Bulletin for Sunday, September 18, 2022

Welcome to

St. John’s United Church of Christ

223 West College Avenue, Bluffton, OH  45817

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Rev. Jeremy Mann (419-420-5052) Church (419-358-5641)

Email:  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                 “Sun of My Soul”                  arr.  Lani Smith



“Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart”      P. 113


One:   Who is like the Lord our God,

           high above the heavens in glory?

All:     Blessed be the name of the Lord.

One:   Who raises the poor from the dust

           and lifts up the needy from the ashes?

All:     Blessed be the name of the Lord.

One:   Who makes light shine in darkness,

           gives joy in sorrow,

           and brings life out of death?

All:     Blessed be the name of the Lord.



* All:   Gracious God, you know our sin: We have squandered the gifts you have given us.  We have failed to forgive our debtors as you have forgiven us.  We have been unfaithful and dishonest in small things and great things alike.  We are shrewd in seeking wealth and foolish in following your way.  Forgive our sins, O Lord, for your name’s sake.  Make us faithful stewards of the grace you have given and generous in forgiving others; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

                      (Moment of Silent Personal Confession)       



PASTORAL PRAYER (Joys and Concerns)

One:   We pray for the poor and needy in our land, and in every land, those who are trampled on by the rich, bought and sold for profit, or taken advantage of by any means.

All:      Help us, O God of our salvation; deliver us for the glory of your name.

One:   We pray for families torn apart by violence, lands laid waste by destruction, and cities ruined by war.

All:      Help us, O God of our salvation; deliver us for the glory of your name.

One:   We pray for all those who are beset by illness or grief, whose hearts are sick, whose joy is gone, and whose minds are afflicted or tormented.

All:      Help us, O God of our salvation; deliver us for the glory of your name.

THE LORD’S PRAYER (“debts” and “debtors”)

HYMN OF PREPARATION    “Alleluia, Sing to Jesus”         P. 320


Luke 16:1-13 New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition

The Parable of the Dishonest Manager

16 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. 2 So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ 3 Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’ 5 So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ 7 Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’ 8 And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly, for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone they may welcome you into the eternal homes.

10 “Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much, and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. 11 If, then, you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth,who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? 13 No slave can serve two masters, for a slave will either hate the one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

MESSAGE         “Being Good by Mistake”             Pastor Jeremy

*STATEMENT OF FAITH  “Apostle’s Creed”

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.  I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.  On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

*HYMN OF RESPONSE     “Now Thank We All Our God”         P.14


  • Call to Sharing
  • Dedicating our Gifts (In Unison}

Who is like you, O Lord our God?  You look with mercy upon the earth; you lift up the poor from the dust and give them a place at your table.  Teach us to sing your praise forever and to show your love to those in need; through Jesus Christ our Savior.  Amen.


Response after Concerns:  Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayers.

            Response after Joys:  Praise be to God! 



“Sent Forth by God’s Blessing”                 P. 712  (vs. 1)

*POSTLUDE  “O God, Our Help in Ages Past”  arr. Franklin Ritter


*Please stand if you are able.

Welcome to worship at St. John’s UCC! The psalmist tells us: “From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised” (Psalm 113:3, NRSV).

Flowers this morning are provided by Tom and Anita Bogart in thankfulness to God for their friends.

Thank you to Connie Kempf for organizing the Rally Day brunch, and thank you  to all those who provided food for the event last Sunday.  The time together was very enjoyable.

Consistory Meets Tuesday, September 20, 6:00 p.m.

The 2022-2023 UCC Desk Calendar/Plan Books

available for Consistory members–(books in mailboxes)

staff members, committee chairs—(pick up at staff meeting)

Calendars labeled with each person’s name

Combined Staff Meeting Thursday, September 22, 6:30 p.m.

AT Emmanuel UCC

Staff and Committee Chairs: Pick up 2022-23 UCC Desk Calendars at meeting

Bring previous calendars if you have entries in them

On-line Instant Church Directory

Information/instruction sheets on hutch

Download apps for smart phones

Online website for computer access

If preferred, hard copies of directory available on hutch

Visit to Crossroad, Ft. Wayne, October 17

            Combined trip with Emmanuel UCC

            Arrive at Crossroad by 10:00 a.m.

            Tours conducted by Kyle Zanker, marketing director

            October 17 is 139th anniversary of Crossroad

            Lunch at a restaurant in Ft. Wayne

            Further details forthcoming

Combined Church Membership Classes

            For interested persons from St. John’s and Emmanuel

Sunday, September 25, and Sunday, October 2

            Following 10:30 a.m. worship AT Emmanuel

            Please contact Pastor Jeremy if interested

Mennonite Home Communities First Annual Gala–October 13

Theme: “GAME DAY”

Time:  6:00 – 7:30 PM

Location:  The Centre at Bluffton

Catered by the Centre at Bluffton

Dinner – Raffle – Silent Auction – Live Auction

Attire:  Wear your favorite sports apparel

To Benefit the MHCO Benevolent Care Fund

Tickets:  $30 each at MMH, Maple Crest, Hilty Home

Check MMH Facebook page for further details

Singing Festival at Gomer Congregational Church

            Sunday, October 2, 7:00 p.m.

            Welsh Museum open 4 to 6:00 p.m.

            Saturday, October 1:  Chicken Barbecue, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

            Tickets: Call 419-642-2681

            Church location:  7350 Gomer Road, Gomer, OH

St. John’s red T-shirts, with logo

$16.00 each/payment by check to St. John’s UCC, or

Exact amount of cash

Sizes: small, medium, large, extra-large 

Contact Sue Hardwick by e-mail: blufftonstjohnsucc@gmail.com, or in person

Children’s Church

            Teachers needed

            Sign-up sheets/materials on hutch

            Check with Marci Stahl re: details

Upcoming Activities at St. John’s UCC

Tues., Sept. 20        Consistory meets at St. John’s, 6:00 p.m.

                                           TOPS, 5:30 p.m., Oppermann Hall

Wednes., Sept. 21   Men meet at Arby’s, 8:30 a.m.

                                           Food Pantry open 7 to 8:00 p.m.

Thurs., Sept. 22        Combined Staff Meeting

       AT Emmanuel, 6:30 p.m.

Worship Attendance September 11:  39 persons

Sunday offering:                                  $1,309.00

Interest check from Edward Jones:  $1,800.00

   (in addition to offering)

Community Market receipts check:  $   341.40

Thank you for your Community Market receipts donations!

Worship Participants

Duane Bollenbacher, Liturgist

Sue Hardwick, Organist

Blaine Bauman, Sound Technician

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