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Celebration Service December 24, 2023 –  11 PM


Lyrics and music for the hymns, when legally sharable,

are listed below the end of the bulletin

Prelude             “O Little Town of Bethlehem”                            John Duro


Introit              “Glory to God in the Highest”                        Hopson


Words Of Welcome


The Lighting of the Christ Candle                                Bongiorno Family


Leader: We wait with hope for the justice and righteousness of God.

All: We wait with peace for God’s shalom to fill the world.

Leader: We wait with joy, celebrating all that God has done for us and our world.

All: We wait with love, humbled by the love that God shows to all people.

Leader: Tonight we light this candle to celebrate the energy that God has sent into the world through the love and life of Jesus.

All: O God of hope, and peace, and joy, and love, from that stable so long ago your light shines into every corner of the world. Help us to sing with the angels at the joy of your coming. Help us to live by your light not only today, but throughout the whole year, so that tidings of peace and good will to all will truly renew the whole creation.


Hymn*             “O Come, All Ye Faithful”   (lyrics below)


Unison Prayer

O God, on this night when heaven reaches down to embrace creation with healing, we join the angel choirs who sang your glory. We join your people in every time and place, caroling the good news that is ours. Amen.


Words of Introduction


Anthem            “It’s Still the Greatest Story Ever Told”           Gaither & Miller

                             Mort Butler and Frank Springer


Scripture Lesson          Luke 2:1-5

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.


Hymn              “O Little Town of Bethlehem”   (lyrics below)


Scripture Lesson          Luke 2:6-7

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.


Hymn              “What Child Is This”    


Scripture Lesson          Luke 2:8-14

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”


Hymn*            “Angels We Have Heard on High”   (lyrics below)


Scripture Lesson          Luke 2:15-16


Anthem           “Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine”   arr Norman Luboff

                        Mort Butler, Greg Morrill, Frank Springer and Val Wise


Scripture Lesson          Luke 2:17-20


Anthem          "O Sing a Song of Bethlehem"                   John Purifoy

                                   Mort Butler, Greg Morrill, Frank Springer and Val Wise

                                    accompanied by Karen Miller

Christmas Offering


Offertory         “Shepherds came, their praises bringing”         Walcha


Christmas Poem  “Christmas Bells”   Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Offertory Prayer


Hymn*            “Silent Night, Holy Night” (lyrics below)

(As we sing, “Silent Night” receive the light for your candle from the aisle

and pass it down your pew, dipping the unlit candle into the flame.)



(Please blow out your candle before exiting the sanctuary and deposit in the basket in the narthex. Thank you!)ld”


Postlude            “It came upon the Midnight Clear”     arr. Ellsasser

                        “The First Noel”                                  arr. Ellsasser

Click here to make an online donation. - THANK YOU!                                  

Offertory Prayer




Our church experienced tremendous growth in 2023!   To fund this growth,  we ask that you prayerfully consider making a one-time end-of-year gift to enable us to finish 2023 strong and begin 2024 with healthy finances. Place your donations in the offering plate, visit our website or scan the QR code that is in the bulletin.


If you, or someone you know, would like prayers for comfort or healing, the members of the Prayer Team are ready to support you. Please fill out the prayer request form in the pew and put it in the offering plate or hand it to an usher to deliver to the office. 


The staff of Stowe Community Church wishes you and your family a peaceful and joyous Christmas!


“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” ― Charles M. Schulz


"Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart." —Washington Irving


"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful." —Norman Vincent Peale


2023 Poinsettias given by

In memory of Alan & Becky

Matt & Leslie Anderson in memory of Theodora & Jack Van Halen; Sally Patterson; Jack Turner;  Michaelle LaBow and in honor of all our service members.

Jena and Michael Anthony in memory of Marcia & Harry Tenney and Gus and Fanny Anthony

Phil and Anne Bongiorno in memory of my mother Priscilla Watson and my sister-in-law Liz Watson, and Joseph & Ruth Lewenthal Bongiorno (Phil’s parents)

Ben Brayton in memory of Rev Doug and Elinor Brayton

Charlie & Susanna Burnham in memory of Charles & Virginia Burnham and Susann Robinson Elmore

Evie Dworetzky and Luke & Katelyn O’Toole in memory of Katherine & George Dworetzky

Marlene & Bob Davison in loving memory of our son, Robbie.

Marcia Johannesen in memory of Dick Johannesen

Roger Keller and Nancy Small in memory of those who have fought the battle of Huntington’s Disease

Linda Kratt in memory of William Kratt

Bob & Amy Marshal in memory of our families

Karen Monsen in memory of loved ones

Greg Morrill in memory of George & Ruth Morrill

Greg Morrill and Meg Scotti in memory of Adrienne Chamberlin

Dave & Nan Myers in memory of Bob & Nell Ayers and Harvey & Millie Myers

Laura Nichols in memory of Alice Kruidenier

Sandy and Scott Noble in memory of Noble and Knittle loved ones

David and Ruth Roy in memory of our parents, Rita and Lucien Roy & Galen and Hazel Mudgett and in honor of our children and grand children

 The Saylor family in honor of Christmas and all Holidays 2023-2024

Meg Scotti in memory of Frank & Joan Scotti

John and Barb Stotsenburg in memory of our parents

Betty Teffner in memory of Ted Teffner.

Dian Williams in memory of Martha and Reynold Spruill, my parents

Jessie and Jacob Winters in memory of Alice Kruidenier

Bernadette & Lori Wyman in memory of Bill Wyman

If you, or someone you know, would like prayers for comfort or healing, the members of the Prayer Team are ready to support you. Please fill out the prayer request form in the bulletin and put it in the offering plate or hand it to an usher to deliver to the office. 


Hymn  “O Come, All Ye Faithful”


O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,

O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;

Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;

O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!


Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,

Sing all ye citizens of heaven above!

Glory to God, all glory in the highest;

O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!


Child, for us sinners poor and in the manger,

We would embrace thee, with love and awe;

Who would not love thee, loving us so dearly?

O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!


Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born for our salvation,

Jesus, to thee be all glory given;

Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;

O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!


Hymn “O Little Town of Bethlehem”

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.

Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;

The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.


For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above

While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.

O morning stars, together proclaim the holy birth.

Your voices raise to God in praise; and peace to all on earth.


How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given!

So God imparts to human hearts the joys of highest heaven.

No ear may hear Christ coming, but in this world of sin,

Where meek souls will receive him still, the dear Christ enters in.


O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;

Cast out our sin, and enter in; be born in us today.

We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;

O come to us, abide with us, our God, Emmanuel.

Hymn “Angels We Have Heard on High”

Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o’er the plains,

And the mountains in reply echoing their joyous strains.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo.


Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why your joyous strains prolong?

What the gladsome tidings be which inspire your heav’nly song?

Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo.


Come to Bethlehem and see Christ, who comes in lowly birth.

Come adore on bended knee Jesus, joy of heav’n and earth.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo.


See within a manger laid, Christ, whom choirs of angels praise;

Mary, Joseph, lend your aid, while our hearts in love we raise.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo.

Hymn “Silent Night, Holy Night”

Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright

Round yon virgin mother and child,

holy infant so tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.


Silent night, holy night, shepherds quake at the sight,

Glories stream from heaven afar,

heavenly hosts sing alleluia; Christ, the Savior, is born!

Christ, the Savior, is born!


Silent night, holy night, Son of God, love’s pure light

Radiant beams from Thy holy face,

with the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth,

Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.


Silent night, holy night, wondrous star, lend thy light;

With the angels let us sing, alleluia to our King;

Christ, the Savior, is born, Christ, the Savior, is born.




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