12-10-2023 Order of Service

The Angels Sing Glory

Songs along the arc of justice

Sunday, December 10, 2023, 10:25 am

Online on Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/738363620
Passcode: BUF

Zoom by phone, for audio only: (346) 248-7799
Meeting ID: 738 363 620
Passcode: 306220

Gathering Music             A CELEBRATION OF CAROLS, arr. Faber



Choir                               THE GLORY OF THE FATHER, by Egil Hovland


Luke 2: 1-14, King James version


Love is the spirit of this fellowship, and service gives it life.
Celebrating our diversity, and joined by a quest for truth,
We work for peace, and honor all
This is our covenant.

All Sing                            HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING

(lyrics below, one verse)

Choir                                THERE IS NO ROSE (from “Ceremony of Carols”)

by Benjamin Britten

All Sing                            ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH

(Hymn #231, two verses)

Children’s Focus            A VERY NOISY CHRISTMAS, by Tim Thornborough

read by Lizz Roberts

All Sing                           THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE

(Hymn #118, three verses)

Message 1                      Joel Gabriel Johnson

All Sing                           IT CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR

(Hymn #244, four verses)

Message 2                      Walt Ellis

All Sing                           GLORY GLORY, Traditional

(lyrics below, five verses)

Choir                               SHOUT GLORY!  by Byron Smith

solos: Lizz Roberts, Matt Novak, Noah Dougen, Annie Sorich

HARK! I HEAR THE HARPS ETERNAL, Southern Hymn, arr. Parker

solos: Ahwren Ayers, Jessica Cartwright,
Jane Ronca-Washburn, Kjerstie Nelson

GLORY (from “Selma”), by Common and Legend
arr. Rogers
solos: Joel Gabriel Johnson, Walt Ellis

Collection                        Restorative CommUnity Coalition

speaker: Debbie David, RCC President

Offertory                          ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH, arr. Keveren

All Sing                           GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN

(Hymn #239, three verses)


All Sing                           #155, Circle ‘Round

Circle ‘round for freedom, circle ‘round for peace.
For all of us imprisoned, circle for release.
Circle for the planet, circle for each soul.
For the children of our children, keep the circle whole.

Selected Lyrics


Hark! The herald angels sing “Glory to the new-born king
Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim “Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing “Glory to the new-born king”



  1. Glory, glory hallelujah! since I laid my burden down (2x)
  2. Feel like shouting hallelujah! . . .
  3. Life is sweeter, so much sweeter . . .
  4. Feel like dancing hallelujah! . . .
  5. Love is shining all around me . . .


Minister                          Rev Paul Beckel
Celebrants & Soloists    Joel Gabriel Johnson, Walt Ellis
Music Director                Kevin Allen-Schmid
Keyboard Artists            Melanie Rieck and Kevin Allen-Schmid
Rhythm Section            Drums: Aspen Bentrim, Bass: Gage Brown
Hymn Leaders               Lawrence Allen, Karen FitzGerald, Elie Friedlob,

Barbara Gilday, Carrie Koehnline, Don Loft

Tech Crew                     Jeff Copland, Quinn Williams, Albert Snow,

Mark Allyn, Rory McLeod, Jim Reimer

Choir Members


Chalice Choir, Phoenix Ensemble and Phoenix Ensemble Plus

Lawrence Allen, Mark Allyn, Ahwren Ayers, Claire Bowden, Robin Brown, Jessica Cartwright, Patricia Conover, Jayme Curley, Noah Dougen, Walt Ellis, Gabe Epperson, Karen FitzGerald, Mimi Freshley, Alan Friedlob, Elie Friedlob, Barbara Gilday, Ruth Ann Hanlin, Lisa Heezen, Wendy Howard, Joyce Jimerson, Joel Gabriel Johnson, Carrie Koehnline, Steve Lamm, Don Loft, Kjerstie Nelson, Tom Nicholas, Matt Novak, Carl Nyblade, Grace Nyblade, Pete Olson, Cindy Pfeiffer-Hoyt, Khoré Phoenix, Becky Pillai, Jim Reimer, Don Reinke, Melanie Rieck, Lizz Roberts, Jane Ronca-Washburn, Carol Smith, Annie Sorich, Nancy Steele, Ann Stevenson, Barbara ten Hove, Jaco ten Hove, Allegra Zifflle


If you’re with us on Zoom today, please stay after the service for our online coffee hour. If you’re here in person, please join us downstairs for coffee and conversation. Visitors: you may wish to use a red cup — then we’ll know you’re open to a bit of orientation.

If you’re new, we’d be grateful to have you provide us with contact information so we can let you know what’s happening here. There are buff-colored visitor contact cards in the pew racks, and in the entryway, that you can drop in the collection basket. Or provide your contact information HERE. 

Contributions payable to “BUF” may be sent to:
1207 Ellsworth Street, Bellingham 98225

For info about donating online (credit card or PayPal), by automatic bank transfer, or via phone apps, see the “give” button in the upper right-hand corner at buf.org or contact the office: (360) 733-3837 / admin@buf.org


Upcoming Sundays

December 17   Solstice – Rev Paul Beckel

December 24   Revs Barbara ten Hove and Paul Beckel

This is a traditional service with candlelight and carols
No religious education or childcare will be provided
Our Christmas Eve service takes place at 7 PM
Please note that we will not meet on the morning of Sunday Dec 24

December 31   Wholeness in Divisive Times

Music, art, poetry, and short reflections by BUF members and friends.
If you would like to share (3-5 minutes), send an email to Su Livingston (sulivingston@gmail.com) with a description of what you’d like to contribute. Please help us welcome the new year by contributing your gifts to this service.

Quotes about the “Arc of Justice”

Theodore Parker (1810-1860), Unitarian Theologian

“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends toward justice.


Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), paraphrasing Theodore Parker

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” 

Cover art

2012 painting by Susan Supola, a member of the Crown of the Continent Choir in Kalispell, Montana; depicting Kevin Allen-Schmid, their founding director, Marlene Anderson, their on-fire accompanist, and a multitude of the heavenly host.