Bulletin for January 2, 2022

WELCOME TO

ST. JOHN’S UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

223 West College Avenue, Bluffton, OH   45817

January 2, 2022

Second Sunday after Christmas

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       “And the Glory of the Lord”              G. F. Handel

Welcome

Song of Preparation   “Joy to the World”           P. 179

*Call to Worship (based on Ephesians 1:3-14)

One:   God’s goodness is built into the foundation of Creation!

God chose us in Christ from the beginning.

God calls us blameless, holy, and loved.

Many: For the grace of God has appeared, bringing

           salvation to all!

One:   God has made an eternal promise to gather all things.

God will reconcile all things on earth and heaven in the fullness of time.

Many: For the grace of God has appeared, bringing

salvation to all!

One:   In Jesus Christ we have heard the word of Truth.

In the Holy Spirit breathed on us and diverse peoples throughout the world, God’s promise has been sealed.

Many: For the grace of God has appeared, bringing

salvation to all!

*Opening Prayer

God of our hopes, Christ of our faith, Spirit in our hearts, we come to worship you with joy and gladness. Your goodness knows no limits of generation or gender, of condition or citizenship. You are kind to all, and we worship you in all sincerity, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

*Hymn  “Once in David’s Royal City”                     P. 183

Prayer for Illumination

Holy One, before this world’s days even began, your Word was in the beginning, and it was with you, and it was you.  The mystery of that brings us to our knees.  Yet today you allow us to open your Word and know you better.  So, we ask that you would give us eyes to see and ears to hear.  Give us hearts open to your Spirit as we seek you.  Amen.

Reading from the Apocrypha+                           Sirach 24:1-12 

The Wisdom of Sirach is a book of instruction and proverbs written around 180 B.C. The value of this work is that it provides extensive evidence for the character of Judaism and Jewish society in Palestine during this period. We see a social order highly polarized between rich and poor, powerful and weak, male and female, pious and nonobservant and Jew and Gentile.

These verses show a personified Wisdom singing her own praises, describing her origin in God, the scope of her cosmic influence, her settling in Israel and her identification with the Law of the covenant.

Reading from the Epistles                                   Ephesians 1:3-14

This passage is one long Greek sentence, a blessing expressing the fundamental theology of the letter.

Reading from the Gospel                                     John 1:1-18

Reflection

*Hymn    “Amazing Grace!”                                   P. 422

Pastoral Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer

*Closing Hymn  “Go Tell It on the Mountain”    P. 218

*Benediction

Announcements

*Postlude      “Joy to the World”                             Diane Bish

*Please stand if you are able.

+The Apocrypha is a group of books that are not part of the Jewish canon of the Hebrew Scripture but found in early Christian versions of the Old Testament. The authors of these books did not profess divine inspiration for these writings.

Welcome to St. John’s UCC on this first Sunday of the New Year.  May God’s blessings rest upon you throughout 2022.

There will be a congregational meeting next Sunday,

January 9, 2022. This meeting is to review, discuss and vote on the revised 2022 budget and the benefits package for Pastor Jeremy. Copies of both documents are available to the congregation this morning.

Attendance Sunday, December 26 was 23 persons.

Tuesday, January 4, ladies meet from 9:30 to 11 a.m. to resume work on outreach projects.

Wednesday, January 5, men meet at LuLu’s, 8:30 a.m.

Thursday, January 6, is Epiphany, also known as Three Kings Day.

Sunday, January 9, we will celebrate Holy Communion.

So help me God

No matter how firm our resolutions, we can’t make ourselves better people by ourselves. God empowers our good works when we rely on his aid.

H.P. Nichols, a 19th-century poet, wrote:

If I resolve, with the new year, a better child to be,

’Twill do no good at all, I fear, but rather harm to me,

Unless I try, with every day, no angry word to speak;

Unless, each morn, to God I pray to keep me mild and meek.

Then let me try with all my might, and may God help me too,

Always to choose the way that’s right, whatever act I do.

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