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Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 26, 2021

Altar Flowers

The altar flowers are offered to the Glory of God.
“From the rising of the sun until it’s setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised” – Psalm 113:3

A personal prayer to help you prepare your heart and mind for worship this morning:

Giver of life, every day you rain down manna from heaven so that we can eat the bread of angels. Turn our complaints into gratitude, that we, as a church, may mature into the body of the risen Christ given for the life of the world. Amen.

Prelude
Welcome and Announcements
*Hymn No.140

“Great Is Thy Faithfulness”

Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
there is no shadow of turning with thee;
thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not;
as thou hast been, thou forever wilt be.

Refrain:
Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed thy hand hath provided;
great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
to thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love. [Refrain]

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! [Refrain]

*Affirmation of Faith “The Apostles’ Creed” No. 881

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick 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.

*The Gloria Patri No. 70

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Call to Confession

God has given us a sign showing that love is stronger than death. Trusting in the Lord, let us confess our sins and seek God’s forgiveness as we pray together the Prayer of Confession.

Prayer of Confession

God, you have called us to live lives worthy of the calling to which we have been called. But we confess to you and each other that we have not always spoken the truth in love; we have not always made every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Forgive us and, by your grace, help us to grow in every way into him who is our head, Jesus Christ. Amen.            

Declaration of Forgiveness

Friends, the promise of our faith is that whoever turns to Jesus Christ will never hunger for forgiveness and that which gives life to the world. That is a promise of joy and of peace, and I invite you to share that peace with all that you encounter this week.

Concerns of the Church Family
Silent Prayer/Pastoral Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Scripture Reading: Acts 17:16-32

While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and also in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. Also some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debated with him. Some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign divinities.” (This was because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) So they took him and brought him to the Areopagus and asked him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? It sounds rather strange to us, so we would like to know what it means.” Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there would spend their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new.

Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said,

‘For we too are his offspring.’

Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some scoffed; but others said, “We will hear you again about this.”

L: The Word of God for the people of God.
All: Thanks be to God.

Sermon    

“Religious or Faithful”

 The Offering
Offertory Anthem

“Give Me Jesus”
arr. by Tumminello
Sally White-Saxphone, Jay Tummenillo-Piano

*Doxology No. 95

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below; praise him above, ye heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

*Hymn No.557

“Blest Be The Tie That Binds”

 Blest be the tie that binds
our hearts in Christian love;
the fellowship of kindred minds
is like to that above.

Before our Father’s throne
we pour our ardent prayers;
our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
our comforts and our cares.

We share each other’s woes,
our mutual burdens bear;
and often for each other flows
the sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part,
it gives us inward pain;
but we shall still be joined in heart,
and hope to meet again.

*Sending Forth with Blessing
*Choral Benediction

“Aaronic Benediction”
Julian Wachner

The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord Make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and grant you peace. Amen

Postlude

 

Women’s Conference
Join us in the Chapel, October 16th, from 9am—4pm, as Bible teacher, Priscilla Shirer and worship artist, Anthony Evans lead us, via Simulcast, in this Bible teaching event! Register today to reserve your spot: bluffparkumc.org/event/womens-conference/

It’s Time To Stuff The Bus!
For this September’s annual Bundles of Hope Diaper Bank (Bundles) diaper drive, Bundles plans to stuff an actual bus with donated diapers, collecting more than 400,000. You can support both Bundles and BPUMC’s own Food Pantry diaper distribution. To make a monetary gift, write a check to BPUMC with “Bundles of Hope” written in the memo line. Bundles can take your dollars and stretch them even farther thanks to their membership in the National Diaper Bank organization. To donate diapers, place them in one of the collection boxes located throughout the church. Bundles needs size 6 and pullups (any size) the most. For more information email to Betsy Guy at betsydguy@att.net. You can also send a text to 205.542.6634.

Rise Against Hunger
Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization that distributes food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable. On Sunday, October 17 from 1:00 – 7:00pm, members of BPUMC and Vestavia Hills UMC are joining together at the VHUMC Lighthouse Gym to pack 100,000 meals. Grab your Sunday School class, your small group, your best friend, and/or your family and sign up to volunteer for one of the two-hour shifts. There are jobs for everyone 5 years of age or older. For more information about the event, contact Bennie Vinson at bfvinson@bellsouth.net or 205-682-9966. Register here: https://bit.ly/3i5Nb66

Save the Dates!
The Adult Ministry Council has been hard at work bringing you new events this fall!  Some of the plans are still in process due to our current pandemic restrictions — updates will be provided as given to us by the Trustees and staff.

  • Church-wide Dinners! Plan on the second Sunday of every month for there to be a dinner on the grounds at Bluff Park UMC. Normally at 5:30 pm, our first dinner will be on October 10, 2021, and will be an outdoor “tailgate” dinner.
  • Faith Focus! Our Adult Vacation Bible School was such a big hit that we are planning on a monthly similar event at 10:00 am on the second Wednesday of each month. Starting on October 13, 2021, we will have a guest speaker in the Chapel along with music, fun, and fellowship. Lunch options TBA.
  • Wednesdays with Friends! For the fourth Wednesday of every month, we are putting together fun events, programs, or outings for adults in our church family and community. Information about each event will be announced monthly. Plan on the events to be held at 10:00 am.

Halloween 2021
We’re doing a Community Halloween Drive Thru again this year on Wednesday, October 27th from 6-7pm in the parking lot, and we need your help! First, we need a TON of individually wrapped peanut-free candy to make this event a success! Donate a bag or two (or five!) You can drop them off at our welcome desk in the Narthex on Sunday morning. We also need members and Sunday school classes to be at the event. Volunteers will do things like dress up in costumes and decorate their cars! For details email Melissa Hendon at mhendon@bpumc.org.

Thank you for supporting the ministry and mission of our church family! Click the link below to give online safely and secure through Realm

We would love to pray you. Submit a prayer request below and our team with be praying for you. You can also pray for other needs posted below.

Prayer List:

Jan Rogers, Preston Huddleston, Jenny Britain, Ann Gilliland and Gary Yates, Debra McCallum, Sally Holland, Donna Burson, Kaleigh Stokes, Jerry Thorn  Olivia Howard, Lisa Avant, Joan Davis, Gail Cooch, Wes and Allison Wells, Tina and Rick Hardy, AV Marlow, Sue Crunk, Bill and Peggy Fields, Linda Sanders, Frank Williams, Marvin Broome, Rochelle Kornegay, Butch Quinn, Pan Cahoon, Martha Flick, Sylvia Harper and her family, JB Dover, James Brooks, Peggy White, Jackie Teaford, Jackie Causey, Venice Russell, Mildred Stokes, Pam Parker, Kay Adams, Pat Westbrook, Gayle Pierce, Joan Cook, Butch Hopper, Joe Bains, Kandis Scudder, Chris Atkinson, Jackie Fort, Jamie Howell, Jo Ann Freeman, Jim Ketchersid, Juanita Knight, Peggy Williams, Myra Gray, Matt and Pat Reeder, Derilda Joiner, Maya Wright, David Walker, Carolin Platt, Roxie and Larry Langham, Dot Watterson, Wayne Freeman, Joe Thomas, Sue Crunk, Charlotte Word, Ann Rabb, Connie Steele.

Prayers for Our World:

For the Haitian people caught in the humanitarian crisis in their own country and those that have sought out a better life outside Haiti.

Fill out the form and let us know how we can help you take your next steps at Bluff Park UMC! We’d love to connect you with a pastor.

Members and guests, please fill out this form to help us keep track of online weekly worship attendance. Include the names of each member of your household who participated in online worship with you.

Worship Staff

Rev. Mike Holly

Senior Pastor

Rev. Ross Furio

Associate Pastor

Art DeWeese

Director of the Sanctuary Choir

Jay Tumminello

Organist/Pianist