Sunday Morning We invite you to join us for any of the following worship services:

Sundays
10:30 a.m. (September through June)
10:00 a.m. (July and August)
Please see Calendar for communion Sundays.

Reopening for Worship at St. Ansgar
at 10:30 a.m.

In the September newsletter, Church Council announced September 26 as the target
date for reopening for in-person worship services in the church. We are now ready to
proceed with this plan. We know that not everyone in our St. Ansgar church family is
ready to come back to church yet for worship, but we also know there are others who
very much want to come back. As we carefully begin to reopen, we will follow all
requirements of the provincial government and the Middlesex-London Health Unit and
we will be guided by recommended best practices from our Synod Office and a number
of other sources. We will do everything we can to protect the health and safety of
everyone who comes to St. Ansgar as we resume limited in-person worship services
while the pandemic continues.

Even though we are starting on-site worship services again, we will continue to send out
the weekly “Worship Service Outline and Sermon” by email and to post worship videos
on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzOwKVzkMTgGQkaO2OBGNag
and on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/St-Ansgar-Lutheran-Church-London-103790744939849/

Under provincial and local Health Unit regulations, 2-metre physical distancing from
others not living in our household is still required when we gather indoors. In practical
terms, this limits our attendance in a worship service in the sanctuary to about 25
people. Seating will be managed to accomplish this, in the same way as we did last fall
when we were able to have services in the church for a few months.
Elections Canada held Advance Polls at St. Ansgar from Sept. 10 to Sept. 13 and will
also use our building on Sept. 20 for Election Day. There have been some concerns
about so many people, of unknown vaccination status, with perhaps some not wearing
masks, coming into the building. Elections Canada staff were all fully vaccinated and all
wore masks, and they followed numerous health and safety precautions as they
administered the election procedures. Council has hired Enviro-Master Services to
come into the church the day after Election Day to do their Virus Vaporizing service to
disinfect and sanitize. Elections Canada will reimburse us for the cost of this work in all
areas of the building used for the election, and Council has decided to cover the
additional cost for sanitizing in the sanctuary as well.
Here are some of the other things you need to know as we resume our worship
services:

Registration: If you want to attend a service at St. Ansgar, you will need to register in
advance. We need to know how many are coming and who is coming. This will help us
with the seating plan for the service and it is also important for contact tracing if that
should ever become necessary. If you would like to come to the service on a Sunday,
please let us know by email during the previous week, and not later than Friday
morning. The address is st.ansgar@rogers.com and we will send you a reply to confirm
your reservation (or let you know that we have already reached our attendance limit and
invite you to register for the next service).

Full Vaccination: We recently learned that the Bereavement Authority of Ontario has
adopted a policy that all attendees at indoor funeral services (including visitations) at a
funeral home or cemetery after Oct. 12, 2021, must show proof of full vaccination or
written proof of a medical exemption from a doctor or nurse (except for children under
the age of 12 years). The reason for this policy is “to protect your family and funeral
staff.” At our meeting on Sept. 9, Church Council decided that it is prudent and
responsible for us, at this stage of the pandemic, with the dangerous delta variant and
increasing COVID case numbers in the current “fourth wave,” to adopt that requirement
for our worship services in the church. To attend an in-person indoor worship service at
St. Ansgar, starting with the service on Sept. 26, you will need to verify for us that you
are fully vaccinated or provide written proof of a medical exemption from a doctor or
nurse. Children under the age of 12 years are exempt from this requirement. We will all
help to protect each other and ourselves.

Face masks must be worn in the church.

Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance and other locations in the church for
your use.

Washrooms will be available for use, but there may be only one person, or members of
only one family, in a washroom at any given time.

In the service: There will be organ or piano music, but there will be no singing. We will
not be using the pew cushions at this time, but you are welcome to bring your own
cushion and take it home with you after the service. There will be no hymnals in the
pews, but the service will be shown on the screen. We will not have our usual moving
around for sharing the peace. The offering will not be gathered and presented, but there
will be an offering plate at the back of the sanctuary where you can put your offering as
you enter or leave.

Distribution of Communion: The method we used last fall for “no-contact” distribution
of communion in Luther Hall worked well, so we will use it again. The communion
service will proceed in the usual way in the sanctuary until we finish The Lord’s Prayer.
Then, instead of going forward to the front of the sanctuary where Pastor David and the
assisting minister would normally place the communion wafer and the glass of wine or
grape juice in our hands, we will now be ushered into Luther Hall through the side door
beside the projection booth, in suitably distanced single file and wearing our face
masks. The door will be open and hand sanitizer will be available at the door. In Luther
Hall, there will be tables with a communion wafer and a glass of wine (or grape juice as
needed) set out on a napkin at a number of separate places around the tables. As we
move along in the line, we will each pick up a wafer and a glass of wine from one of the
places on a table and then proceed, individually or in family groups, towards the open
door going from Luther Hall to the narthex. Pastor David will be standing near the door,
but at a suitable distance from the line. As we approach the place where he is standing,
we will pause while he says to us, “The body and blood of Christ, given and shed for
you.” We will them move along a few steps to a table where we can set down our glass,
pull down or remove the mask, consume the wafer and the wine, put the empty wine
glass into the container provided, put our mask back on, and return through the narthex
to our seat in the sanctuary for the rest of the service. We learned how to do this last
year and we can do it again.

Still no social time in the church: We will not be able to have our coffee and
fellowship time in Luther Hall after the service as we used to do in the days before
COVID. We will not be able to gather in the narthex to sit or stand and talk to each other
before the service starts or after it ends. Pastor David will not be standing at the back of
the church to greet people and shake hands with people after the service. We will miss
all these things and we look forward to a time when all these activities, that used to be
such an important part of the life of our St. Ansgar church family, will be safe again.
Meanwhile, if weather permits and you want to stand in the parking lot to chat and visit,
please remember to keep your distance and be safe.

During the closures due to COVID-19 please see our services online on Facebook or Youtube:

www.facebook.com/St-Ansgar-Lutheran-Church-London-103790744939849

www.youtube.com/channel/UCzOwKVzkMTgGQkaO2OBGNag

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT, December 5, 2021.

St. Ansgar Lutheran Church, Outline for Worship (with sermon)
Sunday, December 5, 2021 – Second Sunday of Advent
ELW Holy Communion Setting 4

GATHERING

WELCOME & ANNOUNCEMENTS

LIGHTING THE SECOND ADVENT CANDLE
Waiting, Preparation, Joy, Light
Advent is a time of waiting. We light the first candle to remind us that we are
waiting for God to come. We sing the first verse as the first candle is lit.
ADVENT SONG – Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah (ELW # 240)
Light one candle to watch for Messiah:
let the light banish darkness.
He shall bring salvation to Israel,
God fulfills the promise.
Advent is also a time of preparation. We decorate, shop, and bake to get ready
for Christmas. We also prepare ourselves for Jesus to come, by reading his
story, by praying and singing, and by sharing with others.
We light the second candle to remind us to prepare.
We sing the second verse as the second candle is lit.
Light two candles to watch for Messiah:
let the light banish darkness.
He shall feed the flock like a shepherd,
gently lead them homeward.
From Mark 1: The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of
you who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.”
Let us pray: God of peace, we look forward to the time when the earth is full of
your glory, when righteousness is at home, and peace reigns in all the world.
May we prepare for that day by working together for justice and peace.
Amen.

BRIEF ORDER FOR CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
P: Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,
who alone does wonders, who lifts up the lowly,
who fills the hungry with good things.
C: Amen.
P: Let us confess our sin, trusting in the tender mercy of our God.
C: God for whom we wait, in the presence of one another,
we confess our sin before you.
We fail in believing that your good news is for us.
We falter in our call to tend your creation.
We find our sense of self in material wealth.
We fear those different from ourselves.
We forget that we are your children and turn away from your love.
Forgive us, Blessed One, and assure us again of your saving grace.
Amen.
P: God, in Christ Jesus, has looked with favour upon you!
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, ☩ your sins are forgiven.
You are children of the Most High, inheritors of the eternal promise,
and recipients of divine mercy.
God strengthens you anew to follow the way of peace.
C: Amen.

ENTRANCE HYMN – Prepare the Royal Highway (ELW #264)

GREETING
P: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion
of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
C: And also with you

KYRIE
A: In peace, let us pray to the Lord.
C: Lord, have mercy.
A: For the peace from above, and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord.
C: Lord, have mercy.
A: For the peace of the whole world, for the well-being of the Church of God,
and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.
C: Lord, have mercy.
A: For this holy house, and for all who offer here their worship and praise,
let us pray to the Lord.
C: Lord, have mercy.
A: Help, save, comfort, and defend us, gracious Lord.
C: Amen.

PRAYER OF THE DAY
P: Let us pray.
P: Stir up our hearts, Lord God, to prepare the way of your only Son. By his
coming give to all the people of the world knowledge of your salvation; through
Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C: Amen.

WORD

FIRST READING: Malachi 3:1-4
Malachi 3:1-4
1 See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the
Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the
covenant in whom you delight--indeed, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he
appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap; 3 he will sit as
a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and
refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the LORD in
righteousness. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing
to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.
A: The word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

SECOND READING: Luke 1:68-79
Luke 1:68-79
68 "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favourably on his
people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a mighty saviour for us in
the house of his servant David, 70 as he spoke through the mouth of his holy
prophets from of old, 71 that we would be saved from our enemies and from
the hand of all who hate us. 72 Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our
ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, 73 the oath that he swore
to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us 74 that we, being rescued from the hands
of our enemies, might serve him without fear,75 in holiness and righteousness
before him all our days. 76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most
High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, 77 to give knowledge
of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. 78 By the tender
mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, 79 to give light to
those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the
way of peace."
A: The word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

THIRD READING: Philippians 1:3-11
Philippians 1:3-11
3 I thank my God every time I remember you, 4 constantly praying with joy in
every one of my prayers for all of you, 5 because of your sharing in the gospel
from the first day until now. 6 I am confident of this, that the one who began
a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.
7 It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your
heart, for all of you share in God's grace with me, both in my imprisonment and
in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how
I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. 9 And this is my prayer,
that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight
10 to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may
be pure and blameless, 11 having produced the harvest of righteousness that
comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.
A: The word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
C: Alleluia. Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
P: The Holy Gospel according to Luke 3:1-6
C: Glory to you, O Lord.

Luke 3:1-6
1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was
governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of
the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, 2 during the
high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of
Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the region around the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4 as it is written
in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, "The voice of one crying out in
the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5 Every
valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the
crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; 6 and all
flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"
P: The Gospel of the Lord.
C: Praise to you, O Christ.

SERMON
Luke 3:1-6
Let us pray: May the words of my mouth, and the prayers of our hearts,
always be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, our Strength, and our Redeemer.
AMEN
Some of us love history, but even if you do not, you must at least acknowledge
its significance. Winston Churchill wrote, “The farther backward you can look,
the farther forward you are likely to see.” Besides, we want to know where we
have come from and why things have turned out the way they have. We like to
feel that we are playing some part in making history, however small it may be.
We Christians are part of a faith which has respect for history. We read in II
Peter, chapter 1, verse 16, “We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we
made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had
been eyewitnesses to his majesty.” The first-generation Christians were very
conscious of the historical integrity of their faith. They were surrounded by
hundreds of gods and theologies all based on fables and myths. Christianity’s
roots were founded in actual, historical events. Just as the Jewish faith looked to
its deliverance from Egypt, the first Christians spoke of one who had been born
in a certain village during the reign of specific rulers, and who had been crucified
in a given place after being tried before a specific Roman official.
This is the style in which Luke’s Gospel is written when the writer introduces
John the Baptist. The author of Luke identifies John’s ministry by naming seven
officials who were in power at that time. All this history was included to give the
reader a setting for a Jewish prophet, John the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth.
John was unique, no doubt about it. John was a man who ignored the palace
steps from which some of his prophetic predecessors had delivered their
messages. Instead, John proclaimed the Word of the Lord in the wilderness
near the Dead Sea. He was a prophet who did not leave behind a body of
literature like other prophets had done, such as Isaiah or Jeremiah. Yet John’s
role was so significant that the writer of Luke lists seven historical figures to
secure John’s place in history.
One can easily imagine the pomp and circumstance with which Herod moved
about in Galilee. Wherever he went, people scraped and bowed. They waited
for a nod from Herod and dreamed of some act of preferential treatment from
him. Herod was indeed the big man in Galilee in the first century. Yet today,
all his pomp and circumstance are meaningless.
Then there is John the Baptist, a great human being. He went out into the
wilderness, disregarding his own safety in an area of land full of natural dangers.
With John’s talent of speaking and his insight, he probably could have had a
place in the Herod’s court where he could have worn the finest clothing. Instead,
John wore camel’s hair and lived on a diet of locusts and wild honey. John’s
message, as he prepared the way for Jesus, was as simple as his clothing and
his diet: “a baptism for repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”
The common people discovered John first, especially those whose hearts
longed for a deeper connection with God. Soon, people by the hundreds were
going into the wilderness to see and hear John. There, far from the conventional
centres of power and influence, John declared the advent of a new age.
All that John did and said pointed beyond himself. His goal was not personal
advancement or a position of power. John was, “The voice of one crying out in
the wilderness: prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” John was
not a man of power or position, but a voice to be heard. He was not building
a kingdom for himself but preparing the way for another. John reminded the
crowds that he was not the Christ, but that he had been sent before him.
Fortunately, John knew who he was, and he liked his role. He knew his job was
to prepare the way, not be the way. If John had been carried away with success
and resisted the coming of Jesus, he would have been an absurdity, a joke in
history. The primary secret of John’s greatness was his commitment to
something and someone beyond himself.
Someone said that no one can estimate how much good could be accomplished
in our world if no one cared who got the credit. While it is pleasant to be
recognized for what we have done, it is hard not to seek such recognition.
John the Baptist had a goal higher than himself. By nature, he must have been a
man of strong ego. He could hardly have preached such a demanding message
otherwise, nor have put himself in such a perilous ministry. But he had such a
high commitment to the purpose of God that he could commit his powerful
temperament to the mission to which he had been called.
Now it is our turn. What will we do with this information, this example, in our little
piece of history in which we currently live? Do we expect a place of prominence
in history? Still, we shouldn’t rule out the possibility. We may play a key role in
the life of a young boy or girl who will make some medical discovery which will
be a blessing to humanity, or one who will write legislation which will make a
strategic difference in the way people live. We never know what impact we
might have on someone, or what greatness is residing very near to us. But we
do know that God is constantly looking for people like John the Baptist who will
gladly pave the way for God’s grand purposes. And we know, too, that there is
much work yet to be done and there are important causes to be advanced.
These are great days to be alive, despite the restrictions as we live through
a pandemic. We are needed. Our challenging times need a new introduction
to our Lord Jesus Christ, and you and I are favourably situated to be the
introducers, the examples and teachers, the way-preparers.
We do not have to dress like John the Baptist, nor do we need to follow his diet.
But we can commit ourselves to the same Lord, and with the same greatness
of purpose. We can serve and make a meaningful difference right where we are.
If it is a place where God can use us, and where we can be a blessing to others,
we can find no more important place to serve. Whatever that place may be,
let us commit ourselves, like John, to prepare the way of the Lord.
AMEN

HYMN OF THE DAY – Soon and Very Soon (ELW #439)

NICENE CREED
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God, begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven;
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the virgin Mary, and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
A: In this season of watching and waiting, let us pray for all people and
places that yearn for God’s presence.
A: God of our church, send forth your Spirit as we pray for our Bishops Susan
and Michael. Empower them with your wisdom to lead the church. We also pray
for the Thames Ministry area, especially Pastor John Goldsworthy and the
people of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Aylmer. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.
A: You send messengers into the world to proclaim the day of your coming.
Make our bishops, pastors, deacons, and lay preachers confident in their
preaching, that their words and our lives witness to your grace. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.
A: Send your Spirit to all living creatures that are endangered. Provide them
with shelter and care, and bring us into right relationship with the earth that
you create and call good. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.
A: Send leaders to our nations, cities, schools, and businesses to work on
behalf of those who have lost parents, spouses, and loved ones; immigrants;
the imprisoned; those living in poverty; and all who are oppressed. Make them
bold in their commitments to justice and reconciliation. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.
A: Send your servants to care for those who suffer. Use our ministries and our
lives to reach out with compassion to those who are hungry, oppressed, lonely,
or ill. Grant them healing and wholeness. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.
A: Send prophets to speak difficult truths, even when they are poorly received.
Embolden those who ask hard questions and challenge accepted ways.
Instill in youth and elders alike a passion for pointing to Jesus in all things.
Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.
[Here you may include other intercessions.]
A: We remember your saints, both those publicly celebrated and those more
humbly remembered. Confident that your work will be completed, we live in faith
until the day of your coming. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.
A: God of new life, you come among us in the places we least expect.
Receive these prayers and those of our hearts, in the name of Jesus.
C: Amen.

PEACE
P: The peace of Christ be with you always.
C: And also with you.

OFFERING PRAYER
A: God of our waiting and watching,
we offer the gifts of our hearts and our lives
to the service of all your people.
Prepare the way before us as we meet you in this simple meal,
through Christ Jesus, our pathway and our peace.
C: Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER
P: Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray.
C: 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.

SENDING

BLESSING
P: The God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing,
so that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit,
through Christ Jesus for whom we wait.
C: Amen.

DISMISSAL
A: Go in peace. Christ is near.
C: Thanks be to God.

DISMISSAL HYMN – Go Now in Peace
Go now in peace, never be afraid.
God will go with you each hour of every day.
Go now in faith, steadfast, strong and true.
Know He will guide you in all you do.
Go now in love, and show you believe.
Reach out to others, so all the world can see.
God will be there, watching from above.
Go now in peace, in faith, and in love.

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