Tower Weekly

Lovely Lane

Tower Weekly
January 31, 2023

Sunday, December 31, 2023


DECEMBER 31, 2023
11:00 A.M.

† Stand as you are able

Organ Prelude

Welcome and Announcements John Strawbridge, Lay Leader

Choral Introit “ O Hearken Ye ” Burt

O hearken ye who long for love

And turn your hearts to God above.

Gloria, Gloria in excelsis Deo.

The angel’s song the wonder tells;

Now Love Incarnate with us dwells!

Gloria, Gloria in excelsis Deo.

† Call to Worship

We have embraced the arrival of the Christ child and proclaimed the glorious salvation of God dwelling among us. Yet, our hearts continue to wait.

We labor and observe, striving for God’s Kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.

As we stand on the threshold of a new year, grateful for God’s guidance through the past and eager for what lies ahead, we remain vigilant.

We toil and watch for God’s Kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.

With the wisdom passed down through generations, akin to Simeon and Anna, we’ve learned to listen, observe, and discern the divine love that permeates our world.

We labor and watch for God’s Kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.

Let us gather in worship, acknowledging the enduring love of God that spans across generations, leading us from one year to the next.

Let us worship as we live in anticipation of God’s Kingdom on earth, mirroring the heavens above.

† Opening Hymn “Angels We Have Heard on High” UMH 238

Old Testament Lesson Isaiah 61:10-62:3 NRSV

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.

The word of God, for the people of God. Thanks be to God!

A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition

I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low for thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed, God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it. And the covenant with I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.

Passing of the Peace

Sharing Joys and Concerns

Pastoral Prayer

Lord’s Prayer

Choral Response “Cares Chorus”

I cast all my cares upon You.

I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet.

And anytime that I don’t know what to do.

I will lay all my cares upon You.

New Testament Lesson Galatians 4:4-7 NRSV

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.

The word of God, for the people of God. Thanks be to God!

Sermon “Redeemed and Adopted” Rev. Levon D. Sutton, Pastor

Invitation to Offering

Offertory “New Year’s Carol” Britten

Here we bring new water from the well so clear

For to worship God with this happy new year.

Sing Levy-dew, sing levy-dew, the water and the wine

The seven bright gold wires and the bugles that do shine.

Sing reign of Fair maid with the gold upon her toe;

Open you the west door, and let the old year go.

Sing reign of Fair maid with the gold upon her chin;

Open you the east door, and let the new year in.

Offering Prayer

O God, source of hope and boundless joy, our humble offerings pale in comparison to the depth of blessings bestowed upon us in this season. In our woundedness, we find healing and wholeness; amidst despair, we discover a glimmer of hope; within turmoil, we are granted peace; and despite our rebellion, forgiveness abounds. In the darkness, you’ve illuminated our path with light, and in moments of discouragement, you’ve planted seeds of hope within us. Grant us the grace to fully embrace your extravagant generosity as we, in turn, extend ourselves to others. May we mirror your boundless love and compassion in our actions and dealings with those around us. In the sacred name of our Savior, we offer this prayer. Amen.

† Closing Hymn “Go, Tell It on the Mountain” UMH 251

† Benediction

May the grace that redeemed us, the love that adopted us, and the peace that transcends all understanding be with us as we go forth. Go in the assurance of your identity as beloved children of God. Amen.

† Choral Benediction “New Year Blessing” Rogers

May love and laughter light your days,

And warm your heart and home;

May good and faithful friends be yours

Wherever you may roam.

May peace and plenty bless your world

And health that long endures,

And my every day of this New Year

Bring joy to you and yours.

Ringing the Bicentennial Bell

Organ Postlude

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2200 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21218


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