ST. JOHN’S UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
223 West College Avenue, Bluffton, OH 45817
January 16, 2022
The Baptism of Christ
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 “Lord, Let Thy Spirit” John Duro
Song of Preparation “On Jordan’s Bank…” P. 156, vs. 1, 3, 4
*Call to Worship
One: We are marked as God’s beloved ones.
Many: What have we done to deserve God’s love.
One: God’s love is God’s free gift to us, always and forever.
Many: Even when we are difficult and turn away from God,
One: God’s love never vanishes from us.
Many: Thanks be to God who is ever faithful to us. Amen.
Lord of Hope and Light, in the midst of darkness you offered light to people who lived in fear. Today that light comes to us as we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. Open our hearts this day and remind us that you have marked us as people of hope and light. Prepare us to serve you by serving your world. Amen.
*Hymn “Breathe on Me, Breath of God” P. 461
Prayer of Illumination
Holy God, as we open your Word, we lay aside all that hinders us from listening to your voice. We ask that you grant us grace to hear, wisdom to understand and courage to apply what we learn. Amen.
Reading from Church History Acts 8:14-17
Reading from the Gospel Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
Sermon “Joined By Love” Rev. Katherine Beckett
Remembrance of our Baptisms+
Remembering Our Baptismal Promises
Reaffirmation of Baptism
Prayer of Recommitment
All: By your Spirit, Almighty God, grant us love for others,
joy in serving you, peace in disagreement, patience in suffering, kindness toward all people, goodness in evil times,
faithfulness in temptation, gentleness in the face of opposition, self-control in all things. Then strengthen us for ministry in your name. Amen.
*Hymn “Child of Blessing, Child of Promise” P. 677
*UCC Statement of Faith—
We believe in God, the Eternal Spirit, who is made known to us in Jesus our brother, and to whose deeds we testify:
God calls the worlds into being, creates humankind in the divine image, and sets before us the ways of life and death.
God seeks in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.
God judges all humanity and all nations by that will of righteousness declared through prophets and apostles.
In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Lord, God has come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the whole creation to its Creator.
God bestows upon us the Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.
God calls us into the church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be servants in the service of the whole human family, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil, to share in Christ’s baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory.
God promises to all who trust in the gospel forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, the presence of the Holy Spirit in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in that kingdom which has no end.
Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto God. Amen.
*Closing Hymn “Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart” P. 132
*Postlude “Stars of the Morning” Dennis Eliot
*Please stand if you are able.
+adapted from the UCC Book of Worship
Welcome to worship at St. John’s UCC. As Jesus’ baptism inaugurated his ministry, may we who are baptized also minister.
Next Sunday, January 23, Reverend Jeremy Mann will deliver his trial sermon at St. John’s UCC. Please plan to attend. (We promise to have an adequate supply of bulletins on hand.)
This Week: Tues., January 18—ladies meet from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. in Oppermann Hall. Wednes., January 19—men meet at Arby’s, 8:30 a.m.