Join us for meaningful and creative worship!

Every Sunday morning at 10:30

Intergenerational Worship. The organ, piano, djembe drum, hammered dulcimer, and often the folk harp are instrumental in helping us worship God. We have an accessible entry. Fair Trade Coffee Hour follows worship. On the first Sunday of each month, we celebrate Communion, which is open to all.

Our Sunday morning schedule

10:20 | The Explorers Room opens for infants, toddlers, and 3s. These youngest ones are also welcome in worship.

10:30 | Worship begins. Children of all ages attend the first part of worship with their families.

11:00 | Midway through worship, children age 3 to Grade 8 depart for Sunday School. On the first Sunday of each month, children only depart for a 25-minute Chapel Time before returning to the Sanctuary to participate in Holy Communion.

11:30 | Fair Trade Coffee Hour. People of all ages linger a while to enjoy good company--and good food.

Our holiday season worship schedule

This Sunday's bulletin                            

St. Paul’s United Church of Christ

Third Sunday of Advent  |  “Make the Blessings Known: UnabashedJoy”

December 15, 2019  |  Christmas Pageant  |  10:30 am


Journeying together toward deeper faith, justice, and love for all




We gather together to worship the One Who Is Joy, and as we come together,
our hearts are expanded. We remember the heavens declare God’s praise as the sun rises
and light multiplies. And we witness that all of nature (including us) yearns to reach
and expand toward the Light so that all might know joy.


LIGHTING THE CANDLES                                                                    Julia Wallinga


We light candles to symbolize the light of Christ in our midst


PRELUDE                                For Children at Christmas                   by Southbridge

                                                         Christmas in Sicily                                      by Yon

                                                                                                            Geoff Olson, organ




                                                                                                           Clare Gromoll, Associate Minister


FOCUSING ON UNABASHED JOY                 Cindy Mueller, Interim Lead Minister


*GATHERING SONG(all)  Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn    see the ivory insert


THE ADVENT WREATH                Bill & Marie Hurley, Luke Ackerman, Ireland Cook,

Tami Boulton, Cindy Mueller, Andre and Andy McCain


SUNG RESPONSE(all)        In the Darkness Light a Light      JOSEPH LIEBER, JOSEPH MEIN


OPENING PRAYER                                                                                 Clare Gromoll

One  Holy God, you provide the source of our joy.
It runs deep and wide underneath all of life.
When we are tempted to depend on others for happiness,
draw us back to you, for you are the Light that shines for us always.

All     Help us to shine that light from within us through our own Unabashed Joy.
Let us make your blessings known in our hearts this day.
Let us make your blessings known in our church this day.
Let us make your blessings known in the world this day in the name of Joy. Amen.


*OPENING SONG OF JOY (all)          My Soul Gives Glory to My God              #130

                                                                                                   verses 1, 2 & 4



Offer a smile, a handshake, or a hug as a sign of the peace of Christ


*INTERLUDE (all)                                Glory to God                                                #34


Gloria, Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, Gloria, alleluia, alleluia!

Glory to God, glory to God, glory in the highest!

Glory to God, glory to God, alleluia, alleluia!


Children & Youth may come forward during the singing




As we open to receive the Word and interpret its meaning for our lives,
we connect to the depths of our being where the River of Joy is always flowing.
We have only to dip into it.




Narrated and embodied by the children and youth of St. Paul’s UCC.

Cast, accompanists, and support team are listed on the back of the bulletin.


~ PROCESSIONAL DUET  |  The First Noël~
















CHILDREN & YOUTH CHORUS  |  Hush! There’s a Baby


CAROL                                  Go Tell It on the Mountain                                    #167


Children & Youth sing the refrain, Congregation sings the verses




INTERLUDE                                       Pageant participants depart to the Fireside Room

                                                      Other young people, age 3–Grade 8, are welcome to join them


A READING FROM THE PROPHET       Isaiah 35: 110                      Jake Grussing


A READING FROM THE GOSPELS        Luke 1: 46b55


THE MESSAGE                                                                                        Cindy Mueller




Connecting with our deepest selves, we are able to accept that all of life
resides within joy’s possibilities—not only the happy moments, but also the sorrows
and difficulties of life. Like the work of our hearts, all that flows in can be given new life and
pumped back out with renewed oxygen, giving us strength and courage for all circumstances.


THE INVITATION                                                                                                                                  


OFFERTORY ANTHEM        Jina La Bwana (The Name of the Lord Is Holy)

                                          by Steven C. Warner  |  Beth Varela and Diana Carlson, percussion



Jina la Bwana, ni takatifu.
(The name of the Lord is holy.)

I acclaim the greatness of the Lord.

Jina la Bwana, ni takatifu.

I delight in God my Savior.

Moyo wangu, wamtukooza Bwana,

        (My soul proclaims
 the greatness of the Lord,)

Who regarded my humble state.


For God, so wonderful in power,

Has used that strength for me.


Holy the Name of the Lord!

Whose mercy embraces the faithful,

One generationto the next.

The mighty arm of God!

Scatters the proud in their conceit!

Pulls tyrants from their thrones!

And raises up the humble.

The Lord fills the starving
with good things.


God rescues lowly Israel,

Recalling the promise of mercy!

The promise made to our ancestors,

To Abraham's heirs forever!

Holy the Name of the Lord,

Whose mercy endures forever!


Jina! Jina! Ni takatifu!

Jina! Jina! Holy the Name!



*SUNG RESPONSE(all)      In the Bleak Midwinter (verse 4)                            CRANHAM


What can I offer, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.

If I were a wise one, I would do my part; but what can I offer: all my heart.



One  God, we cannot do everything.

All     But we can do something.

One We cannot do all things.

All     But we can do many things indeed.

One  So we pray to you, the one who can do all things,

All     For whom everything is possible:

One  Take these incomplete efforts of ours

All     And make them sufficient for this day.

One  Come to us, your half-full people,

All     And fill us to overflowing. Amen.




Connecting to Joy can compel us to want this connection for all beings.

We leave this place “with passion” (com-passion) for adding our hope to the world.


*CLOSING SONG (all)     Christians All, Your Lord Is Coming                           #136

verses 1 & 4



POSTLUDE                                                         Fanfare                                              by Buxtehude

                                                                          Oh, How Joyfully                                                 by Bish


We carry the light of Christ out into the world!


The Postlude is a time of worship and meditation for many people.
You are invited to remain and enjoy the Postlude in silence
or depart to the lobby for fellowship and conversation.


Rev. Cindy Mueller Interim Lead Minister  |  Rev. Clare Gromoll Associate Minister

Judith Melander Director of Music  |  Geoffrey Olson Organist



Today  |  December 15 

·     10:20 am   Explorers Room opens (infant & toddler care)

·     10:30 am   Worship

·       11:30 am   Fair Trade Coffee Hour  |  lobby

·       11:30 am   Blood pressure checks  |  office

·       11:45 am   Artisan Festival Team  |  Fireside Room

·       3:00 pm   German Christmas service  |  Sanctuary

·       4:00 pm   Reception  |  lobby

Monday December 16  |  Office closed

·       7:00 pm   Widening Circle Women’s AA  |  Fireside Room

Tuesday December 17

·        5:30 pm   Finance Committee  |  Conference Room

·       6:30 pm   Childhood Center Board of Directors  |  Conference Room

·        7:15 pm   Creation Justice Church Team  |  Fireside Room

Wednesday December 18

·        6:30am   Women’s AA  |  Fireside Room

·       6:00 pm   Wednesday evening meal  |  lobby

·       6:30 pm   Journey of Faith  | Fireside Room
Topic: The Lifesaving Church: Faith Communities and Suicide Prevention

·       6:30 pm   Youth Group  |  Upper Room

·       6:30 pm   Childcare  |  Explorers Room

·        7:30 pm   Sanctuary Choir rehearsal  |  Music Room

Thursday December 19

·        6:30am   11th Step Meditation  |  Fireside Room

·           Noon   Soup & Substance  |  Fireside Room

·        1:00 pm   Seamsters  |  Fireside Room

·       5:45 pm   Clergy-Congregation Relations Committee  |  Conference Room

·       7:00 pm   Ministry Board  |  Fireside Room

Friday December 20

·        6:15 pm   OA  |  Fireside Room

·       7:00 pm   A Light in the Darkness Christmas Solstice service  |  Sanctuary

Saturday December 21  | 

·        7:30 am   2nd Men’s AA  |  Great Hall

·       9:00 am   Men’s AA  |  Great Hall

Sunday December 22  | UCC Christmas Fund special offering

·     10:20 am   Explorers Room opens (infant & toddler care)

·     10:30 am   Worship  |  Sanctuary

·       11:30 am   Fair Trade Coffee Hour  |  lobby

·       12:15 pm   Lead Ushers  |  Conference Room

·       12:15 pm   Christmas Eve choir rehearsal  |  Sanctuary




Many thanks to all participants!

CAST (in order by appearance)

Narrators                  Fiona Mulligan (1), Daphne Kugler (2)

Mary                         Audrey Sullivan

Gabriel                           Jonah Grussing

Elizabeth                  Mackenzie Kish

Joseph                            Liam Simon

Donkey                    Suzanne Kish

Baby Jesus                 Jacqueline Buoen

Lead Shepherds        Luke Ackerman (1), Trevor Dwelis (2)

Shepherd                       Iris Kugler

Sheep                        Ava Aadland, Emmet Dwelis, Jonah Gromoll, Ella Lindquist

Lead Angel               Lenora Gold

Angels                            Astrid Appel, Owen Appel, Mira Atterberry, Ruby Christianson,
Sam Gromoll, Leon Larson, Eden Lindquist

Star Angel                     Norah Grussing

Magi                                Cade Sullivan (1), Lyle Mulligan (2), Avery Larson (3)

Kind Children             Desmond Lawrence, Amelia Simon

Earth Angel              Elsie Schwartzmiller



Violin                       Kenzie Glynn

Keyboard                  Diana Carlson, Mary Carbello (rehearsal support)

Rhythm                     Beth Varela

Handbells                 Trevor Dwelis, Lenora Gold, Daphne Kugler, Avery Larson

(directed by Mary Joyce)



Poster Creators        Mackenzie Kish, Suzanne Kish, Avery Larson

Costuming                Marcia Moermond, Becky Sicoli, Jo Stueckemann, Gail Westby

Assistant Directors   Heather Christianson, Cara Grussing, Chanda Mulligan

Director                    Rev. Clare Gromoll 

Unique offerings

Evensong Service with Folk Ensemble | Monthly, September through May

Our next Evensong service will be January 19. There will be no Evensong service in December.

Click here for a short video about this service. 

Special services and experiences

Palm Sunday

Our Palm Sunday service ushers in Holy Week with songs, a giant Jesus figure, and the waving of palms--reminiscent of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, beginning the days leading through the Last Supper, his arrest, crucifixion, and death, and resurrection on Easter morning.

Health & Wholeness Sunday

Health & Wholeness Sunday was March 11. The theme for both the breakfast and worship was Caregiving. 

German language services 

Every year, to honor the heritage of the founders of this now-diverse community, we offer two German language services--a Good Friday service and a Christmas service (3:00 pm on the third Sunday of Advent--December 15 this year).

A Light in the Darkness  |  December 20, 7:00 pm

This annual Christmas Solstice service offers an exceptional time of reflection in a busy time of year. A Light in the Darkness also provides a special opportunity for travelers who will be unable to attend Christmas services with other members of their communities. 

Tenebrae service on Good Friday

We also hold a service of Tenebrae (or shadows) on Good Friday. It features a dramatic reading of the Passion story as recounted in the Gospels, as well as moving music and the enveloping darkness as Jesus Christ moves through death and departs from us. Many find that attending this service is an essential step on the journey to more fully appreciating the powerful message of Easter.

Totenfest  |  All Saints Sunday

Throughout Christian history, the church has celebrated the lives of faithful people who have died. Totenfest is the distinctive practice that grows out of the Evangelical tradition of the United Church of Christ. Because of our congregation's German heritage, Totenfest has always been an important remembrance for us, celebrated near the end of the church calendar year and closely associated with All Saints Day. We celebrate Totenfest every year on All Saints Sunday, the first Sunday in November.


Worship Times

Sunday Morning

10:30 am
Nursery and toddler care provided
Sunday School for children
11:30 Fair Trade Coffee Hour

Evensong Service 
with Folk Ensemble

3rd Sundays @ 5:15 pm,
September through May,
except Easter Sunday.
Light refreshments follow

900 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul 55105
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Upcoming JEvents

Sun Dec 15 @12:00AM
The full calendar
Sun Dec 15 @11:30AM - 12:00PM
Fair Trade Coffee Hour
Sun Dec 15 @11:30AM - 12:30PM
Blood pressure checks
Sun Dec 15 @ 6:30PM - 07:30PM
Journey of Faith

St. Paul's UCC | Journeying together toward deeper faith, justice, and love for all   

900 Summit Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105  |  651-224-5809  |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  |  Our Facebook Page

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