ST. JOHN’S UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
223 West College Avenue, Bluffton, OH 45817
October 10, 2021
Twentieth 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 “Psalm Prelude” Stanley Saxton
*Call to Worship
One: It was easy to come to worship this morning.
Many: We feel welcome and look forward to
the worship service.
One: How hard it is to enter God’s kingdom.
Many: We have to be ready to let go of the things
that tie us down.
One: Get ready. God is waiting for you.
Many: Open our hearts and our spirits, Lord,
to receive your word for us. AMEN.
Lord, you have called us here this day for healing, hope, and transformation. As we listen to the Scripture, pray our prayers, sing our hymns, and hear the words of wisdom, open our hearts to hear your claim on our lives; that we may fully and joyfully serve you. AMEN.
*Opening Hymn “Immortal, Invisible. . .” P. 48 (vs. 1, 2, 4)
Time with the Children
Prayer of Confession
Merciful God, we become so enamored of the glitz and glitter of the world. It is as though our lives were lived in “catalog shopping” design. We have so much and want so much more. We listen to the pitches in the media about the latest and best of everything, and rather than striving to serve you more faithfully, we strive to gather more and more possessions. Forgive our crass materialism. Break the bonds and chains of our oppression and enslavement to greed. Open our hearts to know that the riches of the kingdom are in service to you. Help us to understand the call you have given us to service, and having heard and understood that call, may we be about the work of the kingdom. For we offer this prayer in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.
Words of Assurance
*Hymn “I, the Lord of Sea and Sky” P. 559 (All verses)
Prayer for Illumination
Gracious God, as we turn to your Word for us, may the Spirit of God rest upon us. Help us to be steadfast in our hearing, in our speaking, in our believing and in our living. Amen.
Reading from Hebrew Wisdom Literature Job 23:1-9, 16-17
The context for the Book of Job is Job’s dispute with Deuteronomic orthodoxy and its simplistic theology of retribution
Reading from the Gospel Mark 10:17-31
These verses are the well-known story of the man whose riches stand in the way of his access to the Kingdom of God. In this period of human history, wealth and honor were attributes of the most privileged and accomplished members of society with leisure time to pursue religious study and practice creating confusion about how these could be a hinderance to entering the Kingdom of God.
Sermon Why? Rev. Katherine Beckett
*Hymn “Children of the Heavenly Father” P. 83, (vs. 1, 2)
Pastoral Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer
*Closing Hymn “There’s a Wideness. . .” P. 61 (vs. 1, 3, 4)
*Postlude “Jubilate Amen” Carl Simone
*Please stand if you are able
Welcome to worship at St. John’s UCC. As our Creator designed green leaves to turn fiery yellow, orange and red, may today’s worship rekindle your faith with the fire of the Holy Spirit.
The Pastoral Search Committee will give a special presentation during the announcements this Sunday.
SAVE THE DATE; Friday, October 29, for a drive-thru spaghetti dinner, 4:30 TO 6:30? P.M., at ST. JOHN’S UCC.
Volunteers are needed in various capacities to help with the preparation and distribution of the spaghetti dinners on Friday, October 29. Connie Kempf has a sign-up sheet available for you.
Today is Pastor Appreciation Sunday, and we are most grateful that Pastor Katherine will continue to serve as our interim minister.
We are blessed!
The Board of Christian Education will meet at the conclusion of the worship service this morning.
Ladies will continue to meet on Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m. in Oppermann Hall. We will enjoy a time of fellowship as well as work on the bears and blankets outreach projects. Please bring your own scissors. If you wish, you may bring your own refreshments.
Men meet on Wednesday, October 13, at Arby’s, at 8:30 a.m.
The Neighbors in Need offering total to date is $430.00.
Attendance on Sunday, October 3 was 25 persons.