Bulletin for Sunday, September 12, 2021



223 West College Avenue, Bluffton, OH   45817

September 12, 2021

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

 Rev. Katherine Beckett (567-226-1009)  Church (419-358-5641)

E-mail:      blufftonstjohnsucc@gmail.com

Website:    www.blufftonstjohns.com


No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!

Prelude   “All Things Bright and Beautiful”    arr. James Mansfield


*Call to Worship (based on Song of Solomon 2 and Psalm 45)

One:   Look to the mountains; look to the hills!
Many: Love comes to us with joy!
One:   The world is filled with beauty.
Many: Flowers appear on the earth, birdsong

brightens the day.
One:   Crops yield their produce in abundance; the air is

filled with sweetness.
Many: The gift of God’s love is with us.
One:   Let the oil of gladness anoint your souls.
Many: Arise and sing for joy!

*Opening Prayer

Creating God, you are the source of summer’s splendor—

the beauty and fragrance of delicate flowers, and sweet sound

of birdsong. We come to you this morning with delight and

gladness, grateful for all of your wonders. As the fields

produce their harvest, may your love grow within us,

that we too may produce a harvest of love, hope, and joy.


*Hymn   “Holy,  Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty”   P. 136 (vs 1, 2, 4)

Pastoral Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer

Time with the Children

Prayer for Illumination+

Holy Spirit, pour out upon us wisdom and understanding, that, being taught by you in Holy Scripture, our hearts and minds may be opened to receive all that leads to life and holiness.  Amen.

Hebrew Scripture Reading                      Deuteronomy 4:1-2. 6-9

Statutes and Ordinances included legal rulings based on precedents and decrees such as a king could make.

Epistle Reading                                          James 1:17-27

James presents two chain arguments to indicate the incompatibility between a Christian life and one dominated by desire.

Gospel Reading                                         Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

These verses are part of the second major speech of Jesus in Mark’s gospel  It repeats its basic point about purity coming from within, from the state of the heart not from ritual behavior.

One:   Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church

Many: Thanks be to God

*Hymn         “Take Time to be Holy”        P. 483 (All verses)

Sermon                                 ByReverend Katherine Beckett

Holy Communion

Invitation to the Table

*Prayer of Confession (based on James 1 and Mark 7)

God of justice and righteousness, your call beckons to us:

to live faithful lives, to turn from wickedness, to walk in your

ways; yet it is so easy to turn aside: to speak a thoughtless

word, to ignore those in need, to strike out in anger, to forget

your ways. Forgive us. Implant your word in our hearts,

and cleanse us from all evil. By the power of your love,
save our souls, that we might faithfully serve you. Amen.

*Words of Assurance (based on James 1 and Mark 7)

*Hymn         “Just As I Am”                        P. 354 (vs 1, 2, 4)    

Words of Remembrance

Prayer of Consecration

Sharing of the Elements

Prayer of Thanksgiving

*Closing Hymn   “God of Grace and God of Glory”      P. 569

          (vs 1, 3, 4)



*Postlude  “Fanfare on ‘Lobe Den Herren’”       Craig A. Penfield

*Please stand if you are able.

Welcome to St. John’s UCC!  “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. … The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart” (Psalm 19:7-8, NIV). Welcome to worship, where the Word of God refreshes us.

Today is designated as National Grandparents Day.  We wish all grandparents in our congregation a happy day.  You are blessed!

We extend our condolences to Renee and Dan Caskie upon the death of their son, Troy Warren Caskie, 31 years of age, from Ada, Ohio.  Troy passed away on September 6.  Services were held yesterday at Emmanuel United Church of Christ, with Pastor Jeremy Mann officiating.

A gentle reminder:  Please use the church’s current email address which is blufftonstjohnsucc@gmail.com, when sending messages to St. John’s UCC.  Thank you.

The Heartland Conference Virtual Annual Gathering takes place September 24 and 25, 2021.  Keynote preacher is the Reverend Dr. Imani Jones; keynote musicians are “The Many”, and the keynote speaker is the Reverend David Long-Higgins.  You may register at https://heartlanducc.org/annual-gathering/

Attendance for Sunday, September 5 was 31 persons.

This Week at St. John’s:

            Tuesday, September 14—Ladies meet at Wendy’s, 10 a.m.

            Wednes., September 15—Men meet at Arby’s, 8:30 a.m.

            Saturday, September 18—Food pantry open 8 to 11 a.m.

Participants in Worship:

You, the congregation of St. John’s UCC

            Duane Bollenbacher—liturgist

            Sue Hardwick–organist

            Blaine Bauman—sound technician

            Jason Cox, Ben Stahl, Bob Stahl—videographers

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