Bulletin for Sunday, September 25, 2022

Welcome to

St. John’s United Church of Christ

223 West College Avenue, Bluffton, OH  45817

Sunday, September 25, 2022

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

Email:  blufftonstjohnsucc@gmail.com

Website:  www.blufftonstjohns.com

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No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!

PRELUDE     “In Heavenly Love Abiding”           arr. David Hegarty

WELCOME 

*OPENING PRAISE AND WORSHIP

                                    “Praise to the Lord”                          P. 71

*GATHERING PRAYER AND ADORATION

One:   Happy are those whose help is in the God of Jacob,

           Whose hope is in the Lord their God.

All:     The Lord God reigns forever, for all generations.

           Praise the Lord!

*CALL TO CONFESSION

*PRAYER OF CONFESSION

All:      We have sinned, O God, hoarding what we have, grasping for more, and ignoring those who hunger and thirst.  We stay with our own kind; we are complacent in the face of systems that oppress.  Forgive us; purify us; remake us, that we might love as you love.  Amen.

                      (Moment of Silent Personal Confession)       

*DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS

*PASSING OF CHRISTIAN PEACE

PASTORAL PRAYER (Joys and Concerns)

One:   For those who are under siege from war or illness or any adversity – give them faith and hope for the future you are preparing.

All:     Answer us, O Lord, when we call on you; show us your salvation.

One:   For those who live in fear of terror in the night or destruction in the day – be with them in trouble and satisfy them with long life.

All:     Answer us, O Lord, when we call on you; show us your salvation.

One:   For those who live in comfort and ease, satisfied with gluttony, drunk with power, wasting their days with idle pastimes – show them the evil of their ways and the end that is coming if they do not repent.

All:     Answer us, O Lord, when we call on you; show us your salvation.

One:   For those who are hungry or oppressed, those in prison, or burdened with heavy labor, for the orphan, the widow, and the immigrant – give them food and freedom, justice and joy, watch over them and show them your welcome.

All:     Answer us, O Lord, when we call on you; show us your salvation.

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

HYMN OF PREPARATION   “For the Beauty of the Earth”     P. 40

SCRIPTURE READINGS

Luke 16:19-31 New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham.The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was being tormented, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. 24 He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things and Lazarus in like manner evil things, but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ 27 He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ 30 He said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ”

MESSAGE           “Letting Go of Status”                   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     “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”    P. 507

GIFTS OF GOD’S PEOPLE

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

We give you thanks and praise, generous God, for every good gift that comes from your hand: for food and clothing, for life and health, for family and friends, above all for the treasure of your grace.  Make us rich in good works, generous and ready to share, taking hold of the life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Response after Concerns:  Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayers.

            Response after Joys:  Praise be to God! 

*PASTORAL BENEDICTION

*CONGREGATIONAL BENEDICTION

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

*POSTLUDE  “Hope of the World”                Hymn Tune “Vicar”

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*Please stand if you are able.

Welcome to St. John’s as we pray and offer praise to God in this sacred hour. 

Flowers this morning are presented to the glory of God by Jenny Bracy in remembrance of the wedding anniversary of her parents.

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

            Sign-up sheet on hutch

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

World Communion Sunday/Neighbors in Need Offering

            NextSunday, October 2

            Join us for worship with Holy Communion

NIN offering–Please indicate the amount for NIN on

                   your giving envelope and place in offering basket

            NIN offering supports ministries of justice and compassion

1/3 of funds support Council for American Indian Ministry; 2/3 of funds support justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects grants

Weekday Christian Education

Sign-up sheets at the back of the church on podium

Questions:  Check with Nancy Yeager

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

These Days Devotionals October through December

            Available in literature racks

            Please take a copy as you leave

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. 27            TOPS, 5:30 p.m.

Wednes., Sept. 28      Men meet at Arby’s, 8:30 a.m.

Worship Attendance September 18:  26 persons

Sunday offering:      $1,047.00

Worship Participants

Duane Bollenbacher, Liturgist

Sue Hardwick, Organist

Blaine Bauman, Sound Technician

It only takes a spark        

Love is the spark that kindles the fire of compassion.

Compassion is the fire that flames the candle of service.

Service is the candle that ignites the torch of hope.

Hope is the torch that lights the beacon of faith.

Faith is the beacon that reflects the power of God.

God is the power that creates the miracle of love.

—William Arthur Ward

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