ORUCC Worship Resources for Sunday December 17th

Orchard Ridge

United Church of Christ

Sunday Worship Resources

Sunday, December 17, 2023

9:00 am: Sunday School for Children & Youth

9:00 am: Java & Jesus for Adults

10:00 am (or 9:50 am): Worship

Some of our youth will offer prelude music beginning at 9:50 am. Please try to arrive early for worship, and consider wearing pink or rose for we will be lighting the pink advent candle of joy!

Sermon: Rev. Dr. Julia Burkey

The Song of Simeon “I can cross over in peace”

Lay Liturgist: Laura Conners

Special Music: ORUCC Choir

Candle-lighters: The Kinney Family

We invite you to remain after worship when some of our children will offer 20 minutes of postlude music.

11:15 am: Sermon Talk Back

Click here for At-Home Bulletin

Join our Worship virtually

on YouTube any time after 10 am:

YouTube Link

You will need to refresh the page

after 10 am if you have opened it before

For Children & Youth – December 17


Nursery Care opens at 8:30. Jade and Marie are ready to play with your little one!

Sunday School starts at 9 am. PreK-1 children are invited to sing with Julie in the William Johnson room from 9:00-9:15. We’ll rehearse the song “Away in a Manger” for our Christmas Eve service. After the music, Karen and Josie will guide the children in Advent stories about the Prophets, Mary and Joseph, The Shepherds, and The Magi.

The 2-5 grade classroom will also explore the Prophets, Mary and Joseph, The Shepherds, and The Magi. Exploration stations will include writing Christmas cards to church elders, designing HOPE letters for our Christmas Eve service, sewing Christmas stars, nativity dioramas creation, and puzzles. Joanna, Diane, and Jadyn will guide the children in their learning. 

*No Sunday School 12/24 and 12/31. We’ll resume on 1/7 with a special Epiphany Celebration.

Here is a link to a fabulous resource for an at-home Advent devotional. With quick and easy prompts, families are invited to find a scripture, reflect, color, and pray. 

Click here for the resource

Upcoming! Save the Date!

January 12-14  All Church Retreat at Daycholah Center: We are excited to continue this wonderful tradition again this year. More details are coming soon about registration for this all-ages event. 


There is a lot coming up for our youth! This Sunday, Dec. 17th, we will have “Echo the Story” Sunday school at 9:00 a.m. Pastor Kate will be teaching this week.

Our ORUCC Post Office fundraiser will be in its last week (bring your cards to “send”, and come stop by to see if you have cards to pick up!) TRU Function will meet from 10-12 to prepare for Christmas Eve service. Some of our youth have prepared musical selections to play either at 9:50 as a prelude to service, or immediately following the service at 11:00. 

If your family picked up a tag for the Christmas Gift Tree, please make sure to do your shopping and bring your wrapped gift, along with the original tag, this Sunday. 

More Next Week:

12/19 Culver’s Night Service Trip Fundraiser, 4:00-8:00: Youth 16+ can volunteer; youth under 16 who are preparing for the service trip are welcome to come have dinner and participate in one the conversation tables we are hosting! This is an opportunity for folks of the church who come to support the youth at Culver’s to have a conversation and dinner with us. If you are planning to be there at any point, let me know!

12/22 Christmas Eve Dress Rehearsal: Children and youth participating in our Children’s Christmas Eve service are asked to take part in this rehearsal at 5:30 p.m. You are encouraged to wear festive attire! 🙂 

12/24 Christmas Eve: We have three services, as this is a Sunday. 

  • 10:00 Carols and Cocoa: Wear your Christmas jammies and enjoy a Christmas Carol-singalong as part of this morning service!
  • 3:00 Children’s Service: Our beloved tradition, worship led by children and youth
  • 5:30 Intergenerational Candlelight Service: This year we are collaborating with Madison Mennonite Church for this special service of lessons and carols. 

   There will be no Sunday School on 12/24 or 12/31.

Looking ahead!

All Church Retreat! Spiritually Alive: Rooted and Grounded in Love

January 12-14 at Daycholah Center. Please find registration here

Confirmation: We hope to begin confirmation in March. If your youth (8th grade plus) is interested in confirmation, please indicate your interest (and any questions you might have) here

Java & Jesus

Sunday, Dec. 17, at 9 am

Attend in-person at the church in the

Alfred Swan Room, or attend remotely

by Zoom

Jeanne Moberly facilitating

All are welcome!

Please join us even if this is your first time!

The theme for the third Sunday of Advent is JOY. We have six short readings, prose and poem, for our discussion.

Click here for reading

 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 Click here to join Zoom discussion

Or paste the following into your browser:  


To join Zoom discussion by phone: 1 312 626 6799

Meeting ID: 836 4943 6657

Passcode: 315584

If you have difficulty accessing the Zoom discussion,

phone Ken Pennings at 608-556-2371



The Christmas Fund is an annual special offering of the United Church of Christ. Each year at Christmas, UCC members are invited to give to this fund, created for the benefit of clergy and lay workers in our denomination. Orchard Ridge UCC has participated in generous ways for many years. 

Funds are disbursed in a timely and sensitive manner to benefit retired clergy with inadequate pensions, surviving clergy spouses whose needs may be great following the death of their spouse, retired church workers who often lack adequate pension plans, and currently serving pastors confronted with emergency financial needs. 

This year’s theme comes from John 1:16: “From Christ’s fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” The presence of God in our lives equips us to respond generously. 


Throughout December we will hear specific accounts of ways The Christmas Fund has proved essential for those who lead us in worship and mission across the United Church of Christ. Funds are collected by The Pension Boards of the UCC and are distributed carefully and thoughtfully for maximum benefit. 


Thank you for giving generously


You can make a donation by check, on the memo line, please write “compassion” and mail to ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711, or donate online from our website. The link is https://orucc.org/contribute/support/

Office Manager Julie Wombacher

Mon.-Thurs. 8:30am -12:00 pm

608-271-7212 or EMAIL

Senior Pastor: Rev. Dr. Julia Burkey


Associate Pastor: Rev. Kate Mackey EMAIL

Associate Pastor: Rev. Ken Pennings


Children’s Education Coordinator & Music Director: Julie Mazer EMAIL

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