ST. JOHN’S UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
223 West College Avenue, Bluffton, OH 45817
January 9, 2022
Celebration of Epiphany
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 “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” arr. Lani Smith
Song of Preparation “Angels From the Realms of Glory” P. 189
*Call to Worship (Isaiah 60)
One: Arise, shine, for your light has come!
Many: The glory of the Lord has risen upon us.
One: Let us praise the Lord together.
Many: The sun shall no longer be our light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on us,
One: For the Lord will be our light, and our God will be our glory.
Many: The Lord will be our everlasting light, and our days of sorrow will end. Come, let us sing to our light and salvation!
Perfect Light of revelation, as you shone in the life of Jesus, whose Epiphany we celebrate, so shine in us and through us, that we may become beacons of truth and compassion, enlightening all creation with deeds of justice and mercy. Amen.
*Hymn “What Child is This” P. 184
Pastoral Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer
Reading from the Hebrew Prophets Isaiah 60:1-6
Reading from the Epistles Ephesians 3:1-12
Reading from the Gospel Matthew 2:1-12
Sermon “The Gifts of the Magi”
*Hymn “We Three Kings” P. 233 (vs. 2, 3, 4)
Invitation to Communion
One: Come from your still nights and morning oases.
All: We come with the hopes and fears of long years
and brief days.
We come with road dust and star dust with gifts always inadequate but always needing to be given away.
One: Come with the need for peace of mind and peace on earth. All: We come to the Bread and Cup,
speaking Star words with our lips,
wanting to run away from so many dangers.
One: Come to Bethlehem remembered, but hold in prayer the sorrows of Bethlehem today.
All: We come for Emmanuel –
God with us in journey and shelter.
Prayer of Confession (unison)
Emmanuel, all children are holy, and we have failed to give them dreams of hope, paths to safety, places of shelter from fear and violence. Forgive us when we ignore children in our neighborhoods and on our newsfeeds who face modern Herod-dangers.
Lead us this new year to find magi-resources, map the journeys to possibility, and welcome all who need a safe place; for we pray in the name of any frightened child of Bethlehem. Amen.
Assurance of Grace
One: The dream came, there was enough gold for a fresh donkey, the moon shone on the desert.
All: God forgives us when we put hands over our ears because we are so tired of weeping for our own
One: God gives us courage to help the most vulnerable in our world in the year to come.
All: Thanks be to God.
Words of Remembering
Prayer of Consecration (unison)
Emmanuel, God you are with us, in our lonely nights, and following so-distant stars. We carry all our old years and open our new one, always hoping, for an oasis for each of us and a blessing on earth, in the form of bread in our hands, and the cup we lift.
May this Bread and Cup be so sacred we never lose the Star’s shine, ignore the new year and new chance embedded in every day, or forget Christ who calls us to sharing and joy. Amen.
Sharing of the Elements
One: Let us share the bread.
All: It is the gift that reminds us of our gifts.
One: Let us drink deeply.
All: So that we may always travel on.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
God, we give thanks that you come to us as Epiphany, in Bread and Cup, in old story and your answer to each of our hopes, need for peace, longing for joy, commitment to love. You have filled us so we may share the good tidings all the year-long. Amen.
*Closing Hymn “Arise, Your Light Has Come!” P. 231
*Postlude “Postlude in G Minor” George Blake
*Please stand if you are able.
+Communion liturgy written by Rev. Maren Tirabassi
As the shepherds and magi worshiped the Word-made-flesh, we too, gather to worship the Lord. Welcome to worship at St. John’s UCC!
Following worship today, a special congregational meeting takes place to review, discuss and vote on the revised 2022 budget and benefits package for Pastor Jeremy. Copies of the documents are available if you did not receive them last week.
The Board of Christian Education will meet after the congregational meeting today.
The January issue of The Serendipity will be produced the week of January 10.
Attendance Sunday, January 2, was 23 persons.
Tuesday, January 11, ladies meet in Oppermann Hall from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. to continue outreach projects.
Tuesday, January 11, TOPS meets in Oppermann Hall at 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 12, men meet at Arby’s, at 8:30 a.m.