his judgments to Israel.
21 He has not done so to any other nation; *
to them he has not revealed his judgments.
Hallelujah!

The Epistle
Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7

Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

 

Gospel
John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

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Ordinary People, Extraordinary Spirit
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