Bulletin for Sunday, December 5, 2021



223 West College Avenue, Bluffton, OH   45817

December 5, 2021

Second Sunday of Advent

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  “Overture to ‘The Messiah’”                  G. F. Handel


*Opening Hymn   “O Come, All Ye Faithful”                  P. 182

*Call to Worship (Luke 1, 3)

One:   A voice cries out in the wilderness:

“Prepare the way of the Lord!”
Many: Make God’s paths straight.
One:   Every valley will be filled, and every mountain will be leveled.
Many: The crooked will be made straight.
One:   The rough and rocky ways will be smoothed.
Many: All will see the salvation of God.
One:   See the light from on high. The dawn is breaking.
All:      The Lord is coming! The Lord is coming!

*Opening Prayer (Malachi 3)

Blessed is the Lord and blessed are God’s people to whom God sends a savior, the messiah, who is Christ the Lord.
Blessed is our God, and blessed are God’s gifts, that grace us with forgiveness and every good gift. Lord, you have come to dwell within us. Build your temple within our hearts. Amen.

Lighting of the Advent Wreath

Special Music    “Venite Adoremus”                    Roger C. Wilson

Pastoral Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer

Advent Tree

Hymn   “Let There Be Peace on Earth”              P. 614

Prayer for Illumination (Malachi 3)

Living Word of God, live within us, live within our hearts. Let

your light and love overflow more and more each day as we

await your coming. Amen.

Reading from the Hebrew Prophets     Malachi 3:1-4

Reading from the Gospel                         Luke 1:68-79

Reading from the Epistles                       Philippians 1:3-11

Reading from the Gospel                         Luke 3:1-6

Response to the Word (Luke 21)

Ever-faithful Teacher of Truth, your word is born anew each

moment. It will never pass away. Grant that we may be bearers

of that word, bringing your love, hope, and justice into this violent, hurting world. Amen.

Sermon         Getting Ready                      Rev. Katherine Beckett

Holy Communion


*Prayer of Confession (Malachi 3, Luke 1 & 3)

O Lord, darkness surrounds us like a cold stone tomb, until your light bursts into our lives like a clear, bright dawn. We cover our eyes, we’re so unprepared for your coming. Your light blazes forth like a white-hot fire, consuming all that it touches. How can we stand before you, Lord? The road that we thought was straight and wide is now exposed as a twisted, crooked path, blocked by a mountain of sin. Where can we turn? Who will guide us back to the way of peace—the way that leads to you?   

*Words of Assurance

*Hymn    “Emmanuel, Emmanuel”                       P. 178

                                                                        (sing twice through)

Prayer of Consecration

Sharing of the Elements

Prayer of Thanksgiving

*Closing Hymn  “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee”   P. 59



Postlude       “Joy to the World”                Handel-Ashford


*Please stand if you are able.

Welcome to worship at St. John’s UCC!  During this time of Advent,  may we be messengers of the Messiah’s coming, as John the Baptist was.

A very special thank you to Barbara Plaugher and to Mary Plaugher for enhancing our worship service with music for the Christmas season. 

St. John’s will be holding the Blue Christmas Service this afternoon at 4:00 p.m.  All are welcome to attend.

The Board of Christian Education has designated the annual mission project for Crossroad in Ft. Wayne.  The money collected will be used to purchase games, Legos, puzzles and craft supplies for the children.  Please place your donation in the envelope provided, or designate on your check and offering envelope the amount you wish to donate.  Checks are to be made payable to St. John’s UCC and note Crossroad on the memo line. Funds will be collected through Sunday, December 12.

Sunday, December 12, at 4:00  p.m., Bluffton University will present its 126th performance of Handel’s “Messiah”.  The performance takes place in Yoder Recital Hall, but tickets are required and are free of charge.  Tickets may be reserved at www.bluffton.edu/tickets, or at Marbeck Center.  Masks are required inside Yoder Hall.  A free-will offering will be taken for music scholarships.

Tuesday, December 7, ladies meet in Oppermann Hall, 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. to continue work on outreach projects.

Tuesday evening, December 7, 6:00 p.m., TOPS meets in Oppermann Hall where they will celebrate Christmas with a soup supper.

Wednesday, December 8, men meet at Arby’s, 8:30 a.m.

Sunday, December 12, the Board of Christian Education meets.

Attendance November 28 was 33 persons.

     Worship participants in today’s service:

You, the congregation of St. John’s UCC

Jenny Bracy, liturgist

Barbara Plaugher, organist

Mary Plaugher, pianist

Blaine Bauman, sound technician

Jason Cox and family, Bob Stahl, Ben Stahl, videographers

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