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Solidarity Worship for Christmas Institute 2017

Words to Ponder (from “A Liturgy of God's Welcome, Rev. Jay Wallace)

God has shown us what is good, and what then is required of us?
To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.
Jesus Says: Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me and,
Anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.
The Spirit and the bride say, "Come."
Let each one who hears them say, "Come," for all are welcome here.
Black and White, Indian and Hispanic, Middle Eastern and Asian
It matters not to us, whether you are gay or straight, single, married or divorced.
You are welcome here. We want this to be perfectly clear
All people are welcome here. Women, men, and children are welcome here.
No one will be harassed or abused here. You can bring children to worship here,
And even if they cry during the entire service, They are welcome here. All are welcome
here.
Even if others have judged and labeled you as irresponsible and wicked,
You are welcome here. If you are a single parent, struggling to care for your children,
or a parent who has not taken responsibility for your children,
You are welcome here. All are welcome here;
Even gossips, cheats, liars, their families and persons disobedient to parents.
Are welcome here.
Let it be public knowledge that we take seriously God's welcome,
God's invitation, to come, be forgiven, fed and renewed, in and by the waters of life.
Welcome stranger, young, old, rich and poor, ALL ARE WELCOME HERE.
Let the thirsty ones come - anyone who wants to,
let them come and drink the water of life.
Welcome Song “No Matter” (People Stand and Welcome Each Other through the
Song)

No matter who, no matter what


No matter where you are on the journey of life
you’re welcome, welcome in this place
No matter who, no matter what
No matter where you are on the journey of life
accepted, welcomed by God’s grace.

For we are family, meant to be


purposed for eternity, born in love
from above, God’s community.

And in diversity, unity,


harmony for all to see, justice and
equity, God’s community

Together we will sing, worship bring


hands and heart outstretched to all
Jesus praise, hearts ablaze,
listen to God’s call

The God who spoke through Christ


speaks to us; listen to our Savior’s call
Welcome home, welcome in
welcome one and all.

Call to Worship & Invocation (Lighting of Candles in the Advent Wreath)


O Come All Ye Faithful (altered version, Tallessyn Grenfell-Lee, Inclusive Christmas
Carols)

Leader: Christ, our Peace, you came to earth, to introduce a new order, to turn away
from self-righteousness and self-centered ways, and to break divisions, among those who
have been called chosen and for those who have been named as second class and
outcasts in our society.

O come, all ye faithful, joyful, and expectant,


O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem:
Come and behold now! Let us sing with angels!
O come, ye heavy-laden, O come, ye worn and outcast,
O come, and greet the holy, Christ, our Love!

(First Purple Candle is Lighted)


Jesus – Life and Hope of the World, You showed us the way to treat those who have been
called as less important, as co-equals deserving enough of salvation that comes from
You.

True God of true God, Light from Light Eternal;


Lo, Christ! Alive in the outcast ones!
Thy love has touched our broken, hopeless places.
O come, ye heavy-laden, O come, ye worn and outcast,
O come, and greet the holy, Christ, our Love!

(Second Purple Candle is Lighted)


Jesus – Prince of Peace, You came to break the walls of division. You gave new new hope
for those who have persecuted and ill-treated by our society.

See how the shepherds, hast’ning to the cradle,


Bringing their flocks, draw nigh to gaze;
We too will thither bend our joyful footsteps!
O come, ye heavy-laden, O come, ye worn and outcast,
O come, and greet the holy, Christ, our Love!

(Rose/Pink Candle is Lighted)


Jesus – Source of our Joy, warm our hearts to enjoin with our brethren from the LGBTIQ+
who acquired victories in various ways as churches and faith-based organizations
express solidarity with them in their struggle.

Child, for the broken, poor and in the manger,


We would embrace thee with love and awe.
Who would not love thee, loving all so dearly?
O come, ye heavy-laden, O come, ye worn and outcast,
O come, and greet the holy, Christ, our Love!

(Third Purple Candle is Lighted)


Jesus – God’s greatest manifestation of Love to humanity, the way to love is sacrifice and
the way to genuine love is your dying on the cross. Through your suffering, dying and
rising you gifted us salvation for all people regardless of gender, color, race and social
stature.

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (altered version, Tallessyn Grenfell-Lee, Inclusive
Christmas Carols)

Hark! The herald angels sing, hear the heavenly anthems ring:
“Peace on Earth, and mercy mild; all the Earth is reconciled!”
Joyful, all Creation rise, join the anthems of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim: “Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! The herald angels sing: songs of Hope to us they bring!

Christ, by Earth and heav’n adored; Christ, the healing, Holy Word;
Throughout time, behold Love come, offspring of an Earthly womb.
Veiled in flesh, divinity; hail incarnate Deity,
Love is born in us to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel!
Hark! The herald angels sing: songs of Peace to us they bring!

Hail the heav’nly reign of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness!


Light and life to all now bring, ris’n with healing in thy wings!
Now we find the kin-dom come, death and war and hate are done!
Love has come to all the Earth, Love has brought a second birth!
Hark! The herald angels sing: songs of Joy to us they bring!
Opening Prayer (Christ Candle is Lighted)

Leader: Christ our Everlasting Light, we rejoice in your coming. For you are our hope for a
renewed creation, our peace and unifier of souls, cause of our happiness and God’s
greatest gift of love to the outcast and downtrodden.
People: Shine in our hearts so that we may serve You and the people, slowly do away
with our conservative mindset and embrace with full acceptance our brethren whose
lives are as colorful as the rainbow, into our own faith communities and in the society as
a whole. All these we ask in the name of Jesus, the Light of the World. Amen.
Call to Confession (from Rev. Wes Jamison, GLAD - Gay, Lesbian, and Affirming
Disciples) Alliance

Leader: We have denied the presence of God in ourselves and others; we have abused
God’s good creation.
Let us confess our sin.

Prayer of Confession (excerpt from IFI’s Statement “Our Common Humanity, Our
Shared Dignity”)

“We humbly ask for forgiveness for the many times we have shown indifference, and
have made the LGBTIQ+ people feel less human, discriminated against and stigmatized.
We apologize for instances they felt that, through our thoughts, words and deeds, God’s
love is selective.” Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

Ordained Minister: Though we have sinned, there is nothing in all creation that can
separate us from God.
The steadfast love of God endures forever. Through Jesus Christ we are forgiven of all our
sins
and through the Holy Spirit we are reborn and given the courage to accept ourselves and
each other.
Let us live in peace as we strive to follow faithfully in the way of Jesus. Amen.

Hymn of Praise “Angels We Have Heard on High”


(altered version, Verse 2: John Becker, Verse 3: Cynthia A. Douglas)

Angels we have heard on high,


Sweetly singing o'er the plains,
And the mountains in reply,
Echoing their joyous strains.
Gloria in excelsis Deo;
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
It is shepherds, poor and meek,
Chosen first the news to tell.
Give us hearts, O God, to seek
In each face Emmanuel.
Gloria in excelsis Deo;
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Born of God's own love divine,
We will feed the poorest one.
Christ brings peace to humankind.
Loving justice shall be done!
Gloria in excelsis Deo;
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 12: 14 – 16

Message/Reflection

Hymn Response “Away in a Manger” (Carols with Justice)

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head;The
stars in the sky looked down where he lay,The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

To lowliest manger, where animals feed,Comes Jesus, redeemer of all human need.May
we bear the Christ Child to all whom we meetBy living God's justice and washing their
feet.

Teach all the world leaders there's no room for hate.Peace, love, and compassion will
justice create.Let kindness and fairness for all folk prevail.Our care for each other shows
God's love is real.

When children are crying and mothers distressed, Because those in power with greed
are obsessed, We seek to find justice, compassion for them Because of Christ Jesus born
in Bethlehem!

Act of Commitment – Christmas Tree of Acceptance and Commitment to Join the


Struggle

Prayers of the People (A Prayer for Openness. Rev. Pamela June Webb, GLAD
Alliance)

Leader: Blessed God, we give thanks for our many gifts: for the gifts of our race, gender
and sexual orientation, and for the sacraments of relationship and community that grow
from these gifts.
People: Holy God, we rejoice for the healing power of salvation.
Leader: Sanctify our hearts that our lives may glorify and show forth Your power of
salvation.
People: We thank You for healing our ears to hear how racism attempts to silence a
people by consensus.
Open our ears to hear the silence and the language of our own racism.
Leader: God, we give You thanks because You give us the wisdom to discern injustice
and the courage to stand for peace.
People: Give us the strength of a mountain to stand against the ignorance of sexism,
the promotion of racism, and the condemnation and defamation of gay, lesbian,
bisexual, and transgender people.
Leader: Blessed God, thank You for delivering us out of the mire of injustice that pollutes,
disrespects,
and dismisses the needs and concerns of women throughout the world.
People: Holy God, we rejoice because You are healing the blindness of sexism.
Open our eyes to see how we can support women in their struggles.
Leader: Holy Spirit, our teacher, teach us to be aware of when our own freedoms
infringe on the freedoms of others.
People: Blessed God, forgive us for participating in attitudes and behaviors
that cause repression and grief for others. Make us aware and give us the power
to change.
Leader: Holy Spirit of life, thank You for the gift of those who give their hearts of
empathy, who reach out with support and understanding to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and
transgender people, to those healing the injuries of racism, and to those who nurture the
rights of women.
People: Be with us all in our struggles. Amen

Closing Prayer & Benediction

Ordained Minister: Gracious God, you create all things and proclaim them good,
indeed, very good.
We give you thanks for your beautiful, diverse creation, those with whom we share in its
beauty,
and, above all, for your steadfast love embodied in Jesus, the Christ, who reconciles us to
you and to each other.
In gratitude for all your gifts to us we offer you all that we have and all that we are as a
living offering of your love for all through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, and your Holy
Spirit, our strength and courage.
Amen.

As we leave this place, we leave knowing that we are God’s own children.
All that we have and all that we are is a sacred trust from God.
From this moment on, let us live with gratitude for who we are
and commit ourselves to honor each person as a beloved child of God.
May the blessing of the God of ALL:
the One who creates, the One who redeems, and the One who sustains,
go with us and guide us every step of the way.
People: Amen. We thank God for the rainbow of diversity. We will go now to serve GOD!

Closing Hymn “Go Tell it on the Mountain” (altered 2nd verse, Cynthia A. Douglas)

Go tell it on the mountain, Over the hills and everywhere,Go tell it on the
mountain That Jesus Christ is born.
Now I've a message for you. In answer to God's call Be fair and just to each one; The
Lord God made us all.

Liturgy Writer: Klein F. Emperado


Iglesia Filipina Independiente
Diocese of Negros Oriental & Siquijor
Master of Divinity – I
Silliman University Divinity School