Worship for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Connect to Zoom on your computer and keep this open on your phone to join in the service.


Prepare your space with candles, a lighter or matches, bread and wine.
Begin with your Advent candles unlit.

Advent Litany

My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
God has looked with favor on the lowly ones.

God has done great things for me. Holy is God’s name.
God has looked with favor on the lowly ones.

God has kept God’s promise forever.
God has looked with favor on the lowly ones.

Gathering Song – ELW 247 – “Come Now, O Prince of Peace”

Light four candles while singing.


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And also with you.

Prayer of the Day

Let us pray,

A period of silence for individual prayer.

Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. With your abundant grace and might, free us from the sin that would obstruct your mercy, that willingly we may bear your redeeming love to all the world, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


First Reading – 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

A reading from 2 Samuel.

1Now when David the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” 3Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.”
4But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: 5Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 6I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. 7Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” 8Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; 9and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. 16Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.

Psalm – Luke 1:46b-55

Refrain – Sung twice at the beginning and once at the

You, Lord, have lifted up the lowly.

46bMy soul proclaims the greatness | of the Lord,
47my spirit rejoices in | God my Savior,
48for you, Lord, have looked with favor on your | lowly servant.
  From this day all generations will | call me blessed:
49you, the Almighty, have done great | things for me
  and holy | is your name.
50You have mercy on | those who fear you,
  from generation to | generation. ℟
51You have shown strength | with your arm
  and scattered the proud in | their conceit,
52casting down the mighty | from their thrones
  and lifting | up the lowly.
53You have filled the hungry | with good things
  and sent the rich | away empty.
54You have come to the aid of your | servant Israel,
  to remember the prom- | ise of mercy,
55the promise made | to our forbears,
  to Abraham and his chil- | dren forever. ℟

Second Reading – Romans 16:25-27

25Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—27to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever! Amen.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation

All say this together to welcome the gospel.

Alleluia, Alleluia.
We prepare for you, O Lord
Your words give us hope for life with you.

Gospel – Luke 1:26-38

The holy gospel according to John.
Glory to you, O Lord.

26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin woman engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And the angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29But she was much perplexed by the angel’s words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his dominion there will be no end.” 34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.


Hymn of the Day – ELW 574- Here I Am Lord

Prayers of Intercession

Please unmute your Zoom so that we all hear the responses.

God of power and might, fulfill your promise and come quickly to this weary world. Hear our prayers for everyone in need.

Prayers are offered for the church, the world, and all in need.
Each petition concludes:

Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

After all petitions:

Draw near to us, O God, and receive our prayers for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.




Offertory – ELW 487, vs. 1 – “What Feast of Love”

Offering Prayer

God of abundance, we bring before you the precious fruits of your creation, and with them our very lives. Teach us patience and hope as we care for all those in need until the coming of your Son, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

The Great Thanksgiving

Please unmute your Zoom so that we all hear the responses.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy,
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God,
through our Savior Jesus Christ.

You comforted your people with the promise of the Redeemer,
through whom you will also make all things new
in the day when he comes to judge the world in righteousness.

And so, with all the choirs of angels,
with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven,
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Holy One, the beginning and the end, the giver of life:
Blessed are you for the birth of creation.
Blessed are you in the darkness and in the light.
Blessed are you for your promise to your people.
Blessed are you in the prophets’ hopes and dreams.
Blessed are you for Mary’s openness to your will.
Blessed are you for your Son Jesus,
the Word made flesh.

In the night in which he was betrayed,
our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;
broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.
Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,
and gave it for all to drink, saying:
This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.
Do this for the remembrance of me.

Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

With this bread and cup
we remember your Word dwelling among us,
full of grace and truth.
We remember our new birth in his death and resurrection.
We look with hope for his coming.

Come, Lord Jesus.

Holy God, we long for your Spirit.
Come among us.
Bless this meal.
May your Word take flesh in us.
Awaken your people.
Fill us with your light.
Bring the gift of peace on earth.

Come, Holy Spirit.

All praise and glory are yours,
Holy One of Israel,
Word of God incarnate,
Power of the Most High,
one God, now and forever.


Lord’s Prayer

Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.

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 and ever. Amen.

Invitation to the Table

These are indeed the gifts of God, for you, the very much beloved people of God. Taste and see that God is good.

Communion Distribution.

If you are alone in worship, the pastor will distribute to you momentarily.

If you are gathered with multiple people, please distribute communion to one another with these words:

The body of Christ given for you.
The blood of Christ shed for you.

Post-Communion Prayer

God for whom we wait, in this meal you give us a foretaste of that day when the hungry will be fed with good things. Send us forth to make known your deeds and to proclaim the greatness of your name, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.


Sending of Communion

Gracious God, as we gather as one body this day and feast at your table, our assembly is incomplete for there are many unable to join us today. We long for the day when we are reunited as one body around a common table and we pray that you extend our gathering into homes and campsites, yards and porches, and strengthen all who hear your Word and feast at your table with the abiding presence of your son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen


The Creator of the stars bless your Advent waiting,
the long-expected Savior fill you with love,
the unexpected Spirit guide your journey,
now and forever.


Sending Song – ELW 267 – “Joy to the World”

The presentation of this hymn is a collaboration of singers from 5 congregations of the Buffalo Valley Conference of the Upper Susquehanna Synod of the ELCA.


Go in peace. Prepare the way of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Stay right here for Coffee Hour.

Liturgy, except the Gospel Acclamation and Advent Litany, Evangelical Lutheran Worship and Sundays and Seasons © Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission under Augsburg Fortress Annual Liturgies License SBT002156. Gospel Acclamation is © Disrupt Worship Project. Used by permission. Advent Litany by Lowell Chilton. Music is used by permission under OneLicense.net # A-715196.

October 18, 2020 – Harvest Home Sunday

Worship for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, Harvest Home Sunday, October 18, 2020, at Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church in New Berlin, PA.

We gather for worship, with Holy Communion in the park by the old elementary school. As you worship from home, you are invited to prepare a table and join us at the table remotely.

We’d love to learn more about you and connect with you through our “Count me in!” form: http://newberlinlutherans.com/countmein

Can’t join us live (online or in-person)? We extend our table to yours with this liturgy: https://newberlinlutherans.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Liturgy-of-Holy-Communion-in-the-Home.pdf

Give to Messiah: http://newberlinlutherans.com/give.
Give to the ELCA COVID-19 Response Fund: https://community.elca.org/advanced-donation-form/covid-19-response-fund
Give to the Upper Susquehanna Synod COVID-19 Grants: https://www.uss-elca.org/give/ and specify “COVID-19 Grants” in the notes.

Copyright licenses provided by Augsburg Fortress Annual Liturgies License SBT002156 and OneLicense.net A-715196.

Bonfire Vespers – October 10, 2020

Bonfire Vespers – October 10, 2020

Come join us for an evening of contemplative worship at the home of Gaye and Linn Wetzel, 101 Hummel Rd, just west of New Berlin.

Drawing inspiration from the worship community of Taizé, we will encounter the mystery of God’s presence in reflective song, in holy silence, and in prayer. Worship in this style tends to have short pieces of music that are repeated for a very long time. Through this repetition, we begin to let go of that which pulls us away from God and to encounter the divine dwelling in our midst. One example of this style of worship is below. Many of you may also recall the style of music and worship of Prayer Around the Cross from Lenten services in the past, which is similar to this style of worship.

We hope you’ll join us on Saturday, October 10, at 6:30 pm for this special Fall Harvest Home Vespers Service, with a central theme of rejoicing in God always.

Some Details

  • Service is at 101 Hummel Rd, the home of Gaye and Linn Wetzel
  • We will have some cider and some snacks.
  • We follow outdoor dining procedures – please wear a face-covering as you come in and as you move about, you may drop it when seated at least 6 feet apart from persons not in your pod.
  • Please bring a chair and a flash light (to see your way back to your car)
  • Park in the field by the mailbox and walk a little way up the hill to the fire ring.

Service of Holy Communion, August 23, 2020

Worship for the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost at Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church in New Berlin, PA.

Give to Messiah: http://newberlinlutherans.com/give.
Give to the ELCA COVID-19 Response Fund: https://community.elca.org/advanced-donation-form/covid-19-response-fund
Give to the Upper Susquehanna Synod COVID-19 Grants: https://www.uss-elca.org/give/ and specify “COVID-19 Grants” in the notes.

Copyright licenses provided by Augsburg Fortress Annual Liturgies License SBT002156 and OneLicense.net A-715196.

Evening Prayer for May 27, 2020

Evening Prayer for May 27, 2020 with Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church and Emmanuel United Church of Christ, both of New Berlin Pennsylvania. Music from Audrey Bingaman and Donna Sauers and Messiah’s Virtual Quartet (Tom Milbrand, Deb Wetzel, Gaye Wetzel, Nate Williard, Kate Williard).

Copyright licenses provided by Augsburg Fortress Annual Liturgies License SBT002156 and OneLicense.net A-715196

Virtual Choir for Pentecost 2020

To celebrate the birthday of the church, we are trying another virtual choir! This time singing “God of Tempest, God of Whirlwind.”

Steps for recording:

  1. Download the music and accompaniment below.
    If needed, also download the rehearsal track for your part.
    1. Full Accompaniment – Use this when you record your audio.
      This has a brief intro and an interlude between the 3rd and 4th verses.
    2. Music
    3. Rehearsal tracks. These are only one verse long so you can hear your part.
      1. Soprano
      2. Alto
      3. Tenor
      4. Bass
  2. Have headphones or earbuds available for doing the recording. – this is really important.
  3. Find somewhere quiet, especially important is to not have TV or radio noise.
  4. Find a way to play the accompaniment through your headphones/earbuds while you are also recording. Some examples, have your partner record on their phone while you listen on yours or use a computer that can play the audio and record your video at the same time.
  5. Record yourself singing all verses while listening to the full accompaniment recording. This ensures that you are singing in the same tempo as the accompaniment, and as everyone else is singing.
    1. Say aloud “3, 4” when you hear “1,2,3,4” on the accompaniment recording.
    2. Be sure that the playback of the accompaniment is going through the earbuds/headphones.
    3. If you and a family member often sing together, please record separately if you can to make the final audio mix easier to do.
  6. Name the recording GodOfTempest.Jane.Doe.Soprano, replacing Jane.Doe with your name and Soprano with your part.
  7. Submit the file with your recording: http://bit.ly/MELCWorshipDropbox

Deadline – 9 am, Tuesday May 26, 2020

Holy Week @ Home

This year we are unable to gather in person as God’s people for Holy Week. Just because we are apart from our beloved community physically does not mean that these days are not happening. God’s action in our world as Jesus Christ—dining with us, dying with us and for us, and rising to new life—are just as real now as they ever were. When we gather again in person, we will celebrate the Paschal Triduum in a way that is more like that to which we are accustomed, but while we are apart, I invite you to celebrate these days at home with your family. I invite you to lament the separation, to feel the loss, and to rejoice in the resurrection. The resurrection is not just for Easter and not just when we feel like it. Resurrection is for every day, and especially for when we don’t feel like it.

Maundy Thursday – April 9

You are invited into an Agape Meal, a meal of love, at home with your family. Prepare a simple meal, including bread and wine [or other festive beverage], and gather as a family to worship over dinner this evening. The worship guide has specific prayers and readings to say during this meal. If you live alone or in a couple, consider joining with others through a telephone or video chat. We will share a video later in the week with a few hymns to accompany this meal gathering.

Good Friday – April 10

We worship with the Stations of the Cross, an ancient pattern of following the way of Jesus through Jerusalem to Golgotha and to the Tomb. You are invited to worship with the stations in your home and online throughout the day.

Holy Saturday – April 11

At dusk, set a candle and a bowl of water on your table and shout for joy at the risen Christ whose light overcomes the darkness and join in a simplified variation of the Easter Vigil.

Easter – April 12

Give thanks for the risen Lord in the dawning of the new day. Shout Alleluia, sing for joy, and marvel at the Christ who was and is and will be again. Christ is risen indeed.