Conference Worship Service - December 27, 2020

Theme: New Life


Prelude: Jazz Guitar  Jimmy Patton and Adam Ferrara (Vista UMC)

Silent Meditation:

“You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.”

Maya Angelou Poet, Memoirist, and Civil Rights Activist

“And suddenly you just know it is time to start something new and trust the magic of beginning.”

Meister Eckhart 1260-1328 German Theologian, Philosopher and Mystic

Prayer of Invocation: Pastor Ruben Torres (Escondido UMC )

Brothers and sisters, receive this prayer of invocation.

God of Grace and new life in Jesus Christ, we ask that you turn your face to us now in this time of worship. Favor us with your grace. Warm our hearts and stir our spirits. May this time glorify your name and prepare us to move forward into your future until one day we see you will done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

Opening Song: Michael Morgan (San Diego First UMC)

Call To Worship: Rev Moonyoung Lee, Hawaii District Superintendent

Scripture Reading - Psalm 148 - Mark Nakagawa, West District Superintendent

1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host!
3 Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created.
6 He established them forever and ever; he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command!
9 Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and women alike, old and young together!
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his faithful, for the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the LORD

Reflection: Rev. Dr. Ken Walden (Holman UMC)

Prayers for the Community: Rev. Melissa Mackinnon, East District Superintendent

Special Music: Rev. Paul Tangonan (Crescenta Valley UMC)

Scripture Reading - Galatians 4:4-7 - Rev. Jim Powell, North District Superintendent

4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. 6 And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" 7 So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

Reflection: Rev. Trudy Robinson (San Diego First UMC)

Special Music: Pastors Dr. Monalisa (Cal-Pac Young People’s Coordinator, Trinity UMC of Pomona) & Langi Lolohea (San Dimas UMC, Wesley UMC of Riverside)

Prayer of Confession and Lords Prayer: Erin Hawkins, Cal- Pac Executive Director of Connectional Ministries

Oh great God of grace, in this moment before we can receive your grace we must confess that we do not come before you having earned your favor by our good actions. We confess that we have not loved our enemies. We confess that we have not forgiven fully those who we feel wronged by. We confess that we think more about our own needs than the needs of others, especially those less fortunate than us. Trusting in your love, we come before you now in silent confession to lift to you the burden of our hearts.

(Time of Silence to Offer our Personal Confessions to God)

Words of Assurance:

Through the unconditional love of God in the person of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven! We are forgiven! Thanks be to God.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy will be done, thy kingdom come, 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. Amen.

Scripture Reading - Luke 2:22-40 - Rev. John Farley, South District Superintendent

22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord"), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Messiah.

27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
29 "Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel."

33 And the child's father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him.

34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, "This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed--and a sword will pierce your own soul too."

36 There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day.

38 At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.

40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Special Music: Rev. Son Pom Ye (Borrego Springs UMC)

Reflection: Bishop Grant Hagiya

Song of Praise: Faith Devotion Band (Faith UMC of Torrance)

Affirmation of Faith: “An Affirmation of Faith: For the Self-Exiled During the COVID-19 Pandemic” – By Glory E. Dharmaraj, Ph.D. (Published on UM Insight, March 25, 2020, Used with permission)

Benediction and Sending: Bishop Hagiya

Postlude: Improvisation of “I Saw Three Ships” – Performed by Arron Shows (Pasadena First UMC)

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