Service For November 29, 2020 – First Sunday of Advent

Featured artwork is Icon of The Second Coming – Greece, ca. 1700

Download a PDF of this service’s bulletin here or follow along below.

Call to Worship

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!
Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.
You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.
Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.
Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.
Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

Welcome and Announcements

Invocation for Peace

The Lighting of the First Advent Candle – The Candle of Hope


The Peace of Christ

May God grant us courage to change the things need changing,
the peace to accept the things we cannot change,
and wisdom to know the difference.

Scripture Lesson 1

Isaiah 64:1-9

  1. O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence–
  2. as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil– to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
  3. When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
  4. From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.
  5. You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.
  6. We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
  7. There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.
  8. Yet, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
  9. Do not be exceedingly angry, O LORD, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.

Scripture Lesson 2

1 Corinthians 1:3-9 – Selected and read by Deacon Ida Williams Lacewell

  1. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus,
  3. for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind–
  4. just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you–
  5. so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  6. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  7. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Pastoral Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

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
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.

Sermon Lesson

Mark 13:24-37

  1. “But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,
  2. and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
  3. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory.
  4. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
  5. “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.
  6. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
  7. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.
  8. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
  9. “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
  10. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.
  11. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.
  12. Therefore, keep awake–for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn,
  13. or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.
  14. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”


Woke – Rev. Nicolas Mumejian


In the Life of the Church

Welcome to Riverside Baptist Church, where our one law is love of God and neighbor. Justice and peace matter to us. So we celebrate racial diversity, gender equality, and inclusion of all persons no matter their sexual orientation. We draw the circle of God’s love large here. You’re included. Christ is the center here. No one more and nothing less.

With the continued recommendation from the CDC and local authorities Riverside’s building will remain closed until further notice. While the building is closed, we gather online to worship. We will keep you updated through the newsletter and the website on the status of the building. Please do not hesitate to contact our staff should you need anything.

Visitors – please go here to let us know that you were online with us today.

Every Sunday at 11:00 am we gather online via Zoom to fellowship and pray. Information is available on the website. Please join us!

Bible Study is on break until January.

Today is the first Sunday of Advent!

Thanks to all who participated in decorating the church yesterday. We hope that the decorations bring joy to everyone who sees them!

Toys for Tots – The SW CommUnity Forum, in cooperation with the SW churches, is organizing a Toys for Tots distribution at Westminster Presbyterian Church on December 12. We are looking for folks to help unload the truck of toys at Westminster on December 11, and to assist with hospitality at the distribution of toys at Westminster on December 12. Times are yet to be determined. We are also looking for donations, especially of gift cards for teenagers. Please have donations of gift cards or cash to the Riverside church office by December 7 so that we can ensure they are at Westminster in time for the distribution. Contact the church office for more information, to volunteer, or to donate.
Thank you!

On Christmas Eve at 7:00 pm, we will have a live service of lessons and carols via Zoom. Details will be available on the website as we get closer.

Pray For: Mattie Sharpless’s mother, Lecola Sharpless; Danielle Ford’s aunt, Connie Jasper; Danielle Ford and Laurel Eierman; Derek Ford and his sister, Misha Reed; Annie Abbott; Brenda Rozier-Clark and the family of Rev. Paul Clark; Anthony Maimer’s sister, Davi Stuhlsatz; Denise Bennett’s sister, Dyanne Smith; Tanya Bethel’s mother, Ruby McCrary; Pamela Maimer’s sister, Monica Thomas and mother, Clara Jefferson; Bob Nelson; Laurel Eierman’s mother, Marcia Tringali; Tanya Bethel; Gale Miller’s mother, Marian Miller; Karl Maxwell; Edith Booker; Emma Wright’s sister Sallie Williams; Lillie Ransom’s sister Teriea and her husband, Jerry; Sheba Greene’s daughter Donna; Dr. Bledsoe’s mother, Peggy Bledsoe