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					Christmas Program & Service
LEA DCEnet
Provided by DCE Jill Hasstedt
Zion Lutheran Church
Belleville, Illinois

                                 Angels Share the Good News
                             A Family Christmas Service, 5:00 PM
                                 Sunday, December 24, 2006


Glow-stick Information – Parents Please Read!
        Each person should have received a glow stick upon entering this evening. Glow sticks
should be lit as noted in the service folder. To light the sticks, gently bend them until the inner
glass tune breaks and then gently shake the stick. This allows the chemicals to inside to mix.
        A word of caution. Glow sticks are safer to use than candles and fun to take home
afterwards. However, children should use them only under direct adult supervision. The
chemical in glow sticks is non-toxic and non-flammable but can be irritating and may stain
furniture and clothing.

Worship Instructions (Printed in worship Folder)
Tonight's service has been planned especially for those attending with young children. We have
intentionally used finger plays, songs, and short readings that may already be familiar to
children from other children’s programs this season. Instructions are printed for adults to help
involve children in worship. It is helpful if adults model participation by joining in themselves.

Remind children to watch for moments when the pastor raises a star and says– “This is the
Good News!” Every time they hear it, they should raise their own stars because, next, the adults
around them will say. “Tonight is a night of Good News!” Then it will be their turn to say,
“Jesus is the Good News!” and to wave their stars as they say this.

Finally, we encourage you to take the actions for In a Little Stable and The Angel Finger Play
versions home with you. Play and sing them with the young children in your life, and make them
a part of your bedtime routine and Christmas traditions in the years to come.

PRE SERVICE MUSIC

INTRODUCTORY INFORMATION FOR WORSHIPPERS

Other Worship Information for Pastor to Share – this part not printed.
        Tonight's service has been planned especially for those attending with young children.
We have intentionally used finger plays, songs, and short readings that may already be familiar
to children from other programs this season. Instructions are printed for adults to help involve
children in worship as well as to join in themselves. A few special things to look for or involve
your children in watching for


                                                  1
 The processional star
 Angels
 Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the wise men
 Star and nativity pictures in the worship folder – your child can color these to help mark
  their way through the service.
 Baggies in pew pockets have coloring supplies for children to share. Adults may wish to
  assist with this. There should be one for every child.
 Watch for me to raise a star and say – “This is the Good News!” Every time you hear it,
  raise your own stars because, next, the adults around you will say. “Tonight is a night of
  Good News!” Then it will be your turn to say, “Jesus is the Good News!” and to wave their
  stars as they say this.
 Practice the Finger Play
PRACTICE: Angels Finger Play
Angels came from heaven     (arms out to sides)
They told of Jesus’ birth   (hands cupping mouth)
Go and share the good news, (extend arms to congregation with palms out)
Share with all the earth!   (arms up, making an earth size circle over their heads

 Finally say Tonight briefly reviews the role of angels in announcing the Good News of Jesus
    birth, but OUR focus, like that of the angels on that first night, is on Jesus.
.


NATIVITY PROCESSIONAL (The congregation remains seated but angels in the
congregation are invited to stand next to their parents and to hold up their stars. Be sure wrap
an arm around little ones standing on pews to guard against falls)

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (LSB 380; LW 49)
All sing


GREETING ONE ANOTHER: A reminder to greet little ones as well tonight. Bend a bit to
get closer to their height, and welcome them to Jesus’ house. Pastor should state this reminder
when he invites people to greet one another and model this as he also greets children.

INVOCATION
Pastor:  We begin our worship together in the name of the Father, the Son, and the
         Holy Spirit.

People:        Amen.

Pastor:        Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the
               kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Then He placed his hands on them
               and blessed them. This is a special night, a night for welcoming and worshipping
               with young children. We come together, some of us alone but all of us as


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              members of God's family, young and old together, to remind each other that we
              are here for a wonderful occasion. Jesus is born!

All:          On the first Christmas, God sent angels as messengers of this amazing event on to
              tell the world that He had sent his only Son on a mission to free the world from
              sin and to give us all the hope of a new life.

Pastor:       This is the Good News!                       (Pastor holds up star)

All:          Tonight is a night of Good News!

Children:      Jesus is the Good News!              (Children wave stars)

ANGEL FINGER PLAY
Angels came from heaven       (arms out to sides)
They told of Jesus’ birth     (hands cupping mouth)
Go and share the good news,   (extend arms to congregation with palms out)
Share with all the earth!     (arms up, making an earth size circle over their heads


Confession and Announcement of God’s Forgiveness

Pastor: Sin has been around a long time. It separates every person from God. Our hearts are dark
   with sin. Each person needs the Good News of Jesus’ love and forgiveness in his or her life.
   Let us confess our sins before Jesus, our Savior.
All: Lord God, we confess that we do so many things that are wrong. Sometimes we don’t mean
    to but we do anyway. We are separated from You. We make mistakes. We hurt those we
    love. We have failed to live in a way that reflects Your love to our hurting world. We have
    not always shared the Good News. For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, forgive us.
    Strengthen and transform us by Your Holy Spirit, so that we may share the joy of the Good
    News of Jesus’ love with others.
Pastor: Our God indeed has forgiven all your sins. He sent His only Son, Jesus, to redeem us all.
   You are forgiven and free of the guilt of sin by God’s grace through the gift of Jesus.
All: Amen.


CHILDREN’S MESSAGE (Could tell how angels helped tell the good news on the first
Christmas. Use Screen with pictures like a Bible story book. Include that the word “Gospel” is
an old English word that means “Good News.”

Pastor should introduce the first reading like this: The Gospel or “Good News” as recorded by
Luke reveals that the first involvement of an angel in the Christmas story was when an angel
named Gabriel told Mary that she was to be the mother of the Savior God was sending.




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SCRIPTURE READING: Luke 1:26–38 (The Announcement to Mary. Look for Mary and the
Angel)
Mary and an angel will walk down the aisle together to the front. They should appear to be
having a conversation in sync with the reading. When they get to the front they should face the
congregation as the conversation continues. At the end of the reading the angel should exit
toward the pulpit and down the back stairs. Mary should exit down a side aisle.

Pastor:        This is the Good News!               (Pastor holds up star)

All:           Tonight is a night of Good News!

Children:      Jesus is the Good News!              (Children wave stars)

ANGELS FINGER PLAY
Angels came from heaven       (arms out to sides)
They told of Jesus’ birth     (hands cupping mouth)
Go and share the good news,   (extend arms to congregation with palms out)
Share with all the earth!     (arms up, making an earth size circle over their heads

SONG: Mary Did You Know

SCRIPTURE READING Luke 2:1–7 (The Birth of Jesus: Watch for Mary and Joseph)
Mary and Joseph walk to the front together with a baby. They will remain up front until after the
next reading.


SONG: In a Little Stable (LOSP, p. 81) (Adults are encouraged to with model the actions for
children and help them as we sing together.)

   1. In a little stable             (Hold hands in front, fingertips together, pointing up.)
      Far across the sea             (Shade eyes with one hand.)
      Was a little Baby              (Cradle arms in front as if holding a baby.)
      Just like you and me.          (Point to audience; then point to self.)

   2. Not a bed or cradle,           (Hold hands together under one side of head.)
      Not a pillow deep,             (Switch hands to other side of head.)
      But a lowly manger             (Hold hands together in front, palms up and cupped.)
      Was His place to sleep.        (Hold hands together under one side of head.)

   4. Oh, I love this Jesus,         (Cross arms over heart.)
      Who was little then,           (Hold hands in front, palms down.)
      For I know He loves me,        (Cross arms over heart.)
      Little though I am.            (Hold hands in front, palms down.)


SCRIPTURE READING             Luke 2: 8–12 (Watch for the Shepherds and an Angels)



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Shepherds will enter down the center aisle followed by one angel.
                               Luke 2:13–14
Pastor should explain that this is a special part of the Scripture for all angels here tonight to
participate in. The whole congregation will help as well. I need all my angels to listen. Get your
stars and halos ready. I’m going to tell you when I need all my angels and everyone here to help
me with this reading. Read Luke 13 then read Luke 14 one line at a time having all the angels
repeat after you.
                Glory to God in the Highest             congregation repeats
                And on earth peace             congregation repeats
                To all mankind                 congregation repeats
                On whom His favor rests congregation repeats
(Angel family is coming down the aisle to join the nativity.
                               Luke 2:15–20
Pastor:         This is the Good News!                  (Pastor holds up star)

All:           Tonight is a night of Good News!

Children:       Jesus is the Good News!              (Children wave stars)

Nativity characters return down side aisles to seats while the next song is sung.

   Angels We Have Heard on High (LSB 368; LW 55)



OFFERING (SONG)

CHRISTMAS PRAYERS

SONG From Heaven Above to Earth I Come (LSB 358:1–2; LW 37:1–2)
Congregation sings. Please join in the song motions with children as you are able..


LIGHTING OF THE GLOW STICKS

SONG Silent Night -
Congregation sings

BLESSING
Pastor:  The glowing lights tonight as we sang Silent Night are very special. It is even
         more special to know that as you leave tonight your hearts will be glowing with
         Jesus’ love. Speak about Jesus in your homes tonight and from now on.
All:     We will share the Good News of His love and the reason He came. May our
         children, our family members, and our friends see the power of His story in our
         lives. This incredible blessing can be a powerful force in their lives too. In Jesus,
         there is no condemnation. We have been saved by God’s free gift of grace,
         through faith.


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Pastor           That is Good news!                         (Pastor holds up star)

All:             Tonight is a night of Good News!

Children:         Jesus is the Good News!

Pastor: Pastors usually say a blessing to those in worship before everyone leaves. Tonight…
let’s say the blessing to one another. Would you turn to the center a bit and face one another
across this center aisle. You can hold one hand up in a gesture of blessing to others if you want.
I’ll say a line and you repeat it.
         The Lord Bless you tonight                          congregation repeats
         May His holy angels go with you                     congregation repeats
         Protecting you from all evil                        congrregation repeats
         May you know the full joy                           congregation repeats
         of being loved and forgiven through Christ Jesus congregation repeats
         Amen
Pastor:          Go now and share the Good news of Jesus and the peace it brings us.


Watch as you leave tonight. The lights go out together in a flood but spread to tiny lights leaving
in many different directions. Each Christian takes the light of God’s awesome love with them.
Jesus has come as a Savior to the world from sin. We have Good News to share! Go tonight,
ready first to share God’s incredible love with others in word and deed. But, also be ready to
share the Good news of Jesus gift of forgiveness and new life.

CLOSING SONG
Joy to the World (LSB 387:1–2, 4; LW 53:1–2, 4) OR Go Tell it On the Mountain
All sing



Copyright Information
Tonight’s service written by Jill Hasstedt. It was inspired by Good News!, A Christmas Program for Young Children
Based on the hymn “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” and purchased for the 2006 Sunday Morning Bible
Club’s Christmas Program at Zion Lutheran Church. Copyright © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, 3558 S.
Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, MO 63188-3968, 1-800-325-3040 • www.cph.org. Written by Janet Muth, Edited by
Pamela Nielsen




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Leader Notes for 5:00 PM Christmas Service
1. Best case scenario: In October, pull together a team to brainstorm a theme and some original
   ideas for this worship service.
2. The target audience is families with young children so
    Use songs (and finger plays) from the SMBC Christmas program that young children
       practiced and memorized.
    Use a repetitive song or finger play in worship.
    Include something for children to “do”: color, wave, watch for… etc.
    Include written instructions with tips for adults on keeping children involved. This is not
       a “given” especially for adults not used to brining children to worship.
    Provide guidelines for pastoral instructions.
    Use classic and easily sung Christmas hymns.
    Plan on a live nativity using families of angels, shepherds etc.
    Use glow sticks instead of candles, but put safety instructions in worship folder for these.
       Order glow sticks in late October or Early November.
    Youth Praise usually sings during Offering in this service. Check with leader for songs.
3. December
    First week: write out final worship format and give to pastors and music minister for
       review.
    Recruit families and arrange to get them costumes.

To Do Now!!!
      Purchase bags or baggies and crayons for crayons in pews. Divide 2-3 into baggies. Put a
       baggie in each bag for children to colors stars. Remember to remove these after 5:00
       PM.
      Carefully proofread bulletin for errors, omissions, correct words, hymn numbers, etc. The
       more proofreaders the better.
      Called florist or rental agency and asked them to check that we had two complete sets of
       candles and that we had enough hurricane lamps (for 7:00 Pm and 9:00 PM). However,
       check this again after they deliver Dec. 23.
      Purchase 18 backup candles, red, cheap, and a lighter for the
       ushers to use (grill style gas lighter)
      RECRUIT Angels to be greeters
      Recruit family of shepherds.
      Recruit family of Angels
      Recruit Mary and Joseph (Young Adults or older high school… usually not a family
       because these characters stay up front through the readings.)
      Arrange to have them try on costumes Sunday, December 17th or Sunday morning
       December 24th either before or after Adult ED/SMBC. Suggest we leave costumes on
       table in Discovery Classroom for families. We will need to pull child size shepherds,.
       from SMBC boxes (above SMBC storage in school). Adult sizes come from live nativity
       costumes (in Korean closet).




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      Ask families to arrive no later than 4:45 and dress. Then they can sit as a family until the
       processional. Have them sit near a side aisle so they can exit on the side, come down the
       center (for the processional and when their part is up). We my want to use reserve signs
       for their family.
    FREEZE THE EXTRA CANDLES FOR THE HURRICANE LAMPS
     So THEY BURN SLOWER (7 AND 9:00 PM)
    This year we are including the annunciation, so Mary and an angel will
     process for that part, then Mary and the Angel will have to walk out to re-
     enter with Joseph.
     Put chair or stool and small manger out for Mary. Mary sits on chair and Joseph stands
      behind. Have a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths. Do not use any other props as there is
      little clean up time between services.
    Families walk down center when their scripture is read and then exit to pews during the
      hymn following. Only Mary and Joseph stay up for all the scriptures. They return to their
      seats after the last Scripture. (see annotated worship folder).
    After worship they should return costumes to the youth room. We need to make sure
      costumes are put away before Sunday and that youth room is clean.
    Hurricane lamps for late services must be set up immediately following 5:00 PM service
      have a crew for that..
    Check that ushers have signed up for 5:00 PM… if not, then we should
      recruit more (families of ushers?)
    Put manger and stool behind pulpit after 5:00 service.
    TRAIN: Ushers should help clean out pews: bulletins, rumpled envelopes and attendance
      cards, glow stick wrappers, etc. before they leave. However, ask (remind) them of the
      need for this before the service.
    Plan to be available for last minute needs from the pastors. Check in and let them know
      you’re available.
5. Putting up hurricane lamps – HAVE TWO SETS OF TOOLS WITH YOU
    Recruit 4–6 adults or a family or two to do this: (I always try to avoid pastors’ families
      because they are so pressed for time already). Others benefit from involvement. Grab
      young dads or grandpas from families who will come to 5:00 PM. This only takes 15
      minutes.
    Count how many stands there are. Divide that number in half because half go on each
      side. Then plan to space the lamps evenly on both sides.
    Attach lamps to the pews. Workers on each side will need a screw driver and an
      adjustable wrench.
    Put candles in holders on stand.
    Put hurricane lamps over candles.
    Attach bows beneath hurricane lamps.
    Ushers will light candles before next service. Make sure lighter is where they can find it.
    All candles must be replaced after the 7:00 PM service.

6. Make HALOS and Stars!
7. SMBC Candle Processional Characters from Parade Process first time.


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8. COUNT. Have glow sticks in baskets divided for the 4 doors to be handed out by ushers as
   people arrive. We should have more than enough (400). One per person as they arrive.
   Ushers should verbally remind people not to open glow sticks until “it’s time” to do so in
   worship.Please put any extras unopened in the ushers room. If we’re short give 1 to every
   child and 1 per 2 adults.

9. In worship, nativity characters enter as each Scripture passage is read. Each small
   processional will be accompanied by an angel. A finger play will preceed each reading. The
   pastor or other worship leader leads the congregation and children in practicing the Good
   News Responses and the finger play before worship




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