​​​WilliNet Channel 1303 Sunday Worship 9am and 4pm. Rerun Wed at 10am and Friday at 7pm.

This Week's Internet site is: 

Sunday, December 3rd, 2023
In-House Morning Worship-9am  

Immediately following Worship​​

Sunday Bulletin posted below for readings​​


81 Hancock Road, Williamstown, MA
Matt Alcombright, Music Director
Rev. David Hurst, Pastor
December 3, 2023

1st Sunday of Advent----Hope

PRELUDE                                                           ANNOUNCEMENTS

CALL TO WORSHIP                                                                Deacon Reader
Leader: O Lord, awaken us on this beautiful December day. Let us begin our
celebration with hope in the coming of the Messiah who will create a more
peaceful world.
People: Raise our weary bodies and fill us with hope O Lord.
Leader: Give us your peace and understanding! Give us the willingness to
believe in the story of your divine love.
People: We are here, O Lord, because of the promises given to our
ancestors. Let them be remembered and enriched in the celebration of the
birth of Jesus Christ.

Leader: God's promise is kept each Sunday. For when we worship the Spirit of
God, Christ dwells within us and around us.

OPENING HYMN      "Lift Up Your Heads, O Mighty Gates"                 #127

INVOCATION                           (Unison)                                     Deacon Reader
Leader: O Holy God, we celebrate the mystery of your eternal word. From the
messages of the angels and the witness of shepherds, Advent comes to us in
Spirit and in Truth.
People: Instill in us, O Lord, a sense of mystery and wonder as we await the
child born in a manger. Open our hearts! Awaken us to your love! Reveal to
us your Wisdom and mercy! Heal our families and save the world from
violence and destruction. In the name of the Christ we pray.   Amen

Advent Candle Lighting
Reader 1
: Today is the beginning of Advent. It is the time of preparation for
the celebration of Christ's birth.
Reader 2: We are here because of God's promises to us. We live in the
hope of the coming of the Kingdom of God through the birth of Jesus
Reader 3: To celebrate Jesus’ coming, we light the first candle to proclaim the
coming of the light of God into the world. [Light a purple candle]






First Lesson              Isaiah 64: 1-9                                                       p. 643

Second Lesson.        Mark 13: 24-37                                                     p. 882

Sermon                    Wait!  Watch!  Prepare!                   Rev. David Hurst​

HYMN of  HOLY COMMUNION "Bread of the World, In Mercy Broken"                                                                                                                            #319                  THANKSGIVING AND HOLY COMMUNION

We celebrate open Communion Table-All are welcome at the Table.

CLOSING HYMN        "Watchmen Tell Us of the Night"                 #117

Leader: Beyond the darkness, there is a star. The Star, the Christ that guides
us throughout our lives.
People: Behind the rush of this world, there is a wondrous silence. May God
touch our lives with hints of the holy night.

Bulletins for December are given by Anne Tiffany
In memory of Carl & Marion Lamb

​  ​​​​

“After coming into the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshipped Him. Then opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”                                                                                            Mathew 2:11                                                                         



  December Calendar

December 3rd            In-house Morning Worship 9am

​​                                                   Coffee Hour following Worship

                                           Mission Tags are available from the

                                           basket in the Sanctuary for the

                                           Williamstown Food Pantry
                                            Take & Eat 

December 10th          In-house Morning Worship 9am

​ ​​                                          Coffee Hour following Worship

                                           Caroling to follow Worship
​ ​​                                                   North County Christmas 3pm at          

                                                    First Congregational Church North Adams
December14th (Th)   Dorcas Cookie Mission 3pm

                                           Deacons Meeting 3:30pm

December 17th           In-house Morning Worship 9am

                                           Coffee Hour following Worship
Last day to submit information on

                                              Memorial Plants                                        
 Last day to bring in gifts for the Williamstown

                                                      Food Pantry Christmas Mission
December 21st (Th) Trustees Meeting 4:15pm

December  24th        Christmas In-house Morning Worship 9am

                                          Coffee Hour following Worship 

                                            Christmas Eve Service 5pm

December 25th         Christmas Day

December 31st          Informal Worship Service 9am

(Please bring readings or verses to share and BELLS to RING)

                                         Coffee Hour following Worship
WilliNet Channel 1303 Sunday Worship 9am and 4pm. Rerun Wed at 10am and Friday at 7pm. Each Week's Internet site is sent on Friday


January 21st                Church Council Meeting following Worship

Inserts for Memorial Christmas Plants 
will be available from the Deacons beginning November 26th. All forms must be given back to the Deacon on Duty by 12/17 in order to be part of an insert for the Christmas service and Christmas Eve or they can be emailed to wmst2ndcongo@outlook.com

Words from our youth: 
Looking back, the youths have been busy with Take & Eat service. They also dedicated time to Warm the Children. With this program sponsored by the Greater Bennington Interfaith Community, they shopped for winter weather gear with & for children from at risk families to address local inequality. Finally, we have heard that Orissa, our second puppy, is successfully going through the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Program. We currently have a 3rd pup, Ettie. 
Looking ahead, there is Take & Eat and Christmas caroling on the calendar. Also, some special music during services. 

The Trustees have taken care of a water leak in the parsonage basement in the water softening system and adjusted the mixing valve on that boiler to assure the tenants have the correct temperature water. Paul has completed this year's mowing for which we are very appreciative. Arrangements are underway for the building inspection and the kitchen inspection. We wish Jeff Kennedy, the former Health Inspector, an enjoyable retirement and look forward to meeting his replacement once she is ready to do our kitchen. We have put together a proposed budget for 2024 with the input of the various groups. A sign has been ordered for the right side of the entry door and should be installed in December. We thank Rachel Rhodes' family for allowing money given to the church in her memory to be used for this purchase. ​

The Mission Committee prepared the Christmas Food Pantry tags and list (see attached) as given by Carol Demayo..  They are available in a Basket in the Sanctuary for next Sunday, December 3rd. You can choose a tag.  We need the items and tags back for Sunday, December 17th to deliver to Carol at the Food Pantry.  The Dorcas will be providing 2 Canned Hams and 2 Gift Cards for this holiday Mission. 
Thanks to all who are so generous and giving at this time of year.  We are thankful and we are blessed by all our friends and family for these donations. 
Regarding the Veterans Pantry in North Adams.  I am taking our collection tomorrow to City Hall. We can do this again in January if all are willing. The list is on the Bulletin Board in the Fellowship Hall.  Thanks again for all the donations. It is greatly appreciated.

Welcome to  

The Second Congregational Church

81 Hancock Road • Williamstown, MA 01267 • (413) 458-3467

                               — Remember in Prayer —

A Prayer List is part of the weekly Bulletin. Please email the church (wmst2ndcongo@outlook.com) if you would like to make additions or subtractions to keep those on the list in prayer. . . It Works!​​

All of the First Responders  who put their lives in jeopardy to care for all of us. For those working in grocery stores, gas stations, hospitals, nursing homes, health care facilities, food banks… who are working in spite of the danger to themselves. Prayers for anyone who is overwhelmed by this pandemic. Prayers for those who are feeling isolated or afraid. Prayers that God give us the mindfulness to reach out by phone to those who we are not frequently in touch -those on the outer edges of our friendship and family. Prayers for all people as we look to “love our neighbor” as God has commanded.


For those that were not able to be at the final service or need additional time to consider their 2023 Giving,

you may send in your gifts and pledges to:

Jean Richer 124 S. Hemlock Brook, Williamstown, MA 01267.

--The Mission Committee--

The monthly nonperishable items are still welcome on Sundays. Items may be placed in the wagon or baskets in the back of the church pews for our committee to bring to the pantry every month.  If you are able, it is always nice to drop items off when you shop for your family and leave them at the pantry on Southworth Street. All our Missions are important but we especially like providing for our local families and helping our neighbors with this food delivery.
Thank you all for being so generous and caring. 

There are also more articles about the Hunger, Disaster and Development on the website for your interest. Just go to One Great Hour of Sharing 2023 or Facebook.com/onegreathourofsharingucc.  for more information.

Words from the Organ Bench: As we begin this month of December.  We also begin the beautiful Season of Advent.  In many Christian faith traditions one of the great hymns of the season is "O' Come, O' Come Emmanuel."  This hymn tune is based on a Gregorian Chant.  Most importantly the hymn traditionally has seven verses.  Each verse highlights a name or title given to Christ throughout the Scriptures.  Christ is referred to as Emmanuel, Wisdom, Lord, Root of Jesse, Key of David, Dayspring and King of Nations.  These titles for Christ lead us deeper into the mystery of this Long-Awaited Savior.  Jesus is the expected one, the Savior that is hoped for and King who has come, God among us.  Each week, after the lighting of the Advent Wreath, we will listen to (and sing) two verses of this great hymn to lead us deeper into that reality that God chose to come among us and be with us.  God truly is with us! (Emmanuel)  As this hymn draws us into the awesome reality that God has come and will come to us again let us enter this season of Hope echoing the refrain of this hymn "Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel!"

On Sunday, December 10th the First Congregational Church in North Adams will host North County Christmas at 3:00pm.  This is a concert featuring a combined choir of North County Singers as well as instrumentalists and bell ringers.  The program, this year, features many familiar hymns to sing along as well as gorgeous choral arrangements.  The concert is free with a free will offering taken to benefit the Berkshire Food Project.  Please consider joining in this beautiful annual event! 





Music Director /Organist

Matt Alcombright

Rev. David  Hurst

 Blessings to all! 

      “After coming into the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshipped Him. Then opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”                                                                                            Mathew 2:11 

My, how time flies! Here we are in the beginning of Advent! It seems this year has sped past. Looking back to those “Covid years,” holidays became so worrisome and constricted. We had to be careful of Covid and all its ramifications and rumors. We were challenged as a church and as a people. Although we must still use caution, it seems that we are in a far better place. Having celebrated Thanksgiving, [I hope you have had a blessed one!] we now turn our church calendar to the four Sundays of Advent with anticipation of joining together in song and fellowship.           

          We will be worshipping Sunday morning as usual at 9am on December 24th. Then, at 5pm Christmas Eve on the 24th, we will be celebrating our Verses, Carols and Candles evening service. I hope you all will come and celebrate our Savior’s birth together! 

          Advent is a time set aside to celebrate the coming and birth of Jesus Christ. We are reminded to take our time and enjoy the anticipation and wonder of Christ’s birth. On Advent Sundays we are reminded to watch life transpire around us and how Jesus was born in the most common of places. We are asked to mediate and consider how Christ’s entrance into the world changes everything! We are asked to wait with loving expectation like parents awaiting the birth of a child, which is such a big challenge in our instant gratification, media quick society of today.  

          So, settle in and enjoy Advent, meditate and pray and be one with Christ entering our physical and spiritual world. Matthew in the verse above tells of the three Magi coming to adore and recognize the baby Jesus as the Messiah. Although rich and power men from the power centers of their world, they kneel in that humble house and recognize something far more powerful than themselves. They foresee a hope, an eternal joy that will save the world from revenge, from fighting and dominating one another. 

          As we wait and watch the story unfold again, let us breathe deep and pray for peace and healing in the world.  Let us remember those in need: those who are alone or isolated and those who have sad memories that well up this time year. May the blessings of Advent be with us in caring and respect for all those who need God’s infinite love and grace. 


                                                               May God bless, Pastor David 

**P.S. I especially like this lovely poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, which describes in detail the story of Jesus’ birth and his coming into the world.                                          

             A Christmas Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson 

Loving Father, 
Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.                                          

Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift
and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing 
which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning 
make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds
with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, 
for Jesus' sake. Amen.