Hopes and Fears of All the Years: A New Year's Eve service

After all the busyness of Christmas, it can be a relief to plan a simple service to mark the end of the year. Our pattern for New Year’s Eve has been to invite everyone for a potluck supper, a time of worship, and then a party that lasts as long as people want to stay. Because there will always be some people who have no invitations or plans for New Year’s Eve, we extend an open invitation for this time of worship and fellowship. People come with a hot dish and salad or dessert as well as munchies for the evening. After the worship service, adults play board games, smaller kids watch videos, and young people shoot hoops. We all have a good time.

Call to Worship

Song: “Jesus, Name Above All Names” TWC 106


God’s Faithfulness in the Past

Scripture: Isaiah 63:7-9

Testimony of God’s Faithfulness in Our Congregation

[One person recited the names of people in the categories below; the names were also listed in the bulletin. It would also be appropriate to have a table with candles to light for each section or each person.]

— Births
— New Members
— Professions of Faith
— Marriages
— Deaths

Songs of Praise

“I Will Sing of the Mercies of the Lord” PsH 169; TWC 30

“Great Is Thy Faithfulness” PsH 556; PH 276; RL 155; TH 32; TWC 60

Our Fears

Scripture: Psalm 74:1-11, 18-23

Naming Our Fears

[Four people each spoke briefly (2-3 minutes) on issues that had been raised in our community in various ways during the past year; other topics could also be chosen. These four also spoke on these issues in the next part of the service and led the Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession.]

— Media (increasing influence, especially on our youth)
— Faith (challenges from our culture)
— Technology (overwhelming advances)

Justice (growing gap between rich and poor)

Psalm 10: “Why Do You Stand So Far Away, O Lord” PsH 10

We sang st. 1-2, 6-7, 9 to eventide, the tune associated with “Abide with Me.”

Our Hopes

Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11-14a

Naming Our Hopes

— Media
— Faith
— Technology
— Justice

Hymn: “If You but Trust in God to Guide You” PsH 446; PH 282; RL 151; SFL 210; TH 670; TWC 636

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

Scripture: Jeremiah 29:12-13


— Media
— Faith
— Technology
— Justice

Song: “In the Lord I’ll Be Ever Thankful” (see p. 33)

Prayer for God’s Blessing in the New Year

God’s Sure Promise for the Future

Scripture: Isaiah 45:3-6

Hymn: “How Firm a Foundation” PsH 500; PH 361; RL 172;  TH 94; TWC 612

Parting Blessing: Romans 15:13

Jeff Meyer is pastor at Crosswinds Community Church, Holland, Michigan.


Beverly Weeks (oakwood@iserv.net) is worship coordinator at Oakwood Christian Reformed Church, Belding, Michigan.


Reformed Worship 57 © September 2000, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.