ST. JOHN’S UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
223 West College Avenue, Bluffton, OH 45817
July 18, 2021
Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Rev. Katherine Beckett (567-226-1009) Church (419-358-5641)
No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!
Prelude “When Morning Gilds the Skies” arr. Rex Koury
*Song of Preparation “I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord” P. 549
*Call to Worship
One: The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed.
Many: It is a small seed that has many surprises
in store for us.
One: When it is grown, it is a very large shrub.
Many: Even birds can find places in its branches for nests.
One: God’s transforming love begins in small ways to
enter our hearts.
Many: Holy One, plant those amazing seeds of transforming
love in us that they may grow into deeds of service in
*Prayer of Confession
Ever faithful God, who always watches over us, be with us
all these days. We confess that we have allowed a host of
worries and frustrations to crowd out your word for us. As you
give us peace and your transforming love, also forgive all
those times when we have been less than faithful disciples.
Gently visit us again with your healing powers. Restore our
hope and courage and joy for all the times ahead. We ask this
in the name of the Great Physician, Jesus Christ. AMEN.
*Words of Assurance
*Hymn “Christ, You Call Us All to Service” P. 571
Time with the Children
Prayer for Illumination (based on John 12:21)
Holy God, we wish to see Jesus. Through your Spirit’s power, give us eyes to see his glory. Through Christ we pray. Amen
Hebrew Testament Reading 1 Kings 3:5-12
By the time of Solomon, Gibeon had become a major Israelite
worship site. Dreams and nocturnal visions are an extremely
important way to receive revelation during this time period.
Gospel Reading Matthew 13:31-32
One: Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Many: Thanks be to God!
Sermon “The Smallest Seeds” Rev. Katherine Beckett
*Hymn “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God” P. 349
Pastoral Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
Blessing for the Journey of Crystal Sellers Battle and Family
*Closing Hymn “Go Now in Peace, Though Friends Must Part” P. 717
(Please be seated)
Postlude “When in Our Music God Is Glorified” arr. Edward Broughton
*Please stand if you are able.
Welcome to worship at St. John’s this morning! May Christ “dwell in your hearts through faith,” and may you “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:17-18, NIV). “Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible.” Corrie ten Boom
Following worship today, please join us for a “sending forth” reception for Crystal Sellers Battle and family. Crystal served as our choir director for nine years, and we will miss her presence with us.
Are you feeling WILD in this season of long days, lightning bugs, and summer blooms? Would you like to explore what Mary Oliver calls your one wild and precious life? Come, join a circle of women writing for a morning of leaning into the wildness of one’s heart and soul. Women are invited to circle on Saturday, July 31 from
10 a.m. to noon, at St. John’s UCC. Circle is hosted by Katherine Beckett and Corrie Reed. If you have any questions, or to register, please see Pastor Katherine. Registration is limited to 15 people. Cost is $10.00.
This Sunday evening Vacation Bible School begins at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and continues through Thursday evening July 22. St. John’s herders for the sessions should check with Marci Stahl if there are questions.
Sunday, July 25, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., you are invited to attend Music in the Park. The event takes place at Westminster Park, 6825 Faulkner Road, Harrod, Ohio. For further details, check the poster on the sanctuary bulletin board.
The July-August issues of The Upper Room are lost in the mail. A new shipment has been requested and should arrive within a week. Please check the devotional racks next Sunday for your copy.