First Presbyterian Church of Villa Rica
Order for the Worship of God
SUNDAY, December 6th, 2020
At Church and Online
(Live Stream and Online Bulletin)
8:30 AM Worship Services (In Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall (Masks Required); and via Live Stream Online)
9:30 AM Gathering Grounds (In Fellowship Hall —coffee, donuts)
10 AM Sunday School for all ages
11 AM Worship Services (In Sanctuary, Fellowship Hall, and via Live Stream Online)
GATHERING OF GOD’S PEOPLE
“Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.” – Deuteronomy 4:10
(As we prepare our hearts for worship let us quiet our hearts and our cell phones.)
Sermon: “The Songs of Christmas: Zechariah’s Song of Hope”
Bulletin/Order of Worship
WELCOME & ANNOUNCEMENTS
CALL TO WORSHIP
ADVENT CANDLE LIGHTING AND READING
8:30 AM Linda Clark; 11 AM Davis Family
(All Scripture references are from the English Standard Version, ESV, unless otherwise noted.)
Worship through Hymn of Thanksgiving
“Angels, from the Realms of Glory” (#218)
Angels, from the realms of glory,
wing your flight o’er all the earth;
ye who sang creation’s story,
now proclaim Messiah’s birth;
Come and worship, come and worship,
worship Christ, the newborn King.
Shepherds in the fields abiding,
watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with man is now residing,
yonder shines the infant Light:
Sages, leave your contemplations,
brighter visions beam afar;
seek the great Desire of nations;
ye have seen his natal star:
Saints before the altar bending,
watching long in hope and fear,
suddenly the Lord, descending,
in his temple shall appear:
All creation, join in praising
God the Father, Spirit, Son;
evermore your voices raising
to th’eternal Three in One:
“It Came upon the Midnight Clear” (#200)
It came upon the midnight clear,
that glorious song of old,
from angels bending near the earth
to touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, good will to men,
from heav’n’s all-gracious King”;
the world in solemn stillness lay
to hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come,
with peaceful wings unfurled,
and still their heav’nly music floats
o’er all the weary world:
above its sad and lowly plains
they bend on hov’ring wing,
and ever o’er its Babel sounds
the blessed angels sing.
And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
whose forms are bending low,
who toil along the climbing way
with painful steps and slow,
look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing:
O rest beside the weary road
and hear the angels sing.
For lo, the days are hast’ning on,
by prophet bards foretold,
when with the ever-circling years
comes round the age of gold;
when peace shall over all the earth
its ancient splendors fling,
and the whole world give back the song
which now the angels sing.
13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be
high and lifted up,and shall be exalted.
14 As many were astonished at you—his
appearance was so marred, beyond human
semblance, and his form beyond that of the children
15 so shall he sprinkle many nations. Kings shall
shut their mouths because of him, for that which has
not been told them they see, and that which they
have not heard they understand.
53:1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or
majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of
sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from
whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we
esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our
sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by
God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was
crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the
chastisement that brought us peace, and with his
wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have
turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord
has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he
opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the
slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is
silent, so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he
has put him to grief; when his soul makes an
offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall
prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper
in his hand.
11 O ut of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be
satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one,
my servant, make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the
many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death and was
numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin
of many, and makes intercession for the
Worship Through Scripture Songs of Praise:
“Lamb of God”
Your only Son no sin to hide
But You have sent Him from Your side
To walk upon this guilty sod
And to become the Lamb of God
Oh Lamb of God sweet Lamb of God
I love the holy Lamb of God
Oh wash me in His precious blood
My Jesus Christ the Lamb of God
Your gift of love they crucified
They laughed and scorned Him as He died
The humble King they named a fraud
And sacrificed the Lamb of God
I was so lost I should have died
But You have brought me to Your side
To be led by Your staff and rod
And to be called a lamb of God
“The Wonderful Cross”
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride
See from His head His hands His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown
O the wonderful cross
O the wonderful cross
Bids me come and die and find
That I may truly live
O the wonderful cross
O the wonderful cross
All who gather here by grace
Draw near and bless Your name
Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing so divine
Demands my soul my life my all
Children Church Dismissal (11 AM service, only)
Worship through Exposition of God’s Word: Rev. Thomas Myers
Sermon: “The Songs of Christmas: Zechariah’s Song of Hope“
The Great Day of the Lord
4 [a] “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. 3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.
4 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules[b] that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.
5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”[c]
Luke 1: 67-80: Zechariah’s Prophecy/Song
67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,
68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74 that we, being delivered from the hand 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
in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us[a] from on high
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.”
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
WORSHIP THROUGH COMMUNION
Worship through Hymn of Commitment:
“What Child Is This” (#213)
What child is this, who, laid to rest,
on Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
while shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
haste, haste to bring him laud,
the babe, the son of Mary.
Why lies he in such mean estate,
where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear; for sinners here
the silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear, shall pierce him through;
the cross be borne for me, for you:
hail, hail the Word made flesh,
the babe, the son of Mary.
So, bring him incense, gold, and myrrh;
come, peasant, king, to own him;
the King of kings salvation brings,
let loving hearts enthrone him.
Raise, raise the song on high,
the virgin sings her lullaby:
joy, joy for Christ is born,
the babe, the son of Mary.
Doxology: Hymn #731
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heav’ly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
THIS WEEK AND UPCOMING EVENTS
We will be going to various homes to carol in lieu of small groups on Dec 13th at 4 pm. Meeting at the church and then going forth.
Afterward, those who are comfortable to join, we will share a meal in the fellowship hall. Bring a dish to share.
Join us in the fellowship hall Sunday mornings from 9:30-10:00 am for coffee and donuts.
HYMN SINGING / CAROLING AFTER CHURCH
On pause for the Christmas Holiday Season. However, we will be going caroling on the 13th at 4 PM in lieu of small group meetings.
SMALL GROUPS TODAY:
Whittle/Dickinson Group will be meeting at 4:00 pm at the Dickinson’s home. Bring a dish to share.
Mitchell/Forlaw Group will resume January 3rd.
Dec 20th 9:45-10:45 am, in lieu of Gathering Grounds and Sunday School time, we will be having a Christmas Breakfast. Bring a dish to share.
Christmas Eve Service
Join us for a Christmas Eve Service at 5 pm, masks required.
WIC BABY GIFT
Matt and Ariel Whittle are expecting their newest addition very soon! We’d like to bless them with a gift card.
Contributions will be collected through the end of November and can be given to Donna Lisenby or Judi East.
Gifts can also be labeled/designated for the Whittle’s gift card and put in the offering box.
WIC CHRISTMAS PARTY
WIC will be hosting a ladies’ Christmas Party following the 11:00 am service on Dec. 6th in the fellowship hall.
A simple luncheon of soup and salad will be served. Bring a $15 gift to participate in the gift swap.
RSVP and/or sign up to bring a soup, salad, dessert, or drink to Donna Lisenby.
(Please Stand As Able)
Continue to pray and encourage one another.1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL NATIONS
Meeting online through zoom on Wednesdays at 6:30pm. Be on the lookout for the email with the link.
WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY
Wednesdays at 10am, the women s’ Bible study will be meeting in the fellowship hall.
Kingdom Outreach: See our Missions and Outreach Page
What is Happening this Week, this Month? Visit our This Week page.
Today’s Additional Resources
Westminster Confession of Faith:
2. By this faith a Christian believes whatever is revealed in the word to be the true, authentic,
authoritative statement of God himself. By this faith the believer also acts according to what particular
passages in the word say. By faith the believer humbly submits to and obeys God’s various commands.
He trembles at God’s awesome threats, and eagerly embraces his promises about this life and the life to
come. But the chief actions of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting on Christ alone for
justification, sanctification, and eternal life, in the power of the covenant of grace.
2. These good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the fruit and evidence of a true
and living faith. By them believers show their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance of salvation,
edify their brothers in the Lord, and become ornaments of all those who profess the gospel. Good
works in believers silence the criticism of the enemies of the gospel. They also glorify God by showing
that believers are the workmanship and creation of Jesus Christ, because their aim is that holiness of
living which leads to eternal life.
Dear Believers of First Pres. Villa Rica,
After almost six months of suspending in-person Sunday morning activities with the exception of Worship, we are excited to announce the resumption of both infant and toddler nurseries beginning September 20th (both services), and the resumption of all Sunday morning activities beginning October 4th. Both morning Worship services will be maintained, with a shift in start time of both services to accommodate Sunday School (for all ages) and fellowship time. Children’s Church will also be offered during both services.
We make this decision following our nation’s efforts to return to normalcy but not with disregard to the continued threat COVID-19 is to us. Please know that procedures will be in place to ensure the safety and health of all.
New schedule as of Sunday, October 4th:
0830-0930 Worship 1 (Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall, Masks Required, plus online live-stream)
0930-1000 Break / Fellowship
1000-1045 Sunday School
1100-1200 Worship 2 (Sanctuary & Fellowship Hall, plus online live-stream)
We thank the Lord for His faithfulness to us and for His hand of protection. Thank you for your support, encouragement and love for each other during these challenging times. Special thanks to Jeannie Forlaw for her work in her new role as Children’s Ministry Director and for the coordination of both the Children’s Education and Worship Committees in putting together our resumption plan.
May we continue to labor together in love for the sake of the gospel and God’s kingdom,
COVID PROTOCOLS: In an effort to anticipate the needs as to the activities of the church in these times of uncertainty regarding COVID and the weather, there will be some changes upcoming in Worship location and virus protocols. We have cooler weather approaching that will necessitate moving the Parking Lot Worship Service indoors, and we have some additional information for sanitation procedures for Worship Services, Sunday Schools, Nursery, and Children’s Church. The Parking Lot Worship Service will move indoors to the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall starting on Sunday, October 25th. This service will utilize strict COVID protocols to protect those with high concerns respecting the virus. Masks and social distancing will be required at all times for this 8:30 worship. See below for additional requirements and procedures. The updated schedule as of Sunday, October 4th is, as follows:
8:30-9:30 Worship One (Sanctuary & Fellowship Hall – Masks Required, also Live-streamed)
9:30-10:00 Gathering Grounds: Break/Fellowship
10:00-10:45 Sunday School (Adult and Children)
11:00-12:00 Worship Two (Sanctuary & Fellowship Hall, plus live-stream)
Children’s Church (Large Classroom)
COVID Protocols for Worship One (8:30-9:30):
–Masks are mandatory at all times including while singing. This applies to the Sanctuary and the Fellowship Hall. Pastor Tom will not wear a mask while preaching at the pulpit.
–Social distancing will be maintained at all times.
–A sanitizing station with masks will be provided at the lower entrance, at the front door entrance, and the entrance into the Fellowship Hall. There will also be spray sanitizer and hand sanitizer available at these locations.
–Ushers will seat people as they arrive and direct as they exit. The Sanctuary aisles will have directional arrows for one-way traffic. Worshipers will be seated from the front of the church to the back and will exit the church from the back to the front.
-Anyone that does not have a mask will be given one.
–At the conclusion of this service the pews and cushions will be sprayed with sanitizer. The Fellowship Hall will also be sanitized.
-The CDC recommends masks for children above the age of two years.
COVID Protocols for Break/Fellowship (9:30-10:00):
–Masks are optional and social distance is recommended. For those that are wearing a mask, know that they are wearing it for a reason, and give them extra respect in regards to distance protocols.
COVID Protocols for Adult Sunday School (10:00-10:45):
-The adult SS will meet in the Fellowship Hall.
-Masks are optional. Social distancing for seating is mandatory.
-Immediately following SS the tables and chairs will be sanitized.
COVID Protocols for Children’s Sunday School and Children’s Church:
-Masks are optional.
-Children’s masks and hand sanitizers will be available and use encouraged.
-Each child will have their own labeled supply box containing crayons, etc., that will be sanitized after each use.
-Tables and chairs will be cleaned between uses.
COVID Protocols for the Nursery:
-Nursery toys and surfaces will be sanitized with antibacterial wipes and spray and allowed to dry between services.
-At the end of the second service toys will be immersed in food-grade sanitizer and surfaces wiped and sprayed.
COVID Protocols for Worship Two (11:00-12:00)
-Masks are optional.
-Social distancing is required for seating
-Give respect to those choosing to wear a mask.
-Ushers will not be required for seating or exit.
We pray for an end to this virus, but until then, we must make the best of a difficult situation. We understand that all these different rules may be hard to keep up with, but we endeavor to provide as many options as possible so that most can attend a Worship Service. The safety of the congregation is paramount, and the ability to have a choice on the level of protocols is necessary. Those at the upper end of risk from this virus are encouraged to utilize the live stream option in the safety of your homes. If you or your child have flu-like symptoms or a fever, please stay home.
We thank you for your prayers, for the willingness you have shown to be diligent in worship, and for your support of FPCVR during this unprecedented occasion.
Prayerfully, The Session
Westminster Confession of Faith in Modern English Chapter 11 – Justification
1. Those whom God effectually calls he also freely justifies. He does not pour righteousness into them but
pardons their sins and looks on them and accepts them as if they were righteous—not because of anything
worked in them or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone. He does not consider their faith itself, the act of
believing, as their righteousness or any other obedient response to the gospel on their part. Rather, he imputes to
them the obedience and judicial satisfaction earned by Christ. For their part, they receive and rest on Christ and
his righteousness by faith (and this faith is not their own but is itself a gift of God).
2. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the only means of justification. In the
person justified, however, it is always accompanied by all the other saving graces and is not a dead faith, but
works by love.
3. By his obedience and death Christ completely discharged the debt of all those who are so justified, and he
made the correct, real, and full satisfaction to his Father’s justice on their behalf. Since Christ was voluntarily
given by the Father for them, and since his obedience and satisfaction were accepted in their place and not for
anything in them, their justification is the result only of his free grace—so that both the perfect justice and the
rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners.
6. The justification of believers under the Old Testament was in all these respects identical with the justification
of believers under the New Testament.
Shorter Catechism Q&A 33
Q: What is justification?
A: Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in
his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.